Ukulele Luthiers

If you're after something a bit more special and unique than the usual, run of the mill ukulele you might want to look at buying a ukulele from a luthier.

Akulele
Bean Sprout
Black Bear
Candelas
JC Clark
Rob Collins
Compass Rose Ukulele
Da Silva Ukuleles
DeVine Ukuleles
Jupiter Creek Ukulele
Makapili (Thomas Macomson)
Marshall Stapleton
Chuck Moore
Keith Ogata
Palm Tree
Makani
Mya-Moe Ukuleles
Oceana
Pete Howlett
Lichty
Peter Lieberman: Maui Music Ukulele
Pohaku (Peter Hurney)
Mark Roberts
Sonny D Ukulele
SpruceHouse Ukulele
Waverlystreet Ukulele
William King/ Chantus Music Ukulele

29 Comments

  1. Jon November 26th, 2009 4:40 am

    No mention of Peter Hurney and Pohaku Ukuleles? I own two of Peter’s ukuleles. If I could afford them I would own more. The first uke I bought from Peter was a curly mahogany with cedar top soprano. It is simply one of the best sounding musical instruments I’ve ever heard. I can play it side by side with any other good ukulele and everyone, including non ukulele players is impressed.
    Peter also has a wonderful sense of fun. I think many of his instruments are visually both clever and lovely.

    His web address is http://www.pohakuukulele.com/

  2. Woodshed November 26th, 2009 2:23 pm

    Thanks for pointing out the omission, Jon. I’ve fixed it and included your comment.

  3. Laouik April 18th, 2011 3:11 am

    Mr T’s Guitars might belong here. He makes Kiwayas, but also custom-made ukes under his own name. Site’s in Japanese, but Google Translate is there to help, as always.

    http://www.guitar-shop.co.jp/ukulele/

  4. Khairi June 22nd, 2011 10:44 am

    Could anyone give me one good luthier with decent ukuleles at cheaper prices?

  5. John Cook September 5th, 2011 1:09 pm

    Hi there,I see that my Resonator Uke Video of “I know you rider” was posted on your blog, thanks. I hope you will consider adding me to your list of custom builders. I make some rather unique resophonic Ukes.
    I also post build pics and info as well as video clips to my FB page so folks can see the building process. https://www.facebook.com/JavaJones
    Custom build prices tend to be quite high, but these things take many many hours of work to build…It really is a labor of love,
    Mahalo,
    John Cook
    Lightnin’ custom resophonics.

  6. tn November 15th, 2011 6:03 pm

    Aloha,
    Thanks for compiling such a great list. I’d like to add:
    Pegasus by Bob Gleason
    http://www.pegasusguitars.com/
    and
    `Oiwi `Ukuleles by David Tachera
    http://www.oiwiukulele.com/
    Both of them, awesome luthiers.

  7. jddennis November 27th, 2011 7:24 am

    One that’s near me is Dave Means: http://www.glyphukulele.com/

  8. andy January 28th, 2012 11:34 pm

    any one own a ukulele made by AYERS ???

    I have a tenor model utckk koa cutaway
    what do you have and any opinions would be appreciated
    any one got the same model as me?
    let me know what u paid for it and your view on it .

    thank you
    regards ..andy

  9. Robbie "Ukule" Lee February 21st, 2012 7:48 pm

    If you really want to go premier check out
    Ken Pots ukulele
    Lives in Maui makes GORGEOUS ukulele’s

    http://kpukuleles.com/home.html

  10. Mark Roberts April 22nd, 2012 1:21 am

    I invite you to check out my new website.
    http://www.roberts-guitars.com

    Also I was recently a featured artist on OPB Art Beat television, for my ukulele work. You can stream the episode at the link below.

    http://www.opb.org/programs/artbeat/segments/view/987

  11. Toni Maloon November 8th, 2012 1:12 am

    I would love to be added please.

  12. Woodshed November 8th, 2012 7:46 am

    Toni: I couldn’t get your link to work.

  13. E November 24th, 2012 2:54 pm

    My daughter is studying Music Therapy at OU. she recorded in nashville this summer and figured out pretty quick she needed a ukulele.
    i am totally confused and want to suprise her one for christmas. i would rather purchase something really great vs. a retail version. i am confused. there are so many! can anyone give me a tip or two? here is her sound:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7lPTqT6AVM

  14. Evan Binkley December 8th, 2012 2:06 am

    Hi I am a Evan Binkley luthier and ukulele designer based in Hong Kong and I’d like to introduce you to my ukuleles: https://www.facebook.com/FishUkulele

  15. Quico December 20th, 2012 8:57 am

    May I recommend that Kerry Char of Portland, Oregon be added to your list of top Ukulele luthiers.

    I have several of his instruments and he makes high end wonders…exquisite workmanship and easy to work with Kerry.

    http://www.charguitars.com/custom-builds/ukuleles/

  16. Manu January 28th, 2013 5:18 am

    Hey guys!
    My name is Manu Pozzi, I´m a musician from Argentina and I’m staying here in Oahu until may. I’m also a video maker and I’d like to make a mini video interview to a ukelele luthiers, do you know how I could contact one to ask him/her?
    I was told that Locals and Ka’Ohana Ukuleles would be a good idea, cause I’m looking for hand made ukuleles, not mass produced ones.
    If you could help me I’d thank you a lot!

    Yours,

    Manu

  17. Roger February 26th, 2013 3:40 am

    Zachary Castro, Ka’Ohana Ukuleles, ohanawoodcraft@msn.com. I recently purchased a six string tenor from him. I could not be more pleased.

  18. elbowsanchez March 26th, 2013 9:30 pm

    Please add Lymana Ukuleles.

    http://www.lymanaukulele.com/index.html

    How could we not, seeing he created ukuleles for Bill Tapia.

    Aloha!

  19. equina May 15th, 2013 3:48 pm

    Kindly include Boat Paddle Ukuleles: http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com

    Jerry just built me the most beautiful and best-sounding ukulele I have ever played.

  20. therese scott June 12th, 2013 12:26 am

    I’m looking for a woman crafted uke from the state of OR.
    I started playing dulcimer in Shasta county in Susanville and fell in love with the depth of soul that 4 simple strings can bring to a jam; any female luthiers (even 1st level apprentices), in mind?
    I’m an old tree and love the simple sound of strings in the redwoods…

  21. dennis norris June 25th, 2013 5:48 am

    Anyone. What make is my mahogany baritone uke with a buffalo nickel inlay on the headstock?

  22. Kevin Franklin July 26th, 2013 4:01 pm

    Got to put in a word here for one of Australia’s great luthiers: Scott Wise. Last year he built me a matching pair of sopranino and soprano ukes. This year I’m adding to the family with one of his customs. Beautiful instruments, full of taste and reserve and wonderful complex sounds. Absolutely straightforward guy to work with, reasonable delays. Can’t speak too highly of him as you can see. Website: http://www.wiseukulele.com/. I’m not related in anyway. Just a very satisfied customer. Cheers and thanks for this great site and all it gives us.

    Kevin

  23. Jeff September 28th, 2013 7:17 am

    I don’t see Deng Do Viet from Hanoi listed. This man is a master luthier and he made me two beautiful, steel string baritone ukuleles. Also, the Gibtone company in Kolkata, Indian custom made a steel string baritone ukulele for me. Both of the instruments are professional quality and I use them in that capacity.

  24. Susie January 1st, 2014 3:04 am

    Another great Luthier not on the list is Ricky Claffey who is based in Glasgow, Scotland. He built me a very nice tenor uke and I am extremely pleased with its sound, look and feel. His work was recently reviewed most favourably in the October edition of “Acoustic” mag. (www.acousticmagazine.com)
    His website is:
    http://www.claffeyguitars.com

  25. Teri January 4th, 2014 12:17 am

    Andy, just saw your comment
    I also own an Ayers, is yours built by Mike Ayers of california USA?
    Mine is a beautiful tenor made of solid lacewood (leopardwood) sides and back with a cedar top, has abalone inlay on the head stock and fret board and Grover tuners. Sounds deep and full.
    Bought it 2nd hand for $299 CAD

  26. Guillaume February 12th, 2014 3:58 am

    It’d be nice to see Luis Feu de Mesquita listed. He builds custom tenor ukuleles that look like mini Macaferri guitars. He’s near Toronto, Canada. I’ve had mine for about five years now and my appreciation for it keeps growing.

    http://www.lfdmguitars.ca

  27. Ricci Hewitt March 9th, 2014 8:24 am

    Kapono Ukulele’s from New Zealand
    My father John Hewitt is the maker of these wonderful instruments
    Please take a look at our website
    http://www.fiddleshop.co.nz

  28. Mark Turnbull March 21st, 2014 11:10 pm

    Anybody have any suggestions as to a suitable ukulele luthier for an “alternate-use” ukulele? A series of improbable (yet, in retrospect, inevitable) events has led me to the project of learning and recording the Bach Cello Suites on a Concert Uke tuned in fifths as a viola C3 G3 D4 A4 (through trial and error I have found some classical guitar strings that work well for this tuning). So I’m looking for (1) a more “classical” or possibly “jazz” response/tone from the instrument, which will play mostly single notes, rarely chords (2) even response up and down the fretboard (my current instrument which I have been using for “proof-of-concept” has good response in the lower positions but goes a bit dead higher up) (3) a luthier who will happily add a couple of frets on the high string (need 22 frets to get the highest notes in the sixth suite). So far DeVine Guitars and Mark Roberts look promising. Any others I should look at? Thanks!

  29. Clem June 16th, 2014 4:33 am

    The palm tree ukulele is a great ukulele too. I bought one entirely made of koa and it sounds wonderful. John makes a truly unique and quality instrument.

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