Top Ten Ukuleles

Here are the ten best ukuleles as rated by Uke Hunt readers:

Top Rating Results

1 Kanile'a Ukulele 4.52/5 (26)
2 Kamaka Ukulele 4.5/5 (38)
3 Mya-Moe Ukuleles 4.48/5 (22)
4 Kala Ukulele 4.45/5 (155)
5 KoAloha Ukulele 4.35/5 (36)
6 Gretsch Ukulele 4.29/5 (15)
7 Martin Ukulele 4.28/5 (18)
8 Oscar Schmidt Ukulele 4.26/5 (54)
9 Cordoba Ukulele 4.26/5 (38)
10 Luna Ukulele 4.23/5 (48)

The list is determined by a Bayesian average of ratings submitted to the site (that means the number of ratings as well as the average of the ratings is important). So if you think your uke deserves to be on the list you can help get it there by rating it. There are links to ukulele makers here and luthiers here.

19 Comments

  1. John Ryan September 3rd, 2015 10:23 am

    No mention of Kanilea, Pono or Brueko ukes!!!!!
    Am lucky to have a Kanilea Tenor and a Pono Acacia Baritone. Both beautiful instruments. Must get a Brueko Soprano!! have heard great reports about them and really great value for a solid wood uke. Keep up the great work. wonderful site, look forward to your regular emails.
    By the way, for thoise interested, wonderful article on the Fretboard Journal website re lost and found Gibson Ukulele. Belongs to a 103 year old lady who’s husband worked in the Gibson Factory. Check ity out , will bring tears to the eyes of all us Uke players.

    Regards from the Emerald Isle. John Ryan

  2. Gary September 3rd, 2015 11:12 am

    What no Mya-Moe?
    Or Compass Rose!
    The Mya-moe has a radius fretboard, very comfortable to play.
    Thanks for the great site.
    Gary

  3. Judy O September 3rd, 2015 2:00 pm

    I am just glad that there are so MANY makers of UKULELE to pick from!!!! Hope you had a great vacation and glad to see you are back!!!

  4. Kevin September 3rd, 2015 4:00 pm

    Happy surprise in my inbox. Glad to see Uke Hunt back!

  5. Woodshed September 3rd, 2015 5:11 pm

    John and Gary: It’s all determined by the ratings that people have submitted to the site. So anything that isn’t on the list it’s because it hasn’t been voted high enough (or in the case of those I suspect often enough). I’ll add something to the post to try to make that clearer.

    Judy: Thanks very much! I did.

    Kevin: Thanks! Good to be back.

  6. Joshua September 3rd, 2015 6:56 pm

    First things first….
    You do a tremendous job with your Ukulele Hunt website! Always informative and fun! Now on the subject of ukulele ratings…I’ve been a plucker and a strummer for many years and have had the good fortune to own some of the big name brands of ukuleles and a couple of custom builds as well…but pound for pound and dollar for dollar, I’d have to put Mya-Moe at the top of my list. The entire build process as well as the extraordinary finished product is first class. I searched for years on my quest for the Holy Grail of ukuleles until at last I came upon the Mya-Moe. Love it. Now I know that the ukulele preference is a bit like pizza and everyones needs and tastes are different…but if you’re looking to step up from what you’re playing now….Mya-Moe is one to definitely consider. Visit their website and check the beauty they built for me…Build #1294.
    Thanks again for you wonderful website,
    Joshua

  7. Bob September 4th, 2015 1:54 am

    no mention of Kanilea. I’ve got a tenor that just gets better and better everyday! Love this uke!

  8. Woodshed September 4th, 2015 7:14 am

    Joshua: Thanks very much! I do like the sound of Mya-Moes but I don’t have the patience to wait that long for a uke!

    Bob: Because Kanilea hasn’t got any ratings yet. If you think it deserves to be on the list give it a rating.

  9. Colin September 5th, 2015 5:42 pm

    Hello Al, great to see you back and straight into things with an interesting piece on ukulele ratings. I have 2 Kala concert ukuleles – one in Mango and one in Acacia. They both look, feel and sound very different, but the quality of the build and satisfaction from playing is the same. I think for quality and style, Kala produce some of the best affordable ukuleles around. Keep up the good work.

  10. syd scott September 10th, 2015 7:10 am

    OHANO VITA 7-0r big performance from beautiful pear shape. thanks for the great site, cheers Syd.

  11. Richard Holmes September 18th, 2015 5:46 pm

    I’d like to submit a rating for Islander but it’s not on your list!

  12. Lori Anderson September 19th, 2015 4:26 pm

    Surprised the Cordoba is not on the list. I love mine.

  13. Woodshed September 19th, 2015 5:13 pm

    Richard: The one made by Kanilea? There’s a page for that one here. Don’t have a specific page for the Maccaferri one though.

  14. Icelander September 19th, 2015 5:16 pm

    I concur. I own a Koaloha Opio and am amazed at the quality build and sound at such a reasonable cost. Love it love it. I also own two Pono’s and one of them is my go to uke and gets played daily. (cedar/ebony)

    I haven’t had a lot of luck with other ukes although I’m sure there are plenty that are wonderful. I want to give an honorable mention however to my Gretsch combo laminate/solid hog. It cost around $220 and is a wonderful sounding Uke and one of the best looking I own and with it’s fat neck one of my favorites to play.

  15. Phil September 19th, 2015 10:10 pm

    How does a person rate a ukulele that is not currently on the list, like Moore Bettah for example? While not inexpensive, there are no finer ukuleles on the planet. I’d like to rate mine.

  16. John September 20th, 2015 7:52 pm

    i had a disappointing experience trying to acquire a mainland soprano uke. i sent it back because upon inspection while outside i thought it lovely, inside i noticed the neck supporting block was cut jagged with loose splinters at the cut,also inside had what appeared to be strands of glue (like cobwebs) and lastly a piece of what appeared to be a scrap of binding stuck inside down near the bridge end.it gave me concerns about quality control and quality of the assembly.my two e mails while polite, factual and constructive got no response and so what amounted to a b-grade instrument cost me shipping both ways- 35.00.i was never offered a return shipping label or a offer of a replacement which should have happened under these circumstances. i own a kala and that instrument has no such flaws-at one third the price of the mainland.

  17. Mark September 24th, 2015 12:27 pm

    I don’t know if your data will eventually enable this because manufacturers have so many models, but it would be great to see this scored against price. I wouldn’t part with either my Fluke and my Makala Dolphin, but they are very different beasts and bring different expectations. When considering buying a classier soprano online, say, I would like to be able to consider customer satisfaction against price to come up with a value for money rating. I’ll never afford some on your list, but as your data grows it can only become more confusing – and interesting. And, yes, I know it would be better to hear options for real, but that’s not always possible when you live in the sticks.

  18. Brian October 27th, 2015 12:13 am

    Hello everyone! Was hoping to get a little help deciding what ukulele to buy. I know I want a solid wood tenor ukulele, and I have narrowed it down to 5 models.

    Martin – K1-T (Koa)
    Pono – AT (Acacia)
    Kala – KA-ASAC-T (Acacia)
    KoAloha – KTO-10 (Sapele)
    Lanikai – NK-T (Koa) or SMP-T (Monkey Pod)

    I have a Martin guitar, but how do their lower end ukulele’s compare with the others in the list? Am I just paying for the name?
    I’m not familiar with Acacia or Sapele, and I know Monkey Pod trees are pretty, but how do they sound?

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. The only place within 500 miles of me that sells ukuleles, is Guitar Center and they have a very small selection of cheaper entry level ukuleles. So, I will not be able to play any of these before I buy one.

    Cheers,
    Brian

  19. john November 6th, 2015 2:50 am

    I own two Oscar Schmidt tenor ukuleles. The OU5T is koa wood and my OU7TE is spalted mango wood. I am a former banjo player and needed to try another instrument, due to steel strings hurting my 80 year old arthritic fingers. After much researching and trying a variety of ukes I came up with the Oscar Schmidt as my favorite for looks, playability and sound…in my price range of $200-$250 After a couple of years of great enjoyment, I have never regretted my choice. I play in an old time seniors band and am finding that the OU7TE in particular (electric model) can provide an excellent rhythm contribution to our 8 piece band. Even the young folks give us rave reviews (though most have never heard our songs before) The Schmidt sound is not overly loud but really a lush and smooth one, we’re told.

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