After taking a good long look at all of the most popular affordable ukuleles listed at under $100 on the market, we’ve come up with a list of five top cheap ukuleles, as well as some things to keep in mind as you make your decision.
In this quick guide, we’ll take a look at five of the best cheap ukuleles on the market today, plus we’ll talk about some important things to look for as make your choice.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
- Best Cheap Soprano Ukulele: Kmise Soprano Ukulele
- Best Cheap Concert Ukulele: Kala MK-C Concert Ukulele
- Best Cheap Tenor Ukulele: Lohanu LU-T Tenor Ukulele
- Best Cheap Baritone Ukulele: Caramel CB103 Zebra Wood Baritone Ukulele
- Best Cheap Ukulele for Kids: Hola! Soprano Ukulele
Best Cheap Soprano Ukulele: Kmise Soprano Ukulele
- Soprano size
- 12 Frets
- Overall instrument length: 22.8 inches
- Walnut fretboard
- Advanced carbon nylon string
The Kmise Soprano Ukulele stands out for its quality, which is astonishing considering the price point. This affordable ukulele features mahogany wood construction, with walnut fretboard and bridge. It has closed 18:1 pure copper gear tuning machines for good intonation and longer playing sessions between tuning. The nut and saddle are ox bone.
This ukulele is designed to offer lower action than average. It features 15 frets and comes with soft D’Addario strings. The bridge is specially designed to allow for easier string changes when needed, i.e. due to a broken string or to swap string positions for a left-handed player.
Best Cheap Concert Ukulele: Kala MK-C Concert Ukulele
- Concert size
- 18 Frets
- Overall instrument length: 24.125 inches
- Mahogany neck, back and sides
- Walnut fingerboard
The Kala MK-C concert ukulele features a mahogany top, back and sides with a nice satin finish that doesn’t pick up a lot of fingerprints. The neck is mahogany, and the fingerboard is walnut.
The nut and saddle are plastic, however there aren’t a lot of complaints about them and they can easily be replaced. The strings are Aquila super nylgut, great right out of the package.
This budget ukulele offers a scale length of 14.875 inches; just a touch shorter than average. It has 18 frets and it measures 1.38 inches at the nut. This ukulele has a sweet, pleasant sound that’s as it should be.
It comes as part of a kit that includes some nice extras like a gig bag, a tuner, and a neck strap. For beginners or those on a tight budget, this is one of the best concert ukuleles around.
Best Affordable Tenor Ukulele: Lohanu LU-T Tenor Ukulele
- Tenor size
- Technical Wood Fingerboard
- Overall instrument length: 26.57 inches
- Chrome die past tuners
We’re huge fans of Lohanu not just because they offer a lifetime warranty on their instruments and accessories, but also because they offer good quality and pretty amazing prices. the Lohanu LU-T tenor ukulele is one of the most affordable and popular tenor ukes on the market right now, and for good reason.
This ukulele is simple but beautiful, with a sapele / mahogany top, sides, back, and neck, plus a rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The ABS bindings are handmade, and strap buttons are pre-installed.
These fantastic ukuleles feature chrome die cast tuning machines, and they feature arched backs so every note has plenty of sustain and volume.
The sound is incredible, warm and smooth. It’s not quite the same as a high-end uke, but amazing nevertheless. Aquila strings are part of the package, along with a strap, a basic gig bag, a tuner, and a few other nice extras.
Best Cheap Baritone Ukulele: Caramel CB103 Zebra Wood Baritone Ukulele
- Baritone size
- 18 Frets
- Overall instrument length: 29.9 inches
- Nut and saddle are of real buffalo bone
If you’re looking for an acoustic electric baritone ukulele or if you’ve been wondering whether you’d like to play with an amplifier, then you’re probably going to like everything about the Carmel CB103.
This beautiful budget ukulele is made with Zebra wood, which displays gorgeous striations and offers a smooth, sweet tone. The finish is hand-polished to a mirrorlike shine, and a dark walnut bridge and fretboard provide some visual contrast.
This Caramel ukulele has built-in electronics including an onboard tuner. It features closed, Geared tuners, a built-in truss rod for easy nut adjustment, and it arrives with Aquila strings. There are 18 frets on this ukulele.
Overall, this is one of the best baritone ukuleles in its price range as well as a favorite with new and experienced players alike.
Best Cheap for Kids: Hola! Soprano Ukulele
- Soprano size
- Weight: 2.55 pounds
- Overall instrument length: 22.8 inches
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Clip-on tuner Included
The Hola! Soprano ukulele comes in a variety of bright colors, so kids can pick a favorite. Made with durable maple wood, and fitted with a strong nato wood neck, these ukuleles feature walnut bridges and fingerboards. The geared tuners help keep the white nylon strings in tune once they’ve settled in, and the fretboard is marked with fret position indicators at the 5th, 7th, and 10th frets so it’s easier for kids to find their way around as they learn to play ukulele.
As starter ukuleles go, this is one of the best available – in fact, it’s so popular that more than a few adults make this their choice for everyday fun.
What to Look for When Shopping for Ukuleles on a Budget
If you’re already a ukulele player, then you probably have a favorite size – and unless you’re thinking about going in a completely different direction or looking for ways to add more variety to your group’s sound while performing, then you’re probably going to want to stick to your preferred size.
For those who are newer to ukuleles in general, here’s a quick rundown of electric ukulele sizes:
Soprano – Smallest size, but considered “standard” thanks to its sweet, cheerful sound. GCEA tuning.
Also Read: 5 Best Soprano Ukuleles
Concert – Next size up, just a few inches longer than a soprano, with just a little more richness to its tone. GCEA tuning.
Also Read: 5 Best Concert Ukuleles
Tenor – A little larger than a concert ukulele, and considerably deeper in tone than a soprano, but not at all “bass-ey.” GCEA tuning.
Also Read: 5 Best Tenor Ukuleles
Baritone – The biggest ukulele size, a lot like a miniature guitar. DGBE tuning is identical to the top four strings on a guitar, making this size very easy for guitarists to transition to.
Also Read: The 5 Best Baritone Ukuleles
Materials and Overall Quality
Most electric ukuleles look fantastic, but remember, looks aren’t everything! When it comes to choosing an electric ukulele, keep quality, durability, and materials in mind as you’re shopping. Most of us would love to own a solid koa wood ukulele, and if that’s in your budget, get yourself to a guitar shop or have your instrument custom-made!
There’s nothing like it. For the rest of us, try to focus on quality materials. Mahogany, cedar, acacia, spruce, and maple are common choices. You’ll find a few solid wood electric ukuleles out there but most affordable options are laminate, which usually helps with durability. Don’t let laminate scare you away, particularly if you’re planning to travel with your ukulele!
Action / Setup
A ukulele’s setup matters more than you might expect. If the strings are set too low (i.e. low action) then you’re probably going to encounter some buzzing even though you won’t have to expend much effort to press the strings. If the action is set too high, you’ll find yourself wondering why the instrument is so hard to play. Good news: It’s possible to adjust the action, either on your own or with the help of a luthier (highly recommended if you’re new to ukuleles.)
Whether you’re planning to take your new ukulele onstage or if you’re simply interested in enjoying its warm, mellow tone while relaxing, it pays to choose a quality instrument that feels great in your hands even when shopping on a budget.
Even the best affordable ukuleles come in at prices similar to those of the average guitar, making this instrument wonderfully accessible as well as fun to play.