Looking for something that’s functional and has a lot of features, while being on a budget is not an easy task.
There are a lot of cheap ukuleles under $100 in the market, so it’s easy to be blinded by the wrong ones.
That’s why choosing the best cheap ukulele requires a good eye, aside from knowing what and which type you want.
To give you a good set of options, below are the best cheap ukuleles that are worth more than its price.
Here are our top picks for the best cheap ukuleles under $100
- Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano Ukulele
- Hola! Music Soprano Ukulele
- AKLOT Concert Ukulele Solid Mahogany Ukelele
- Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany
- Ukulele Concert Size Bundle From Lohanu
- AKLOT AKS21 Soprano Ukulele
- Mahalo Ukuleles MR1BU
- Lanikai Kohala Soprano Ukulele
- Diamond Head DU-150 Soprano Ukulele
- Epiphone Les Paul Acoustic Ukulele
If you’re going to buy something cheap, might as well ensure that you get the most out of it. That’s why you are safe when you buy the Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele.
Being the top choice for the best cheap ukulele, the KA-15S is a very famous model among soprano ukuleles. With its price, you would be surprised by the features it offers.
The Kala KA-15S is made with a full-on mahogany construction, from its neck to the body, and is complete with a very beautiful satin finish. It has 12 brass frets complete with fret markers, which gives you a hassle-free time, especially if you’re a beginner.
The KA-15S owns a mahogany neck paired with a rosewood or walnut fretboard, the choice is yours on which fretboard construction to pick.
Now, if you are wondering or worrying about its sound, it wouldn’t be as famous as it is if it gives an unpleasant sound, would it?
Because of its mahogany construction, the KA-15S gives a warm and sweet sound. And because it’s a soprano ukulele, the KA-15S gives great playability and is really perfect for every player with small hands.
The Kala KA-15S features geared tuners and is pre-installed with Aquila Nylgut strings.
- Has a warm and sweet tone
- Great for beginners
- NuBone nut and saddle
- Some of its strings may give a buzzing sound
If you’re into colorful creations, then you’d be the happiest with Hola! Music HM-21PP Soprano Ukulele as your best cheap ukulele. It’s available in different colors, you might find your favorite color in its variations.
And if you feel like spending a couple of extra bucks, you can even collect them all, because it’s just so colorful you can’t resist it. The HM-21PP sounds just as pleasant as it looks, too.
Featuring maple top, back, and sides, the HM-21PP you’re guaranteed that it produces only the incredibly best sound. With its fingerboard and bridge made of rosewood or walnut, depending on which one you choose, the HM-21PP is made with high quality and is made to last a long time.
It also features Premium Italian Aquila Nylgut strings and silver geared tuners complete with 12 silver nickel frets with fret markers.
The HM-21PP is coated with a thin layer of paint that’s just enough to give it an attractive physique, which also preserves the natural effect of the wood, thereby producing a very rich and warm tone. Perfect for a Hawaiian-themed afternoon session, you won’t go wrong with the HM-21PP.
- Frets are comfortable and smooth
- Nut and saddle gives a more appealing tone
- Strings may take time to play it comfortably
With a solid wood construction and perfectly shaped edge, the AKLOT AKC23 Concert Ukulele sings of a stable and pure tonality and great playability. The AKC23 is a wonderful option as the best cheap ukulele, especially once we dive deep into its features and skillfully made design.
Also perfect for beginners, the AKC23 is complete with an instruction booklet to help beginners get started with it immediately.
With its sound solid wood construction, the AKC23’s body is made with mahogany, which makes it compact and more natural-sounding. Because of this construction, the AKC23 offers an even greater sustain and resonance.
You would also notice its round edge, which gives you confirmation that it won’t give you a hard time playing it because you can hold it easily while playing. Complete with heavy-duty and advanced tuners, the AKC23 stays in tune for a long time with an amazing intonation.
Featuring a perfect string action, the AKC23 is pre-installed with Aquila Strings offering a full sound.
- Loud sound and resonant
- Great playability
- Does not come with a hard case
Next on your choice for the best cheap ukulele is the Donner DUS-1 Soprano Ukulele. Perfect for a tropical getaway or just an afternoon chill on your backyard, the DUS-1 will never disappoint.
Boasting great playability and pleasant sound, you’d be surprised that this stunner does not have a hefty price tag. The DUS-1 is one proof that you don’t have to break the bank to have the finest things in life.
Featuring a mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard, the DUS-1 gives off a clear and sweet sound that is sure to be loved by both pros and beginners.
Carefully crafted by its manufacturers, the DUS-1 guarantees each of its users a high-quality construction that can withstand any temperature and will last a long time. Owning a comfortable chord distance, gentle strings, and perfect string action, the DUS-1 will make a great addition to your collection.
The DUS-1 is complete with everything you need, as it comes with an accurate tuner, good quality case, colored strap, and carbon nylon strings.
- Sweet tone
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Frets are sharp
To complete the list, the Lohanu LU-C Concert Ukulele will give you an awestruck moment once you get to know what it does. With its high quality and affordable price, the LU-C is well-loved by both experts and beginners alike.
Offered with a lifetime warranty, the LU-C easily makes a great choice for the best cheap ukulele.
Featuring an incredible sound, the LU-C will remind you of a high-end ukulele. With a combination of saple and mahogany as materials for its body construction, the LU-C features an arched back that produces a full sound with longer sustain.
Complete with a rosewood fingerboard, ABS binding, Aquila strings, and die-cast tuners, you will be fully satisfied with this concert ukulele.
- Pre-installed strap pins
- Lifetime warranty
- Tuners could be better
They say that a uke made of solid mahogany has a better quality compared to those made with laminated material. Laminated woods have their own advantages, but if you’re looking for a uke that produces a more pure sound, then one made of mahogany is the obvious choice.
The Aklot AKS21 is one such ukulele made with solid mahogany. Thanks to its high quality yet affordable material, this uke produces nothing but the warmest and cleanest sounds – a rarity among ukuleles within the $100 range.
Another great reason why you might want to get the Aklot AKS21 is the fact that its tone improves as the mahogany wood ages. So if you’re also on the hunt for something affordable yet long-standing, this is the uke to get.
But apart from its wood, I also love this ukulele because it stays in tune. Tuning guitars can be a daunting task especially for beginners but with a uke that does not require constant tuning, learners can then focus on playing the guitar. The Aklot AKS21 comes with an 18:1 premium tuner machine, Aquila strings, and copper gears – basically everything that a beginner would need to improve his guitar playing skills.
- Sports a simple yet comfortable design
- Perfect for long hours of practice
- Made with mahogany wood that promises durability and excellent sound quality as it ages
- Stays in tune longer and comes with an 18:1 premium tuner machine
- Comes with a full set of accessories
- Gig bag and extra strings
- Professional assistance may be needed to replace its strings
- Users have reported a bit of buzz on the strings
Who says you can’t enjoy fun designs with a cheaper ukulele? The Mahalo Ukulele has a wide range of rainbow colors to choose from, and its simple design is perfect for both younger learners and adults alike. The dolphin-shaped tuners are also a fun and stylish addition, complementing the minimalistic design of its body.
The Mahalo Ukulele covers all the basics – it has a NuBone XB bridge saddle for better tone, and it also has the Aquila Nylgut strings for a guaranteed warm and bright sound.
But the number one reason why I would recommend the Mahalo Ukulele for beginners is the fact that purchasing the ukulele usually comes with a 45-minute downloadable lesson. These lessons are taught by Ukulele Bartt and it covers everything from tuning, musical vocabulary, chord voicing, and of course, proper playing technique.
In my opinion, this ukulele from Mahalo is a great option for beginners who want something simple and reliable. The downloadable lessons are also convenient for those who don’t have time to attend classes, or for those who simply want to get started right away.
- Comes in a wide variety of colors
- Simply choose your favorite color
- Sports a simple and classic design with fun details such as the dolphin-shaped tuner
- Comfortable to hold and easy to play with
- Includes downloadable lessons that cover all the basics
- Inconsistent quality and craftsmanship (depends on where the guitar was manufactured)
- Best entry level option but is not recommended for more advanced learning
The brand Lanikai is known to many ukulele players across the globe. It is popular for its great quality and affordability. But did you know that Lanikai ukes are manufactured by the German brand, Hohner?
They are a reputable company known to produce some of the best musical instruments in the world today. That being said, the Lanikai ukuleles are definitely one of their best creations as well.
The Lanikai Kohala is a great option for beginners who want to explore soprano-sized ukuleles. It has an Eastern mahogany construction for a great tone and top-notch quality geared tuning machines that help keep your uke in tune.
But personally, I like this ukulele because it comes with tons of useful accessories that make learning fun and easy. If you’re looking for a great quality uke that comes with a complete package, then you need to get the Lanikai Kohala.
- Manufactured by Hohner
- A well-trusted brand for musical instruments
- Sports a simple design and made with high-quality materials
- Comes with many useful accessories such as a gig bag
- Clip-on tuner and a polish cloth
- The quality of the frets and fretboard needs improvement
- The accessories included are subpar in terms of quality
If you are focused on improving your ukulele playing skills, then the Diamon Head DU-150 is here to help you out. This soprano ukulele sports a traditional shape that allows it to produce that classic full-bodied sound. It comes with a sturdy maple body and neck, topped with a high gloss finish for durability.
But the reason why you should be getting this uke is the fact that learning how to play the ukulele is quick with this Diamond Head DU-150, thanks to its easy-to-play 3 chord chart.
Apart from this, this uke also comes with guitar-style tuners that can help keep your uke in tune for longer. If you are a beginner who wants to learn how to play better, faster, then the Diamon Head DU-150 is your new best friend.
- Comes in a traditional shape that helps produce a fuller
- Richer sound
- Has an easy-to-play 3 chord chart
- Perfect addition for beginners
- Features guitar style tuners to help you stay in tune longer
- Included black gig bag needs improvement in terms of quality
- The quality of strings can be better
The brand Epiphone has been manufacturing musical instruments for over 140 years. With a history that long, one can only expect the best in terms of quality from their instruments.
The Epiphone Les Paul acoustic/electric is one of their best ukulele creations yet and its affordable price tag makes it an even more attractive offer to ukulele players.
Although it is a bit pricier than what you can find around the $100 price range, it comes with plenty of premium features that many entry-level ukes don’t have. First, it comes with an AAA-grade flame maple top and a built-in piezo film under-saddle pickup.
This assures an all-natural and accurate sound as it is routed to a durable 1/4-inch output jack. Just plug it into an amp and you’ll be shocked at how close you can get to a true acoustic tone.
- Made by a well-trusted brand with only the best quality materials
- Comes with high-quality components but with an affordable price tag
- Sounds perfect acoustically or through an amp
- One of the more expensive options on the list
Factors To Consider When Buying a Cheap Ukulele under $100
Avoid the mentality that just because it’s cheap, it will automatically be cheaply made and has low quality.
To get the best cheap ukulele, you need to know some factors you should consider before finally settling with your choice.
Which Type Suits You Well
Among any other considerations, the first and most important thing you should think of is that a ukulele has four different types according to its size. With each size comes different and distinct tone, projection, and volume.
The first and smallest type is a soprano ukulele. Soprano ukuleles are considered the most popular type of ukulele (it can also be proven by our list). It offers a crisp sound, without having a lot of bass.
One size bigger is the concert ukulele, which has a longer neck and more spaced out frets. Most musicians prefer this type because of its easy playability and right size.
Now on the bigger side of the spectrum, the tenor ukulele is recently becoming more prominent, because of its size and its classical guitar vibe brought by its sound.
The biggest type is the baritone ukulele. This type is somewhat rare and sounds more like a standard classical guitar. Among the other types, the baritone ukulele is the least preferred because of its size and least unique tone.
If you’re fond of playing string instruments, then you’d have a pretty neat background when it comes to its overall construction. But if you’re new, then you must know that it gives a huge impact towards its sound.
Usually, traditional ukuleles are made with one solid tone wood. And that’s when you know you’re in the right track.
However, modern ukuleles use a type of softwood as their top, while their back and sides is made of hardwood. This design produces better resonance.
Tone Woods Used
The type of wood used dictates almost every characteristic of a ukulele, sonic-wise and physically.
The most popular and effective wood used is the Hawaiian Koa, or just Koa.
The first ukulele is made in Hawaii, so Koa is mostly found in the same place.
The next best option of great tonewood is mahogany, mostly because both have almost the same density and tonal properties.
Mahogany has proven to be the next most popular choice, due to its similar density and tonal properties. Cedar and spruce are also common and great choices. You will also see some ukuleles made with rosewood, walnut, or ebony.
Whichever tonewood is used for your ukulele, as long as it features solid wood construction, you’ll be getting the best cheap ukulele.
If you’re out looking for the best cheap ukulele under $100 in the market, consider the Kala KA-15S Soprano Ukulele. With its mahogany body construction, the KA-15S is sure to give you the best tonality with the right touch of sweetness. It also features pleasing features including a lovely satin finish and a rosewood/ walnut fretboard.
Users love it because of its warm and melodic tone while having the right set of features. However, some may not be a fan of its buzz sound due to its strings.