9+ Best Ukuleles Under $100 in August 2020 By EXPERTS


Ukuleles have quickly grown to become one of the most popular instruments in the market. Due to their reputation of easy playability yet magnificent sound and tones, many musicians or even hobbyists have been resorting to the ukulele to acquire the skill of playing it.

What’s further motivating about ukuleles instrument is that, unlike other instruments, the wallet-friendly market is full to the maximum. Luckily, not all of them are toy-like ones that are noise to the ears. In fact, many are of decent quality and offer excellent, above-average tone for the price.

In this article, we will provide you a list of the best ukuleles under 100 that will prove to be a worthy addition to your instrument collection.

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS Check price
Best Overall Best Overall AKLOT Concert Ukulele
  • Mahogony Top, Acoustic
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Budget Friendly Runner Up Donner Concert Ukulele
  • Geared tuners, Acoustic
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My Choice For Beginners  Donner Concert Ukulele
  • Digital tuners, Acoustic
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The 9 Best Ukuleles Under 100$ in 2020

1. AKLOT Concert Ukulele – Best Overall

For the perfect blend of efficiency and comfort, look no further than AKLOT’s Concert Ukulele, wrapped in a nearly-round shape that makes it restful to hold with corners that are unlikely to poke your forearm as you play.

It’s not just the edges of the ukuleles that have been designed with this care on this uke. All its joints are very well-polished and thought out, with a mahogany top, geared tuners, and delicate rosette etched on the ukulele’s front.

Even the bridge is distinct. It has a dove shape with stretched wings that are detailed with a small inlaid eye. To feed the strings, you go through the bridge and know them through the soundhole.

Well, since the ukulele is made entirely out of solid wood and not laminated, the sound coming out of it is unbeatable.

AKLOT has also been generous with its extras, as the uke comes with a gig bag, digital tuner, strap, cleaning cloth, and picks. You basically won’t need any extra purchases! What’s more, if you’re a beginner, the extras include a quick start guide with instructions along with access to online lessons. You can also use any of these best ukulele apps to start your journey.

Pros

  • Quality Mahogany top
  • Round-shape leading to comfort

Cons

  • Strings aren’t really durable

Bottom Line

The AKLOT Concert Ukulele is a wholly solid uke, that, by default, means irresistible sound and durability. Not to mention, it’s aesthetically pleasing through a dove-shaped quality bridge and a nearly-rounded shape that make holding this uke as comfortable as could be.

2. Donner Concert Ukulele DUC-1 – Runner-Up

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If you’re searching for a traditional yet best ukulele under 100 that still ticks all the boxes of sound and quality, the Donner Concert Ukulele DUC-1 is for you.

When we say traditional, we don’t mean ‘old,’ so let’s not mix that up. We’re just referring to its style and design that are the typical image of what you would think of when you hear the word ukulele.

By boasting a mahogany laminate body and neck along with a rosewood bridge and fingerboard, the construction is robust and likely to withstand frequent usage and different conditions.

On the note of the fingerboard, the Donner Concert Ukulele DUC-1 features a pretty large fingerboard, giving you enough space to roam your hands on the uke, which is ideal for beginners, and would suit you well if your fingers are on the larger side of the spectrum.

It also comes with carbon nylon strings that are very easy to adjust, making your strumming process a smooth and yielding one, delivering exceptionally warm tones.

Moreover, the sound is not just warm. It’s full and exhibited at an adequately loud sound that goes beyond the expectations that go along with an entry-level, concert uke at this price range. The volume is not audible as it would be with an all-solid body, but this is just perfect for a laminate one.

What further makes this uke exceptional is that it comes with already geared tuners, which means you can keep it in tune and practice as often as you would like without having to worry a tiny bit about tuning.

Last but not least, the Donner Concert Ukulele DUC-1 comes with a set of extras, including a case so you won’t need another ukulele case, shoulder strap, clip-on tuner, and extra strings. It’s quite a bargain!

Pros

  • Robust construction quality
  • Large fingerboard
  • Quality Geared tuners 
  • Loud, full-tone quality
  • Decent set of extras with good quality

Cons

  • Relatively heavy

Bottom Line

The Donner Concert Ukulele DUC-1 is a cleanly constructed uke that could easily be considered one of the best deals on the market at this moment of time, thanks to its high level of craftsmanship, playability, and tone quality.

3. Ranch Concert – Best Ukuleles for Beginners

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The Ranch Concert is one of the ukuleles who quickly made headlines upon its release, mainly due to its distinct build quality, comfortable playability, tone, and even additional accessories. As a plus, the laser-etched design creates a visual appeal that’s hard not to like!

The build of this ukulele’s body is one of the contributors to its success, enjoying a rosewood fingerboard, Aquila Nylon strings, and 18 silver nickel frets. Generally, it’s made of Sapele wood, which is exceptionally sturdy and long-lasting, and of a more lightweight than mahogany.

What’s further incredibly unique about the Ranch Concert is its digital tuner, which implies that it’s made for the stage. Why so? Because digital tuners almost fully guarantee an error-free note playing.

Yet, this doesn’t mean that the ukulele is just for expert players who perform on stage. Far from that, actually! It’s equally suitable for beginners, and they’re fully supported by offering them 12 free online lessons to get them on track list.

When it comes to sound, the tones are super resonant and consistent, whether you’re high or low on the fret. Furthermore, the Sapele wood amplifies the sound without creating that unnecessary echo, so you should expect clear, well-projected sound.

More on the extras list, the Ranch Concert comes with a lined fabric gig bag, shoulder strap, good quality cleaning cloth, additional set of strings, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Sapele wood construction 
  • Comes with a multitude of good equality extras
  • Well-projected, warm sound quality
  • Good Quality Digital tuner
  • Ideal for experts and beginners alike
  • 12 free quality lessons for beginners
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Tuning heads can occasionally be stiff
  • Slightly heavier than counterpart concert models

Bottom Line

With its unique Sapele wood, pre-strung construction, digital tuners, and wide range of extras like guitars, you get the smoothest of experiences when playing the Ranch Concert ukulele just like guitars, free of inconveniences. Also, superior sound quality and performance are guaranteed!

 

4. Cordoba 15CM – Best Ukuleles Craftsmanship

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If you thought that lacking a budget above $100 will make you end up with a poor-looking ukulele, you might want to think again. The Cordoba 15CM is the living proof that a combination of style and beautiful tone are possible at a budget price tag.

Enjoying a layered mahogany body and neck, a composite fretboard, button tuners with silver pearls, and abalone soundhole rosette resembling that of acoustic guitars, you’ll get the feel of a masterpiece ukulele.

The Cordoba 15CM comes in a concert-sized body, which accordingly offers you that just-right range and projection when it comes to tunes. Expect to bring some music to your ears with its breezy Hawaiian tones full of top-notch jingles.

What’s more, if you enjoy taking your ukulele with you on the go, this ukulele is quite portable and can accompany you anywhere with no hassle.

On the downside, however, the Cordoba 15CM comes free of any accessories, even a gig bag.

Pros

  • Mahogany body and neck
  • Breezy Hawaiian tones
  • Portable
  • Abalone soundhole rosette
  • Good craftsmanship
  • Affordable price to buy

Cons

  • Lacks accessories

Bottom Line

If you prioritize your ukulele’s looks, you’ll be happy with what the Cordoba 15CM concert-sized ukulele on amazon has to offer in terms of cosmetic features. It’s quite an ornate ukulele for beginners that offers you close-to-authentic Hawaiian tunes, all right on budget.

5. Kala KA-15S – Best Value for Money Ukuleles

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With the Kala KA-15S Ukuleles, you will feel like you’re getting much more than you paid. Starting from how comfortable it is to hold this ukulele, all the way until its sound, you’ll undoubtedly get value for your money with this one.

This ukulele is one of Kala’s popular ones and for the right reasons. For one, this soprano-size ukulele is wholly made of mahogany, with a satin finish that further adds to its elegance. These two build components make the Kala KA-15S a bliss to hold and play with no strain whatsoever on neither your hands nor your arms.

As for the Ukuleles fretboard, it’s made of rosewood, which incredibly softens the sounds of your ukulele and delivers warm, soothing tones. Additionally, it includes 12 silver nickel frets, which reject skin oils and further empower the ukulele to convey the sounds to the maximum.

However, like any product, it does have its own cons list. In this case, the main downsides include the fact that the Kala KA-15S doesn’t come with any accessories except for a gig bag that’s very basic and unpadded, and that the sound is more suitable for beginners compared to counterparts within the same budget range.

Pros

  • Rich mahogany composition
  • Top and Classy satin finish
  • Full-bodied tone play
  • Great  sound play projection
  • Durable and Affordable price to buy

Cons

  • Lacks top accessories
  • Unpadded gig bag
  • Only suitable for beginners

Bottom Line

If you’re a casual ukulele practitioner or a beginner, the Kala KA-15S Ukuleles on amazon com would be your value for money pick for a durable ukulele with excellent sound quality and full-bodied tone.

6. Luna Tattoo Concert – Top Design

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When we mention Luna, we can’t neglect to mention ornamentation, and the Luna Tattoo Concert model is no exception. If you’re looking to go back to basics through a Hawaiian-inspired design and extremely rich crispness, look no further.

The Luna Tattoo Concert is more of an entry-level best ukulele. Still, it certainly appeals to many experts as well due to its warm tones, rich crispness, and entirely laminated mahogany  neck and body.

Focusing on bringing the Hawaiian origin of ukuleles back to life, this ukulele has tattoos all over its lower bout, inspired from Hawaiian adornings, along with shark teeth designs on the soundhole rosette and the walnut fretboard.

More on the body, the strings are the famous Aquila Nylgut, known for their rich, loudly projected, and neutral tones. They are very consistent in their projection capabilities, regardless of any moisture changes, so they’re certainly durable and made to last a long time.

Simply put, if you want to learn more about the origins of bridge first-hand and not in theory, you should try out the Luna Tattoo Concert.

Pros

  • Hawaiian adornings
  • Laminated mahogany neck and body
  • Sprice Top and Terrific sound projection
  • Ideal instrument for beginners
  • Comes with a branded travel and gig bag
  • Portable instrument and Affordable price
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • Not too many top accessories

Bottom Line

The Luna Tattoo Concert comes in a stylized Hawaiian design with tattoo carvings that enrichen your overall ‘ukulele mood.’ What’s more, the walnut fretboard, Aquila Nylgut strings, and stylized sharks’ teeth frets, all collaborate to make the experience of playing this soprano ukulele a joy. Get it on amazon com.

7. Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano – Best Portable Ukuleles

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Unconventional and offered in attractive colorful variants, satin finish, the Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano is one of the most portable ukuleles you’ll come across, with a size close to your average laptop in this price range.

This soprano ukulele is not only unconventional in its outer appearance, but also its construction. It’s made of a blend of maple, walnut, and rosewood and finished in vivid colors of paint of ten different colors.

Also, adding to the spruce top colors, satin finish, the soprano ukulele features white Aquila strings that make the design finish pop even more. To match other soprano ukulele counterparts in the market, however, the gears are silver gear ones, and the frets are 12 silver nickel with satin finish.

On the sound front, the Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano delivers a consistent sound, but it isn’t as high/top quality as one would imagine. It would be adequate to play among a small group, but not really in front of a crowd.

When it comes to list the extras in this price range, the soprano ukulele comes with a canvas ukulele gig bag, satin shoulder strap, and three picks, and two free months of ukulele lessons.

Pros

  • Colorful variants with great body
  • Mixed instrument construction
  • Good Adequate sound
  • Satisfying extras with the instrument
  • Extremely portable and lightweight and affordable price to buy
  • Two free months of ukulele lessons

Cons

  • Relatively lower in loudness than counterparts
  • Strings take some time to get tuned

Bottom Line

The Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano ukulele on amazon is a whimsical and popular instrument that comes accompanied with sufficiently functional better quality accessories to get you started and has quite the quality build that enables it to produce sweet, bright tones. On the note of bright, you’ll also love the color variants of this good instrument!

8. Caramel CT103 Acoustic-Electric Ukulele – Best Baritone

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The Caramel CT103 -Electric soprano Ukulele should be your pick off this list if you’re looking for some electric functionality in your ukulele. It caters to this purpose efficiently through its better and diverse pickups that make plugging it into a sound system, amp, or audio interface a breeze, and it’s only slightly over the $100 mark.

For starters, the mahogany neck soprano ukulele comes with an included chromatic tuner with an LCD display and also a three-band equalizer (EQ.) The EQ enables you to shelve bands for treble, mids, and bass. This is especially useful if the sound is being amplified.

The mahogany neck ensures you a durable ukulele guaranteed to last while also giving you the versatility of playability that every ukulele player needs, especially if you’re large-handed. As for the EQ tuner and the LCD, they both enable the ukuleles to generate enriched, natural sounds that you will love.

Given that it’s acoustic-electric, you would think that each on its own wouldn’t work. However, this is far from reality; the acoustic option sounds really good as well, so you don’t need to amplify every single time.

On the extras side, the Caramel CT103 Acoustic-Electric soprano Ukulele comes with several, including a gig bag, strap, and a cable for hooking it to the amplifier.

However, the only downside to buy this soprano ukulele instrument is that if you’re planning to use it for electrical purposes only, you may need to buy an external amplifier.

Pros

  • Good High-glass Zebrawood body of the instrument
  • Good Built-in tuners
  • Three-band equalizer
  • Adequate range of good extras if you want
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

Strap buttons are not pre-installed

  • Relatively heavy body as guitars

Bottom Line

The Caramel CT103 Acoustic-Electric soprano Ukulele instrument on amazon fits both learners that are new to electric ukuleles and professionals alike, demonstrating the high levels of quality and functionality at a reasonable price without sacrificing a tiny bit.

9. Lanikai LU-21 – Easy Playability

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The Lanikai LU-21 Soprano is one that has gained tremendously good reviews due to its unique sound that’s resonant and mellow.

What enables this ukulele to deliver such a distinct sound is its unrepeated construction. The Lanikai LU-21 is made of a rare tonewood, Nato Mahogany, also known as Eastern Mahogany, that’s known to deliver the warmest of tones when used on a good instrument.

Not only does this type of wood impact the sound, but also the looks of the ukulele. It comes in a darker wood color with grain that naturally creates unique patterns on the ukulele.

The Lanikai LU-21’s fretboard is made of rosewood and consists of 12 well-positioned frets, which makes the quality of the construction a solid one that empowers it to optimize its sound and playability fully.

When it comes to extras, the ukulele is accompanied by a clip-on tuner, gig bag, instructional DVD, and polishing cloth.

On the downside, keeping the ukulele in tune seems to be a common issue that users find. However, it’s relatively understandable given that new nylon strings tend to go out of tune frequently on all best cheap ukuleles, not just this one. They require some stretching before staying in tune for good.

Pros

  • Distinct instrument construction
  • Good, Unique, mellow tones
  • Die-cast tuning machine
  • Comfortable to play the instrument
  • Comes with an instructional DVD

Cons

  • Goes out of tune often at the beginning
  • Action can be high sometimes

Bottom Line

The Lanikai LU-21 Soprano on amazon is one for all players alike, whether beginners, intermediate, or professionals. Composed of durable, good-quality, unique materials, and delivering deep, mellow tones, this is the perfect ukulele for instrumentalists who want a new addition to their tonal palette.

How to Pick a Budget Ukulele Under 100

When picking a budget ukulele, there are several deal-breakers that you should pay attention to while making your choice to ensure that you’re making the most value out of your money.

Size

Well, the four common types of ukuleles are the soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone, with the smallest being the soprano and the largest being the baritone instrument.

Generally speaking, if you have an above-average hand-size, well, you should see and opt for a better and larger ukulele so that you’ll find it easy to control and operate. Concerts tend to be a good choice in that regard, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or intermediate player.

Do note, however, that the larger the size, the heavier the weight. So, you may want to consider portability if you’re likely to be carrying your ukulele around. Yet, the dilemma is that the larger the size, the better the sound as well.

Type

Ukuleles are generally divided into two categories: acoustic and acoustic-electric. The cheap ukuleles are the dominant instrument, which is why they occupy the majority of this list. These typically include parts such as a head, tuning pegs, rosewood fingerboard, neck, frets, and soundhole.

On the other hand, acoustic-electric ones include these same components but serve as a bridge between the acoustic variation and electric instruments. Accordingly, they come with extra additions such as amplifiers, electric tuners, and other equipment that enable it to be plugged into an amplifier.

Tonewood

Tonewood refers to the type of wood that was used in the construction of a ukulele instrument. This highly impacts how your uke will sound along with what tone it will have. There are four commonly used tonewood types: mahogany, koa, rosewood, and spruce.

For high projection, you should opt for mahogany. Ukes of this type of wood tend to be loud while enjoying a warm tone that’s suitable for both home and stage environments without the need for amplification.

On this note, you’ll find that most entry-level and budget ukes are made of laminated wood, which is a thin veneer of hardwood on a cheaper wood. These are still good-sounding ukes, and given the $100 price range, you can consider them the solid-wood or mahogany ukes of this category.

Similarly, koa is also ideal but is less common and more expensive. It’s the traditional tonewood for cheap ukuleles, particularly those with Hawaiian origins. Not only do they produce a unique sound, but they also feel different due to their distinctive wood and the grains they leave trails of.

Rosewood is essentially used for fretboards, but you’ll find cheap ukuleles instrument made out of them, in some instances. These are certainly to be trusted and ensure vibrant sounds.

Last but not least, spruce is for those who prefer brighter and lighters sounds. They tend to be light in color as well and would be top-notch for intimate settings.

Final Words

By now, you should’ve been able to narrow down your options and have 1-2 cheap ukuleles instrument in mind that you’re looking forward to purchasing and to play. However, if you haven’t, we’re here till the end to give you a last round of help.

If you’re looking for the cheapest and most affordable price of all the best ukuleles under $100 mentioned on this list, that would be the Hola! Music HM-21BU Soprano, which will add a pop of color to your play time while giving you optimal sound and good tone play quality.

However, if you’re looking for that ideal blend of top-notch design but also above-average sound quality, you shouldn’t hesitate and go for either the Cordoba 15CM or the Luna Tattoo Concert.

For the most comfortable option to play, that would offer the best versatile experience, then the AKLOT Concert affordable Ukuleles instrument should be your pick. Also, if you are a lefty, don’t worry we have got you covered. Here is our top 5 best left handed ukulele recommendation.

We hope we’ve helped in one way or another!

Last Updated on 22nd August 2020

Evan Grant

A Ukulele player, musician, boyfriend and also the lead Editor of ElectricFieldsFestival, Evan Grant is the guy who runs this site. He's a great Roger Federer fan and is always up for a game of Tennis.

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