What Are The Best Banjo Ukuleles?


Selection Criteria

On this page, you’ll find

…only the best Banjo Ukuleles. We’ll save you from the hassle that is searching through hundreds of pages, looking at similar products, comparing prices, and more, only to realize you don’t know which one is right. Get the right handpicked Banjo Ukulele from the get-go!

Best Banjo Ukuleles – The Basics

A banjo ukulele is a very distinctive ukulele relative that’s everything but subtle.

The quirky nature of the banjo and the brightness and punchiness of the ukulele come together uniquely in this instrument.

However, there are a few complications that might arise with the idea of buying a banjo ukulele!

#1 – They’re not the most famous ukulele version!

Although banjo ukuleles have been around for a while, they’re not really famous nowadays.

They had a bright past that has washed away with time and it’s only now regaining a little bit of its former glory.

That’s a major issue when you also find out that, because of its diminished fame, there aren’t a lot of reviews about them out there!

How would you know if you’re picking the right one?

banjo ukulele

#2 – There aren’t a lot of good banjo ukuleles out there!

Again, even though they’ve been around for a while, there aren’t many good options to pick up out there.

We mean good options as in worth buying – there are tons of poor quality banjoleles though.

Why? Because they’re an instrument with a tricky and difficult construction.

That, paired with the fact that most manufacturers like to save on production costs, materials, and craftsmanship, leaves us with a mountain-high pile of unusable banjoleles available in the market.

Don’t fall for that!

In this article, we’ll show you the only top-notch banjolele options we would pick for ourselves – may they serve you well and long.

We highly recommend you to check them out because, out of hundreds of candidates, the list was narrowed down to only four. That can give you an idea of the quality that’s available out there.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!


Comparison Table – Best Banjo Ukuleles

Best overall
Kmise Banjolele Banjo Ukulele Concert Size 23 Inch with Bag Tuner Strap Strings Pickup Picks Ruler Wrench Bridge
Budget pick
Banjo Ukulele 4 String Banjos lele Ukelele Uke Concert 23 Inch Size (Type 4)
Best Runner-up
Donner DBU-200 Banjolele, 4 String Banjo Ukulele Concert 23 Inch Remo Sapele Drumhead with Strap, Picks, Strings, Gig Bag, Tunner, Truss Rod for Kid Adult Beginner
For Big Wallets
Luna 8" Banjolele with Ulu Design, Tobacco Burst
Brand
Kmise Bundle
Kmise
Donner
Luna
Prime Status
-
Bottom Line
Great banjolele, great addons, good craftsmanship, finish, and materials, most-beginner friendly, it’s also suitable for advanced musicians, it’s got a great price, it comes with a piezo pickup. No downsides.
Great banjolele, good craftsmanship, finish, and materials, it’s very similar to the best overall pick, it’s suited for musicians of up to advanced level. It doesn’t come with any addons.
Good banjolele, good craftsmanship, finish, and materials, it's similar to the best overall, it's good enough for musicians of different levels, its price is good. It doesn’t come with a pickup, it’s a copycat product of the Kmise banjolele, and it looks slightly cheaper.
Excellent banjolele, great craftsmanship, most beautiful finish, and design, it’s suitable for professional musicians, it’s the best sounding banjolele we’ve tried, it’s not extremely pricey, it’s very solid and durable. It doesn’t come with any addons.
Full Review
Best overall
Kmise Banjolele Banjo Ukulele Concert Size 23 Inch with Bag Tuner Strap Strings Pickup Picks Ruler Wrench Bridge
Brand
Kmise Bundle
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Great banjolele, great addons, good craftsmanship, finish, and materials, most-beginner friendly, it’s also suitable for advanced musicians, it’s got a great price, it comes with a piezo pickup. No downsides.
Amazon Link
Full Review
Budget pick
Banjo Ukulele 4 String Banjos lele Ukelele Uke Concert 23 Inch Size (Type 4)
Brand
Kmise
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Great banjolele, good craftsmanship, finish, and materials, it’s very similar to the best overall pick, it’s suited for musicians of up to advanced level. It doesn’t come with any addons.
Amazon Link
Full Review
Best Runner-up
Donner DBU-200 Banjolele, 4 String Banjo Ukulele Concert 23 Inch Remo Sapele Drumhead with Strap, Picks, Strings, Gig Bag, Tunner, Truss Rod for Kid Adult Beginner
Brand
Donner
Prime Status
-
Bottom Line
Good banjolele, good craftsmanship, finish, and materials, it's similar to the best overall, it's good enough for musicians of different levels, its price is good. It doesn’t come with a pickup, it’s a copycat product of the Kmise banjolele, and it looks slightly cheaper.
Amazon Link
Full Review
For Big Wallets
Luna 8" Banjolele with Ulu Design, Tobacco Burst
Brand
Luna
Prime Status
Bottom Line
Excellent banjolele, great craftsmanship, most beautiful finish, and design, it’s suitable for professional musicians, it’s the best sounding banjolele we’ve tried, it’s not extremely pricey, it’s very solid and durable. It doesn’t come with any addons.
Amazon Link
Full Review

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Overall Banjo Ukulele – Kmise Concert Size

Kmise Concert Size
  • The drum head of Kmise banjolele made of polyester with great elasticity has a quick response. Equipped with superior Aquila String from Italy and high quality closed geared tuners, this banjolele can not only produce a bright and percussive tone but also be in an accurate intonation and stay in tune well.
  • Compared with other banjoleles, Kmise banjolele with action 3mm at the 12th fret is very comfortable for beginners to learn because players do not need to press too hard with such a low action. Preset with truss rod inside the neck, players can adjust the action with the wrench as needed. Smooth fretboard and neat fret wires also offer comfortable touch and protect hands from being scratched.
  • Multifunctional strap with an adjustable length from 45.6'' to 66.1'' can release the pressure of the banjolele and set hands free to play. The strap equips with two hooks can allow players not to drill a hole on the banjolele but fasten the hook on the metal frame and tie the leather belt on either headstock or strap lock.
  • Kmise banjolele has various playing methods. It can be in a traditional resonator style or an open back style by detaching its back. Traditional resonator style produces a mellower, softer sound while the open back style has a brighter sound. The package also comes with a piezo pickup that can connect the recording equipment for stage performance, which makes Kmise banjolele a super playable and multifunctional musical instrument.
  • Kmise provides 90-day warranty for the banjolele and lifetime string replacement. If there is any problem with Kmise banjolele, please feel free to contact us and we will reply to you within 24 hours and help you solve the problem ASAP.

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Let’s face it: Kmise is an entry-level brand that makes cheaper goodish ukuleles and other stringed instruments.

However, we’ve been surprised by the quality of this (and the next) banjolele.

This pick is the best overall because it comes with everything you need, even the affordable price tag.

Here are its advantages:

  • The banjolele is of great quality!
  • The good craftsmanship, materials, and finish make it a satisfactory buy.
  • It comes with excellent add-ons that will make your life easier.
  • The price is incredibly low!
  • Its sound quality is beautiful – it produces a bright, percussive, and well-balanced sound that you’ll fall in love with immediately.

There’s no doubt that this banjolele should be at the top – it’s simply a great instrument!

The gig bag, strap, picks, the tuner, an extra set of strings, the piezo pickup, and other goodies it comes with will make you love this bundle pick from day one.

Also, it’s hard to turn down the gig bag, which is among the few ones you’ll find that can fit this instrument – they’re hard to find!

This is the perfect banjolele for newbies, but it’s also good enough for intermediate, and advanced players.

And, with this price, it’s totally worth the investment. Highly recommended!

Pros

  • Great banjolele for musicians of all levels!
  • It has good craftsmanship, finish, and materials – it looks great!
  • The addons are great, too (especially the gig bag and the piezo pickup!).
  • The price is unbeatable – this is the most convenient pick by far.

Cons

  • No cons!
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Best Budget Pick Banjo Ukulele – Kmise Banjolele

Kmise Banjolele
  • The Banjolele is a four-stringed instrument with a small banjo type body and a fretted concert size ukulele neck that was very popular in the '20s & '30s. It features the distinctive sound of a banjo and the small scale tuning and playing style of a Ukulele. The instrument uses standard ukulele tuning of G-C-E-A.
  • The drum head of Kmise banjolele made of polyester with great elasticity has a quick response. Equipped with superior Aquila String from Italy and high quality closed geared tuners, this banjolele can not only produce a bright and percussive tone but also be in an accurate intonation and stay in tune well.
  • Compared with other banjoleles, Kmise banjolele with action 3mm at the 12th fret is very comfortable for beginners to learn because players do not need to press too hard with such a low action. Preset with truss rod inside the neck, players can adjust the action with the wrench as needed. Smooth fretboard and neat fret wires also offer comfortable touch and protect hands from being scratched.
  • Kmise banjolele has various playing methods. It can be in a traditional resonator style or an open back style by detaching its back. Traditional resonator style produces a mellower, softer sound while the open back style has a brighter sound.
  • Kmise provides 90-day warranty for the banjolele and lifetime string replacement. If there is any problem with Kmise banjolele, please feel free to contact us and we will reply to you within 24 hours and help you solve the problem ASAP.

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This budget pick also comes from Kmise.

 This is a budget pick product because it doesn’t come with any add-ons.

Aside from that, it’s pretty similar to the one above, except for some finish and craftsmanship details.

Again, this is a great banjolele, and it’s totally worth the investment.

Still, we highly recommend that you get the one above because of the addons.

This pick is reserved for those who can’t really afford to buy any other on the list since it’s about USD20 cheaper.

The good thing is that you get a great banjolele that’s good enough for advanced musicians at a very affordable price.

Pros

  • Great banjolele for musicians of different levels – it’s great even for advanced players!
  • It’s made with great materials, craftsmanship, and finish (we even prefer this color!)
  • It’s the most affordable banjolele on the list – and it’s the best overall, too!

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with any add-ons, just a great banjolele.
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Best Runner-Up Banjo Ukulele – Donner DBU-200

Donner DBU-200
  • Remo Drumhead - the drumhead of Donner banjolele is from the professional drumhead supplier - Remo, contributing to a warm, full and clear tone.
  • Quality Material - the body of Donner banjo ukulele is made of sapele, enabling it to produce a mellow, and soft sound. Made by maple and hardwood, the bridge is hard enough to prevent the strings cut into the bridge.
  • Easy to Learn - innovative use of finger plates inlaid with muscovite to help beginners quickly find the appropriate position and the board points are very clear, and there will be no reflection under the light.
  • Banjo Tone and Ukulele Style - Donner banjolele is a four-stringed musical instrument with a small banjo-type body and a fretted ukulele neck.Combining banjo's distinctive tone with ukulele's tuning and playing style. It uses standard ukulele tuning of G-C-E-A.
  • Complete Beginner Kit - Donner banjo ukulele comes with all accessories you need to get started: strap, picks, strings, gig bag, tunner and truss rod.

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best runner-up spot is usually reserved for an instrument that’s almost as good as the best overall – that’s definitely the case with this one from Donner.

This pick is similar to the best overall for many reasons:

  • It’s also made out of Sapele wood and a Maple/hardwood neck.
  • It also comes with addons: a strap, 3 picks, a set of strings, a gig bag, a digital tuner, and an adjustable truss rod and wench.
  • It sounds almost as good as the best overall.
  • It comes at the same price.

You might think, why is this the runner-up? Because of three reasons.

It feels and looks cheaper, it doesn’t come with a piezo pickup, and the best overall sounds slightly better.

Aside from that, this is a nice overall pick, and definitely worth its price.

If somehow the one at the top is not available, this is an obvious replacement – mostly because it’s a copycat product.

Donner is so good at copying that we sometimes forget which of the products is the original.

Pros

  • This is a good banjolele that’s pretty close in quality to the best overall.
  • The materials and craftsmanship are more than decent.
  • The addons make it as beginner-friendly as it gets.
  • The price is great, too!

Cons

  • It’s just not as good and convenient as the best overall.
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Best Banjo Ukulele for Big Wallets – Luna 8” Banjolele

Luna 8” Banjolele
  • The Luna Banjolele 8" Ukulele features some inspired etchings on its maple back
  • The mahogany neck has a smooth black walnut fingerboard and a 15.5" soprano scale
  • Tuned like a concert ukulele, this banjolele is sure to add some distinctive tones to your jams
  • The etched patterns on the back of Luna's banjoleles are a tribute to traditional Hawaiian quilt design
  • Luna has chosen the KALO (taro plant) as inspiration because this plant was a sacred and an essential part of early Hawaiian life

Last update on 2021-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This instrument from Luna Guitars looks like a novelty banjolele – just made to be admired – but it sure plays wonderfully.

Luna has a history of making the best-looking ukuleles, and they’ve translated that into this banjolele really well – it’s beautiful!

Here are its advantages:

  • It’s got a maple body and bridge, a mahogany neck, and a walnut fretboard – it’s the most durable and solid banjolele on the list.
  • It’s got the best craftsmanship and finish as well. We fell in love with the tobacco burst finish!
  • We love the clear drumhead design and the visible pattern.
  • It sounds amazingly well, and if paired with a pickup, you’ll get a clear and beautiful amplified sound.

This is one of the best banjoleles we’ve put our hands on – and the most visually appealing, too.

The sound quality is also remarkable.

This is the only banjolele on the list that we’d recommend even for pro musicians looking for an excellent affordable banjolele.

We tried finding some downsides about it, but we only found one, and it’s not much of a downside.

Ready? It doesn’t come with addons.

That sounds like it’s not an issue, but it makes it slightly less beginner-friendly than the ones above.

Still, we don’t think this should stop you from buying it, especially if you’re an intermediate and above musician that’s already geared up with all the equipment.

Pros

  • Hands down the best banjolele on the list.
  • Sturdy and durable materials, amazing craftsmanship, and finish.
  • It has the best sound quality you can get on this list.
  • It’s the only one we’d recommend for pro musicians.
  • It’s not as expensive as you might think.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with any addons!
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Frequently Asked Questions – Banjo Ukuleles

Are Banjo Ukulele and Ukulele chords the same?

Yes! Banjoleles and ukuleles are usually tuned the same way: G-C-E-A.
You can transition from the ukulele to the banjolele easily!

Does a Banjo Ukulele sound like a Banjo?

Banjoleles and ukuleles are tuned in the same key, but they have a different body design and shape.
That makes them sound and play similar to the ukulele, but with the resonance and percussive touch of the banjo.
The different body makes a huge difference, which definitely gives the banjolele a banjo-like sound, with the punchiness of the uke.

What’s the difference between a Ukulele and a Banjo Ukulele?

Banjo Ukuleles and ukuleles are similar in tuning, chords, and size – that’s about all their similarities.
They’re actually very different!
The main difference is their bodies.
Ukuleles are made with a hollow box made out of wood, which creates resonance by using the air inside it to transmit the sound.
Banjo Ukuleles have a drumhead, which gives them a distinct sound that is slightly percussive because the head vibrates, propagating the sound that rebounds off of it.

Is the Banjo Ukulele easy to learn?

Yes! Playing the banjo is easy and so is the ukulele – the resulting mix has the best of both worlds!
Actually, they’re easier to play than a standard ukulele because they have a slightly lower action, which makes pressing the strings way easier.
Also, if you know how to play the ukulele, you already know how to play the banjolele!

Conclusion

The Banjo Ukulele is one of the loveliest instruments that can get your attention – it’s also rather hard to part from it after you start playing.

Why? Because it’s the perfect mix between a banjo, a unique stringed instrument that’s easy to play, and the ukulele, which we absolutely love.

This crossbred instrument will be a nice addition to your repertoire, whether you’re a banjo or a ukulele player.

We’d love to see more of it!

Still, we highly recommend you to skip the marketing noise, and get a real instrument from day one – it will save you from many issues.

Aside from that, and if you consider this buying guide in your decision, nothing can stop you from picking up the banjolele.

So, which one are you getting?