When it comes to musical instruments, few of them are gaining in popularity the way ukuleles are and with good reason. The instruments are fun and cheery, and they are fairly easy to learn as well.
There are four basic types of ukuleles, starting with soprano, which is the smallest, followed by the concert, tenor, and baritone ukuleles. The guitar is closely related to the ukulele, but the ukulele is smaller and is usually preferred by those who wish to add a little Hawaiian island ambiance to their lives.
If you’ve decided on a tenor ukulele, you’ll likely want to explore which ones are the best before you make your purchase and the following information should make that decision a little easier.
We will take a look at the following categories:
best sounding tenor ukulele
best tenor ukulele under 100
best tenor ukulele under 300
best tenor ukulele under 500
Top 10 Best Tenor Ukuleles On The Market in 2019
1) Martin 1T IZ Best Tenor Ukulele
The “IZ” stands for the initials of a well-known artist by the name of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and much the same as the artist himself; this type of best tenor ukulele is truly unique. Instead of cheaply laminated mahogany, the IZ is made of solid quilted mahogany, and it comes inlaid with real Hawaiian Koa.
Its rosewood headplate and fingerboard are custom-designed, and it has a beautiful, natural-looking color. However, this ukulele is not for those on a budget as it can be quite expensive to purchase. The pros and the cons of the Martin IZ uke include:
Conclusion: Of course, when you’re interested in the best tenor ukulele, and you don’t care about the price, this is the perfect instrument to buy because the one thing it will never do is be a disappointment.
2) Kala KA-T Mahogany Tenor Ukulele Bundle
Mahogany ukes offer two main advantages: a warm, full sound and a beautiful, sturdy look. The Kala KA-T uke has both of these, and since its strings are made of Nylgut, they are comfortable on your fingers and therefore allow you to learn without causing any pain to those fingers.
It also includes everything that you need to use it immediately, and it is made to last for a very long time. It is a great bargain for the money you’ll spend on it! Some of the Kala KA-T’s pros and cons include:
Conclusion: For a good all-around ukulele at a price you can afford, you can’t beat this instrument.
3) Cordoba 20TM Tenor Ukulele Bundle
This tenor ukulele comes in a kit that includes the case, a tuner, a cleaning cloth, and an instructional DVD. The Nylgut strings make learning and tuning the instrument a breeze.
Its mahogany top provides for a very full, rich sound and the instrument itself is both attractive and sturdy.
The strings are medium-priced strings, contributing to its overall reasonable price, and it is the perfect ukulele when you’re looking to upgrade from a cheaper model. The Cordoba 20TM ukulele includes pros and cons such as:
Conclusion: Finding the best tenor ukulele is not difficult if you know what you want; if what you want is something that sounds spectacular and is affordable, this is definitely a uke that you want to consider.
4) Luna Tattoo Mahogany Tenor Ukulele with Gig Bag
With a beautiful tattoo design on the outside of this tenor ukulele, it is certainly an eye-catching instrument. The Luna tattoo ukulele has a natural brown color and markings all over it that are representative of the Hawaiian islands.
The geometric patterns of birds, waves, and fish will definitely create a craving for a Hawaiian vacation, and its mahogany body gives it a full, loud sound that you are certain to appreciate.
Conclusion: However, if uniqueness in design is what you’re looking for, the Luna mahogany tattoo ukulele is perfect, especially because it also has a top-notch, unforgettable sound.
5) Lohanu Tenor Size Ukulele Bundle
The Lohanu ukulele has a great sound but not a high cost, so it is perfect for beginners or for those who simply wish to have an extra uke lying around the house. In addition, much the same as more expensive ukes, this one has an arched back, which means that its sound is very rich.
Its nylon strings make it an instrument that is easy to learn, and it comes with a lot of extras that allow you to open up the package and start playing simply. The pros and cons of the Lohanu ukulele include:
Conclusion: These ukuleles also offer metal tuning pegs, not plastic ones, which makes them very sturdy for a ukulele that is so cheap.
6) Martin T1K Tenor Ukulele - Koa
This one should definitely be considered when you’re looking for the best tenor ukulele out there because its features include a high-quality Koa body, a full and rich sound, beautiful natural color and glossy finish, and a very reasonable price.
In fact, when it comes to its overall tone, most experts agree that it is closer to the authentic Hawaiian sound than many other ukuleles so if you’re looking for a tenor ukulele that brings you back to the Hawaiian islands, this is the one for you.
Conclusion: The Martin T1K is not the cheapest ukulele on the market, but it is by no means the most expensive one either.
Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been playing for years, if you want the best tenor ukulele available, this is one that should be on your list of considerations.
7) Kala KA-SMHT Mahogany Tenor Ukulele
A tenor ukulele made of solid wood not only gives it a rich sound but also allows it to sound better over time. The Kala KA-SMHT ukulele is made of a body that comes in mahogany and a fingerboard made of walnut.
It has Nylgut strings and comes with one of the best tuners on the market, which makes it easy to get and keep your uke in tune for a very long time. It is a high-quality instrument that you won’t regret purchasing. The pros and the cons of the Kala KA-SMHT include:
Conclusion: If you are already a guitar player and wish to transition to a ukulele, the Kala KA-SMHT is the one to consider.
8) Kala KA-KTG Tenor Hawaiian Ukulele
Made out of Hawaiian Koa, this ukulele surpasses most others when it comes to producing an authentic Hawaiian sound. It offers solid construction and a full, rich sound, not to mention a loud volume that isn’t always possible with other ukuleles.
The D’Addario strings are a perfect complement to this ukulele, and even though its high-sheen gloss can sometimes show fingerprints, it is still a very attractive and well-built ukulele. The pros and cons of the Kala Ka-KTG ukulele include:
Conclusion: You can easily find the best tenor ukulele if you know what to look for and the Kala Ka-KTG uke is one that should definitely be considered for both beginners and experts alike when you expect the very best.
9) Kala MK-T Makala Tenor Ukulele Bundle with Gig Bag
Kala is one of the best ukulele brands and always produces high-quality ukuleles, and this model is no different. Its rustic wood body means that it is a very durable ukulele. It has a satin finish, and both fingerboards and bridges are made with rosewood.
Geared tuners make it even easier than usual to tune, and its Nylgut strings make it easy to play every time.
It also comes in a kit that includes a case, instructional DVD, extra strings, a cleaning cloth, and a strap so it will be ready for you as soon as it comes out of the package. The pros and cons of a Kala MK-T ukulele include:
Conclusion: This is a great all-around tenor ukulele that comes complete with everything you’ll need to start playing immediately. Its appearance and tone are both extraordinary, and its reasonable price makes it affordable for almost everyone.
10) Donner Tenor Ukulele Kit
This Donner tenor ukulele has a great sound and a reasonable price, making it perfect for beginners. It is made of high-quality mahogany and has a great volume, especially when you consider its relatively small size.
Although the strings and the tuner are not the most expensive on the market, they work well with this instrument since it is made mostly for beginners and newbies.
It also comes with a case, an adjustable strap, a digital tuner, and even an extra set of strings for your convenience, making it a perfect choice for many.
Conclusion: Although the company seems to have cut a lot of corners, some experts feel that they should have cut fewer corners and made some of the parts a little higher in quality.
Nevertheless, if you are a beginner, this is a good uke to start with because even though it isn’t the best tenor ukulele out there, it has everything you need to get playing.
Final thoughts on the best Tenor ukuleles
Finding the best tenor ukulele is easier with a little online due diligence because comprehensive reviews that share both the pros and cons with readers go a long way in helping you make the right decision in the end.
The Kala KA-SMHT mahogany uke is usually rated as one of the best if you want this type of ukulele, but if money is no object, either the Martin IZ or the Martin T1K are usually recommended instead. All of the above tenor ukes have good points that are important to keep in mind, but it is up to you to decide which of these features is most important.
A high-quality, reasonably priced tenor ukulele is not difficult to find. Whether you place more emphasis on price than on the features of the uke or the other way around, it is easier to find the right uke when you research the various ones online first.
If you’re a beginner, you might as well save yourself some money and go with the cheaper models because you don’t know for sure in the beginning if this is something that you’re going to stick with.
Making the right decision for your own personal goals is what’s most important, however, so the more information you can find on these instruments, the better.
The search for the perfect tenor uke doesn’t have to be long or complex, particularly if you know what to look for.
For most people, it is easier than you think to find a ukulele with a beautiful sound, a sturdy body, and a reasonable price. Doing a little research online and reading well-thought-out, honest reviews is a great place to start because this will steer you in the right direction faster than anything else will.