Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
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Last updated: April 21, 2021
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A tenor ukulele is a wonderful music instrument that allows you to enter the world of sound. It is different from other ukuleles in that it is just a bit larger than soprano or concert ones, and therefore perfect for adults who have larger fingers than children. Tenor ukuleles are also relatively inexpensive and can be purchased to support a newfound hobby.
In this review about the best tenor ukulele products, we’ve reviewed six different instruments. Each review includes both the length and weight of the tenor ukuleles as well as other considerations such as the type of strings and peg materials. We have looked at all the important features and outlined them so that purchasing the best sounding tenor ukulele is as easy as possible.
This article draws on manufacturer information as well as personal observations. It starts with a table that lists the six ukuleles we will review, followed by more in-depth information about each instrument. These reviews look at their features, their advantages together with disadvantages, and paint a detailed picture about each ukulele. At the end of this article is a buying guide that seeks to answer commonly asked questions and also gives more information about how ukuleles are created. All in all, this article will help you decide which is the best tenor ukulele to buy.
The Hricane Tenor Ukulele UKS-3 is an exquisite instrument that blends sound and sophistication. It is a standard 26-inch long ukulele with the body and neck made from sapele wood. The fretboard and the bridge are rosewood. Chrome-pated tuning pegs round out the aesthetics. At 3.3 pounds, it is one of the heavier instruments on our list, but its weight is reassuringly solid.
If you’re worried about keeping a tune, then this is the ukulele for you. The chrome-plated tuning pegs are designed to ensure that tuning is easy and always produces the sounds you are looking for. It can easily be considered the best ukulele under $200.
Extra features include a gig bag which will protect your purchase and keep it dust free. There is also a polishing cloth, which will keep the intricate wood free of grime and grease. Extra strings round off the features, and this is a nice backup just in case anything breaks.
There is a 30-day money back guarantee which gives great peace of mind. If you’re new to the world of ukuleles, it can feel a bit daunting, and having this grace period will allow you to make sure the instrument is what you hoped it would be. There is also a one-year limited warranty that comes with very responsive customer service.
If you are among those who want to be completely prepared with their ukulele purchase, then look no further than the Lohanu Ukulele. Not only does your purchase come with the instrument, but it also includes a strap, a case, two picks, a pick holder, extra stings, online lessons and handmade bindings. This bundle has everything you will need to start your musical career.
This may sound too good to be true, but in addition to all of its extras, the ukulele itself is actually a really good musical instrument. It features an arched back which results in longer and fuller sounds.
The purchase also comes with online video lessons, which every beginner ukulele player can benefit from. The video focuses on how to tune your ukulele, includes beginner lessons, and has fun Hawaiian-themed songs that will truly delight you.
What’s more is that the Lohanu Ukulele comes with an unconditional lifetime warranty that covers both the ukulele and its accessories. This is true peace of mind. Phenomenal customer service support is also available and will help you trouble shoot any issues that may arise.
What we liked:
Extra accessories are perfect for anyone starting out with the ukulele
Lifetime warranty will help with any issues
Wide-spaced frets are perfect for adults with larger fingers
What could be better:
Smaller and more lightweight than what you may be used to
The Ranch Tenor Ukulele is a sleek, warm, and inviting instrument that will do its best to inspire any music lover. With a body made from sapele, a rosewood bridge, and a mahogany neck, these unique wood tones add depth and balance, all at the same time.
The Aquila corde armoniche strings are soft and easy to play and the wider spaced frets that are a key feature of the tenor ukulele make it perfect for adults.
Along with the ukulele itself, your purchase also includes a gig bag, a digital tuner, a strap, a polishing cloth, and four extra strings. This makes the Ranch Tenor Ukulele perfect for anyone beginning their musical journey. Of utmost importance is the digital tuner which allows you to have pitch perfect sound every time you play your next song. This will truly take the guess work out of playing.
For anyone worried about the craftsmanship, take heed as the Ranch Tenor Ukulele features a one-year warranty. It also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, which is so important when ordering a product online. This means that you can read the reviews, purchase the ukulele, and still have the ability to make your final decision once you receive the product.
What we liked:
Includes all the accessories necessary
Combination of wood materials create a warm, sophisticated ukulele
What could be better:
Strap isn’t a shoulder strap and may not be as comfortable as you would like
Channeling its Hawaiian influences, the Hola! Music Tenor Ukulele was made for anyone wanting to strum some island-inspired tunes. While the product pictured has a traditional mahogany body and rosewood bridge, you can show your individuality with the same model but in a dark ebony finish. You pay more of a premium for the ebony, but it is a wild way to really stand out with your music.
The Hola! Music Tenor Ukulele produces quality sounds with its Aquila strings that originate in Italy. The strings, paired with the excellent craftsmanship means that every time you play, you can count on exquisite sounds.
Along with the purchase of this tenor, you will also receive a gig bag, padded straps, and extra picks. This is a nice bundle, although it does not come with an electronic tuner, which means you will have to purchase one in addition to the ukulele.
Weighing in at three pounds, this tenor ukulele is fairly average in size, but it does measure 27 inches in length, which is slightly more than other similar products. If you are a taller person and worried about a small instrument, then this model might be the right decision.
The Kala MK-T Makala Tenor Ukulele is a nice blend of budget and features. While its price is rather reasonable, you get quite a lot with your purchase. In addition to the instrument itself, your ukulele also comes with a strap, gig bag, polishing cloth, and extra strings.
Another very beneficial feature is a digital tuner. This can be clipped on to the ukulele itself and takes all of the guesswork out of tuning. A tuner is most important for beginners who are unfamiliar with tones and scales and therefore don’t have the natural ear for tuning on their own.
Yet one more impressive characteristic that comes with the Kala MK-T Makala Tenor Ukulele is access to online lessons. Again, if you are new to the world of ukuleles, then chances are you’ll be needing these lessons. They are included on a DVD and feature tutorials on how to set up your ukulele, how to play different chords, and even how to play new songs. The DVD is slow-paced and perfect for beginners.
With a length of 26 inches, the Kala MK-T Makala Tenor Ukulele is a bit larger than other ukuleles, which makes it perfect for adults. It also only weighs 2.55 pounds and its lightness makes it easy to take with you, wherever your musical talents will take you.
What we liked:
Complete accessories package including strap, tuner, strings, and gig bag
Light in weight yet still large in size
Instructional DVD has easy lessons for beginners
What could be better:
Sound quality is not as good as other higher end models
If you’re looking for the best cheap tenor ukulele, then look no further than the Kmise Tenor Ukulele. This is a rare find because not only is it easy on the wallet, but it also sounds and looks good.
Built with a mahogany body and a walnut fretboard and bridge, this is an instrument that radiates confidence. While it is a bit heavier than other tenor ukuleles, weighing 3.3 pounds, it is still a standard 26-inch model in length. This makes it an ideal instrument for adults because the fretboard is a bit more spaced out.
Accompanying this best cheap tenor ukulele is a plethora of accessories. Your purchase of the Kmise Tenor Ukulele also includes a gig bag and a strap. It also comes with an electric tuner which is perfect for beginners who are still learning what different pitches and notes are.
One other accessory is an instruction booklet which has a whole host of important information included in it. The booklet allows you to explore the world of ukulele and gets you started on the right path.
If all this still isn’t amazing given its price, the Kmise Tenor Ukulele will also provide free replacement strings. As strings often break, this is a real bonus that can be taken advantage of throughout the lifetime of the ukulele.
What we liked:
Extra accessories are perfect for beginners
Looks nice with walnut and mahogany woods
What could be better:
Slightly heavier than other similar products
Things to Consider
Purchasing a ukulele is a great step in your musical endeavors. You want your ukulele to be the best for you, which is why having as much knowledge about them is key. Take a look at our buying guide which will provide you with all the information necessary.
How to take care of your new ukulele?
A ukulele is an investment so it’s important to take good care of it, starting with as soon as you purchase it. Here are the most common steps of this process.
Stringing: It’s recommended to restring your ukulele every one to six months. This is a large time frame, so it really comes down to personal preference.
Changing your strings, no matter how often you do it, does need to be done for optimal performance.
Humidity: A ukulele is made out of wood, and if there is too much moisture in the air, then that wood can warp or even bubble. Most climates don’t need this consideration, but if you live in an area with a high humidity level, or the humidity fluctuates through different seasons, then be sure to keep your ukulele in a temperature-controlled place.
The optimal humidity level for ukuleles is between 45% to 55%.
Protective case: Some ukuleles will come with a carrying case or a protective bag. If you plan on travelling a lot with your ukulele, then a case will be necessary. If you only play your ukulele around the house, then a bag will be just fine.
Cleaning: A ukulele needs to be cleaned. The sweat, dirt, and grease from your hands will be transferred over to the instrument, and in some time this grime can start to build up. The best method of cleaning your ukulele is to use a few drops of lemon oil. Wipe the ukulele down every four to six months. Natural cleaners can be found at most music stores.
Features to consider before buying an ukulele
Before purchasing a ukulele, it’s important to know what their features are and what the terminology means. Below are common features together with their explanations.
Most tenor ukuleles range between 24 and 26 inches long. Their relatively small size can take some getting used to, especially if you have experience playing the guitar. If this is something you’re worried about, the Hola! Music Tenor Ukulele is a nice option as it is a bit larger, at 27 inches long.
A beautiful ukulele is truly a sight to behold. Whether it’s a mahogany body like the Hola! Music Tenor Ukulele has or a rosewood fretboard like that of the Lohanu Ukulele, the wood grains will really pop on a ukulele. These warm woods are perfect for ukuleles as they hold the sound and help it to resonate. Mahogany is the most common material for ukuleles, but cedar, redwood, and rosewood are also often used.
There are many types of material that can be used for tuning pegs. They range from pure copper for the Kmise Tenor Ukulele KMU26T to rubber for the Hola! Music Tenor Ukulele. Metal tuning pegs are usually preferred as it helps to create a tighter sound with the strings.
Tenor ukuleles range in weight from 1.5 pounds to 3.5 pounds. In general they are small, but not as small as other ukuleles. While the Lohanu Ukulele Tenor Size only weighs a mere 1.45 pounds, the Kmise Tenor Ukulele KMU26T is more than double in size, at 3.3 pounds. If you like a bit of weight to your musical instrument, then this may be a feature to take into consideration.
A good warranty can greatly alleviate any fears when you’re deciding to purchase a ukulele. A long, inclusive warranty will mean that if any issues arise, there will be someone there to help you out. All of the products on our list have varied warranties, but the Lohanu Ukulele Tenor Size without a doubt has the most comprehensive, as it comes with a lifetime, unlimited warranty.
While some ukuleles come with just the instrument, others include a whole host of extra features. The Kala MK-T Makala Tenor Ukulele, for example comes with a bundle of accessories such as strap, tuner, strings, and gig bag.
One really nice feature that many ukuleles come with are online lessons. These are useful for beginners and you can be assured that they will help you start out right with your music.
Ukuleles come in four different sizes, and the tenor ukulele is the third largest. For the most part, tenor ukuleles are very suitable for beginners. This is because the scale length, where the strings run across, is large. Therefore, the metal bars on a fretboard are more spread apart which makes it easier to pluck and make music. While smaller fingers can better navigate a tighter space, adults, especially those with larger fingers, will find it reassuring to have a bit more space when navigating the ukulele strings.
There are two major types of lessons: through a school or privately. Many music stores or schools will offer instrument-specific lessons. A quick online search can direct you to local music schools.
There is also the option of finding private lessons through people that already know how to play the ukulele. Again, the internet will help you with this endeavor. Perform a quick Facebook search to see if there are any ukulele or even just music groups in your area. Online classifieds are also a great source to finding private or semi-private classes.
If you live in a very small town without a music school or any opportunity for private lessons, then a final option may be online videos. YouTube will have a large selection of tutorial videos where you can try to follow along and learn yourself.
The best way to tune a ukulele is to start with an electric tuner, which can be found in any music store, or online. Begin with the G string. Play the electric tuner and adjust your G string until it produces the same note. Then, continue on with your other strings in order: C string, E string, and then A string. The tuning pegs are used for tuning and can be turned in either direction to increase tension in the strings, which will change the tone.
About 10% of the population is left-handed, and this can cause a but of annoyance if you need a special instrument to accommodate your needs. There are ukuleles for left-handed people, but, unfortunately, they usually cost more than regular right-handed ukuleles.
There is a way around this, and that is to flip the ukulele and its strings. First, flip the ukulele so that the neck rests in your right hand. Then, flip the strings so that the scale is in the opposite direction. The result is that you produce a mirror-image to right-handed playing, and should make it easy to learn from other right-handed people.
While all six products on our list are worth checking out, there are three that truly stand out.
The best tenor ukulele would have to be the Hricane Tenor Ukulele UKS-3. With its intricate wooden components and excellent craftsmanship, this is a musical instrument that you can feel proud to be seen with. Above all else, though, is its sound quality which will inspire beginners to keep practicing.
Yet another product that should be considered is the Lohanu Ukulele Tenor Size. Lohanu is an excellent ukulele brand, and this model doesn’t disappoint. Included with your purchase are a host of accessories including online lessons which will really help beginners.
Finally, if you want a ukulele that looks as good as you hope it will sound, then consider the Ranch Tenor Ukulele. Made from soft sapele wood, strong mahogany, and warm rosewood, this instrument will create music that will inspire and undoubtedly belongs to the list of the best tenor ukuleles.