Top 8 Best Cheap Ukuleles That You Can Buy For Less Than $100

Finding an affordable ukulele is much easier than finding an affordable guitar. These instruments are inherently cheaper, which makes your choices that much more diverse. Today we are going to check out our picks for the top 8 best ukuleles under $100. For all intents and purposes, some of these can easily be classified as the best ukuleles to get no matter the price. Once we go over our picks, we're going to spend a bit of time discussing what kind of performance you can expect to get in this segment. With that said, lets get right down to it. 

Top 8 Best Ukuleles Under $100

PRODUCT

FEATURES

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PRODUCT

FEATURES

Kailua-Soprano-Ukulele-300x300

AR RATING 88/100

  • Features good build quality for the price.
  • Comes with a good set of strings.
Caramel-CB103-300x300

AR RATING 87/100

  • Incredibly good value for the money.
  • Features quality materials and great finish.
Cordoba-15TM-Tenor-300x300
  • Standard Cordoba level of build quality and QC.
  • Made out of good mahogany.
Enya-OMS-04-300x300

AR RATING 86/100

  • One of the best bundles out there.
  • Features good build quality and Koa laminate.
Kala-KA-S-300x300

AR RATING 85/100

  • Great bang for the buck value.
  • Kala's awesome build quality and quality control.
SANDONA-Concert-Ukulele-300x300
  • A great bundle which features everything necessary.
  • Comes with an accurate clip on tuner.
Makai-UK-55-300x300

AR RATING 82/100

  • Good value for the money.
  • Features a mahogany body and natural finish.
Donner DUS-1 Bundle-300x300

AR RATING 80/100

  • Great selection of accessories and tools.
  • Features good sound for the money.
Kailua-Soprano-Ukulele-300x300

AR RATING 88/100

Kailua Soprano uke's one of the more interesting offerings in this particular price range. It's made by a brand that many mistake for a native Hawaiian manufacturer. In reality, most of these are made overseas and that is perfectly fine. This soprano uke features a clean design with a perfect amount of aesthetic details applied in all the right places.

Where things become interesting is when you learn that Kailua soprano ukuleles are hand made from a surprisingly good batch of mahogany. This gives them a pretty full sound and plenty of range. Compared to some similar designs from more reputable brands, this uke often times feels and sounds much better. If you need a solid starter, this is it.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Features good build quality for the price.
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    Comes with a good set of strings.
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    Has a very full and rich sound.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The finish is a bit too blond for our taste.
Caramel-CB103-300x300

AR RATING 87/100

It's no secret that baritone ukuleles aren't the hottest choices these days. However, that makes them quite a good choice. Due to lack of general interest in these, you can get a great model at a small price. One that comes to mind is Caramel CB103. This is an amplified baritone uke which is packed to the gills with features.

It is made out of zebra wood which gives it a very interesting sonic profile. You are getting the depth of a baritone but it doesn't sound too close to a classical guitar like most of htese do. Then there's the preamp section with a 3 band EQ a built in tuner and more. At this price, Caramel CB103 rocks.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Incredibly good value for the money.
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    Features quality materials and great finish.
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    Comes with a built in preamp.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    It is a baritone, meaning that its tone is deeper.
Cordoba-15TM-Tenor-300x300

AR RATING 87/100

If you are familiar with the world of classical guitars, chances are that you have heard of Cordoba. They are a big player in this industry. Because of that, it really is no surprise that they make some of the best ukuleles in this particular price range. The Cordoba 15TM tenor uke is an epitome of value if this segment.

Cordoba is all about tradition. Since Koa is not really something that is easily sourced these days, nor cheap for that matter, mahogany was the next best thing. 15TM features a solid mahogany body with a nice satin finish. This is a tenor size, meaning that you are getting a bit more oomph out a relatively compact body. It's impressive.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Standard Cordoba level of build quality and QC.
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    Made out of good mahogany.
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    Offers a bit more range to the users.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    It can really benefit from a quality set of strings.
Enya-OMS-04-300x300

AR RATING 86/100


Enya's OMS 04 represents a very practical bundle for beginners but also those who just want to get everything in one go. The uke itself is fairly decent in quality and features good performance. The level of accessories you get is definitely what makes this bundle so awesome. We are talking spare strings, a tuner, a strap, and much more.

It is worth mentioning that the uke is made out of Koa. Now, it is laminate but it still has that attractive vibe to it which is often found with authentic Hawaiian ukes. On top of that, Enya went so far as to include a complex rosette too. All things considered, this awesome bundle makes a whole lot of sense

WHAT WE LIKE

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    One of the best bundles out there.
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    Features good build quality and Koa laminate.
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    Good sound with plenty of warmth.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings are do it disservice.
Kala-KA-S-300x300

AR RATING 85/100

One of the names which we are always excited about when discussing ukuleles is Kala. This fairly young brand doesn't share many roots with the traditional uke builders of Hawaii, but their modern take on this old instrument has given them a unique perspective. As a result, they make some of the best entry level and mid range ukes available.

Kala KA-S is one of their workhorse models. It is a full mahogany build which features top binding. Even though that doesn't do much for the performance, it does make it stand out. KA-S has a rich, wholesome tone to it, which is why so many have chosen it over the competition. It's the ultimate value for the money choice

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Great bang for the buck value.
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    Kala's awesome build quality and quality control.
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    Features white binding around the top.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Not the most exciting looking uke out there.
SANDONA-Concert-Ukulele-300x300

AR RATING 82/100

Sandona is another brand that offers a great bundle at a fairly low price even for low budget standards. This particular pack features a pretty standard set of accessories. You are getting the uke, a gig bag, a tuner, a strap and more. What is the most interesting about this concert uke is the finish. For starters, there's binding everywhere.

That means around the top, back and the fretboard. At this price, that's unheard of. The sapele tonewood introduces a very interesting sound profile which works great with the concert size. On top of that, it gives the uke a very unique and unusual finish. In terms of sound, you are looking at plenty of range as well as warmth.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    A great bundle which features everything necessary.
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    Comes with an accurate clip on tuner.
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    Great sound with plenty of range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    The finish, although awesome looking, is far from traditional.
Makai-UK-55-300x300

AR RATING 82/100

If you're interested in getting a standalone uke on with a limited budget, Makai UK-55 is probably your best bet. It offers a tremendous amount of value for the money and gives you all you really need to get started. It is a soprano uke which is all about simplicity. The only thing that holds it down are the strings.

Otherwise you are looking at a mahogany build which even features a subtle rosette. Compared to most of its competition, there is a certain dose of confidence it gives off. The build quality is good, which might be enough to explain this phenomenon. If you really want to push it to the absolute limit, all you need are new strings.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • check
    Good value for the money.
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    Features a mahogany body and natural finish.
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    Good sound and plenty of range.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Factory strings need to be changed immediately.
Donner DUS-1 Bundle-300x300

AR RATING 80/100

Last but not the least we have a budget bundle aimed at those who are on a tight budget. Donner DUS-1 comes with all the accessories you could need to get started and more. The idea behind it is to offer a reasonable performance at a price which makes it friendly to those who don't want to commit right away.

The uke itself is fairly basic. It is a plain, simple design that is build from a mahogany laminate. In terms of sound, it offers a decent performance although it is limited in a number of ways. In all honesty a change of strings would probably do it some good but these super budget options will rarely get you perfection.

WHAT WE LIKE

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    Great selection of accessories and tools.
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    Features good sound for the money.
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    One of the cheapest acceptable options out there.

WHAT WE DON'T LIKE

  • minus
    Limited in sound quality and performance.

What Does A $100 Ukulele Offer And What To Expect?

One of the most interesting facts about the budget segment of the ukulele market is that it is often underestimated. Especially when you are dealing with models which cost less than $100. What many think is the main reason for this is the fact that people are using standards which apply to guitars. In other words, an instrument that costs less than $100 can't possibly be good. Only right thing to do is to invest in a $200 ukulele, right? Wrong. Budget ukes are very diverse and most of them are quality instruments. 

Sure, there is a tangible difference between a starter model like some of the ones on our list, and a pro instrument. However, you can definitely get a good ukulele for this kind of money. That is all you really need when starting out.

Materials and Hardware 

When it comes to materials and hardware, most of the models under $100 are going to be laminate builds. That is only to be expected. However, laminates work differently in ukuleles than they do in acoustic guitars. Just because an ukulele is made out of a laminate doesn't necessarily mean it is going to sound bad. In most cases the sound quality is on point.

Hardware wise the situation is very similar. Most models will feature basic hardware, synthetic nut and saddle, basic strings and similar. That is just the fact of the matter. What's also a fact is that you won't be limited too much by any of these. On the contrary, these budget builds make much more sense than getting a $300 ukulele and right off the bat. Although that's an exaggeration, the point still stands.

Bundles 

Bundles are almost always aimed at beginners. If you're interested in finding a good bundle on a budget, check out our dedicated guide. With that said there are bundles which are suitable for intermediate players who just want to get everything all at once. We have included such a bundle on our list as well as one which is aimed at those who are really limited by their budget. Bundles in general have their place in the market and shouldn't be disregarded right off the bat. Unfortunately, many people do exactly that which leaves them out of some pretty awesome deals. Do yourself a favor and be open minded in this regard. It could literally save you money and time in the long run.

Conclusion 

Spending around $100 on a ukulele is a great way to get started on the cheap. These ukes are great as learning platforms but also as general purpose workhorses which you don't have to worry about too much. Models we have chosen for this list are definitely some of the best in this price range. We have included a few bundles for the super budget crowd and those who want to be get everything all at once. All you are left to do is find a model that fits you the best and figure out whether or not you need any additional accessories. Once you receive your uke, the real fun starts.

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