Best Guitar Capo Review – Top Rated Models in 2018 with Buying Guide
If you want to find the best guitar capo, and you have little time available, you have come to the right place. After examining the quality and value offered by some of the critically acclaimed products in this line, we’ve concluded that the model to get is the Kava Audio GC-01. This unit is built to stay in tune and can be easily repositioned with just one hand. It is a versatile choice that can be used even with a quality beginner electric guitar. The heavy-duty internal memory steel spring will guarantee a secure fit at all times. If you are unable to find our first pick, but still want to select good guitar capos, we recommend you also consider the Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
To help make the buying process more accessible, we have selected some of the cheap guitar capos for sale that manage to offer outstanding quality and performance. These are the products that have garnered some of the best guitar capos reviews, and they are well worth your time and money.
Kava Audio GC-01
This versatile purchase is compatible with lots of different instruments apart from your guitar. You can use it with your favorite electric ukulele, banjo, or mandolin. You will have no difficulties in making the most out of this purchase, especially if you are an aspiring musician that seeks to grow his or her collection.
It is constructed from durable materials designed not to bend or break like lower-quality alternatives. The high-density silicone padding will protect your beloved acoustic guitar against wear and scratches.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($17.49)
Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30
Locking and removing the unit is as simple as flipping the lever. The ease of use will not only make things easier for the user when it comes to installing and removing the capo but will also allow him or her to have just one accessory for more than one instrument. Indeed, this versatile model can also be installed on your awesome banjo.
The custom-made rubber works similar to a fingertip, and it manages to keep your instrument in tune effortlessly. The frame is crafted from lightweight stainless steel, and the roller mechanism provides outstandingly smooth operation.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($20.05)
Since it is lightweight, it will not add a lot of extra weight to the instrument, and that means that you will be able to try new patterns and play in different keys without having to adjust to the new load of your favorite acoustic electric guitar. The spring-clamping mechanism allows for an easy-on and easy-off with the use of just one hand.
You shouldn’t let the small size of this capo fool you; the Kyser Quick-Charge has earned a worldwide reputation for being a dependable, versatile, and high-quality purchase for professional touring guitarists. It can be used with both electric and acoustic guitars, ukulele, and even mandolins.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.95)
Planet Waves NS Tri-Action
The aircraft-grade aluminum used in the construction of this nifty unit will ensure that once purchased, the capo will handle many years of heavy use without showing signs of wear. The micrometer tension adjustment and direct horizontal pressure ensure that the NS Tri-Action can effectively eliminate lateral string pull.
You can now get even tension across all your strings regardless of the neck profile of your guitar. It even comes equipped with an integrated pick holder. Customers were also delighted with the quality of this model so there is no reason not to put one in your gig bag and make the most out of your quality travel guitar.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($18)
Nordic Essentials 2 Pack
Apart from guitars, this model can also be equipped to your favorite mandolin, banjo, ukulele, or bass. The frame features the use of aircraft grade aluminum that will ensure that this choice will give you thousands of hours of play. The pair is available in three distinct color versions so that you can get the one that works best for your guitar.
What’s more, the protective pads are made from silicone to ensure a tight grip that will not damage the strings or neck of your instrument in the process. You also get two carrying pouches to store and transport the capos.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Paige P6E 6-String
The direct-tension design will eliminate string buzz by pulling down on the strings from the center of the capo’s bar, rather than on the side like other alternatives do. You get an easy one-handed knurled-knob adjustment, and when not in use, you can park it behind the nut so that it is within easy reach when you need it again.
The no-nonsense design will ensure that the user will have no difficulties controlling and making precise adjustments. It moves quickly and can be operated with a one-handed action. Customers liked that this is one of the few capos that can apply 90-degree perpendicular squeeze evenly to the fretboard.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.93)
Shubb S1 Stainless Steel
The capo’s fretting bar is held in place against the back of the neck with the help of a lever that has a soft rubber pad so that no metal touches your instrument, thus removing any chance of your guitar getting scratched. This model can be used to affect alternate tunings by attaching it while leaving one or two strings free. Other models cannot do this.
We found that customers were pleased with the functionality and the performance this particular choice offered. Users liked the very low profile of this option and the fact that you can line the end of the capo with the bottom edge of the fingerboard, allowing players to make fine adjustments.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.56)
Jim Dunlop 83CB
The strong spring action clamps the unit firmly in place so that once secured, it will stay that way until you decide to take it off. Speaking of that, the easy on and off system allows users to handle this model with the use of a single hand.
The product is built from ruggedized aircraft quality aluminum with soft padding that will ensure that your instrument will not get damaged by the metal. This made in the USA option is built to work best with 6 and 12 string guitars.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.93)
Fender Dragon Black
Customers and experts alike praise this model for the way in which it can fit any neck shape, meaning that you can easily swap guitars mid-gig. It is also built to offer a comfortable and trouble-free experience which is why it can be operated with one hand. You can now comfortably snap your Fender Dragon capo while you’re mid-song.
What’s more, this option comes ready to use out of the package; there are no adjustments required. This feature makes it ideal for both amateur players that don’t feel comfortable tinkering with their instrument, but also for seasoned players that want a reliable capo that is ready to use at a moment’s notice.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.97)
Planet Waves NS Artist
The micrometer tension adjustment assures that your guitar will be in-tune as long as the capo is installed. The lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum construction will not add too much extra weight to your instrument. It also helps that the model features a low-profile design so that the user doesn’t even notice the capo is attached to the fret.
You can use the Planet Waves alternative with both acoustic and electric guitars, and the single hand operation will ensure that you will be able to swap between instruments with close to no effort. What’s more, if you are a beginner, this unit works perfectly out of the box, as no adjustments are required unless you feel comfortable to do so.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.54)
D’Addario Accessories PW-CP-18
The PW-CP-18 is a promising product that was created with the joint effort of the famed designer Ned Steinberger and Jim D’Addario. When not in use, instead of relying on carry pouches that can be misplaced or lost, you can store it above the guitar nut.
The durable stainless steel construction will ensure that you can get many years of use out of this variant since it is built to resist wear and nicks. The roller mechanism provides an ultimately smooth operation by further reducing wear while adding smoothness to the closing and opening action.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)
HIGHROCK Single Handed
Despite the crazy low price, this variant comes with all the crucial features that a quality capo needs to work correctly. The grip is good, the build quality is exceptionally sturdy, and the paddings are soft and comfortable and will not damage your instrument. What’s more, the design of the HIGHROCK is not bad at all; it looks quite elegant.
The device uses the Quick Release technology that allows it to be placed anywhere on the fretboard. To make things even better, while for such a low price you might expect a plastic body, the manufacturer has chosen instead to use sturdy steel.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($5.55)
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding the right guitar capo is not as easy as it might first appear. Nowadays there are more options available than ever before, and that makes settling for just one device a lot harder than you thought. If you are a beginner, things can become even more difficult since there are many types of capos available and other in-depth technical specifications that need to be considered.
To make things easier for you, and because we know just how difficult researching on your own can be, we have gathered all the useful information in our buyer’s guide below. Here you will learn the basics of capos, how to use one, and which type you should choose depending on your instrument and your play style.
What is a capo and how to pick the right one
Capo is short for capotasto which in Italian means “head of the fretboard.” A guitar capo is basically a clamp that is used on the neck of the guitar to shorten the playable length of the open strings, and thus raise their pitch by a chosen amount. Therefore, the player has the opportunity to change the various keys without having to move the fingers to switch positions.
Another reason to use a capo is to avoid using bar chords. Since this nifty device does all the hard work for you, it will take the place of the bar you would create with your finger, saving you a lot of energy. You can also use a capo to create more exciting guitar parts when playing with another player.
It is worth noting that capos are not only used for guitars, they also work on the lute, mandolin, mandola, ukulele, banjo, Greek Bouzouki and many other instruments. Indeed, if you have a large collection at home, you can go with a versatile product that can be used with all of them.
It is crucial that the capo distributes the pressure of the strings equally along each fret, especially if you have a guitar with a curved back. By doing this, you will prevent buzzing from strings that aren’t held tight. This way you can make sure that the strings won’t be pulled out of tune by a capo that has a robust clamping mechanism.
You should also never be afraid to experiment with different tunes and types of capos. Finding the right capos takes a lot of trial and error, so don’t feel discouraged if your first purchase is not what you’ve expected. Similarly, you should always make sure the rubber on the capo is sufficient to keep the finish on the guitar’s neck protected.
Types of Capos
Since capos add a whole new dimension of creativity, they are more often than not considered as one of the most valuable accessories that you can get as a guitar player. Just as is the case with any guitar accessory, capos too come in different forms and shapes built to cater to specific instruments and musicians.
The spring-loaded guitar capo is built for speed and players that like to do things in record time. It is very easy to put it on and remove from the guitar, which is a primary reason why this type is so popular. This variant also comes with a simple design, and since there aren’t many moving parts to worry about, it can be used by people of all skills.
The C-Clamp is an option built for the advanced musicians since it comes with the ability to adjust the pressure exerted on the strings at all times. For people that perform live often, the C-Clamp is a rugged version that will never fail on you. The added performance and reliability make it require more effort to put on and remove from your guitar.
Finally, we have the toggle capos which are ideal for people that travel a lot and want a device that is affordable, compact and easy to put on. While they do not offer the best performance since the pressure distribution is inconsistent and they can come loose and bend easily, they are so affordable that it never hurts to have a few for practice and learning purposes.
Don’t forget about your playing style
Getting the right model that can fit and work with your instrument properly is half the battle. To ensure that you will get the most out of your new purchase and that you will enjoy playing it for years to come, you should also consider what your playing style is.
Do you want a flexible capo that can be placed anywhere on the fretboard and that allows string selection? Maybe you want increased sustain and a low profile? Perhaps you prefer speed instead of fine-tuning? These are all question that you should try and answer before spending money on a product.
For players that enjoy speed, there are many spring-tension capos, also called “quick change” or “trigger.” These models are built to be easy to move and can be extremely accurate when placed with care behind the fret. Unfortunately, since they are not adjustable, if poorly placed they can pull strings out of tune.
If you are not in a hurry and you enjoy fine-tuning your instrument, some clamp-style capos have fine-tuning thumbscrews, while others can be adjusted with a screw mechanism. These systems allow the player to maintain good intonation. The only downside is that placement can take more time.
Don’t forget that the profile of the product also plays an important role. Depending on your hand placement, you can find specific contours easier to use than others. Options that feature screw adjustment can get in the way of your palm.
To get a unit you will feel comfortable using, you should compare profiles, consider the position of your hand, and never be afraid to experiment and try as many products as possible. You might find that the option that you never even considered is the one that works best for you.