Best Tenor Ukulele (8 of the Best Ukuleles in 2022)

Jumping flea. Yup, you read that right. That’s what ukulele means, more or less. Wanna know why? Well, it’s most likely due to the virtuosity and dexterity of the players of this beautiful little instrument as they move their fingers across its four strings. 

Now, as all musicians know, practice is the most important thing when it comes to mastering an instrument. However, having a good instrument is also crucial for any musician, and ukuleles are no exception. 

As such, we’ve put together 8 of the best tenor ukuleles available nowadays, from budget-friendly models to high-quality ones. So, let’s take a look at each of them and see which one calls out to you. 

At a Glance

  1. Kala KA-KTG Tenor Hawaiian Ukulele – Best Overall 
  2. Luna Tattoo Mahogany Tenor Uke – Best Esthetics   
  3. Lohanu LU-T – Best Tenor Ukulele Bundle
  4. Makala Tenor Mahogany Ukulele by Kala (MK-T) – Most reliable 
  5. Cordoba 20TM-CE Mahogany Tenor Cutaway Ukulele – Best Acoustic Electric Uke
  6. Oscar Schmidt OU2T-A-U 4-String Mahogany Tenor Ukulele – Best for Large Hands
  7. Fender Montecito Koa Tenor Ukulele – Most Unique 
  8. Enya EUT-M6 Cutaway Tenor Ukulele – Best Intonation

The 8 Best Tenor Ukuleles of 2022

As you probably already know, a tenor ukulele is bigger than a soprano or concert ukulele.

That being so, this instrument produces a richer, fuller sound that projects much better than that of a concert or soprano ukulele. Moreover, the wider neck and extra scale length make fingerpicking much easier.

As such, tenor ukuleles are the instrument of choice for professional ukulele players. That doesn’t mean they aren’t also great for beginners, especially those with bigger hands and long fingers.

So, whether you’ve got some big hands and want a ukulele that’s comfortable to hold, or whether you want a ukulele with a full, rich tone, then tenor ukuleles are the way to go. So, take a look at the following instruments and pick the best tenor ukulele for you. 

  1. Kala KA-KTG Tenor Hawaiian Ukulele (Koa Gloss, MultiColored, Tenor) – Best Overall 

If you think of beauty and elegance, then the Kala KA-KTG Tenor Hawaiian Ukulele is the thing that comes foremost in my mind.

This little beauty is built with Hawaiian Koa, which is the traditional material of uke fabrication. This wood has a transparent gloss finish, which, when coupled with the uke’s maple binding, makes for one spectacular instrument.

Not only that, but the uke’s neck is made of mahogany, which in addition to its brilliant color, makes for a neck that’s stable, hard, and resistant to wear.

Moreover, this ukulele has a slotted headstock which gives it a totally unique look. Additionally, its golden Grover open-geared tuners make tuning a walk in the park and give the instrument a classical guitar-like vibe.

It also has a Graph Tech NuBone nut and saddle, which is as close to real bone as you can get. So, as opposed to other non-bone materials commonly used, they’re able to give your uke a more stable intonation and sustain, and they stop your uke from buzzing unnecessarily.


  • Made of high-quality materials 
  • Beautiful and graceful 
  • Had a Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Graph Tech NuBone nut and saddle.
  • Additional string stability due to Grover open-geared tuners  


It’s hard to beat the Luna Tattoo Mahogany tenor uke when it comes to good looks. While this baby mostly looks the same as any other traditional ukulele, it boasts a spectacular design that no other uke has. This design is modeled after the Hawaiian turtle body tattoo, which is a sign of longevity and endurance.

And it’s not just the design. This tenor ukulele is built from top-grade mahogany, whose beauty is brought to life with a stain finish. 

Meanwhile, the fingerboard and bridge are made from walnut so that the uke can have a bright yet warm sound that will make any heart melt. Oh, and did I mention that the fret markers are styled after shark teeth? I mean, how cool is that?

Still, in spite of all the great qualities of this tenor ukulele, it’s actually not too heavy on the wallet. In fact, it’s one of the more budget-friendly uke’s out there.

Its only flaw is that the tuners aren’t the best there are. However, you can easily work around this issue by replacing them with a set of Grover tuners, and bam!!! One top-quality uke ready to use. 


  • Beautiful Polynesian design 
  • Shark teeth-inspired fret markers
  • Solid mahogany top, back, and sides
  • Has a bright and sweet sound 
  • Durable walnut bridge and smooth walnut fretboard 


  • Unreliable tuners 
    1. Lohanu LU-T – Best Tenor Ukulele Bundle  

If you’re still a beginner that’s still discovering the charm of tenor ukuleles, then the Lohanu LU-T tenor ukulele is the one for you. This is my first pick for any beginner for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, this uke comes in a bundle package, meaning you get a clip-on tuner, an extra set of Aquila strings, a padded gig bag, hanger, picks, and two installed strap pins.

You also get an installation DVD as well as video lessons from Joseph Chung, the renowned ukulele player and founder of Lohanu. 

Another great thing about the Lohanu LU-T is the fact that it’s made from laminated Sapele wood. That means that the instrument is both budget-friendly and lightweight.

As such, you can practice on your uke anywhere you go, and on the off chance that you don’t continue playing, your loss wouldn’t be too big.

And don’t worry, the sound quality isn’t too shabby, either. Despite the fact it’s made of laminated wood, it still has a bright and sustainable sound due to its arched back.

So, when you factor in all that, in addition to the rosewood fingerboard that makes adapting to string tension much easier for newbies, you’ll find yourself with one heck of a tenor ukulele to start your musical journey.  


  • Lightweight and resonant 
  • Inexpensive
  • Sapele wood body
  • Beginner-friendly 
  • Comes with a full set of accessories and video tutorials 
  • Tuning stability due to the closed tuning gears
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Has beautiful white bindings 


In case you didn’t know, Makala is the more budget-friendly line of Kala, the brand known for creating high-quality yet affordable instruments for all sorts of famous musicians like Vance Joy and Zac brown. 

Now, while Kala is more aimed at professional players, the Makala Tenor ukulele is more aimed at students who are still getting the hang of playing tenor ukes.  

Nevertheless, just because it’s easy on the wallet doesn’t mean its bad quality. Quite the opposite, in fact, as all Makala ukes are made with the same construction standards as the Kala ones. 

Accordingly, the body and neck are superbly crafted with solid mahogany wood, which is known for its lovable warm tone. And all the seams are pretty much invisible, leaving you with a smooth and sturdy instrument.

To top it off, the rosewood fretboard and bridge create a rich, bright Hawaiian sound, especially when used with the Aquila Nylgut strings that the uke comes with. 


  • Solid mahogany neck and body
  • Balanced tone and warm sound
  • Great sound projection
  • Vintage-like look 
  • Comfortable fretboard 
  • Comes with Aquila Nylgut strings
  • Beginner and budget-friendly


So, you’re looking for an acoustic-electric tenor ukulele. Well, the Cordoba 20TM-CE will serve you like no other. 

As you may expect of a Cordoba instrument, this tenor ukulele is incredibly well-crafted, from the top-quality mahogany body to the seamless binding. Also, the rosewood bridge and fingerboard greatly complement and steady Aquila strings pretty well. 

So, with this baby, you know you’ve got yourself a warm and soft sound awaiting you once you start strumming. 

Same old, same old, right? WRONG!!!

That’s because this uke has a cutaway sliced into the left of the soundboard, meaning your playability beyond the 12th fret will be much better. Add this to electrical amplification, and you’ve got yourself one banging instrument ready for any gig. 

The one thing I’ll say against this uke is that it’s got a high-string action, which makes playing a bit difficult at first. Other than that, this one is a steal, especially when comparing it to any other acoustic-electric ukulele. 


  • Mahogany body 
  • Has faders for treble and bass to control the uke’s tone ‘
  • Seamless bindings 
  • Reasonable price 
  • Soft cutaway and great sound quality
  • Aquila Nylgut string


Made in collaboration with Pepe Romero Jr, the famous luthier, the Oscar Schmidt OU2T-A-U tenor ukulele is the saving grace of all people with large hands. While tenor ukuleles are usually played by players with big hands, some may still find the instrument uncomfortable.

So, if you’re one of these people, then you’ll greatly appreciate the wider fretboard of this ukulele. 

Still, that’s not its only charm. For instance, it has a built-in neck joint instead of the typical applied dovetail one, which makes it more lightweight and more stable at the same time. Moreover, its steel strings don’t rattle or buzz, and they produce a loud, rich sound that reaches across any room.

All in all, it’s a great ukulele for players of all levels, and the price isn’t so bad either. 


  • Beautiful mahogany uke with glossy chrome tuners
  • Gives the option of rosewood or engineered wood fretboard 
  • Provides more comfort for big hands 
  • Lightweight and easy to carry 
  • Comes with a polyfoam case and Aquila strings


Another hidden gem is the Fender Montecito tenor ukulele. This big boy has a really cool 4-in-line telecaster-style headstock with vintage-style tuners. Add on the solid wood top, back, and sides made from Koa, as well as the abalone binding, and voila!! A tenor ukulele that will steal hearts. 

Best of all, it has a genuine bone nut and saddle, which means the intonation will be brilliant. Moreover, it has great sustainability, projection, and the instruments sound as if you’re cuddled up in a blanket in front of the fireplace. 

Still, keep in mind that it comes with a hardtail, no-tie bridge. While this is good news for most players as it makes restringing very easy, some may not like this type of bridge as they can’t move it to create certain dynamics and effects while playing. But again, this all comes down to personal preference.

Oh, and it comes with its own Aquila strings and a gig bag, though the bag is a bit flimsy for my taste. Nevertheless, this uke is a catch, especially when considering its price. 


  • High-quality, mid-range tenor ukulele
  • Crafted by the famous guitar luthier Fender
  • Beautiful abalone top binding and rosette 
  • Solid Koa wood body 
  • Walnut fingerboard 


My final pick of the day is the Enya EUT-M6 cutaway tenor ukulele. This little wonder can come in a natural or blue finish, both of which bring forth the fantastic pearl shell and mahogany design of the fretboard. But it’s not just about looks with this one. 

The soundboard is even more impressive, with tonal qualities that will put most other ukes to shame.

It produces a breathtakingly warm and balanced sound due to its solid mahogany body, and it has perfect intonation up to the 12th fret, which is very rare to find outside of high-end ukuleles. This is most probably due to the Nubone nuts and saddle, though how this happens with a composite fretboard and bridge is beyond my wits. 

An added bonus is the cutaway placed in the soundboard, which gives you better access to the higher frets. And did I mention the D’Addario strings? These babies will make your uke sound like a bright bell, which will make any solo performance absolutely amazing. 


  • Stay tuned for a long time
  • Superb intonation 
  • Easy to carry and great for performing solo 
  • Comes with a padded case 
  • Close geared tuners for extra string stability 


  • Richlite bridge and fretboard, meaning a lower resonance and durability than those made of hardwood

What Makes a Good Tenor Ukulele?

Tenor ukes are the favorite of professional ukulele players for a reason. However, they’re more expensive than soprano and concert ukuleles, and not everyone can afford the near-perfect high-end tenor ukuleles of Pono and Kanilea. 

As such, you need to know what to look for in order to find a mid-range ukulele comparable to a high-end one. That’s why I’ve put together some of the most important features you need to consider when buying a uke. So, get reading and start browning for your new instrument.

Type of Wood

This is the most important thing that you need to ponder before choosing a tenor ukulele. Do you want solid wood or laminate wood? First, you need to understand that the type of wood makes a radical difference in how a ukulele sounds.

For instance, solid woods, aka hardwoods, are what sets the uke’s tone. That’s why it’s also called tonewoods. 

To paint a better picture, Sapele is known to have a brighter, more cheerful tone, while mahogany is associated with a more subdued and warm tone.

Playing Swiss is Koa which produces a neutral sound that’s neither too warm nor too sparkly, and that’s why solid Hawaiian Koa ukes are usually quite expensive.

Of course, all solid woods, be it Koa, spruce, walnut, or mahogany, become fuller and richer with time, which is an advantage that laminated woods lacks.

Still, laminated woods are also decent tonewoods. However, their tone isn’t as well polished and sophisticated as the hardwoods.

Still, people do get them for two main reasons; one is that they’re much cheaper than solid woods, and two, they don’t get damaged by heat and humidity like hardwoods. 

So, when you come to choose, you need to ask yourself, are you playing the uke for fun or as a profession?

If it’s just for fun and you tend to be a bit rough with your instruments, then go with the laminated woods.

On the other hand, if you’re a serious musician that needs the more nuanced tone of solid wood ukes, then go with that option. 

Still, let’s be realistic. We can’t all invest in a solid wood ukulele no matter how much we may want to. So, a good compromise would be to get a laminated uke with high-quality tuners and trim. That way, you can still have a good sound and put some money away for a rainy day. 

String Types 

Strings actually impact the sound of a tenor ukulele quite a lot.  

My favorites are Nylon strings such as the Aquila Nylgut strings. These strings produce a warm and mellow sound, and they’re also quite durable. Meanwhile, carbon strings have a slightly brighter tone and can keep a tone better than Nylon strings. 

Steel strings aren’t really made for tenor ukulele, but when used, they offer a tawny, light sound. My point is; if you don’t like the sound of your ukulele, replace the strings, and you’ll find a world of difference.


You probably read words like high action and low action slot when reading about ukuleles, but what do these terms actually mean?

To put it simply, a low action uke means a ukulele whose strings are set too low. When set as such, the strings will produce an annoying buzzing sound even without much effort. Alternately, if the strings are set too high, aka high action, then you’ll find yourself struggling to play. 

Thankfully though, you can adjust the setup, though I always prefer going to a luthier to be on the safe side.


The final thing you need to care about, in my opinion, is the playability of the ukulele. This means, can you play with ease and comfort, or are you really struggling? 

I usually find pliability to depend on the scale length and the nut width, though other factors like fret sharpness and wood roughness do play a part. 

Now, when you come to look at the scale length, most tenor ukes have a 17-inch scale. However, some tenor models have longer or shorter scales. If you’ve been used to a certain length and suddenly switch to a different one, you’ll become pretty uncomfortable when playing. 

Likewise, nut width can greatly affect your playability. Basically, the narrower the nut, the less room you have to move your fingers across the fingerboard and vice versa.

So, ultimately, you should get a ukulele with a nut size that suits the size of your hands to make your playing more natural and smooth.


As you can see, finding a good tenor uke can be difficult among the thousands of ukes available nowadays. However, as long as you know what makes a good ukulele, you can weed out the bad ones and find a hidden gem somewhere. 

Any ukulele I’ve already mentioned is quite the catch, but the Kala KA-KTG uke is in a league of its own. It has a solid Hawaiian Koa body that lends to both its appearance and sound, but most importantly, it produces a glorious mid-range timbre that’s the end-all-be-all of any ukulele. 

So, now that we’ve reached the end, do you know which tenor ukulele you want to buy? If so, then good luck with your new tenor ukulele, and happy playing!