When it comes to highly basic, yet incredibly useful and effective guitar gizmos that can help you significantly expand your sonic reach and musical horizons, a capo stands right among the most useful guitar devices on the market.
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Therefore, you should still be quite careful when buying a capo, and pay attention to a variety of factors. We took the liberty of sifting through the market in an attempt to find the best guitar capos money can buy. Our quest yielded 10 champions, you can check them all out in the rundown below, along with some general buying tips.
We understand that not everyone is familiar with the little gizmo, so let’s clarify this first – a guitar capo is a device that operates as sort of a clamp or a clothespin for a string instrument.
It works by grabbing each of the strings on the same fret, essentially giving the player an extra hand during the performance. It raises the instrument’s pitch and changes the open tones entirely.
To clarify through an example, placing a capo on the second fret creates the same effect as pressing and holding the second fret on each string. If you were in standard tuning, that would change the notes you play by strumming the open strings from E, A, D, G, B, and E to F#, B, E, A, C, and F#. With all that stuff out of the way, let us proceed to the rundown!
|Kyser KG6B 6 String Capo, Black||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Stage Acoustic / Electric Guitar Capo Clamp||Buy on Amazon|
|Guitar Capo Acoustic and Electric by OnnSound - For Acoustic Guitar, Classical...||Buy on Amazon|
|Neewer Blue Single-handed Guitar Capo Quick Change||Buy on Amazon|
|Kava Audio Aluminum Alloy Capo for Acoustic Guitar, Silver||Buy on Amazon|
|Planet Waves NS Tri-Action Capo, Silver||Buy on Amazon|
|Nordic Essentials Aluminum Metal Universal Guitar Capo, 1.2 oz (2 Pack) - Black...||Buy on Amazon|
|HIGHROCK Capo03-bk Single Handed Guitar Capo Quick Change, Black||Buy on Amazon|
|Paige P6E 6-String Guitar Capo - Black||Buy on Amazon|
In the section below, we will present you with a variety of contenders worthy of consideration as your new capo.
We took into consideration a variety of criteria, making sure from the get-go that products prone to damage are instantly discarded and that only capos that do the job while not damaging the guitar have a chance of making the cut. Apart from that, the value for money factor was among the most important factors we took into consideration, resulting in a variety of items from different price ranges. The goods await below.
We’ll kick things off with one of the items that rightfully dominate the capo domain – the KG6B model from Kyser. This little fella comes in a variety of colors (9 of them!) and combines elegant slim looks with high durability and a strong grip.
The device is crafted from light, yet sturdy aluminum, utilizing a reliable Quick Change spring-tensioned clamp that has been optimized to hold the proper intonation without damaging the neck in the long run. It truly operates as a third hand, and that’s great in our book!
Made in the USA, the device features a super light weight and a total size of 3 x 1 x 1 inches. It is optimized both for acoustic and electric guitars, and firmly grabs a hold of any neck out there.
As the only drawback, we would point at the lack of adjustable tension, which would make the capo 100 percent perfect for absolutely any player and instrument out there. This way, when the Kyser is applied to the low-end frets, it gives them a bit of a too strong grip. But overall, considering the price, this is a great buy and a product we thoroughly recommend.
If you want to get a solid capo that will get the job done, and pay the least possible amount for a device that won’t mess up your guitar or break in a week, the answer is the Top Stage Live for Music capo.
Typically available in the “Under 5” price domain, this fella utilizes a plastic body combined with a firm clamp that can hold intonation in any tuning. Additionally, despite being rock solid when clamped on, the device can easily be taken off thanks to the renowned Quick Change system.
What makes Live for Music inferior to some of the other models on the list is a plastic body that’s more prone to physical damage and breakage than some of its aluminum-based peers, as well as the lack of pressure control. Additionally, the pad tends to wear down after long-term use, which affects both the intonation and the neck.
When the price is taken into consideration, though, this is one fine deal.
This super-light gizmo is made in China and comes with a total size of 6.5 x 4.4 x 0.9 inches.
Back to more high-quality goods, the OneSound Capo is a valid choice for pro players looking for an affordable option without major quality cuts.
This puppy was crafted from super lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum alloy and easily stands out as one of the strongest capos on the market today. Additionally, it utilizes a top-quality silicon pad that works way better than the usual pads by bringing extra stability with less physical pressure to the neck itself.
Also included in the mix is a special steel spring that makes sure the force applied to the fretboard is strong, but not overwhelming.
By all criteria, this is a professional piece of equipment that was made to last. To back up such claims, the manufacturer made sure that a lifetime warranty is included in the price.
A nifty feature the OnnSound has is the ability to affect only the first string, allowing you to switch between the drop and standard tuning in a matter of seconds. When it comes to sound, we’re looking at no buzz whatsoever and nothing but top-notch intonation.
The product weighs in at just 0.3 ounces and features a total size of 4.2 x 0.8 x 5.2 inches. A thumbs up from here!
If the capo you’re looking for is cheap, effective, and looks nice, than Neewer is your lucky pick. This fella delivers everything a decent capo should and throws some shiny glossy looks on the side.
While the device doesn’t allow the user to manually adjust the tension, it has been optimized to do so on its own. You can fit it anywhere on the fingerboard and it will do a fine job in keeping the grip while not damaging the neck or the frets.
Available in a blue and golden finish, the capo is crafted from zinc alloy, which is actually significantly more durable than the plastic option, but also a tad more heavy – 2.4 ounces heavy, to be precise.
The gizmo does a great job and is quite easy to use. But, it’s not high-end item after all, and a few complaints must be put forth after all. First and foremost, it’ll take a few clamps for you to get the lowest string of your instrument to perfectly fit the capo, and secondly if you take your capo on and off often during a performance, this thing is not for you. The firm grip is nice and all, but often capo placements tend to mess up the instrument’s intonation by a slight mark.
All in all, solid stuff for the price!
A mere glance at this mean machine tucked inside that sexy red casing gives a strong indication we’re in for a wild ride! And indeed, the Kava Audio Capo is a very versatile and good-looking item that does an exceptional job while looking sleek n’ sharp.
Apart from acoustic and electric guitars, the device can also operate with smaller necks, specifically with ukuleles, banjos, and mandolins. So if you’re looking for the best ukulele capo, and those can be a bit tricky to find, this is a great find.
Apart from the heavy-duty aluminum casing, the product features a memory steel spring that holds top-level intonation no matter how often you place the capo on and off and how sloppy you clam it on.
Because of the extra easy repositioning feature, this capo became on of the popular options among professional musicians, or at least the ones we encountered. Another top-notch feature in our book is the use of high-end silicone padding that keeps the intonation intact, the neck safe, and strings firmly gripped.
If you’re worrying about the gizmo not being able to hold the high E and low E strings properly, a special curved design was implemented to make sure they’re tight and cool.
If you like your capos super accurate and super adjustable, the Planet Waves NS Tri-Action model is the right thing for you. Not only is this fella sleek-looking, elegant, strong, durable, and accurate, but it has an onboard micrometer tension adjustment tool to set that tension up nice and tight!
The gizmo was crafted for electric and acoustic guitars with radius fingerboards and is based on the trusty single-hand Tri-Action Geometry technology. This makes it rather easy to use because the grip is super tight on one hand, but as soon as it’s released the capo fully lets go and can be instantly placed to any other position on the instrument.
Back to basics, the construction of this little beast revolves around aircraft-grade aluminum, which is light as a feather, yet bulletproof.
Ideally, this item should be used with six-string acoustic and electric guitars, although slimmer necks of mandolins and ukuleles also apply.
If you want to know more about the manufacturer, Planet Waves is an award-winning company and part of the D’Addario family, featuring a string of products designed by none-other than Ned Steinberger and Jim D’Addario.
If the idea of getting two great capos at the price of one sounds good to you, check out this deal from Nordic Essentials.
It’s a pair of the company’s premium capos that actually do a pretty darn good job, featuring aircraft-grade aluminum construction and a very firm and safe spring-action squeeze.
If you’re looking for the best value for money capo that belongs in the high-end realm in terms of quality, this one is it. Not only does this fella get the job done in a super accurate manner without damaging the strings, neck, or the instrument’s intonation, but it looks elegant and comes with an included carrying pouch and a lifetime warranty.
The pair is available in three different color versions: Black + Black, Green + Blue, and Red + Gold.
The protective pads are made from silicone, which is once again a grade-A feature. This material is the best option for keeping a tight grip, as well as high functionality.
But despite all the good stuff, the capo still isn’t the best option for 12-string guitars. Keep it away from that domain and you’ll get nothing but excellent guitars. If you’re in need to buy two capos at once, this is your best deal – in our book, at least.
If your question is “What’s the lowest price I can get a decent price for?”, our answer would be pointing at the 03-BK capo from Highrock.
From the right retailed, this fella falls in the so-called “Under 5 bucks” category, meaning that a pick is pretty much the only guitar-related item with a cheaper price tag.
However, the Highrock is not the only capo on the market that’s this cheap. There are other items, of course, but we honestly can’t recommend any of those fellas we’ve tried so far. Yes, the quality is just that low.
But with the 03-BK, all the crucial features are actually quite decent! The grip is firm, the paddings are nice and comfy, the build quality is sturdy enough, and even the looks are nice and elegant.
The device utilizes the Quick Release technology and can be used anywhere on the fretboard. It’s not recommended to grab and release the strings with it too frequently during a performance, but it can certainly take on a few switches.
As for the body, it’s NOT plastic as we have expected, but sturdy steel. This is certainly a better option than plastic, but not the best one it gets the product weight on the chunky side.
If you’re an acoustic guitar player, your instrument’s neck and fingerboard will appreciate this one – the 83CB capo from Dunlop.
Crafted specifically for acoustic guitars, this gizmo features a padded handle and an ergonomic design that adapts to fragile acoustic models so no damage occurs and intonation remains intact.
Made in the US of A, the capo can be used on six-string, seven-string, and 12-string guitars. AS a matter of fact, it’s one of our picks for the title of the best capo for 12-string guitars, too.
The body is aircraft-grade aluminum with a strong grip for buzz-free performance.
While we believe that the gizmo can still work on electric guitars, we don’t really see it as the ideal match for ukuleles, banjos, and similar smaller string instruments. But for the listed instruments, it’s one of the best!
Finally, if you like your capos to look like medieval torture devices, go with the Paige P6E! All jokes aside, this is actually a highly efficient capo, despite the peculiar appearance.
The way it works is that you place the neck through it and then firmly tighten it one the desired position. This makes it significantly easier to move the capo to different fret positions during a single performance, which is a great plus in our book.
One of the strongest advantages of ditching the standard clip-on design is the fact that most of those models don’t give you as much tension control as this fella. Therefore, it became sort of a norm that capos get the guitars out of tune, which is not the case with all models.
With this little dude, you can set the tension just right so the tuning is not affected and the neck stays intact, along with the intonation.
This is NOT a gimmicky novelty item, but a bonafide valid choice; we wouldn’t have placed it on the list if it wasn’t. So check it out, it just might be your perfect match.
When it comes to capos, there are a few crucial tidbits to take into consideration. It’s seemingly simple, but you can still end up with a lousy product if you’re not careful, so pay attention!
Anyhow, we’ll put a little rundown here to make things concise. Here goes:
Casual fans always get surprised by a number of tunes that use a capo. But that’s perfectly understandable because these are not in-your-face gizmos like tremolo bars after all.
So, some of the iconic tunes that heavily rely on the capo are: “Hotel California” by Eagles (capo 7), Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung” (capo 3), “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty, the one and only “Wonderwall” by Oasis (capo 2), as well as “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” and many others. As you can see, these are genuine iconic songs, which only showcases how deeply the capo is rooted in guitar music. When we said it’s essential to some players, we meant it!
Sure there are. The most conventional type and the one we’ve covered the most here is the trigger capo, or clip-on capo as it’s also called. Apart from that, there’s the screw capo that we also covered.
Additionally, there are roller capos, toggle capos, as well as a few other nonconventional types, but we believe that the goods presented in the list above are the options most worthy of consideration.
It depends on the specific type and model. If it’s a cheap capo, go with the new one. You don’t know how worn out that thing is, and cheaper models are more prone to breakage. What’s the point of saving a few bucks if the whole thing will break in a month, right?
As always, tread lightly in the second-hand domain, as there are no warranties there. And seeing that capos are generally not expensive, we just say get a new one and stay on the safe side.
And that would be the final destination of our little journey then! We hope you enjoyed this one and learned something new about capos, but now we have reached the point where you have to put your input into the equation.
So jot down your personal needs, preferences, expectations and spending budget, and single out what you see as the best guitar capo for you. These are cheap little things, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give them a little spin.
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