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The Best Guitar Capos

Anothai Thiansawang/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated June 2022

If you're a beginner guitarist, you may find that a capo will help you play certain chords easier, the barre chords in particular. Rather than contort your newbie hands to press a finger across multiple guitar strings with even pressure, try one of these capos!

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  Best Wooden Design Best with Pick Holder Best Multi-Piece Set Premium Choice Also Great
 
  Wingo
Guitar Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars
TANMUS
Guitar Capo 3-in-1
Moreyes
Guitar Capo with Accessories
Nordic Essentials
Guitar Capo, Two-Pack
Kyser
Quick-Change Guitar Cap
 
Our SummaryA rosewood beauty made of aircraft-grade zinc alloy.A great capo with a pick slot, pin puller, and more.This quality aircraft-grade aluminum capo comes with a tuner for multiple stringed instruments.The best capo two-pack out there if you like a bit of color.This one-handed 12-string capo has had a great reputation since the '80s.
ProsRosewood look, lightweight, thick silicone pad to protect the fretboard, quick-release construction, easy to use with one hand, five bonus picks. Velvety bag, four colorful picks, provides optimal pressure and grip, built-in pin puller for restringing, serrated slot for pick with strong grip.Rosewood look, lightweight, sleek look, steel spring, buzz-free performance, soft silicone pads, quality and easy-to-use clip-on tuner, works in noisy environment.Two ultra-light capos, one pink and one purple, steel spring, silicone pads, use with one hand, compact and portable. Explicitly made for 12-string guitars, lightweight aluminum, steel spring, hand-cut, popular and great reputation, trigger mechanism.
ConsNot genuine rosewood.Not ideal for heavy strings. You may still experience some buzz.Sizing is not perfect. May not fit your guitar.
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The Best Guitar Capos

Woman hands playing guitar with a capo.
Anothai Thiansawang/Shutterstock.com

Capos aren’t just for beginners, either. Lots of professional musicians use capos. They change the pitch and timbre of the strings and are often used in blues and folk music. If you want to know more, check out the capos we recommend.

Buying Guide for Guitar Capos

A man playing a guitar with a red capo on it.
Irvanth/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a guitar capo?

Musicians use capos, in part, to play songs in different keys while maintaining the first-position open-string chords. It takes a lot of skill to move from barre chords to open chords with your fingers, especially in complex songs with quick tempos. Another reason to add a capo to your guitar toolkit is that they alter the pitch of open strings, relieving you from having to adjust the tuning keys. Ask just about any experienced guitarist, and they’ll tell you that hard playing is physically demanding. Your hands and finger muscles sometimes fatigue during a long practice session or performance. A capo can help with that.

What should you look for in a guitar capo?

  • Type: Some of the capos we review here are trigger capos. You squeeze the clamp, position it over the guitar neck, and release it like a clothespin. Spring capos are similar to trigger capos but have a spring mechanism. There are also elastic strap capos, typically covered with fabric, similar to a bungee cord. Other types worth some research include yoke-style capos, toggle capos, screw-clamp capos, and even spider capos.
  • Style: You can find exotic wood-handcrafted capos with intricate patterns. Many prefer lightweight materials like aircraft-grade zinc alloy. You’ll find rosewood-tinted alloy capos that look like natural wood. If you’re going for a flashier vibe, check out capos brush-sprayed with vibrant metallic colors. You may also want to consider a capo with a silhouette that stands out for its straight lines or elegant curves.
  • Convenience: Capos are supposed to make barre chords easier to play, not harder. Depending on the type and music you play, you may need to move your capo to different frets mid-song. Spring and trigger capos are the go-to’s for many guitarists who need that quick convenience. Children or folks with hand weakness may benefit most from screw-clamp capos because they require no hand strength. Partial capos often get in the way of your fretting hand. There are ways to make it work, though.

How much should you spend on a guitar capo?

It depends on the quality, material, and capo type you’re looking for. We reviewed some capos that are easy to use and offer quick-fix solutions to reaching barre chords. If you want to go all-in, look for capos with patented technologies that may outperform other capos in how evenly they apply pressure across every string. Ultimately, you can spend as little as $10 or as much as $300.

Our Picks for the Best Guitar Capos

Best Wooden Design

Wingo Guitar Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars

A rosewood beauty make of aircraft-grade zinc alloy.

Pros: The lovely rosewood look of this capo is so convincing it’s hard to believe that it’s made of aircraft-grade zinc alloy. The material makes it super lightweight—only 0.2 ounces, so you’ll barely notice it. Wingo gave it a thick silicone pad to protect the guitar neck and fretboard. With a quick-release construction, this capo is easy to maneuver during and between songs. Move it around with just one hand! You also get five colorful celluloid guitar picks. 

Cons: If you love the wood appearance, know that the Wingo capo is not solid wood.

Bottom Line: Look at other websites if you must. The Wingo is undeniably one of the most beloved guitar capos out there. It’s beautiful, lightweight, and easy to use.

 

Best with Pick Holder

TANMUS Guitar Capo 3-in-1

A great capo with a pick slot, pin puller, and more.

Pros: Perhaps the most significant selling point of the TANMUS guitar capo is that it’s a three-in-one. The zinc alloy capo comes in a velvety bag along with four colorful picks. The capo’s spring design provides optimal pressure and grip. The silicone pads protect the fretboard and prevent the capo from sliding. The compact and lightweight capo is made all the more impressive with the built-in pin puller located at the end of the lever on the top of the capo when placed on the guitar neck. You’ll appreciate the pin puller when it’s time to restring your instrument. Yet another quality feature is the pick holder, a built-in serrated slot found at the top of the capo. It grasps your pick securely, so it won’t shake even when playing with lots of energy.

Cons: Users report that the capo works best for medium to light strings. It’s not a universal fit. 

Bottom Line: Made handsome with a uniform brushed spray, this capo looks as good as it performs. And it performs well. It comes in several colors: metallic silver, black and wood, and bronze.

 

Best Multi-Piece Set

Moreyes Guitar Capo with Accessories

This quality aircraft-grade aluminum capo comes with a tuner.

Pros: This rosewood-colored, aircraft-grade aluminum capo has a sleek, elegant look. You won’t see its steel spring, but it’s inside, right where it should be, ensuring a buzz-free performance. Soft silicone pads line the capo where it grips to your guitar neck and on the grip handle to pad your palm. It comes with a 360-degree clip-on tuner with an easy-to-read LCD digital display. The tuner can tune all guitars, ukuleles, and violins. Tune your instrument anywhere and get an accurate reading.

Cons: You may experience some buzz, even while this capo promises a buzz-free experience.

Bottom Line: This set by Moreyes gets consistently positive feedback. Plus, you get eight celluloid guitar picks.

 

Premium Choice

Nordic Essentials Guitar Capo, Two-Pack)

The best capo two-pack out there if you like a bit of color.

Pros: Here’s an ultra-light, aircraft-grade aluminum pink capo. Pink! And as all good capos should, the Nordic Essentials steel spring capo features protective silicone pads. Use it with one hand without worrying you’ll mess up the tuning. The capo is made just for musicians like you. Toss it in your purse or bag and go. Plus, you get a purple capo too! There you have it: two flashy, colorful capos and two bags to keep them pristine when in storage.

Cons: While these capos are said to accommodate 6- and 12-string instruments, for ukuleles, banjo, bass, and mandolin, you may not find that to be true.

Bottom Line: This two-pack, two-color capo combo comes in various color pairs. There’s also black and silver, green and blue, and red and gold.

 

Also Great

Kyser Quick-Change Guitar Capo

This one-handed 12-string capo has held a great reputation since the '80s.

Pros: While many capos are made to fit all guitars, Kyser’s Quick-Change is explicitly made for 12-string guitars. You need a capo with higher tension and a larger body to cover each string with equal pressure. This beauty is made of lightweight aluminum and a steel spring. But there’s more to the story. Kyser’s Quick-Change capo grew in popularity in the 1980s and has remained one of the quickest-growing capos in the Western United States. It gets its speed from the innovative trigger mechanism that promises reliable tuning and stay-put-ness. Put the device on your instrument’s headstock between uses.

Cons: Even the best capos fall short in performance for some guitars. If you have a guitar with a thin neck, for example, you may realize that the Kyser doesn’t hold down all frets as it should.

Bottom Line: You’re not just getting a great capo for 12-string guitars with the Kyser Quick-Change. Because it’s well-known among guitarists, it’s also a fashion statement, a sign that you’re in the know.

Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to make playing the guitar easier, check out these capos. They’re all great accessories for guitarists of various experience levels.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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