There are many types of Ukuleles, which are lute family instruments. The options to choose from are a soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone, and they come in a number of configurations including four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings. Some ukulele string configurations are paired giving the instrument a total of six or eight strings.
List of Top-Rated Tenor ukuleles
Ukulele’s originated in Hawaii after Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Azores brought the Portuguese Machete, which is a small lute instrument that is similar to a small guitar in structure. From Hawaii to the US, the Ukulele became a popular instrument at the dawn of the 20th century, and its popularity only increased over time.
Now let’s take a look at the five best tenor ukuleles on the market today.
The Best Tenor ukuleles Reviews
This is the 26” Lohanu (LU-T) Concert Ukulele made from Sapele mahogany wood.
When it comes to high performance with great pricing, the Lohanu LU-T is one of the leading tenor ukuleles there is. This kit comes with all the features you would expect from a leading ukulele brand.
The LU-T is made from Sapele mahogany wood and comes with a rosewood fingerboard, handmade ABS bindings and chrome die-cast tuning gears with Aquila Nylgut® strings. This combination of materials and design provide an easy to manage to learn uke with perfect pitch and tone.
This set comes with a high-quality tenor ukulele, an electronic tuning device with batteries, a uke carry bag that is rugged and water resistant, as well as a sturdy ukulele strap and two picks,
- 26” Sapele wood concert Ukelele
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Aquila Nylgut® strings
- Electronic tuner
- Bag, straps, and picks
The Lohanu Tenor is an exceptional model and is found in the hands of many a professional. This is one model to take seriously and enjoy.
This is the Lohanu Spalted Maple Finish Tenor Ukulele with 3 Band EQ
The Lohanu Spalted Maple Finish Tenor Version comes with an Electric pickup, 3 band EQ with built in Tuner. This model is designed to be connected to an amp and used as a training and performance instrument.
This model is designed to deliver extra power, and louder sounds but does so with a spalted maple finish, which is one of the most beautiful finishes on the market. This Lohanu electric tenor uke is designed to plug into any amp and speaker combo to give you the power of performance for any sized room and in front of any sized audience.
This model is a 26” tenor model that is made from Sapele mahogany and comes with a rosewood fingerboard, Handmade ABS Bindings, and Chrome die cast tuning gears with Aquila Nylgut strings.
- 26” Sapele wood tenor Ukelele
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Aquila Nylgut® strings
- Electronic tuner
- Bag, straps, and picks
This electric ukulele model is exceptional value for money and with its unsurpassed finish, makes for a show-stopping performance model.
This is Hricane Tenor Ukulele UKS-3 26” Sapele Professional Ukulele
The Hricane Tenor Ukulele with sapele body and four advanced carbon nylon strings is a high-end ukulele that delivers standards of precision with perfect craftsmanship, sweet sounds, and a comfortable grip.
The materials selected and used in the crafting of this instrument are hand-picked specifically for each model and made by treating them to special anti-humidity and temperature resistant performance levels. This means you get an all wood uke that lasts like a laminate one.
Each model is tested by hand and is checked for performance at every stage of production, so the internal finish is as critical as the outside appearance. Other hand quality checks include the horizontal plane of the body and handle, and the fret must allow for a smooth silk glide.
The strings used on this model are carbon nylon, from Japan, and are smooth and soft for both the delicate and tough finger touches and hard picks.
The body of this model is made from sapele which is combined with a rosewood fingerboard and given a simple yet finely tuned finish in satin with a Hricane patented chrome-plated guitar style tuner.
The fretboard comes with 18 Brass Frets with Fret position Marks at 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets on neck and top of fingerboard.
- Sapele body, rosewood fingerboard, and bridge
- Patented chrome-plated guitar style tuner
This is a high-end no-nonsense uke designed for professional performance and recording sessions.
This is the Kala MK-T Tenor Ukulele is made from mahogany with walnut wood.
The Kala MK-T is an exceptional tenor Ukulele model, it came with a classic design and built for all level of players. This Uke is made from satin finished mahogany wood, and the fingerboard is walnut wood, with a polymer nut and saddle.
This model comes with a standard headstock, and the strings are Aquila Super Nylgut®. The overall dimensions are a 26 1/8” long instrument with a 17” scale.
This model provides exceptionally clear tones, with great finger movement quality, and a smooth experience that suits soft young fingers.
- 26 1/8” long model
- Mahogany Body delivers a rich tenor tone
- Walnut fingerboard
- Polymer nut and saddle
- Aquila Super Nylgut® strings
The Kala MK-T is a leading tenor model that is designed for all players, its perfect for beginners as well as professionals seeking that rich, deep tenor tone that the Mkala series is famous for.
This is the Cordoba Guitars 15TM Mahogany Concert Ukulele
Cordoba guitars were founded in 1997, and started by fabricating classical Spanish guitars with all the individual crafted designs and features handmade. The Cordoba models are all designed to be lightweight, responsive, and a direct descendant tradition and heritage.
Apart from guitars, Cordoba makes an exceptional line of ukuleles including their classic concert models. The designs come in a number of options and include a number of models with the 15 model at the basic level, and going up to their 30 series models, that are their high-end products. The difference between the models are the wood and materials used in the uke’s construction, where the 15 and 20 series are mahogany, the 22 series uses spruce and rosewood, the 23 series uses Ovangkol, the 24 series uses cedar with spalted maple and the 25 series uses acacia.
While the 30 series is their top of the line, the 15 series is designed for beginners and is built to introduce novices into the wonderful world of ukulele playing.
The 15TM comes with a mahogany top, back, and sides, as well as a fan-shaped top bracing pattern, and the bridge, fingerboard, and saddle material is a rugged composite. The neck is made from mahogany, and the fingerboard inlays are 4mm Pearloid Dots. The nut is made from a composite, and there are 19 frets with a tuning machine made from Cordoba Silber with pearl buttons.
The 15TM comes with a Satin Polyurethane finish and delivers exceptional deep, rich and clear tones.
- Tenor size
- Mahogany top, back, and sides
- Abalone-style rosette
- Satin finish
- Aquila New Nylgut Tenor 10Ustrings
When it comes to style, it’s hard to be the 15TM for value for money performance and style. This model delivers on all counts and provides you with a comprehensive range of performance for professional musicians.
How To Choose a Tenor Ukulele?
Tenor Ukuleles are the third tier models that come after a concert uke and before a baritone. The tenor ukulele is between 17” and 26” in size and gives more finger room for larger hands. It is also becoming the most popular ukulele on the market for its rich tones that are deeper than a concert while retaining the ukuleles characteristics, unlike the much deeper baritone.
The tenor ukulele is preferred by most professionals, and they feature heavily in most concerts and gigs, where the 26” size is favored for its deeper nearly guitar-like tones.
Some Buying Tips
Money for Value
Don’t buy a cheap ukulele, if you intend to buy one to learn on you need to consider that buying cheap will reduce your chances of learning to play significantly. What you will also get when you invest in a quality item are exotic woods and materials that enhance the sound, some nice cosmetic features that make the ukulele nice to look at as well as play. You get solid wood and in some instances electronics for connecting to an amp. The bottom line is that in Ukulele’s there is little room for movement, so the more you spend, the better the ukulele.
However, you don’t need to buy a custom built ukulele, what you need to do is just avoid cheap ukuleles that deliver construction issues, structural integrity, loos fitments, bad sting alignments, and cheap materials. If you buy a really cheap ukulele, you will end up being discouraged and will end up throwing it away in frustration.
Solid woods vs. laminated wood
Budget-friendly models will come in laminated wood, while the higher end and professional models will be made from all wood construction. Laminated wood has an advantage over all natural wood in that it is stronger and less prone to the splitting and cracking. However, the all wood models a have a more resonant sound that delivers a richer and mellower tone.
The natural woods used in Ukulele construction include:
- Koa is a native Hawaii wood and is dense. This was the traditional wood of choice for ukuleles. It is still considered the wood of choice and brings beautiful grain patterns, a wide range of colors, and balanced tone.
Acacia is botanically related to Koa, delivers similar properties and is considered to be the alternative to Koa instruments.
- Mahogany is usually sued for the neck and is a growing global tree so much more popular in most models for price and design variations.
- Spruce has sprung up in recent times and is very popular with guitar makers. Spruce has a dense grain and produces loud, bright tones.
- Cedar is a soft wood and delivers a mellow tone; these are popular for tenor and baritone ukuleles.
- Redwood is very popular and is placed between spruce and cedar for tone, although it gives a warmer and clearer tone than both.
- Rosewood is mainly used in fretboards and is a dense, hardwood that adds color and design appeal.
There are many more woods being used, but these are the main and most popular ones.
Just like all lute family instruments, you will find electric ukuleles too, and these come with a variety of electronic components integrated into their bodies. In most cases, these are ukuleles come with an onboard preamplifier to an external amplifier or sound system.