Today I’m giving you a mega acoustic guitar Capo Buyer’s Guide…
By combing through hundreds of Amazon reviews and considering my own experience with these capos, I’ve boiled down hundreds (maybe 1000’s) of capo options into my Top 6 Best Capos EVER.
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I’ll tell you my #1 top pick, but each of these six capos has it’s own unique combination of:
All six reviews are available right now, the first one in the list being the ubiquitous Kyser Capo…a fantastic capo for sure, but the lowest on the list. Enjoy!
#6: Kyser Capo Review
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I think it’s interesting to think of buying a capo because usually the scenario plays out like this; you go to the store. You buy a guitar. Sales guy says you’re going to need a capo, throws one in your case, and away you go. No thought. No real research done. Just you have a capo and life is good. If you actually consciously try to shop for a capo, there are literally hundreds. Maybe even thousands out there. If you type in guitar capo on Amazon, you’re going to get pages, and pages, of capos.
What I’ve done is I’ve narrowed it down to 6 based on popular Amazon reviews as well as my own personal experience with each of these capos. I think what you’ll find is that there’s 3 basic criteria that I look for. The first is functionality. Essentially how well does it do its job? The second is ergonomics. How easy is it to put on, take off, et cetera? Then third, it’s durability. Is it going to last?
Taking all of those things into account, I’d like to share with you my first capo on my list. That is the Kyser quick change capo. This capo is probably the most, dare I say, the most popular capo because in my opinion it’s probably the easiest to use. Now capos, we’re not talking rocket science here, but literally this is like a clamp. You just squeeze it, and it opens, and you put it on your guitar. I like to use my right hand to put this particular capo on. I’m going to place it on the second fret right here just so you guys can see what it looks like as it’s on the guitar here.
Let me tell you what I like about this particular capo. First of all, as I mentioned, it’s very, very easy to use. In terms of functionality, it does its job very, very well and pretty easily. I put it on in a matter of seconds. It’s easy to put on. It’s easy to take off.
Second is that it’s built like a tank. It’s built like an absolute tank. You can drop it, you can throw it around and it will continue to do its job well. In fact, what’s really nice about these clamping style capos is if you take it of and you don’t want to lose it, you can just put it right on your head stock. It’s convenient in that regard as well.
Here’s one of the things that I don’t necessarily love about this capo. I think it’s just a function of … It’s kind of this give take. In certain respects this capo is phenomenal. In other respects I wish it would do things better and one of those things is it doesn’t have any way to adjust tension meaning once you place it on … I’m just going to reposition it here. Once you place it on, it may knock your guitar out of tune because the clamping power’s actually pretty great on these capos. It’s a pretty hefty spring that’s in there. That’s one of the things that I don’t particularly love about this capo, but again, it’s the nature of the beast. It’s a give take kind of the thing.
The second thing is its size. While it is easy to use and part of its ease of use is related to the fact that the handle, or the clamp handle, is right there, that’s the same very thing I don’t like about it because it’s very large and as I’m playing it’s just visually distracting. I’m not trying to be nit picky, I think Kyser is, again, a fantastic capo, but these are 2 things I think that you should consider when looking at it. Again, when you’re shopping for a capo these thoughts don’t go through your mind so I just wanted to highlight those here.
My review, for ease of use and durability is the Kyser quick change capo. These usually run around $20-$30 depending on where you get it. You can click the link above. There’s current pricing. There’s a link that’ll take you to the current pricing on the Kyser quick change capo.
#5: Dunlop Trigger Capo Review
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Welcome to part two of a capo buyer’s guide. In part one we had a look at the Kyser Quick Change Capo which is a clamp style capo. It’s a little big but very durable and it does its job fairly well. Today we’re going to look at another clamp style capo and you might be thinking to yourself, “Gosh, how many capos are out there?” Literally there’s hundreds of capos out there and the reason I’m doing the six part series is because I wanted to share with you based on popular Amazon reviews and of course my personal experience with these capos. The six that I think you should know about and consider when buying a capo. Based on three different pieces of criteria. Functionality, ergonomics and durability.
Today what are we going to do is have a look at the Dunlop Trigger Capo. This is a little bit less expensive than the Kyser Quick Change Capo but it’s a similar style as I mentioned before. It’s a clamp style capo and what I like about this capo is it’s a little bit of a different shape than the Kyser capo. It’s one-handed operation and it is a clamp style as I mentioned and all you have to do is taking your left hand and squeeze it very much like a trigger, hence the name, and place it right there on whatever fret … I’m doing the second fret here. Voila you have it. It works like a charm. Easy to position, easy to move. All you have to do is do a light squeeze on that trigger at the back and away you go.
As with most clamps style capos you can actually pop it right on the head stock which is nice in case you’re prone to loosing things as I am very frequently. That’s the good stuff about this capo. Is there bad stuff about this capo? I wouldn’t say that there’s bad things but there’s things that it doesn’t do as well as some other capos out there. The first of which is the fact that because it’s a clamp style capo and there’s no tension adjustment it will likely pull your guitar strings out of tune.
This is just … Really, truly with capos it’s the nature of the beast but clamp style capos excentuate this problem a little bit more, again, because they lack of tension adjustment. The other thing that … The reason I picked this capo as well is because it’s a clamp style capo but it’s a different shape than the Kyser capo. It doesn’t have that big clamp right up top. It’s actually got this one around the back. Visually, for me, and again, not trying to be nit-picky here but visually for me it’s much more pleasing from audience end, and much easier to use with the left hand, the free hand while you’re playing.
It clamps down pretty darn hard as far as the tension it applies to the neck, causing some tuning issues. It’s durable as all get out. This is another one of those capos that you can [hawk 00:03:00] down the stairs, pick it up and it’ll work just fine. One of the things I would be wary of is the pads on the back. There’s two pads that are glued on on the back of the capo. The trigger piece, the part that rests on the back of your guitar neck and those can come off so I just want you to be wary of those. The last thing you want to do is fire up your capo, put it on your guitar and realize that that pad’s missing and that you have metal on wood. Not something you want to do. This isn’t common with this capo but it’s something I’ve seen happened. I just wanted to throw that in there if I’m commenting on its durability.
There you have it. That is the Dunlop Trigger Capo. Again, it’s a little bit less expensive than the Kyser Quick Change Capo, In fact, if you’re curious about the price, I think I got this for about 13 dollars but you can check for the current prices up abobe. I’ve included a link. Just another awesome clamp style capo.
#4: G7th Performance 2 Capo Review
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Continuing on our capo talk, here we are in part three of my capo buyers guide, and today we’re going to have a look at a very interesting- I’ll call it a crossover capo. It’s kind of a clamp style capo, but it has some tension adjustments. I’ll get to what it is in just a second, but first, the whole reason I’m doing this is because when you go to look for a capo, when you go to buy a capo online, it’s really dizzying how many options you’re going to run into. If you type in “capo” on Amazon, pages and pages of capos, so what I’ve done is I’ve narrowed it down to six capos, based on popular reviews on Amazon, as well as my own personal experience.
So I’ve got six that I think are ones that you need to know about, and definitely ones to consider when you’re out there shopping for a capo, and my rating system on this is, there’s three things I look for: functionality, ergonomics, which is basically how you put it on, and take it off, and then of course, durability, which is, is it going to last a long time?
Today we’re going to have a look at the G7th Performance 2 capo. This is a newer capo from G7th. Kind of the big brother- or rather I guess we’ll call it the little brother to the G7th Performance capo. This is the Performance 2, it’s a little bit of a sleeker design, it’s smaller, but still has wonderful easy one hand operation.
I want to show you how this particular capo works, so as far as its functionality, it’s really the best of both worlds. It’s the ease of a clamping style capo, as well as it has the tension adjustments that the previous two capos did not, the Kyser, and the Dunlop.
So to put this capo on, essentially you just open it up with your hands. With one hand, and my index finger along the longer part of the capo, I’ll just place it over the guitar, and then all that I’m going to do is pinch. Okay, just a pinching motion, and that’ll place the capo on for me.
Now one of the things I notice with this capo is that’s very easy, but I tend to be- we’ll call it marginally OCD, and I really want the capo to be on there nice and firmly, because if it’s not, especially with any capo with a tension adjusting mechanism, if it’s not on there firmly, I don’t know if you guys can hear that, but it has this kind of buzz. Almost like the capo is loose kind of a thing, so what I’ll do is, I’ll take my right hand, put along the front, and then just give it another squeeze to make sure it’s on nice and tight, and then of course that buzz will dissipate. As far as functionality, the G7th capo is really, really wonderful. You can use it with one hand, and again, if you’re an OCD guy like me, two hands I just prefer.
As far as its durability, it’s really incredible. In fact not only is the capo itself truly durable, in and out of gig bags, putting it on, taking it off, putting it on, taking it off as you do with capos, it will really stand the test of time, and in fact G7th offers a lifetime warranty, which is a pretty awesome thing for a capo. So if it wears out, you can contact them, and they’ll replace it. Again, with clamping style capos, if you don’t want to lose it, just pop it on your headstock, and then squeeze it, and it won’t go anywhere. Kind of a nice feature of this particular capo.
Its sleekness is something that I’m very much attracted to. Of the capos we looked at thus far, it probably is the smallest, and it doesn’t interfere with playing at all, either visually, or physically. Just a really awesome clamping style capo, and again, very, very easy to use.
This one is a little bit on … well it is, it’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, anywhere between $35 to $45. Make sure to check out the link above for accurate current pricing of it, but I think that extra money is very well worth it. I think this is a capo you should definitely consider. I think it’s a capo that really should be on your shopping list, because of its ease of use, its durability, and just its overall- I mean it looks awesome. Just aesthetically, it’s a cool looking capo.
There you have it, that is the G7th Performance 2 capo, and just another kind of … well, we’re here at this point where it’s kind of a crossover between a clamp style capo, and a tension adjusting capo, which we’re actually going to have a look at next.
#3: Paige Capo Review
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Today we’re going to review another capo. This is part 4 of my capo buyer’s guide and I’ll let you know, today’s got an extra special capo, one I particularly have a very large place in my heart for for a very specific reason which I’ll tell you about just here in a second. The reason I’m doing this is because there are a ridiculous amount of capo options out there and it’s tough when you’re deciding to buy one, what you should buy because technically, they all do the same job. Although they do the same job, the way they go about it is very different from capo to capo.
They all have their strengths, they all have their weaknesses so what I’ve done is I’ve taken these 6 most popular capos that I’ve found on Amazon based on reviews as well as capos that I’ve had just great experiences with and I’ve got these 6 capos that I want to share with you that should be on your shopping list or at least you should consider when looking for a capo. The capo we’re going to look at today is the Paige capo. This capo is truly a God sent in terms of the 3 pieces of criteria that I evaluate a capo on, durability and functionality and ergonomics.
This particular one really excels in all 3. The secret reason I like this capo is because it’s really hard to lose. It’s very difficult to lose and let me explain. This is a capo that actually stays on your guitar. The capos we looked at thus far, the G7th Performance 2 capo, the Dunlop Trigger capo and the Kyser capo, all were clamp-on style capos that you remove. You take them physically off a guitar. This one stays on the guitar, so let me show you how it works. What we’re going to do, is it has this little latch here. You kind of see that hopefully.
It has this little latch here and you’re going to open the capo up all the way. Meaning, the screw you’re going to just totally loosen that screw and you’re going to go ahead and put it behind the guitar, close this front part of the capo, almost like a door and then flip that latch forward. There you go. Now the capo is on your guitar, so here’s the beautiful thing. If you’re not using this capo, it stays right there, so technically, you can never forget your capo. This is one of the like the most terrifying nightmares as you show up to the open mic or to the gig and you left your capo sitting on the desk right next to where you practice your guitar.
With the Paige capo, you don’t have to worry about that because it’s literally on the guitar and it’s really easy to adjust. It’s a 2 hand adjustment. I would say it’s 2 hands anyway, so all you have to do is loosen the tension screw, slide it to the appropriate fret, hold it. I like it to hold it with my index and middle finger and then go ahead and close that tension screw on the back. That’s one of the other things I really like about this capo, is that you can adjust the tension.
Let’s say you really wrench down on it, which you don’t want to do by the way, but let’s say you over-tighten it and you play your guitar and things are just not in tune, it sounds really funky, you can loosen it just a little bit. You could play with its orientation much easier than you can with the other ones, especially in terms of tension adjusting. That’s the beautiful thing about the screw type capo, is that depending on your neck profile, depending on what fret your own, you can adjust the tension so that it doesn’t torque the guitar strings all that much. That’s the beautiful thing about the Paige capo.
I will say this, it does have some downfalls. In my opinion, it has few downfalls but it has a couple of downfalls. The first of which, because it is a tension adjusting style capo, there is a tendency to overdo it. If you continually overdo it time and time again, you can actually wear out the threads on the tension screw in the back. That’s not a good thing. Again, it takes time for that to happen but just be wary of how tight you’re actually closing the capo on the strings.
Second, and I’m actually going to remove the capo from the guitar for this. The rubber piece on this front part is kind of … You can see it here. This rubber piece, that part that actually contacts the strings, that can eventually develop little divots in it and it’s clamping power, you’ll notice some buzzing and things like that. That can actually wear out but the beautiful thing … I guess this is actually not a downfall, it’s actually a plus on this particular capo, is you can buy replacement sleeves for this piece of the capo. It’s actually a serviceable capo which is really, really nice.
One of the other downfalls. This is actually more of a warning. If you happen to have a guitar that has a volute on the back of the neck, meaning, the back of the neck up here has a little diamond piece. You’ll notice it on 28 series Martins and some other guitar makers I believe. Some of the Collings guitars have it but it’s called a volute. It’s for reinforcement of the head stock but it protrudes pretty far. If you’re trying to hook your Paige capo on … In fact, I’ll just do this backwards here for you. If you’re trying to hook your Paige capo on and you can’t get it up there, that volute going to be in the way.
Just take that into consideration. This is something that I’ve actually experienced. I bought a capo, it didn’t fit because of the volute on the neck of my guitar and I thought, “Well, that’s a bummer.” Just something to be wary. If you’ve a 28 series Martin or anything with a volute, make sure that the Paige capo is one that you kind of check off your list because it won’t stay up there very solidly and chances are that you won’t be able to even get it on the correct way. The manner in which the Paige really excels, that again because it is one of those capos that, it’s really hard to lose this bad boy.
Capos are a lot like sunglasses because you take them off, you place them somewhere, you leave and then pretty soon you’ve forgotten and lost your capo. You can’t do that with a Paige unless you change your strings. Be very, very careful. You want to put that capo back on after you’re done changing strings. There you have it. That is the wonderful Paige capo. Definitely one that I think you should consider. It ranges anywhere between $25 and $30 so I’ll say it’s a medium priced capo but you can check the link above.
#2: NS Lite Capo Review
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Today’s going to be another capo review, and the capo we’re going to look at today has a tension adjusting screw and is extremely light, it’s actually one of my favorite backup capo’s. I keep it in my case all the time, just on the rare chance that I actually forget my main capo. I’ll show you the capo here in just a second, the reason why I’m reviewing capo’s, this actually happens to be part five of six capo reviews, is because when you’re out there shopping for a capo there is a plethora of options. Everywhere you look someone has a different capo, and what I’ve done is I’ve gone on Amazon, looked at reviews, as well as taken some of my personal favorite capo’s and combined them into kind of the six capo’s that you need to know about when you’re considering a capo. I’ve kind of based that on some criteria regarding their functionality, ergonomics, how you take them on and off, and of course their durability.
These are capo’s that need to be on your shopping list essentially. Today’s capo is the NS Lite Capo by Planet Waves. This particular capo is a fantastic capo and light is the perfect descriptor for it. It’s a tiny capo, it’s very, very, very easy to use. In fact this capo, as I mentioned, is my backup capo. It’s in almost all my guitar cases, and one of the reason it’s in almost all of my guitar cases is not only because it’s an effective capo, but because it’s very inexpensive. I saw prices ranging anywhere from eight dollars, to fifteen dollars. If you’re curious on the current price go ahead and click the link above in the description, that will give you the current price of this particular capo.
The NS Lite Capo is very easy to use, I would consider it two hand operation. Essentially it has a screw right on the back here, you can kind of see it, that actually adjusts the tension, you can see it closing there, and opening there. What I’ll do is I’ll open it, I’ll go ahead and place it on the second fret here. Hold it in my left hand, use my right hand to kind of orient it. Then on the back I’ll just go ahead and screw down the screw so that it clamps just hard enough to make sure the strings aren’t buzzing. I got a little buzz there so what I’ll do is just clamp it a touch harder, and that’s gone away.
That’s the beauty of these tension adjusting capo’s is that if it happens to be buzzing for any reason … saying buzzing and reason back and forth is very difficult. If it happens to be buzzing for any reason you can just go ahead and readjust it, and usually it will clear up pretty quickly. This capo, as far as it’s functionality it’s very easy to use. As far as it’s durability, that’s where I feel this particular capo, I would give it kind of a C rating. Not saying it’s not durable because it is, but there’s things that I want you to watch out for.
The first of which, I’ll actually show you over here. The screw it doesn’t have a stop on it so you can actually back it out all the way on accident, and lose it. That’s not a good thing, you don’t want that. That’s just one of the things I want you to look out for. I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily a detriment to this particular capo, but it’s something that I want you to be aware of when you’re looking at it. The second thing, and this happened on one of mine, is this button actually popped off the stem of the screw. It’s just glued in there on the bottom, it was actually really easy to fix, I just used some superglue, reset it, and it was fine. The more that you tighten down on this particular screw, if you’re really torquing on it, that can happen. Just be aware of that.
I’ve also had an NS Lite Capo, actually the threads strip. Again, that’s a result of too much pressure, or just overuse. If you’ve had it for a couple years, chances are the threads could start to … you could cross thread it, the threads could wear out, it could essentially strip. Just a couple of things to be aware of with the NS Lite Capo, but overall I think this capo is very, very easy to use. Two handed operation, but super quick and easy to put on, super quick and easy to take off. It’s fairly durable, and it works fantastic in a pinch. The one thing that I don’t like about this capo is that you can’t really store it on your head stock. I guess you can if your head stock’s thick enough. This one isn’t really thick enough, it can kind of wobble off. Not really a detriment, but again, something to consider when you’re looking at the capo.
That is the Planet Waves NS Lite Capo. Again, I have one in almost every one of my guitar cases because I need a backup. It’s a great just in case capo, but if it happens to be your main capo as well, I think you’re in really good shape. Just watch out, don’t lose that screw.
My #1 Pick for Best Acoustic Guitar Capo: Shubb Deluxe
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Today’s the last and final installment of my Capo Buyer’s Guide. We’re looking at part 6 today, and today, you’re going to find out what my absolute favorite go-to capo is, one that I use for every single gig. I’m going to tell you what it is in just a second, I don’t think it’ll come as a surprise, but just in case, I like surprises, so if you want to be surprised, by all means, go ahead. The reason I’m doing these capo reviews is, you know, at first, it’s like, “Capo reviews? Well, how exciting can a capo be?” Well, actually, they’re really interesting.
In fact, there’s so many different kinds, it’s ridiculous at how many options there are, so what I want to do is narrow down all the options into six of my favorites, based on popular reviews on Amazon as well as just my personal experience, kind of showing the pros and cons of each capo and things to consider, things that you might not consider, when you’re buying it. I’ve based these capos, I’ve kind of taken into three areas, three criteria, that I kind of judge the capo on, and that is functionality, ergonomics, and durability, all things that you have to have for a capo to function well.
Today, we’re looking at my favorite, the Shubb Deluxe capo. This capo looks like somewhat of a contraption. It’s got all these swinging metal pieces, and in my opinion, it can be fairly intimidating, especially if you’ve never used it before, but it’s fairly easy to use, essentially works like this. There’s a tension adjusting screw on the back that really is nice to have, because you can adjust it to however thick your neck profile is, or however thin it is, and then as you place the … I’ll try to do this with my hand here …
As you place the capo down, it snaps into place, so it’s a really solid capo, and I think the thing that I like the most about this capo is that it is very solid. I think it offers very good tone, and I think that’s an ironic word to say with a capo, because you’re really not … The capo’s not generating tone, per se, because what the capo’s doing is just pressing the strings against the fret, but the Shubb Deluxe capo does so in such a solid way that I think it just provides the best tone, if that makes sense. Hopefully, that makes sense to everybody.
I go ahead and I put it on. Basically, I open up that swing handle right there, and I have adjusted the tension screw to the thickness of this particular neck. I place the capo on the desired fret, or, I guess, right behind the desired fret, and all that I do is push down on that back lever. Actually, that was a little bit too much, it’s pulling a little too tight, so what I’ll do is I’ll release the lever, and then I’ll adjust that screw, I’ll back it out just a little bit, and then place it down again. That’s much smoother. You don’t want to have to pound on it to get the swing handle down, you actually just want to, just a nice gentle pressure.
What I love about the Shubb Deluxe capo is that the standard Shubb capo used to have just a little rubber nub that was kind of just, it just rubbed against this piece, this clamping piece, but this has a wheel, so when it locks into place, it really locks solidly into place. There’s no issues with it moving at all, it’s very solid, it’s very sleek, it doesn’t interfere with playing at all, either visually or physically. The one thing that is a bummer is you can’t put it on your headstock. It just doesn’t, it ain’t going to work, because of the way it works. I would put this in the category of the capo that has … A tension-adjusting capo.
Let me go over some of the things that, I guess you would call them cons, the first of which is that it has a lot of moving parts, and if we know anything about, the more moving parts we have, the more things that could go wrong. Now, I will say this, that’s in theory, but in my experience with this capo, I literally have had this capo, this one, in my pocket for the last three or four years. It lives in my pocket, unless it’s on a guitar, and it is an extremely durable capo.
One of the other things I want you to watch out for is the rubber pad on the front, the part that actually clamps on the strings, that particular pad can develop divots in it right along where … I’m going to open this up … Where the strings come across it. If that’s the case, Shubb actually sells replacement pads, so that’s a wonderful thing, to have a capo that’s actually serviceable, because as far as durability goes, I think this is top-notch. I know I made a comment about the moving parts, but that was purely in theory. Again, I’ve used this time and time again, it’s probably been on and off guitars maybe even thousands of times, and it’s still kicking.
I love this capo, I think it offers wonderful tone, again, just because of the firmness with which it holds down the strings, and, of course, the adjustability. I have a 1935 single 0-17 Martin that has a very … The neck profile, the depth, is varied. At the nut, it’s thinner. As it gets towards the body, it tapers out pretty wide, and this capo is the best on that guitar, because I can adjust it via that tension screw, which is just such a nice feature. It really can kind of customize it to really fit your guitar.
I know I’ve sung this particular guitar capo’s praises, but there’s one more that I have to sing as well. I think as far as the range of capos discussed here in the Capo Buyer’s Guide, this particular capo is moderately priced. I would put it in the $20 to $25 range, but, of course, you can click the link above and check on current pricing. If it has changed it all, it’ll be in there. I just think it’s a stalwart, it’s a phenomenal capo that is extremely adjustable and just is … It’s just my favorite. I think it’s just a beautiful piece of engineering as well. So there you have it. That is the Shubb Deluxe acoustic guitar capo, my absolute favorite, and one that you should certainly check out.