A guitar capo is a must-have for any guitarist as it enables one to play different chords in different positions. A capo is a clamp-like device that is fastened over the strings of a guitar. Capos are used to raise the tuning of guitars by a selected amount and changing their open pitch. As such, a capo is one of the most useful accessories a guitarist can own.
The market is, however, saturated with lots of capos from different manufacturers and it can be difficult choosing the best guitar capo. Still, if you are looking to buy a guitar capo, it’s only good that you don’t go in blind. What does this mean? If you are still undecided about which capo is right for you, we have trawled the market on your behalf and bring you some of the best capos that most guitarists swear by.
1. GUITARX X3 – The Original Guitar Capo
The original guitar capo, Guitarx X3, happens to be one of the most highly-rated and popular capos found in the market today. And all, for a good reason.
This capo is designed from a lightweight metal – the aircraft grade zinc alloy and has a polished finish that makes it have a sleek look.
It gives a superb performance that ensures great intonation at all frets thanks to the high-quality silicone pad holding and the memory steel spring. This means that you never have concerns of falling out of tune.
Being the original capo, it is quite easy to move especially when you need to change between frets and is a good choice for your Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo, Electric, and Acoustic guitars as well as Folk guitars.
Some users say it’s too heavy and tends to clamp down a little too hard.
2. Shubb 12-String Guitar Capo
Shubb capos are greatly loved as Shubb was one of the innovators in the capo industry. In fact, their capos are well-known among the first c-clamp capos that achieved the usability levels found in trigger style capos.
One of the greatest features that make the Shrubb 12 – String guitar capo a good buy is the variable tension mechanism. This mechanism helps lower any possibility of you needing to re-tune your guitar when using it. In addition, its style has been adopted widely thanks to its reliability and simplicity.
However, with this design, you need to be careful not to scratch the finish of the guitar’s neck when using this capo.
Among its drawbacks is that it requires the use of two hands because of its design which makes it difficult to move mid-set when compared to other trigger style capos.
3. Kyser Quick-Change Capo for 12-String Guitars
Kyser capos tend to be everywhere thanks to their affordability and the fact that they can easily be found anywhere.
One thing that makes the Kyser capos stand out is their ease of use – a great quality that most guitarists will look for in a capo – and how much of a simple design they have. This particular Kyser device most definitely fits the bill.
You can easily use this capo with just one hand, and when you don’t need it, you can clamp or clip it on your headstock. This gives you a great advantage especially if you remove or place your capo several times throughout your practice session or performance. This Kyser capo is also ideal in applying even and firm pressure across your guitar’s strings.
The Kyser capo is easy to use and excellent and is a common accessory that most guitar players of all levels use.
The real drawback in this Kyser capo is that the tension can’t be adjusted which means that some users may find that it’s too firm especially if the strings of your guitar are lighter.
4. D’Addario Planet Waves NS Guitar Capo
The D’Addario Planet Waves NS guitar capo is a c—clamp tension style capo that has been designed for use on guitars that have curved fretboards.
It’s quite easy to fasten on your guitar as you will need to slide it to the neck and then tighten the mechanism. Should you need to remove it, all you will need to do is loosen the thumbscrew.
This D’Addario Planet Waves NS capo lets you adjust the tension – unlike the Kyser capo reviewed above – it uses on the neck which means you don’t have to re-tune it when in use.
One of the disadvantages of using this capo is that it doesn’t have a quick-release mechanism. This means that you will take longer when removing this capo than you would with one that has a quick-release mechanism or a trigger-style capo.
5. G7th 6-String Performance 2 Silver Capo
The G7th 6-String Performance 2 capo is essentially the most intuitive capo that we have on our list.
If you need to tighten this capo, all you need to do is grip it and squeeze it. This trait eliminates the need to fidget with it so as to get a good tone. Releasing the capo is also easy as you will just have to push it against the release mechanism.
The two features above enable you to operate the G7th 6-String Performance 2 capo single-handedly. It also comes in three different variations – 6-string guitar, 7.25 inches Vintage radius and classical guitar. As such, it’s important that you choose the right model for your guitar when making a purchase.
With a lifetime warranty it means should it fail, you can replace it for free.
It is expensive compared to other capos, and there are reports from users that it doesn’t have enough tension when used on certain guitars.
As mentioned, the market is full of different types of capos from different brands. When buying one, remember to consider the type of capo. There are currently three main types of capos – trigger/spring-loaded, partial and c-clamp/variable tension. Each capo has its advantages and disadvantages so ensure that you research on each type of capo before making a purchase.