What follows is a description of 23 current manufacturers and their range of products, in alphabetical order. Included are links to their Websites, where you can obtain fuller information about each capo.
I also give links to eight major US online musical retailers where these capos may be purchased at the best prices. Without doubt, the lowest price can be found among these eight competitors, plus their guarantees and very low shipping charges.
All models with the BEST prices from among these eight competing retailers are given below. When you find a deal you like, just a click on their colorful icon will take you directly to the retailer's Website.
These prices are searched and updated every 60 days. ALL the prices from these retailers are displayed on our List page. Not all models are sold by these retailers. If you seek a particular model not linked here, you might try Amazon, eBay or Reverb.com, sites that channel a multitude of smaller retailers, with offerings and prices changing daily. Or just avoid the hassle and go straight to the manufacturer's Website and buy it for the suggested retail price (SRP).
Pictures of all these capos are displayed in our Gallery page, so be sure to have a look there while deciding.
US Patents on most of these capo designs have expired, so legal Asian imitations flourish, especially the simple springed clamp and trigger varieties. Some of these Asian copies are good, some not. None offer reasonable guarantees. You might luckily get a decent no-name capo for cheap, but I recommend buying from American manufacturers who have decades of experience and a solid reputation.
I love local music stores, and I have learned so much there! Often these are Mom & Pop businesses that will welcome you and let you try out the popular capo types that they have. Sometimes the seeming higher price you pay in your local shop will be very near what you would pay to the online retailer (who usually charges shipping cost, don't forget!). And it's so much more convenient, educational, and friendly to shop locally! So please support your local music stores when possible. You can surely make many local musical connections there! Alas, your local music store will not have the the full variety of latest and greatest capos that you will find described below.
Rolling and Sliding Capos
This whole new class of capos is considered separately here, almost a different animal ! The speed and ease of use of these relatively newer capo designs make them superior to the established fixed capos. When changing keys in the middle of a song, these speedy capos are much to be prefered over fixed capos. All three of these capos can be rolled or slid back past the nut over the pegboard when not in use.
For electric guitar, this rolling capo is hand-made in Spain and claims to be the fastest capo in the world. Uniquely, one can pull or push this capo up and down the fretboard without altering ones fretting-hand configuration. Using lots of slippery Teflon, it moves almost as rapidly as you might an ordinary manual bar-chord, yet leaves your index and three other fingers totally free to form chords, hence its name “6to Dedo” or sixth finger. The geometry assures that the bar is always parallel to the frets, but requires selecting either the right or left-handed models.
Available at Reverb.com
Manufacturer : rollingcapo.com
Rubber rollers parallel above and below the neck, the Glider is a simple but effective rolling capo from the luthier Greg Bennett. To accommodate the curved radius of the electric guitar's fretboard, the top roller is slimmer at the center. Good to prevent buzzing, but this makes the ends of the roller closer to the fret, which along with the possibility of angular misplacement, makes the manual technique of quick and accurate placement a skill to be mastered. Take care when attaching and detaching it --- the exposed metal elements may nick your guitar.
Best price at zZounds.com.
Like the simple old Russell, we have a rigid barre tied on with an elastic element, which here is a very stiff coil spring inside a plastic tube. The plastic over the barre and the spring appears to be hard but flexible polyurethane --- very durable, but not quite zero friction as claimed. Very hard to attach, you might try a cable-tie looped through the attachment ring to pull it on. It is extremely tight, and may perhaps wear your frets and the back of your guitar's neck with continual use. As with the old Russell, there is minimal obstruction to the fretting hand. Inexpensive, very fast modulations, and no learning curve. Available at their Website.
Fixed capos are tried and true, and have earned many true believers. Although slower to reposition than the rolling or sliding capos described above, when carefully placed the good ones produce the cleanest tone.
Now a giant of electronic guitar-effects pedals, Jim Dunlop started as a capo pioneer in the 1970's, and still makes the broadest variety of capos. Dunlop's Trigger, a capo archetype for nearly a half-century, is a torsion-spring clamp, grabbed under the neck pistol-style (hence the name), with easy single-hand positioning on the guitar.
The Victor model (and its Johnny Cash edition) are simple C-clamps tightened with a dialed screw. Very effective for quite a while, but over time the soft brass screw will deform and be stripped.
The Picker's Pal resembles a Hamilton, but quickly tightens down with a clasp behind the neck. Dunlop also produces vintage-style Russell and toggle capos. All but the Trigger are fairly slow to reposition.
Trigger (electric, but currently with bonus guitar strings) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Trigger (acoustic curved) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Trigger (acoustic flat) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Trigger (classical guitar) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Bill Russell Heavy
Bill Russell for flat fretboard Best price is at West Music.
Bill Russell Double-Heavy
Dunlop Elastic Heavy (a Russell type) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Russell Curved Best price is at Sam Ash.
Picker's Pal Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Victor Best price is at Music & Arts.
Johnny Cash (for curved) Best price at Guitar Center.
Johnny Cash (for flat)
Deluxe Professional (toggle type) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Advanced (toggle type) Best price at zZounds.com.
Professional (toggle type) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Elliott Capos produces a line of Hamilton-style capos, very nicely finished, and at very high prices. Available at their Website from $135 to $235.
The story of Leo Fender's company has become legend among guitarists, and the Strat' and Telecaster have become archetypes of the electric guitar. The brand name is solid gold, and is recently applied to a line of quality capos. The Fender Smart model is a ratchetted-down C-clamp. The stylish Dragon is dialed down with a screw. The Phoenix is a one-hand operated torsion-spring clamp capo. The Fender/Kyser is likewise --- it's the Kyser Quick-Change with a Fender logo.
Smart Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Smart Fingerstyle Best price is at Guitar Center.
Smart Classical/12-String Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Phoenix Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Fender / Kyser Quick Change
Britain's recent entry into the field is already a winner. Fine engineering and manufacture gives the fast Performance II capo the superior functionality that may merit its high price. They make three models. The top-of-the-line Performance II is a ratchet-down C-clamp with a quick-release button. It achieves quite precise pressure on the strings in an instant, as the artist desires, with a bit of practise.
The Newport is dialed down with a screw. The Nashville resembles the Kyser, but uses a coil-spring. Some luxury real-gold finishes and personalization are available, but are not included in our list.
Performance II (for steel stringed guitars) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Performance II (for classical) Best price is at West Music.
Performance 405 (for steel stringed guitars) Best price is at Guitar Center
Newport (for steel stringed guitars) Best price is at Guitar Center
Newport (for classical) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Newport (for 12-string) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Newport (Light for 6-string) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Newport (3 string partial) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Newport (5 string partial) Best price is at Guitar Center
Nashville (for steel stringed guitars) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Nashville (for classical) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Their only torsion-spring clamp model is similar to the Kyser, but is designed to be less of an impediment to the fretting hand by offsetting the clamp mechanism a bit toward the nut.
Grover GP750 single-hand clamp Best price is at Sam Ash.
Established over a century ago in Ohio, the Hamilton company still produces this capo, along with a variety of music stands. It's an accurate, reliable, if slow, design. Their newer clamped variety is much faster to attach, when preset. Both these capos have exposed metal surfaces and corners that may damage the surface of your guitar's neck if not used with care. Both varieties are available at Hamilton's store at Amazon, but not at the company's Website or anywhere else, apparently.
KB19A Fast Action (electric guitar) Best price is at Amazon .
Standard (electric guitar) Best price is at Amazon.
Reid is an expert on partial tuning, and he sells the Liberty Flip models of C-clamp partial capos at $24.95 at his Website, which also has worthwhile general info about partial tunings.
John Pearse Accessories produces a line of Hamilton-style capos for 6-string, 12-string, or classical guitars. Available at their Website from $29.95 to $59.95.
These German capos are available in continental Europe, but just one model is to be found in the USA.
K&M 14530 (classical guitar)
Starting decades ago with the ever-popular Quick Change torsion-spring model, the Kyser single-hand grab design has become an archetype capo. Kyser has variations to suit most types of guitars, as well as some partial-tunings. Often imitated, so avoid the disappointing cheap no-name copies. The Pro-Am is their economy capo, with a screw adjustment.
Quick Change (electric guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Quick Change (acoustic guitar) Best price is at Sam Ash.
Quick Change (classical guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Quick Change (12 string guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Short Cut (3 string partial) Best price is at Guitar Center.
Drop D Quick Change (partial) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Pro-Am (electric guitar) Best price is at Guitar Center
Pro-Am (classical) Best price is at West Music.
A simple behind-the-neck clamp capo, but uniquely it has an electronic tuning device that detects the frequency from your guitar's neck. Very handy !
Intellitouch CT-1 Best price is at Music & Arts.
They produce a behind-the-neck clamp, like the Dunlop Trigger capo, but it has a coil-spring instead of a torsion-spring, and silicone over the metal parts to protect your guitar.
The G100 (for electric and acoustic guitars) Best price is at zZounds.
The G300 (classical) Best price is at zZounds.
Ortega is a German company that produces a trigger-style capo with varieties for curved finger-boards and flat classical.
Paige has further developed the Hamilton style, and improved with silicone coating on the nasty steel edges that formerly scarred guitar necks. As noted previously, this screw-down design is very slow to change positions, but once in place gives excellent tone. Their Clik variety allows faster changes. Both models are available for different types of guitar.
Original (for 6-string guitars) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Original (for 6-string wide guitars)
Original (for 12 string guitars) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Original Extreme Bender
Clik (for 6-string guitars)
Clik (for 12 string guitars)
Clik (for classical guitars)
This well-known name in amplifiers has also recently come into the capo field with a capo that is styled after the Dunlop trigger. I have not used it, but it actually looks like a decent design.
Peavey capo for electric guitar Best price is at zZounds.
D'Addario is well known for fine guitar strings. They also produce a variety of guitar-related products, and one of their subsidiaries is PlanetWaves capos. The NS Models (initialed for designer Ned Steinberger) are spring clamps, but all include a dial-screw for fine-tuning the compression. The ordinary NS is a C-clamp, while the NS Artist is an adjustable improvement of the Kyser type, and the NS Tri-Action is a similarly improved trigger-grip. Partial-tuning varieties of the NS Artist are available. Their Ratchet model is a modernistic plastic loop with a ratchet attachment similar to a tie-clasp.
NS (for steel stringed guitars) Best price is at zZounds.
NS Artist (for steel stringed guitars) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
NS Artist (for classical) Best price is at Guitar Center.
NS Artist DADGAD (3 string partial) Best price is at Music & Arts.
NS Artist Drop-Tune (5 string partial) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
NS Classical Best price is at Guitar Center
NS Tri-Action (electric guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
NS Drop Tune (5 string partial) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
NS Lite (for electric guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
NS Lite (for classical guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
NS Aluminum Screw Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Ratchet Best price is at Musician's Friend.
A revolutionary idea, to use just geometry to assure good attachment of this capo to the guitar's neck. No elastics or springs to slacken or wear out. As a bonus, the pressure of the barre upon the fretboard can be precisely adjusted with a dial-screw. Careful positioning is important and, as one might expect, the best screw adjustment at fret 1 is not best at fret 8, so readjust the screw as needed. The soft rubbers that contact the strings will need replacement with time, but these rubber sleeves are available from Shubb at low cost. A very popular capo, for good reason.
The Shubb comes in 5 basic models: Standard (polished nickel plated), Original (brass), Deluxe (with roller mechanism), Capo Noir (black), Lite (aluminum), and brushed nickel plated. Recently the roller mechanism has been added to all models except the Original. Each of these models has variations for steel string, classical, 12 string, or vintage 7¼ inch radius guitars.
Standard (for steel string guitar) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Standard (for nylon string guitar) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Standard (12 string)
Standard (for vintage 7¼ inch radius)
Original (for steel string guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Original (for nylon string guitar) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Original (for 12 string) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
Original (for vintage 7¼ inch radius ) Best price is at Music123
Deluxe (for steel string guitar) Best price Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Deluxe (for nylon string guitar)
Deluxe (for 12-string guitar)
Capo Noir (for steel string guitar) Best price is at Guitar Center
Capo Noir (for nylon string guitar)
Capo Noir (for 12-string guitar)
Capo Noir (for vintage 7¼ inch radius) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Lite (for steel string guitar) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Lite (for nylon string guitar) Best price is at Guitar Center
Lite (for 12 string) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Lite (for 7¼ inch radius) Best price is at Music & Arts.
Brushed nickel (for steel string) Best price is at Sam Ash.
Brushed nickel (for nylon string) Best price is at Sam Ash.
Brushed nickel (for 12-string) Best price is at Musician's Friend.
From Creative Tunings, and as implied by the name, the SpiderCapo has lots of legs that stick out, and each may hold down a string, or not, as you wish. So it is a programmable partial capo. The best use for this is quickly creating new tunings near the nut. If you are exploring new tunings for guitar, this is an essential! Great for creative artists in their studios, but not too practical to manipulate during a performance.
Regular (for 6-string guitars) Best price is at Guitar Center.
XXL (for 7 or 8 string guitars) Best price is at Woodwinds & Brasswinds.
Their large variety of musical instruments and products is sold almost entirely through a very wide network of independent local music shops. Four types of guitar capos at moderate prices: above-the-neck clamp, and toggle, each with varieties for either curved or flat fretboards. Visit their Website to find a store near you.
Thalia is a new startup from California, where looking beautiful is of utmost importance. It's just a single compact torsion-spring C-clamp capo in twenty ravishing costumes. The capo is quite functional, although a bit hard to squeeze on and off the guitar. Only one of the breathtaking veneers is shown here in our Gallery. As yet it's only available from their Website and Amazon for $60 to $80, depending on your choice of colors and veneers. This capo can be temporarily modified for 6 partial tunings using their $10 kit.
Have a look at photos of all these capos at our Gallery page.