19 Best Guitar Capos [2020 Reviews]
Posted in Gear | Last Updated on May 1, 2020
A capo can be a small but effective piece of equipment to enhance your playing. It’s raising the pitch of your instrument by clamping strings on a fret or on a fingerboard of a fretless instrument. There are three main types of capos which can be used on a bass based on clamping mechanism – a spring capo, a screw capo and a band capo made of an elastic band. Materials can vary from wood to metal. Most of them are versatile and can fit different types of guitars and basses.
This is one of the most versatile capos. With rubber on both sides, it can fit almost every string instrument – from standard four-string bass to a seven-string monster. Its weight is also pretty small because of aircraft grade zinc alloy body frame. Clamping mechanism consists of a micrometer screw and a stainless steel spring.
This means that the capo is securely fixed on a neck and grants no intonation changes. But it also can’t allow you to change the capoing fret in a moment. Combination of zinc-alloy body and stainless steel mechanism grants that capo years of use.
The Mugig Guitar Capo has all the features you need from the capo. It’s lightweight and made of zinc alloy with soft silicone pads. Also, the body was treated with electroplating process to prevent it from scratches which may appear during usage. It has screw mechanism with a skull-shaped machine head.
The rest of the body represents finger bones so this capo can also be used as a stylish element on your instrument. If you can call your music “evil” or just like this style, this capo can be the best choice for you.
Nordic Essentials Universal
The Nordic Essentials Universal Capo is a classic spring capo. Aircraft grade aluminum body makes it extremely light and durable. Spring mechanism provides the opportunity to change the capoing fret in a moment using only one hand. As every metal capo, it can last for years without losing the quality of intonation.
It fits almost every type of electric guitars and basses except the models with extremely wide necks. The package includes a carry pouch.
Who said that capo should look like a standard clamp? The Imelod Capo is made of aircraft grade zinc alloy and has all the features of the classic spring capo. It can be re-positioned in a few seconds with one hand without losing intonation and muting strings. Soft padding on the second part of the clamp prevents damage of the neck finish.
This capo is slightly heavier than other capos in this review, but it’s the only capo that looks like a shark. It also comes with a carry pouch.
The Shubb S1 is a screw capo that utilizes features of both spring and screw capos. It can be re-positioned with one hand without losing intonation, fret buzzing and muting strings. The roller between the screw and the clamp decreases the force you need to apply on the clamp to fix it on the desired position.
But it makes the capo slightly heavier. The materials are also slightly different. The capo is made of stainless steel with the exception of the roller made of rubber and silicone pads.
Planet Waves Tri-Action
The Planet Waves Tri-Action is a combination of a screw and spring capo and utilizes features of both classes. Micrometric screw can be used as a controller of the force applied to a fretboard and the design of classic spring capo makes it operable with only one hand. Also, D’Addario engineers made some changes in its geometry to reduce the force needed to reposition.
The body of the capo is made of aircraft grade aluminum so it’s extremely lightweight and does not dramatically change the weight balance of the instrument. It also has an integrated pick holder which can be used to store additional picks or when you switch to fingerstyle.
G7th G7C Performance
The G7th G7C Performance is the most elegant and small capo you can find. Yes, it’s a spring capo. The spring is hidden inside its aluminum body. You can detach it in one single move and hide it behind the headstock of your instrument when it’s not in use. It is possible thanks to the patented locking mechanism with only one button.
The silicone paddings on both sides of the clamp protect the neck and fretboard from scratches. The capo is available in black, gold and silver finish. Maybe it’s not the cheapest solution but it’s definitely the most elegant.
The Dunlop 11C is a variation of a band capo. It can be easily adjusted to your neck width thanks to its unique design. The nickel plate with toggles provides full control of the tension applied to strings. Also, it’s one of the lightest capos you can find.
D'Addario Accessories - Planet Waves
The Planet Waves NS Capo is a simple screw capo. It is a combination of aircraft grade aluminum body, stainless steel micrometer screw with a spring and silicone paddings. The main advantage of this capo is its simplicity. It can be easily repositioned with one hand but not as quick as its spring counterparts.
On the other hand, the screw mechanism is more reliable than spring and this capo can be used for a much longer time. It provides enough force to keep the instrument buzz-free and with perfect intonation without any muted strings.
The SUNYIN Adjustable pressure capo is a spring capo with a screw to adjust the tension. This capo provides full control on strings and intonation. If you want to keep is as low as possible to prevent frets from buzzing or use the full force of the spring without changing your intonation this capo is for you. It is made of aluminum so it wouldn’t affect the weight balance of your instrument.
Also, it has an integrated pick holder. The other unique feature of this capo is a built-in nail lifter so you don’t need to have a separate tool to restring your acoustic bass. It comes with a leather carry pouch and a guitar pick.
The HQzon Capo is a classic spring capo. Its frame made of kirsite (ZAMAC) makes it extremely light and durable. Spring mechanism provides the opportunity to change the capoing fret in a moment using only one hand. As every metal capo, it can last for years without losing quality of intonation.
It also has a built-in nail lifter for easier restringing of acoustic basses and guitars. The thing that differs this capo from others is its design. How many metal capos with wood grain finish have you seen before?
The Guitarx X2 capo can be the best solution if you’re in search of elegant and strict modern capo. Though it comes close to the highest price range, it’s still an affordable spring capo with its strengths and weaknesses. The main feature except its appearance is spring with internal memory.
So the more you use this capo on your bass the more suitable for this particular neck it becomes. And of course, it provides the protection from scratches thanks to silicone pads on both sides of the clamp.
If you’re in search for the budget capo, take a look at Donner DC-2. Though this spring capo doesn’t give you a feeling of a premium tool, it is still a high-quality tool. It has a lightweight frame made of zinc alloy, silicone pads, and a stainless steel spring so you can be sure that this capo will help you in your music life at least for several years.
Another capo from D’Addario in our list. This capo combines NS Artist series capo with NS Micro Tuner. The NS Artist capo is almost similar to Tri-Action series. It has a micrometric screw that can be used as a controller of the force applied to a fretboard, and the design of classic spring capo makes it operable with only one hand. The frame is made of aircraft grade aluminum so it’s extremely lightweight and does not dramatically change the weight balance of the instrument.
The geometry of the frame is almost similar to the geometry of its elder brother and reduces the force applied to capo to detach it from the neck. The main difference is a built-in detachable chromatic tuner. This tuner is similar to NS series tuners and has a tri-color reversible LCD screen and the ability to change the frequency of A4 note between 430 and 449 Hz. The capo comes with a headstock mount for the tuner.
Here comes another classic looking model. We present you the Wingo Guitar Capo. As its screw brother, the Wingo Pro, it fits almost every type of string instruments with the rounded fretboard. The main feature of this capo is its spring. It’s not a regular spiral, so you should not worry that something can stick between the turns and ruin your performance or practice.
As many other capos it is made of aircraft grade zinc alloy with silicone rubber pads so it can last for years without a single scratch on your bass. It comes with a free 0.71 mm pick.
This is the most unique capo in our list. The SpiderCapo allows the player to fret strings separately. The XXL version of SpiderCapo fits four-, five- and six-string basses. It has eight separate fingers (if you don’t need all of them just remove unused) which fret strings - one finger per string. With this design you can use your own unique tunings without re-tuning the instrument.
Just imagine the possibilities of using several SpiderCapo’s on one instrument simultaneously. The other advantage of this capo is the “fingertips”. Instead of silicone rubber there is a concave plastic end. So the string returns back to its original position after bending or vibrato instead of sticking in the highest position.
The “evil twin” of SpiderCapo. The Glider by Greg Bennett is the simplest capo the world has ever seen. Two steel shafts, two springs, two rubber rollers and nothing more. It won’t make any scratches on your bass’ finish. Just because it doesn’t have anything to make them.
Almost every spring capo can be repositioned by one hand. Except for the Glider. It can be repositioned with only one finger. And like every band capo the Glider can be stored behind the nut when it’s not in use. Also, it’s the only capo that allows you to make a perfect glissando while repositioning.
How can you make your typical spring capo different? You can change the type of spring or you can add a screw to control tension. Or you can just make it very ergonomic. So the Dunlop 87N may seem odd but when it comes to using the distance between arms makes it very easy to fret. Other features are standard for this type of capos.
The metal frame makes it extremely lightweight, smaller spring also reduces the mass. Rubber pads protect the neck finish from scratches and strings from breaking under the capo. Rubber pads on arms make handling of this tool even easier. So if you’re not tight on a budget the Dunlop 87N can be a very good investment.
D’Addario was not the first to combine the capo with the tuner. The Meideal Tcapo20 has a built-in undetachable tuner. As capo, this is standard spring capo. Zink alloy frame provides many years of usage, the steel spring gives enough tension to eliminate all the fret-buzzing. Two rubber pads don’t mute the strings and protect the neck from scratches. As tuner, the Tcapo20 has a big LCD screen, the possibility to change the A4 frequency and mode – guitar, bass or chromatic.
As we can see from the list above, most of capos provide similar possibilities and have similar features and only a few can offer you something special. You can find the desired one within any price range. But the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive ones in one category lies in the materials and design.
So mostly it’s all up to you, your playing style and your budget. If you want to get as much clearer intonation as possible, choose screw capo or spider. If you want to change the capo position fast, take a look at spring capos. Never be afraid of experiments and try as many as possible. One day you’ll find the best suitable capo for you.