The Best Guitar Capos of 2016

There are so many capos to choose from on the market today. Read some reviews of our favorites and see what we liked and didn’t like about them. Our intention is to make your buying decision easier.

In case you aren’t certain what a capo is: The capo is among the mightiest of tools.  A capo is used to raise the pitch of all the strings it lays across. For instance,

Dunlop Trigger Caposplaying a “G” chord without a capo will give you a “G” chord. If you put a capo across the entire 2nd fret and play that same “G” chord shape, you now have moved everything up two frets and you’re playing an “A” chord, but using the “G” fingering. This is useful for two reasons. Sometimes playing the “G” chord shape is easier. The other reason is because the top note being played is the tonic note (or the root note) instead of the fifth note in the scale, like when using an “A” shape. You can hear the difference. There are times when having the root note on top will make the most sense, especially if the melody being sung is singing the root as well. I’m sorry to have gone into a bit of music theory. My point being, the capo is a great tool!

For more on understanding the history of the capo and how it’s made, follow this article here.

Here are some of the best capos available in 2016:

I have personally used all five of these capos over the last ten years. Each one has it’s pro’s and con’s. There are links to purchase any of the capos you see here. My hope is to take some of the guess work out of buying your music gear. This should give you more time to practice with your guitar!


G7th G7C-P2BLK Performance 2 Guitar CapoG7th G7C Capo

PRO’s:

  • Well made, sturdy
  • Unique, slim design
  • Will clamp to top of guitar when not in play
  • Well reviewed online and used by professionals

CON’s:

  • Priced higher than all others in this list

Available here: Black ($30.50) | Gold ($40.85) | Silver ($34.41)


Dunlop 83CB Acoustic Trigger Capo, CurvedDunlop Trigger Capo

PRO’s:

  • Industry standard
  • Trigger connection type (makes for quick adjustments)
  • Will clamp to top of guitar when not in play
  • Well reviewed online
  • Low price
  • Several colors to choose from

CON’s:

  • Spring inside capo will wear out over time.
  • Not slim, covers a lot of neck/fret space

Available here: Black ($11.86) | Gold ($12.74) | Nickel ($14.97) | Maple ($18.09) | Smoked Chrome ($13.71)


Kyser KG6B 6 String CapoKyser Capo

PRO’s:

  • Also industry standard
  • Butterfly clip design
  • Will clamp to top of guitar when not in play
  • Well reviewed online
  • Middle of the road price
  • Tons of colors to choose from

CON’s:

  • Side arm used to clip on guitar can get snagged on things/people
  • Not slim, covers a lot of neck/fret space

Available here: Black ($14.95) | Blue ($14.95) | Camo ($14.93) | Gold ($14.00) | Pink ($14.95) | Red ($13.37) | Silver ($14.00) | White ($14.95) | Freedom ($14.00)


Shubb GC-30 Deluxe Acoustic Guitar CapoSchubb Capo

PRO’s:

  • Ultra slim design
  • Stainless steel strong design
  • Perfect 5 star review online
  • Middle of the road price

CON’s:

  • Will not clamp on top of guitar. Must put in pocket while on stage
  • One color option

Available here: Stainless Steel ($15.29)


Glider GL-1 Guitar CapoGlider Capo

PRO’s:

  • Rolling design
  • Moves quickly between frets
  • Well reviewed online
  • Rolls up past the nut of guitar when not performing

CON’s:

  • Higher priced option
  • One color option

Available here: Stainless Steel ($24.95)


Here are a few more capos that made our list of favorites, but were not reviewed:

Planet Waves NS Tri-Action Capo, Black

Planet Waves NS Tri-Action Capo, Black

Kyser Short-Cut Capo

Kyser Short-Cut Capo

Planet Waves NS Capo, Silver

Planet Waves NS Capo, Silver

Portable Guitar String Tuning Capo Flexi-capo FA-20

Portable Guitar String Tuning Capo Flexi-capo FA-20

History of the Guitar Capo:

The term capo is actually Italian. It came from two Italian words meaning head fret or capo tasto. The idea was simple: lay a device across all six strings to raise the pitch of the instrument without having to barre the fret with the hand. The first capo was developed in the 1700’s.

James Ashborn applied for the first capo patent in 1850. By 1900 Sears was selling the capo as a part of its catalog. It wasn’t until 1965 that James Dunlop began to develop the modern capo. This was the first device to work on a lever system. The device was made of metal and difficult to use.

Herbert Bauerfeird, who was from Germany patented the first plastic capo in 1973. The design was simple. A plastic roller that locked across the guitar frets and then connected using a piece of fabric.

In 1978 R. Schubb invented the first side-clamp capo, which is most commonly used today. Trigger capos were invented closely to Schubb’s in 1979. In 1986 the glider capo came into existence.

Today millions of capos are being used throughout the world. New ways of making them sleeker and more affordable come out each year. If you do not own a capo, you should. They’ve been around for a while and aren’t just for beginner guitarists.

For a more history and information on the capo visit this website here.


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