The best capos to buy in 2023: 10 great options for changing keys on the fly
If the capo fits – then this list has done its job.
If you need to adjust what key you’re playing in on the fly, there’s not really any better way than the trusty capo. But there are a lot of options out there, all with different benefits – some are good for a variety of fretboard radii, others offer fine-tunable tension and so on. So let’s explore your top options, and why you might grab one over the other.
The best capos to buy in 2023, at a glance:
- Fender Laurel Capo
- Kyser Quick Change Capo
- Ernie Ball Axis Capo
- Dunlop Trigger Capo
- Shubb C1
- D’Addario NS Capo
- G7th Performance 3 Art
- Dunlop Pivot Capo
- D’Addario NS Reflex
- Kyser Drop D Capo
Fender Laurel Capo
Available as both an electric and acoustic variant, this capo has either upward (electric) or downward (acoustic) spring-action levers, meaning quick and easy application, ideal for live environments.
Today’s best deals on the Fender Laurel Capo
Kyser Quick Change Capo
This made-in-USA spring-action capo features great build quality, as well as a wide range of finishes. Need some maple to match (or contrast) a fretboard? How about some sunburst to complement a Les Paul?
There’s also a low-tension variant if you have very low action and don’t want to impact intonation too much.
Today’s best deals on the Kyser Quick Change Capo
Ernie Ball Axis Capo
This dual-radius capo is great if you need a single capo to fit multiple guitars, each with different fretboard radii, as turning it around lets it fit both flat and round fretboards. There’s also an ergonomic handle design, which is easily adjusted with just one hand.
Today’s best deals on the Ernie Ball Axis Capo
Dunlop Trigger Capo
A classic design, this sturdy capo comes in either curved, flat or classical varieties. It’s made from aircraft-grade aluminium, and is available in either black, silver or gold.
Today’s best deals on the Dunlop Trigger Capo
If you’re worried that spring action capos might go a-wandering on you, the Shubb C1 is an ideal option. Featuring an easily-adjusted tension screw, you can be assured that it won’t be accidentally knocked off as you jog past a mic stand.
Today’s best deals on the Shubb C1
D’Addario NS Capo
This unique capo, designed in collaboration with Ned Steinberger, does have a tension screw but promises simpler, one-handed adjustment for easily-tweaked intonation. It also has a very sleek design, and will blend into the look of any guitar you use it with.
Today’s best deals on the D’Addario NS Capo
G7th Performance 3 Art
While it’s of the priciest capos out there, it does come loaded with some interesting technical aspects. The ART in the name stands for Adaptive Radius Technology, which helps keep downward tension from the top bar even by adjusting to your fretboard’s radius. There’s aslo a heavily-padded bottom bar which, aside from assisting in the unique ‘squeeze to attach, squeeze to release’ system, will protect your guitar’s neck.
Today’s best deals on the G7th Performance 3 Art
Dunlop Pivot Capo
Similary to D’Addario’s standard NS Capo, Dunlop’s pivot features a screw to attach it to the neck and adjust tension. Not only does this help you move it about quicker, it also allows for intonation to be fine-tuned by not over-tensioning the strings behind your chosen fret.
Today’s best deals on the Dunlop Pivot Capo
D’Addario NS Reflex
The NS Reflex combines the best of both a screw- and a spring-action capo, with levers to release as well an adjustable thumb screw to fine-tune tension. On top of that, there’s an in-built holder for your guitar picks and lightweight aluminium construction so the large design doesn’t create any neck-balance problems.
Today’s best deals on the D’Addario NS Reflex
Kyser Drop D Capo
This unique design has a notch that allows your low-E string to ring free, letting you experiment with pseudo-dropped tunings on the fly.