5 best American made banjos

Most banjos are manufactured abroad these days because it’s the cheapest route for many companies. Sometimes these companies will also mislead consumers and simply assemble the banjo domestically despite having imported all the parts from third-party countries. It’s not a surprising practice since at the end of the day they’re all running businesses and are looking for profits. But luckily there are still some American made banjos available on the market today. We at Instrument Geek have done the research and have compiled this list of what we believe are the 5 best American made banjos.

american-made-banjo
  • Brand: Deering
  • Model: Goodtime Special
  • Strings: 5
  • Type: Closed-back
american-made-banjo
  • Brand: Deering
  • Model: Goodtime
  • Strings: 5
  • Type: Open-back
american-made-banjo
  • Brand: Deering
  • Model: Midnight Special
  • Strings: 5
  • Type: Closed-back
american-made-banjo
  • Brand: Deering
  • Model: Sierra
  • Strings: 5
  • Type: Closed-back
american-made-banjo
  • Brand: Deering
  • Model: Vega Senator
  • Strings: 5
  • Type: Open-back


Deering Banjos

The Deering Banjo Company is the most significant brand still producing American made banjos. The company has been at it since 1975 and makes some of our favorite banjos.

Gibson Banjos

Gibson has sadly stopped manufacturing banjos after the flooding of their Nashville base in 2010. Until then, Gibson produced a large number of iconic banjos. Their USA made banjos were a common sight to see on stage and have become quite famous and loved by many banjo enthusiasts. Gibson’s decision to completely halt production of their banjos has left a lot of loyal fans with conflicting emotions.

Are USA made banjos better?

Banjos made in the USA aren’t necessarily better than other banjos. But chances are that if a banjo was made in the USA then its production was overseen by a skilled luthier rather than an individual who is strictly a businessman. We see too many instruments of poor quality being mass produced and being pushed as a generic product. With American made banjos we can be somewhat reassured right off the bat that the instrument will be of an acceptable quality. After all, the USA is where the contemporary banjo stemmed from and gained popularity.

There are still good banjos being made outside of the USA. It just takes a lot more effort to find them. We’ve previously released some of our general research on banjos and have selected what we think is the best banjo under 1000.