Whether you’re looking for your first ever mandolin, or you need a gift for a musically gifted friend, these are 5 of the best mandolins out there. There are a couple features to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new mandolin. You want to make sure the body, neck, and components are made out of quality wood and metals.

Cheap components will cause your mandolin to warp and become unreliable. We’ve kept that in mind during our review process and only searched for instruments of a higher quality. That means custom wood, rose wood, maple wood, ebony, only the finest designs and traditional finishes were chosen.

It’s also important to note that mandolins come in different styles called, A-style, F-style and so on. These styles simply indicate the look of the instrument. A-style will give you a more modern looking instrument, and F-style will look like something out of the renaissance. Most every style of mandolin is beautiful so in the end the choice is yours to make.

That being said, let’s dive right Music Store Central’s 5 best mandolins for the money. This list is curated specifically for value, and play-ability with the intermediate to beginner musician in mind.

What to Look for in Mandolins For The Money:

  • Quality of wood: Not all mandolins are made equally, so you’ll want to choose a mandolin that’s constructed from quality wood so that your instrument will stand the test of time.
  • Play-ability: This goes along with quality of wood, but you’ll want to make sure that the action of your mandolin it set at a comfortable level. Warped wood will cause your mandolin to become unplayable because the strings will rest too high off of the neck. While you’re browsing, keep in mind your budget and how much quality you can afford.
  • Price: You have to set your own budget, keeping in mind the quality of mandolin you can afford. All of the mandolins on our list are constructed from high quality wood, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing a low quality instrument. Just figure out your budget, and shop from there.


Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst


Best Rogue RM Mandolins For The Money


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The Rogue RM-100A A-Style Mandolin Sunburst uses a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard with a 12th fret neck joint. The frets are nickel plated for a professional touch on this affordable instrument. If you’re a beginner, the price point of $59.99 will be exactly what you’re looking for. The Rogue RM-100A Mandolin has 365 positive customer reviews, meaning you can’t go wrong at this price and quality.

The tone is bright with just enough bark, the neck is constructed for easy play-ability, and the bridge is adjustable. It’s perfect for playing bluegrass and several other styles of music. The case is sold separately but because you’re saving so much on the instrument, buying a case to go along with your mandolin should still be affordable.

What Users Are Saying:

  • Only $60
  • Love the rosewood throughout
  • Case is sold separately


Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin, Dark Violin Sunburst


Best Ibanez M510DVS Mandolins For The Money

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The Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin, Dark Violin Sunburst features chrome hardware and the classic pearl dot inlay found on many stringed instruments. With over 31 positive customer reviews and a price point of $149.99 this is the perfect choice for someone looking for a mandolin that’s going to last. As you progress on the mandolin the Ibanez M510DVS Mandolin will be able to keep it up with you.

The sound quality of this particular mandolin will be enough to impress intermediate players and beginners alike, all at a price that won’t make you regret your purchase. This mandolin is one of the best for the cost. If you’re picking up a new mandolin for a new hobby, this is the one.

What Users Are Saying:

  • Price is $150 but amazing quality
  • Love the dark sunburst design
  • Superior sound quality to other mandolins


Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Rocky Top F-Style Mandolin


Best Morgan Monroe Mandolin For The Money


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The Morgan Monroe Mandolin is made in the classic F style, and is built with an adjustable truss rod so the neck can be setup to your personal preference. The fretboard is an extended rosewood and the mandolin features a black pickguard with nickel silver frets. At just $159.95 and with over 14 positive customer reviews, this mandolin is an obvious choice for any beginner or intermediate player.

The style alone of the Morgan Monroe RT-FM1 Rocky Top F-Style Mandolin is a big selling point. This mandolin looks wholly unique to today’s modern stringed instruments, and that’s what’s exceptional about it. The Morgan Monroe uses bass wood throughout, a common staple of wood musical instruments in this price range. Users have it called it beautiful and a great value.

What Users Are Saying:

  • Only $159
  • Love the wholly unique look
  • Rosewood finger board feels great


Washburn Package Program M3EK F Mandolin Pack, Tobacco Sunburst


Best Washburn Mandolin For The Money


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Washburn is known for their affordable electric guitar series, but this mandolin is no exception. The Washburn M3EK F Mandolin Pack in Tobacco Sunburst is a beautiful and exceptional mandolin. At $319.90 with over 15 positive customer reviews, this mandolin is aimed at intermediate players who know what they want, and Washburn delivers.

The mandolin features an F style body, pickups with volume controls, and a gig bag is included for free. At 25 pounds, this mandolin is slightly heavier than some of the other options, but this is due to the electronic hardware contained inside. Users have said that this mandolin features fine play-ability, a good tone, and overall it looks very well made for a modest price. Other users have said that it’s perfect for the price, especially if you’re looking for an entry level mandolin that will last.

What Users Are Saying:

  • Beautiful design
  • Little more expensive than others, but worth every penny because it’s an electric mandolin
  • Sounds great even through a guitar amp


Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin with Deluxe Case – Sunburst

Best Kentucky KM-150 Mandolin For The Money

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The Kentucky KM-150 Standard A-model Mandolin is perfect for intermediate to novice players. The mandolin features solid carved Sitka spruce to give you the best possible clean tone and bright articulation. The maple back and sides give the instrument an added punch to make your mandolin playing stand out.

Finally, the fingerboard is crafted from East Indian rosewood giving you a unique tone and buttery smooth playing. The Kentucky KM-150 Standard A is known for its particular wood selection and immaculate construction. The sunburst finish gives you a classic look that’s subtle, but still creative. At a price that’s under $500 and includes a deluxe case, this mandolin gives you all of the benefits of a pro level mandolin, without the high cost.

The hand selected woods mean exemplary tone, dependability, and perfect intonation all the time.

What Users Are Saying:

  • Beautiful instrument with case included
  • Buttery and unique tone
  • Hand selected woods for exemplary tone



Whether you’re browsing for your first ever mandolin, or you’re looking for a backup mandolin for traveling, there’s no better place to look than here. These 5 particular mandolins are some of the best available, and have been hand selected to take some of the guess work away from shopping so that you get a quality instrument every time you buy. We know that buying an instrument can be a huge commitment of both your time and money, and that’s why we’re so passionate about finding the best.