Lanikai LU-21T Tenor Ukulele Review

If you’re looking for a solid ukulele at an affordable price, then the Lanikai LU-21T tenor ukulele is worth taking a look at. With 18 frets, die-cast tuners, and a rosewood fingerboard and bridge, it is beautifully crafted of Eastern Mahogany, also known as Nato wood. The Lanikai LU-21T offers a sweet, mellow tone with a fantastic mid-range for a very rich, full sound that projects better than the typical soprano ukulele. While it’s a great instrument for beginners, this tenor uke is sure to please players with more experience, too. Let’s take a closer look.

Take A Quick Look At The Lanikai LU-21T Tenor Ukulele Specifications:


There are lots of things to like about the Lanikai LU-21T Tenor ukulele. To begin with, it’s fairly inexpensive without being cheaply made. This nice little instrument typically retails for just a little more than $100 USD, and it gets consistently good ratings from people who own it.

  • Bang for your back: It’s a good quality instrument for the price, offering an attractive appearance and solid craftsmanship. If you’re on a budget or aren’t sure that the ukulele is the right instrument for you, you can test it out with confidence, but without making too much of an investment.
  • It’s the right size: The larger tenor size offers a fantastic sound, and the instrument itself is easy to handle, even for beginners with larger hands. Overall, it’s more comfortable to hold than a soprano or concert ukulele simply because of its size.
  • Solid StringsThis ukulele is pre-strung with Aquila strings. Although they take some time to break in, players who exercise a bit of patience find that they really like the sound after the strings have stretched.
  • Suitable for all agesKids and teens love playing this ukulele. A number of customers report purchasing it for their children and/or grandchildren, who almost always enjoy learning to play and then showing off their newfound skills.
  • Fair Price: The Lanikai LU-21T isn’t so expensive that you’ll be afraid to take it along on fun outings! Play it in a canoe, on the beach, up in a tree, or next to the campfire. Bring an extra set of strings and don’t be afraid of the occasional bump. People really like the fact that this uke sounds good while offering durability and portability. It’s recommended that you spring for a gig bag or a hard-sided case to make traveling a bit easier and eliminate the potential for destruction.
  • Easy to play:This instrument is easy to learn and simple to play. Pick it up, tune it, and then start playing a song!
  • The Aqulia nylgut strings are easy on your fingers so you don’t have to use a pick or finger picks if you don’t want to. You can visit a local luthier for different strings if you like; for example, some people opt to replace the high G with a low G to achieve a different sound.
  • Growing popularity: The Lanikai LU-21T is popular with people who already play the ukulele or who play acoustic guitar; they find that it is very easy to transition to this instrument and they like the cheerful, melodious sound.
  • Chord char: This ukulele usually comes with a little instruction book that includes a useful chord chart to help new players get started.


As with all mass-produced ukuleles, the Lanikai LU-21T Tenor ukulele does come with some negative points to be aware of. Probably the most prominent is that like most other tenor ukes, it’s strung with nylon strings that need to be broken in and stretched. The process takes a while, and until the strings settle in, you’ll find yourself having to re-tune the instrument every 10 minutes or so. It’s considered to be a natural part of the breaking in process, but it can seem a little bit discouraging especially if you’re a brand new player. There are a few other cons to be aware of.

  • You’re likely to experience a little bit of fret buzz especially at first, and particularly if you are an inexperienced player. The issue should resolve itself over time and improve as you fine-tune your technique.
  • Some players have reported that the fret board edges are sharp, while others report no such issues. This is a problem that’s fairly easy to fix but it’s one worth being aware of.
  • The C string may take a bit longer to stretch than the others.
  • This is a mass-produced ukulele, not a custom instrument. While the mahogany laminate is attractive on a basic level, it’s not made of expensive koa wood, nor are there any fancy, distinguishing features. It has been described as “plain but classic looking.” Additionally, it doesn’t sound the same as an expensive, custom instrument. The wood used in construction makes a huge difference in tone; if you are an experienced player and you want to take your uke onstage, then you may want to consider spending more for a custom ukulele made with curly koa or another fine wood.
  • Some customers report finding physical defects on their ukuleles and send them back for replacements. This again is something that can happen with mass-produced instruments that are designed for beginning and intermediate players; the company does a good job with returns and most clients who receive replacements are happy with them.

Final Thoughts

While the Lanikai LU-21T tenor ukulele might not be ideal for professional players, it’s a fantastic starter instrument that sounds good enough to keep a beginner interested in learning more, and once you’ve learned to play (and gotten the strings worked out!) you’ll find that it offers a great sound with just a little bit of fret buzz and outstanding portability. This ukulele is inexpensive, well-built, and solid enough to bring along, wherever life happens to take you. It’s sure to bring a smile to your face and lift your spirits each time you play it, and with just a little bit of TLC, this Lanikai ukulele is likely to bring you many years of pleasure. Overall, the Lanikai LU-21T is a decent tenor ukulele at a surprisingly good price. It isn’t fancy, but it sounds sweet and mellow, holds up well to frequent use, and is both fun and comfortable to play.