Will's List of Banjo Makers, Builders & Manufacturers

This is a list of builders of 5-string banjos, both Bluegrass (5-string resonator) and Traditional (open back) models. These builders may make other types as well. Inclusion on the list is entirely at Will's discretion but no compensation or gratuity is required or accepted.

On June 19, 2022, I finally removed Gibson from the list. Call me a sap; it hurt.

Want to get on this list? Have a problem with this list? Find an error?

Click the bar to view more details about the maker. Click the blue globe to visit the maker's Web site.

  • American Made Banjo Co.

    Kel Kroydon banjos.

    P.O. Box 8190
    North Port, FL USA 34290
    +1 (339) 219-3047

    Made in USA

  • Ballard Banjers


    Leon Ballard

    Made in UK

  • Bishline Banjos

    Rob Bishline
    1739 South Sheridan Rd.
    Tulsa, OK USA 74112
    +1 (918) 551-6419

    Made in USA

  • Bob Flesher's Custom Banjos

    Elaborate, ornate custom banjos.

    Moreno Valley, CA USA 92552
    +1 (951) 486-1456

    Made in USA

  • Brooks Banjos


    Custom open back 5-string banjos for traditional old-time music.

    Brooks Masten
    Portland, OR USA
    +1 (503) 568-3044

    Made in USA

  • Buckeye Banjos


    The Custom Banjo order list is currently closed for the foreseeable future while Buckeye works through its backlog of orders. Check the site for the first Standard model, the B100.

    Greg Galbreath
    P.O. Box 132
    Eggleston, VA USA 24086
    +1 (540) 230-0085

    Made in USA

  • Capek Bluegrass & Jazz Instruments

    Rostislav ?apek
    Zubatého 9, 150 00
    PRAGUE, 5 Czech Republic

    Made in Czech Republic

  • CB Guitars


    Unusual among small luthiers for building both banjos and guitars.

    Chris Bozung
    7151 New Hope Road
    Fairview, TN USA
    +1 (615) 799-9217

    Made in USA

  • Cedar Creek Luthiers


    Custom open back banjos.

    Mike Dawson, Luthier
    18124 Bull Rapids Road
    Spencerville, IN USA 46788
    +1 (260) 657-5486

    Made in USA

  • Cedar Mountain Banjos


    Founded by Lo Gordon, now in the hands of his son.

    Tim Gardner
    Mills River, NC USA
    +1 (828) 226-2286

    Made in USA

  • Chuck Lee


    Chuck Lee Banjo Company, Inc.
    112 Silverwood Drive
    Ovilla, TX USA 75154
    +1 (972) 617-5576

    Made in USA

  • Clareen Banjos

    As might be expected from the location, the majority of the business is in 4-string banjos. Some 5-strings are made each year.

    Tom & Fintan Cussen
    Clarinbridge, Co. Galway IRL H91 Yp28
    +353 91 796156

    Made in Ireland

  • Cloverlick Banjos


    Oldtime openback banjos.

    Jeffrey P. Kramer
    249 South Kane Street
    Burlington, WI USA 53105
    +1 (262) 492-9883

    Made in USA

  • Deanocraft Custom Banjos

    Dean O. Robinson
    Bryson City, SC USA

    Made in USA

  • Deering


    Home of Tenbrooks, Vega, and the ubiquitous Goodtime models. An impressive list of artists.

    3733 Kenora Drive
    Spring Valley, CA USA 91977
    +1 (619) 464-8252

    Made in USA

  • Desert Rose

    Scott also heads the Recording King custom shop in Japan. The Desert Rose website is no longer reachable.

    Scott Zimmerman
    Hirata- Nishi 1-2-16 1F
    Matsumoto, Nagano Japan 399-0015

    Made in Japan

  • DP Hopkins

    Two brands, DP Hopkins and Louzee, from the same builders.

    DP Hopkins, Inc.
    3563 Highway 231 North
    Shelbyville, TN USA 37160
    +1 (931) 580-5742

    Made in USA

  • Epiphone

    A division of Gibson. No banjos currently in production, a sad condition for a past great name in instruments. I owned an Epiphone long-neck in the '60s and it was an excellent banjo.

    309 Plus Park Boulevard
    Nashville, TN USA 37217
    +1 (800) 444-2766

    Made in Japan?

  • George Banjos

    Handcrafted, custom banjos for over 30 years. Christian has been with Tommy since 2007 and has another shop in Memphis.

    Tommy George and Christian Stanfield
    301 Church Street
    Somerville, TN USA 38068
    +1 (901) 517-5867

    Made in USA

  • Gold Star

    Solid banjos from the company that gave us the legendary Gold Stars of the '70s & '80s.

    Saga Musical Instruments
    137 Utah Avenue
    South San Francisco, CA USA 94080
    +1 (650) 588-5558

    Made in China

  • Gold Tone


    One of the most comprehensive lines of banjos of all types from any company.

    3656 Hopkins Avenue
    Titusville, FL USA 32780
    +1 (800) 826-5482

    Made in USA, parts from Korea

  • Grundy Banjos

    Moved from Australia to Missouri!

    Laurie Grundy
    Eminence, MS USA
    +1 (417) 839-5951

    Made in USA

  • Hatfield

    Arthur Hatfield
    791 Burton Ridge Road
    Glasgow, KY USA 42141
    +1 (270) 646-5219

    Made in USA

  • Hendricks Banjos

    Allen & Monte Hendricks
    PO Box 1197
    Pollock Pines, CA USA 95726

    Made in USA

  • Hickler Banjos

    Hickler Banjos is a custom shop specializing in reproduction necks and rim tone research. Saving the world one banjo at a time!

    Mark Hickler
    1026 W. 6th Place
    Mesa, AZ USA 85201

    Made in USA

  • Hoyt Banjos

    Open back banjos and other folk instruments built in Orwell, NY.

    Zachary Hoyt
    136 Wart Road
    Lacona, NY USA 13083

    Made in USA

  • Huber

    118 M Mid Town Court
    Hendersonville, TN USA 37075
    +1 (615) 264-4959

    Made in USA

  • Huss and Dalton

    420 Bridge Street
    Staunton, VA USA 24401
    +1 (540) 887-2313

    Made in USA

  • J. Romero Banjos


    Lovely banjos, beautifully crafted.

    Box 124
    Horsefly, BC CAN V0L 1L0
    +1 (250) 620-0592

    Made in Canada

  • LeVan Banjos


    Openback and bluegrass banjos, entirely hand made; Standard “New Vintage” and custom.

    In February, 2024, Ken LeVan passed away.

    Ken LeVan
    Shunk, PA USA
    +1 (570) 924-4080

    Made in USA

  • Louzee

    Two brands, DP Hopkins and Louzee, from the same builders.

    DP Hopkins, Inc.
    3563 Highway 231 North
    Shelbyville, TN USA 37160
    +1 (931) 580-5742

    Made in USA

  • McKinley

    I have absolutely no information for this brand at all other than having seen several McKinley banjos, which impressed me. Know anything?

    Made in USA

  • Morgan Monroe


    Also see the SHS online store at www.shop-shs.com and the SHS main site at www.shsint.net.

    SHS International
    1922 West Banta Road
    Indianapolis, IN USA 46217
    +1 (317) 780-0454

    Made in China

  • Neat Custom Banjos

    Legendary neck maker.

    Frank Neat
    84 Womack Street
    Russell Springs, KY USA 42642
    +1 (270) 866-4515

    Made in USA

  • Nechville

    Unique. An entirely different approach to pot construction.

    9700 Humboldt Avenue South
    Bloomington, MN USA 55431
    +1 (747) 222-6567

    Made in USA

  • Ome

    By the inimitable Chuck Ogsbury.

    5680 Valmont Road
    Boulder, CO USA 80301
    +1 (303) 449-0041

    Made in USA

  • Phillips Banjos

    Scott Phillips

    Made in USA

  • Pisgah Banjo Company

    Open-back banjos, hand-made in the Appalachian mountains with native hardwoods.

    Patrick Heavner & Topher Stephens
    Asheville, NC USA
    (828) 768-3488

    Made in USA

  • Prucha Bluegrass Banjos

    Jaroslav Prucha
    Prague CZ
    +420 241 760 704

    Made in Czech Republic

  • Quail Creek Banjos


    A lifelong guitarist, tinkerer and learner, I became interested in building open-back banjos while learning clawhammer-style banjo.

    Lindsay Lewellen
    Charlotte, NC USA
    +1 (303) 324-6732

    Made in USA

  • Recording King

    A division of TML, The Music Link.


    Made in China

  • Rickard Banjos

    The one-armed banjo maker. Open-back models, plus an interesting resophonic model. Home of the Rickard "Cyclone" 10:1 tuners.

    Bill Rickard
    245 Industrial Pkwy S.
    Aurora, ON CAN L4G 3V5
    (905) 727-8686

    Made in Canada

  • Saga Musical Instruments

    A comprehensive lineup including Gold Star, Flinthill, Saga and Rover models. No direct sales; through dealers only. Don't buy the DIY banjo kits; you'll never get satisfaction if something is wrong.

    137 Utah Avenue
    South San Francisco, CA USA 94080
    +1 (650) 588-5558

    Made in China

  • Seeders Instruments

    Mostly open-back models. Began building full time in 2014.

    William Seeders Mosheim
    23 Goodwood Lane, PO Box 442
    Dorset, VT USA 5251

    Made in USA

  • Sloan Banjos

    Formerly J. A. Sloan & Son. Founded in 1959 by John Sloan, continued by Peter Sloan, and in 2012 acquired by the Allisons.

    Philip Allison
    League City, TX USA 77573

    Made in USA

  • Stealth


    Scott Vestal
    Greenbrier, TN USA 37073
    +1 (615) 429-6835

    Made in USA

  • Stelling Banjo Works


    7258 Banjo Lane
    Afton, VA USA 22920
    +1 (800) 5-STRING

    Made in USA

  • Stone Banjo Company


    Custom, affordable open-back banjos.

    Steve Gerritsen
    133 Marion Drive
    McMurray, PA USA 15317
    (412) 303-8461

    Made in USA

  • Sullivan Banjo Company

    From the Sullivans of First Quality Music fame.

    However, I'm not sure what's going on with the business, as the site seems static since 2012.

    Louisville, KY USA

    Made in USA

  • Sylvan Banjos

    Fine, traditional, open-back banjos

    Danny Moloney
    183 Cloverdale Dr.
    Glasgow, KY USA 42141

    Made in USA

  • Tranjo

    The ultimate travel banjo by Sam Farris. Unique, clever, a must-see. Gold Tone has licensed one model.

    Farris Travel Banjo Company
    409 Benton Lane
    Franklin, TN USA
    +1 (615) 456-5486

    Made in USA

  • Vance Banjos

    Custom, old-time banjos.

    Colin J. Vance
    PO Box 89
    Blue Lake, CA USA 95525
    +1 (707) 845-9524

    Made in USA

  • Washburn Guitars

    A division of U.S. Music.

    1000 Corporate Grove Drive
    Buffalo Grove, IL USA 60089
    +1 (800) 877-6863

  • Wildwood

    56771 Lunar Drive
    Bend, OR USA 97707
    +1 (541) 593-0253

    Made in USA

  • Wyatt Fawley

    The Banjo Loft
    Greensboro, PA USA
    +1 (724) 943-4581

    Made in USA

At its peak, this list had 79 companies. As of June 2022, there are 56. This is surely a disturbing trend. Many of the defunct listings were for old-time, open-back banjos and most of these were from one-man shops, so perhaps it means that competition in this segment was severe and the loss of companies represents a thinning of the herd.

If you know of any builders not on this list, please let me know.

The images used in this list have been provided by their respective builders and are the copyrighted property of those builders. The images may have been edited by me for placement or size.

section divider

How to Get On This List

The following are my criteria for inclusion in this list.

  • The banjos must be available for sale in the United States.
  • The builder must make and sell at least 12 banjos per year or have a history of having done so.
  • The builder must have a Web site. Folks come here for research purposes and without a site, there is little value in the listing.
  • The builder must provide me with a contact email address. The address can be kept private if desired, or the builder can provide one public and one private address.

I reserve the right to remove a listing without notice if the maker's Web site goes offline or I am unable to get in touch with a builder within a reasonable amount of time.

No compensation or gratuity is accepted for inclusion on this list. Inclusion is at my sole discretion.

Please use my contact form to get in touch.