Will's List of Banjo Makers, Builders & Manufacturers

This is a list of builders of 5-string banjos, both resonator and open back models. Also see guitar builders.

At its peak, this list had 71 companies. As of May 2018, there are 48 (or 47 if Gibson is ignored). 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.

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 arrow to visit the maker's Web site.

  • American Made Banjo Co.Link Icon

    Kel Kroydon banjos.

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

    Made in USA

  • Ballard BanjersLink Icon

    Peghead

    A second maker from the UK emerges!

    Leon Ballard
    www.ballardbanjers.com

    Made in UK

  • Bart Reiter BanjosLink Icon

    Bart Reiter
    9777 Missaukee Lane
    Haslett, MI USA 48840
    +1 (517) 339-3505
    www.reiterbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Bishline BanjosLink Icon

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

    Made in USA

  • Bob Flesher's Custom BanjosLink Icon

    Elaborate, ornate custom banjos.

    Moreno Valley, CA USA 92552
    +1 (951) 486-1456
    www.flesherbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Brooks BanjosLink Icon

    Peghead

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

    Brooks Masten
    Portland, OR USA
    +1 (503) 568-3044
    www.brooksbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Buckeye BanjosLink Icon

    Peghead

    Four year waiting list, ordering suspended. Change in focus due in 2017.

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

    Made in USA

  • Capek Bluegrass & Jazz InstrumentsLink Icon

    Rostislav ?apek
    Zubat?ho 9, 150 00
    PRAGUE, 5 Czech Republic
    +420-603-868120
    www.capekinstruments.com

    Made in Czech Republic

  • CB GuitarsLink Icon

    Peghead

    Unusual among small luthiers for building both banjos and guitars.

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

    Made in USA

  • Cedar Creek LuthiersLink Icon

    Peghead

    Custom open back banjos.

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

    Made in USA

  • Cedar Mountain BanjosLink Icon

    Peghead

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

    Tim Gardner
    Mills River, NC USA
    +1 (828) 226-2286
    www.cedarmtnbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Chuck LeeLink Icon

    Peghead

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

    Made in USA

  • Clareen BanjosLink Icon

    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, Galway IRL
    +353 91 796156
    www.banjo.ie

    Made in Ireland

  • Cloverlick BanjosLink Icon

    Peghead

    Oldtime openback banjos.

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

    Made in USA

  • Deanocraft Custom BanjosLink Icon

    Unique custom banjos from a luthier just getting started.

    Dean O. Robinson
    Chamblee, GA USA
    +1 (770) 723-1475
    www.deanocraft.com

    Made in USA

  • DeeringLink Icon

    Peghead

    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
    www.deeringbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Desert RoseLink Icon

    Scott also heads the Recording King custom shop in Japan.

    Scott Zimmerman
    Hirata- Nishi 1-2-16 1F
    Matsumoto, Nagano Japan 399-0015
    +81-090-9358-2965
    www.desertrosebanjo.com

    Made in Japan

  • DP HopkinsLink Icon

    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
    dphopkinsbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • EpiphoneLink Icon

    A division of Gibson. The MB-250, the only reasonable banjo in the line, is no longer in production. What's left is low-end junk; look elsewhere. 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. I'm not sure where these are made now.

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

    Made in Japan?

  • George BanjosLink Icon

    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
    www.georgebanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Gibson BanjosLink Icon

    What is arguably the most famous banjo brand in the world is no longer manufactured following Nashville's 2010 flood. Astonishing.

    Editorial Note: At some point I will remove this listing, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet. How can the brand that defined the instrument just vanish overnight? It's not that there aren't truly excellent alternatives - there are less expensive instruments that are better than the run-of-the-mill Gibsons made in 2012. But what of the tradition, the history? Sad. Tragic.

    309 Plus Park Boulevard
    Nashville, TN USA 37217
    +1 (800) 444-2766
    www2.gibson.com

    Made in USA

  • Gold StarLink Icon

    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
    www.sagamusic.com

    Made in China

  • Gold ToneLink Icon

    Peghead

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

    3656 Hopkins Avenue
    Titusville, FL USA 32780
    +1 (321) 264-1970
    www.goldtone.com

    Made in USA, parts from Korea

  • Grundy BanjosLink Icon

    Moved from Australia to Missouri!

    Laurie Grundy
    Eminence, MS USA
    +1 (417) 839-5951
    www.grundybanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • HatfieldLink Icon

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

    Made in USA

  • Heartland Banjo & Guitar Co.Link Icon

    Rob Smith
    152 Akers Trail
    Gallatin, TN USA 37066
    +1 (615) 461-7686
    www.heartlandbanjo.com

    Made in USA

  • Hendricks BanjosLink Icon

    Allen & Monte Hendricks
    PO Box 1197
    Placerville, CA USA 95726
    www.hendricksbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • HuberLink Icon

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

    Made in USA

  • Huss and DaltonLink Icon

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

    Made in USA

  • J. Romero BanjosLink Icon

    Peghead

    Lovely banjos, beautifully crafted.

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

    Made in Canada

  • LouzeeLink Icon

    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
    www.louzee.com

    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 MonroeLink Icon

    Peghead

    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
    www.morganmonroe.com

    Made in China

  • Neat Custom BanjosLink Icon

    Legendary neck maker.

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

    Made in USA

  • NechvilleLink Icon

    Unique. An entirely different approach to pot construction.

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

    Made in USA

  • OmeLink Icon

    By the inimitable Chuck Ogsbury.

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

    Made in USA

  • Phillips BanjosLink Icon

    Scott Phillips
    www.phillipsbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • Pisgah Banjo CompanyLink Icon

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

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

    Made in USA

  • Recording KingLink Icon

    A division of TML, The Music Link.

    www.recordingking.com

    Made in China

  • Saga Musical InstrumentsLink Icon

    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
    www.sagamusic.com

    Made in China

  • Seeders InstrumentsLink Icon

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

    William Seeders Mosheim
    23 Goodwood Lane, PO Box 442
    Dorset, VT USA 5251
    802-829-7317
    www.seedersinstruments.com

    Made in USA

  • Sloan BanjosLink Icon

    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
    www.sloanbanjos.com

    Made in USA

  • StealthLink Icon

    Unique.

    Scott Vestal
    Greenbrier, TN USA 37073
    +1 (615) 429-6835
    www.stealthbanjo.com

    Made in USA

  • Stelling Banjo WorksLink Icon

    Peghead

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

    Made in USA

  • Sullivan Banjo CompanyLink Icon

    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
    www.sullivanbanjo.com

    Made in USA

  • TranjoLink Icon

    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
    www.tranjo.com

    Made in USA

  • Washburn GuitarsLink Icon

    A division of U.S. Music.

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

  • WildwoodLink Icon

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

    Made in USA

  • Wyatt FawleyLink Icon

    The Banjo Loft
    Greensboro, PA USA
    +1 (724) 943-4581
    sites.google.com

    Made in USA

Many thanks to the builders above who have graciously provided headstock images.

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 twelve (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 less value in the listing.

I will maintain a listing as long as:

  • The builder's Web site exists.
  • There is some kind of legacy Web site for the instruments if the builder has retired or ceased manufacturing.
  • I deem an exception to my rules worthy.

No compensation or gratuity is accepted for inclusion on this list.

Please use my contact form to get in touch.