A different material capo like metal, plastic or wood will not change how a guitar sounds. However, metal capos tend to be heavier, more durable and slightly more damaging if used for long. Whereas wooden capos are lighter, look great but not as durable.
In this article, I compared different categories of capos based on several criteria like price, durability, weight, aesthetics and damage. However, please note that this comparison mainly relies on my personal experience from using various types of capos.
I will go into detail on the following topics
- Does it matter what capo you use?
- Metal vs plastic vs wood capo
- Is metal capo better?
- Is a capo worth it?
- How do you pick a good capo?
- Does a capo make a difference?
Does it Matter what Capo you use?
If you only care about the tone, then it doesn’t really matter which capo you use. That said, if you care about durability, weight and aesthetics – then yes, different material capo does matter a lot.
Metal capos are heavier and more durable. Wooden capos look great, are light and look the best. Plastic capos are light and not durable. However, they are the cheapest option.
I always recommend you bring your guitar along when getting a new capo. See if the color matches or if it’s tight enough. Some guitars have different neck width and colors – so it’s best if you can test things out on the spot.
Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
|Metal Capo||Plastic Capo||Wood Capo|
|Tone||No impact||No impact||No impact|
Price: Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
Metal and wooden capos ($10+) are usually more expensive than plastic capos ($7+). These starting prices do not differ that much – but higher quality capos made from metal or wooden can go much higher.
If you only play at home, then I recommend getting a standard metal capo from Amazon. They are sturdy, durable and cost only about $10 – this is not so much different than plastic capos at $7.
Tone: Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
Any capos regardless of metal, wooden or plastic will not change the tone of your guitar. A capo that’s tight enough will simply function like a barre chord and will not impact the sound.
If you think about it, all capos (regardless of material) have a rubber strip that clamps on the guitar neck. The rubber strip is the only piece that comes in contact with your strings.
Knowing this, it doesn’t matter what material the capo is made of. As long as the capo uses a regular rubber strip to clamp down the neck – the tone remains the same.
Weight: Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
Metal capo is the heaviest capo when compared to wooden and plastic capos. Wooden and plastic capos are significantly lighter than metal capos.
If you care about weight, then you shouldn’t get a metal capo. Consider wooden or plastic. This is a pretty common question if you travel a lot and want to bring the capo around.
If you travel often with your capo and use it roughly, then get plastic capos. They are cheap and easily replaceable. Otherwise, get a wooden capo – they are slightly more expensive and look much better.
Durability: Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
Metal capos are the most durable – they are sturdy and will last a long time (provided that you keep away from water that could cause rust). Wooden capos and plastic capos are less durable.
That said, any metal, plastic or wooden capos can last a lifetime if you use them properly and treat them well. Don’t leave capos on the guitar for too long and store the capos away in your guitar bag when not in use.
Aesthetics: Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
Wooden capos are aesthetically the best – they look unique and can be easily distinguished among other capos. Metal and plastic capos typically look simple with just a few color options.
If aesthetics matter to you, then consider wooden capos. You can find many options from Amazon and personally, they look the best.
Damage: Metal Vs Plastic Vs Wood Capo
Metal capos are the most damaging when compared to wooden or plastic capos. This is because metal capos are the heaviest and typically clamp the hardest.
That said, when used sparingly, any type of capos shouldn’t be damaging to a guitar neck. Just make sure you take off the capo after use and do not keep it clamped on your guitar for a prolonged period of time.
Keeping capo on a guitar neck or headstock for a long time could permanently discolor it.
Related article: Will Capo Damage Guitar & Mess Up Tuning? (Veteran Answers)
Is metal capo better?
Metal capos are best if you need something sturdy, durable and can last a long time. However, metal capos are heaviest and typically clamp the hardest – so make sure to take it off after use.
I personally owned all types of capos like metal, wooden and plastic. For beginners, I highly recommend a metal capo because they are simple and can last a long time.
If you care more about the weight and looks, then I recommend going for a wooden capo.
Is a capo worth it?
Getting a capo is definitely worth it – it’s cheap, durable and can help you play a more difficult song as beginners.
Majority of guitarists will own a capo at some point in their playing time. I personally have not met any guitarist who doesn’t own a capo – so it’s definitely worth it.
If you are a beginner and are thinking of getting a capo, I think you should definitely get one. The capo will help you play and gain you confidence.
Once you are more skilled, then you can think about not using a capo.
How do you pick a good capo?
The best way to pick a good capo is to go with your guitar when shopping; this gives you the advantage of testing the capo before buying it.
Before you pay for a capo, always ensure that the rubber on the capo can protect the guitar neck from wear and tear. and make sure that capo looks great when equipped on your guitar.
On a personal note, I will advise you to get any of these capos
- Clutch Capos
- Lever Capos
- Partial Capos
Does a capo make a difference?
Capos add a lot of benefit to the tune/sound of your guitar when the capo is not over-tightened; with the use of a capo, you can increase the level of your performance without learning any additional skills.
A capo helps you change the key of a song easily when playing; with the use of a capo, you can raise the pitch of a song; use the link below to check this YouTube video that personally helped me know how to use a capo to change key