The Best F-Style Mandolins In 2023!

Check Out The Best F Style Mandolins That You Can Find Available On The Market!

Today we are going to talk about the best F-style mandolins that you can find available on the market in 2023. The F-style mandolins are considered instruments with the most sophisticated design when you compare them with other types of mandolins.

Because of this reason, the best F-style mandolins are more expensive to produce, and as a result, they are a bit costlier.

More Info About F-Style Mandolins

There are two main types of archtop mandolins and one of them is the F-style mandolins. We already mentioned that the best F-style mandolins, to be produced, are costlier than the A-style mandolins and also have a more sophisticated design.

When we talk about the sound there isn’t a big difference between the best F-style mandolins and A-style types of mandolins. However, some aesthetic differences separate them.

1. Ibanez M522SBS F-Style Mandolin, Brown Sunburst High Gloss

The Ibanez M522SBS F-Style is one of the most popular and well-known models made by the Ibanez brand. For any respected musician, this mandolin is a trusted workhorse and this model delivers a high-quality build with great tonality.

Ibanez M522SBS F-style is a very accessible instrument when compared to other best F-style mandolins. The biggest advantage of this model is that it combines its great price with the high-quality materials used to construct this instrument.

This Ibanez M522SBS mandolin is made of a solid spruce top, maple back and sides completed with brown sunburst high gloss. This model is producing a rich and warm sound and it is recommended mostly for intermediate players.


  • Body Shape: F-Style.
  • Neck: Mahogany Neck.
  • Backsides: Flamed Maple Back and Sides.
  • Solid Spruce Top.
  • Tuners: Gold Die-Cast Tuners w/ Pearloid Knobs.

Ibanez M522SBS F-Style Mandolin

2. Ibanez M700AVS Spruce/Maple F-Style Mandolin Violin Sunburst

Ibanez M700 AVS F-style is an instrument of high quality which is made of a solid spruce top, solid maple back and sides, and antique violin sunburst.

This instrument has a bright tone with great projection and it is considered a powerful tool for any artist or musician.

Ibanez M700 AVS comes in a beautiful sunburst antique finish and is a very comfortable instrument to play. People who tried and played this instrument say that this model is producing a loud, unique and bright sound which is perfect for country and bluegrass styles of play.

Ibanez M700AVS is one of the best f-style mandolins that you can find available on the market in 2023.


  • Solid Spruce Top.
  • Solid Flamed Maple Back & Sides.
  • Rosewood Fretboard.
  • Rosewood Pickguard.

Ibanez M700 AVS F-Style

3. Eastman MD315 F-Style Mandolin

Eastman MD315 F-style is a very unique instrument that has a classic design and finishes. The look of this model is inspired by the classic mandolins of the 90s and is similar to many other classic instruments made by Eastman. This model MD315 is one of the best f-style mandolins, the best-selling model, and the best sound quality made by the Eastman brand.

The Eastman MD315 is made of a rosewood top and maple back and sides and it comes together with a padded gig bag.

Eastman MD315 is a model made with great quality just like the other instruments this brand is producing. The Eastman brands always offer the very best quality-ratio price which is great for all beginners and intermediate players.

This model is no different from other high-quality and best f-style mandolins from Eastman since it offers great quality with a beautiful classic design at a very affordable price range.


  • Top material type: Rosewood, Maple, Spruce, Ebony.
  • Back and sides material: Maple, Rosewood, Ebony.

Eastman MD315 F-Style

4. Kentucky KM-1500 Master F-Model Mandolin

Something that can give you a right example of the high level of craftsmanship that the Kentucky brand is having is the Kentucky KM-1500 Master F-Model Mandolin.

This is a professional model that is considered one of the biggest and greatest high-end mandolins. This Kentucky KM-1500 Master F-Model Mandolin has a high-quality build and one of the brightest and cleanest sounds that you will hear.

In case you are looking for a mandolin that is closest to the classical model of the Gibson F-5, this will be your best choice.

Kentucky KM-1500 Master F-model Mandolin has a hand-carved and graduated Adirondack Spruce top and solid flat-sawn highly-flamed hand-carved and graduated Northern Michigan Maple back. It has Ivoried binding on all edges, a peghead overlay features a Kentucky logo, and a traditional vine inlay in Abalone pearl.

There is a superior CS-1520 case with a removable cover which is included in the price and will come together with your instrument.

This unique and very elegant mandolin delivers high-quality sound and together with its design, we can notice they succeeded to accomplish what everyone is expecting from a world-class brand like Kentucky.


  • Finest solid, Hand-carved, and graduated Adirondack Spruce top, solid, flat-sawn highly-flamed hand-carved and graduated Northern Michigan Maple back.
  • One-piece, highly figured Maple neck with dovetail joint at 15th fret, 29-fret bound ebony extension Fingerboard with Pearl Dot position Markers.
  • Ivoried Binding on all edges, peghead overlay features Kentucky logo and traditional vine inlay in Abalone Pearl, a superior cs-1520 case with removable cover included in price.
  • Vintage style, height-adjustable ebony Bridge with compensated top and small, gold-plated adjustment wheels, mother-of-pearl nut.
  • Highly-polished nickel-silver Frets, gold-plated, engraved tuning machines and tailpiece, hand-rubbed Cremona Sunburst nitrocellulose lacquer finish, Shop adjusted.
  • A Solid hand-carved Adirondack spruce top provides you with superior note clarity and volume to spare.
  • Solid carved flamed Michigan maple back and sides ensure extra punch.

Kentucky KM-1500 Master F-Model Mandolin - best f-style mandolins

5. Gold-Tone GM-35 F-style Mandolin

The Gold-Tone GM-35 F-style Mandolin is a great instrument but at the same time, it is one of the most affordable and best f-style mandolins that you can find for any student or beginner.

You will probably have a hard time finding a mandolin that is cheaper and of better quality than this one, which suggests that this model has a great quality-price ratio.

This f-style mandolin is made from a solid spruce top, maple back and sides and has an adjustable rosewood bridge.

The Gold-Tone GM-35 is a great option if you are looking for beginner mandolins and for any musician who is on a tight budget but needs a quality instrument with really sturdy construction and good tonality at the same time.


  • 13-3/4″ Scale Length.
  • Solid Spruce top.
  • Maple back & sides.
  • Adjustable rosewood Bridge.
  • Bound Fingerboard.

Gold-Tone GM-35 F-style Mandolin

6. Washburn Package Program M3EK F Mandolin

Washburn Package Program M3EK F-style Mandolin is a bundle offer that is made by Washburn. In this offer, they have a great and high-quality mandolin that comes together with a gig bag and other accessories.

This is not an expensive mandolin and it is one of the best f-style mandolins for beginners, and intermediate players and will be able to deliver a very clean and natural tone.

Washburn M3EK F-style Mandolin is constructed from solid wood maple back and sides, and a spruce top, and it has a great tobacco sunburst finish.

We recommend this mandolin because it is an amazing option for beginners since it has a great quality-price ratio.


  • F-style.
  • Gig-bag.
  • Pitch Pipe.
  • Strap & picks.
  • PickUp with Volume Controls.

Washburn Package Program M3EK F Mandolin

F-Style Mandolins – Buyers Guide

What to consider when buying the best F-Style Mandolin

Some of the most important things to consider when buying the best F-Style mandolin are the sound type and quality, the instrument’s overall dimension, and most importantly the price range. Let’s check those aspects in detail.

beautiful f-style mandolin

Sound & Tone

The sound that typical F-style mandolin produces appears bright and clean. Mostly because of this reason the F-style mandolins are great for playing country and bluegrass. Country and bluegrass musicians appear very satisfied with these acoustic instruments and mandolin models.

The Size

When compared with A-style mandolins the overall size of F-style mandolins is bigger.

Because of the bigger body frame, this type of mandolin has better sustain and higher volume because it needs to compensate for the small f-shaped sound holes on its body.

The Price

The price range of these instruments can go from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for professional and best f-style mandolins. The price range can vary depending on the brand and the model that you are going to choose.

In case you are low on budget, you shouldn’t worry because several low-budget options and brands sell accessible instruments when it comes to the F-style mandolins.

F-Style Mandolins Build

The finish of the mandolin and the solid wood used is probably the most important characteristic of this instrument. This is because the sound of your mandolin will be defined by these attributes.

parts of the mandolin


Spruce and maple are the most common types of wood that are used to build a mandolin. However, you can find some other models that are using cedar or mahogany for their sides and back.

If we talk about the top of these mandolins they are most commonly made from spruce and for the sides and back of the instrument every brand uses its mix of wood types (materials).


The color of the instrument is only aesthetic and it doesn’t impact the sound that the instrument is producing.

When we talk about the color of the instruments you should know there is a big selection of different colors and color schemes. There are also several variations on the sunburst scheme and there are hundreds of other different color schemes from which to choose.


When we talk about the finish of the mandolins you should know there are two main types of varnishes. The most commonly used is oil varnish, as it offers protection and provides a natural tone to the instrument.

back side of mandolins

On the other hand, we have spirit varnish which gives even better protection than oil varnish but it will decrease the overall sound quality of your mandolin instrument.

Unboxing the F-Style Mandolin

Like with many different string instruments in each F-style mandolin package, there are some accessories that you will be able to use. Some bundles will include strings, tuners, a set of picks, a cleaning cloth, a humidifier, a metronome, etc.

Set of Picks

Most of the mandolins that you are going to see are having a basic set of picks for you to use. Picks are very useful for playing and are so tiny that you are probably going to lose some of them here and there.

Most of the available bundles will have additional reserve picks that will come together with the instrument.


The tuner is an essential accessory for every mandolin player or any other player of string instruments (ex. acoustic guitar). With this device, you will be able to perfectly tune your instrument every time you need to practice or do a live performance.


As you already know the strings are the most used part of your mandolin instrument. Because of this reason, it will be a great idea for you to have an extra set with you in case of an emergency.


The straps that players are using with their string instruments are providing stability and comfort while playing. It will make a great addition when you are playing your mandolin in practice and for live performance.

This accessory will be great if you don’t want to accidentally drop your mandolin while playing and additionally will help you free your both hands while playing which may give you great benefits.


If you consider buying some extras the best suggestion will be a new pair of strings and some other parts for your mandolin.

Some of the models that you are looking for will have low-quality tuning machines or bridges, which is why you should seriously consider changing them.

a mandolin lying in her case

Best place to look for F-Style Mandolins

Nowadays you will be able to find several different online retailers and websites where you can choose your new instrument. Each one has its different models and offers mandolins. In continuation, we will check some of them.


Amazon is one of the most famous places where you will be able to find almost everything and millions of customers from all around the world are buying their products.

They are very reliable and we find them useful because they provide detailed information about the characteristics and features of their products. They additionally have customer reviews which in our opinion are very important and can give you crucial information about the products (instruments) that you are looking for.

Local Stores

The main advantage that your local music store can offer is that you can spend hours trying the instruments that you consider buying. The advice of the salesperson will come as an addition and will certainly make your decision far easier.

Online Music Retailers

In case you are looking for specialized online music retailers some websites are usually highly recommended. You can feel free to check, or as they are some of the most famous online music retailers in the US.

In our articles we mostly present instruments from Amazon since we consider them as the most reliable and they additionally have the best offers and buying options.


We hope that our article will help you decide what is the best Mandolin instrument that you can buy and there is a lot of information about particular instruments that you can find useful.

Happy Strumming!

Felix Sanchez

Felix Sanchez

Felix Sanchez specializes in string instruments and their use in contemporary music. Felix is passionate about music and has studied and played a variety of string instruments including guitars, ukuleles, and cellos.

Strings Kings
Strings Kings