As a banjo enthusiast, you might be worried about what type of string to put on your clawhammer banjo. You might wonder whether banjo strings are durable enough to get accustomed to the different playing styles.

Well, in the next segment, we will be highlighting a bunch of strings, to help you understand how these strings function and help you decide what best suits you for the long run.

top banjo strings for bluegrass

Best Banjo String for Beautiful Sound GHS Professional PF160
Best Banjo String for Clear ToneElixir Medium w Polyweb Coating
Best Ever Banjo StringsD’Addario EJ55

Also, don’t forget to see our post on best banjo strings for bluegrass.

GHS Professional PF160 (best banjo string for beautiful sound)

It is a medium gauge string set 011, 013, 016, 026 and 010 respectively. The rust-resistant feature has to be put into light. That means you will be able to play this string long enough without worrying about corrosion.

The strings are made of round wound phosphor bronze which gives a brighter tone, sweeter on the ear compared to stainless steel ones. These strings are a tough nut to crack in terms of their durability, meaning they are strong and don’t break off easily.

There is nothing complicated with the strings, therefore super easy on the installation. The low-end vibration of the GHS PF 160 5-string banjo strings is also commendable, yes for a banjo string this particular set will also give you some warm tone to soothe your musical taste. For just $4.49 you can have this worthy string set on your hands.

Elixir Medium w Polyweb Coating (best banjo string for clear tone)

Another medium gauge string set with 0.10, 0.12, 0.16, 0.23 and 0.10 strings. This is another long-lasting string set on the market. Elixir is a brand renowned for producing long-lasting products for stringed instruments.

Their poly web coated medium string is another good choice for banjo players who prefer styles like clawhammer. Elixir strings are a bit expensive compared to uncoated strings. The coating itself is the specialty of this string, making it more durable and rust-free, so you can pick up the instrument anytime even after a long break without having to think about string rust.

Now the tonal aspect of it, this string is as smooth as it can be on the hands, providing a balanced tone out of your instrument. If you nitpick, you might say this particular set provides a dull tune compared to other brands. I have got to mention that, not everyone demands the same tonal range.

If you are looking for strings that will give you a balanced tone and make it last longer. Elixir is the way to go. Also available in light gauge, you can purchase this string set for around $7.99 – $10.77.

D’Addario EJ55 (best banjo string ever)

Talk about bestsellers, The D’Addario EJ55 is one such string set that the majority of banjo players prefer. It’s a medium gauge string with diameter of 0.10, 0.13, 0.16, 0.23 and 0.10 respectively. If you are particularly a clawhammer player, D’Addario EJ55 has to be your holy grail.

D’Addario EJ55 5-String Banjo Strings

One of the most reliable brands out there for musicians. If you are an expert or just a newbie, trust D’Addario and go with the flow, I bet, you won’t be on the losing end with a set of EJ55. This string has a loop end therefore it’s suitable for most banjos. As for the string winding, the phosphor bronze wound adds all the warmth to your music.

For the overall tonality of it, the phosphor wound on the 4th string and plain steel strings on the rest of it, not only provide warmth, but also bright tones you are destined to love. This string has been handpicked by numerous acclaimed musicians around the world, making it one of the most reliable banjo strings out there in the market. The price of the string is comparatively budget-friendly. Widely available in the market for around $4.99.

Martin V730 Vega (best string for Jameson banjo)

A string that has a captivating mid-range tone, something all banjo players desire, let me assure you that V730 serves the musician’s need to the fullest. A medium gauge string set with string diameter of 0.10, 0.12, 0.16, 0.20 and 0.10 built with nickel steel alloy produces a satisfying warm tone that will emphasize your music.

Martin V730 Vega Banjo Strings

The playability of the Martin V730 Banjo strings is commendable. It will take your tonal aesthetic to greater heights. These strings have loop ends that fit the majority of the banjos, so one less worry for you. The durability of it should be praised as well. With a V730 set, you will go the distance. You should realize that this is made by CFMartin and Co, therefore you can blindly trust the goods.

Tons of musicians, I have to say banjo players have been dwelling under the reliable aspect and sweet sound of Martin strings. These vibrating steel wires suit all kinds of playing style, even clawhammer players opt to go for it. Now you might wonder that the price could be high for being Martin. Let me assure you, this wonder string set will cost you just $4.49. Surprised, aren’t you? Don’t be! Just pick up the strings already.

D’Addario XT Nickel Plated Steel (Most lasting banjo string)

This is one set of strings that is suitable for clawhammer players. A medium gauge string ranging from 0.10 – 0.23 in diameter. These strings are made with high carbon steel and provide a bright sound out right out of the box.

D'Addario XT Nickel Plated Steel Banjo Strings

One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have to worry about changing the strings too often, due to the nickel-plated feature, they are built to serve for a longer period. Once you loop the strings on your banjo you will see the difference it makes. Super fun to play and scintillating when it comes to music quality. A pair of D\Addario XT nickel-plated strings will cost you around $8.99.

D’Addario J69 Ball-End , Phosphor Bronze, Light (Perfect fit banjo string)

A rightful banjo string on the market for just $6.99. I used the word rightful because this string will make you sound more genuine in terms of playing the banjo. Fitted in with string gauges of 0.009, 0.10 (plain steel), 0.20 (Phosphor bronze), 0.009 (plain steel) respectively. Once installed, your banjo will get a new life, believe it or not.

D'Addario J69 5-String Ball-End Banjo Strings, Phosphor Bronze, Light

These strings last for a longer period and can withstand any playing style including the clawhammer technique without breaking a sweat, it doesn’t get out of tune that easily like other strings, so you are free to experiment and cement your style at ease.

The J69 will fit most of the banjos out there in the market. The phosphor bronze and plain steel feature help achieve a warm, balanced, and most importantly crystal-clear tone when you play it, pluck or strum it.

Clamhammer Banjo Strings Guide and Advice


The playability of the strings varies depending on manufacturing quality and how you are using it, whether you are being too harsh on it or just going about right. We can’t just advise you to go for a particular set of strings because that would be unfair.

So, we are helping you look at some of the best strings available on the market. For stringed instrument players, it is crucial to start off with the best things possible, same goes for the strings on your banjo. You might not want to start off with something that needs to be changed in a short time or lacks the cutting edge in terms of sound.

You don’t want to lack precision and sound dull to the ears. So, picking up the finest string for your banjo is essential. Remind you, playing style has to be taken into account, the strings mentioned above are all suitable for clawhammer banjo and other techniques as well. Rather than believing in myths like expensive accessories are the best, you should go for the quality of the strings.

Final thoughts

The strings mentioned in this article are all worth the money. From less expensive ones to medium-range strings, we have mentioned it all above. You are the one who needs to decide whether the tone that is being vibrated through the strings is worthy of your musical preferences.

It’s necessary to buy strings that last longer and provide bright, warm and crisp tones. The wide array of strings we talked about in this article will help you get accustomed to genuine tonal range and discover a whole new world of sound.

Read, survey, discover, try out the strings yourself, only then you will realize what suits you best. Good luck clawing your way to some awesome music!