mandolin picks

The #1 Best Mandolin Picks Review Guide You’ll Ever Read!

Looking for Mandolin Picks? You’re in luck! 

Mandolins are becoming a more popular instrument to learn and play in the United States. 

This is because they’re easy to pick up and they have a great sound. They can be used as an acoustic or an electric instrument. 

With that being said, it’s important for guitarists who want to use their mandolin on stage or at home to make sure that they have the best picks for playing this stringed instrument.

Mandolins are a lot of fun to play, but like most instruments it is important to have the right accessories. 

Mandolin picks can really make the difference between good and bad tone.  So which pick should you go for? 

There are many different types of pick materials available on the market today. 

You will find nylon mandolin picks, wood mandolin picks, and metal mandolin picks just to name a few. 

Each type has its own unique set of pros and cons that might be best suited for your personal playing style or instrument type. 

For example, if you prefer bright tones from your mandolin then you might consider going with either a nylon or wood pick because they offer more attack than metal ones do. 

With that said, let’s get right into our top choices for Mandolin Picks! 

Best Overall Mandolin Picks

D’Addario Chris Thile Signature Casein 1.4mm Mandolin Pick

Exasperated with the hard plastic mandolin picks that have been on the market for years? 

How about a pick made from true natural casein? Made to Chris Thile’s exact specifications, this pick is as close as you can get to tortoiseshell. 

The tone it delivers equals or exceeds anything tortoiseshell has ever produced. If you’re looking for warmth, output, and attack in your playing then look no further than D’Addario’s signature handmade mandolin pick. 

Available in 1.4mm thickness, these are beveled at the edges and tips for gliding across strings seamlessly while you play rhythms or leads with precision control of each note. 

You won’t find a more natural pick than this. This Signature Series is made with pure casein all the way through—no composites! 

And to you that means maximum warmth, tone and durability. At 1.4mm thick, our Chris Thile Signature Line Mandolin Picks give players some of the widest sonic input they’ve ever seen on any other plastic mandolin pick in existence today. 

They also offer excellent control and playability compared to regular round picks or grip-nubs which provide less finger placement options as well as uneven contact for slightly weaker attack due to not being beveled. 

Because they have a triangular shape, Chris’ signature series offers one of the most comfortable grips for mandolin playing that you will experience. 



  • Signature Series from Chris Thile. 
  • Great balance of richness and bright tone. 
  • Easy to grip. 
  • Perfect for lead and rhythm playing. 
  • Made from natural casein. 
  • Beveled edges. 



  • Pick tends to curve after consistent use. 

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Best Multi-Pack Mandolin Picks

Pickboy Mandolin pick, Nytro, 0.75mm, 10 picks

The Pickboy Mandolin pick is perfect for mandolin players looking to add a little bit of personality into their strumming hand. 

Available in a pack of 10, these picks feature a heart shape and slim tip design this pick will deliver precision tone that brightens up your playing ten fold! 

The Pickboy is here to provide you with the exact tool that will allow you to get the precise sound. 

If you’re looking for something that’s accurate in your playing and doesn’t sacrifice anything, this is it! 

These mandolin picks can play single notes, melodies, and runs beautifully because of their slim tip making them perfect for delicate playing styles. 

If you desire a nice warm tone then these are your picks!  

Made from celluloid because it’s just so darn versatile, allowing for a nice warm tone while being responsive enough for everything and a variety of styles of music – perfect for any situation! 

If we had to make one critique it would be that they are small enough to where you feel like the pick is slipping from you. However, that may be different for everyone. 

Give your strumming hand some love by playing picks! 



  • Comes in a pack of 10! 
  • Cost friendly. 
  • Great for single notes and melodies. 
  • Provides a clean and bright sound. 
  • Prefect stiffness for accurate playing. 
  • Ideal for strumming. 



  • Slippery to hold. 

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Best Budget Mandolin Picks

Jim Dunlop Primetone Semi-Round Picks 1.3mm – 3 Pack 

Extend your tone and instrument’s life with these picks from Jim Dunlop.

The Primetone Semi-Round is ideal for those who love a well defined tone from their mandolin. 

Hand burnished sculpted edges allow it to be slick and stylishly dressed without risking the sacrifice of durability. 

The Sculpted Edges allow for Ultimate Style Flexibility, allowing more ambient tones. These picks are ideal for heavy strumming while still maintaining crystal clear tone after changes in dynamics throughout your performances.

Primetone picks are made from Ultex for maximum durability and superior tonal definition. They come in packs of 3 and have a gauge of 1.3mm. 

These are semi-round picks which will cause less friction on your strings, meaning more tone out the instrument. 

The engineers know that sometimes they can get slippery so they’ve added sculpted edges to ensure you do not lose your grip on them or put too much pressure down on the string to break it right off.

Now, like some of the other mandolin picks, they can get slippery. The edges can eventually get jagged which can eventually result in broken strings. 



  • Comes in a pack of 3. 
  • Slick and stylish. 
  • Made in the USA. 
  • Hand brushed sculpted edges. 
  • Makes picking much smoother. 
  • Budget friendly. 



  • Can be slippery based on the player. 

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Best Mandolin Picks For Beginner 

Golden Gate Deluxe Tortoise Style Flat Pick – Pack of 12 

Looking for a pick with the best of both worlds? These tortoise styled picks give you great tone, durability, and touch. 

They come in packs of 12 so it’s easy to stock up! Use this pack for everything from your rhythm playing to soloing. 

No matter how or what instrument you play if you want that rich fat roar then these may be just what you’ve been searching for. 

With sleek tortoise patterned nitrocellulose and heavy design, these picks are built to last.

Plus, with hand-beveled edges, they’ll glide across your strings without any snags or catches.

These picks are also great for bluegrass with their extra thick and heavy tortoise patterned nitrocellulose body. 

The rounded triangle shape has been fashioned out of the finest celluloid available to give you a clear attack with rich and fat tones that can drive your performance without sounding too shrill. 

The edges are hand beveled to glide effortlessly across the strings, and each point is polished by experienced craftsmen so they produce an amazing tone. 



  • Comes in a pack of 12. 
  • Extra thick and heavy. 
  • Tortoise pattern.
  • Provide a crisp and clean sound. 
  • Made to last. 
  • Great for mandolin, acoustic guitar, and even the bouzouki. 



  • Not ideal for classical music. 

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D’Andrea PRO-346 Rounded Triangle Plec, 12-Piece

This 12-pack package is a must have for serious guitar players and those who want to get serious about their tone and accuracy.

With precision beveled edges, these picks are made out of high quality Thermoplastic. 

The 1.5mm thickness provides excellent grip while picking, going deep into any guitar you need it to without ripping your strings!

The D’Andrea rounded triangle picks are an affordable option for those who want a beginner’s set at their fingertips. 

The deeply embossed and ultra-grippy pick rounds out this starter pack for any level. 

These picks have been given an extra deep embossing making for incredibly easy-to-play and smooth release; thanks to their precision-beveled design.




  • Comes in a pack of 12. 
  • Great for beginners. 
  • Precision-beveled design. 
  • Provides excellent grip. 
  • Great for melody and rhythm playing. 
  • Budget friendly. 



  • Takes practice to get used to the overall feel. 

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Buyers Guides 

We have compiled a list of FAQ’s to help you make the best decision when purchasing mandolin picks. 

Are mandolin picks different from guitar picks?

Mandolin picks are different from guitar picks and a mandolin player should use a pick that is either made for the mandolin, or at least designed to be pliable. 

The material used in these two types of picks will also differ. Guitar players typically play with nylon-wrapped plastic, but most mandolin players prefer the softer feel of celluloid. 

Mandolin picks are also very stiff. 

Mandolins have a wider string spacing than guitars, meaning that you need to use a mandolin pick in order to get all four strings at once without touching other strings. 

Do you strum or pick a mandolin?

In essence you can do both. 

When it comes to picking, the most important thing is to make sure your pick is in the right position, which I’ll explain later on. 

But you can also use a variety of techniques with mandolin picks that will produce different sounds like “slap” or “chord” style playing. 

Strumming is easier than picking because all you need to do is hold down the strings by pressing them against either the neck of your mandolin or with your fingers and then plucking them with your other hand. 

For both styles remember: keep practicing!

What is the best pick for a mandolin?

A mandolin is an instrument that has a much thinner neck and body than a guitar. 

The best pick for this instrument is between medium-gauge to heavy-gauge with rounded edges. 

The reason why these are good choices is because they provide enough grip on the strings while not being too hard so that it doesn’t cause wear on your fingers after playing them all day long. 

Every guitarist should have at least one of each type of pick in their case just in case they switch instruments or find themselves needing to play both styles of stringed instruments throughout the day.

Can you use a guitar pick on a mandolin? 

A mandolin is different from a guitar in that it’s tuned differently and the strings are arranged differently. 

The answer is: Yes

A guitar pick is a thin piece of plastic, metal, or other material shaped like a teardrop with one pointed end. 

You can use the same types of picks with mandolins too – and often musicians might even prefer them as they come in different thicknesses. 

Basically, it is entirely feasible to use a guitar pick on the mandolin.

Do you need a pick for mandolin?

Can you play a mandolin without a pick? That’s the question most people ask. And while it is possible to do so, it really isn’t recommended. 

It’s easier to play if you have a pick, but it can also be played without one! 

The sound of these strings was then amplified by resonating wood boards – called a “soundboard” so playing with a pick will make it the overall sound much louder. Even though you can probably maneuver you way around the fretboard with your fingers, a pick is preferred. 


The Mandolin has been around for a long time dating back to the mid 18th century in Europe. 

It’s one of the most popular string instruments today thanks to its distinctive sound quality that can only be achieved by mandolin.

It’s also very important to make sure you have the pick needed to play this amazing instrument to it’s fullest potential. 

The mandolin is a beautiful instrument to play with its rich history and it’s added so much to the music in a variety of genres. 

Mandolins are a very special type of stringed instrument, and it’s important to find the best mandolin picks for your needs. 

This article has hopefully helped you learn more about this unique stringed instrument, but if there are any questions that remain unanswered we will be happy to answer them in the comments section below!

We hope this blog post helped you make a decision about which mandolin pick is right for you. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. As always remember to HAVE FUN!

Frank DeMaria
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