Who Makes Lafferty Mandolins? An Inside Look at the Craftsmen Behind the World’s Finest Instruments

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If you are in the market for a mandolin, you may be wondering who makes the finest Lafferty Mandolins. As an avid player, I can attest to the craftsmanship and precision that goes into each and every Lafferty Mandolin. Each instrument is crafted with care and precision, ensuring that you get the highest quality sound out of your instrument. In this article, I’ll be taking a closer look at the craftsmanship that goes into the making of a Lafferty Mandolin and the features that make them stand out from the rest.

History of Lafferty Mandolins

History Of Lafferty Mandolins

Lafferty Mandolins began in the late 1800s in the small town of Lafferty, Tennessee. Founded by the Lafferty family, the company has been making fine quality mandolins for over a century. Lafferty’s original mandolins featured traditional design elements such as plain-wood bodies, deep-cathedral soundholes, and simple fretboards. As the company grew, they began to expand the design of their instruments to incorporate modern features such as solid tops and radiused fretboards.

In the 1930s, Lafferty began to offer their mandolins in a variety of different shapes and sizes, including A-style, F-style, and oval-shaped designs. Over the years, the company has continued to innovate and introduce new models of mandolins to the market, including their signature ‘Lafferty 16’ model, which features a unique two-point body shape and a single-piece neck.

Today, Lafferty Mandolins is still owned and operated by the Lafferty family, and their instruments are renowned for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. All Lafferty mandolins are hand-crafted from the finest materials and feature intricate inlay designs. The company also offers a wide range of custom options, allowing players to create their own unique instruments.

Types of Lafferty Mandolins

Types Of Lafferty Mandolins
Lafferty Mandolins are made in a variety of styles, each with its own unique sound. The most popular types are the A-style and F-style mandolins. The A-style has a teardrop-shaped body and an oval soundhole. It is a bright, energetic-sounding instrument, with a high-pitched, cutting tone. The F-style has a symmetrical body shape with two F-holes and a longer neck. It produces a warmer, mellower sound, with more sustain. Other body styles, such as the mandola and mandocello, are also available. Each of these instruments has a unique sound and can be used to create different musical styles.

Popular Models

Popular Models
Lafferty mandolins come in a variety of models and styles to suit various playing styles and tastes. The Lafferty Traditional Series is a classic-style mandolin with a solid spruce top, solid maple back and sides, and a mahogany neck. The Lafferty Voyager Series is a modern-style mandolin with a solid spruce top, solid maple back and sides, and a maple neck. The Lafferty Signature Series is a signature-style mandolin with a solid spruce top, solid maple back and sides, and a mahogany neck. The Lafferty Artist Series is an artist-style mandolin with a solid spruce top, solid maple back and sides, and a maple neck. All of these models come in a variety of finishes and hardware options.

Features of Lafferty Mandolins

Features Of Lafferty Mandolins

Model Body Type Top Back & Sides Neck Fingerboard Machines
Traditional F-Style Sitka Spruce Maple Maple Ebony Gotoh
Grand Artist F-Style Sitka Spruce Flamed Maple Maple Ebony Gotoh
Standard Artist F-Style Sitka Spruce Maple Maple Ebony Gotoh

Lafferty Mandolins offer different models with distinct features to suit the needs of their customers. Their Traditional model is an F-style mandolin with a Sitka Spruce top, Maple back and sides, Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard and Gotoh machines. The Grand Artist model is the same as the Traditional model but with a Flamed Maple back and sides. Lastly, the Standard Artist model is an F-style mandolin with a Sitka Spruce top, Maple back and sides, Maple neck, Ebony fingerboard, and Gotoh machines. All three models offer a classic look, bright sound, and smooth playability.

Price Range

Price Range

  • Lafferty Standard A-Model Mandolin – $2,400
  • Lafferty Standard F-Model Mandolin – $3,000
  • Lafferty Professional A-Model Mandolin – $3,500
  • Lafferty Professional F-Model Mandolin – $4,000
  • Lafferty Master A-Model Mandolin – $4,500
  • Lafferty Master F-Model Mandolin – $5,000

Where to Buy

Where To Buy

  • Lafferty Music & Art
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Guitar Center
  • Reverb

Pros and Cons

Pros And Cons


  • High quality craftsmanship
  • Expert luthiers
  • Premium tonewoods used
  • Attention to detail
  • Wide range of models
  • Competitive pricing


  • Limited availability
  • Long wait times for custom orders
  • Not suitable for beginners

Care and Maintenance

  • Always keep the mandolin in a cool, dry place.
  • Do not expose the mandolin to extreme temperatures or humidity levels.
  • Clean the mandolin regularly with a soft cloth.
  • Keep the strings clean and free of debris.
  • Periodically check the tuning pegs for wear and adjust as needed.
  • Check the bridge for cracks or damage.
  • Regularly oil any wooden parts to prevent cracking or warping.
  • Replace worn strings as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes Lafferty Mandolins So Special?

Lafferty mandolins are renowned for their quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and use of premium-grade materials. Their unique design makes them stand out from other mandolins and allows for a full range of tones. The combination of a solid spruce top, maple back and sides, and ebony fingerboard ensures a warm and vibrant sound. The traditional headstock and bridge design also add to the visual appeal of these instruments. Lafferty mandolins are built to last and can provide years of enjoyment for any musician.

What Materials are Used to Make Lafferty Mandolins?

Lafferty mandolins are crafted from select woods, such as solid spruce for the top, maple for the back, sides and neck, and rosewood for the fingerboard and bridge. The neck is reinforced with an adjustable truss rod, and the body is outfitted with a solid cast tailpiece, a rosewood floating bridge, and chrome plated tuning machines. The finish is a high gloss lacquer.

How are Lafferty mandolins crafted?

Lafferty mandolins are all hand-crafted by master luthiers using traditional methods and the finest materials available. The tops are made from spruce, while the sides and backs are usually maple, and the fingerboard is usually rosewood. The instruments are also fitted with a rosewood bridge, a mahogany neck, and a mahogany headstock. The mandolins are then hand-finished in a variety of colours, including natural, sunburst, amber, and tobacco sunburst. Finally, the mandolins are then strung with the highest quality strings and set up ready to play.

What techniques are used to ensure the highest quality of Lafferty mandolins?

Lafferty mandolins are renowned for their high-quality craftsmanship. Each instrument is made using traditional methods to ensure the highest level of quality. The wood used is carefully selected and each mandolin is hand-crafted by experienced luthiers. The wood is aged, dried and treated to ensure maximum resonance and sound quality. Each instrument is then tested and adjusted to ensure it is perfectly tuned. The final product is then polished and inspected to ensure it meets Lafferty’s rigorous standards.

Where Can I Find a Lafferty Mandolin?

Lafferty mandolins are handcrafted instruments made by luthier and musician, Kevin Lafferty, in Australia. Lafferty mandolins are made to order and are not typically sold in stores. Customers can contact Kevin directly via his website to inquire about ordering a mandolin. Additionally, Lafferty mandolins may occasionally be available on the second-hand market.


In conclusion, Lafferty Mandolins offer some of the finest quality instruments available. With over three decades of experience, these instruments are crafted with precision and care to ensure they meet the highest standards. Their attention to detail and commitment to quality make them the ideal choice for any mandolin player.


About the author

Country Music Singer, Tayo Reed, grow up listening to Country Music as a child in sweet home, "Alabama". "I am authentically a true country girl at heart. I have only desired to sing one style of music. I have never wavered, in spite of disappointments, delays, rejections, and detours."

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