Best Violin Bows

If you’re in a hurry and looking to get a high-quality bow that’s friendly to your pocket and produces quality sound, then the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow is the best carbon fiber violin bow for you. It’s lightweight, making it highly portable while also ergonomic to hold. We also love the weight distribution and arch, which both provide a high-quality sound.

Traditional materials, such as Pernambuco and Brazilwood, are used to make the best violin bows. Carbon fiber has recently been used widely to make violin bows and has proven to be both popular and significantly more affordable than the traditional wooden materials.

On top of this, these are the best violin bows around right now:

The Best Violin Bows

Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Best Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
Dimensions: 28 x 1.8 x 0.5 inchesWeight: 2.12 ouncesSize:  4/4, but available in ½, 1/4, and ¾, tooBow Material: Carbon fiberHair Material:  Mongolian horsehair

The Fiddlerman bow is a popular choice for professional violinists who appreciate the resilience offered by carbon fiber bows. It’s lightweight and has an excellent arch profile, making it user-friendly and effortless to use. Even when playing aggressively, the bounce control and action is reliable because of the arch, firm carbon fiber construction, and excellent weight distribution.

It’s reasonably priced, but the pricing doesn’t affect the quality. The carbon fiber makes the bow durable, and it isn’t affected by temperature or humidity. It’s also a stunning violin bow to look at, thanks to the decorated copper-mounted ebony frog.

PROS

  • Excellent arch with a nice bounce.
  • Lightweight.
  • Good balance.
  • Good weight distribution.

CONS

  • Weak hair on the bow.
  • May take a little getting used to if you’re not familiar with carbon fiber.

Codabow Diamond Gx Carbon Fiber

Best Violin Bow for Intermediate Players

Codabow Diamond Gx Carbon Fiber
Dimensions: 31 x 3 x 1 inchesWeight: 2.15 ouncesSize:  4/4Bow Material: Acoustic kevlarHair Material:  Information not available

Codabow bows provide excellent value for money in their price range. This Diamond GX model’s performance is comparable to some of the finest Pernambuco sticks. It’s designed to remain extremely practical for everyday use with medium strength and medium weight, while not being uncomfortable to hold.

The Diamond GX is better-suited for advanced and professional players. Classical artists opt for this because the action is moderate to supple, and offers a sensitive string connection for nuances and layered expression.

For the experienced violinists, you’ll have no problem maintaining this bow. The strings remain straight, and the adjustment mechanisms are there for easy hair-tensioning and smooth action.

It’s also finely weighted and produces a warm and robust tone. The bow is also sensitive to subtle hand commands, therefore, facilitating a variety of techniques.

PROS

  • Provides consistent performance due to durability.
  • Affordable.
  • Aesthetically appealing.
  • Well-balanced.

CONS

  • Complicated to maneuver for beginners.
  • Slightly heavier than the lighter carbon fiber bows.

D Z Strad Violin Bow

Best Wooden Bow

D Z Strad Violin Bow
Dimensions: 31 x 1 x 0.7 inchesWeight: 2.15 ouncesSize:  4/4Bow Material: Genuine PernambucoHair Material:  Mongolian Grade AAAA horsehair

This violin bow is visually appealing and has a camber with an abalone slide and leather over silver lapping. It also has a round shaft featuring an ebony frog with a Parisian eye.

It features Grade AAAA natural Mongolian horsehair that will help you achieve a precise balance while playing, thus giving a bright projection and an exquisite response. Using a bow with natural hair produces a clear sound, though it requires some maintenance to prevent the hair from tangling and being affected by humidity.

The D Z Strad weighs 2.15 ounces, which makes it lightweight and allows for free-flowing play. The bow is also designed to ensure that it maintains sound at its peak, with a quality assurance because of exceptional testing before it hits the market. This makes it a sound bow for both professionals and enthusiastic beginners.

It’s a beautiful wooden bow that won’t have you breaking your bank. Its relative affordability doesn’t affect the quality of the bow, though, making it an excellent choice for violinists.

PROS

  • Handmade.
  • Authentic Pernambuco heartwood.
  • High-grade horsehair.
  • Relatively low price tag for its premium nature.

CONS

  • If not stored carefully, it can break easily.

CodaBow Prodigy Violin Bow

Best Beginner Violin Bow

CodaBow Prodigy Violin Bow
Dimensions: 30 x 3 x 1 inchesWeight: 2.15 ouncesSize:  4/4Bow Material: Carbon fiberHair Material:  Silver medal horsehair

The CodaBow Prodigy is an excellent bow for beginners due to its stability brought about by carbon fiber. It’s also smaller than most bows, helping to reduce any strain during use.

The brand name is prevalent right now among carbon fiber fans, meaning that you’re in good hands with a well-respected manufacturer. Users especially comment on how impressed they are with the combination of affordability and quality.

While playing, the bow offers excellent accuracy brought about by the well-balanced shaft. The instrument also has excellent agility to bring about an exceptional performance. For such premium parts and balance, we agree that this bow is reasonably priced.

PROS

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Premium components.
  • Handcrafted in the USA.

CONS

  • Some comment on how it doesn’t allow for good sound control.

Cecilio Brazilwood Violin Bow

Best Cheap Violin Bow

Cecilio Brazilwood Violin Bow
Dimensions: 29.9 x 1.4 x 0.9 inchesWeight: Information unavailableSize:  4/4Bow Material: BrazilwoodHair Material:  Unbleached horsehair

This violin bow has excellent potential for its price range and yet plays very smoothly. Seasoned players recommend the Cecilio Brazilwood bow for beginners but once you improve your technique, you can look to a more high-end bow.

Although we can’t confirm the weight, users comment on that it’s lightweight, and surprisingly, it is more durable than its price range might imply. It’s an excellent bow to get if you’re strapped for cash.

This Cecilio Brazilwood model also doesn’t warp if you spend the time to care for it, but be careful about using it outdoors.

Users mention how this bow holds rosin nicely and is well-balanced to reduce any strain while playing. If you’re looking to pull the sound out of the strings more, this might be a great pick for you.

PROS

  • Lightweight.
  • Good balance.
  • Tropical Brazilwood.
  • Affordable.

CONS

  • Warps easily.
  • Not a good choice for advanced players.
Kmise Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
Dimensions:  29 x 1 x 0.5 inchesWeight: 2.3 ouncesSize:  4/4, but available in ½, ¼, ⅛, and ¾, tooBow Material: BrazilwoodHair Material:  Unbleached horsehair

The Kmise bow is made out of synthetically manufactured carbon fiber, which gives it agility and strength to help you improve your ability. It’s also durable because it isn’t affected by either humidity or temperature changes.

Its octagonal shape provides excellent balance when playing. This combines well with the delicate and decorative inlay of the frog, and the bow responds well to vibration, helping beginners enhance their skills. In addition, it’s specifically designed for quicker play due to its lightweight nature, allowing swift motions.

PROS

  • Good quality frog.
  • Durable carbon fiber.
  • Mongolian horsehair.
  • Lightweight and well balanced.

CONS

  • Some users have raised concerns about the tip not being balanced.
Haoyue Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
Dimensions:  30 x 2 x 1 inchesWeight: 2.08–2.19 ouncesSize:  4/4Bow Material: Carbon fiberHair Material:  Natural Mongolian hose hair

The fact that it’s handmade by Luthiers, who use premium materials, makes it stand out among the best violin bows available. The Luthiers design and produce each bow, ensuring that they weigh between 2.08 and 2.19 ounces. This, combined with the durable carbon fiber, makes this bow an excellent long-term option.

Most violinists prefer the Mongolian horsehair because of the strength and elasticity that it offers. The frog is made from ebony and nickel silver, which offers a glamorous design and excellent precision during play. Lastly, the carry case ensures your bow is kept safe during travels. For violinists on the move, this is an excellent choice.

PROS

  • Protective carry case.
  • Durable.
  • Handmade by professional luthiers.
  • Mongolian horsehair.
  • Excellent weight for optimal playing.

CONS

  • Some users feel the tip is too thin.
  • Has a limited one-year warranty.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Violin Bow

Playing Environment

Consider your environment and needs as you settle on the material. If you’re an outside performer and the weather patterns in your area aren’t stable, a wooden violin may not be the best bet for you. A carbon fiber bow, such as the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber, makes for a great option since its quality isn’t affected by weather and temperature.

Shape and Stiffness

Most violin bows are round, which makes them supple to use and ergonomic to hold. If the bow is more square with hard edges, it’ll generally be stiffer to use.

Ideally, you want the bow to feel soft when held for extra comfort, but it’s important to find the balance between stiffness and softness. In particular, a bow that’s soft won’t have the presence and volume you may need.

The best way to test the violin’s quality is to play a passage. The ideal amount of stiffness will create a smooth, rich sound. Continue to play while listening for excessive vibrations or a tinny tone—both of which indicate the bow is too soft for play.

Violin Bow Materials

Many advanced players own both a carbon fiber and wooden bow. Each type of bow produces a distinct sound; some may sound lighter or darker, or have a different tempo. 

There are three main materials used to construct violin bows:

  • Brazilwood.
  • Pernambuco.
  • Carbon fiber.

Brazilwood

Brazilwood is a general term used for tropical hardwoods in affordable bows. Brazilwood bows are suitable for beginners because they provide for stable hand control. They’re the cheapest materials used in violin bows, making them budget-friendly and ideal for beginners, so consider the Cecilio Violin Bow if you’re looking for a Brazilwood option.

Pernambuco

Pernambuco used to be the choice for many professional violinists since the 18th century. Also, from Brazil, it’s a heavy wood with the right combination of responsiveness, elasticity, and strength.

The D Z Strad bow is the best Pernambuco model on our list.

  • Vibration and Sound: Mainly chosen because of the sound and feel that they emit from the violin. If you have a high-quality wooden bow, you can feel the vibrations as you play.
  • Organic: Wood easily contracts and expands with temperature changes. So if it isn’t cared for properly, it can easily warp.
  • Delicate: They’re more susceptible to breaking.

Carbon Fiber Bows

Carbon fiber has become popular in the last 20 years thanks to a natural shift away from Pernambuco and its incredible durability. Carbon-fiber bows are manufactured by bonding various grades of carbon fiber with resin. A good quality carbon fiber bow will produce excellent sound at an affordable price tag.

If you’re specifically looking for a carbon fiber bow, then the Fiddlerman model takes the top spot for us.

Carbon fiber bows use synthetic materials. They’re flexible and lightweight and much more durable when compared to their wooden counterpart. Decades of product innovation produced this composite material. This maximizes the bow’s strength without compromising its responsiveness.

Carbon fiber bows are a must-have for musicians who are always on the road. This is because they don’t expand or contract with temperature variations, so are resistant to warping.

Carbon vs. Wood - Comparing the Sound of Violin Bows

What Is the Ideal Violin Bow Weight?

The bow’s weight affects the violin’s tone and determines how well you can play. It isn’t very easy to recommend a specific weight because the playability and warmth of sound are very subjective. Therefore, it’s important to note how the bow feels when you use it.

Balance is a more helpful determinant. This refers to how the weight is distributed from the frog to the tip. Many violinists end up owning numerous bows that differ in weight because they prefer a specific sound balance.

If you’re a beginner, it’s a safe bet to choose a bow that’s between 2.08 and 2.15 ounces. If you prefer something lighter, try not to go beyond 1.94 ounces. If you’re ready to experiment with a heavier bow, then 2.26 ounces should be your limit until you’re confident enough in your technique.

A 4/4 bow, also referred to as a full-sized bow, is suitable for anyone over 11 years old. For an adult with a small build, the ⅞ should be a good fit.

The lightest violin bow we’ve reviewed is the Haoyue, being 2.08 ounces at the bottom of its range. The Kmise is the heaviest model at 2.3 ounces.

In Conclusion

The Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow is the best all-round bow. This is because it’s durable, relatively affordable, and great for both beginners and advanced players.

The debate between wood and carbon fiber isn’t likely to be settled soon. If you happen to lean more into wooden bows than carbon fiber, then the D Z Strad Violin Bow is a suitable bow for you.

Of course, we can’t leave out the beginners who aren’t too sure if playing the violin is something they want to venture into. So, if you’re starting out and aren’t ready to commit to a pricey violin bow, a Cecilio Brazilwood Violin Bow should work just fine.

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