Interested in using a carbon fiber bow instead of a traditional wood bow? If so you have come to the right place.
There are several very good reasons violinists opt for a carbon fiber bow over a traditional wood bow.
By its nature, the violin is a very traditional instrument. For most people, choosing a traditional bow is all about keeping with tradition, and not necessarily because that’s what they want.
However, if something as simple as changing bows can improve your overall experience with the instrument, why not give it a shot?
A Quick Look at Wood Bows
While wood bows are traditional, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option. As a matter of fact, there are some pretty big problems that are often associated with using wood bows.
When it comes to creating wooden bows, there are two types of wood that are most often used. They are Pernambuco or brazil wood.
While both types of wood are a great option, you have to consider what happens to wood when it is under constant stress and pressure.
Wood can easily be affected by weather conditions. When it is exposed to the heat, cold, or humidity, it can swell, warp, and in some cases, crack.
It's actually not uncommon for wood bows to snap in half. Especially if they are too thin. The problem is bows that are too thick can have a negative effect on the sound.
It's a tricky situation and one that luthiers have been trying to figure out for years. And that is where the carbon fiber violin bow comes into play.
It basically solves this age old problem.
One of the most common issues with traditional wood bows, other than the fact the hair stretches out beyond usefulness, is that the tips are known to snap. Even worse is the fact it tends to happen at the worst possible time.
This is why most professionals will keep a spare bow with them at all times.
Wood bows are no doubt very beautiful. But when it comes to practicality, they aren’t always the best option.
The more you practice with a wood bow, the more likely it is to snap or break down in some way.
The Many Advantages of Carbon Fiber Bows
Carbon fiber bows are made using synthetic fibers that are fused together. This is what makes it such a durable material.
There are several advantages that come with using a carbon fiber bow. The two biggest ones are durability and longevity.
Carbon fiber bows are not affected by environmental elements. This means you don’t have to worry about them warping due to changes in temperature.
You also don’t have to worry about the tip breaking, or having to replace the bow every few months.
Carbon fiber bows have been around for many decades. Over that time they have come a long way as it pertains to construction, and how vibrations move through the bow.
It's not uncommon for professionals to own a carbon fiber bow, as well as a traditional bow. This allows them to enjoy the best of both worlds.
One of the biggest myths surrounding carbon fiber bows is that they don’t provide the same “feeling” as a wood bow.
Several years ago this was very true. Carbon fiber bows did not have the ability to feel the vibrations in the same way that a wood bow did.
However, thanks to design improvements, engineering, and research, all of that has changed. These days carbon fiber bows are just as sensitive to sound as wood bows.
If you have only played using a traditional wood bow, there may be a learning curve when it comes to playing with a carbon fiber bow.
Most violinists are able to transition smoothly. Especially since newer carbon fiber bows are very similar to wood bows. In most cases you can barely notice the difference.
They are made so well you won’t even realize you are no longer using a traditional wood bow.
The Top 7 Best Carbon Fiber Violin Bows
- Fiddlerman Full Size Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- D Z Strad 200C Braided Carbon Fiber Violin Bow 4/4
- 1set Black Carbon Fiber Violin Stunning Bow 4/4
- Vio Music Braided Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
- CodaBow Prodigy Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow
- JonPaul Bravo Model Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow
- Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow
When putting together this list we looked at three key factors. Reliability, ease of use, and affordability.
Below you will find 7 different bows in various price ranges. Here is our list of the top 7 best carbon fiber violin bows.
This Fiddlerman bow is handcrafted and uses unbleached, Siberian horse hair. If you are looking for bounce and resilience, this bow delivers.
The ebony frog is copper mounted and the weight is very well balanced. Because of this it is very easy to control.
Most people who have purchased this bow recommend it to other violinists.
The D Z Strad 200C is well crafted, and looks amazing. It features Mongolian horse hair, an ebony Fleur De Lys Frog, and a braided design.
This bow comes in 3 different sizes which makes it great for violinists with all different arm lengths.
This bow is hand made and there is a lot of attention to detail.
The D Z Strad 200C is well balanced and not likely to break or warp.
We included this bow on the list because of its quality, and it's really low price. When it comes to quality, you can easily find bows that are similar. However, they will be much more expensive.
The 1set Black bow is made using high quality materials. It looks good, and feels good thanks to the ebony frog and natural horse hair.
If your budget is tight, this bow will provide you with the best value for your money.
Want Pernambuco performance? This full size bow will deliver. It has an ebony frog and was crafted using Mongolian horse hair.
To increase overall durability, the carbon fiber is braided.
Vio is known for making high quality instruments, and this one is no different. It's easy to handle, and very well balanced.
The CodaBow Prodigy is a little on the pricey side, but trust us, it's well worth it. It comes with all the bells and whistles that every violinist would want in a violin bow.
It features traditional wood plugs, Silver medal horse hair, nickel and silver fittings, and a Moroccan leather hand grip.
One look at this bow and it will take your breath away. It has great balance and will be the highlight of any show.
For a budget conscious player this bow may be a bit too expensive. For a professional player, it is considered one of the less expensive models.
The JonPaul Bravo comes with an ebony frog, nickel fittings, nickel mountings, a Steinway black finish, and high quality hair.
The interesting thing about this bow is it has been in production the longest. No other carbon fiber bow has been around as long as the JonPaul Bravo.
When it comes to bows and other accessories for instruments, Glasser is a name that you can always trust.
If you are a student in need of a good bow, the Glasser X-Series will not disappoint. It just may be the best choice for all students.
The bow is of the highest quality and it will always perform as it should. It comes with an ebony frog, something most carbon fiber bows have, with faux mother of pearl eyes.
Even better is the fact genuine horse hair was used when constructing this bow.
If you are looking for a really good entry level bow, or you are looking for a way to familiarize yourself with a carbon fiber bow, this is the best bow to do that with.
It is also very inexpensive which makes it a great option for those just starting out.
Our Final Thoughts
For some people, investing in a carbon fiber bow may seem a little risky. And hey, we get it. Trying something new can indeed be a risk.
So the question is, is it worth the risk? And we would have to say YES!
Not only do carbon fiber bows sound great, but they are also less likely to break, splinter, or warp.
When it comes to durability, carbon fiber bows outperform traditional wood bows by quite a bit. However, that doesn’t mean traditional wood bows should be left out.
As previously stated, many professionals have both a carbon fiber bow and a traditional wood bow.
This allows them to switch back and forth based on the type of song they are playing. Some songs will indeed sound better being played with a traditional wood bow versus a carbon fiber bow.
Learning to use two different bows, both made out of completely different materials, is one of the best ways to expand your overall skill set.
With that being said, in this article we have outlined what we believe are the top 7 best carbon fiber violin bows currently on the market.
They all have their advantages, and each one is a great choice no matter your current skill level.
Each one is offered at a different price point. We did our best to ensure we only picked the best ones for each price point.
This way you can easily find the best one that fits your budget.
If you have never used a carbon fiber bow, we promise you are in for a treat. Once you try it you will never want to use another bow again.
Not having to constantly change your bow is a complete game changer for most violinists. Not only does it save you a great deal of money, but it also saves you a great deal of time.
Time that can be better spent on honing your craft and becoming the best violin player you can be.