We reviewed the 7 best carbon fiber violin bows to help you decide if a carbon fiber bow is right for you. There are some key reasons that you may want to consider a carbon fiber bow over a traditional wood bow.
The violin is a very traditional instrument that has years and years of design behind it. Many people choose the traditional wood bow just because they want to keep with tradition but if an instrument can be improved upon why not take a look at the improvements and how they can benefit you.
Let’s Look At Wood Bows First
Wood bows are traditional but traditional does not really mean best in all cases. There are some very real problems with wood bows that you do not find with composite bows.
There are primarily two types of wood bows. Pernambuco or brazil wood are both used in the creation of a wooden bow.
While both woods are a good choice you do have to consider what can happen to wood when it is under constant use. It is an organic material that is susceptible to heat, humid and cold.
Wood bows can easily swell, warp and even crack when they are exposed to different environmental situations.
Wood bows can easily snap. To get the sound from a wood bow that you hope for they cannot be overly thick but a thin bow can easily break.
It is a quandary that luthiers have been battling for years. The carbon fiber bow is really an easy solution to an age old problem.
One of the most common problems (besides the hair stretching out beyond its usefulness) is the tips tend to snap and it usually is at the worst possible moment. Most professionals keep two or more bows with them at all times just in case they break their tips.
It is true that a wood bow is beautiful aesthetically but for practical purposes it is not always best. The more you practice with a wood bow the more risk you are taking that the bow will not be able to hold up!
What Are Carbon Fiber Bows?
Carbon fiber bows are made from synthetic fibers that are fused together to create a very durable material. There are some very clear advantages to choosing a carbon fiber bow like:
- Does not warp
- Does not expand
With a carbon fiber bow you do not have to worry about environmental effects on the bow. You also do not have to worry about breaking the tip or replacing the bow every few months.
Carbon fiber bows have been decades in the making and have come a long way when it comes to construction and in moving the vibrations through the bow.
It is important to recognize that many professionals actually own a carbon fiber bow and a wooden bow to be able to enjoy the benefits of both options.
We also want to dispel a myth concerning a carbon fiber bow. A lot of purists believe that they will not get the same “feeling” from a carbon fiber bow then they will from a wood bow.
While it may be true that as recently as a decade ago the carbon fiber bow lacked as much ability to feel the vibrations that you can feel with a wooden bow but that has changed.
Through diligent research, engineering and design improvements carbon fiber bows are just as sensitive today as the wooden bows.
There may be a learning curve involved with learning how to use a carbon fiber bow if you have always used a traditional bow but most people are able to feel comfortable in a very short period of time.
As a matter of fact after many years of perfecting the carbon fiber bow there are some models that are available that you will barely notice a difference.
They are just made so well that if you took a blindfolded test you likely would not even realize that you were using a carbon fiber model.
We Choose These
Our goal in identifying the 7 best carbon fiber bows was to find bows that are reliable, easy to use (even for the strictest purist) and of course affordable.
We looked at a lot of different bows in different price ranges and here is what we determined were the 7 best carbon fiber bows.
Here they are!
Fiddlerman Full Size Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
This bow is handcrafted and uses Siberian horse hair that is unbleached. It offers a great bounce and is a resilient bow.
It has an ebony frog that is copper mounted. It offers a great balanced weight that makes it very easy to control.
This bow comes highly rated by people that have purchased it which is always a good sign that a bow is made of good quality.
D Z Strad 200C Braided Carbon Fiber Violin Bow 4/4
This is a really nice looking bow that is also well crafted. It offers Mongolian horse hair and ebony Fleur De Lys Frog and a braided design. It is offered in 3 sizes. This hand-made bow is made with great attention to detail.
It is well balanced and highly resistant to breakage, warping and other issues that tend to plague a wood bow.
1set Black Carbon Fiber Violin Stunning Bow 4/4
This bow made the list because it is a quality bow but more so because it is a really inexpensive bow. You can easily find bows that are similar to this one at a much higher price.
It is a really great purchase that comes highly recommended by the people that have purchased it. It is a nice looking bow that uses quality materials where the quality counts like the natural horse hair and ebony frog. It is a hard value to beat if the budget is tight.
Vio Music Braided Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
This is a full sized bow that promises Pernambuco performance. This is a full sized bow that is crafted of Mongolian horse hair and that offers an ebony frog.
The carbon fiber is braided for added durability. It is well-balanced and easy to handle. Vio has a strong reputation for producing quality instruments and accessories.
CodaBow Prodigy Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow
This bow is a little costly but those that have purchased it have said it is worth the cost. It has all the bells and whistles that you could want in a bow like a Moroccan leather hand grip, Silver medal horse hair, traditional wood plugs and nickel and silver fittings.
It is a breathtaking bow that is balanced well and is a real show stopper. The cost is a little steep but it is a worthy investment.
JonPaul Bravo Model Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow
This bow is also on the high end for budget conscious player but it is easily one of the less expensive models for the professional player.
It offers a Steinway black finish, nickel fittings and mountings, high quality hair and an ebony frog.
The Jon Paul Model has been in production longer than any other carbon fiber bow, of course it has been perfected over the years but it is the longest running carbon fiber model.
Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow
Glasser is a trusted name in bows and other instrument accessories. This bow does not disappoint. It is an excellent choice as a student bow.
It is a quality bow that will perform as it should. It offers an ebony frog with faux mother of pearl eyes. It is constructed with genuine horse hair.
This is a really good entry level bow or a good bow for someone that is trying to get familiar with playing a carbon fiber bow. It is a very inexpensive model which is ideal for beginners.
Carbon fiber bows like anything else that is relatively new may seem like a risky choice but the reality is if you can have a bow that sounds great and reduce the risk of breakage, splintering and warping why would you not consider it?
Carbon fiber bows are a great improvement over wooden bows because they are far more durable. You could always make the choice that experts make and choose one carbon fiber bow and one wood bow and switch back and forth.
Having two bows of different materials will help you to expand your expertise and skill set.
These 7 best carbon fiber bows are all good picks and they are all best for different reasons. They are all offered at different price points and each is best in their pricing range category.
If you have never used a carbon fiber bow and are tired of having to replace your bow than it may be time for you to step up your game with a carbon fiber bow.