6 Best Violin Bow Brands of 2022
Video reviews of the best violin bows to buy, their differences, how to choose a good bow and how much they cost.
Improve your sound and bow technique!
Why does a good violin bow matter?
A good violin bow doesn’t only influence your sound quality. It ‘helps’ you improve your bowing technique, develop your violin playing and makes things easier for you. With a good bow you don’t have to trip over those fast runs and different bowing techniques are a lot easier.
A cheap and bad bow can really hold you back in learning the violin. With some bows it’s simply not possible to get a good tone, stop bow shakes, bow straight and make a consistent sound. Jumping bowing techniques and fast runs are very difficult with a bad quality bow.
What to look for when buying a violin bow?
The two most important things to look at are:
How does the bow sound on your violin?
How does the bow play for you and how does it help your bowing technique?
Read here what you should play when testing and comparing violins bows. Read here about the characteristics to look for when you buy a bow.
Cheap vs expensive violin bows
Does a good violin bow have to cost a fortune?
Thanks to carbon fiber it’s possible to produce very decent beginner bows below $ 100, like this one, and all round performance bows suitable for professionals around $ 1.000. Click here to read all about how much different levels of violin bows cost to find out what you should spend on a bow.
Are carbon fiber violin bows any good?
They are the future! Wood is not used for bows because it is the best material or has the best resonance, but simply was the ONLY material available for centuries. Read here all the nitty gritty details and science behind wooden vs carbon fiber violin bows to decide what’s best for you.
Best Carbon Fiber Bow Brand of 2021
Arcus makes high density carbon fiber bows. There’s 80% carbon fiber in the bow and less other materials like epoxy. Other carbon fiber bows have around 60% carbon or less in the cheaper bows. Because of this the bow resonates better and produces a better and larger tone with less effort.
Arcus bows are lighter and stiffer than other bows, so you can perform advanced bowing techniques with more ease, reliability and speed. The bows are all hand made in Germany and available in lots of different types and classes.
In my violin bow guide I have review videos on all different classes and types of Arcus bows, so you can decide which one is the best fit for you and your violin.
Unfortunately these bows are not for everyone as they start around $ 1.000, therefore I’d like to introduce…
Best Cheap Violin Bow: Fiddlerman
If you’re looking for a decent beginner bow below $ 100, Fiddlerman bows offer the best value for money and excellent customer service. In this video you can hear how it sounds and what I think about the playability as a professional violinist.
Do you have a small budget, but do you want to upgrade the bow that came with your violin outfit? Then this is the best bow for your buck. Even as a beginner you’ll notice great improvement in sound quality and ease of bowing.
Best All Round Violin Bow: CodaBow
Probably the most popular carbon fiber bows at the moment: the American brand CodaBow. The Prodigy and Diamond NX are excellent beginner bows that feel very stable. For more advanced bowing techniques, look into the Diamond SX, GX and Marquise. The last two are all round performance bows, also suitable for professional players.
In my violin bow guide you can find videos in which two professional violinists demonstrate and discuss the most popular CodaBows, so you can decide which one is best for you.
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Let me help you find a great bow for your violin, so you can improve your bowing technique and sound quality:
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Classical violinist helping you overcome technical struggles and play with feeling by improving your bow technique.
Best Looking Violin Bow Brand: JonPaul
Traditional craftsmanship after the example of the great French masters applied to excellent carbon fiber bows: JonPaul bows have the traditional look and feel of antique violin bows with the advantages of carbon fiber.
In my violin bow guide two professional violinist demonstrate and discuss the Corona, Muse and Carrera. The first two are good quality beginner or intermediate bows. The Carrera is an all round performance bow and stands out as the best of the three.
Best Intermediate Violin Bow Brand: Müsing
I already mentioned Arcus bows aren’t accessible for everyone starting at $ 1.000, but luckily the company heard our prayers and introduced the Müsing line.
Starting below $ 500 they offer an excellent stiff and light bow with a great resonance. The C4 and C5 around $ 1.000 are great professional bows competing with the lower end Arcus bows.
Watch and listen to the differences between the classes in my violin bow guide.
Cheapest Violin Bow a Violin Teacher can Recommend
The Yinfante $ 29 bow available on eBay is one in a million
Even with the smallest budget it’s possible to get a decent beginner bow that’s better than most bows ‘coming with’ a cheap violin outfit.
Watch this video in which two professional violinist play some virtuoso repertoire with this bow and discuss al it’s qualities.
What violin bow do you have? And what’s the bow of your dreams?
Let me know in the comments below! Also if you have questions about what bow fits YOU best, let me know and I’m happy to advise you.
> Thank you for the violin bow guide including the videos!. So good to have some guidance on
> bows at every price point. I have a question about the Codabow vs
> JonPaul review. The JonPaul Carrera comes in firm and also flexible.
> Fiddlerman’s review mentions that the Carrera firm bow is jumpier than
> the flexible bow. Which JonPaul Carrera bow did you ladies review?
> Firm? Flexible?
> The JonPaul vs Musing violin Bow Review was very helpful.
> Now to think about the Marquise, the Carrera (flexible or firm), the
> Arcus 5, and the Musing 5. (I also am interested in Arcus 7 bows as
> an upgraded choice.) I used to play the violin decades ago. Have
> recently taken up the viola and have a nice small one with wound gut
> strings. Gut has a sound that I prefer. My interest in bows is not
> only about tone and jumping. I have an old rotator cuff injury (right
> shoulder) that is easily aggravated. The bow I buy needs to be the
> most comfortable and easy to play. (The Arcus bows vibrating at 100
> Hz are supposed to be healthier than other bows which vibrate at 50
> Hz. This is extremely interesting!) Thanks again. – Mary
Hi Mary, we had the firm Carrera bow in the review. Based on what you write about your small viola and the injury, I’d go for an Arcus M-series.
I am a beginner (started in May, 2020) and currently using a Willian de Marchi Silver pernambuco bow and the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow. Since I am a crewman aboard a container ship half my practicing time will be onboard, and I am nervous about accidentally dropping my $1,100 de Marchi and breaking it on the hard deck in my cabin. I like the Fiddlerman bow but it lacks the sound the de Marchi produces.
I read your guide on selecting a bow but I’m still undecided between the Müsing C5, Codabow Marquise, and the Arcus S6 (my bow budget is $2,500 maximum).
If you were me, which one would you pick? Although I have less than 8 months experience I am trying to get something that I can use beyond my beginner/intermediate phases.
Michael, it’s highly personal, so I recommend certainly in that price range to order the bows you mention, try them out and make an informed decision. I’ve played with a S6 for years until I upgraded to my S9 and I loved it, but that’s me…
I am a violin student age 13 but I have been playing for 11 years and play more advanced pieces such as Paganini’s caprices. I recently broke my old cheap carbon fiber bow and now my teacher recommends i go for a high quality $1000-$2000 bow. Should i go for an Arcus bow or one of musing. Also can you recommend a specific model.(I play music that requires very diverse bowing techniques.
I’d say the T6 would be a great all-rounder, but definitely also try the S-series (I have an S9) as they are very agile and you’ll like them for Paganini. Also give the Musing C5 a try. It’s highly personal, so make sure you at least try three different ones. Let me know what you end up with! 🙂
I have two CodaBow Marquise and I love them (one firm and one soft). I play a Gayford violin, which I absolutely LOVE. I want an Arcus SOOOOO much. It’s my dream bow.
Awesome! What do you think about the Gayford violin? I’m thinking about reviewing some carbon fiber violins.
Hi, I am John Robert Your article “6 Best Violin Bow Brands of 2021” is very helpful for me. After reading your article I got a lot of knowledge from your article. I have some knowledge about bow but after reading your article I think; I have to gain more knowledge about this topic. Thanks!
That’s great, John!
Great article. I’m about to try out a few arcus bows and perhaps exchange my Marquise for an Arcus. I can’t wait for the test bows to arrive!
B.t.w. the heading “Why does a good violin matter?” is wrong 🙂
Wonderful, Jonas, let me know which bow you end up with. Thanks for pointing out that mistake. I’ve corrected it immediately.
Curious if you have heard of or had any thoughts about the Presto line of bows? There exists the regular Presto bow, the performance series (Audition, Encore, Ovation), and then Impulse at the top of the line. Shar Music, one of the most reputable string instrument shops in the USA, seems to be the exclusive distributor, and these bows could be intended as a competitor to the Fiddlerman line of bows. The Impulse apparently received a favorable review by Andres Cardenes, and I felt that it was at least decent when I tried it. Could this line of bows possibly be worth reviewing?
Hi Brian, in fact I’ve sold them for years as they are from the same factory as my Zlata carbon fiber violin bows of some years ago. You can find some videos right here and right here.
Oh interesting. I’m assuming that bow is the same as the Ovation. My feeling was the Ovation was pretty similar to the NX and Impulse was pretty similar to the SX, and with Codabow part of what you are paying for is the name brand. But still if you wanted something high end that’s carbon fiber, you would have better luck with a major brand. I liked the GX a lot when I tried it. I’m sure the Marquise is better, but for an amateur player the GX is probably more than sufficient.
GX is definitely a great bow. It might also be interesting to compare them to Müsing bows. Very different.
Hello, great article! I’m currently playing Wieniawski’s Scherzo-Tarantelle, an overall fast piece. I’m planning on buying CodaBow’s Diamond GX. Is it a good fit, or would you recommend something else?
That’s a good bow, but it’s all highly personal, so make sure to try several out.