Buying the best cello bow is just as important as buying the right cello. The right cello bow can make a mediocre cello sound like a Stradivarius. Okay, we may be exaggerating a bit, but buying the best cello bow is a critical component of the cello buying experience. Before making your decision from the cello bows below, we highly recommend reading our guide on how to buy a cello bow.
Types of Cello Bows
There are three main types of cello bows. Most beginner cello outfits come with a fiberglass bow which is sturdy enough to handle accidents that may arise from the beginner cellist, but usually cello players will want to advance to a wooden bow or carbon fiber bow when they buy their first serious instrument. The sound quality from a wooden or carbon fiber bow far exceeds that of a fiberglass bow.
Fiberglass Bow – Best for Beginner
Fiberglass bows are best for the beginner who is learning the ropes of playing the cello and is not concerned so much with sound quality. Fiberglass bows are extremely cheap making them suitable for beginners who are not sure whether they will continue playing the cello.
Our Recommended Fiberglass Bow
See the Glasser Fiberglass Cello Bow on Amazon
Wooden Bow – Best for All Levels
Wooden bows are the standard for cello players. Most players, even beginners, own at least one wooden bow. Wooden bows are traditionally made out of Pernambuco wood, a Brazilian wood that provides strength and springiness.
Cheaper wooden bows will be made out of what’s known as “Brazilwood” which uses lower quality parts of the Pernambuco to produce bows. These bows do not typically have the same sound quality as pure Pernambuco wooden bows.
Our Recommended Wooden Bow
See the D Z Strad #805 Pernambuco Cello Bow on Amazon
Carbon Fiber Bow – Best for All Levels
Carbon fiber bows, also known as graphite bows, are extremely sturdy, but also produce quality sound. Environmental effects have little impact on a carbon fiber bow. You also do not have to worry about breaking the tip or having to replace the bow because it broke in half.
Carbon fiber bows solve many of the issues that traditional wooden bows have. Wood bows can easily swell, warp and even crack when they are exposed to different environmental situations. They can also easily snap. To get the best sound from a wooden bow they cannot be overly thick, however a thin bow will easily break.
Many purists believe that they will not get the same sound from a carbon fiber bow as from a wood bow. This is no longer true as over the last decade engineers and designers have developed carbon fiber bows that in some cases are superior to the wooden bow. Many professionals now actually carry both a wooden and carbon fiber bow in their cases.
Our Recommended Carbon Fiber Bow
See the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Cello Bow on Amazon
Why We Chose These Bows
Our goal in identifying the best 10 cello bows was to evaluate sound quality, elasticity, durability, and affordability.
We looked at hundreds of cello bows and found the best cello bows of the lot. The ten cello bows are the ones we believe to be the best cello bows available.