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All About Replacement Violin Bows

Updated on September 19, 2012

Guide to Replacement Violin Bows and Violin Bow Repairs

Do you need a replacement violin bow? Maybe you want to know if you can repair your own violin bow? This guide is full of information and resources about how to find a replacement bow for adult size and kids size violins and how to repair broken violin bows.

Sometimes a broken violin bow may need to be professionally restored and I'll show you how to go about finding someone to fix your violin bow.

Photo credit: Creative Commons by Sam Greenhalgh

Violin Bow Parts

Violin bows are usually made of wood and a natural fiber hair, like horse hair. There are also bows made with fiberglass or carbon graphite composites. Over time the fibers on the violin will wear down and break. Damaged bow hair makes it difficult to play the violin.

(Photo source: Wikimedia commons)

Tip

Loosen the bow hair before you put it away in the case. If you store the bow with the hair tight it will cause excess stress on the hair and damage the fibers.

Violin bow hair should be replaced as often as every 6 months if you play frequently. At the minimum, you should replace bow hair every 18 months. Bow hair wears thin and breaks over time. A build-up of rosin on the fibers (or the wrong kind of rosin) can also play a role in damaged bow hair.

If you find that you need to re-hair your violin bow frequently you might want to buy a different brand of rosin. This is especially true if you live in a place with very low humidity as bow hair can become very dry and brittle. If this is the case try a brand of rosin that keeps moisture in like Dampit, Humistat, Humidifier or Hygrometer.

(Image: Dumbledad on Flickr.com)

Tutorials: How to Replace Bow Hair

Learn how to rehair a violin bow.

Average cost to have a professional replace bow hair: $50.

Image: Creative Commons Steve Snodgrass on Flickr.com

Where to find professional violin bow repair services - Compare prices and reviews for local violin repair services

There are profesional violin bow repairers in many US cities. One of the best ways to find local violin repairers is to check local listings and reviews on Yelp.com or YellowPages.com. Yelp allows clients to leave reviews and also offers special deals on local services. Just type in "violin repair" and a nearby city to search for services and compare prices.

Get up to 90% off at the best local business in your area with Yelp Deals

How to Size Violin Bows & Violin Bow Size Chart

Violin bows come in different sizes. Most adults and teens use full size violins and require a 26.5 inch bow. Kids sizes vary. In order to determine what size violin bow is needed you can measure the child's arm.

Determine Palm Measurement

Use measuring tape and measure the length from the base of the left side of the neck down the outstretched arm (left) to the base of the fingers.

Wrist Measurement

Measure the length from the base of the child's neck (left side) to the wrist.

Determine the Violin Correct Bow Size

*Arm length: 21.5": 3/4 violin with 27" bow (kids 9 to 12)

*Arm length: 20": 1/2 size violin with 24.5" bow (kids 7 to 9)

*Arm length: 18" to 18.5": 1/4 size violin with 22.5" bow (kids 5 to 7)

*Arm length: 16.5": 1/8 size violin with 19.25" bow (kids 4-6)

Best Violin Bow Materials?

Brazilwood is said to be the best material for a violin bow. Pernambuco comes from Brazilwood. Good Brazilwood is very strong but a new, quality bow can be expensive. Fiberglass violin bows are another option and are fairly lightweight. New violin bows are also made with carbon fiber, graphite or hybrid combinations of synthetic materials. Horse hair is traditionally used for the bow hair but you can also find replacement violin bows with synthetic fibers. Check out the available replacement violin bows with different materials below to compare and find the perfect one for yourself.

Best Violin Bow Rosin

Top rated violin bow rosin with the best reviews. All over 4+ stars. (5 stars is the highest rating you can give)

What will you do?

So you have a broken violin bow...will you try to fix it or buy a new one?

I'm going to try and fix my broken violin bow.

I'm going to try and fix my broken violin bow.

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    I give up. I'm going to buy a replacement violin bow.

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      Violin Replacement Bow Comments & Questions

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          anonymous 4 years ago

          Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

          CassandraStrings.com