These small, light instruments come in sets of two or more and are designed to be held with one hand while you shake them.
Hand bells can be made from metal, wood, or plastic. They range in size from relatively small instruments that weigh just a few pounds up to larger instruments that may weigh over three pounds each. The smaller varieties are easier to use but typically have a lower pitch than their larger counterparts. On the other hand, bigger hand bells tend to deliver deeper tones but require more physical effort during use.
If you're ready to find the perfect set of hand bells for your church or musical studio, our shopping guide is here to help!
How We Choose
We've reviewed the best hand bells to help you find the perfect instrument for your needs. Whether you're looking for an entry-level bell that's affordable or a professional-quality handbell with all the features, we've got you covered.
TUTOOLS Classroom Bell Brass Hand Bell
The TUTOOLS Brass Bell is a sturdy, non-toxic and tasteless handbell that makes a great addition to any classroom. The brass bell has a soft-textured wooden handle for comfortable handling, and it rings out clearly with each strike.
This handbell is perfect for use in classrooms where attention must be called to an emergency or when someone needs assistance. It's also useful for getting attention during mealtime or other activities when hands are busy elsewhere. This bell can be used by both adults and children alike, making it versatile and suitable for a variety of situations.
The TUTOOLS Brass Bell comes packaged in an attractive box that includes easy instructions on how to ring the bell and how to care for it over time. We recommend this product to anyone looking for a non-toxic, tasteless handbell that will stand up to regular use in their classroom or home setting!
Hourwof Hand Bell
The Hourwof Ornate Hand Bell is a great option for those who want a handbell that can be used for many different purposes. These bells are made of zinc alloy, which makes them both durable and non-toxic.
Each one features an intricate floral pattern engraved on the surface, adding an eye-catching element to any room. The handle is designed with an ergonomic grip, making it easy to hold and control the bell. They are also easy to clean, requiring only a wipe with a cloth to remove any debris from within the bell.
These bells have been designed with versatility in mind, making them perfect for use at dinner parties or as an alarm when needed during an emergency situation. Not only do they look beautiful on display they sound great too - these bells are extra loud so you won't have to shout if someone needs attention!
10 Inch Steel Cowbell with Handle
The WMM cowbell is a great option for those looking to add some noise to their celebrations. It has a solid copper finish that looks great and feels good in the hand. The bell is also fairly lightweight, making it easy to carry around and play with confidence.
The grip on this cowbell is also comfortable, which makes it easier to hold while playing music or cheering on your favorite team. This makes it an excellent option for parties and other events where you want to make some noise but don't necessarily want to break anything! The sound quality of this cowbell isn't the best, but it's loud enough that you can hear yourself over the crowd if needed.
Overall, we think the WMM cowbell is a great value choice for anyone looking for something affordable that performs well at cheering people on from afar.
Bevin Bells Solid Brass Hand Bell
Bevin Bells is a company that has been in operation since 1832 and has built up a reputation for producing high-quality handbells. The company is based in Connecticut, USA, but also has production facilities in China.
The bells are made from solid brass and are lacquered to give them a beautiful finish. They come in a variety of different designs, including ornate and classic styles, which can be customized with engravings or other decorative elements. Bevin Bells' handbells are tested for lead levels before they leave the factory to ensure that they pose no health risks if used by children at playtime.
They're also guaranteed to sound great - whether you're looking for an elegant piece of home décor or something more practical like an alarm bell, these bells will deliver on their promise of being loud yet clear sounding.
Energy Chime Percussion Hand Bell
The Musfunny Meditation Chime is a great tool for meditation, yoga, or mindfulness exercises. The chime emits a smooth "ding" echo that effectively attracts attention in the classroom.
The wooden frame and aluminum rod are crafted expertly and have a beautiful cherry finish. It has an ash wood base with a silver polished aluminum solid rod that can vibrate for more than 20 seconds. The hand mallet slips in between the chime and the wood for safekeeping, making it easy to take on the go.
This hand held chime can be used for meditation, yoga, classrooms, or mindfulness exercises and helps restore energy after periods of exertion or stress. It's also a great gift idea for anyone who enjoys music or nature sounds.
Hand Bells FAQs
They're a perfect gift for the holidays or any time of year, but with so many options to choose from, where do you start?
Our team of shopping experts have done their best to answer your most Frequently Asked Questions about hand bells.
What Are The Basics Of Handbells?
When it comes to handbells, size matters. Size not only refers to the bells' diameter but also their pitch and volume. Generally speaking, smaller bells make higher-pitched tones while larger ones make deeper pitches. The size of your handbells will depend on the type of music you play as well as whether or not you're playing with a group.
Handbells can be played by just one person using both hands or by multiple players using just one bell each. Handbell choirs often play composed pieces that include several different parts for different sized groups of bells including single, pairs, trios and quartets. Single-sized handbells are smallest and easiest to handle while quartets are heaviest and most difficult to maneuver through complex passages.
What Are Hand Bells Called?
Hand bells are called hand bells because that's what they're called. Simple, right? There's no fancy name for them in any language we've been able to find, other than just plain hand bells. Other musical instruments can be referred to by their type or style: tubas, euphoniums, baritones. But not hand bells. We searched high and low for a proper name for these little guys and came up empty every time. Maybe it's because they function more like percussion instruments than actual chimes; they don't really ring like a bell at all. They do make a ringing sound when struck together properly, but that doesn't seem to be the commonly accepted name for them either.
The best way we can think of to refer to individual hand bells is by size (eighth notes/sixteenth notes), sound (high note/low note), and number (#1 through #8).
Is It Easy To Play Handbells?
While it may not seem like it at first, playing handbells is actually quite simple and can be picked up by anyone with basic musical knowledge. There are only four notes in the scale when playing standard 4-note handbells and they're easy to play in succession. The best way to get started is by learning the names of each note while holding a set of bells. You could also start with a digital keyboard or an online tuner if you have access to one but we found that it's much easier to learn by holding physical handbells since there are so many variables involved (such as which bell produces the note).
Once you're familiar with the notes, you'll be ready to start ringing actual bells. You can do this either on your own or with an instructor, who will show you how to hold them properly and how hard (or gently) you need to ring them. Once all of that feels comfortable, it's time for practice! It takes some time getting used to ringing in perfect unison but most people pick up the basics quickly enough so long as they're patient and willing to spend time practicing regularly.
What Metal Is Used In Handbells?
Most handbells are made from brass, a metal alloy that is easy to work with and inexpensive. Some premium models are made from silver or gold, but these cost considerably more than the standard brass bells. Most manufacturers use bell shapes and diameters that have been in use for hundreds of years, so you can be confident your handbells will sound good no matter which one you choose.
How Long Do Handbells Last?
Like most musical instruments, handbells can last for many years if you take care of them properly. Most handbells are made from brass, which is a sturdy material that won't rust or tarnish over time as long as it's cleaned and polished regularly. You should also keep your handbells out of extreme temperatures, such as storing them in an unheated garage through the winter months. Finally, always handle handbells gently to avoid chipping or cracking the surface.
It's hard to give an exact lifespan for any musical instrument because so much depends on usage and storage conditions. However, well-maintained handbells can often last decades with proper care.
Where Are Handbells Used?
Handbells are predominantly used in church services for musical accompaniment, but they can also be used for marching and other non-musical functions. Handbell choirs perform at many churches throughout the year, and many people from outside of the town or city may attend these events. Many churches also have handbell choirs composed of people who live in the area, which meets weekly to practice ringing together. These smaller groups may only perform once every few months or so at events such as Christmas concerts or service celebrations.
In addition to their use in churches, handbells are a common choice for marching bands due to their size and ease of handling compared to brass instruments. Though they aren't typically heard in concert halls alongside full orchestras because of their high volume and low range compared to bells made from other materials, they still make an impact when ringing out simple tunes and holiday melodies during performances by community groups such as senior citizen centers.
Which Handbells Have Higher Pitches?
The higher pitches of handbells come from the larger bells and greater volume of metal. While it might seem logical to assume that larger bells produce higher sounds, in fact the opposite is true. The pitch or highness of a sound comes from how quickly the sound waves move through the air ( quicker is better). Large bells take longer to ring because they have more metal and are heavier.
The smaller bells may be easier for younger children to handle, but they will not project as far or as loudly as larger ones. Also, small bells often have a clangier sound than large ones do. Smaller handbells with lower pitches are usually an F below middle C or even lower (a G two octaves below middle C). Larger handbells have higher pitches such as D above middle C or D one octave above middle C..
Can Handbells Go Out Of Tune?
If you leave handbells in a damp environment, such as near a sink or pool of water, they can rust and go out of tune. However, handbells are often made from aluminum so they don't rust easily. Additionally, the tuning on handbells is actually quite good because each one only has two notes so there's little room for error when manufacturing them. If you accidentally drop your bells or put them through the washer, however, it's possible that they will go out of tune. That being said, this is an issue that affects all types of instruments including stringed instruments like pianos and guitars.
Why Do You Wear Gloves When Playing Hand Bells?
Those who have never played hand bells before may wonder why the players wear gloves. The reason is that the metal of the bells can get extremely hot and touching them without protection can be painful. They also help to improve grip so that the player doesn't drop their hand bell by mistake. If you want to learn how to play hand bells, make sure you get a pair of gloves too!
Where Did Handbells Originate?
The concept of handbells has been around for thousands of years. In ancient times, people would ring metal pots and dishes to get attention or announce a coming event. The use of tuned handbells in the modern sense can be traced back to the 11th century, when they were used by Christian churches as a form of congregational worship.
In 1553, the first reference to "handbells" specifically was made in church records at Norwich Cathedral in England. These early bells were made of brass and hung from a stand with rope and leather straps so that many people could strike them at once. They weren't very tuneful – more like gongs than actual bells – but they provided an effective way for large groups of worshippers to chime together during hymns and prayers.
The spread of Christianity helped popularize handbell ringing all over Europe, though it wasn't until much later that tuned handbell choirs became common. This development is often attributed to Robert Roberts, who started teaching the subject at Oxford University in 1660. Early tuning methods involved placing thin pieces of paper on top of the bells while they rang so that students could mark any out-of-tune notes afterward by cutting holes in their recording sheets accordingly. Despite these primitive practices, choirs soon sprang up all across Europe and North America wherever sufficient numbers of ringing instructors could be found to teach beginners how to participate effectively.
Choosing the best hand bells can be a daunting task. However, with careful consideration and research you'll be able to find the right one for your needs. Start by defining what type of bell is best suited to your musical preferences and skill level. Then look at the different designs available and read reviews from other customers before making your purchase decision. With these tips in mind, you're sure to find an excellent hand bell that will enhance any musician's repertoire!