How Much Do Handbells Cost? A Rundown

different handbell sizes

Are you interested in learning how to ring handbells? Have you wondered what exactly goes into purchasing a handbell set for your choir or group? Handbells are intricate instruments—from the size of bells and number of octaves to the type of handles and quality of construction, there’s plenty to consider when investing in a set. And, naturally, price is an important factor as well! In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the factors that influence cost and give an overview on typical prices so you can inform yourself before buying.

An Overview of Handbells

Handbells may sound like a fancy instrument for only the most sophisticated musicians, but they’re actually quite accessible for anyone! You don’t need a degree in music theory to enjoy the beautiful melodies they create. But the question on everyone’s mind (and wallets): how much do handbells actually cost? Well, the answer varies depending on the level of quality and number of bells. But fear not, my frugal friends! There are affordable options out there for those who want to dabble in handbell playing without breaking the bank. So, grab your wallet (gently, of course) and let’s start digging in to the nitty gritty.

New vs. Used Handbell Cost

There are several types of handbells available on the market, ranging from basic beginner sets to high-end professional models. You’ll find everything from small sets starting at just a few dollars per bell, all the way up to expert-grade sets that can cost thousands of dollars. The good news is that no matter what your budget may be, there’s a set of bells out there for you.

New Handbell Costs

If you’re considering purchasing a new handbell, it’s important to know the costs involved. Handbells can range from a few hundred dollars for a single bell to several thousand for a full set. The cost of a handbell depends on various factors such as the material, size, and sound quality.

Used Handbell Costs

Used handbells can be a great option for those looking to save money on their musical instrument purchases. The cost of a brand-new set of handbells can be quite high, but with a used set, you can get the same great sound without breaking the bank. Plus, buying used is environmentally conscious, as it keeps instruments out of landfills and reduces the demand for new manufacturing. So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to add handbells to your musical repertoire, consider purchasing used ones. You might be surprised at the quality and affordability available to you.

Brand and Quality

When making a purchase, brand and quality are two factors that often come to mind. A well-known brand such as Malmark handbells can give consumers a sense of reassurance, while high-quality products such as those that Schulmerich typically provides can give long-lasting satisfaction. However, these two factors don’t always go hand in hand. A lesser-known brand can produce a product that exceeds expectations in terms of quality, while a well-known brand may not always deliver consistent quality across their product line. It’s important for consumers to consider both aspects when making a decision, and to do their research on both the brand and the quality of the product they are interested in.

Number of Notes Per Set

The number of notes per set is another factor to consider when looking at handbell prices. Handbells are typically sold in octave sets of 8, 12, or 16 bells. Handbell sets with more bells will naturally cost more than those with fewer bells. Additionally, the shape and size of the bell can have an impact on the price. Smaller handbells tend to be more affordable than larger ones.

Metal Bells vs. Bronze Handbells

Several factors affect metal vs. bronze handbell prices. Aluminum or steel handbells are cheaper than bronze ones. Production materials are cheaper. Due of their rich, resonant sound, bronze handbells are commonly preferred. Bronze handbells cost more due to their quality and rarity. For skilled performers or professional groups wanting superior sound quality, bronze handbells may be worth the expenditure. Metal handbells are cheaper for novices. Metal or bronze handbells depend on budget, musical goals, and performance ability. 

Budget-Friendly Options for Beginners

Learning a new skill can be daunting, especially when you’re on a tight budget. But don’t let the cost of supplies keep you from pursuing your interests! There are several budget-friendly options for beginners across a variety of hobbies. For those interested in handbells, there are plenty of used options available online or at local music stores that won’t break the bank. You can also ask your local church that has a handbell set if they would be willing to let you use the space for practice from time to time. Remember, starting small doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or enjoyment!

Tips for Buying Used Handbells

Second-hand handbells can be a great option if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative to buying new handbell sets. However, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for used handbells to ensure that you’re making a wise investment.

First, inspect the bells closely for any cracks, dents, or other damage that could affect their sound quality. It’s also a good idea to try them out if possible, to test their tonality and resonance. Secondly, make sure that the bells come with all the necessary accessories you may desire such as a case for shipping/transport, mallets, and music stands. Finally, do your research beforehand and shop from reputable sellers with a good track record to ensure a smooth transaction. With these tips in mind, you can confidently purchase used handbells that will produce beautiful sounds for years to come.


Handbell sets can be found for practically any budget with a little study and planning. Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are terrific sources to find affordable used sets for beginners and experienced collectors alike. Online merchants also finance pricey sets. When buying handbells, one must examine their budget and all the aspects that determine price, such as quality and model type. Before buying a set, read reviews. You’ll find a budget-friendly setup with patience and dedication!

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