To determine the best cowbell we looked at the following features: purpose, size, style, handles, and materials. We know that the type of cowbell you pick is going to differ based on whether you’re using it for a musical performance or simply as a noisemaker. Cosmetic features like size and whether it comes with a handle will also determine comfort and the ways you can use it.
After taking all of the above into consideration, we nominated the WMM 10 Inch Steel Cowbell as our Top Pick. This was the only option in our research that featured a comfort grip handle, making it perfect for use at sporting events as a noisemaker. And it also features a durable copper construction. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our top picks.
Top 3 Best Cowbells
#1 WMM 10 Inch Steel Cowbell
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: A premium cowbell with a comfort grip handle that gives you that robust cowbell drum sound you need to cheer on your favorite team.
Serious sports fans know that when it’s game time, you need to show your team pride and make sure that they hear you. If you’re in the market for a serious noisemaker, the WMM 10-Inch Steel Cowbell is our Top Pick because it gives you a nice cowbell drum sound.
We like that this is the largest option in our guide and it has one of the best handles as well. You’ll appreciate the large comfort grip that makes this nice to hold for long periods. Plus this cowbell includes a clapper so you won’t need to bring a drumstick. And we also like the sturdy copper construction that gives this cowbell a sleek finish. The best quintos will compliment it nicely
#2 Cowbells 7 Inch Steel Cowbell with Handle
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A nice antique style copper finish cowbell with a built-in clapper that produces a low tone.
If you prefer a cowbell with a classic look, this seven-inch option is a great choice — especially for musicians. This antique copper-style cowbell is a great cencerro-sized option that’s perfect for accompanying live performances. You’ll like the sturdy steel-welded construction and the fact that a built-in zinc clapper.
You’ll also appreciate that this is one of the louder cowbells as well and that it’s designed with musicians in mind. Specifically, this is a cencerro (mid-range) size with a nice low tone that projects over long distances. The best wood blocks and the best chimes are also good instruments.
#3 Beistle 60946 Cow Print Cowbell
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: A kid-friendly cow print cowbell that’s the perfect size for little hands and ideal as a party favor or decoration.
Kids and cowbells are a great pair. But a traditional full-sized cowbell would be too heavy for most small children. This Beistle Cow Print Cowbell is a cute petite option that’s perfect for your next Western themed party.
This petite cowbell is only four inches wide, which means that it fits perfectly in a small child’s hands. Plus we like the colorful cow pattern. While this cowbell does have a clapper in it, because of its size and the fact that it’s meant more for decoration, this is the only option in our guide that’s not ideal for playing music. But we think your kids and party guests will like these cowbells regardless. You might also want to read about the best xylophone. And you can record music on the best wireless microphone.
How We Decided
Cowbells come in a variety of sizes for a range of purposes. To create our guide, we looked at the following core features — purpose, size, style, handles, and materials. All of the cowbells in our guide come with handles, which makes holding and striking or playing this instrument significantly easier. But our Top Pick is the only one with a comfort grip.
The next feature we considered was the purpose. For musicians, our Honorable Mention is the best option since it offers a lower tone. But if you’re buying a cowbell for a live event or to cheer on your favorite team, our Top Pick is the best choice. And for kids, our Best Budget pick is ideal.
Cowbells come in a range of sizes, and we highlighted a nice selection of them in our guide. For children, our Best Budget is perfect since it’s only four inches tall. Older people will appreciate our Top Pick and Honorable Mention choices as they are 10 and seven inches tall respectively. Likewise, all of our recommendations include the clapper so you won’t need to bring a drumstick.
And while all of our cowbell picks are made from metal, our Top Pick is the only one made from copper. In contrast the Honorable Mention is made from steel with a copper-like finish. And our Best Budget is designed with a playful cow print, which is why we nominated it as perfect for themed parties.
Best Cowbells Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Factors to Consider
Are you buying a cowbell to play music or as a noisemaker, a toy for a child, or for use with livestock? While you might think that all cowbells are the same, the short answer is they’re not. Depending on why you’re buying a cowbell, you’ll want to look for specific features that are best suited towards those uses.
You can choose between a cowbell that is handheld or one that can be mounted. If you’re looking for a mounted cowbell, be sure that the mounting accessories are included. Likewise, some cowbells come with a drumstick or something to strike it with while others won’t.
This is especially important if you’re buying a cowbell to accompany a drum set. Specifically for Latin music, there are three main cowbell sizes — mambo, cencerro, and campana. But in general, you can find cowbells as small as 1.5 inches tall to as big as 11 inches tall. The bigger the cowbell, the louder the noise it can create.
If you’re planning on using a handheld cowbell either for yourself or children, always keep the weight in mind. Especially for small children, lightweight bells are best. But even for musicians, you don’t want a heavy cowbell if you’re going to be holding it throughout a full performance set.
While cowbells are usually made from metal, the type of metal used can vary. Most are made from plated bronze, but you can also find cowbells made from sheet metal, zinc alloy or chrome plated to improve the lifespan of this instrument.
How do you mount a cowbell to a drum set?
You have a few options for mounting a cowbell to your drum set. One popular option is mounting it onto the rod of your hi-hat in your drum set. However, it will be in constant movement whenever you pedal the hi-hat. But you can also opt for a cowbell holder, percussion clamp, or percussion stand to mount it separately.
I want a handheld cowbell, what should I look for in an instrument?
Specifically, you want a cowbell with a handle. Without a handle, you’ll be holding the cowbell while striking it — which will dampen the sound and make it sound muffled.
What kind of instrument is a cowbell?
A cowbell is part of the percussion family. But it’s not an instrument that’s designed to be played alone. Since you can’t really get more than one sound out of it, it’s best as a backing percussion to help round out your song and strengthen the rhythm section.
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