In researching violin bows there does not seem to be anything deemed to be a violin bow guide. So I will just share with you what I have learned about the violin bow market. There are 2 distinct groups of violin bows for sale. There is the old and antique violin bows as one part of the market and there are the new violin bows. Which are the best violin bows depends on what you are looking for when you are choosing a violin bow.
If you are an expert violinist and making your living with your violin, your bow is as important or more important than your choice of violin. It seems to be very personal and subjective. Experts like antique bows. On the technical side it is the weight as in the lightness of the bow and the balance that are critical. There is the historic value of the bow and the fact that it has remained straight for decades to over a century that make it reliable for holding its value. Some violin bow making families such as W. E. Hill & Sons have a bow making tradition that is chronicled in books. On each violin bow there are clues etched the shaft and on the frog to identify which employee made which part. We have pictures of the 2 antique bows that we sold from the collection, the Tourte bow and our W. E. Hill & Sons bow.
This is a bit expensive for a student violinist. The cost of a violin bow rehair is about the same as the price of a very nice, new violin bow. The challenge of owning an antique violin bow is that you should already have a working relationship with a luthier before you own one. The cost of a new violin bow string (horse hair) plus the time of the luthier is both time consuming and expensive. So a beginner or student can buy a new violin bow and replace the whole bow for less than it costs for a violin bow rehair.
Depending on how committed you are to your music will determine whether you want cheap violin bows or whether you may consider other things as important as the violin bow price. Like the antique violin bows, weight and balance are the most important considerations. In the past, the lightweight material of choice for a violin bow was pernambuco aka, brazil wood. You can now buy a carbon fiber violin bow (carbon violin bow) as an alternative to the pernambuco violin bows now offered. With pernambuco violin bows, the value and the price rises with the aging of the wood. Wood like cheese gets better with age.
We have shopped the web for you to have some choices when you choose to buy a violin bow. For antique violin bows we have sold our 2 but will endeavor to find more. They are hard to find as violinists do not part with them easily and supply is diminishing as they are not making any more antique violin bows.