Wind Chime Buyer's Guide

Styles & Types of Wind Chimes

Wind chimes come in many sizes, styles and types. How a chime sounds is widely dependent on the materials used, the combination of tubes used and its size. Below are a few of the more common types.

>> Classic or Traditional Wind Chimes

Classic Wind Chimes

These chimes are what most people probably think of when they think of a wind chime. Typically these have metal tubes, a wooden striker, a metal or wooden suspension ring with wind sails made of varying materials and looks.

The classic wind chimes offer the widest variance of sound, all depending on the material used for the tubes & striker, the diameter & length of the tubes, and the specific arrangement of the tubes.

For example, some chimes sound just like church bells, others can play cords or portions of songs, such as the Amazing Grace Wind Chimes, while others are designed to create a mesmerizing resonance that feels like it can vibrate into eternity.

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>> Bamboo Wind Chimes

Bamboo Wind Chimes

Bamboo wind chimes are made from a variety of wood or wood like materials. The most popular being bamboo (which is not wood, but a type of grass). Others are made from other materials such as wood, coconut, and driftwood.

These chimes come in a vast variety of styles and themes. Often they are handmade, hand carved and hand painted with themes such as birds, turtles, flowers, sun/moon, and other interesting themes or objects. Our favorite is the animated bobbing head bamboo wind chimes!

These chimes offer a more natural, softer sound and bring a feel of nature to your space. The larger the chime, the deeper the sound

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>> Glass Wind Chimes

Glass Wind Chimes

While there are exceptions, typically when someone speaks of glass wind chimes, they are referring to chimes like these.

Typically, the glass pieces are made of a durable glass that has been colored and cut into a variety of shapes for a vast array of themes and looks. Such as, holidays, animals, objects, mirrors & so much more.

Glass wind chimes offer a softer, more gentle sound depending on the size of the glass pieces.

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>> Capiz Wind Chimes

Capiz Wind Chimes

Capiz Shell is a shell that comes from the windowpane oyster, mostly harvested in the Philippines. It has been used for thousands of years due to its durability and translucence.

Capiz shell can be dyed and are often arranged in to lovely colorful cascades of texture or can be made in to interesting mobile shapes. It is also common to see capiz wind chimes with solar or led lights creating a beautiful effect at night.

They make a soft sound and because they are so light, they move easily in the slightest breeze. On a still day, hardly noticing a breeze, you can hear their sweet little sounds.

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>> Wind Bells

Wind Bells

The biggest difference between wind bells and wind chimes is wind bells use bells for the sound. They can be found having a single bell or multiple bells arranged similar to wind chimes or mobiles.

They are made of a wide variety of materials such as cast iron, metal, wood & glass and come in a vast variety of themes and colors. Wind bells had an elegance to any decor.

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>> Wind Gongs

Wind Gongs

Wind gongs are unique and are typically made from brass suspended by a wooden suspension with a wooden striker and wind sail. Inspired from ancient Chinese gongs, these are hand hammered in the traditional way and keep a more traditional gong look & sound. The depth of the sound is dependent on the size of the gong.

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How a Wind Chime is Measured & The Typical Anatomy

A wind chime is measured by its overall length. The measurement starts at the very top, where it attaches to a hook, and then down to the very bottom of the chime. The typical wind chime has a few basic parts as shown below.

Wind Chime Diagram

Ring or Knot Hook -
Most wind chimes will have a sturdy ring or strong knot at the top for attaching to a hook or hanger.

Suspension Cord - This is where the overall balance and weight of the chime is distributed for optimum appearance and sound.

Suspension Ring -
Typically this is made from various materials and is how the tubes are kept the right distance apart.

Tubes -
The material the tubes are made from determine the demeanor and variance of the sound. The finish & color are for the visual effect of the chime.

Striker or Clapper -
This is the part of the chime that strikes the tubes and makes the magic happen. The material this is made from determines the sound, as well.

Center String -
This is the string in the center of the chime that attaches to the Striker and the Wind Sail.

Wind Sail or Wind Catcher -This catches the wind and moves the Striker, causing the wind chime to make sound. The more it moves, the more sound the wind chime will make.

Wind Chime Pairing Guidance

Many wind chime manufacturers provide the scale that the chime is tuned to. This can be helpful when trying to coordinate multiple chimes in close proximity to ensure musical tonal harmony. Below are some quick tips to help you find chimes that will sound complimentary together.

Wind Chime Music Scale

  • Chimes keyed in the same scale will naturally sound good together. This is a great place to start. For example, if you have an existing chime in scale C, consider adding a larger or smaller scale C chime.

  • Additionally, chimes with a higher or lower "fifth" also sound good together. A fifth is the interval from the first to the last of five consecutive notes. With this in mind, determine the scale of the larger (lower tone) chime and consider pairing it with a smaller chime in the same fifth. Use the table below as a reference:
Scale of Larger Chime
Pairs with Smaller Chime in Scale
  • Try to avoid pairing chimes where the scales are adjacent to one another, in other words one scale (letter) apart (for example, A and B, or E and F). Use the scale shown above on the keyboard for reference.

  • These tips aren't conclusive, there are other combinations of chimes that sound good together as well.

Where to Hang Your Wind Chime

Wind Chimes can be hung pretty much anywhere! They can withstand most normal weather conditions, so, many people enjoy hanging them in trees, from eves, on porches, from shepherd hooks in their yard or flower beds, etc. Some also enjoy their chimes indoors where they may have a stand for the wind chime or may hang it from the ceiling or an open-door way. Some chimes are small enough people will hang them on door knobs.


Wind chimes are designed to withstand exposure to weather, however as with any material, the more exposure it gets, the shorter its life. Below are good practices to keeping your wind chime in good condition.

Bad Weather Events: If a major or damaging weather event is expected, take your chime down and secure it in a safe place.

Winter: A good practice is to store your wind chime away for the winter. If your chime is bamboo or wood, it's best to store it in an unheated location as they are sensitive to humidity and temperature changes.

Cleaning: If your chime is made of metal, glass, capiz or any other material besides wood, you can use a mild detergent and damp cloth to wipe your chime clean. Dry with a soft dry cloth.

To clean a wooden or bamboo chime, or to maintain the wooden parts of your wind chime, you can apply a thin layer of exterior use Danish or lemon oil with a clean cloth to help protect it against the elements.

For more detailed instructions for maintenance and cleaning, check out our Chime Maintenance page.

Consider a Protectant

You can lengthen your wind chime's life by applying a UV protectant once a year or so. It is good to clean your wind chime off and then spray on the protectant. The protectant makes a considerable difference in the life of your chime!


Wind chimes add peace and tranquility to any space. Hang them where you'll enjoy them most, take reasonably good care of them and don't worry about the rest. Those chimes will make you happy for years to come. We hope you enjoy!

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