12 Best Clarinets in 2018

It’s time! You’ve decided to do it. You are going to buy a clarinet. Maybe it’s your first, maybe it’s your fifth but either way it’ll be yours in just a short bit of time. But how do you decide which is the best clarinet? There are so many to choose from!

Whether you’re a professional clarinet player or a beginner at the instrument, it’s important for you to consider all that makes a clarinet great before deciding to buy one. And, since we know how valuable time is these days, we decided to do that for you!

Below is our guide to figuring out which is the right clarinet for you. We’ve included a list of our twelve favorite clarinets as well so you can narrow in on your preferences all right here without having to research through a bunch of other sites.

Let the clarinet hunt begin!

Top 12 Clarinets Comparison Chart

DesignNameBody MaterialBonusesRating (1-5)
  1. LJ Hutchen 4216II Mark II Bb Clarinet with Case Plastic Case, reed, swab, cork grease 4.8
  2. Jean Paul USA CL-300 Student Clarinet PlasticCase, reeds, gloves, cleaning cloth, cork grease 4.6
  3. Lazarro 150-BK-L B-Flat Bb Clarinet Black Plastic Second barrel, mouthpiece with reed, cap and ligature, fabric case, cleaning cloth, reeds holder, gloves, screwdriver, cork grease 4.3
  4. LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet with Hardshell Case Plastic Cork grease, cleaning swab, reed, case, 2-year warranty 4.2
  5. Buffet Crampon E11 Bb Intermediate Wood Clarinet Wood Pencil, reed, cleaning swab, cork grease, case 4.2
  6. Hisonic Signature Series 2610 Bb Orchestra Clarinet with Case Plastic Case, mouthpiece with reed protector 4.1
  7. Conductor Bb Clarinet w/ Accessories and 1 YEAR Warranty Plastic Case, mouthpiece, ligature, cap and reed, 1-year warranty 4.1
  8. Mendini MCT-E+SD+PB Black Ebonite B Flat Clarinet Plastic Case, mouthpiece, box of 10 reeds, cord grease, cleaning cloth, gloves 4.0
  9. Etude Student Clarinet Model ECL-100 Standard Plastic Case, mouthpiece, ligature, cap 3.9
  10. Glory Black/Gold keys Clarinet B Flat with 2 Barrels Plastic Screwdriver, cork grease, reeds holder, cleaning cloth, gloves, case, second barrel, mouthpiece, cap and reeds 3.8
  11. 150-BK – BLACK Ebonite/SILVER Keys Bb B flat Clarinet Lazarro+11 Reeds Plastic Screwdriver, cork grease, reeds holder, cleaning cloth, case 3.7
  12. Buffet E-11 France Bb Clarinet Package Wood Case, mouthpiece, thumb rest cushion and swab, reed 3.6

Important Details

As you browse through the clarinets, here are a couple details you should keep in mind as you search for the right instrument for your needs.

  • Body Material – Clarinets are usually made of either plastic or wood. The type of material used for the instrument affects the clarinet in a couple different ways. Below is a more thorough explanation of the differences.
  • Type – The normal clarinet you picture when you think of the instrument is likely the soprano clarinet, it has the long slender body easily recognized upon sight.

However, there are also Bb clarinets, quite prominent in jazz and swing music. A clarinets are especially loved by classical players. There are Eb clarinets as well that take on high melodies, as well as bass clarinets that are significantly larger than other clarinets. Finally, there are harmony clarinets in different tunings, designed to produce harmonies rather than carry the melody.

Understanding Body Material

How much does the material of your clarinet really affect you? Which material should you buy yours in? It all depends on your preferences.

  • Plastic – If you get a plastic clarinet, you’ll come to see that it has the forgiving nature of plastic, while also producing musical notes to sound like the clarinet it is; however, it will not produce as rich of a sound as a wooden clarinet. Most clarinets made of plastic are for students or beginning clarinet players
  • Wood – The best clarinet is one that is made from the traditional material: wood. More advanced students and professionals prefer it for the rich unmistakable sound and resonance only clarinets of wood can produce.

The struggle with wooden clarinets is that they need well-disciplined care in order for them to live a long life. They must have sufficient humidity as well so as not to allow cracks to form on them.

We found some great clarinet choices! Here are our four favorites that we know would perform well for you for many years of happy playing.

Top 4 Best Clarinet Reviews

1. LJ Hutchen 4216II Mark II Bb Clarinet

This clarinet has a lot going for it! The notes are clear and it’s great for uninterrupted playing. Perfect for beginners!

It is made out of plastic, but it’s a very high quality plastic. It has the benefit of not being as easily damaged as wood, while still looking good and sounding excellent.

It is very high quality and has a nice weight to it. It comes with a great case and some additional accessories to make sure you have everything you need to be a clarinet player. This is a Bb clarinet. It is excellent for many types of music, especially jazz and swing. We highly recommend this buy as the best clarinet here!

2. Jean Paul USA CL-300 Student Clarinet

This clarinet is another highly recommended choice. It is made with a thick, durable plastic that is finished to look like wood. It comes with a great carrying case and several accessories so you don’t have to make a separate purchase to have what you need to do your best with playing and taking care of the instrument.

This is specifically made with students in mind; however, experienced players would also appreciate the fine craftsmanship that went into making this clarinet. It produces a lovely sound, making it a great choice for playing many different tunes.

Overall, this is another clarinet many are proud to own!

3. Lazarro 150-BK-L B-Flat Bb Clarinet Black

This awesome clarinet would be another very satisfactory purchase.

It comes with a wide variety of accessories as well as an excellent case to help protect your instrument. The case is padded and covered in black velvet, making the presentation it provides absolutely stunning. The bag also has a shoulder strap, making it conveniently easy to carry around.

The clarinet is easy to put together and just as easy to start producing sounds. It has a great tone that sounds quite nice. Anyone would be happy to listen to it as they’re learning and mastering the clarinet. It’s a keeper!

4. LJ Hutchen Bb Clarinet

This clarinet offers great sound quality and is a sturdy, well-built instrument. It’s another plastic one, but it’s not flimsy feeling. Some people have difficulties putting theirs together when it arrives, but once it is together it plays really easily.

It comes with a case that is basic, but looks nice and does its job well. Also, this clarinet comes with a 2-year warranty! That’s definitely a lovely little bonus. It takes away a bit of the stress especially if this is your first clarinet and you’re unsure exactly how to care for it. You should be fine, but if you somehow do mess it up, you’ll be covered by the warranty!

This one is another worthwhile buy!