Are wooden recorders better than plastic recorders? Do they have better tone or are more playable? Are these differences noticeable for cheap recorders? What are the advantages of plastic recorders?

I'm aware of this question: Why do wooden woodwinds sound better than plastic?

The given answer is interesting but doesn't exactly answer my question.

  • Seems a bit mysterious that nobody ever built a metal recorder (or maybe they did and I missed it). After all, there's a reason recorder is 'blockeflote' and a flute is 'querflote.' They're not that different. Anyway, play some and buy the type you like. Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 13:25
  • Carl: the aluminium recorder, by Orthwest, is a beautiful instrument indeed! I have one of his bird flageolets (in wood) --- he does very lovely & meticulous work.
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 23:51

2 Answers 2


The advantages of a plastic instrument are:

  • Less care necessary concerning maintenance; not wiping the recorder after playing will do no irreversible harm. This is likely the reason, that the head (i. e. mouth piece) is sometimes from plastic even if the body is made of wood: It is not recommend to be cleaned due to the danger of damaging it.

  • Less sensitive towards humidity altogether - especially important for open air playing, when it starts raining.


  • not the real thing (in contrast to the linked answer I've never seen a professional on a recorder with a non-wooden head)
  • a fall to a hard floor may render it useless beyond repair

Ask the teacher for recommendations: In my superficial opinion there are good quality plastic recorders (no longer exactly cheap) as well as awful wooden ones.


The material of a wind instrument actually makes only a marginal difference to the sound. There's no reason a very good recorder can't be made of plastic, and some are. Of course, ALL cheap-and-nasty ones are made of plastic!

  • And some cheap-n-nasty recorders are made of wood!
    – elemtilas
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 23:53

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