Last updated: 16/10/2022

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In the present occasion we are going to be giving you to know which are the best pan flutes that exist within the difficult and complex market of musical instruments.

It is a tool designed for music production. It is quite unique for a pan flute, since unlike most of them it is not arranged vertically, but horizontally. Its pitch gradation depends on a number of cylinders and not on a number of holes, as is the case with other recorders.


  • A pan flute is a musical instrument that is classified as a wind instrument. It uses the exhalation of air to produce rhythms of varying pitch by welcoming circulation in its pipes.
  • Its origin is what determines its variants. Thus, the best known are the Chinese and Peruvian ones, made of bamboo or wood. There is a standard type apart from them, which adds up to a larger diversity of tones in a smaller size. The latter are made of plastic.
  • Who made it, what colour it is, what materials are used in its manufacture and if it has things like a cleaner or a case to carry it, are some of the data that can alter your purchase.

The best Pan Flute: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Pan Flutes

Some of the details you need to know in order to make your choice come from the generic product information. This compiles all the specialities that make up the product so that you can go in with the right collection of facts. With this in mind, we have compiled the following section for you.

This is something extremely easy to learn how to use (Photo: diefundgrube /

What is a pan flute?

It is a type of flute whose main characteristic is that its tones do not come from holes that have to be closed selectively. Instead, it has numerous tubes, which are arranged in an ascending order, each of which corresponds to a particular type of tone. This is what differentiates it from others.

For this reason, unlike traditional flutes, its shape is horizontal, not vertical as is the case with the more “common” flutes. This changes the learning and playing of the flute completely, but for the better, as it is easier to play.

What are the advantages?

Although panflutes can be considered professional depending on the number of cylinders, it is always much quicker to learn to play a panflute than any other flute. For this reason, it can be played both on its own and with other instruments.

In addition to this, due to their often traditionalistic shapes, colours and artistic characteristics, they are very often used by users for an entirely ornamental function.

  • There are many price alternatives
  • Traditional or modern models can be chosen
  • They are not a difficult item to find
  • They can be learned to use quickly
  • They are generally mobile
  • Some can be used as ornaments
  • Some can be too expensive
  • They need constant cleaning
  • They can break or fracture easily
  • The quality of the sound fades over time
  • Professional ones take time to learn to play

Chinese, Peruvian or standard pan flute – what should you pay attention to?

There are few aspects that have a direct impact on how to perform or identify these sweets. This is because things like the design, the colours or even the manufacturer are too general, often even particular, choices. However, there are 3 ways in which they can be found.

Chinese pan flute

Often defined as being made of bamboo, but this is not always the case. Its main characteristic is that it produces higher pitched and softer sounds, ideal for long notes. It has a greater autonomy, so it does not need to be played in the company of other instruments in order to function.

It usually has many cylinders because of its design, its origin and its colours, it is quite common to see them being used as an ornament. They combine very well with furniture and their elegance, thanks to their cultural imprint, is unique in its kind.

Peruvian pan flute

It can be made of many materials. Its most easily identifiable point is that it produces high-pitched, but slightly rough sounds. This is because it is always accompanied by quena instrumentation, percussion and other things. It is rarely heard alone. It can also be used ornamentally.

Standard pan flute

This type often tries to find a balance of tones, so that it can be used both solo and accompanied. It is usually made of plastic, although some are made of wood, bamboo and other elements. They integrate a major scale even when they have only a few pipes.

China Peruvian Standard
Number of cylinders 15-25 7-15 7-25
Use as ornamentation Yes Yes No
Design Mixed Traditional Mixed

Peruvian ones are world-renowned as some of the best (Photo: Marina-Inamar /

Buying Criteria

There are a number of details that make a product, no matter what type of product it is, relative in the eyes of the buyer. This is not a bad thing, because everyone has different tastes. However, these kinds of things, which may seem like simple details, should be known before we decide to buy something we are considering buying.

In order to find out which of them most affect its suitability for your needs, here is a list. In it you will see what are the main data that can affect this product:


There are few multinational companies dedicated to the creation of these flutes. This may be due to the fact that they are quite traditionalist, so they are regularly monopolised in the artisanal market.

The individual producers of these instruments are experienced luthiers, who make quality things. To go for one of them is a good alternative as each one gives them a personal touch. This allows to widen the criteria of selectivity.

Some of the companies that manufacture these musical tools are Atlas and GEWA, both American. They are relatively inexpensive but have few customisation options. However, some of their alternatives mimic the handmade design well.


Colour is closely linked to how and from what the recorder was made. However, some creators paint them, so that they become more varied. Within this classification, it is also worth noting the gradients used to decorate them, which can have indigenous, Asian or other motifs.


Due to their characteristics, this type of creations tend to vary greatly in the type of composites they are made with. However, these can basically be divided into 3 main ones, which are wood, bamboo and plastic.

  • Bamboo: It is considered a type of wood, but because of its speciality it is classified separately. This is because this type of vegetation is not only very unique in itself, but also produces very specific noises. The well-known, typically high-pitched and soothing tones of Asian flutes are thanks to it.
  • Other woods: This is the most sought-after of the materials from which a flute can be made, but the most expensive. This depends on the work the craftsman has done on it, as well as additional additions such as varnish. They are delicate and sensitive to moisture and breakage.
  • Plastic: The most modern ones are usually made of plastic. They are strong, durable and easy to use. On the negative side, they cannot be used as ornaments. They also tend to accumulate dust and this can affect their tone. Constant cleaning is essential.


Does it have a portable case, does it have a cleaner? These two details are some of the things that directly influence the musical tool, as keeping it in good condition should be a priority.

Portable case

The pouch is something you can put the caramillo in and carry it around your waist. This prevents it from being dropped, crushed or worse. There are also more rigid cases that give structure and protect the instrument from hard knocks.


These instruments need cleaning otherwise they will change pitch or become damaged. Moisture, dust and even the presence of insects can damage the product. Avoid this by using the cleaner, which is a stick with a pad on one end that is inserted and sanitised.

(Featured image photo: Yummymoon /