The 10 Best Tin Whistles (2024)

The tin whistle is a beautiful instrument that offers a distinctive tone. It’s easy to pick up the basics. A tin whistle (also known as a penny whistle) is definitely something you should try. Its simple design guarantees pretty quick learning, even if you don’t have any experience playing music.

My top recommended tin whistle is the Black Clarke Sweetone D. This is a popular, traditional Irish tin whistle at a very nice price.

My second recommended tin whistle is the Waltons Little Black Tin Whistle. This is an affordable option that is also great for beginners.

The Best Tin Whistles (2024) – At a Glance

And now onto the full list:

1. Black Clarke Sweetone D

Top Pick
Popular, durable, and good-sounding tin whistle at a very good price point.
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The Black Clarke Sweetone D is a popular traditional Irish whistle that comes with a soft suede black whistle pouch at an incredibly affordable price. With a stylish black color, this key of D tin whistle is very easy to use and doesn’t take a lot of air to produce sound.

It features a plastic precision mouthpiece and a tapered metal body so it’s quite solid in terms of durability. In addition to the pouch, you also get a fingering chart and song sheet. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn the instrument from scratch.

Producing a quality, clear, and crisp tone, the Black Clarke Sweetone D is a top recommendation for both beginners and advanced players who want quality at a modest price. The only downside is that it’s a non-tunable whistle.

2. Waltons Little Black Tin Whistle

Budget Pick
Super affordable and decent quality key of D tin whistle that's great for beginners.
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If you’re looking for a nice budget option, the Waltons Little Black Tin Whistle is the one for you. Although an affordable price is definitely its strongest point, this tin whistle actually offers pretty good quality too.

A nice look and decent sound is a combination that ensured very good customer ratings. It is a pretty common whistle which, due to its affordable price, looks like a natural choice for beginners.

Not only do you get a decent instrument, but the instruction booklet is included as well. The Waltons Little Black Tin Whistle could also be a nice addition for all those woodwind players who want to expand their sound.

3. Clarke SBDC Pennywhistle

Popular, Affordable
Well-designed whistle in the key of D with a unique tone.
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Here is yet another affordable but well-designed tin whistle on the list. The strongest point of this whistle is its well-designed mouthpiece. A wooden fipple definitely has a positive effect on the sound, which is a little bit more flute-like.

It is rich, transparent, clean, and warm – a combination suitable for various kinds of genres, not just for Celtic music. The rest of the instrument is made of tin. The whistle comes in the key of D. A common tuning in combination with the manufacturer’s reputation guarantees customers’ satisfaction.

After all, you can find hundreds of positive reviews on the network. The only disadvantage is the fact that this whistle is a little bit more complicated to play, so I wouldn’t recommend it to you if you are an absolute beginner.

4. Feadog Pro Tin Whistle in Black

Good quality and warm tone from a renowned Irish manufacturer.
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For a full four decades, Feadog has been producing tin whistles. This is a renowned Irish manufacturer, which sells its products around the world. This particular tin whistle is one of its most popular products and for a good reason.

This instrument offers great value for the price range. It is made from nickel, which is a little bit thicker than usual, making this whistle heavier than most similar products.

Such design definitely leaves an impression of good quality and also provides a very rich and mellow sound, perfect for emotional Celtic tunes. The whistle comes in a nice little package box, which also includes an instruction booklet with explanations of basic techniques and several easy tunes to start with.

5. Waltons Irish Tin Whistle CD Pack

Starter Pack
Complete tin whistle starter pack, perfect for beginners.
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The tin whistle is generally very easy to play. However, if you are a complete newcomer to music, there is no better thing than a good instruction video.

Waltons definitely had this in mind, so it offers a nice package, which doesn’t include just a decent-quality whistle, but also an instruction booklet and CD. On the disc, you won’t just find basic playing instructions but also a complete breakdown of 27 popular Celtic and international tunes, which are easy to play and perfect for beginners as a first whistle.

Speaking of the instrument itself, you can count on a pretty satisfying quality. The whistle comes in the most common tuning, in the key of D major, and delivers a nice mellow tone, perfect for traditional Irish music but also versatile enough for other kinds of musical genres.

6. Clarke Original D Tinwhistle – 200th Special Edition

Special edition tin whistle made from wood and metal, with a stylish design.
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The Clarke Original D Tinwhistle – 200th Special Edition is a very stylish whistle with a slightly higher price tag, but for good reason. This special limited edition tin whistle hails from a renowned manufacturer (Clarke Tinwhistle Co.) and is made in England.

The Gold/Silver design is very aesthetic and the durability is high. With a tapered metal body and wooden mouthpiece, it certainly rises up amongst competitors. It has the same body as the Clarke whistle original in silver but with a gold-colored medallion near the top.

In terms of sound, this beautiful whistle produces mellow and melodic tones with excellent volume and despite the higher price tag, it still has excellent value for money.

7. Generation Nickel High D Whistle

Bright toned tin whistle made of nickel at an extremely affordable price.
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The Generation Nickel High D Whistle is another very affordable tin whistle that looks like a perfect choice for newcomers, as well as a perfect St. Patrick’s Day gift. Despite the cheap price, you can count on pretty good quality.

The whistle is made of nickel, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to its mellow and super-bright tone. On the other side, if you like such tonal characteristics, this is the product for you.

The whistle is simple and pretty comfortable to play. A nice plastic mouthpiece makes the playing even more convenient. The Nickel High D Generation tin whistle is made in England and is becoming more and more popular these days.

8. Tony Dixon DX005D

Stylishly designed black tin whistle with a tunable brass slide.
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The Tony Dixon DX005D tin whistle is a high-end, pro-grade, black whistle in the key of D. Made in England, this whistle has a modern design and brings value to the table with excellent craftsmanship and sound.

Featuring a tunable brass slide and black plastic with an engraved logo in the middle, this stylish whistle is a popular choice that produces mellow sounds at a good volume. The overall quality and value are up to par for a polymer whistle with a brass tuning slide.

9. Dixon Trad D Whistle

Good-sounding, quality tin whistle in the key of D with a tunable ABS head.
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The Dixon Trad D Whistle is a modestly-priced, quality whistle that comes with a hard plastic slip case upon purchase for storage. With a modern design, the Dixon Trad D is a British-made product with a nickel color design and in the key of D.

Made from a mixture of different materials like nickel, plastic, and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, the quality is high and features a tunable ABS head. Tone-wise, it produces a bright sound with good volume. Overall, it’s a quality buy if you want something stylish, durable, and good-sounding.

10. Clarke Whistle (CWD)

Popular Choice
One of the most popular whistles in the key of D (the most common tuning).
View Price at Amazon

This Clarke CWD Tin Whistle is a very popular tin whistle on the market today and definitely a very good one. It offers plenty of quality for the price. In terms of base design characteristics, this is a pretty common penny whistle, which comes in the most common tuning, the key of D.

It comes with its own fingering, as well as with five traditional Celtic tunes. Another great thing about this tin whistle is that it comes with a beautiful green gift box decorated with gorgeous Celtic patterns. The product is made in England.

How to Play the Tin Whistle

The Tin Whistle is an easy instrument to learn. However, like any instrument, it requires some practice. Check out this great video to learn the basics!

Which Tin Whistle to Choose?

As you can see, the market is full of tin whistles, and such a wide choice could be confusing if you are a beginner. My advice would be to go for an affordable one for starters, a package which, besides the instrument, includes some kind of instructional video, either on paper or on a CD, which would make the learning easier.

Then, if you want to play it long-term, you could invest in a better one. However, if you have the budget right away to invest in a more expensive one, then it would be worth doing.

If you do already play another instrument, such as a flute or any other woodwind instrument, this is a perfect way to get some new tones and expand your playing. A tin whistle could be a perfect gift as well, for either the winter holidays or St. Patrick’s Day.

One of the best things about these instruments is the price. A decent-quality tin whistle is often very cheap. Of course, you can find professional instruments as well, which would cost you hundreds of dollars.

A tin whistle is actually nothing more than a type of fiddle flute, so it likely originates from ancient bone flutes and similar kinds of instruments. A modern tin whistle dates from the 1800s.

The first factory-made instruments were produced by Robert Clarke. Another common name for these instruments is a penny whistle. The reason probably sits in the fact that the usual price for the instrument at that time was one penny. Others would say that’s because a tin whistle was predominately used by children and street musicians.


Tin whistles are very rewarding wind instruments to play. You can very quickly get going and start playing some beautiful songs. To get started, make sure to check out some great instructional videos online, or if you’re lucky, there might be a tin whistle teacher in your local area!

My top pick is the Black Clarke Sweetone D, a popular, traditional Irish tin whistle at a very nice price.

My budget pick is the Waltons Little Black Tin Whistle, an affordable option that is also great for beginners.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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