Hi MaryKateW, I think it’s a matter of trying both and seeing what feels good to you. It really is a matter of personal choice. I bought a bow for $1000.00 many years ago. I tried lots of old bows, and new bows and felt like a heavier bow was best for me. It was also important to me that it looked good, not old and used, but made by a well known bow maker. I think the decision is totally subjective. I have a really bright violin, so it would seem I’d choose a lighter weight bow, but in fact the opposite was true. A heavier bow (I think it is 61 g) made playing much closer to effortless.
Violin Bow weight ranges from 57 to 63 grams. When you try a bow, just go by how it feels to you. If you have pain, the bow could be too heavy. If you feel like you have to really work to get sound out of your violin, a heavier bow might be best. A stiffer bow may give the illusion of being heavier. So stiffness is a factor you can think about too. When trying out a bow, think about weight and balance, but keep your ears and mind open too. The truth about a bow will be in the playing. Trust your impressions about it because the match up between player and bow is totally unique. The final decision is more about art than science. Imagine yourself in an art museum, looking at the paintings from different eras. No one can tell you what you like. There is no formula for the perfect bow for this or that particular player, anymore than there is a formula for your choice in liking a particular painting more than another. You just like it. And when you hang it on your wall and stand back and look at how it fits in the room, you either like it and it feels great, or you decide it’s just not a good fit. It’s the very same mysterious ‘intangible’ with violin bows.