Best Plastic Clarinets

When choosing a clarinet it’s important to note whether the equipment you are purchasing is for a beginner or professional. Beginner clarinets tend to come in simplistic designs and are less complicated to operate. Most of them are made from plastic, which is durable and easy to maintain unlike the wooden ones that are susceptible to warping and shrinking.

Plastic tends to be the least expensive option for making clarinets. But, this does not mean quality is compromised. With this guide, you are able to identify the right plastic clarinet for your music classes.

Best Plastic Clarinets – Comparison Table

ModelKeys Weight Availability
Jean Paul CL 300Nickel Plated3 poundsCheck Price
Lazarro 150-GR-L- B FlatNickel – Silver plated3.7 poundsCheck Price
Mendini by Cecilio B FlatNickel3.71 poundsCheck Price
Yamaha YCL-255Nickel2100 gramsCheck Price
Glory B Flat Black EboniteNickel3.48 poundsCheck Price
Eastar B Flat Black EboniteNickel, brass, ABS1.8 kilogramsCheck Price

Reviews of the Best Plastic Clarinets

Yamaha YCL-255 – Best versatile Clarinet

The Yamaha 255 is an impressive Bb clarinet that is made from ABS resin. Yamaha has built itself a reputation for high quality instruments and this clarinet is no exception. The company opted for ABS resin instead of wood which can be very tricky to take care off especially if you are a beginner. This plastic material is hard wearing, resistant to corrosion and abrasion and can withstand variations in temperatures. This means you can use the clarinet almost anywhere without worrying much about its maintenance.

The Yamaha 255 is ideal for students and professionals. It plays on B Flat and comes with a 65mm barrel that ensures a more focused tone. You also get an adjustable thumb rest with strap ring. For the case you can get either a hard or semi-hard case with the Yamaha 4C mouthpiece.

What we liked:

  • Made from durable ABS resin
  • Clarinet simulates sound of wooden instrument
  • Matte finish for an elegant look
  • Redesigned bell for improved pitch
  • Adjustable thumb rest for better and more comfortable playing

What we did not like:

  • A bit costly for students


View price here


Jean Paul CL 300 – Best Overall Student Clarinet

The Jean Paul is one of the most popular and affordable clarinets in the market. It is designed for beginners and is quite easy to play. The clarinet is made from ebonite which is more durable than plastic but is not that fragile. However, it is better than wood because it does not require a lot of care.

The Jean Paul features nickel plated keys which do not tarnish while still retaining their classic look. It operates on Bb key with a Boehm 17 key system. The clarinet comes with a carrying case, cork grease and 2.5 cleaning cloth. The clarinet weighs in at 3 pounds which makes it quite lightweight.

What we liked:

  • Boehm 17 key system
  • Nickel plated keys for a more focused tone
  • Robust carrying case with several accessories
  • Affordable and versatile

What we did not like:

  • Very simplistic


View price here


Lazarro 150-GR-L- B Flat – Best ABS Plastic clarinet

The Lazarro is the perfect choice for any student clarinetists who wants to advance in their musical career. The brand Lazarro is from the USA so you are assured of the clarinet quality. While not as stylish like the wooden clarinets this piece stands out by producing some amazing sounds. The quality is also assured as a team of professionals in New York have checked it to ensure it meets the most stringent of standards.

The Green like Lazarro clarinet is made from ABS strong high grade plastic. The keys are made from silver nickel which ensures they do not tarnish easily while still remaining strong. This also enables the clarinet to resemble a wooden instrument but with little maintenance. Its high quality pads are responsible for producing a rich sound and with the thumb rest being adjustable there is a lot you can do with this clarinet. The Lazarro is durable and comes equipped with mouthpiece with 11 reeds, second barrel, ligature, fabric case, reeds holder, soft cleaning cloth, screw driver, CSP and cork grease.

What we liked:

  • Comes with multiple accessories
  • Affordable and stylish
  • Great tone
  • Made from high grade ABS plastic

What we did not like:

  • The thumb rest is quite flimsy


View price here


Mendini by Cecilio B Flat – Best for Multiple colors

The Mendini is a great instrument for beginners and students. It is lightweight and adjustable. You can easily carry it with you without feeling like you are carrying a lot of weight. The clarinet comes with a impressive color collection each suited to meet varying preferences and tastes.

The Mendini has undergone quality control to ensure the instrument will meet your needs no matter the skill level you are in. Included during purchase are a wide variety of accessories that includes full instrument starter kit with box of 10 2.5” reeds, mouthpiece, case, cleaning cloth, cork grease, stand and pocketbook. This should help you get started. You also have a pocket sized musical book that shows you various helpful study tips to get your music career started.

What we liked:

  • Great design with multiple color options
  • Lightweight
  • Highly graded
  • Attractive sound
  • Made from ABS resin

What we did not like:

  • The mouthpiece is not the best of quality


View price here


Glory B Flat Black Ebonite – Best for multiple accessories

The Glory B Flat is made from high quality black ebonite/ABS body which makes it durable and easy to maintain. The clarinet also comes with nickel plated keys and plays with inline trill keys. It also has an adjustable thumb rest for easy use.

While this brand is not that popular it is made in the USA where it has passed certain quality measures. The instrument is crucial for guiding a student through their musical journey until they become proficient to purchase a more expensive piece.

The Glory clarinet comes with hard shell case, second barrel, mouthpiece, reeds, and a care kit with cleaning cloth, a pair of gloves, cork grease, reeds holder and screwdriver. Lastly you also get 10 pieces of high quality reeds for more practice with 8 pieces of black mouthpiece patches pads.

What we liked:

  • Remarkable fit for all keys and pads
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Makes solid and whole notes
  • Great for a beginner and students

What we did not like:

  • Brand not well known


View price here


Eastar B Flat Black Ebonite – Best for easy play

The Eastar is an easy to play instrument that is user friendly and suitable for use by students and beginners. It comes with 2 mouthpiece connectors that make it easy for tuning and adjusting. Equipped with a 17 key Boehm system this clarinet is capable of producing some smooth playability with fast key response. With it you can put up together a variety of tones.

The Eastar is made from ebonite with nickel-plated keys that add to its elegance and beauty. The high grade ABS bakelite helps bring out the right sounds with some stable vibrations. The bladder pads are made from some sheep casings and this allows for airtightness and good elasticity.

Included in the purchase is everything you will need to get your clarinet musical playing career started. You have metal ligature, 4C mouthpieces, 2 mouthpiece connectors, protective cap, thumb sheath, occlusion rim, and swabs for easy playing.

What we liked:

  • Beginner friendly
  • Affordable
  • Durable keys
  • Bright and warm sound

What we did not like:

  • The mouthpiece quality leaves a lot to be desired


View price here


Buying Guide for the Best Plastic Clarinets

Clarinets come in a variety of shapes and sizes each suitable for a particular level. A beginner clarinet is quite basic and this makes it easy to maintain. As you progress through the various musical levels you may find yourself in need of a more durable clarinet probably made from wood. With this you are able to define the clarinet tone as you wish. Choosing a clarinet may not be that straightforward with so many products available in the market. Here are some top factors to get your clarinet selection started.


The main materials used for clarinets are wood, plastic and ebonite. Plastic clarinets tend to the most common for beginners and students. The mention of plastic evokes feelings of the product being substandard but we have some very good plastic clarinets in the market like the Jean Paul CL 300. Plastic clarinets tend to be durable and come with the advantage of being easy to maintain. They tend to be the first choice for students. As you progress in your musical levels you may need a wooden clarinet. This are mainly made from Granadilla, or African Blackwood. Clarinets made from this wood material tend to the first choice for professionals and intermediate students. This is because the clarinets offer superior sounds but come with the downside of needing lots of maintenance. Wood tends to warp or shrink when exposed to water elements and this necessitates for proper care. Another great option to consider is a hybrid between Granadilla wood and synthetic materials. The ‘Greenline” by Buffet Crampon is a perfect example of this as it combines 95% Granadilla and 5% carbon fiber mixture of epoxy resin. This makes the instrument capable of withstanding high humidity areas. The instrument also requires less maintenance.

Key Type

The clarinet keys can either be made from nickel, silver or gold. Nickel plating tends to be the most common due to its durability and ability to withstand tarnishing. Silver is also a good choice due to its aesthetic appeal but it does tarnish with time. Gold plating is used for more high-end instruments.

Clarinet features


The clarinet consists of different parts with the mouthpiece being one of the most vital part. Most of the student clarinets offer you a basic mouthpiece and ligature that is made from plastic. As you progress in your skill level you will find pricier clarinets that are made from ebonite. You can update your mouthpiece and ligature as you become more proficient in your plays.


Close to the mouthpiece is the ligature. This instrument holds the reed in place against the mouthpiece. Ligatures are made from a variety of materials so your budget, tastes and preferences will largely determine which one you go for. You can always upgrade this part to something that helps reduce the dampening effect.


This piece joins the body to the mouthpiece. For most beginner and student players the barrel often remains unchanged but for professional players there may be a need to upgrade it. The barrel is made from the same material the rest of the clarinet is made from.


This cylindrical hole is down the middle of the instrument and it is where airflow travels to produce sound. Basic clarinets have a constant bore from top to bottom while the professional clarinets you may see poly cylindrical bores. For Bb clarinets the standard measurements for the bore is 15mm.

Types of clarinets

Like any other musical instrument clarinets vary in size, shape and sound. The type of clarinet you will need as a student varies from that used by professionals.

  • Soprano clarinets: The distinguishing feature for this type of clarinet is that it has a long thin body. This makes it quite popular as they are tuned differently. This makes the sound produced a bit unique.
  • Bb clarinets: This tends to be the most versatile clarinet and is mainly used by students and beginners. You can play a variety of musical styles with the Bb clarinet like Bass and Jazz.
  • A Clarinet: This is a more all round choice that is mainly used by classical players. The clarinet is capable of producing the crispiest and clearest sound.
  • Bass clarinets: These are well adapted for pop, jazz and classical music. Compared to the other clarinets the bass clarinets are larger with the bell facing upwards like in the case of a saxophone. For variations you can choose from the low Eb or the low C. The bass clarinets are known for producing some sweet and deep tones.
  • Eb clarinets: Also, known as the sopranino instrument tend to be more popular with orchestras and concert bands. They are not well suited for beginners as they produce higher melodies than the A and Bb clarinet. The clarinet is more for professional players as they require some fancy fingerings which one develops with time.
  • Harmony clarinets: While this is not a clarinet type, it refers to clarinets that have different tunings than the rest. The instruments are less common unless you order them from musical shops.


At the end of the day how much you are willing to spend for a clarinet will determine the type you go for. Most of the beginner clarinets go for $100 to $200 while the professional clarinets will cost above $500. Budget generic clarinets are the most accessible and affordable but the sound quality tends to leave a lot to be desired. Clarinets from recognized brands may be pricier but you are assured of quality. Some of the top brands you can try out include Jean Paul, Buffet Crampon, Selmer, and Taiwan based Jupiter instruments.

Clarinet Maintenance

Due to temperature interferences the maintenance of a wooden clarinet far outweighs that of the plastic ones. This makes the latter more ideal for students while the former is mainly used by professionals. One key maintenance step you can take to care for your clarinet is regularly cleaning it with some little water, oil and swabs. This will give your instrument a shiny appearance. At times you may need to dissemble and assemble your instrument, this means you need to be keen on the various components you are joining together. To preserve the sound quality regularly grease the tenon corks and clean the mouthpiece.


Which is the best clarinet type to start with as a student?

The Bb clarinet is the most versatile for a beginner due to its ease of use. It is also the most available and you can find various brand stocking it. As you progress you can start combining your Bb clarinet with the A clarinet if you are playing classical.

Does budget matter when getting a clarinet?

It does depending on the level of playing you are in. If you are just starting out you may opt for a budget friendly clarinet that allows you to learn the craft than as you grow you can go for the more professional clarinets that are made from wood


Plastic clarinets are one of the most versatile of all clarinet pieces due to their ease of maintenance and durability. Unlike wood that cracks, you do not have to worry about the kind of climate you are playing your instrument. For this reason they are mostly the first kind of instrument that a student will opt for when starting out with clarinets. Due to the availability of plastic the instruments tend to be very affordable another plus for students starting out.

Charlotte Moore is a Clarinetist by profession and has over time offered lessons on how to play the clarinet among other musical instruments. And while a majority of clarinet players are well versed with the process of settling with a good clarinet among other accompanying features. There is little information about clarinets. The reason why Charlotte prepared comprehensive experts touching on the various facets of the clarinet. The consolidated information will offer more insight on everything clarinets including the best stand to use, and the best plastic clarinet that you can invest in, among other information. Charlotte Moore is a devoted mother of two and a professional clarinet player.

Leave a Comment