Where To Buy Hurdy Gurdies

Hurdy Gurdies date back to the Middle Ages. Throughout history, hurdy gurdy players have entertained everyone from royalty to peasants. Among early and folk music circles today, the instrument enjoys a small, but passionate, following. But even with that fanbase, they are niche instruments. It isn’t reasonable to expect to find Hurdy Gurdies at your local Guitar Center.

There are many excellent options available to the aspiring hurdy gurdy player. In case you want to save a little money or are impatient, there are a few places to buy used hurdy gurdies. Alternatively, you can order a new one directly from the maker in order to get a custom instrument. No matter which way you go, you’ll soon be channeling your wandering minstrel!

Where To Buy Hurdy Gurdies Buy on Amazon.com

You can learn to play the Hurdy Gurdies by following the Hurdy-Gurdy Method by Doreen and Michael Muskett. The price is a little high, but compared to the price of your new gurdy, it’s a drop in the bucket. This is an especially valuable resource for players without a teacher near them, since it helps them build good technique.

Hurdy Gurdies For Sale – Where To Find Them

It takes patience to purchase a new Hurdy Gurdies. Most of the best makers are backordered, which means you’ll have to wait a while before receiving your new instrument. Additionally, the instruments are expensive. You can expect to spend at least $1,000 for a good hurdy gurdy, even a basic one. It is sometimes possible to find cheaper ones, but you should be very careful, as I will explain below.

There are also very few sites that allow you to order hurdy gurdies with a single click. Most likely, you’ll have to send an email or make a phone call to place your order. We’re used to instant gratification from Amazon, but this isn’t that convenient. However, you will have an opportunity to ask questions, and maybe customize a few options on your new hurdy gurdy. As they say, patient people get what they deserve. What hurdy-gurdy players they must be!

Cheap anonymous Hurdy Gurdies are to be avoided

“Cheap” has a very subjective meaning. Compared to guitars or ukuleles, $1,000 may seem like a lot of money to spend on an instrument. Hurdy gurdies are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their uses. These instruments are complex and require a lot of expertise and time to build. Making sure that the hurdy gurdy for sale has been built properly is very important when you see one for sale. Otherwise, you may be buying an extremely expensive wall hanging.

Where Buy Hurdy Gurdies

The typical sale listing for a cheap anonymous Hurdy Gurdies. The seller does not accept returns!

East European and Asian workshops make many hurdy-gurdies for a low price. The price of these tickets is usually between $800 and 1,200 on eBay and other large retail sites. There are nice pictures, the listings use flowery language, and the price seems right.

You’ll notice some issues, though, if you look closer. Firstly, they are rarely sold under the manufacturer’s name. This raises the question of who makes them! Additionally, it is important to have the ability to read reviews, other players’ experiences, etc. When you cannot search by name, you are out of luck.

Another thing you’ll notice is that they usually have a lot of stock. It takes a long time to make a Hurdy Gurdies, and good makers are difficult to come by. In most cases, there is a long waiting list of months, if not years. Makers with lots of unsold instruments are either producing them too quickly or aren’t very popular.

Finally, you’ll notice that listings are often poorly written and filled with inaccuracies. Some may say it’s made from one kind of wood and then mention a completely different kind of wood a few paragraphs later. Others may use convoluted terms that don’t really mean anything. Some may have poor grammar.

Keeping an eye out for any of these signs, without even getting into the technical aspects of the instrument, is a must. For those interested, Hurdy Gurdies Weekly has a great article on what to look for when you see one for sale. As you can see, 

A functional Hurdy Gurdies requires a lot of work. Furthermore, there are many things that can render one completely ineffective. Be careful!

Amazon Buy Hurdy Gurdies Buy on Amazon.com

It’s also important to note that the UGears mechanical hurdy-gurdy you can buy on Amazon is not an actual Hurdy Gurdies. The model is a 3D model made entirely of wood, and it actually works very well mechanically. If you try playing the hurdy-gurdy, you won’t even come close to the experience. Good as a toy, gift, or conversation piece, lousy as a musical instrument.

The Hurdy Gurdy Makers

The process of making Hurdy Gurdies is complex and slow. There are relatively few makers of Hurdy Gurdies compared to more popular or simpler instruments. However, it’s easier than ever to get in touch with a maker, discuss models, and order, even from halfway around the world. The makers listed here have easily accessible websites that provide information about the instruments they make and how to order them.

“Instruments with Soul”, Ep. 8 – Hurdy-gurdy

Due to the time it takes to build a hurdy-gurdy and the high demand for top makers, many have a waitlist. Although it may not be ideal for the impatient, it gives you some time to think about what you want.

It is important to note that this list is not a “best of” and does not constitute an endorsement of the makers.

  • Altarwind (Oregon, USA) – There is a bit of polarization in the hurdy gurdy community when it comes to altarwind instruments, with players having strong opinions either way. There are, however, many affordable hurdy gurdies for sale that are made in the USA, which is unusual.
  • Olympic Hurdy Gurdies (Washington, USA) – The Olympics has been building hurdy gurdies for over 30 years, and they are very popular among American players. The company also offers restoration and repair services. They will, however, only work on their own instruments or those built by retired or deceased luthiers. An instrument made by a still-active maker will not be repaired.
  • Balázs Nagy (Budapest, Hungary) – Among Nagy’s products are Hungarian hurdy gurdies and French hurdy gurdies.
  • Stanisław Nogaj (Brzozów, Poland) – Located in Poland, Nogaj is a prolific builder. There are several models he builds, and he has also designed a pickup/preamp system that he can install in his hurdy gurdies.
  • Chris Allen and Sabina Kormlyo (Merthyr Tydfil, Wales) – Allen and Kormlyo produce a variety of historical instruments. The company makes replicas of medieval symphonies, as well as beautiful-looking and sounding hurdy-gurdies.

Where to Buy Used Hurdy Gurdies

A Hurdy Gurdies can go wrong for a number of reasons, as I mentioned before. When there are hidden problems, the inner workings become complex, and they may not be obvious from the outside. Ask a bunch of questions if you’re buying a used Hurdy Gurdies online. You want to be sure that the seller has knowledge of the instrument, is capable of evaluating its condition accurately, and is being completely up-front and honest with you. If possible, ask for photos and sound recordings.

Be cautious about buying anything that needs fixing or, worse still, parts, even if you’re very handy. You can’t buy hurdy gurdy keys at Home Depot, as you can probably imagine. You may be able to gain an advantage if you have experience with instrument repair or woodworking. In any case, there’s a lot that can (and will) go wrong, and you could end up with a very expensive and unplayable money pit. If you’re not completely confident in your abilities, you should try to find a Hurdy Gurdies in good working condition.

Facebook Hurdy Gurdy Marketplace

Hurdy Gurdies Buy on Facebook or FB


The Hurdy Gurdy Marketplace on Facebook is the most active online marketplace for used hurdy gurdies. You’ll find “for sale” postings from around the world, as well as an active community that offers advice and recommendations.

Lazar’s Early Music

Buy Hurdy Gurdies

The shop Lazar’s Early Music sells everything Renaissance and Baroque. The site does not have new hurdy gurdies for sale, but it does have listings for used instruments. Although they aren’t updated often, the site is worth checking in from time to time. Please be aware that this is still very much a Web 1.0 site. Perhaps you’ll have flashbacks to the Netscape Navigator days of the late 90s.


Used hurdy gurdies are usually available on eBay, an old standby for buying just about anything used. You should do your homework before buying anything off of eBay, however. On eBay there are many antique dealers who know very little about the items they’re selling. Again, the Hurdy Gurdies is a very complicated instrument with many things that can go wrong. If you are sending any money, you should be 100% certain that the item you are buying works well. Request recordings, videos, photos, and other evidence, and make sure you have a way to return it or get a refund.

Where To Buy Hurdy Gurdy Kits

People who want to save some money and get a closer look at the inner workings of their hurdy gurdy may want to consider building from a kit. Due to the fact that you’re not paying for labor, you can often find these for half of what a fully-assembled Hurdy Gurdies would cost. Additionally, since you built it yourself, you will have a better understanding of how it works should anything go wrong.

Obviously, if it were easy to make a Hurdy Gurdies, more people would do it. Although the kits try to simplify things and provide clear instructions, you will still need to be handy. Care must be taken to make sure that everything is done correctly. Kits usually don’t come with a lot of spare parts, so one wrong move can result in catastrophic results. Make sure you double- and triple-check your work if the next step involves gluing, drilling, or altering the part permanently.

The Hurdy Gurdy Kits

  • Renaissance Workshop Company (Madrid, Spain) – Making replicas of 16th century Hurdy Gurdies, they are a popular early music instrument manufacturer. Both kits and assembled instruments are available. On their website, they use an odd system of pricing in universal currency. You should check the conversion rates so you know exactly what you’ll have to pay.
  • Nerdy Gurdy (The Netherlands) – Jaap Brand and his wife Fay have created a very affordable hurdy gurdy kit by using laser cutting and 3D printing. The company also sells fully assembled hurdy gurdies, as well as Hurdy Gurdies with 4 or 6 strings.

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