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Thinking of buying a new sports whistle? In this post we share with you some of the most popular sports whistles and our thoughts on them. We have tried and tested each of the whistles below during our 16 years involved in sports coaching and education and found each one has their own benefits and drawbacks.
Below are four of the most popular whistles used in sports. We have included links to the manufacturers so you can hear how they sound and read more information on each whistle.
The four most popular sports whistles discussed in this post are:
Fox 40 Classic whistle
Some say this whistle is arguably the most used whistle in all sports. The distinct high pitch sound is regularly heard in sports fields across the world and can instantly grab attention when needed. The design is available in a number of colours and the Fox 40 claim the whistle has no moving parts so it makes them less likely to freeze and more durable.
The Fox 40 certainly has a unique whistle sound. The sound rips though any noise in extreme weather and will almost certainly be heard when needed. We also found this whistle lightweight and hard wearing.
The Fox 40 doesn’t have any moving parts. Therefore, there is no risk of blockage compared to other whistles we have used over the years.
One downside from our experience is that the clip which holds your whistle onto your keys can break. Ours broke after about two years of use but this is not unreasonable for the amount we were using it. The second downside was that the whistle is so loud that it can hurt your ears (or your athletes if they are running past) if you are using it often.
Acme Thunderer 58
The second whistle is the Thunderer 58 by ACME. This is the classic whistle you associate with sports. It has a more deeper tone than some of the more modern whistles and is made of Brass. The downside with metal is that is it is very often prone to rusting. From experience, metal will stick to you on a cold and frost morning.
Out of all the whistles we have used over the years, the Thunderer has our favourite sound. Compared to the high pitch sound of the Fox 40 and Cyclone along with the drone of some non branded whistles, the Thunderer stands out.
There is also something different about the 58 being made of brass. It makes you notice the difference in feel and weight compared to plastic whistles.
One of our whistles did rust after a few years of use and the nut has also got stuck on a few occasions. Apart from that the whistle is superb.
Acme Thunderer 660
The popularity of plastic whistles has grown over the years due to rust and the risk of freezing. This is where the Thunderer 660 excels.
Although the 660 has a similar sound to the Thunderer 58, the 660 does not have the feel and weight of a metal whistle. Yet it is more comfortable on a winters day. ACME claim that the 660 is “possibly the biggest selling whistle of all time”.
The Thunderer 660 is our favourite and is our first choice of whistle to choose. It has the sound of the original brass 58. However, being plastic means it is lighter, will last longer and as pointed out above, doesn’t freeze in the winter.
We have noticed a few downsides of the 660 over the years. The main downside is that on a couple of occasions, the nut has worn down after a couple of years, lowering the quality of the sound.
ACME Cyclone 888
The Cyclone 888 is a lesser known whistle. However, the Cyclone 888 has become popular with football referees and coaches over the years.
The Cyclone 888 is more of a mix between the Fox 40 high pitch sounds and the Thunderer 660’s distinctive sound.
We have only recently got this whistle and immediately saw similarities to that of the Fox 40. The sound is not of the same pitch as the Fox 40 however it is lightweight and still can pack a punch when needed. Another similarity is that there are no moving parts so no risk of it jamming.
What makes these popular sports whistles stand out from others?
Having owned all of the whistles above and used them over our 16 years in sports, we have found the above whistles more durable and reliable compared to others used. Therefore, if you can, why not get one of each?
Owning a wide range of different whistles means you can select which ones you want depending on the environment and the sport. As well as finding your favourite. Why not also have a look at our article on sports apps for sports coaches.
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