Wind Chime Anatomy

From “Top Ring” to “Bottom Sail”, knowing Wind Chime Anatomy will help you with any Wind Chime Issue you may have, regardless of who originally made your wind chime.

FAE sets the standard for the very definition of a Wind Chime.

Wind Chime

A Wind Chime is any device that utilizes energy in the wind to strike one or more chimes, usually made of metal pipes which are tuned for a more pleasing effect.

  • Basic Components of a Wind Chime:
  • Top Ring
  • Suspension Lines
  • Support
  • Chimes
  • Striker
  • Sail

The Wind pushes the Sail, which moves the Striker, which hits the Chimes, which hang from the Support, which is all suspended from the Top Ring.


A “halyard” is any line that is used to hoist a ladder, sail, flag or “yard.” Technically above a Wind Chime, a halyard can hoist a Wind Chime directly out of its shipping tube or from a rested position on the ground, or in a hand.

One end of a halyard is tied to a Wind Chime’s “Top Ring” using an Anchor Hitch.

The halyard can then be slung over a tree limb, or through any overhead device meant for suspension. The halyard can be pulled to raise the Wind Chime, or released to lower the Wind Chime. It can be tied off to maintain a specific height.

A 30yd/30m Halyard is included, and pre-tied to each FAE Wind Chime’s Top Ring.

Top Ring

At the very top of a Wind Chime is its Top Ring.

Everything hangs on a Wind Chime’s Top Ring. A Top Ring should always be welded or soldered shut, and not simply bent into a circle. If it is not welded or soldered closed, consider a replacement. A 2in./5cm ring is a good size for most small to medium wind chimes. A FAE 2 Inch Stainless Steel Top Ring is always a safe choice.

The Top Ring usually hangs from a line called the Halyard, but it can also be placed onto a hook or other hanging location directly.

All of a Support’s Suspension Lines connect to the bottom-end of the Top Ring using a Figure Eight Knot. The lines then go though their respective holes in the Support, and are stopped below the Support using another Figure Eight Knot.

Suspension Lines

Suspension Lines are used to hang anything needed by a Wind Chime. Chimes, Supports, Strikers, and Sails are require a suspension line.

The Support is usually suspended from the Top Ring using three or more Suspension Lines. These Suspension Lines can be natural materials, synthetic materials, or even metal, glass, and chain. The imagination is the limit.

FAE Wind Chimes use nylon paracord, as found in military para-trooping applications. While paracord is a low-cost, light-weight, ultra-durable, and abrasion-resistant option for Wind Chimes up to the size of a human, it will not last forever; probably a decade or more outdoors, and easily a lifetime indoors.

FAE offer Wind Chime Suspension Line Rebuild Kits, which can allow a Wind Chime owner to effectively rebuild the suspension of their Wind Chime, and buy another decade or lifetime of Wind Chime enjoyment. If you can tie a Figure Eight Knot, you can rebuild the suspension of a FAE Wind Chime.

Center Line

The Center Line is the Suspension Line that connects to the Striker, sometimes inside a Striker Axle to help square the Striker’s hit with the Chime. It should be in the center of the Suspension Line bundle, which is attached to the Top Ring.


Chimes are any sound-making device, usually in the form of metal tubes, which are played by the motion of the wind, usually by way of a Striker and Sail.

Metal tubes make cost-effective Chimes for a Wind Chime. Narrow and long, they take up less space than a bell shape.

A FAE Chime, such as that in the St. Michael’s Healing Wind Chime, uses 99.98% pure U.S. copper. We expect these should last 100-200 years. But accidents occur, and you can always replace any one single FAE Wind Chime.


The Striker is what plays your Chimes. The Sail moves the Striker into the Chimes, which make sound.

Striker Axle

A Striker Axle is a hollow tube inserted into the Striker. When the Center Line is fed through the Striker Axle, it aligns and squares the Striker with the Chime, which make a cleaner and louder sound.

Medium and Small Wind Chimes tend to have improved sound with addition of a FAE 1/4 in. O.D. Striker Axle. Striker Axles are standard issue for the FAE St. Michael’s Healing Wind Chimes.


A Sail is any device which converts wind into motion. In this case, a Sail makes a Wind Chime’s Striker interact with its Chimes.

Anything can be used as a Sail.

In a Wind Chime, its Sail tends to wear out first. That’s why replacement Sails are important. FAE offer Sails of multiple “Scale” to allow you to fine tune your Wind Chime instrument depending on wind speed conditions:

Larger Wind needs a Smaller Sail.

Smaller Wind needs a Larger Sail.

Lighter is always better than heavier, when it comes to a Wind Chime Sail. You will be happier if you error on the side of making your Sail too light versus too heavy.