Why Do Magicians Use Wands- The Real Reason

Since I am a magician, I own a bunch of magic wands. Here are the reasons answering the question, why do magicians use wands:

  • To Motivate Sleight of Hand
  • To Make Their Hands Look Empty
  • To Make the Magic Happen
  • For Misdirection
  • To Tap On and Move Their Props
  • As Part of Their Costume
  • To Do Tricks With
  • As Fun Giveaways

It is common knowledge that magicians use magic wands. We have been using them for hundreds of years. Here you will learn, in detail, the real reasons why.

WHAT IS A MAGIC WAND USED FOR

The single most important use of a magic wand is to motivate sleight of hand moves. If I place a coin into my left hand and it disappears, even though my technique is flawless, all eyes will immediately look toward my right hand. This is normal, people are smart. There was no reason for me to put the coin into my left hand in the first place. Herein lies the power of the magic wand.

If I place a coin in my left hand so my right hand can pick up the magic wand on the table, everything changes. The wand is waved over my left hand to supposedly make the magic happen. Picking up the wand is the motivation for putting the coin into my left hand. When I open my left hand showing the coin has disappeared spectators will not suspect my right hand.

wave

Since I am holding a magic wand spectators believe there is nothing else in my hand. Psychologically the wand makes your hand look empty. It is important to hold the wand naturally so your hand doesn’t look funny. The wand can be a pen, a straw, even another coin. The point is there has to be some sort of reason for transferring the coin, not just to make it disappear. Picking up a “wand” is the perfect motivation.

Using a magic wand correctly requires good routining. In this example it is important that the wand is on the right side of the table. Of course I put the coin in my left hand to reach for the wand. I wouldn’t reach for the wand with my left hand if it is on my right side. These small points are critical to convincingly make a coin vanish. This choreography is the framework for effective sleight of hand magic.

The simple addition of a magic wand to any vanish will make your magic more deceptive and real. Check out The Coin and Pen Vanish to learn the exact details of this coin vanish.

MAGICIANS MAGIC WAND

In cartoons you always see a magician point their wand and some sort of electricity shoots out of it. It is the “power” of the magic wand. This is why wands are also associated with wizards. When I wave a wand over my hand and the coin is gone, nobody looks at my other hand. Spectators believe and accept that the wand has special powers.

Good technique is necessary to convince your spectators that you are still holding the coin. When you wave the wand over your hand, there might not be electricity shooting out of it, yet it is still extremely powerful. When used correctly the magic wand is a magicians best friend.

A magic wand is also used for misdirection. Many stage magicians will focus their audience’s attention on the wand while their other hand relaxes and gets into position for their next sequence. There are some very nice wand spins. Wand spins are flourishes, sort of like a baton spin or spinning a pen around your thumb. These are impressive to watch. While all eyes are on the wand you are able to do something else with your other hand.

While researching for this article I found certain websites that said the whole reason for the magic wand is misdirection. This is not true. Yes the wand can be used to draw some attention. Yet there is only so much your other hand can do without it being suspicious. Technique and good routining always trumps misdirection. To learn more check out Misdirection in Magic- Everything You Need to Know.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A WAND

Another use of a wand is for a magician to tap on their props to show they are solid. If a magician brings out a blade to cut a woman in half, he might bang on the blade with a wand. You can audibly here that it is solid and not some fake blade. Sometimes a magician will move a prop or turn over a cup with the tip of the wand. It is very hands off so your spectators don’t suspect you are doing anything tricky.

WHAT DOES A WAND SYMBOLIZE

A magic wand represents the power of a magician. It is part of a magician’s “costume.” Spectators expect to see a magician holding a magic wand. Wands are fun and cool. If you were to dress up as a magician for Halloween you would absolutely need a magic wand. Nowadays many magician’s logos and promo pictures include either a wand, top hat, or a rabbit. Check out Why Do Magicians Use Rabbits to learn more.

wand

WHERE DO WANDS COME FROM

Magic wands date back hundreds of years. I believe magicians started off by using sticks and rocks in the same way I discussed the vanish of a coin above. Since a stick is sharp, it was smoothed out for easier use. This eventually led to the evolution of the magic wand.

Why are wands typically black and white? Years ago entertainers on stage wore tuxedos with tails and a top hat. This is how performers of the day dressed. The wand matched their outfit and gave it a touch of class and elegance. Magic wands are cool, even today.

Magic wands come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. Take a look at my collection of wands in the picture above. Only one of them is the classic black and white. Some wands are made of wood, some are made of metal, some are made of glass, and some are made of plastic. You can get a magic wand anywhere.

My favorite magic wands are made by Joe Porper. Before making wands he made pool cues for famous Pool players. His wands are hand crafted works of art. They come in 2 parts and screw together in the center. It is a very classy prop. They cost around $200 each. I don’t know if Joe is sill making magic wands. Here is a link to a magic shop that sells amazing wands which cost around $100 each.

MAGICIAN WAND TRICKS

Since a wand is an accepted prop for a magician many tricks are built into and around magic wands. Some magic wands shoot fire, other magic wands turn into a silk, or a dove. Magicians make wands appear, and disappear. There is a wonderful trick called the breakaway wand that is often used in kids shows. The wand works for the magician yet seems to fall apart when the kid tries. It is very funny and very magical.

There is another great prop called the magician wand with flowers. Flowers come out of the magic wand. It is very colorful and cool to watch. Kids magicians and stage magicians use this a lot due to its highly visual nature. Many silent acts use wands to produce flowers. There is no talking necessary, the magic is crystal clear.

WANDS AS GIVEAWAYS

I have performed at many magic themed parties. Usually there is some sort of giveaway for each of the guests when they leave. Most of the time some sort of wand is included. I have seen a lot of different types. Usually the magic wands are cheap replicas made of plastic. One was the size of a Q-tip. It was super cute. Magic wands are iconic when you think of a magician.

Matt
Matt

Hi, I'm Matt Furman. I have been a full time professional magician for over 20 years, ever since I left medical school to pursue my passion of magic tricks. I have a ton of real world experience and I am constantly practicing and performing new mind blowing magic.