Abstract Free vibration of a bimaterial circular nano-tube is investigated. The tube is formed by bonding together a Si3N4/SUS304 functionally graded upper semi tube and a ZrO2/Ti-6Al-4V functionally graded lower semi tube. The material properties of the tube are assumed to vary along the radius according to power law with the power index of upper semi tube differing from that of lower semi tube. Based on non-local elasticity theory and Hamilton’s principle, a refined beam model considering the effect of transverse shear deformation is used to derive the governing equations, then analytical solution is obtained by using a two-steps perturbation method. Our results were compared with the existing ones. The effects on tube’s linear and non-linear frequency are analyzed of the factors, including small scale parameter, temperature, the double volume fraction indexes, slenderness ratio and different types of beam model. A new approach is suggested in this article to change the natural frequency of the tubes by adjusting constituent materials. In contrast to conventional approach, the new one can result in more accurate frequency control in the same dimensionless size of tubes.