Best Drum Sticks Review – Top Rated Models in 2018 with Buying Guide
If you are interested in acquiring some reliable drum sticks, but you don’t have the time to spare to do some research, this paragraph should clue you in. After reading plenty of reviews, we have concluded that the Zildjian Super 7A Maple is the product for you. This model has a good grip, and it is very lightweight when compared to other models made from hickory wood. Moreover, the device has an outstanding sensitivity, and it supplies the user with more control when playing. If the unit is out of stock, feel free to consider the Zildjian 5B Nylon as it is a sturdy alternative.
Highly Recommended Choices – Reviews & Comparison
When it comes to finding the best drumsticks for beginners, most users do not know what items are worth their time and money. To be of help, we have composed a list of reliable units that you should not overlook.
Zildjian Super 7A Maple (B005FQO0NW)
As a plus, this model has been treated with a double coating so that you get that special DIP grip that you are searching for. Besides, the unit is said to be quite durable, as many users have said that it can actually pass the test of time. Even more so, it has been pointed out that these sticks tend to last longer when used on electronic drum sets that have rubber cymbals.
However, if you play rock and you tend to hit pretty hard, you should know that this product might not be the one for you.
Zildjian 5B Nylon (B0002F5H1U)
According to current users, this unit is balanced and thick enough, as each stick has a diameter of 0.600. When it comes to the weight of the model, you should know that it is quite lightweight. Therefore, your hands are not likely to feel tired after playing with it.
What is more, these sticks are medium-sized, they measure 16”, and, therefore, they are a good gift for any drummer that you might know. Another big advantage of the model is its sleek, neat look that is bound to catch the eyes of the public. Consequently, they are made for the stage. Overall, the product has good reviews and many repeat buyers.
Promark H-RODS (B001SEQQDC)
Furthermore, the product has a natural, lively rebound and it is considered ideal by those players that want a lighter sound that has more attack than the usual devices. Previous buyers have said that this item is great to be used for low and medium volume gigs as it gives away an authentic sound that completes each song.
Still, you should know that one of the most common complaints about the product is the fact that it wears out rapidly. Moreover, these sticks are not compatible with an aggressive style of playing but, rather, with acoustic and church music. So, keep them in mind!
Vic Firth 5AB (B0021VM90U)
Even more so, the unit is fitted with deeply back-cut tips that are said to deliver an intensified cymbal response. The device has a distinctive, elegant black finish that you will surely love. Yet, you should be conscious of the fact that the coating on the product is likely to fall off when used extensively.
When compared to other similar devices, this unit is quite durable. The sticks are well balanced and lightweight and, consequently, they can be used by both children and grownups. Usually, these sticks are used by beginners that need a product that can take the abuse.
Promark ActiveGrip Mike Portnoy (B01CSAJA32)
Each unit measures 16 and ½ inches, and it has a diameter of 0.565’. Moreover, this device has an active grip that is activated whenever your body temperature rises, and your hands get sweaty. Therefore, they are excellent for when playing for a longer period of time. In fact, the product is a go-to for many of the players that tend to get blisters while playing.
The model features oval wood tips that produce a warm tonality when hit against the drums and the cymbals. Given these features, the product is said to be appropriate for a broad segment of drummers.
Vic Firth American 7A (B0002F73ZI)
The model is engineered in such a way so that the user feels comfortable while playing with them. As a plus, differently, from the other lightweight devices out there, these sticks are actually great when used to play rock.
The model is made from hickory wood and, because of this, you can expect it to last quite a long period of time. Moreover, the product comes supplied with sensitive wood tips that add to its reliability and sturdiness.
Furthermore, the 7A model is also appreciated because of its ability to absorb a lot of impacts. Therefore, they are great for rim shots and double strokes.
Vater VH5BW 5B (B0002CZQK0)
The product is suitable for all those hard hitters that need a model that won’t break easily. Even more so, these sticks are well-made, and they have a great balance. Consequently, if you are a rock player that has a metal style drumming technique, this model is just what you need. Furthermore, according to previous buyers of the unit, the device is suitable to be used by both kids and adult players.
Among the well-known players that use sticks made by Vater are Stewart Copeland of The Police, Mike Mangini of Dream Theatre and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Zildjian Tre Cool Artist (B0002F5EKY)
In fact, an interesting trivia fact about the item is that it was designed with the help of the drummer from Green Day. The product measures 16 and ½ inches, and it has a diameter of 0.625’. Because this model has a natural finish, you should not worry about the coating falling off.
Furthermore, because these sticks deliver a solid, stick feel, they can be used by both beginners and seasoned players. However just like when deciding what kind of violin bridge to buy, we recommend that, before you make a purchase, you take a good look at what previous buyers had to say about the model.
Promark PW747W Japanese (B000EEHKHI)
As a plus, this unit comes fitted with oval wood tips that produce a warm tone that works great with many genres of music. Besides, the medium taper of the product guarantees a balanced response and rebound.
This model was designed with the help of Neil Peart of Rush. In fact, his actual signature is inscribed, or, better said, printed, on each stick. As expected, the device features a classic, by now, 5A diameter. However, the model is slightly longer than normal. According to the manufacturer, the PW747W is perfect for gigs where a higher volume is needed.
Vater VHFN Fusion (B0002F7KPG)
The product was manufactured from hickory and, as a result, it is considered very durable and, thus, likely to perform well under any circumstances. Besides, each stick included in the deal has been weight and tone-matched by proficient computer analysis. Even more so, although the product is made from wood, users have said that it is not heavy or difficult to maneuver in any way.
If you intend to purchase the item, you should know that this product has received quite numerous positive reviews. Most of its current users recommend it because of its versatility and dynamics.
Vater VSPSB Bamboo (B003B1N2IW)
This model is a great purchase for all those players that are environmentally conscientious, as these sticks are eco-friendly (because Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth).
Each stick included in the deal has a length of 16” and a 0.585 grip. The coating of the product covers ¾ of each stick, and it is said to absorb a decent amount of shocks. Because the product is light, the sounds produced by it are more articulate than you might expect.
Zildjian 2B Wood (B002NU6JNW)
The unit has large grip dimensions and a slightly oval bead. A special DIP coating has also been used in the making of the product. Consequently, these sticks are comfortable to handle and they have a tacky gripping surface. Additionally, the model gives a great rebound.
However, before you place an order, you should have in mind that, according to users, the coating on this model peels off quite easily. Moreover, you might want to know that these sticks are a bit heavier than regular models. Because of this, you might feel your hands getting tired when practicing with them for hours on end.
Aquarian Drumheads F5ACB-G X-10 (B003ZSHE44)
These sticks were made from a composite material that includes nylon graphite, and they come supplied with shock grips. As a consequence, the drummer’s hands are protected against fatigue and vibrations.
Current users of the unit have said that, in the beginning, this unit feels differently than wood sticks. However, once you get used to them, you are bound to appreciate them as they sound great on cymbals, and they are more durable than other models out there.
Moreover, the product was created using top-of-the-art technology and, because of this, these sticks have a great weight distribution that makes them effortless to handle. Yet, at the time that we have carried out our research, the model had not received many reviews from the specialists.
RegalTip 111NT (B0002D0F5A)
This model was specially designed to be used by jazz players that are interested in articulated sounds and warm tones. The device includes a nylon tip, and it has that famous Regal finish that you will certainly like.
The product is lighter than similar models, and it has a great bounce to it. Furthermore, the unit delivers excellent volume and stick control. In fact, the sticks can be used to play quietly as well as moderately loud. Because of this, the item can also be used by beginners. Yet, it is worth saying that this product is not suitable for the heavy hitters.
Best bags for drum sticks
Meinl Percussion MSB-1 (B0007ZEY8W)
Moreover, the product can easily fit more than one pair as well as brushes, mallets, and other similar accessories that you might need when out playing at a gig. Furthermore, the exterior pockets of the bag are large enough for you to place a special metronome for drummers in them.
The model has a well-organized design, and it includes plenty of pockets, inside and out. When open, the bag measures 18 and ½ inches in width and 19 inches in height. The product was manufactured from heavy-duty nylon. Consequently, the unit is quite sturdy.
The item comes provided with a reinforced carry grip and an adjustable shoulder strap that comes in handy when transporting it.
ChromaCast CC-SPB-BAG (B00L5QNDNO)
What is more, the unit includes two extra interior pockets where you can place your keys and your phone while playing at a gig. A sizeable exterior pocket is also included in the design of the model. Here, you can place anything from a reliable and lightweight guitar tuner to brushes and other essentials.
The bag was made from durable nylon, and it was uniquely designed to fit inside the matching ChromaCast cymbal bag sold by the same manufacturer. A practical carrying handle is also included in the design of the model.
Previous buyers have said that the most significant advantage of the model is its size. Yet, some of them have argued that this model might not be very durable in the long run.
Zildjian Drumstick Bag (B0002D0FD2)
The device features dual ties and a reliable carrying handle. Although the unit cannot be mounted to the floor tom, you can hang it on a coat stand. This way, your belongings will be kept safe while you are playing.
The item also has an outer pocket that closes using Velcro. The model features the distinctive Zildjian logo. The product can be used by both seasoned players that have to carry their sticks to a gig, as well as by students that have to attend lessons. Overall, the item has great ratings, and it is considered an excellent purchase. So, check it out!
Yearly Guide & Report
Finding a reliable drumstick is, according to some, even more difficult than finding a synthesizer keyboard. Because the market is packed with countless models, it is not easy to select a product that suits your needs. After reading what the specialists and seasoned drummers had to say about the topic, we have put together a list of features that you should think about before placing an order.
As expected, just like when shopping for an acoustic electric guitar, the material used in making the product is highly important. From this point of view, you should know that your options are quite broad. For once, there are many models constructed from different types of wood.
The units constructed from hickory are the most popular today. The reason for this has to do with the proprieties of the material, as hickory is a dense, heavy wood that is great at absorbing shock waves. Therefore, the products made from it are gentle on the drummer’s hands.
Secondly, there are those sticks made from maple, a material that is not as dense as hickory. However, the sticks made from it are better suited for when playing softer music. Similarly, oak is another option that you could try. Even more so, some drum sticks reviews suggest that oak sticks are a better investment, as they can deliver great sound. However, these products are rather uncommon and difficult to find.
Apart from models made from wood, you should know that there are also sticks manufactured from different materials such as plastic or aluminum. Although these latter devices are more durable than the wood counterparts, many drummers refuse to invest in them because they do not feel like these models are the real deal.
However, if you have an aggressive style of playing and you are in desperate need of a product that does not break, we strongly suggest that you give them a go. As a plus, these items are also highly versatile and, thus, you’ll be able to use them while playing various music genres.
The importance of tip shapes and material
If you have ever looked closely at drumsticks, you probably have noticed that not all models have the same type of tip. In fact, the shape of the tip affects the tonality of the sound produced, which is a reason why this aspect is worth taking into consideration.
Oval sticks are known for offering the broadest spectrum of sounds. Because of the shape of such units, a drummer can change the angle in which the product hits the drum and, therefore he/she can control the way the sound resonates.
Additionally, if you want the best drumsticks for metal, it might be prudent to get a product that features barrel tips, as they produce a punchy, loud sound. Also, some units feature acorn tips. These models can build a round, complex sound that many find suitable.
Ball or round tips deliver a bright, clear tone that is often a bit sharper to the ear. However, these models are not that versatile because the surface that touches the drum is always the same and, thus, the beat is identical every time. Furthermore, many good drum sticks come fitted with teardrop tips that are great at delivering a warmer, more soothing tone.
Another aspect that you should think about before making a purchase is the material used in the construction of the tip. As expected, you should choose between wood and synthetic tips by assessing the type of sound that you want to produce.
Therefore, if you play on snare drums, you should pick wood tips, as these models can bounce best. However, if you have an aggressive style and you play music that requires a lot of hard percussion, we advise in favor of investing in nylon tips as these products are more reliable and durable.
Understanding the sizes is key
No matter if you have played with cheap drum sticks or rather expensive models, you probably have noticed that the sticks are described by using combinations of numbers and letters, such as 5 B.
On the one hand, the number indicated by the description refers to the circumference of the model. Low numbers mean large circumferences. Consequently, if a product has a high number, such as 7, the size of the stick (its circumference) is smaller.
On the other hand, the letters that you see, A, B, and S, also have a meaning. The letter A stands for orchestra. In other words, these models were designed to be used in big bands. These items are quite popular, and they are usually used by rock players that also use guitar amps and jazz bands.
B means band. These devices are easier to control and, as a consequence, they are usually used by beginners. Lastly, S refers to street, and they are the go-to models for those drummers that play in marching bands where ample sound projection is vital.
To sum it up, if you want to play light music, such as jazz, you should purchase a 7A model. Still, because of their thinness, these items are also used by rockers. Furthermore, 5B devices are best for fusion music, while 2B products are ticker and thus, great for aggressive, rock beats.
Lastly, if you need an item that performs best in marching bands where you need a sound that compliments the music made by student flutes, go with a 2B model, and you won’t be disappointed. Also, you should invest in the best drum stick bag so that your new purchase is safely stored in between uses.
What is more, before you purchase what you consider to be the best drumsticks for jazz, our suggestion to you is that you read what previous buyers had to say about the given product. This is essential because this way you can get a good understanding of the reliability of a certain product.
If you follow our recommendations, we are more than sure that you will be able to find a product that sounds well and that fits your needs entirely. So, go ahead and make your decision wisely!
Frequently asked questions about drum sticks
Can you take drum sticks on a plane?
Although many seem to believe that it is illegal to bring drumsticks on a plane, according to Transport Security Administration, the agency that oversees the security of public traveling in the US, it is, in fact, legal to take your drumsticks with you while traveling by plane.
However, just like any other musical instrument, including parts of instruments, such as a delay pedal, you have to inform a TSA officer about the fact that you are carrying such an item with you. Furthermore, according to the TSA, it is necessary that all brass instruments are packed in the checked bags.
Can you use drumsticks on bongos?
Although it is physically possible, and, some might argue, tempting, to use drumsticks on hand percussion instruments such as bongos, it is recommendable that you don’t do it.
The main reason why this might not be a good idea has to do with the fact that sticks are very likely to go through the material that covers the bongo and, thus, rupture it.
Still, if you are interested, you should check out the drum set bongs with synthetic heads that you can find available online, as these models are played by using sticks. If not, it is best that you stick to playing bongos by hand.
Can you use drumsticks on djembe?
According to seasoned players, if you own a djembe that has a cover made from goatskin or calfskin, it might be suitable that you play on it with your bare hands. As expected, this is best because you risk damaging/rupturing the head of the djembe.
Nevertheless, if you are set on using non-traditional means of playing this instrument, you can do it. Still, if you decide to do so, please invest in the lightest pair of drum sticks for sale that you find available. Also, the market is also filled with synthetic toy djembes that can be played with sticks.
Where are drumsticks made?
Most of the items that we have included in our selection have been made in America. However, there are many manufacturers around the world and therefore, some units are produced in different countries. For instance, the products sold by Stagg music come from Belgium.
Likewise, some companies such as Zildjian that were initially founded in other countries are now based on American soil. Yet, it is safe to say that the country of origin of an instrument is not very important, as the quality of the device is usually the aspect that should interest you.
Which drumsticks should be used for electronic drums?
If you are set on finding the best drumsticks for electronic drums, we recommend that you pick a product such as the Zildjian 5B Nylon. As a plus, it is vital that you choose a model that has nylon tips, as this way you won’t have to worry about losing the tips of the sticks.
Moreover, it is a well-known fact that wood tips are more likely to potentially damage the mesh head of the drums. Besides, from time to time, go ahead and check the tips of the sticks to make sure that there are no sharp pieces on them.
What drumsticks do professionals use?
It is very difficult to answer your question in a simple manner. Because each professional drummer has his/her own preferences, it is hard to tell if there is a common factor that qualifies a product as worthy of the attention of a seasoned player.
Moreover, it all depends on the type of music and the manner of playing that a drummer has adopted. If you have a favorite player, and you want to replicate the way that he/she plays, you could always go online and find what type of sticks he/she uses. Yet, be prepared for disappointment as all drummers respond differently to distinct models.
What drumsticks should a beginner use?
If you are a beginner player and you are interested in a product that can help you master the art of drum playing faster, it is best that you look for an item that is durable and likely to resist the constant use.
Even more so, you should opt for a device made from a sturdy material such as hickory. Also, pick a 5A as these models are medium-weighted and not too thick. For more info on the topic, ask your drums teacher for indications and recommendations as he/she can best understand your style of playing.
Best drum sticks brands
A well-known name in the drumsticks business, Vic Firth is a company that produces a multitude of models of sticks that can be used by both beginners and professional players. Vic Firth was founded by a percussionist and, as a result, the models developed by it are user-oriented and produced in order to respond to the needs of the drummer.
Its products usually deliver pronounced sounds, and they have innovative designs that are easy on the eyes. Among the most famous drummers that use models sold by Vic Firth are Chris Fryar, Ash Soan or Gerry Brown.
Vater is another manufacturer that you might be familiar with. This company is mainly known for the variety of products that it has developed. In fact, Vater is one of those sellers that have created a versatile range of sticks that vary from classical looking to ultra-modern designed ones.
The company was founded by Jack Adams in 1956, and it has managed to remain relevant ever since. The main feature that distinguishes the sticks made by Vater is their moisture content that is higher than other products. However, because of this, their models are a bit heavier.
Another name that you must have heard of before is Zildjian. This company started in the business by producing cymbals, and it has extended its field of interest. As a result, this manufacturer is now also a producer of high-quality additional gear supplies.
Zildjian was founded in 1623 and, thus, it has a long line of tradition that recommends it as a reliable source of equipment. Among those that use drumsticks made by Zildjian are Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots, Jon Theodore, Travis Barker, Dave Grohl, Marco Minnemann, Jeff Friedl, and the list goes on.