The Best Drum Sticks

Drum sticks

If you’re new to the world of drumming and want to find the best tone and best drum sticks for you, you may feel lost on how to go about it without trying a bunch of pairs. Those that in the field of being a veteran of drumming may not have this issue, as most have defined their sound through trial and error. While some only boast good tones and not durability, there are some pairs of drum sticks that are able to offer not only durability, but a great sound as well. In this article, we’ll be discussing the benefits of buying the best drum sticks, factors to consider before you invest in a pair of drum sticks, and of course tips that you should consider before purchasing the best drum sticks.

The Benefits of Buying the Best Drum Sticks

I think we can all agree that one of the major benefits of buying drum sticks is so you can actually play your set of drums. While this is a base benefit, and there are definitely other benefits that aren’t as obvious, the aforementioned is a core feature that all drummers should invest in. If you’re someone who uses a rental space with a rental set of drums, you’ll want to make sure you have your own pair of drum sticks to help define your personal sound and tone. While you can’t change much about the tone of the rental drum set, you can change how you play and how that sound comes off from the drum set.

Depending on your play style and how many beats per minute you want to achieve, the weight of the drum stick matters. There are some that are composed of wood materials, while others are composed of metals to create a heavier stick. In having a heavier stick, this could potentially raise the beat per minute count that you currently have. While there are studies about this specific fact, those that have been playing for a while can possibly determine this from their own experience. For those wondering about how the materials benefit you versus the other, we’ll go through a quick rundown.

One of the benefits of using aluminum sticks versus wooden sticks is that you can replace the tips of the sticks. With wooden pieces, you’re not going to be able to replace much, as they are carved out of the same piece. With aluminum or other metals, they are crafted in a way where they don’t need to be attached to the tip, and you’ll have more versatility. Also known as a synthetic material (the aluminum), you’ll want to look out for this in any specifications of products you may find, as it may not say the name of the metal out right. Metals tend to be more durable than wood materials, and may save you money in the long run when going with said synthetic material.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing Drum Sticks

Before jumping into purchasing the best drum sticks, you’ll want to know a few things about the anatomy of a drum stick. No matter what material you go with (synthetic or wood), you’ll want to know that the numbers and letters on the sticks actually mean. Each set of sticks have a numerical value that directly states the circumference of your drum stick. Normally, the lower this number is, the bigger the circumference of your drum stick is. A drum stick that specifics that it is the size 7A means that it’s smaller than a 5A. It’s also worth mentioning that the letter also plays a part in this, and if you have a stick with a circumference of 2B, this is going to be larger than 5 A. While there is one exception (otherwise known as the 3S), this is a general rule you’ll want to keep in mind as you progress through your drumming journey.

If you’re wondering what the letter models mean, you’re in luck:

B model drumstick – The B model of drumsticks were initially intended for those who play in band applications (like the symphony or orchestra – not your wannabe garage band from the late 90’s). Because their circumference is smaller than those of the S model, the ability to control them was much easier, thus creating a popular stick for those that are just dipping their toes in the water. If you’re curious to know, the best beginner drumstick that’s often recommended is one that is known as a 2B.

S model drumstick – As we mentioned, one of the only exceptions is the 3S drumstick when it comes to circumference, as it’s lager than the standard 2B, despite the number and letter model. Designed for those that use drumsticks in street applications, such as marching bands (surprisingly, you don’t use a B model stick often in a marching band), or something like the drum corps.

A model drumstick – Next on our list is the A model, which doesn’t stand for anything that starts with an A. In fact, the aforementioned is a model often used for those in the dance orchestra or those that are in a “big band” orchestra. While they are smaller than the B model of drumstick that we mentioned, they’re designated more for those that play softer, and those who play in rock applications or jazz ensembles.

The only reason the A is used instead of “o” for orchestra is simply because of aesthetics, and it wasn’t desired when William F. Ludwig SR. designated the terms. If you’re still having trouble remembering which letter model goes to which application, just think B as in band (orchestra), S as in “street”, and A as in O – for big orchestra ensembles.

You should also know the anatomy of a drumstick. The end of which you hold the drum stick is known as the butt end. The aforementioned end doesn’t always have to be used as a holding area though, as it can give more sound, power, and “umph” when used directly to hit the drum. Sometimes you may see butt ends dipping in a type of leather to ensure that the player is going to have a great grasp on the stick. Nothing worse than something slippery, causing inconsistent sounds!

Another area of the stick that you should know is called the shoulder. While behind the tip area, those that use swells and hit the cymbals often should know that this is the area of the stick that causes these gorgeous sounds. It’s also a great area of the stick to create those staccato sounds, as the taper shape of this end gives different and a wide variety of sounds due to the architecture.

Last but not least, there are sticks that have short tapers, which ensure even more durability. Those that have a more narrow area in this end are easily more flexible, but don’t promise as much durability. Having a fragile stick can be okay, and may be necessary for some applications, but aren’t always the best. The area in between the butt end and the shoulder is simply known as the body, and doesn’t have any specific effect on how you play, but can easily be played for a wooden sound when hit against the rims of the drums.  diabetes kit bag

Now, let’s get into tips you should know before buying the best drum sticks.

Tips to Consider Before Buying the Best Drum Sticks

The tips of the sticks come in a variety of shapes – four to be exact – which include the following:

Barrel tips: These barrel tips are usually able to give a sound that’s more broad, and a tone that’s more diffused in comparison with other tips.

Round tips: Tips that are round ensure a focused sound. Those smaller and tighter ping tin sounds can come from this type of tip, as well as fuller tones depending on how broad you go. There are various sizes of round tips, which ultimately determine how full and broad said sound is.

Olive-shaped tips: You may have seen this type of tip most, and it’s also known as a teardrop tip. From tight sounds that can be diffused, along with other sounds – the sound depends on how you hold and hit this one due to the taper and diverse shape.

Pointed tips: Also known as triangle tips, these types of tips have a medium tone that’s also focused.

Nylon tips: Lastly, there are tips called nylon tips that ensure drummers will have a bit more room when it comes to versatility and durability. There is a very specific and distinct sound that comes from these tips, so if you like the generic warm sound that comes from a standard wood tip, you may want to look elsewhere.

Let’s get into some reviews of the best drum sticks for you.

The Best Drum Stick Reviews

Vic Firth American Classic 5A Drum Sticks


Noted as a best seller, for the price of these drum sticks, you’re going to be able to endlessly supply yourself. Those that are looking for a wood tip will find solace in knowing the features of the aforementioned, some of which include:

  • Wood tip design
  • Size 5A
  • Hickory wood
  • Traditional Vic Firth Style

The Breakdown of the Features

While we can’t say too much about these drum sticks, there are basic features that we can pinpoint. With the standard 5A size for those who want to begin drumming, you’ll be happy to know that the diameter measures .570, and the overall length is 16. Because of the hickory wood that is capable of delivering a punch while promising durability, this traditional style is a go-to for many famous musicians. With a wooden tip design, you’re going to be able to get that wholesome sound that’s full – and you don’t have to go through a plethora of drum stick types to find it!

The Advantages of the Product

One of the advantages of this product is that it doesn’t deliver a weird sound, and you don’t have to play a specific genre to use these drumsticks with ease. Fill in the sound you need with this standard design wood tip pair of drum sticks. Being in one of the more standard sizes, you don’t have to worry about it not working with your application. Composed of hickory wood that’s extremely durable, you’ll be able to use these without breakage for quite some time.

The Disadvantages of the Product

If you’re looking for a tip that isn’t wood, you’ll unfortunately see a disadvantage here. While the sound is great, and the performance isn’t negated whatsoever, we understand that all drummers have a style and specific tone when they’re playing. However, a wood tip as such isn’t interchangeable, and you’ll have to invest somewhere else.

Zildijan 7A Nylon Black Dip Drumsticks


For our next pair of drumsticks, we’re basically hitting every marker that boasts “non-traditional”. While these drumsticks are from one of the best in the game, they aren’t for those average players who have very specific applications that require a non-nylon tip. Features of the aforementioned include the following:

  • Slip profile, DIP material coating to grip area
  • Length is 15.5-inches
  • Diameter is 0.525
  • Size is 7A – more narrow than your average

The Breakdown of the Features

The Zildijan drumsticks have a grip area that are dipped in black coating to ensure that you’re going to receive a comfortable grip on these sticks. It’s also worth mentioning that the coating on this end is slightly tacky, as it’s supposed to be. Having this ensures that your grip is not only going to be able to be loosened and relaxed, but firm and hitting those tones. The size of these drumsticks measure 7A, which is 15.5-inches in length, with a 0.525 diameter. For those that are curious, the tips of these drumsticks are soft plastic tips.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the advantages of these sticks is that it already comes with a type of grip dip on the stick. Having this grip dip ensures that you’re going to be able to hold on in a relaxed manner and still be able to hit those tones – heavy and hard. Another advantage is that they are of the 7A size, which delivers a specific sound – especially with the plastic soft tip.

The Disadvantages of the Product

A disadvantage of this set of drumsticks is that they come equipped with a soft plastic tip. For those that want a more wholesome sound, you’ll have to go with something that’s wooden. Unfortunately, you can’t replace this style of tip either like you can with some aluminum tips, but this isn’t too much of a disadvantage if you’re pretty stagnant and consistent in delivering a wholesome sound.

Musician’s Gear Hickory 20-Pack, Assorted Styles


Next on our list is a bulk pack that’s well-worth the money. Features of the aforementioned bulk pack include the following:

  • Hickory wood drum sticks
  • Promises longevity even for drummers that hit hard
  • 20 sticks total – 10 sets
  • Mix and match set of sizes, tips, color, etc.

The Breakdown of the Features

One of our favorite specs of this product is that it’s a mix and match bulk set. You’re going to have various sizes, tips, and colors to choose from, along with various styles. Being able to experiment with different sets will allow you to have more fun with your sound. The drum sticks are composed of hickory wood, and you’ll receive 20 sticks total – 10 full sets.

The Advantages of the Product

If you’re a newbie drummer, you’re going to want to experiment with your sound and style. Having drum sticks that offer different sizes, tips, and colors, ensures that you’re going to be able to see which set works for you. Having a mix and match set that promises longevity, while allowing you to experiment ensures that you’re going to be able to branch out (no pun intended with these wooden sticks)!

The Disadvantages of the Product

One of the disadvantages of this bulk pack set is that it’s a mix and match style of bulk pack. With this type of set, you’re not going to have a consistent sizing across the board. If you break one set (or two for those ultra-hard hitters), you’re going to have to try and buy another pair in that size if there aren’t any left of this size in the pack. Since they are mix and match (even with tips), it’s pretty hard to find a consistent pair. While it does allow you to get used to more sounds and styles, those that need to play a specific sound may suffer if they break sticks a lot. Although, it’s worth mentioning that these drum sticks promise longevity, even for those that are hard hitters

Zildijan Adrian Young Artist Series Drum Sticks


Another set of Zildijan drumsticks on this list, you’re going to add a bit of personality to your aesthetics. Instead of the standard wooden color set of sticks, you’re going to be receiving:

  • Redesigned model from Adrian Young
  • 5-inch length
  • Diameter of 0.585


The Breakdown of the Features

With a white and black half design, you’re going to be receiving a unique set of drum sticks that are beautiful in design and equally as great in sound. With a black nylon tip, you’re going to not only have longevity when it comes to these drum sticks, but you’re also going to have a great and consistent sound. The checkboard graphic is silver on this stick, and its minimalist in design while providing a very distinct sound.

The Advantages of the Product

The advantage of these drumsticks stems further than their distinct sound and dives deep into their design, which was created by young artist Adrian Young. A drummer themselves, this was designed to replicate that sound they love without compromising on quality. In fact, the design was improved on in terms of sound and aesthetics for this nylon tip set.

The Disadvantages of the Product

We can’t find too many disadvantages of this product, but if you’re someone who doesn’t like the sound that stems from a nylon tip, you’re going to have a hard time getting past the initial play phase of these drum sticks.

Vic Firth 5AB American Classic Wood Tip Drumsticks


Last on our list is another set manufactured by Vic Firth. Providing minimalism and sleek aesthetics, the sound that stems is anything but! The power that comes from these wood tip drum sticks ensures that your signature sound is here to stay. Features of the aforementioned include the following:

  • 5AB model
  • 16-inches in length
  • Diameter of .565”
  • Black finish on sticks
  • Tear drop tip

The Breakdown of the Features

Coming in a 5AB style, measuring .565 in diameter and 16-inches in length, those that are seeking this style (the tear drop tip) and this size will find solace in knowing that this set of 5AB drumsticks exists.

The Advantages of the Product

The overall finish of these drum sticks ensure sleekness, as the gorgeous black finish is stunning to the eye while not overpowering. The sound that stems from the wood, tear drop tip ensures a gorgeous sound on those cymbals that you love so much.

The Disadvantages of the Product

If you’re not looking for the sound that’s created from a tear drop set of drum sticks, you’re unfortunately going to need to find something else that fits your sound and play style.

The Final Verdict

While you were thrown quite a bit of information today, we think that we should recommend you the best product for the price. The brand, the sound, and the durability of the Vic Firth American Classic 5A is something that shouldn’t be thrown a cold shoulder. One of the more well-known brands within the world of drumming, Vic Firth provides longevity with a very distinct sound and build. Affordable in price and attractive in aesthetics, these are our go-to sticks.

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