Best Drum Sticks in 2023 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]
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Drum sticks are the least expensive accessory for drummers but are equally important. The kind of wood used, shape of the tip and the length of the stick are instrumental in determining the quality of tone as well as the durability of the stick.
The tips of these sticks have four different types of shapes: round, barrel, pointed or triangle and teardrop. While round tips emit bright tones, barrel tips have broader tone, pointed and teardrop emit different tones based on how they are held, making them more versatile.
If you’re confused with the vast array of options available in the market, then our article will help you select the best drum stick. Read our reviews to find out more.
|1. Vater Chad Smith’s Funk Blaster Hickory Wood Tip Drum Sticks
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|2. Vic Firth 5A Nylon Nova Drumsticks
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|3. Vater VH5AW Los Angeles 5A Wood Tip Hickory Drum Sticks
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|4. Zildjian 5A Nylon Black Dip Drumsticks
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|5. Promark American Hickory Drum Sticks for Kids
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Our Best Drum Sticks for 2020 Reviews and Comparisons
1. Vater Chad Smith’s Funk Blaster Hickory Wood Tip Drum Sticks
- Same grip as a 5B but with a beefier taper for some extra weight up top and acorn tip
- Great for heavy, solid playing
- L 16" D . 605"
Sticks with a higher than average moisture content are generally produced by Vater. They do this to increase their stick’s durability, although it does result in a bit of extra weight.
While these sticks are heavier than similarly priced sticks with lower moisture content, they are actually slightly lighter than your standard 5B drum stick because of their dimensions. This is great for bringing in speed while drumming, or for the use of certain drumming techniques that require a larger stick.
Read Related Topic: Best Drum Practice Pad
What is important to note with these sticks is that they are made of hickory. Hickory is the wood of choice for heavy-handed drummers because it is a hardwood that is incredibly durable. This leads to a more durable and reliable stick.
The best thing to do would be to observe Chad Smith’s live sound closely to get a good idea of how these sticks sound. All Vater Drumsticks are tone and weight-matched by computer analysis.
What We Like About Vater Chad Smith’s Funk Blaster Hickory Wood Tip Drum Sticks
Vater offers a guarantee of outstanding quality. Each Vater stick is guaranteed to be straighter, more consistent and of greater overall quality than any other leading drum stick manufacturer. With a guarantee to not fall off, crack or break, Vater’s nylon tips have a good performance life span.
What We Don’t Like About Vater Chad Smith’s Funk Blaster Hickory Wood Tip Drum Sticks
Since these drum sticks are designed to be top-heavy, some drummers may find them uncomfortable to use.
- Made of durable hickory wood
- Tone and weight matched by computer analysis
- Ideal for drumming that requires speed
- Might be uncomfortable to use for some drummers
2. Vic Firth 5A Nylon Nova Drumsticks
- Great all around stick for every style of music
- Oval tip for a full sound
- Nylon tip for a brighter cymbal sound and added durability
- Made from USA Hickory
- Natural, clear lacquer finish
Vic Firth also offers 5B and 7A Novas in a number of different colors, in addition to the 5A model.
As a drummer, you’ll probably be spending the least on buying a pair of drum sticks. But if you play consistently and find that the sticks break often, the replacement cost is bound to rise.
The Nova Series sticks from Vic Firth are made from B-grade hickory, which reduces the cost without compromising on its quality and usefulness.
What We Like About Vic Firth 5A Nylon Nova Drumsticks
As with all Vic Firths, before they leave the factory, Novas are weight and pitch-matched, so every pair is guaranteed to feel balanced in your hands. It’s even worth keeping a few pairs in your stick bag, at a fraction of the price, as backups in case you run out of your first-choice sticks.
What We Don’t Like About Vic Firth 5A Nylon Nova Drumsticks
Users had issues with the durability of these sticks. Most of them claimed that the tip of the sticks broke off with use.
- Made from quality B-grade hickory
- The pair feels balanced in your hands
- Tip of the sticks is not durable enough
3. Vater VH5AW Los Angeles 5A Wood Tip Hickory Drum Sticks
The best thing about these drum sticks is that they are very well balanced because they are heavier towards the tip and it helps with “fast attack and drum response.” This is a great feature, making these sticks an excellent option for any drummer.
5As from Vater is ideal for someone who wants to save money but still get good quality drum sticks. They are made from hickory and have tips for wood. Being very specific about what hickory they’re using, Vater is only satisfied with the best. It must have the correct moisture content, straightness, and grain structure, which are the ingredients of high-quality drum sticks.
Also available in Sugar Maple, their Nude Series, Eternal Black, and Color Wrap, Vater has to drum sticks for every drummer out there.
What We Like About Vater VH5AW Los Angeles 5A Wood Tip Hickory Drum Sticks
These sticks allow you to lay down a muscular beat for one minute and transition to a quick fire attack the next before you settle down and set a modest beat for the lighthearted pieces. The warmth you will generate with the wooden tips will enrich your performance quality while the impeccable stick balance will allow you to achieve your sonic goals without straining.
What We Don’t Like About Vater VH5AW Los Angeles 5A Wood Tip Hickory Drum Sticks
Some users claimed that the sticks were too heavy for them to use with ease.
- Made of hickory with good moisture content
- Fast attack and drum response
- Warm sound
- Too heavy
4. Zildjian 5A Nylon Black Dip Drumsticks
- Our most popular model. Full-size oval tip produces full tone. The DIP material is a special coating that is applied to the grip area of the stick to provide a comfortable, slightly tacky gripping surface.
- Length = 16
- Diameter = 0.560
The standout feature on the Zildjian Nylon Black Dip drum stick is the DIP material on the bottom half of the stick, which provides a sturdy non-slip gripping surface for drummers. If you find your hands becoming overly sweaty when playing you’ve got a lot to gain from this feature, as the gripping surface is slightly water-resistant. That should help keep the stick in your hand from sliding around while you are playing.
The best part about using hickory is it makes a very durable drum stick, which is great if you’re into heavy drumming. These sticks come with oval tips. Oval tips provide a bit more flexibility than round or pointed tips because turning it in your hand can change the tone of the stick.
If you need to cover several different drum tones and don’t want to keep track of several different sets of sticks, this is a huge plus. These sticks also have tips for nylon which help to further improve durability.
What We Like About Zildjian 5A Nylon Black Dip Drumsticks
The oval tips can deliver everything from a broad, round tone to a sharper, punchier sound. The tips of nylon aren’t quite as bright as the tips of wood, but they are by no means dull or flat.
What We Don’t Like About Zildjian 5A Nylon Black Dip Drumsticks
The only real concern with the stick is that the material which provides grip is said to have a tendency to wear off with heavy use on the lower portion of the sticks. But the speed with which this happens will depend on your playing style and technique.
- Hickory wood ideal for heavy drumming
- Oval tips give flexibility in tone
- Grip wears off with time
5. Promark American Hickory Drum Sticks for Kids, Wood Tip, Single Pair (TXJRW)
The 5A has long been the best selling stick for all styles of music due to it's well-balanced design and length. The oval-shaped tip provides a full, dark sound. The 5A is versatile enough to be used in all musical genres.
Because of its resilience, responsiveness and durability, hickory is the most commonly used wood for drum sticks. Hickory is the classic drum stick feel.
For over 50 years, ProMark has been one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drumsticks, mallets, and percussion accessories. Owned and operated by D'Addario & Co., the Houston, Texas based ProMark produces products used globally by the greatest drummers and percussionists in the world, including Neal Peart, Phil Collins, Simon Phillips, Ringo Starr, and many more. ProMark – Make Your Mark.
- Hickory is the most popular wood choice for drumsticks due to its resilience, responsiveness, durability, and classic feel
- Diameter: .551" Length: 16"
- Oval wood tip provides a dark, warm tone suited for multiple applications
- Medium taper for balanced response and rebound
They are shorter than standard models, promoting a more comfortable, natural feel.
When younger players begin to learn to play the drums it’s important to use a drumstick that feels comfortable and manageable in their smaller hands. Full-sized sticks can be too long and heavy to control. This can have an impact on technique and, at worst, put off aspiring young drummers before they have the opportunity to develop basic skills and start enjoying the drums.
The best drumsticks for kids are the Promark’s Hickory Junior Wood Tip sticks at a length of 13″.
What We Like About Promark American Hickory Drum Sticks for Kids, Wood Tip, Single Pair (TXJRW)
Along with being shorter, a medium taper helps to provide even balance and rebound, which means that key techniques are quickly picked up. The oval tip extracts a well-rounded, warm tone from the drums, no matter what genre is being played.
What We Don’t Like About Promark American Hickory Drum Sticks for Kids, Wood Tip, Single Pair (TXJRW)
- Has a confortable, natural feel
- Ideal for kids and young drummers
- Oval tips give warm tones
- Not for professionals
Vater Chad Smith’s Funk Blaster Hickory Wood Tip Drum Sticks is our personal favorite on this list. Crafted from durable hickory wood, these sticks were designed for hard-hitting and do not disappoint in doing so. Also, they can be used in bringing good speed during drumming.
There are other options on our list to choose from if you’re looking for a different kind of pair. Shop for the best drum stick and keep your love for drumming alive!