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The Best Drum Sticks Of 2024: Find Your Perfect Match

February 22, 2024 
BY DAN SPENCER
best drum sticks
Last Updated on February 22, 2024

To the untrained eye, all drumsticks are just pieces of wood. But a professional will tell you they’re full of nuances, from the tip shape to the finishing coat. So, you can’t pick one arbitrarily and hope for the best. To make the choice easier for you, we’ve rounded up five of the best drum sticks and created an in-depth review of their performance and overall feel.

Included in this guide:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Vic Firth American Classic 5A Drum Sticks

Vic Firth American Classic 5A Drum Sticks

  • Premium US hickory wood with lacquer finish
  • Teardrop-shaped wood tip (available in nylon, too)
  • 16” in length, 0.565” in diameter
4.8
Check Price
Runner-up
On-Stage Hickory Drumsticks - 5A

On-Stage Hickory Drumsticks - 5A

  • Sealed hickory wood
  • Wood tip (available in nylon, too)
  • 16” in length, 0.565” in diameter
4.8
Check Price
Top Pick
ProMark Hickory Drumsticks - 5A

ProMark Hickory Drumsticks - 5A

  • US hickory wood with lacquer finish
  • Acorn-shaped wood tip
  • 16” in length, 0.565” in diameter
4.7
Check Price
Top Pick
Avedis Zildjian Company 7A DIP Drumsticks

Avedis Zildjian Company 7A DIP Drumsticks

  • Select hickory wood with dip surface cooling
  • Round wood tip (available in nylon, too)
  • 15.5” in length, 0.52” in diameter
4.7
Check Price
Lowest Price
WOGOD 5A Drum Stricks Maple Drumsticks

WOGOD 5A Drum Stricks Maple Drumsticks

  • Solid North American maple wood
  • Drop-shaped wood tip
  • 16” in length, 0.55” in diameter
4.7
Check Price

Related Article: How To Tune A Snare Drum Like A Pro


The Top 5 Best Drum Sticks

All sticks in the American Classic line from Vic Firth feature a traditional feel and well-balanced performance. The line includes everything from Extreme 8Ds to 1As. However, the 5A model is often considered the starting point. With a medium taper, it creates a balanced trade-off between speed and power.

Pros
  • Deep-cut tips for an intense cymbal response with a full, resonant tone
  • Durable and won’t split quickly (especially if you get the 5AN nylon-tipped model)
  • Smooth finish for a comfortable and natural feel
Cons
  • A few people reported not receiving a pitch-paired pair

On-Stage sells model HW5A as a brick of 12 pairs. Each of those 24 sticks is made with hickory that’s been air-kiln-dried, sanded, and sealed. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t designate a specific taper length or tip shape. However, the sticks look to be acorn or tear-drop-shaped.

Pros
  • Great value for money—a 12-pack and a complimentary bag
  • Wood processing reduces the risk of wrapping
  • Suitable for fast drumming on both acoustic and electronic kits
Cons
  • Included stick bag can only hold 10 pairs at a time

ProMark’s Rebound line-up includes FireGrain options. Yet, the kiln-dried hickory model remains a popular pick, for its classic feel. This drumstick features a reinvented acorn tip to increase contact, creating a fuller, warmer sound with more articulation. The long taper also provides more agility and finesse. That said, if power and speed are your priorities, this stick might not be ideal and you’ll need to consider the Forward line-up instead.

Pros
  • Rear-weighted balance for lighter playing with more rebound
  • Available as a single pair, a four-pack, and a “bonus” pack (three hickory pairs with one FireGrain pair) so you can compare performance and feel
  • ProMatch process (weight sorting, precision cutting, and pitch matching) improves consistency between each ProMark stick
Cons
  • Longer tapers can be more fragile

With rounded wooden tips and relatively thin bodies, these Acedis Zildjian sticks would work well for lighter jazz sounds. You would get a stronger cymbal ping and extra bounce from the nylon tips, though. Either way, the Dip series sticks have a medium, balanced taper.

On the other end of the stick, you have a black coating that’s a bit tacky to the touch. This tackiness can help reduce slippage, even if you tend to have sweaty hands. Odds are, the stickiness will feel weird at first, but you’ll get used to it quickly.

Pros
  • Dip treatment on the bottom half for a stronger grip
  • Lightweight, thin design suitable for jazz
  • More visually appealing than your typical drumstick
Cons
  • Doesn’t sound very full and won’t suit all music styles
  • Black coating material might start rubbing off on your hands after a while

The WOGOD 2-pair set is a great entry-level pick. Rather than the standard hickory wood body, these sticks are made with naturally air-dried maple, which is relatively lighter and easier on the wrists. The sticks have a smooth and comfortable feel great for any drummer.

If aesthetics are a priority for you, you might be interested in the black version of the WOGOD stick. It’s also made with air-dried maple wood and features a drop-shaped (wooden but not black) tip. But it’s more expensive and only available as a single pair. Plus, the black coating might rub off with use.

Pros
  • Great value for money—two pairs at a budget-friendly price point 
  • Suitable for kids and students as well
  • Lightweight maple makes the stick suitable for practicing complex, fast patterns
Cons
  • Not super durable and might splinter after some heavy drumming sessions

Related Article: How Do You Mic a Drum Kit? The Complete Guide


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do tip shapes matter?

Yes! The head shape can make all the difference since it’s where the contact with the drum’s surface happens. As a general rule, the more contact, the warmer and fuller the tone. So, the popular drop-shaped tip is typically good for rich, dark tones.

Acorns, too, create fat sounds. Meanwhile, the ball head delivers articulate and well-defined pings. There’s also the loud, punchy barrel shape and the mid-range oval that balances acorn and ball sounds.

Should I get a nylon or a wooden tip?

It ultimately depends on your preference and music style. Compared to wood, the nylon tip is brighter, more articulate, and more consistent. It’s also relatively robust. That said, nylon won’t deliver the classic tone of wood-tipped sticks.

How can I reduce slippage while holding my drumstick?

To reduce slippage, you could wrap some grip tape over the stick or just slather some tacky drumstick wax. Some people also use textured heat-shrinking sleeves. Alternatively, you could just get a model with an anti-slip coating, like the ones in the Avedis Zildjian Dip series.

Which drum stick size is more versatile?

The 5A size is a balanced pick—not too thick/heavy but also not too thin/lightweight. If this is your first drum kit, start there and see if you need to go for something heavier, like a 5B, or slimmer, like a 7A. It’s also worth noting that 7As are generally good for softer styles and jazz.

Are signature drumsticks worth it?

Signature sticks are designed to fit the exact specs that a particular drummer prefers. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be a good fit for your hands and playing style. They can be nice to collect, though!

Product Recap

Vic Firth’s hickory stick, with a tear-drop tip and a medium tapper, is a classic and quite versatile pick. That said, the costs will add up if you go through sticks quickly. In that case, you might want to consider the On-Stage 12-pair kit. For those who are just starting or are on a particularly tight budget, the lightweight WOGOD two-pair set is still a reliable option.

Ultimately, we’d recommend trying out a couple of shapes and sizes first. Thankfully, the sticks are often cheap, so you won’t have to splurge!

If you found this guide helpful, please consider subscribing to our blog for more music production tips, product reviews, and buying guides. Also, you can support new content by contributing to our tip jar.

"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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