Hot rod drumsticks are a type of drum beater where thin wooden sticks are wrapped together. It gives you a sound that’s somewhere in between a standard drumstick and the brush.
In this article, I’m going to present to you our round-up of some of the best options on the market today.
Starting with my top recommended one, the Promark H-RODS Hot Rod. If you’re looking for a well-rounded option, then this is probably the best one.
My budget option is the Jazz Drum Sticks Brushes Bamboo Drumsticks. A highly affordable option but can very well get the job done, without breaking your pockets.
The 5 Best Hot Rod Drumsticks (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Promark H-RODS Hot Rod
I’ll start this list off with the original. Promark H-Rods sticks were the first mass-produced multi rod sticks in 1985 and subsequently gave name to the object itself.
Today they remain at the top of the game, being one of the most popular hot rod sticks out there. As you can see, hot rod sticks in Promark come in four different versions – Cool, Hot, Lightning, and Thunder.
The difference between all of these is the size of them. This means that in the Cool Rods, the thinnest of the group, you will have 19 thin sticks or 19 medium sticks in the Hot version, while L-Rods come with seven large sticks and T-Rods with 7 extra-large sticks.
This provides the difference in the sound, with thinner versions being less loud and more sensitive to minute differences in playing. All of these rods are made out of birch wood and come with a natural finish. These sticks are an industry standard and you can’t make a mistake when buying this classic.
2. Jazz Drum Sticks Brushes Bamboo Drumsticks
The Jazz Drum Sticks Brushes Bamboo Drumsticks are not only very affordable but also quite durable considering the price, the bamboo material adds to its value and all the while making it more practical.
The handle is made of rubber, making it comfortable to grip and simple to use. They’re also rather light, making them convenient to transport or carry.
When it comes to budget options, this one not only has good quality but offers so much for the price. Probably the best value for money option on the list, and the price is certainly affordable for anyone looking for a decent pair of Hot-Rods.
3. Vic Firth Rute
The Vic Firth Rute 505 is made with plastic bristles, vinyl handles that are more durable and overall better than the original Rute model. A cross between the original and the Rock Rake models, making this a new breed but a successful one.
They are perfect for light rock or jazz music, with a wide array of sounds and subtle sounds that they produce out of any drums they are played on. These are go-to rods for many drummers.
4. Meinl Bamboo Dowels
Meinl SB201 are bamboo hotrod sticks, made out of bamboo wood rods. They consist of 19 light rods, which are held together by rubber handles and two separate rings. These rings can be moved and used to adjust rod spread, which affects the sound these sticks make.
These are quality-made, bamboo sticks that provide you with airy, light sound, which is more bristle than standard birch hot rods. With two sets of rings that hold rods together, these sticks will give you the ability to adjust your sound and give you unmatched versatility.
Pricewise, these are upper-class sticks, but they still don’t cost much, so it’s affordable to experiment with the new sounds they provide.
5. Vater VSPST Birch Splashstick
Vater Splashstick is the company’s answer to Promark and Vic Firth’s hot rod sticks and it can stand up for itself pretty well in that select group.
These rods come in three different versions, bamboo, normal and traditional. I’m focusing here on traditional, as they started it all, but you can check for yourself others if you like.
These sticks are made out of 19 birch rods and are held together by a rubber cover, which is split in two to help keep the rods together and provide supreme sound while doing that. They are comfortable in hand and the most important thing for any drummer – they are durable.
With these splashsticks, you won’t see chipping of the rods or rods getting loose after a longer usage – Vater’s Splashsticks are known to be very durable. Soundwise they provide you with excellent, sensitive sound and control over your drums.
Hot Rods vs Brushes vs Drumsticks
Many people wonder what’s the big deal in the difference in sound between different types of drumsticks. Three major groups (with many different variations inside each group) are drumsticks, brushes, and hotrods.
Drumsticks are classic sticks made out of one solid material piece. They are usually made out of wood, but other materials can be used and usually, the tips of the drumsticks are mostly modified to give slight sound changes. They give out the loudest and sharpest tones when played on the drums and cymbals.
Drum Brushes consist of a handle through which a brush (a group of bristles) is put through and used for playing. These bristles can be made out of metal or nylon and their density and spread vastly affect the sound that they produce. They are often used in jazz music. They provide smooth, quiet drumming which is perfect when you’re looking for sensitive, ambient sounds from your drum set.
Hotrods and Drum Rutes are the mixes between the brushes and drumsticks when it comes to the sound they provide. They are usually made out of birch or bamboo wood and different number and thickens of rods that make hotrods make for different sounds they produce.
They are in a perfect middle between brushes and drumsticks and as such, they are used in all sorts of music from rock and jazz to folk music, though in acoustic settings most of the time – but are still great for amplified events.
I hope that this article has helped you figure out what are the best hot rods and drum rutes for you. There are different options for everyone, from beginners to professionals and it’s just up to you to choose which is the perfect pair of sticks for you.
The good side of this is that all of these sticks are usually quite affordable so that you can experiment easily and without significant expense.
My top recommended option is the Promark H-RODS Hot Rod if you’re looking for well-rounded and quality hot-rods, also available in multiple versions.
My budget options is the Jazz Drum Sticks Brushes Bamboo Drumsticks. A surprisingly durable and decent quality option at a very affordable price.