DrumDial Review – Precision Drum Tuner

If there’s one common thing that many drummers feel inferior about, it’s tuning drums! Drum tuning can be quite a difficult task to get the hang of. DrumDial makes this process quite a bit easier.

Above, you can see some pictures of my own DrumDial. I’ve had this one for quite a few years and it’s still in good shape.


Drum Dial Drum Tuner


Value for money




Ease of Use


Sound quality



  • Makes tuning a lot quicker
  • Great for drummers that don't feel confident at drum tuning
  • Great for loud surroundings
  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy, small, and well built


  • Analog model doesn't come with a backlight.
  • In our opinion: Still not as precise as a very well trained ear (but the DrumDial gives you a very good start)

The DrumDial is a useful drum tuner for drummers that measures drum head tension so that you can tune your acoustic drums with ease.

A gauge on this drum tuner displays the tension measurement. It’s a great way to get your drum heads tuned quickly and consistently.

The drum dial is quite precise and it can display minimal differences in tension with very good accuracy.

The Drum Dial comes in both analog and a digital versions, the latter will show you digital display instead of the clock-face style needle display (images and details about both are below).

A Drumdial measures the tension of a drum head. The needle at the bottom of the device pushes against the drum head, which changes the reading on the gauge.

When you increase the tension of the drum head, the measurement on the gauge increases, and vice versa.

DrumDial Drum Tuner

The classic drum tuner measuring the tension of the drum head.
This is a very useful tool for drummers to help you tune drums faster..
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

DrumDial Digital Drum Tuner

The same as the classic DrumDial, but with a digital face..
The backlit digital face makes is particularly useful in dark conditions..
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The numbers on the gauge are pretty much meaningless. They measure very fine increments of the distance between the drum head and the bottom of the drum dial. It’s best to simply use these as reference numbers to try to get consistent tension across the drum head.


How Do You Use a Drum Dial

Start by detuning all heads and re-tuning them back in very low tension, which will allow you to accurately measure the pressure and find the perfect balance between tones. As soon as you reach the sweet spot, you should start using Drum Dial.

Then before turning a lug, place the DrumDial close to that lug. An included metal attachment can be added to the device, which indicates the distance it should be placed from the lug.


As you reach your intended drum pitch, note the tension measurement and try to tune each of the lugs to this tension. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, and it requires a bit of trial and error.

When you find a tension measurement you like, make sure to keep a note of it for later use. This is very useful when changing drum heads or retuning your drums.

Some drummers only use it in the later tuning process to increase turning precision.

Check out this video to learn more:

How Useful is the DrumDial

The DrumDial is a very useful tool, but it is only an aid in tuning drums. Drummers can use it to understand relative tunings, and the measurements serve as a handy reference when tuning the same instrument in the future.

However, the tension measurements are certainly not as helpful as a guitar tuner would be to a guitarist. Therefore as a drummer, you still need to use your ear when tuning.

The DrumDial is very handy for tuning bass drums, rack toms, timpani, and snare drums without even hitting the drumhead, which is a great approach that can save you plenty of time and headaches!

It is a good solution for drummers of all types that want to improve the speed and precision of their tuning.

Apart from the analog model, there is also a digital DrumDial comes with a digital dial, but otherwise performs the same function.

It is simpler to read, and you will get handy backlight, which could be useful during gigs and studio sessions. The analog ones can be troublesome to see in situations with low lighting, but it also doesn’t require any batteries. So, it’s a matter of preference!

Our Verdict

  • Value For Money – 9/10 – The DrumDial comes at a very affordable price and certainly offers a lot of value to help you tune drums quickly.
  • Accuracy – 9/10 – The Drum Dial is extremely precise. Though we haven’t given this a 10 solely because the tuning measurements are fairly meaningless other than as relative reference numbers.
  • Ease Of Use – 8/10 – Very easy to use. It’s definitely worth checking out some videos on it, but it’s simple to get up and running. Though it takes a bit of trial and error to get near-perfect tuning from this.
  • Quality – 9/10 – The Drum Dial is a great product that can help you more accurately tune your drums. It is a sturdy device with very solid build quality.


The DrumDial is a great drum tuner that will help you tune your drums. If you’re not very confident at tuning drums then this is a great solution!

If you want to check out some others, then check out our list of the best drum tuners, some other alternative drum tuners include the Tama Tension Watch and the Tune-Bot Studio.

Happy tuning!

Mike O'Connor
Mike O'Connor

I've been playing drums for over 18 years. I work as both a session drummer and a drum teacher, and I love to share my knowledge and tips on this site. You can also find me on the Electronic Drum Advisor YouTube channel.

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