The 6 Most Durable Drumsticks (2022)

If your drumsticks aren’t lasting as long as you’d like, then you should consider changing to a more durable pair of sticks, such as ones made from stronger types of wood. Synthetic sticks are also a good option.

The Promark Japanese Shira Kashi 5A’s cut, balanced weight, durability, and consistency, make it my top pick.

The top synthetic pick is the Ahead 5B Classic Series drumsticks. These have an aluminum core that helps them to last longer than wood sticks while requiring less effort for powerful strokes.

The 6 Most Durable Drumsticks (2022)

1. Promark Japanese Shira Kashi 5A
Editor's Choice - Very durable set of drumsticks that are well balanced and feel great to play
2. Ahead Classic Series Drumsticks - 5B - Rock
Top Synthetic Pick - Aluminum core sticks last longer
3. TAMA Japanese Oak 5B Drum Sticks
Sturdy, reliable sticks made from Japanese Oak
4. Vater 5B Drum Sticks
Extremely durable drumstick
5. ProMark Classic Attack 5B Shira Kashi Oak Drumsticks
Comes with a nylon tip for added durability
6. Ahead Lars Ulrich Signature Sticks
Alloy core with replaceable nylon cover

Let’s look at them in more detail:

1. Promark Japanese Shira Kashi 5A

Top Pick
Very durable set of drumsticks that are well balanced and feel great to play.
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The Promark Japanese Shira Kashi 5A is constructed from Japanese Oak, which gives them a great, weighty feel and durable consistency. The oval wood tip gives a full-bodied, warm tone that suits a variety of musical genres.

Pros

  • Precise construction
  • Wonderful balance
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Not as durable as synthetic sticks

These drumsticks are precision cut and beautifully crafted to tight tolerances, ensuring that they are pitch-perfect and well balanced. They are also weight-matched, so they feel natural in your hands

MaterialJapanese Oak
Size5A

The heavy, dense wood and sturdy construction give the Promark exceptional longevity and a front-weighted balance. Drummers can enjoy an into-the-drum feel that allows them to play forcefully and with drive.

2. Ahead Classic Series Drumsticks - 5B - Rock

Top Synthetic Pick
Aluminum core sticks last longer.
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The Ahead 5B Classic Series drumsticks have a lightweight, durable aluminum tube core within a polyurethane sleeve that makes them last longer than wooden drumsticks. In fact, they can last 6 – 10 times longer than traditional wood sticks.

Pros

  • More durable than all-wooden drumsticks
  • Provides harder strokes for less effort
  • Safer for wrists

Cons

  • A bit pricey

The only drumsticks to come with a 60-day warranty, these drumsticks are safer for the wrists while providing harder strokes with less effort. They also have a vibration reduction system that reduces shocks by 50% while providing more rebounds.

MaterialAluminum core with polyurethane sleeve
Size5B

Helping their longevity is the fact that the polyurethane shaft covers can be easily replaced. The replaceable tips also let you vary the cymbal response.

3. TAMA Japanese Oak 5B Drum Sticks

Sturdy, reliable sticks made from Japanese Oak.
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The Tama Japanese Oak 5B drumsticks are sturdily constructed out of Japanese Oak. They are also precision-made and well-priced for sticks of such quality.

Pros

  • Well built and durable
  • Provides a rich, high volume sound
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • None

They are designed to provide a rich, full-volume sound. The sharpened tip can be played at different angles to add nuances to the sound.

MaterialJapanese Oak
Size5B

These drumsticks have great longevity. Their durable build means they can be used by drummers who favor high volume and an attacking style.

4. Vater 5B Drum Sticks

Extremely durable drumstick.
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Vater 5B drumsticks are noted for their durability and sturdy construction. Unlike many large drumsticks, they are not too heavy and give a natural feel.

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Natural, balanced feel
  • Large, but not extremely heavy

Cons

  • None

Made of American hickory wood, these sticks allow you to hit hard using less energy. Consequently, they are an excellent choice for drummers who like to play at high volume for extended periods.

MaterialAmerican hickory wood
Size5B

They are well balanced and feel weighty in the hand, while the lacquer makes them easy to hold. Although they are great for rock music, they are equally adept at playing other genres as well.

5. ProMark Classic Attack 5B Shira Kashi Oak Drumsticks

Comes with a nylon tip for added durability.
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These drumsticks are very similar to our top pick but come with nylon tips for greater durability. They are constructed from Shira Kashi Oak, a dense, heavy wood that gives a study feel and less chance of breaking.

Pros

  • The nylon tip provides greater durability
  • Bright, articulate tone
  • Suitable for heavy hitters

Cons

  • Some might find it too heavy

The nylon tip of these drumsticks provides a brighter, more articulate tone that some may prefer. The wood that is used to build these drumsticks provides increased attack, making them especially suitable for metal drumming.

MaterialJapanese Oak
Size5B

They are well made with great consistency of weight and pitch. Their heaviness makes them a good choice for drummers who like heavy-hitting. 

6. Ahead Lars Ulrich Signature Sticks

Alloy core with replaceable nylon cover.
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The Ahead Lars Ulrich Signature are innovative drumsticks with an alloy core. They also have a replaceable nylon cover and are colored black with white tips.

Pros

  • Innovative material makes the drumstick very durable

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • More suited to heavier genres

The unique materials used in these drumsticks give them greater durability. Furthermore, parts of the drumstick can be individually replaced, allowing it to be used much longer than wooden sticks.

Features

Material Plastic
Size2B

The strong construction makes this an excellent choice for power hitters. Less vibration is transmitted through the sticks, so there is less chance of fatigue to the wrists.

Durable Drumsticks – Buyer’s Guide

Do drumsticks break easily?

Good quality drumsticks don’t break easily. However, drumsticks are naturally subject to wear and tear during playing and have to be replaced at regular intervals. That is why they are classed as ‘consumable’ pieces of kit. Some types of shots, such as rim shots and hi-hat playing, can place a lot of stress on the drumsticks.  Consequently, it is inevitable that your drumsticks will break eventually.

Because modern drumsticks are built to be durable, they should not break easily if played with proper technique. If your drumsticks are breaking quite often, it could be due to poor technique or because you are using low-quality drumsticks.

What is the strongest wood for drumsticks?

Wooden drumsticks are usually made out of oak, hickory, and maple. Oak and hickory are generally regarded as the strongest wood for drumsticks. 

Oak is the heaviest, densest wood. Consequently, oak sticks last the longest and are able to withstand more powerful playing styles. However, oak doesn’t absorb shock as well as hickory and maple.

Hickory can absorb shock better and is a good choice for hard-hitting drummers. Also used to make baseball bats, hickory is responsive and very strong. Many drummers also find that they are the most comfortable type of wood.

Maple is the lightest of these woods and has a good amount of flex, but they are less resilient than other types of wood.

Are carbon fiber drumsticks good?

Carbon Fiber drumsticks have much greater longevity than wooden drumsticks and can last up to 10 times longer. They are also much more durable and are less likely to break.

Consequently, they don’t need to be replaced as often as wood sticks. Since they weigh the same, they are easy to get accustomed to. 

Unlike many synthetic drumsticks, they have a similar tone to wooden ones, with a slightly more open sound on cymbals. They are more expensive than other drumsticks, but the fact that they last longer makes up for it.

How do you make drumsticks last longer? 

The first step to making your drumsticks last longer is choosing the right drumstick. If it is wooden, drumsticks made of oak or hickory will last longer than other types of wood. Also, try to get drumsticks made by a reputed manufacturer. These companies use the latest technology and precision manufacturing to produce high-quality drumsticks. Consequently, they last longer than cheap, unbranded drumsticks. 

Synthetic drumsticks are typically made of nylon and are more durable than wooden ones. Also, it is sometimes possible to repair only part of a synthetic drumstick, so you can use it for a long time. The amount of taper that your drumstick has can also be a factor as drumsticks that have a shorter taper are less likely to break. 

Avoid keeping your drumsticks in a humid environment. Dry your drumsticks if you sweat a lot and don’t store them with something heavy on them. They should also not be kept in direct sunlight or in a place that is very hot. Once you have finished playing, store them in a sleeve or bound together with a rubber band.

Poor technique is the principal reason many beginner drummers break their drumsticks often. Once you learn to use your drumsticks correctly, you will find that they last much longer. Many novice drummers hold their drumsticks in a so-called death grip, where the stick is held as tightly as possible. Instead, you should hold the stick in a relaxed, but controlled manner. This will not only enable you to play with more speed and power, but it will also help to make the drumsticks last longer.

Another common mistake is to strike the crash cymbals with direct downward action. This creates unnecessary stress on the sticks as well as the cymbals and your wrists. Instead, you must use a glancing motion, when you hit the cymbal from right to left (or left to right) as you bring the stick down. This will take the pressure off your drumstick and reduce the chances of it breaking.

Should I tape my drumsticks?

Taping allows a drummer to maintain a better grip on the drumstick while providing an extra cushion so that there is less chance of breaking. Taping is popular among drummers who hit the drum hard and among marching-band drummers. If you are someone who has an intense playing style, taping is an option that you should consider.

However, taping is not without its challenges. The tape adds extra weight to the stick and may upset its balance. This may cause you to alter your grip, which you may not like. Taping may also spoil the aesthetics of your drumstick as it upsets the smooth lines and well-finished appearance of the stick. 

But you may decide that taping your drumsticks is the best option for you, particularly if you favor hard-hitting musical genres such as rock or suffer from sweaty palms.

Why do drumsticks break?

Even if you have a good quality drumstick and use proper technique, a certain degree of wear and tear is inevitable after a period of use. Small amounts of damage to the drumstick are caused by repeatedly striking the drum head, rim, and cymbals over time. If different parts of the drum are used for these shots, a weakened stick can splinter in two. In any case over time, wear and tear will lead to cracks appearing on the drumstick before it eventually breaks.

Certain aspects of drum playing will be more fatiguing for the drumsticks than others. For example, if you favor hard-hitting and play rim shots and hi-hat often, it will place more stress on your sticks and cause them to break more quickly. 

Where do drumsticks usually break?

Drumsticks usually break at the tip and along the shaft. 

How often do drumsticks break?

Wood drumsticks typically last for between one to six months. How often they break depends on multiple factors such as the quality of the drumstick, how often it is used and how hard the drummer hits. Synthetic drumsticks usually last much longer.

Verdict

There are many quality drumsticks, so you should try a few to find the one that is right for you.

In our opinion, the Promark Japanese Shira Kashi 5B offers the best combination of durability and quality, although it is not the cheapest drumstick that you can buy.

If you are looking to go for a synthetic drumstick, then the Ahead 5B Classic Series drumsticks should be at the top of your shortlist.

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