As a hard-hitting drummer myself, I’ve had my fair share of drumstick breakages.
In the past, my sticks would often decide to disintegrate into pieces, usually right when I needed them most.
This article is designed to help you find a pair of sticks that are much easier to rely on.
No pair of drumsticks is unbreakable, but choosing the right pair of sticks can prevent a lot of heartache and frustration, as well as saving you the cost of having to buy replacements.
I’ve handpicked the following drumsticks to give you a range of options depending on your budget and how you like to play.
The most durable drumsticks do tend to cost more than the average stick, but are actually likely to be cheaper over the long run as they last for much longer.
So without further ado, let’s get started with our guide!
What are the most durable drumsticks?
- Promark Japanese Shira Kashi 5B
- Vater 5B Wood Tip
- Vic Firth Titan Carbon Fiber
- AHEAD Rock
- AHEAD Classic Series 7A
Click the links above to jump to each section.
If you love the feel of a classic wood drumstick, but are just looking for something a bit more solid, then an oak stick may be exactly what you’re looking for.
While most sticks are made from hickory, oak sticks are a heavier and denser alternative.
They pack more of a punch than a standard stick and due to their increased weight and sturdiness, are likely to last you far longer.
When writing this article I asked other professional drummers what their favourite sticks were and the Shira Kashi oak sticks were a solid favourite for heavy drumming styles like metal and rock.
The 5B size (especially with the added strength of oak) is less likely to break than thinner alternatives and is a common stick size choice amongst drummers.
When you’re talking about durability, the Vater brand is always part of the conversation.
Despite appearing to simply be a typical pair of drumsticks, Vater sticks are consistently reviewed as one of the most durable brands out there.
Importantly, they aren’t just harder to break. They are also very enjoyable to play.
One of the best drummers I know, Tim, who specialises in heavier styles, had this to say about these sticks:
“As a frequent hard hitter, my absolute favourites are Vater 5Bs. I’ve tried other 5Bs but these feel much more balanced and less top heavy”
Best of all, they are also extremely affordable and are the least expensive sticks featured in this article.
If you’re looking for sticks that are exceptionally durable, you’re probably going to want to go for a different material than wood sticks.
Carbon fiber sticks hold up incredibly well compared to wood sticks over time.
The majority of people who use them say that they are in a completely different league to wood sticks in terms of durability.
The current top-of-the-range carbon fiber stick is the Vic Firth Titan.
Vic Firth is a legendary brand in the drumming world and they have created probably the best durable stick in existence.
It achieves a closer feel to a wooden stick than anything else, without the hassle of regular breakages.
See what world-class drummers such as Jojo Mayer have to say about it in the video below.
When you’re buying carbon fiber sticks, it’s best to think of them as an investment compared to the amount of sticks you would normally have to buy.
If you break sticks every couple of weeks, and carbon fiber sticks last you a year or more (this doesn’t happen in all cases, but does appear to be the norm) then you save an astonishing amount of money on drumsticks.
Rather than buying 26 pairs of sticks a year (costing you at least $260) you buy one super-durable pair instead for a far lower price.
If the Vic Firth Titans are a little out of your price range, there are some cheaper alternatives that still give you lasting durability.
AHEAD is a drumstick brand that specialises in non-wood drumsticks.
Made from aluminium and wrapped in polyurethane, these sticks typically last 6 to 10 times longer than wood sticks of the same size.
They also absorb shock well which is very important to protect your hands during long periods of practice. Other brands of cheap non-wood drumsticks can be very hard on the hands.
DID YOU KNOW? You should never aim to find a truly unbreakable drumstick. Stick designers generally agree that a stick needs to wear down over time in order to protect the player’s hands from the impact vibrations of hitting a drum. All the brands mentioned in this article have taken this into consideration.
The AHEAD Rock drumsticks are a solid choice for the player who likes to hit harder and finds themselves breaking wood drumsticks regularly.
They are a bit heavier and longer than a 5B making them a seriously sturdy choice for the louder drummer.
If you need to deliver a lot of power in your playing, these drumsticks are a great pick.
I’ve also done a roundup of the best drumsticks for rock if you’re looking for a more traditional rock drumstick (however, the sticks in this article offer the most durability).
Traditionally, one of the tradeoffs of a durable drumstick is that it must be heavier to prevent it from breaking.
As a result, you often lose the speed and dexterity that comes with using a lighter stick.
A 7A is quite a light drumstick and therefore is not typically particularly durable.
Yet amazingly, the AHEAD Classic Series 7A will last 6 to 10 times as long as a regular 7A.
So if you’re not the heaviest hitter in the world and are used to using light drumsticks, but are looking for something more durable, the AHEAD Classic Series 7A is a great choice to make your sticks last longer.
And of course, less stick breakages means buying less replacements, making the AHEAD sticks far less costly in the long run.
AHEAD stands for Advanced High Efficiency Alloy Drumsticks and it’s this aluminium core that gives each stick its surprising strength.
With each stick weighing under 50g, these sticks are only a couple of grams heavier than a pair of Vic Firth 7As, meaning that there’s almost no sacrifice in terms of weight for the extra strength.
How to tell if drumsticks will be durable
There’s no need to continue to suffer with sticks that fall apart at every gig.
Here’s a quick checklist of the characteristics that make a drumstick durable so you can make an informed decision with your drumstick purchases in the future.
Durable drumsticks are:
- From trusted brands: The sticks from well known brands like Vic Firth, Vater, Promark and AHEAD are usually far superior to sticks from smaller, less established companies.
- More expensive: In the world of drumming, you normally get what you pay for, and drumsticks are no exception. Be prepared to pay a higher price in order to avoid poor-quality sticks that will break apart very quickly.
- Made from oak: The denser the wood you choose (assuming you choose wood sticks), the longer your sticks will last. Maple is the lightest wood commonly used in drumsticks, whereas oak is the densest.
- Thicker and heavier: The more mass a drumstick has, the more punishment it can take. The larger and heavier drumstick sizes are therefore better suited to louder and more aggressive playing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to try and answer them in the comments section below.
How often do you break your drumsticks? Have you found a drumstick that works for you yet?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!