Best Drumsticks for Metal: Top Models and FAQ
Vic Firth AS5B is the best drumsticks for metal music as they provide that precious focused sound you are looking for. The rounded tip of this model is a key feature that lets you achieve sharp and clear hits on both drums and cymbals. These metal drum sticks are made of hickory that’s both sturdy and not too heavy for long gigs and even longer practice sessions. The round tips don’t split like the oval ones, which lets you play on high volumes and make heavy rimshots. They’re really not afraid of anything.
While some models may provide higher longevity and better packaging (who cares about packaging?), these buddies offer excellent balance and features for a very attractive price. I recommend them to both pro players and beginner metalheads. Well, they are really cool, but there are still different types of drumsticks for metal players, which may match your style better than AS5B. Study the reviews of 5 more excellent products below to make a well-considered choice. Besides, I recommend you read the FAQ at the bottom. It will really help you if you’re new to the topic. Want to know how to play metal drums? Buy some good sticks and a drum carpet to stay still first!
Best Drumsticks for Metal: 5 Awesome Models More
Here are five excellent drum sticks that may match your play style and other requirements better than AS5B. Compare them to the best model and check the prices via the links I provide.
1. Vic Firth AS5B American Sound 5B – Best Metal Drum Sticks
Vic Firth is an original American drumstick and mallet manufacturer founded by the Boston Symphony Orchestra drummer, Vic Firth, in 1963. The prototype of this best drumsticks brand was hand-carved by Firth and established a new quality standard for the entire industry. Today, Vic Firth remains the top seller in the field.
American Sound 5B is a successor of the world’s most famous American Classic series, but it has a round tip for increased clarity and focus. It’s the thickest model in the AS line, but it preserves the standard 16-inch length. It has a medium taper that provides the best balance between the front and the back parts of the stick. It’s an excellent solution if you don’t like the front or back-heavy feel while playing.
The body is made of hickory with a smooth lacquer finish that provides the classic feel that most of us like so much. Compared to other models in the AS line, this one offers the best characteristics for metal styles. It has the great feel of the Classic series, but the sound is totally renovated. Still, it’s not amongst the heaviest drumsticks in the article, so you have to read on if you need something heavier than 3.2 ounces for muscle practice and heavier sound.
- Our classic 5B design but with a round tip
- Round tip offers more articulated and pronounced cymbal sounds
- Min-weight solution;
- Clear round-tip sound;
- Excellent for most subgenres;
- Classic grip;
- Medium taper for best balance.
- May appear too lightweight for some players.
2. Promark TX5AXW American Hickory – Cool Signature Edition
Promark is an old US-based drumstick manufacturer from Houston. It has been one of the market leaders since 1957, and today it operates as a part of D’Addario. Many famous metal drummers use their sticks. The list of Promark fans and partners includes Joey Jordison, Marco Minnemman, Mike Portnoy, David Lombardo, and many more.
TX5AXW is also a signature model designed in collaboration with Chris Adler of Megadeth and Lamb of God. This hickory stick has a unique-shaped acorn-type tip that provides a firm dark subtone. In addition, it has a long front taper for heavier shots and a faster rebound. These are perfect metal practice drumsticks for training speed metal techniques and performing on heavy live gigs.
Adler used these sticks on his gigs, and they felt really good when I tested them. Given they have a medium reach and custom balance, I recommend you buy them only if you feel like lacking these features. Otherwise, you may have more wrist strain than if you get a model with a medium taper. Other features of this model, such as grip and longevity, are similar to classic metal models.
- Made with premium quality American Hickory and Pro-Mark's proprietary Millennium II manufacuring process.
- Pitch (tone) matched
- Acorn tip for darker sound;
- A bit heavier than the previous model;
- Fast rebound;
- Standard 16” reach;
- Classic hickory feel.
- The long taper is not a universal feature.
3. Vic Firth American Classic Metal – Oval-Tip Alternative to AS5B
The American Classic Metal stick is longer and thicker than AS5B. This model provides a slower rebound with a significantly heavier shot due to the elongated body and short taper. It means that you don’t have to look for a thicker model to achieve the needed front-end heavy effect. Besides, a short taper means extra durability.
Unlike the round tip, the oval one provides a well-rounded frequency response with an even amount of mids, highs, and lows. Such a balanced sound brightness is perfect for grooving, heavy rimshots, loud cymbal hits, and the overall toughening of your performance. While your bandmates are not likely to hear that on the gig, your drum mics will definitely do. On the other hand, it’s not as good for speedy techniques as Chris Adler’s signature Promark sticks.
As usual, Vic Firth offers high quality for one of the lowest prices on the American market. It’s your chance to get an excellent metal pair with custom features that you can use to achieve unique sound on your recordings and gigs. I don’t recommend this model for beginners, but it will be a worthy complement to any professional kit.
- Reach, power, leverage.
- Everything you need in a heavy-hitting stick!
- Good for heavier shots without extra thickness;
- Elongated 17” body;
- Well-rounded frequency response;
- Classic grip;
- Short taper.
- Slow rebound;
- Not the best option for beginners.
4. Ahead Model 5A Advanced Alloy Core Drum Sticks – Weighted Aluminum Drumsticks
Ahead is a relatively young drumstick and mallet manufacturer. It was established by Bob Kasha in 1992 to implement the innovative idea – Advanced High-Efficiency Alloy Drumsticks. Kasha noticed the gap on the market, and now Ahead is the best brand of alloy core drumsticks worldwide.
Model 5A is a classic aluminum solution that provides extreme longevity if you compare them to hickory and even oak products. I’ve studied many reviews, and all of them say that this stick’s life span is from 5 to 10 times longer than hickory. Unlike wooden sticks, this one doesn’t have a floating weight. The aluminum lets the manufacturer make each stick totally identical.
Another benefit of aluminum alloy is the boosted shock absorption. Your wrists get 50% less shock, and you get 5% more rebound at the same time. Moreover, these sticks weigh 5.6 ounces, which is almost twice as much as average wooden models. It’s a true choice for those who lack brutality and need a heavy pair for training higher wrist strength for extreme speeds and stamina.
The oval nylon tip combines the features of a standard oval tip with characteristics of the ultra-durable nylon. As a result, you can achieve a well-rounded but much more articulate sound. It’s a cool feature if you cannot reach the needed short hits with your older wooden pair.
- Heavy design for training;
- Bright heavy sound;
- Perfect for articulating;
- 50% higher shock absorption;
- Almost zero weight and balance variations.
- Too heavy for beginners.
5. Ahead JJ1 SPEED METAL Aluminum Sticks – Superb Heavy Metal Drum Sticks
These heavy drum sticks by Ahead offer even more power than the previous model as they are 0.3 ounces heavier and 0.3” longer. Using higher reach and boosted shock absorption, you can play extra heavy-speed metal lines with less effort. Due to medium taper, you don’t have to adjust to the long or short taper and can develop speed naturally. It’s a heavy but very agile option for experienced players.
I recommend JJ1 to those who seek a pair of heavy sticks with quick response and perfect balance for blistering fills and brutal lines. You can exploit them in heavy style and be sure that they survive your heaviest bursts. In addition to strengthened aluminum, you get replaceable nylon tips, which means that you can enjoy all types of Ahead tips without the need to buy new sticks and with care about your drum plastic.
- Ultra-sturdy aluminum;
- Replaceable tips;
- Medium taper;
- Tunable handle.
- A bit pricey;
- Too heavy for beginners.
1. What brand of drumsticks is the best?
Well, you have to decide on your genre first. If you’re an avid and permanent metal drummer, you should look for sticks by Vic Firth, Promark, and Ahead. Other worthy brands include Vater, Regal, Zildjian, and Meinl. While Vic Firth is widely considered a top brand, you shouldn’t neglect the others as they may offer unique features to match your particular style.
2. What drumsticks do professionals use?
Actually, the choice of professionals may be the same as for beginners’. Drum stick manufacturers create different models to satisfy professionals in the first place. Still, you can find models that are notably cheaper than those that I recommend. The chances that they are good enough are 50/50. Pro metal drummers usually prefer hickory and aluminum sticks with round tips to obtain clear sound and longevity.
3. What are the most durable drumsticks?
There are no unbreakable drumsticks. Even those steel and carbon fiber models warn out over time. Manufacturers create designs that WILL wear out in order to protect your hands from vibrations. Still, some materials are sturdier than others. The most durable materials are:
- Hickory – the most common material;
- Oak – it’s a bit sturdier and notable heavier than hickory;
- Aluminum – this material typically lasts from 5 to 10 times longer than. Plus it offers high shock absorption;
- Carbon fiber – this durable fiber offers pretty much the same characteristics as aluminum, but it’s a bit lighter than metal.
- Steel drum sticks – this one is just a catch by low-quality manufacturers. No one makes steel sticks for the mass market.
4. What are the best drumsticks for metal?
As I’ve already mentioned in the intro paragraph, the best metal drummers’ choice is Vic Firth AS5B. This model offers the perfect balance and classic features for metal. But don’t forget to compare it to other models in the article as they’re very good as well.
5. What are the heaviest drumsticks?
The heaviest drumsticks are usually made of:
- Sta-Pac – a patented dense wood by Vic Firth;
- Many metal players also like hickory 2Bs by different brands. They are not the heaviest, but heavy enough for most purposes.
Now you’re ready to make an order and head to the studio to play some heavy stuff. Don’t forget to weigh all the pros and cons of each model to see what’s yours clearly. If you’re a beginner – don’t be afraid to experiment and make mistakes as every experience is a step to perfection.
Do you already have a metal music drum playing experience? You can evaluate my picks in the comments and tell everyone about your experiments with metal sticks. You’re also welcome to ask any questions related to the topic and offer other products if they’re competitive enough. Stay tuned!