The 5 Best Snare Drums for Metal with a Ferocious Attack

If you are a fan of metal music or you play metal, then owning a quality drum set is a must. This also means that a high-quality snare drum is necessary. 

While most snares perform admirably, some characteristics distinguish certain snare drums from others when it comes to heavy metal music. 

To reach that blast beat, you will need that metal shells for the drum rather than wood shells. Also, they need to be highly responsive, fast, and of course, loud. 

For that reason, I choose the five best snare drums for metal. I talked about their features, sounds, advantages, and disadvantages, but before moving to the actual list, let’s check the much-needed buying guide!

Buying Guide for Best Snare Drums for Metal

When you decide that you are going to buy a snare drum for metal, ensure to know a couple of things. 

  • Look for drums that have high volume and projection. Think logically, what would you do with the wooden snare drum for jazz music if you want to play Ticks & Leeches by Tool? Probably nothing.
  • Durable and sturdy snare drum. Since metal is anything but a gentle genre, you will need something that is tough and can endure a lot of abuse, especially rimshots.
  • Look out for the metal shell material of the drum – especially Brass. Metal sounds much brighter and louder, which we aim to achieve by playing metal music. There are 5 different metals that are commonly used, including aluminum, brass, steel, copper, and bronze. Brass is probably the most popular because of its dark-sounding and high attack, so I would highly recommend this type of metal. 
  • Be aware of the snare drum size. The majority of drummers use 14-inch diameter snare drums because you can get that deeper, darker sound. If you want your drum to sound more punchy, look out for a 14 x 5 or 5.5-inch snare drum, but if you want more than the bottom end, look for a snare drum with a 14 x 6 or 6.5-inch dimension. And for that, really low snare sound, seek a 14 x 7 or 8-inch diameter of the drum. 

The 5 Best Snare Drums for Metal

best snare drums for metal

1. Gretsch USA Bell Brass 14x6.5

Most versatile

FEATURES

  • 3mm cast bell brass shell
  • Die-cast hoops
  • Lightning throw off and strainer
  • 42-strand snare wires aid
  • Snap-in” key holder

REASONS TO USE

REASONS TO AVOID

Gretsch USA Bell Brass features the iconic three millimeters brass shell that Tamas uses as well, and their typical 30-degree bearing edge and diecast hoops. 

Bell brass snares are heavy beasts, and this one is no exception since it weighs around 9 kilograms/20 pounds, so it requires a sturdy stand. 

Bell brass brings out the depth and low-end resonance with long sustain but without unpleasant overtones. 

Also, this drum sounds incredible with reverse dot batter heads because it offers high control and extra durability. Its sheer volume and the cut of the attack are something I cannot miss to praise! 

If I had to pick on the disadvantage of this wonderful drum, it has to be its price. Honesty, $1200 is not easy money, so the ones on the budget will have to wait to get this beauty in their hands. But honesty, it is totally worth it. 

Aside from that, changing the wires can take a lot of time, which can be very tedious.

The snare is great at its lower ranges, and even when you add more tension, it never losses its depth. 

On the country, the drum can be tuned-in extremely high, and there’s no choking sound whatsoever when you play it!

best snare drum for metal

2. Tama John Tempesta 14" x 7"

Best value for money

FEATURES

  • 2mm Brass shell
  • Straight edge shell in noble brushed black nickel finish
  • Brushed nickel lugs
  • Brushed nickel strainer
  • Die-cast hoop

CHECK PRICE

REASONS TO USE

REASONS TO AVOID

At first glance, Tama John Tempesta is a beautiful drum that is very sonically capable. 

It has a lot of punch, especially at mid tuning, which is its most distinguishing feature. A tremendous blend of power, punch, and a fantastic ring.

This drum is extremely versatile. You can tune it down and put a muffler on it, and you will get that “fat” sound, or just keep it wide open and crank it as high as you want! It works out perfectly in every setting from live to studio. 

This wonderful Snare drum is great for metal music; however, for those softer tones, it is not a good option. 

I can say that it is not as versatile as you would think, but in metal and rock genres, is delivers incredible sound. 

The deep, 2mm thick brass shell generates a tremendous volume, ideal for punk, hard rock, or metal. 

Nonetheless, the portion is “musical” because brass shells have a warmer tone than steel shells. 

Also, it has 42 spirals and makes a thick, “wetting” sound. Thanks to the incredible deliverability of cut in projection and a lot of body, it makes a really unique snare drum!

snare drums for metal music

3. Noble & Cooley Alloy Classic 14x6

Brightest sound

FEATURES

  • Cast aluminum shell
  • Die cast hoops
  • Brass tube lugs
  • Cam action snare wires

CHECK PRICE

REASONS TO USE

REASONS TO AVOID

Noble & Cooley Alloy Classic snare drum has a wide and resonant sound, and it responds quickly to every beat. It is nothing for mild or quiet music but a must-have for metal, rock, and punk. 

With a little fine-tuning of the drumheads, you can start playing the drum immediately. 

The Alloy Classic is made of cast aluminum rather than rolled sheet metal or tube slices which are perfect for metal. 

This procedure creates a porous casing for the drum, resulting in a denser and richer sound.

The only downside that I can notice is that lever’s cords can only be loosened with a slotted screwdriver which makes it a little complicated, but honestly, it is nothing major for not buying this perfection of a snare drum. 

Also, if tune the heads high, the drum retains that “crack” or “pop” sound of a metal drum, but looser tunings give way to the warmth that is more often associated with a wood shell. 

However, the sound overall is darker and much louder than with the wooden drums, which makes it a perfect snare drum for metal!

snare drums with best attack

4. A&F Bell Brass Snare 4" x 14"

Best for studio

FEATURES

  • Raw Brass Shell
  • 10 x Turret Lugs
  • Aged patina finish
  • Hand-formed bearing edges

CHECK PRICE

REASONS TO USE

REASONS TO AVOID

Every A&F drum, including this one, is handcrafted by experienced drum craftsmen. They’ve used old building techniques to create a drum with a distinct sound. 

Varied patinas, uneven circles, or exposed weld seams appear like flaws. But in fact, these aesthetic “flaws” as the distinguishing feature of a one-of-a-kind 100% handcrafted drum.

What makes this drum stand out, aside from its unique look, is the notably drier and more controlled snare drum compared to a standard brass shell. 

It also provides less honking or annoying ringing but more tone and resonance.

The only thing that some users or drummers, in general, might not dig is the outdated hardware construction. 

Also, the price of the A&F Bell Brass Snare drum is very high, over $2,000, which many drummers say is not justified due to the lack of hardware quality. 

These snares have a unique ability to give tone purity, sensitivity, and sustainability among all metals. 

It gives not only the desired traditional response of these antique brass snares but also a historical mid-century appearance.

loudest snare drums

5. Canopus Custom Brass 5.5x14

Most open sound

FEATURES

  • 1mm thin brass shells
  • Triple flanged hoops
  • 8 brass-plated single point lugs

CHECK PRICE

REASONS TO USE

REASONS TO AVOID

If you are trying to find great snare drums for metal on a budget, Canopus Custom Brass is your go to snare. 

Since all high-quality snare drums are usually over $1000, this one delivers the quality of its competitors at a more reasonable price!

With a thick brass shell and solid brass tube lugs, the Canopus custom brass is a pretty heavy snare drum yet one of the best snare drums for speed metal. 

The drum tunes up beautifully thanks to eight lugs and is, of course, somewhat more resonant than those drums with ten lugs.

The sound of the drum is pretty “fat,” as the drummer would say. 

When tuned very low, the drum produces a big sound, ideal for fatback drumming, and when you add zero ring, you can get that deep, dry seventies sound.

Even though brass has super strength and is the perfect material for metal music, its disadvantage is that it tarnishes quickly. 

This means that this beautiful snare drum can develop a black or green patina on its surface, which is not so pleasant to the eye and the overall look. 

Another amazing feature that is very simple and classic yet very effective is its leather tension rod washers. 

This helps and simplifies tuning the drum more easily and prevents the tension rod from sliding and the head from getting out of tune.

Best Snare Head for Metal Drums

The market is full of equipment for drums and those include snare heads as well. I crafted a list of my top 10 picks for the best snare heads for metal drums!

  • Aquarian Super 2 Clear
  • The Evans EC2S
  • Remo Pinstripe
  • Evans EC Reverse Dot
  • Aquarian Performance 2
  • Remo Powerstroke P4
  • Evans EMAD2
  • Aquarian Hi-Velocity
  • Remo Powerstroke 77
  • Evans Genera HD Dry

What is the loudest snare drum?

Even though the market is full of loud snare drums, mostly for metal purposes, The Pearl SensiTone Brass snare drum is extremely loud and punchy! It is incredible how much sound it can resonate, thanks to the acrylic shell that can deliver a ton of sonic “crack” and projection.

What drum heads do metal drummers use?

Metal drummers are more likely to utilize two-ply drumheads due to their longevity. Clear drumheads produce a brighter, more aggressive sound than coated drumheads. A covered batter head will give warmth as well as muffling. 

In Conclusion

This article aims to help you find the best snare drums for your metal music. I crafted a list of the five best snare drums for metal which are all from five different companies so you can choose the one you prefer the most.  

I discussed each one of them, their appearance, and, most importantly, their sound and their quality. 

The list that I made has no particular order, and to be honest, I cannot choose my favorite one, but if I really have to, it has to be Tama John Tempesta.

The price is reasonable, the sound is incredible, and the look is fantastic! However, it is up to you to decide which one of them suits your taste the best!

Denis Loncaric

Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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