The 53 Best Snare Drums – Different Materials & Budget

March 16, 2024

In this article, I will go through the 53 best snare drums divided into three categories:

  • By material (wood, steel, brass, aluminum, etc.)
  • By budget (entry, mid-range, premium)
  • By genre (jazz, rock)

The best thing of all is that I got a chance to try many of them. I not only saw them and heard them in live sessions and practice but I also had a chance to drum on them myself. 

I’ve been making this list for some years now, in fact, for the last 5 years when I realized that I wanted to make Drum That come to life.

 I’ve collected opinions from my fellow drummer colleagues, tested many of them myself, and compared all of them with each other in order to make the 53 best Sanre drums list for you!

What I look for


A good snare drum should be versatile - that’s what I looked for in every snare drum I tried. Snares should be able to adapt to different playing scenarios, styles, and settings. Maple is the most versatile wood so they will be at the top of my list along with other materials as well.

Easy to control

I searched for snare drums that do not have too much, excessive and unwanted overtones. I don’t want a chaotic snare that will mess up with my recordings as well as my drumming in other settings.

Value for money

You get what you paid. However, it doesn’t have to be like that in this case. There are many great snare drums at lower prices that will do the exact same job then the snare drums that cost around $1000. I looked for such drums so you do not have to break a bank in order to buy one.

Wide dynamic range

I looked for snare drums that sound flawless in both lower and high tones. I wanted to have a wide dynamic range so you can experiment with all kinds of songs and styles yet not sound too loud and unpleasant.

Best wood snare drums

In this section, I will talk about the most popular materials for snare drum manufacturing and give my top picks for each material.

Check out the full article on the best wood snare drums.

maple snare drum cravioto

Maple snare Drums

Maple, my friends, is like the fine wine of the drum wood world. 

Do you know how a full-bodied red wine has that rich, deep, and satisfying flavor? 

That’s how Maple is for the drum sound. It’s considered the top-tier choice for many drummers, and here’s why:

Why Maple?

Warm and Resonant Sound: Maple drums tend to have a naturally warm tone that is rich and full-bodied. It’s like biting into a hearty, home-cooked meal on a cold winter’s day. You get a profound low-end punch coupled with a smooth, musical resonance.

Versatile: Maple is one of the most versatile woods out there. It’s the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ of the drum world. It does well in practically any musical setting. You name it, jazz, rock, pop, country, and Maple will fit right in.

Looks Good: Aesthetically, Maple can be very appealing. It typically has a beautiful grain pattern and takes well to various finishes.

Durability: Maple drums are pretty tough. They’re durable and can handle a good beating, so don’t worry about getting a little aggressive during that intense solo!

Who it’s for? 

Well, anyone and everyone. But they are especially loved by drummers who crave that warm, resonant sound, and versatility is a priority. 

So if you hop around different music styles, Maple would be a great companion.

But like everything in life, there are some cons to consider as well:

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

A&F Steam Bent Maple 6.5 x 14 inch

maple snare drum cravioto

Craviotto Solid Ply Maple 6.5 x 14 inch

maple snare drum cravioto

Tama Star Reserve Solid Maple 5 x 14 inch

tama star reserve wood snare drum
best snare drum

Birch snare drums 

First off, is birch a drum material? Superb choice! It’s got a tone that’s as rich as a billionaire and as clean as a whistle. 

Drummers often turn to birch for its natural EQ characteristics and explosive energy. But let’s break it down a bit more for ya.

Why Birch?

Sound: Birch has an aggressive attack, a bright tone, and excellent projection. It’s the proverbial shout in a crowded room!

Durability: Birch is a complex, dense wood. It’s like the Hercules of drum materials, able to withstand a good beating and still come out sounding great.

Finish: Aesthetically, birch drums often have a lovely, smooth surface that takes well to various finishes. So, you can have a drum that looks as good as it sounds!

Natural EQ: Birch has a naturally boosted high-frequency response and a slightly reduced midrange, which immediately gives the snare a balanced sound.

Who it’s for?

If you ask me, birch snares are perfect for the dynamic drummer. Someone who likes to play a little bit of everything. 

They’re for the folks that need versatility from their kit – think studio musicians, touring drummers, and folks playing in genres like rock, pop, or jazz where you need that extra cut and projection.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Sonor Gavin Harrison Signature Snare - 14 x 5.25 inch

best snare drum

Yamaha Recording Custom 14"x5,5" SFG

yamaha recording snare drum

Pearl Masterworks Eucalyptus/Birch/Gum Snare Drum - 12 x 5.5 inch

canopus snare drum

Oak snare drums

Oak is an exciting choice of wood for a snare drum. In drum-making, oak isn’t as common as Maple or birch, but it brings its unique flavor to the table.

Oak is a heavy, dense wood that produces a rich, loud sound. It has great projection and excellent resonance.

Why oak?

Powerful projection: Need your sound to reach the back of the venue? No problem!

Bright, aggressive tone: Oak snare drums have a bright and articulate sound, great for really cutting through the mix.

Distinctive grain patterns can make for some beautiful, aesthetically pleasing drums.

Who it’s for?

Given their bright, aggressive tone and powerful projection, oak snare drums are especially suitable for:

  1. Rock/Metal Drummers: For those hard-hitting drummers who need to cut through a mix of loud guitars and bass.
  2. Live Performers: If you’re playing in larger venues, the natural projection of oak will serve you well.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

DW 14"x6,5" Pure Oak Snare Drum

Pearl StaveCraft Snare Drum - 6.5-inch x 14-inch - Thai Oak

ash snare drums

Canopus 1ply Oak Snare Drum

canopus snare drum
best cooper snare drums

Walnut snare drums

Now, walnut is quite the attention-grabber in the drumming community, known for its distinctive aesthetic and unique sound profile. 

It’s a dense hardwood with a rich, dark color and beautiful grain patterns. It’s like the dark chocolate of the drumming world!

Walnut’s unique combination of visual appeal, distinct tonal characteristics, and durability makes it a fascinating wood choice for a snare drum. 

However, its weight and potentially higher price tag (due to its status as a premium hardwood) are essential factors to consider. 

But the sonic and visual pay-off is well worth it for many drummers!

Why Walnut?

Density: Walnut is a dense hardwood. This density is vital to walnuts’ deep and warm sound when used in drums. It also contributes to its durability, making it a reliable choice for an instrument that will see a lot of action.

Color and Grain: Aesthetically, walnut wood is prized for its rich, dark color and intricate grain patterns. This makes each walnut snare drum unique and visually striking. It’s like a fingerprint but for your drum.

Tonal Qualities: Due to its density and hardness, walnut wood has a lower pitch and provides a rich, full-bodied tone. It has a solid midrange with plenty of low-end warmth, which makes it an ideal choice for drummers seeking a more profound and warmer sound.

Weight: The high density of walnut also results in a heavier weight. While this contributes to its tonal properties, it can make walnut snare drums more cumbersome to transport than those made from lighter wood.

Durability: Walnut is a sturdy, resilient wood that can withstand wear and tear. This makes it an excellent choice for drummers who play frequently or with a heavy hand.

Who it’s for?

Well, walnut snare drums are typically favored by drummers after a unique, warm sound with plenty of depth and punch. 

They can be an excellent fit for studio musicians thanks to their tonal richness and versatility. 

Live performers might also love them for their visual appeal and distinctive sound that cuts through the mix.

But hey, let’s break this down into the good, the bad, and the beautiful.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Tama Star Series Walnut Stave Shell Snare Drum - 6 x 14 inch

birch snare drums

Craviotto Walnut Snare Drum - 5.5 x 14 inch

best birch snare drums

Nobley & Coley 6.5" X 14" WALNUT PLY SNARE

best cooper snare drums
best herry snare drums

Cherry snare drums

Alright, so cherry snare drums. You’re missing out if you’re a drummer and haven’t given this snare a chance. 

Cherry is a fantastic wood for drum construction with its own distinctive set of characteristics.

Why Cherry?

Tone: Cherry wood gives a snare a nice warm, resonant tone. Think about it like the Goldilocks of wood types. Not too bright, not too dark, but just right.

Sustain: Cherry is known for its smooth, medium sustain. This means your drum hits will resonate just long enough without overstaying their welcome. It’s a polite guest at the tonal dinner table.

Attack: With cherry, you get a punchy attack and gentle warmth to round things out. It’s like a quick jab followed by a comforting hug.

Who it’s for?

Cherry snare drums are a fantastic choice for drummers who want a balanced, versatile sound. Their pleasant tonal balance and sound projection are perfect for recording and live performances. 

So, whether you’re a beginner exploring different tonal possibilities or a professional seeking to add another flavor to your drumming arsenal, cherry snares have something to offer you.

Now let’s get into the pros and cons:

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Ludwig 6.5x14 Universal Cherry Snare Drum

ludwig wooden snare drum

Pearl 14x5 Music City Custom Cherry

pearl snare drum

DW 6.5x14 Collector's Jazz Cherry/Gum

best herry snare drums
ash snare drums

Ash snare drums

Ash is a unique wood when it comes to making drums. It’s hardwood, like Maple or birch, but has unique characteristics.

Why Ash?

Sound: Ash snares have this naturally bright, punchy tone with a pronounced high end. Imagine a maple and birch drum had a lovechild – you’d get an ash snare. It blends the warm resonance of Maple with the attack and brightness of birch. Great for a crisp snare crack!

Grain: Ash has a pretty pronounced, straight grain. Not only does this give the drum a unique, rustic look, but it also contributes to the drum’s overall tone.

Durability: Ash is a hard wood, making it super durable. You can play these drums hard, and they won’t get easily damaged.

Who it’s for?

They’re perfect for the drummer who wants a bit of everything. The diverse sound spectrum of ash can cater to various genres – rock, pop, jazz, you name it. 

So if you want your drumming to have personality and stand out in a mix, an ash snare drum might be your ticket.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Tama STAR Reserve Stave Ash 14 "x6.5"

best tama snare drums

Canopus Ash Snare Drum 14x6.5

ash snare drums

StaveCraft Ashwood with Makha 6.5-inch x 14-inch

best ash snare drums
best beech wood snare drums

Beech snare drums

Beech is something of an unsung hero in the world of drum construction. While it’s not as widely recognized as Maple or birch, it definitely holds its own ground.

Why Beech?

Dense Wood: First off, beech is a thick wood. It’s denser than birch or Maple, which are the more common choices. This density creates a unique tonal palette.

Tonal Quality: Speaking of tonality, beech drums are known for their bright and focused sound. They produce an even balance of low, mid, and high frequencies, giving them a versatile character.

Durability: Beech drums are also durable, thanks to the density of the wood. They tend to hold up well to a good bashing – not that we’re suggesting you go all out on them!

Aesthetics: Lastly, there’s the look. Beech has a beautiful grain, which can be a nice aesthetic feature if you’re into the visual side of your kit.

Who it’s for?

Beech snare drums are an excellent fit for drummers who are looking for something a bit different. 

If you like a snare with a bright, versatile tone, and you’re fearless in the more common choices, then a beech snare could be right up your alley.

They’re also suitable for drummers who need a durable, gig-ready drum. And, let’s not forget, for drummers who value the visual aesthetic of their kit – there’s that gorgeous beech grain.


Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Sakae Rhythm 14x6.5 Oak & Beech Snare Drum

wood snare drum

Craviotto 13 X 7 Custom Shop Beech Snare Drum

beech snare drum

Sonor Benny Greb Signature Beech Snare 2.0 13 x 5.75 inch

best beech wood snare drums

Best metal snare drums

best steel snare drum

Steel snare drums

Steel snare drums are known for their bright, cutting tone and high volume. They are less complex in tone compared to other metals but are often chosen for their projection and durability.

Why Steel?

Material: The most noticeable feature is that they’re made of steel, which is quite a resilient and sturdy material. This gives them a unique sound and durability. You could drop it down a flight of stairs, and it would still keep its tune (not that I’m advising you to do that!).

Sound Profile: Steel snares have a bright, open tone, sharp attack, and many overtones. They’re known for their high volume and sensitivity, which makes them incredibly versatile for all types of music.

Tuning Range: Steel snare drums typically have a wide tuning range, which can be tuned to produce various sounds. A steel snare can deliver whether you want a high, cracking sound or a low, fat backbeat.

Finish: Many steel snares come with a chrome or nickel finish, giving them a shiny, sleek appearance that looks great on stage.

Who it’s for?

Steel snare drums are for the drummer who wants a versatile, robust, and bright-sounding drum. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional, there’s likely a steel snare that will fit your needs. 

Just remember, the best drum is the one that sounds good to your ears, so don’t be afraid to try out a few before making your decision!

Now let’s go into the pros and cons because every drum has its strengths and weaknesses, just like us humans.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum

best steel snare drums

DW Collector's Series Metal Snare Drum - 6.5 x 14 inch - Stainless Steel

best steel snare drum

Gretsch 14x6.5 USA Custom Solid Steel Snare Drum

steel snare drum
best brass snare drum

Brass snare drums

Brass is a metal alloy made from copper and zinc. It’s known for being rigid and resonant, which is a great combination if you’re a drum looking for work!

Brass snares offer a warmer tone than steel, with a pronounced mid-range. They are often chosen for their versatile sound that works well in various genres.

Why Brass?

Sound: Brass snares are known for their bright, sharp, and articulate sound. They can easily cut through other noises, making them fantastic for live performances.

Tuning Range: Brass snares have an excellent tuning range. You can crank them high for a sharp, cutting sound or tune them low for a fat, warm tone.

Visual Appeal: Let’s remember looks. Brass drums often have a gleaming, golden appearance that can make your kit look as good as it sounds!

Who it’s for?

Brass snare drums can be for any drummer who wants a versatile and punchy sound. They’re trendy among rock, pop, and funk drummers due to their bright and powerful tone. 

In addition, their versatility makes them a good choice for studio work, where different songs can demand different sounds.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

A&F Drum Company Raw Brass Snare Drum - 6.5 x 14 inch

brass snare drum

Gretsch Drums USA Bell Brass Snare Drum - 6.5-inch x 14-inch

gretsch brass snare drum
bronze snare drum

Bronze snare drums

Bronze snares are similar to brass but with a bit more low-end. They offer a balanced mix of warmth and brightness, often favored in jazz and rock genres.

Bronze really makes a drum sing… or rather, bang! Here’s a quick riff about the main features:

Why Bronze?

Sound Profile: Bronze snares have a unique tonality; they produce a warm, full-bodied, and somewhat dark sound. That’s because bronze is denser than other materials, enhancing lower frequencies and providing a mighty ‘thump’ when you hit it.

Durability: Bronze drums are built to last. This material is tough as nails and can handle being put through the wringer. You can play your heart out on a bronze snare, which’ll take the punishment like a champ.

Aesthetics: There’s just something classy about the look of a bronze drum. It gives off an air of sophistication and seriousness that many drummers dig.

Now that we know what bronze snares are about, who are they for?

Who it’s for? 

They’re for drummers who want a powerful, warm sound and a snare that’s sturdy enough to handle intense playing. 

A bronze snare could be a great choice if you play a lot of rock, funk, or soul or are a session drummer who wants a versatile instrument.

But hey, every drum is flawed, right? So let’s talk about some of the pros and cons:

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Pearl 14"x6,5" Free Floating Bronze

best bronze snare drum

Gretsch Drums 14"x6,5" USA Bronze Snare Drum

the bes bronze snare drums

Ludwig Bronze Phonic

bronze snare drum
the best aluminium snare drums

Aluminum snare drums

Aluminum snare drums are known for their dry, focused sound. In addition, they tend to have fewer overtones and a softer attack, making them a popular choice for studio work.

Aluminum is a neat material, especially for snare drums, because of its unique sonic properties.

Why Aluminum?

Sound: Aluminum snares are known for their crisp, bright, and articulate sound. They have an exceptional dynamic range and can cut through the mix when you want them to. 

You’ll hear these snares snapping back with a quick, sharp “crack” in much modern music.

Durability: Aluminum is also a pretty tough customer. These drums can take a beating and keep on ticking.

Weight: Aluminum is lighter than many other metals used in snare drum construction, making these drums relatively portable and easier to lug between gigs.

Temperature Resistance: Aluminum doesn’t drastically change its properties with shifts in temperature, meaning that it holds its tune well even as conditions change.

Appearance: Last but not least, they look fantastic. Aluminum snares have a cool, industrial vibe to them.

Who it’s for?

These drums are great for a wide range of players, but they are especially popular among:

  1. Rock and Pop Drummers: The bright, cutting sound is perfect for these styles, where the snare needs to cut through electric guitars and synths.
  2. Gigging Drummers: The combination of durability and light weight make them a favorite of drummers who need to move their kit frequently.
  3. Studio Drummers: The unique sound characteristics can add a distinctive flavor to recordings.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Dunnett Classic Model 2N Snare Drum - 6.5 x 14 inch

best aluminium snare drum

Noble & Cooley Alloy Classic Aluminum Snare Drum - 6-inch x 14-inch

aluminium snare drums

Cooper snare drums

Copper snares have a unique, rich tone with a warm blend of low and mid frequencies. They are less common but favored for their distinctive sound characteristics.

They have a lot of character and can make a difference in your kit. Here’s the skinny:

Why Cooper?

Sound: Copper snare drums have a unique tone. They’re known for a warm, rich sound with a lot of body and depth. 

You’ll get a pronounced low-end response and a bright attack, giving a solid “crack” when struck. It’s like getting a hug from a teddy bear that just finished a sprint.

Volume: These bad boys are loud! The density of the copper gives the drum a natural amplification.

Durability: Copper is a tough material. It’s a little heavier than some other materials used for snares, but it’s resilient and long-lasting, just like your favorite pair of jeans.

Look: Let’s remember aesthetics! Copper drums can have a distinctive look, ranging from bright and shiny to a darker, aged patina. It’s like getting a drum and a piece of art together.

Who it’s for?

  • Versatile drummers: If you play a variety of styles, a copper snare could be a good fit. It has a wide tuning range, so it can adapt to everything from jazz to rock to funk.
  • Drummers who want to stand out: Whether it’s the look or the sound, a copper snare drum differs from your average drum. This could be your ticket if you like to do things differently and get noticed.
  • Professionals and serious hobbyists: Because of their durability and sound quality, copper snare drums can be a good investment for professional drummers or dedicated amateurs who want to elevate their drum game.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

DW Collectors Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5

dw snare drum

A&F Raw Copper Snare Drum 14x6.5

best premium snare drum

Tama Starphonic Copper 14x7 Snare Drum

best budget snare drums

Other types

Acrylic snare drums

Acrylic drums certainly aren’t your everyday drums, but they have charm. Here’s the lowdown:

First, let’s talk about the material. Acrylic. If it sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve encountered it in everyday items like signage, furniture, and aquariums. 

This stuff is robust and durable, transparent or translucent, which gives it a striking and unique look.

Why Acrylic?

Lightweight: Despite being robust and sturdy, acrylic is relatively light compared to materials like glass. This benefits things like drums that need to be moved around frequently.

Strength and Durability: Acrylic is impressively durable and resistant to impact. This toughness makes it an excellent material for drums that must withstand repeated use and possible rough handling during transportation.

Weather Resistance: Acrylic has excellent resistance to the elements, making it suitable for outdoor use. This comes into play with drums less, but it’s a cool feature of the material!

Ease of Maintenance: Acrylic surfaces are easy to clean and maintain. They resist scratches and scuffs well; minor surface damage can often be buffed out.

Who it’s for?

These are perfect for drummers who really want to stand out on stage. They are a visual treat, so performers who like a bit of showmanship love them. 

Plus, they have a distinctive sound that can cut through the mix, so an acrylic snare could be just what you need if you’re in a louder band setting.

Pros & Cons



My Top Picks

Ludwig Vistalite Snare Drum - 6.5-inch x 14-inch

best acrylic snare drum

DW Design Series Acrylic Snare Drum

acrylic snare drum

The best Snare drums - by budget

We can divide the budget into several categories:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Mid-range
  • Premium

Budget-Friendly Snare Drums: 

When discussing “budget-friendly” snare drums, we generally look at a range from around $100 to $300. However, you can find a surprising array of fantastic snares within this bracket without making your bank account weep.

Here’s what you can expect:

Material: In this price range, you’ll usually find snares made from various types of wood, like Maple, birch, or poplar. 

You might also find some steel snares, which can give a bright and cutting sound. Not as common, but occasionally, you might stumble upon some brass or aluminum options.

Sound: Many budget snares sound good, especially considering the price. 

You’ll likely find drums with a decent amount of punch and projection, though they might lack some of the warmth and depth of more expensive models. 

But hey, with a bit of fine-tuning, you’d be amazed at what these little gems can do!

Construction and Hardware: You might notice some cost-cutting in the hardware and construction of budget snares. The lugs, hoops, and throw-offs might differ from top-of-the-line, and the shell construction might be more straightforward. But don’t let that put you off – these drums can still take a beating.

Brand: Many well-known drum companies offer budget-friendly options. Brands like Pearl, Tama, Ludwig, and Mapex have solid offerings in this range.

Versatility: Being budget-friendly doesn’t mean being a one-trick pony. These snares can often cover a range of styles and tones, making them great starter drums or versatile backup options.

My Top Picks

Ludwig Supralite Snare Drum 6.5x14

budget friendly snare drum

Tama S.L.P. Big Black Steel Snare Drum - 8 x 14 inch

best cheap snare drum

Pearl 14"x6,5" Sensitone Aluminium

pearl cheap snare drum

Mid-Range Snare Drums 

Now, these little gems are the real sweet spot for many drummers. They offer an outstanding balance of quality and affordability that can hit the mark (pun totally intended)!

Price-wise, you typically look at around $200 to $500 for a mid-range snare. Of course, prices can vary based on the brand, materials used, and other features, but that’s your general ballpark.

Now, what can you expect from a mid-range snare? Let’s break it down:

Good Quality Construction: One of the great things about stepping up to this price range is that you start to see more high-quality materials and construction methods. 

You’ll find drums made of quality wood like Maple and birch or metal shells like brass or steel. They’re built to last and can take a good beating (as they should!).

Better Sound: Mid-range snares will give you a significant step up in sound quality from entry-level models. 

You’re looking at a richer tone, more resonance, and a more comprehensive tuning range. That means more versatility to play different styles of music and better overall sound on stage or in the studio.

More Features: Mid-range snares often come with some nice extras. 

Think upgraded hardware, adjustable throw-offs, more options for customization, and sometimes even fancy finishes for that extra bit of pizazz.

Brand Reputation: With a mid-range snare, you often buy into established brands with good reputations for quality and customer service. Names like Ludwig, Pearl, Gretsch, Mapex, and Tama, for example.

My Top Picks

Ludwig Supraphonic Snare Drum

best value for money snare drum

Yamaha Recording Custom Snare Drum - 5.5 x 14 inch - Brass

best mid range snare drum

Mapex Black Panther Design Lab Machine Snare Drum - 5.5 x 14 inch

best bang for buck snare drum

Premium Snare Drums

We’re entering a broad and diverse price range when discussing premium snare drums. 

You can find premium snares anywhere from about $500 to over $5,000. Yes, you read that right; some snares can cost as much as a used car, but believe me, it can be worth every penny for the right player.

So, what do you get for that kind of dough?

Material Quality: Premium drums often feature superior materials, such as high-end woods like Maple and birch, or even more exotic varieties like bubinga and rosewood. 

You can also find top-quality metal snares from brass, bronze, or even titanium. And let’s remember our previous chat about those fancy acrylic snares!

Craftsmanship: Premium snares are typically handcrafted and offer exceptional build quality. The shells are often hand-selected and meticulously assembled. 

Expect flawless bearing edges (where the drumhead meets the shell), which are crucial for great sound.

Hardware: You can expect top-quality hardware on these drums, such as lugs, hoops, and throw-offs. This makes the drums easier to tune and play, and they often look great too!

Sound: At the end of the day, you’re paying for sound. Premium snare drums will provide a great tone, wide tuning range, body and depth, and excellent responsiveness. 

They can bring your drumming to a whole new level!

Brand Reputation: Premium snares often come from manufacturers with a long-standing reputation in the drumming world. Brands like DW, Ludwig, Pearl, Tama, and Gretsch are known for their high-end drums.

Remember, though, while all these bells and whistles are fantastic, the best drum is the one that suits your playing style and musical needs. Sometimes, a $200 snare might be all you need. 

But for those moments when you’re feeling fancy and want the cream of the crop, these exceptional beauties are waiting for you.

My Top Picks

Craviotto Private Reserve Snare Drum - 5.5 x 14 inch - Birdseye Maple

premium wood snare drum

A&F Raw Brass Snare Drum 14x5

expensive snare drums

Dunnett Classic MonoPly Maple Snare Drum - 6.5 x 14 inch

premium snare drum

The Best Snare Drums - By Genre (Jazz & Rock)

Jazz Snare Drums

Jazz drummers often prefer snare drums that are highly sensitive and can provide a wide dynamic range. 

Wooden snares, especially those made from Maple, are popular due to their warmer tones and resonant properties. More minor, shallower snares are standard, such as a 14″ x 5″ or even a 13″ x 3″.

Full article on the best snare drums for jazz

My Top Picks

Tama Peter Erskine Signature 14"x4.5" Snare Drum

jazz snare drum

Ludwig 5.5" Jazz Fest Series

best jazz snare drum

Sonor Vintage Series Snare Drum

Rock/Metal Snare Drums

Rock music typically demands a snare drum with a high volume and powerful attack. This is often achieved with deeper, larger snares from denser wood like birch, brass, or steel metals. Sizes such as 14″ x 6.5″ are quite standard.

My Top Picks

Gretsch Drums USA Custom Snare Drum - 5 x 14 inch - Chrome over Brass

Ludwig "Super Ludwig" Chrome over Brass Snare Drum - 6.5 x 14 inch

TAMA Kenny Aronoff 14" x 5" Signature Snare

How I Picked

I’ve tried over 50 different snare drums throughout my career. I also had the luck to be surrounded by great drummers who gave me feedback on all of the snare drums they tried. 

How did I pick? Well, this is difficult to explain. While I tried almost everything that I landed my hands on I picked my top 53 by my look-for criteria. 

Firstly, I made a list of drums that I tried according to the material type including wood, steel and acrylic snare drums. I made categories for each one and I wrote down their most prominent features and their pros and cons.

Aside from the material I also wanted to take into consideration the price and the genre. I made three categories with their price tag in mind and for each category, I picked my top three favoritres. The same goes for genres. I consider rock, jazz, and metal genres and again picked my top three choices with an explanation why.

How I Tested

Many of the snare drums I’ve picked on my list I tested myself. Just to be clear, I do not own 53 snare drums, of course, but I’ve had the luck to know a lot of drummers, including one of my best friends, who have given me a chance to try their drum kits. 

I’ve got a chance to test in different scenarios like in live sessions and recording studios. 

Aside from that, I also spent a lot of time, to be precise a whole year doing research on this topic. I collected valuable feedback but also data from the Internet from the satisfied and not-so-satisfied users of certain snare drums and even tested some of their opinions when I got the chance.


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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