What to do With Broken Cymbals?

November 1, 2022

Did you ever wonder what to do with broken cymbals?

You can make many things with the broken cymbals – usually, they can be a great addition to a stack. Since stacking cymbals have become popular during the last couple of years, you can use a broken one to create a fantastic custom stack that will have an exceptional sound.

Although you may try to give your broken cymbals a new life, you need to be aware of the “do it yourself” fixes. Sometimes it may work, sometimes may not. In case you don’t achieve the expectations, you can always recycle the broken ones.

There are many questions that most drummers wonder about, so I’ll do my best to give examples of some of them.

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Are cracked cymbals worth anything?

Depending on where the crack happened, sometimes it’s worth it or not to keep a cracked cymbal. If the crack is on the cymbal’s edge, hard-playing can get the crack worse.

People think cracked cymbals are worth nothing, but there are still those who can do impossible things – for example, create awesome stacks – and would do anything to make something other than let them sit on a pile and get scrapped.

Are cymbals recyclable?

Every big company, such as Sabian, is following the “Keeping It Green” movement. In case your cymbal breaks, the metal is for sure recyclable.

Since they already recycle metal created in different cymbal-making steps, cymbals that don’t pass the sound quality tests, etc., you can recycle the broken ones as well. Some companies even give discounts per inch if you recycle the old ones and buy new ones.

How do you dispose of old cymbals?

The answer is pretty clear, you can try to make a deal with some of the companies to recycle them, you can try selling them to other interested buyers – as there are many – or you can simply dispose of them with the regular metal scraps.

Can you melt down cymbals?

To cut the costs, companies or some other third-party metallurgists melt cymbals in larger quantities.

I would not recommend doing it yourself. Try selling the broken cymbals or make a deal with someone who can recycle them with caution.

Can you fix cracked cymbals?

As you may already know, a broken cymbal has two problems, the sound will for sure change, and the sharp tip of the crack will concentrate the stress in that specific part of the metal.

If the crack is closed up, the edges will buzz against each other as that cymbal vibrates. If the broken cymbal has that sharp tip of a crack, it will likely extend further.

Small cracks will develop quickly into larger splits that will make the cymbal unplayable. Although it is possible to save the cymbals in these cases, it is essential to do it adequately.

Over time your cymbals will get cracks, and they will mostly start from the edges going inward towards the bell – some may even appear horizontally, across the bow.

Repairing cracked cymbals means addressing these two problems – in each case, you would need to blunt the crack tip.

All in all, it is essential to fill out the edges smoothly to avoid any damage developing into new cracks.

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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  1. I have an old cymbal that i am interested in finding the value of. It has to be at least fifty years old because i have had it for that long. It is 18 inch and imprinted on it is the following. “:Avedis” “Zildjian Co” “Genuine Turkish Cymbals” “made in USA”

    Any ideas on where i could get this appraised?

    • Hi David, Given its age, it could potentially be of significant value, especially to collectors or musicians who appreciate vintage gear. Although I don’t know it’s value, here is what I would do if I was you:

      1. Go to Ebay and see if people are selling anything similar.
      2. Check out some musical stores. Many local music stores offer appraisal services for musical instruments and gear.
      3. Contact Professional Appraisers. There are professionals who specialize in appraising musical instruments. While they might charge a fee, they can provide a detailed assessment of your cymbal’s value.
      4. Vintage Drum Shops: Some shops specialize in vintage drums and cymbals. If there’s one near you, it might be worth a visit.

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