March 11

Best Snare Drums: Your Ultimate Guide for 2024

As musicians, we know the importance of having a great snare drum in our arsenal. It’s the heartbeat of your drum kit, providing that essential backbeat. That’s why we’ve decided to dive into the world of snare drums and find the best ones for you to consider.

There’s an abundance of snare drums on the market, but not all are created equal. In our search for the best snare drums, we made sure to consider factors like materials, size, and overall sound quality.

Before you make a purchase, think about the style of music you play and how that might impact your choice. You’ll also want to consider the drum material, as it can greatly influence the sound and durability of your snare. Now, let’s dive into our top picks and find you the perfect snare drum to elevate your drumming skills.

Best Snare Drums

We’ve compiled a list of the best snare drums for you to explore. Check them out below!

Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum 14″x8″

We recommend this Mapex snare drum for its great value, excellent sound, and solid construction.


  • Affordable price
  • Fantastic tone
  • High-quality maple shell


  • Flimsy throw-off
  • Needs head replacements
  • Slightly uneven bottom hoop

Let’s talk about this Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum. First off, we were impressed by its affordability. Making music can be expensive, so it’s nice to find a quality product that won’t break the bank.

When it comes to sound, this snare delivers. It has a fantastic tone that will make you feel professional without the hefty price tag. However, you might want to switch out the stock heads to truly unlock this drum’s potential.

As for the construction, the maple shell is solid and well-made. The Transparent Black finish looks sleek and adds some flair to your drum kit. One downside is the a slightly uneven bottom hoop, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Beware of the throw-off, which feels a bit flimsy and may need replacing down the line. Other than that, this drum is a great investment. Give it a try and experience how Mapex MPX can enhance your music journey.

Gretsch Drums Snare Drum (S1-6514-BSH) Black

You’ll love this drum for its amazing sound and slick design.


  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Durable hammered steel
  • Sturdy die-cast hoops


  • Slightly heavy
  • Might be pricey for beginners
  • Limited color options

We recently played this Gretsch snare drum (S1-6514-BSH) and were blown away! The sound it produced was remarkable, thanks to the hammered black steel and 45-degree bearing edge. It’s no wonder it has a 5-star rating on Amazon.

What’s really impressive about this snare drum is its construction. With a 1.2mm hammered black steel shell and 4mm die-cast hoops, it’s built to last. Additionally, its 10 lugs ensure a stable and secure tuning experience.

On the downside, the 6.5″ x 14″ size might make it slightly heavier than other snares, and the black color might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, for aspiring musicians and professionals alike, the Gretsch Drums Snare Drum (S1-6514-BSH) is definitely worth checking out.

PDP By DW Black Wax Maple Snare Drum 7×13

Snag this snare drum for its affordability, build quality, and solid sound.


  • Great price
  • Robust construction
  • Versatile sound


  • May require better heads
  • Possible screw breakage
  • Not the best stock snare

We’ve tested the PDP By DW Black Wax Maple Snare Drum 7×13, and let us tell you, it’s a nice find. With its 10 Ply Maple Shell and DW Mag Throw-Off, this snare offers a good balance between sound and durability.

For beginners or seasoned drummers, this snare doesn’t disappoint. As we’ve gathered from others, it performs well for practicing rudiments and different snare sounds. The True-Pitch Tension Rods with Brass Inserts help lock in your preferred tuning with ease.

But be prepared for possible upgrades. Some users have swapped out the drumheads for better ones, like Remo Emperor or Ambassador heads. Others have mentioned possible screw breakages. Regardless, this snare is a solid buy for its price point and performance. Give it a whirl and let it rock your world.

Yeegfeyaa Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum 14 x 8 in.

Grab this snare drum for its sharp sound and durability—you won’t be disappointed.


  • Mirror-polished, 1.5mm steel shell
  • Sturdy, chrome-over brass tube-lugs
  • 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops


  • A bit heavy at 12.55 pounds
  • Stock heads may be average
  • Bright sound might not suit all styles

As musicians, we know how important the right snare drum can be for your sound. The Yeegfeyaa Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum has a cutting attack and fat mid-range overtone, thanks to its 1.5mm steel shell. It’s eye-catching too, with a mirror-polished finish and chrome accents.

Let’s talk durability. We appreciate the solid brass tube-lugs, which contribute to the snare drum’s sturdy build. Plus, the 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops give us confidence in its long-lasting performance.

Now, a word to the wise: this snare drum is on the heavier side, tipping the scales at 12.55 pounds. You may also want to swap out the stock heads as they might not be up to your standard. But if you’re chasing a bright and crisp sound, this could be the snare for you.

All in all, we think the Yeegfeyaa Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum 14 x 8 in. is a solid choice for musicians who want to make a big impact on their kit. Give it a try and let its powerful sound elevate your music.

Pearl Short Fuse Drum 13×3.5

You’ll enjoy crisp sound and durability with this snare drum.


  • Tight, cracking, sensitive tone
  • Quality build with 1mm black steel shell
  • Quick release snare strainer


  • Not the best snare strainer lever
  • No ringshot compatibility
  • Pricey compared to alternatives

We got our hands on the Pearl Short Fuse Drum 13×3.5 Black Steel Piccolo Snare (SFS1335B). This drum has a tight, cracking, and sensitive tone many drummers crave.

Constructed with a 1mm powder coated black steel shell, it’s durable and stylish. Additionally, the single-point dual lugs and quick release snare strainer make setup and adjustments a breeze.

However, not everything is perfect. We noticed the snare strainer lever isn’t of the highest quality, and it’s not compatible with ringshots. Moreover, some might find its price a bit steep compared to similar products.

On balance, the Pearl Short Fuse Drum is an excellent choice for those seeking a crisp sounding snare as their main or side drum. Just be prepared to pay a bit more for the quality you’re getting.

Tama S.L.P. Black Brass Snare Drum

We highly recommend this snare drum for its powerful sound and striking appearance.


  • Powerful attack
  • Warm resonance
  • Visually appealing


  • Heavy
  • No internal muffler
  • No included case or stand

Tama’s S.L.P. Black Brass Snare Drum really impresses us with its fat, robust beats. When we played it, the 1.5mm brass shell provided a strong attack and warm resonance, perfect for drummers who love to be heard.

On top of that, the snare drum features Steel Mighty Hoops. These 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops offer a versatile sound and articulate rimshots. Plus, the 42-strand Starclassic Carbon Steel Snappy Snares ensure maximum responsiveness and emphasize attack when needed.

Lastly, let’s talk aesthetics. This snare drum will catch everyone’s eye with its black nickel finish and matching hardware. So, if you’re looking for a snare that both sounds and looks great, this Tama S.L.P. Black Brass Snare Drum is the pick for you.

Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum 13 x 6 in.

We highly recommend this snare for its bright and cutting sound, quality materials, and great value.


  • Bright, cutting attack
  • Quality materials and construction
  • Great value for the price


  • May be too bright for some tastes
  • 13-inch diameter may not suit all styles
  • 12-pound weight might be heavy for some

We tried out the Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum and were definitely impressed. The 1.5mm steel shell is mirror-polished, giving it that eye-catching, professional look. It also boosts the snare’s bright, cutting attack, and fat mid-range overtone. While this sound may be too bright for some, it’s worth noting that its bold presence could be perfect for cutting through a mix.

What stood out to us were the quality materials used in this snare drum. Ludwig utilized chrome-over solid brass tube-lugs, 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops, and brass snare wires. These components not only improve the overall sound but also ensure the snare’s durability. With proper care, this drum can withstand years of playing and remain a reliable staple in your kit.

As for the size, the 13 x 6-inch configuration may not suit everyone’s style. But if you’re open to experimenting, you might just discover a whole new world of tonal possibilities. The only downside is the 12-pound weight that could be a little heavy for some drummers, especially in a portable gig setup.

All in all, the Ludwig Supralite Steel Snare Drum offers exceptional value and great sound quality. Try it yourself to see if it meets your snare drum needs and preferences.

Griffin Piccolo Snare Drum

We highly recommend the Griffin Piccolo Snare Drum for its bright tone and brilliant attack.


  • High-pitched tone
  • Durable wooden construction
  • Installed snare beds


  • Stock heads need replacement
  • May require some tuning
  • Not ideal for beginners

The Griffin Piccolo Snare Drum is perfect for those looking to switch up the sound of their acoustic drum set. Its 13″ x 3.5″ size and premium piccolo design make it a great option as a primary or secondary snare. With 6 tuning lugs, you can achieve a tight sound perfect for rock bands, acoustic shows, or even school performances.

Made of 7.5 mm, 3 ply poplar wood shell, the drum features a beautiful black hickory finish. The white powder-coated drum head adds a sleek visual touch, making it ideal for drummers with an eye for style. Just don’t forget to replace the stock heads for a better sound.

In addition, the installed snare beds provide a tighter snare sound, popular with drummers who prefer less buzz and rattle. So, if you’re a drummer, recording studio, DJ, or stage performer seeking a versatile yet affordable snare drum, the Griffin Piccolo Snare Drum is worth considering.

Mapex BPML3700LNWU Black Panther Series Snare Drum

This snare drum delivers an impressive sound, making it a must-buy for musicians.


  • High-quality sound
  • Beautiful finish
  • Great value for the price


  • A bit loud for some
  • May require additional head purchase
  • Heavy at 13.2 pounds

From the moment we tried the Mapex BPML3700LNWU snare drum, we could tell it was a winner. The combination of maple and walnut materials creates a powerful sound, turning heads as we played.

What sets this drum apart is the split style lugs and sonic saver hoops. These features make it easy for musicians to tweak their sound, ensuring they achieve the perfect tone every time. Plus, the cylinder-drive strainer and micro-lock tension adjuster make adjustments a breeze.

However, keep in mind that this snare drum can pack a punch when tuned to higher pitches. So, if you’re looking for a more subtle sound, this might not be the choice for you. Overall, we were impressed with the Mapex BPML3700LNWU Black Panther Series Snare Drum, and we’re confident you will be too.

Sonor Benny Greb 2.0 Snare Drum

Solid, versatile snare drum with unique features and a rich sound.


  • Great sound quality
  • Built-in dampening system
  • Beautiful design


  • Buttplate adjuster issues
  • Pricey for some budgets
  • Heavy at 6.19 lbs

As a fellow musician, we just tried this Sonor Snare Drum and we’re impressed. It has a rich sound right from the start, thanks to the beech build and a 13″ x 5.75″ size.

One unique feature is the internal mufflers. They give you control over your sound, helping you achieve just the right tone. Plus, the Scan Birch design with Bubinga inlay really catches the eye.

However, we did experience issues with the buttplate adjuster. Some users also mentioned this problem, so be prepared for potential slippage. Nonetheless, if you can overlook that, this snare drum could be the perfect addition to your drum set.

Overall, the Sonor Benny Greb 2.0 Snare Drum offers excellent sound quality and useful features. Just watch out for the adjuster issue and, if your budget allows, give this snare a try. Your music will thank you for it.

Types of Snare Drums by Shell Material

Wood Snare Drums

Let’s talk about wood snare drums. These drums are popular for their warm, rich tones. Common woods used include maple, birch, and mahogany. Each type of wood gives a distinct sound:

  • Maple: Smooth and balanced
  • Birch: Bright and focused
  • Mahogany: Dark and warm

These are great for a versatile sound palette.

Metal Snare Drums

Next up, metal snare drums. They are known for their powerful, sharp, and cutting tones. Some common metals used are:

  1. Brass: It has a bright, open, and crisp sound.
  2. Aluminum: Its sound is dry and controlled.
  3. Steel: This material is loud with a bright projection.
  4. Bronze: It offers a darker, warmer tone.

These drums are excellent for punchy, assertive playing.

Acrylic Snare Drums

Lastly, acrylic snare drums deserve a mention. They have a unique, transparent look. Acrylic drums provide a clear, focused, and bright sound. They’re often used in live performances, thanks to their eye-catching aesthetics.

In summary, each type of snare drum material offers a distinct sound and appearance. Take your pick based on your musical taste and style preferences!

Buying Guide

When looking for the best snare drum, consider several key factors. Let’s walk you through it.

Size and Material

First up, pay attention to the drum’s size and material. Common sizes include 14″x 5″ and 13″x 6″. Always remember that the material affects the sound. Popular materials include:

  • Wood (maple, oak, or birch)
  • Metal (steel, aluminum, or brass)

Shell Thickness

The shell thickness plays a crucial role. Thicker shells create a brighter and louder sound, while thinner shells produce warmer and darker tones.

Hardware and Strainer

Don’t forget the hardware. Good quality lugs, hoops and a smooth, responsive strainer system are essential features of a top-notch snare drum.

Tuning Range

A wide tuning range gives you more flexibility in achieving different tones. Make sure to check the drum’s tone versatility before purchasing.

Price Range

Lastly, set a budget. You’ll find quality snare drums in various price ranges, so list your must-haves and stick to your budget.

In short, focus on size, material, shell thickness, hardware, tuning range, and price. Now go find the perfect snare drum!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best snare drum for beginners?

When starting out, we recommend choosing a snare drum that’s both affordable and reliable. Brands like Pearl and Yamaha offer great options for beginners, with quality that won’t break the bank.

What is the most iconic snare?

The Ludwig Black Beauty is often considered the most iconic snare drum. Its classic design, rich tone, and versatility make it a favorite among professional drummers.

How often should I replace the head on my snare drum?

We suggest checking your snare drum head every few months for wear and tear. If you notice a significant loss in sound quality or see visible damage, it’s time for a replacement.


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