10 Best Snare Drums for Metal in 2024 (Buying Guide + Reviews)

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Best Snare Drums for Metal

If you are a drummer in a rock or metal band, then you know you have to cut through clearly to be heard. That’s why you should only choose the best snare drums for metal.

Thankfully, our team is especially interested in the genre to come up with 10 amazing snare drums proven suitable for metal and similar genres.

Being a drummer in a metal band isn’t easy. You have to produce blast beats, snare rim shots, and more complicated techniques. You need a heavy-duty, responsive, and durable snare drums. In this list, you’ll find not just one, but 10 products you can choose from.

If you aren’t confident to choose on your own, we’ll unveil to you our top choice. Also, we include a buying guide, should you wish to explore the market independently. These are mid-priced drums, so they are just affordable and for everyone.

The best snare drums for metal

Pork Pie Little Squealer

We Recommend
Pork Pie Little Squealer
4.7


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Bill Detamore started the Pork Pie Drums in 1987, making drums for the people around town. Now, Pork Pie has reached the ends of the world with its great snare, particularly the Little Squealer Snare Drum. This is a 13 x 7-inch snare made of 8-ply hard rock maple shell with a black ebony satin finish and all-black hardware.

The Little Squealer is equipped with 2.3mm heavy-duty hoops, bullet hole venting, cast hourglass lugs, and hand-sanded bearing edges. Of course, you need a high-performance snare with a lot of strength for rock and metal music styles. Just one fun fact about Pork Pie that we love to share with you — all its lineup has pig-related names, like the Squealer.

Pros

  • Awesome drum with a wide tuning range
  • The warm tone of the Maple shell squeals at every stroke you make
  • You get a real sharp crack at higher tuning

Cons

  • Getting an upgrade of the snare head gives even better results
  • Playing a lot of backbeat rimshots will lose some tension rods

 

Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum

Also Great
Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum
4.5
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If you are craving that huge full-bodied sound with a powerful attack, the Ludwig Black Magic Snare Drum is perfect for you. We include it on the list because we know a lot of people will be looking for this. It’s a 14 x 8-inch snare drum made of seamlessly welded black-nickel over the brass shell.

This has more crisp and open sound than the popular, yet expensive Black Beauty. Metal players will surely be awed by how great-sounding the rimshots are. It projects well and bringing you the signature classic Ludwig tone everyone falls in love with.

Pros

  • Hoops are great for rimshots
  • Has a powerful attack that easily cuts through
  • Very responsive and keeps the tuning

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide a much wider tuning range
  • Changing the snare head with Evans 500 will make it better

 

Yamaha Recording Custom Snare Drum

Runner-Up
Yamaha Recording Custom Drum
4.7


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If you are eyeing a high-class snare drum, but don’t have the budget, have the Yamaha Recording Custom Snare Drum. It’s made of brass shells that offer accurate vibrations for a great performance.

The shell is the key factor in how the drum sounds, yet, Yamaha’s overall design and engineering of the Stage Custom speaks quality and greatness. With a 45-degree bearing edge, you’ll get maximum resonance with high overtones. It’s fitted with 1.5mm dyna hoops, B-Type side throw-off, and Remo drum heads.

Pros

  • Sounds amazing and stock heads are very good
  • Excellent rimshots, with plenty of snap and ‘crack’

Cons

  • Lugs on the batter side won’t tighten in place
  • Some wished for a 2.3mm rims
  • Upgrade of the heads is necessary to optimize the drum sound

 

Gretsch Drums Renown Series

Gretsch Drums Renown Series Snare Drum
4.3


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Gretsch is among the drum brands highly sought in the market and we checked one of its snare drum products that we see best for metal. Snare drums for this genre should have the punch and aggressive characteristics, and you’ll find it from the Gretsch Drums Renown Series snare drum. It’s a 14 x 6.5-inch drum made of 7-ply, 7.2mm maple shell.

The snare drum is visually pleasing, especially with the open-grain finishing technique. This has a satin natural lacquer finish and chrome hardware. The resonance and sound quality are guaranteed with the 302 hoops and 30-degree bearing edge.

Pros

  • Sounds great at an affordable price
  • Little warm, has a deeper response and nice crisp finish
  • Well-built and all parts seem top-notch

Cons

  • Not the kind of concert-quality snare
  • No other issues found

 

Pearl Stavecraft Snare Drum

Pearl StaveCraft Snare Drum
5.0


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We are particularly interested in how the 14 x 6.5-inch Pearl Stavecraft Snare Drum was able to offer plenty of snap. Yes, it’s a Pearl, so no wonder, you can still get bright tone and excellent projection. Of course, it’s also because of the lacquered steel drum shell that makes this snare drum more capable.

Since it’s a well-built and good-sounding snare, it can be used as a main snare or an “effects” snare. Fitted with STL Swivel Tube Lugs design and Die-cast MasterCast hoops to give you a reliable tuning for your drum.

Pros

  • Excellent projection with tight and crisp attack
  • Versatile snare drum that accommodates various music styles
  • Compact size is ideal for quick setup and transport

Cons

  • Has playable heads, but need upgrading
  • No built-in muffler, in case you need one

 

Mapex Black Panther Snare Drum

Mapex Black Panther Snare Drum
5.0


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If metal is your thing and you want a snare drum that allows you to express your aggressive self, Mapex Black Panther Snare Drum is just the perfect one for you. We love how the Taiwanese manufacturer was able to design this to deliver a warm and crisp tone with a fat backbeat. It’s made of 12-ply mahogany shell which has its unique and elegant sounds.

This 14 x 6-inch drum is equipped with 2.33mm thick rims for great-sounding rimshots. It comes with USA Remo heads that can be good with proper tuning. It has a wide tuning range to accommodate different playing styles including metal.

Pros

  • Has its unique and signature sound
  • Offers warm and full tone, with phenomenal rimshots
  • Though the coated batter head is thin, it gets very punchy

Cons

  • Maple can’t withstand extreme weather
  • Some users found ripped bottom skin of the snare

 

Tama S.L.P.

Tama S.L.P. Big Black Steel Snare Drum 14 x 8 in.
4.6


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Just by the looks and you know it’s ready to take on the challenge for the next best snare drum for metal. The only deep snare drum on the list, the 14 x 8-inch Tama S.L.P. offers a full, wet tone to back up your backbeats. It’s made of 1mm thick steel shell that is fitted with 2.3mm steel Mighty triple-flanged hoops and hi-tension lugs, to keep the drum intact.

The steel hoops give a wetter sound than die-cast zinc and other materials. It also gives more articulate rimshots and accents, for those who specialize in these techniques. Overall, you’ve got a snare with long-sustain, deep, brutal, and sizzling overtones.

Pros

  • An aggressive snare that can play both blast beats and gospel chops
  • Has solid tone without the annoying pinging of other snares
  • Incredible built and quality for its price

Cons

  • A lot of people complain about how big it is
  • Singly-ply Remo head is good, could be better with 2-ply head

 

Ludwig Supraphonic

Ludwig Supraphonic Snare Drum Brass
4.0
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We love Ludwig and apparently, we’re not only the ones who appreciated this US musical instruments maker. The Ludwig Supraphonic, particularly, is the first choice for the legendary drummer John Bonham and is also used is Led Zeppelin’s classic recordings.

So, if you’re looking for a versatile snare or the best snare drum for metal, Supraphonic is the answer. It’s a 14 x 6.5-inch drum made of metal shell construction.

So, it’s no doubt that you’ll get a bright and carnivorous tone with a crisp attack — ideal for different music styles. With its 6.5-inch depth, you’re going to get deep and fat tone with great projection.

Pros

  • Has versatile deep snare sounds
  • Beautiful-sounding drum, consistent from the rim to the center
  • Imperial lugs offer a super cool looks, like a real classic snare drum

Cons

  • Brass easily shows wear and tear
  • The most expensive snare on the list

 

Tama SC 145 Snare Drum

TAMA Snare Drum, Silver (SC145)
5.0


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We mentioned a good Tama snare drum above, which is made of steel. Now, here’s a brass-made Tama SC 145 Snare Drum. Will it be as promising as the steel one?

It’s a 14 x 5-inch drum made of 1.5mm brass shell, which is 0.5mm thicker than the standard 1mm. This Stewart Copeland’s signature model is fitted with a combination of die-cast hoops at the batter head while three-flanged hoops at the bottom. This offers a great sound quality like the original, punchy and piercing drums.

Pros

  • A mid-priced model snare drum with a punch and more potential
  • The snare ‘crack’ and volume is very much lauded
  • Lugs and the hardware are perfect for buzz-less performance

Cons

  • Add muffler if you need a quieter snare drum

 

PDP by DW Maple Snare Drum

PDP By DW Black Wax Maple Snare Drum 7x13
4.6
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The huge tone of the PDP by DW Maple Snare Drum is just hard to beat. That’s why we include this snare drum as best for the metal genre. Actually, this 10-ply all-maple 13 x 7-inch snare has a higher tuning range, which isn’t only for metal but for a wide variety of musical styles.

The finish is a stunning hand-applied wax-based sealer, which also protects the maple exterior. Complemented with split dual-turret legs, this snare also offers True-Pitch Tension Rods with Brass Inserts, chrome hardware, and Remo heads.

Pros

  • Articulate sound with clear voicing
  • Easy to tune to achieve the sound that you want
  • Multipurpose snare drum with good tonal vibrations

Cons

  • Throw-off performance will degrade through time
  • Looks concern — it appears to be dark gray rather than black wax

 

Best Snare Drums for Metal Buying Guide

Since you are looking for the best snare drums for metal, it only means two things. One, you need a snare drum with loud volume and great projection. And, second, you need something that is durable and can withstand heavy beatings, especially the rimshots.

metal band playing on stage

The market is flooded with thousands of snare drums promising these two things. However, it’s hard to just buy something in the market without testing them. Hence, we make a quick buying guide with three important points that will surely help you find the ultimate snare drum for you.

Shell Material

The very first thing you consider is the shell material — wood or metal. A lot of people say that metal snares are more suitable for metal genre than wood snares. Still, there are great wood snares that are perfect for this kind of genre, like our bet, the Little Squealer from Pork Pie.

best snare drum for metal

There are a lot of choices you’ll have when it comes to snare wood types. The most popular are the following:

Birch — Great projection with a good low-end response and clear treble.

Maple — More well-rounded than birch, for more aggressive styles.

Mahogany — Warm and more resonance in the mid-low frequencies.

Poplar — More like Mahogany but with more top-end responses.

For metal snares, on the other hand, there are five metals used on snare drums. They are aluminum, brass, steel, copper, and bronze. But, the most common of which is brass and steel.

Steel can cut through mixes with clear highs, with even mid and low frequencies. For brass, it can be dark-sounding with some attack.

Drum Head

First and foremost, we’d like to tell you that metal music comes in different kinds — death metal, metalcore, heavy metal, deathcore, and so on. However, all these are rooting for the punch and fat tone from the snare drum.

The punch helps you cut through the mix, especially if you are competing with aggressive guitar riffs. Then, a strong low-end since metal is driven by thumping groove.

While drum heads can easily be upgraded, maybe you can find snare drums with great stock heads. You know, to save money?

Snare Drum Sizes

Most snare drums have 14-inch diameter, but there are also 13-inch and even 10-inch. For the snare depth, it’s usually between 8-inch to as low as 3.5-inch.

Snare drums with a dimension of 14 x 5 or 5.5-inch can be easily tuned and played. You can feel punchy sound from these drums when tightly tuned. Slightly deeper snares with 14 x 6 or 6.5-inch dimensions offer a bit of bottom end. Even when the tuning is higher, there’s still some depth to the overall tone.

Deeper snare drums, around 14 x 7 or 8-inch, will give you low snare sound. Drums in this category can easily produce a deep tone with a thud if you want to. So, there’s a deeper meaning to the dimensions in drums rather than pure numbers.

If there’s still an internal battle within you whether the metal snare is louder than the wood snare, check out this YouTube video. This will clear your minds, plus, you might learn new tricks from the drummer.

FULL LIST: Best Snare Drums

 

Editor’s Choice

We Recommend
Pork Pie Little Squealer
4.7


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We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you.

With confidence and conviction, our ultimate choice for the best snare drum for metal is the Pork Pie Little Squealer. It’s made of 8-ply hard rock maple shells, 2.3mm heavy-duty hoops, and chrome-plated hardware. We’re talking about loud volume and great projection that is usually achieved with metal snare drums, but why a wood snare drum?

This is how surprisingly amazing Pork Pie is. A snare drum for metal isn’t only about the volume, it’s also about durability.

The ideal tone for metal can be achieved from almost any snare drum with proper tuning. But, you can’t get the durability from any snare, unless they are designed to be. In this case, only Pork Pie offers affordability, great tonality, and durability — all rolled into its Little Squealer Snare drum.

Get the Pork Pie Little Squealer Snare drum here.

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