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Stick holders are fantastic pieces of gear for gigging drummers that need quick access to drumsticks while playing.
They allow you to store a spare pair of sticks next to you for times when you drop a stick. They also allow you to place alternative stick types near you that are easy to reach.
They have simplistic designs, but there are quite a few to choose from. Here’s a list of all the best ones.
Vic Firth Drumstick Caddy – Best Overall
It has a simple design, but it works very well. Overall, it can hold about three pairs of 5A drumsticks. However, it won’t hold three pairs of larger sticks. So, I’d only bank on it holding two pairs, as not all drummers use 5A sticks.
The clamp is very sturdy, and it works flawlessly when keeping the holder in place. A lot of stick holders have flimsy attachment hardware to keep costs down, but the clamp here has the same design as typical cymbal stands.
The holder has rubber padding at the bottom, which does a lot to add to its value. If there was no rubber padding, the sticks would make a bit of a noise when dropping in.
The rubber takes that noise away, making it great for dropping the sticks in when no music is being played during a gig. It’s a small feature, but it’s one that makes a big difference.
I’d say this is one of the most reliable stick holders available, mostly due to the strength of the attachment mechanism.
Danmar Anodized Aluminum Stick Holder – Premium Option
The Danmar Anodized Aluminum Stick Holder (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is undoubtedly the best drumstick holder available. It’s the most expensive one on this list, though, which is why I’d only recommend it to drummers who are happy to spend a fair bit.
The main feature is that the holder section is made from anodized aluminum. It’s incredibly sturdy and durable, making it a stick holder that you only need to buy once. It will work wonderfully for decades.
Another cool feature that you won’t find being offered by most other stick holders is that you get a wide range of color choices. The available colors are black, blue, gold, green, purple, and red.
Most drummers will be fine with the black option, but you can add a bit more personality to your drum kit setup by getting one of the other colors.
The holder can house up to four pairs of sticks, and it has a curved section at the front that makes it easy to put sticks in and pull them out.
My only gripe with this holder is the mounting section. It works perfectly well, but I’d love for it to be a bit thicker, considering how pricey this stick holder is.
String Swing SH03 Stagehand Drumstick Holder – Best Budget Option
The String Swing SH03 Stagehand Drumstick Holder (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is the most affordable drumstick holder that I’m recommending for this list. It doesn’t cost much more than a pair of drumsticks.
So, it’s a good option for drummers that really don’t want to spend much. It’s more important for gigging drummers to have a sturdy and reliable holder, whereas beginner drummers will just need something that works at home. This may be the option for you if that fits your description.
The holder is made from thin plastic, and you can squeeze it with your hand. That gives you a bit of an idea of how thin and light it is.
The mounting mechanism doesn’t involve any screws or locked attachments. You just lean it against a stand and then angle it so it sticks.
While that makes it very easy to set up, it’s the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend this holder for gigging drummers. It will come loose much easier than any other stick holder on this list.
Overall, it’s just a good option for beginner drummers. It’s also passable for orchestral percussionists that don’t move much when they’re playing. It can be attached easily to a music stand.
Vater Multi-Pair Drumstick Holder
The best thing about this stick holder is that you can angle it in different ways. It adds a lot of versatility, and it also makes it fit easier into different drum setups. Stick holders that can’t be angled often sit in uncomfortable positions for some drummers.
The clamping system has a clip-on design that allows you to easily attach it to any stand without needing to tighten any screws. That makes it great for drummers who need to set up very quickly. It also makes it possible to easily remove the holder if it’s getting in your way.
I’ve heard a few drummers mention that the angling system can get stripped, and then the holder falls forward. However, that will only happen if you move it excessively. When it comes to mechanisms like this, you just need to make sure that you’re setting it tightly in a comfortable position that won’t be moved around a lot.
This is another stick holder that I’d happily recommend to drummers of all levels. It works well, and it’s solidly built. The angling system also gives it a bit of an edge.
Gibraltar SC-SH Nylon Stick Holder
The Gibraltar SC-SH Nylon Stick Holder (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is a good option for drummers who want to place a larger number of drumsticks next to them when playing. All the holders I’ve mentioned so far only keep up to four pairs of sticks in them, whereas this one can keep up to six.
The big difference, though, is that this stick holder is made from soft nylon. It has a bag-type feel to it, whereas most of the other stick holders have rigid designs.
This holder feels closer to a stick bag, and there are good and bad aspects of that. The benefits are that this holder is very light and easy to move around.
The downside is that it’s a lot less durable. I wouldn’t put it in a hardware bag with all your other stands, as the pointy bits from those stands can easily tear through the material here.
The mounting screws are quite thin and light. They’re the kinds of wingnuts that you’ll find on very cheap hardware. However, this holder is so light that I think they work perfectly. Anything bigger and bulkier would seem a bit out of place.
Vater Single-Pair Stick Holder
The Vater Single-Pair Stick Holder (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) has the exact same design as the previous Vater stick holder, but there are two thin holding sections instead of one large one.
The benefit of this design is that you can place a single pair of sticks in each holder. This is perfect for drummers that use different types of drumsticks for certain sections when playing. Keeping the sticks separate makes it easier to identify them when you swap your sticks out.
Just note that you need a drum key to work the angles of each holder. Each holder has a small tension rod that allows you to loosen it and adjust the angle.
I know a lot of drummers who like to angle one holder slightly higher than the other. That makes it even easier to differentiate the different types of sticks that you may place in the holders.
If you want to have more than one or two sticks in a holder, this one isn’t for you. The holding tubes are very thin, so you wouldn’t be able to squeeze more sticks in them. You may even struggle to place very thick sticks inside.
Meinl Stick & Brush Stick Grabber
The reason I’ve suggested this one for this list is that I love the clamping mechanism. It’s so simple, but it works so well, and that’s pretty much in line with the goal behind all of Meinl Stick & Brush’s products.
The downside of this one compared to the Vater option is that you can’t angle the holders. However, you’ll have an easy reach to your sticks if you place this on your hi-hat stand.
The other benefit of this holder is that it’s very affordable. It’s slightly more expensive than the String Swing holder, but it has far better build quality. If you’re looking for something cheap but reliable, this would be a better option compared to that holder. The clamping system is also much better.
The holders are also made from metal, which makes them very durable. This holder will last years and years, so it’s definitely worth mentioning for this list.
Ahead Compact Stick Holder
The Ahead Compact Stick Holder (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is similar to the Gibraltar holder with its nylon design. However, I’d say that this holder has the edge over that one due to having a much better clamping mechanism.
It has a quick-release clamp that makes it very easy to attach and detach. It’s similar to the plastic clips from the other holders I’ve already mentioned, but the fact that this clamp is made from metal makes it a lot more durable.
It just feels a lot higher in quality than those other ones. The trade-off is that the nylon bag is less durable due to it being softer material.
You can fit up to four pairs of sticks in this bag very comfortably. At a push, you could fit five or six if they were thinner types of sticks.
I love how this holder looks. The combination of the chrome attaching hardware with the black nylon bag makes it appealing to the eye.
As with the other nylon bag I already suggested, I’d recommend keeping this holder out of your hardware bag when traveling. It will break a lot easier than any of the hard drumstick holders on this list.
K&M 16450 Drumstick Holder
The K&M 16450 Drumstick Holder (compare price on Sweetwater and Amazon) is yet another soft material stick holder to check out. This one is far more luxurious than the nylon options, though. It’s also way more durable.
This stick holder is made from felt, and it feels quite similar to heavy-duty backpacks that people use to hike with.
You can fit up to six pairs in here, and I’d be less afraid to store this holder in a hardware bag than I would the nylon holders.
The extra durability comes with a higher price, though. This holder costs a few dollars less than the Danmar option, making it the second most expensive stick holder on this list.
The attachment mechanism is very stable, having a simple screw-on design that allows you to clamp it onto any upright stand. It makes this one of the few holders that you can place almost anywhere.
If you’re happy to spend a bit more, this is a great option for drummers that like the idea of a softer stick holder. It just doesn’t offer multiple color options as the Danmar stick holder does.
What To Look For In a Drumstick Holder
Drumstick Holder vs Stick Bag
One of the questions you may be wondering about buying a stick holder is why it’s a better idea than attaching a stick bag to your floor tom. For some drummers, it is. Other drummers may prefer using a full-on stick bag.
For me personally, I love the added security that a stick holder brings. It’s much easier to pull a stick out of a stick holder than it is to pull one from a stick bag, simply because there’s a lot less going on.
With a stick bag, it’s so easy to grab the wrong stick, making things a bit awkward when doing it in the middle of a song.
I think every drummer would benefit from utilizing both tools. Get a stick bag to house all your drumsticks, and then place a stick holder on your hi-hat stand to put the most important sticks for gigs in.
The attachment mechanism should be the first thing that you look at when buying a drum stick holder. You’ll find various types, and it’s good to know what they are so that you can understand what you may prefer.
Some stick holders will simply clamp onto a stand without needing to tighten any screws. These are much easier to place, but they don’t feel as secure. There’s more room for them to fall off the stand if you bump them or play too hard.
Stick holders with attaching screws are a lot bulkier, but they’re far more durable and reliable. I’d suggest getting these if you’re someone who gigs often and needs all your gear to work as well as possible.
You’ll also find stick holders that clamp onto a stand by placing them at an angle. These are the least reliable kinds of stick holders, and they’re also the cheapest. I’d only recommend these to drummers who aren’t able to spend more money on better options.
The holder section is the next important feature to look at. This will determine how your sticks can be placed and how many sticks you can place. Some holders can house six pairs of drumsticks, while others can only hold one.
If you don’t have a stick bag tied to your floor tom, I’d suggest getting a holder that can have a few pairs of sticks inside. You never know what might happen at a gig, and the more sticks you have, the better.
If you have a stick bag tied to your floor tom with several pairs of drumsticks inside, it’s better to get a holder that only takes one or two pairs. You can put the important sticks in there, ready to pick up whenever you need to. All the less important sticks can be placed in the stick bag.
You’re going to find two main types of drumstick holders. Some are hard and rigid, while others are soft. The softer holders generally hold more pairs of drumsticks, while the hard ones are more limited.
However, the hard holders are far more durable, and you can place them inside a hardware bag without worrying about them getting damaged. Soft holders can tear easier than you think, and it just takes one hi-hat rod to puncture a huge hole.
There are also different types of materials used within those two holder categories. The most durable stick holder that I suggested in the list above is made from aluminum. That’s a stick holder than will never break.
Some of the other holders are made from lighter materials that will end up breaking over time.
The nylon stick holders are the least durable, whereas the felt stick holders are a bit more rigid.
Weight isn’t something major to think about, as all drumstick holders are very light. However, the hard ones are heavier than the soft ones.
This may affect your decision on which type to get, so it’s something worth noting. The types of drumsticks you use will also affect how heavy the holder is.
If you put a heavy stick holder on a flimsy stand, the stand will fall over at some point.
All drumstick holders range from $10 to about $70. Most of them sit somewhere between $20 and $40, with the outliers being the budget and luxury options.
You’ll get the same amount of use from a $20 stick holder that you’ll get from a $40 one. The higher-priced one will just feel slightly more luxurious.
It’s good to know that drumstick holders really don’t cost much. They’re a piece of gear that I think every drummer should have, and buying one won’t set you back by much.
If you don’t have a drumstick holder yet, just think of it costing the same amount as a few pairs of drumsticks. When you’re ready to buy new sticks, consider getting a stick holder in place of the extra pairs that you may have bought.
Best Drumstick Holder Brands
You’ll find loads of smaller brands creating good drumstick holders. However, those brands are typically only available in their local areas, as their distribution isn’t large enough to cover music stores around the world.
If you want a stick holder that can easily be found wherever you look, here are the brands to check out.
Vic Firth is an obvious brand to mention here. They’re the most popular stick brand in the world, and they’ve made a few good drumstick holders over the years.
You’ll find far more drumstick bags from the brand than you will stick holders, but the few stick holders available are of excellent quality.
Gibraltar is a brand that mainly specializes in making drum hardware, so the brand actually offers more stick bag options than any other.
A cool thing about Gibraltar products is that they’re usually more affordable than high-end products from the main drum brands.
Danmar Percussion is an older percussion brand. They make a lot of vintage gear, but their aluminum stick holder is one of the best holders on the market.
The brand isn’t as popular as the others mentioned here, but the sheer quality of that holder is what makes me suggest this brand to everyone I know who is looking for a good stick holder.
Meinl Stick & Brush
Meinl Stick & Brush is one of the many connecting brands to Meinl. Their product range is a lot more simplified than what the other brands offer, so there are fewer options. However, all of them are seriously good.
Simplicity is key with this brand, and that’s what you’ll find with their available drumstick holder.
Top Drumstick Holders, Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, any drumstick holder will do its job and work well. However, there are differences in designs that make certain holders more attractive than others.
Most of them have very similar price tags, so it’s a good idea to choose a stick holder that appeals to you more than any others. Doing that will ensure that you’ll be happy with it for a long time.