6 Best Drum Keys (May 2020)

What Is The Best Drum Key?

IMAGERECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Drop-forged magnetic head drum key
  • Durable, ergonomic construction
  • Rattle-free design
  • Torque-handle
  • Magnetic head
  • Durable, ergonomic construction
  • Smooth Tuning Feel
  • Solid at 2.5 ounces
  • Improved Key/Rod Connection
  • Fixed head ratchet drum key
  • Access hard to reach areas
  • Achieve high torque
  • Large oversized rubber handle
  • Produces high torque
  • Ergonomic design
  • 13 Gig ready tools
  • Heat-treated S2 alloy tools
  • Fits comfortably in your pocket
  • Fits into electric screwdrivers and drills
  • Lightning fast drum head changes
  • Used by professional drum techs

Drum Key Reviews

Evans Magnetic Head Drum Key

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FEATURES
  • Drop-forged magnetic head drum key
  • Durable, ergonomic construction
  • Rattle-free design
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Evans Magnetic Head Drum Key Review

This Evans Magnetic Head Drum Key is a super practical drum tool. It features a magnetic head that stays in place whilst tuning – how useful is that! I can’t tell you how many times drum keys slip when I’m tuning, so this is honestly a lifesaver.

The overall design is excellent. It is drop-forged for extreme durability and it’s rattle-free. This means it fits tightly over the tension rod and it won’t fall out or make noise whilst you play.

I also love that this drum key has a knurled knob on the top that is easy to spin for fast head-changes. This combined with the magnetic head makes this the perfect drum key for serious drummers.

Pros

  • Magnetic head stays in place whist playing or tuning
  • Knurled knob for fast head changes
  • Rattle free over the tension rod

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer high torque

Evans Torque Key

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FEATURES
  • Torque-handle
  • Magnetic head
  • Durable, ergonomic construction
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Evans Torque Key Review

The Evans Torque Key is one of the most popular drum keys around. It has a bunch of great features that makes this a really useful drum tool. The best feature is its torque handle that can be set to a desired tension – meaning each lug around the drum can be tuned with the exact same tension.

It also has a magnetic head that helps prevent slipping, and it stays firmly in place on the tension rod whilst you play and tune drums.

Additionally, the Evans Torque Key also features a knurled knob allowing you to spin it fast for quick head changes. All of these features make this the best drum key to help you achieve fast and accurate tuning.

Pros

  • Tune drums with an even desired tension
  • Magnetic head stays firmly put and won’t slip
  • Knurled knob for fast head changes

Cons

  • A little pricey

Snareweight Speedy Drum Tuning Key

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FEATURES
  • Smooth Tuning Feel
  • Solid at 2.5 ounces
  • Improved Key/Rod Connection
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Snareweight Speedy Drum Tuning Key Review

Up next we have the Snareweight Speedy Drum Tuning Key for review. I personally love Snareweight products, and this is a solid drum key that weighs in at 2.5 ounces! It feels great to hold – it’s perfectly balanced and weighted.

This impressive Snareweight drum key is so easy to tune with. It has a simple yet thoughtful design and it just feels so good to hold. It won’t move or rattle at all whilst on a tension rod – it’ll stay firmly in place.

This drum key is perfect for making drum head adjustments or fast head changes with the skateboard wheel top, which you use to spin the key for fast tuning. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s totally worth it!

Pros

  • Perfectly weighted and balanced
  • Very good build quality
  • Plastic top offers storage and fast tuning

Cons

  • Lacks some additional features for its price

Gibraltar SC-RK Ratchet Drum Key

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FEATURES
  • Fixed head ratchet drum key
  • Access hard to reach areas
  • Achieve high torque
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Gibraltar SC-RK Ratchet Drum Key Review

The Gibraltar Ratchet Drum Key is a great quality tool that has the advantage of fitting in places most standard drum keys don’t. The ratchet action is comfortable and ergonomic to use, whilst saving your knuckles from knocking against the hoop of the drum!

This really is a must-have drum tool that makes tuning faster, easier and more precise. It’s perfect for adjusting hard to reach to places such as drum thrones, drum hardware and resonant drum heads.

Overall this is a fantastic drum tuner key that offers amazing value for money and is very well built.

Pros

  • Perfect for hard to reach places
  • Affordable
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Not very compact

DW Hi Torque Drum Key

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FEATURES
  • Large oversized rubber handle
  • Produces high torque
  • Ergonomic design
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DW Hi Torque Drum Key Review

This DW Hi Torque Drum Key has a large, oversized rubber handle that allows you to apply much more torque than a standard drum key. It’s robust, ergonomic and built to last.

This is one of the best drum keys for setting up hardware such as cymbal stands and drum thrones. It has more leverage and grip than a conventional key and is much easier to hold.

It’s a rock-solid drum key that should be your go-to for live performances and setting up drum hardware. It’s also perfect for marching snares that need to be cranked up tight!

Pros

  • Perfect for applying extra tension where needed
  • Rubber handle for good grip
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • No negatives besides it’s slightly large

Pearl Tech Tool Drum Key

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  • 13 Gig ready tools
  • Heat-treated S2 alloy tools
  • Fits comfortably in your pocket
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Pearl Tech Tool Drum Key Review

The Pearl Tech Tool is an awesome piece of kit. It’s a compact drum tool that contains 13 individual tools specifically designed for all types of drums and hardware. This drum tool has you covered for every situation possible!

Each tool is forged to exact tolerances using heat-treated alloy, completed with an anodized black finish. The TechTool includes 6 hex keys, 5 screwdrivers, a drum key and a bottle opener too!

If you’re a serious gigging drummer then the Pearl TechTool is a vital addition for your drumstick bag. It’s compact and practical – the perfect drumming accessory.

Pros

  • 13 Useful tools in one
  • Excellent design and build quality
  • Guaranteed to come in handy!

Cons

  • Not ideal for changing drumheads

Gibraltar SC-DB Drill Bit Drum Key

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FEATURES
  • Fits into electric screwdrivers and drills
  • Lightning fast drum head changes
  • Used by professional drum techs
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Gibraltar SC-DB Drill Bit Drum Key Review

Not exactly a drum key, but nonetheless a perfect accessory for changing drum heads fast! The Gibraltar Drill Bit Drum Key attaches onto most screwdrivers and drills allowing you to change drum heads at lightning speed.

This drill bit drum tool saves a lot of time and effort when changing drum heads on a complete drum set, which can sometimes take as long as an hour when you take into account both the top and bottom heads on each drum.

The Gibraltar Drill Bit tool is super affordable and it’s one of the most useful accessories out there for changing drum heads.

Pros

  • Fastest way to change drum heads
  • Very cheap accessory
  • Incredibly practical

Cons

  • Careful whilst tuning drums with power tools!

Drum Key Buyer’s Guide

Drum keys are simple drumming accessories. They feature a small square head that is designed to fit over tension rods, and they are used to either increase or decrease tension, allowing you to tune drums and re-skin them.

Classic drum keys are cheap and cheerful. You still see them everywhere, and often they will come included with a drum set or piece of drumming hardware. When I bought my newest DW cymbal stands, I had four more drum keys to add to my collection!

But whilst these drum keys do the job per se, there are better quality and more innovative products out there. Now these are the drum keys I have featured in this guide! Features such as magnetic heads and knurled tops really make tuning drums and changing drum heads much easier.

Other drum keys feature a ratchet design, or oversized handles and these are ideal for tightening drum hardware that needs to stay as tight as possible. These are perfect for setting tension on drum thrones or cymbal stands.

All of the drum tuner keys featured in this guide will help save a lot of time and effort when tuning drums, giving you more time to focus on playing!

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