It’s a good idea to have a range of different drumsticks in your stick bag. Hot rods and rute sticks are great options to consider. They provide a softer sound from the drums, and unlike brushes, drum rods allow you to play the drums the same way you would with sticks.

There are lots of hot rods from different brands. Most of them are fairly different from each other, making it hard to choose which multi rod drumsticks to get. So, here’s a list of some of the best ones to help you make a well-informed buying decision.

What are the Best Hot Rod Sticks?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
Promark Hot Rods
  • 16” length
  • Birch dowels
  • Short plastic grip
Meinl Stick & Brush Bamboo Multi-sticks
  • 16” length
  • Made from bamboo
  • 2 control rings
Vater VSPS Splash Sticks
  • 16” length
  • 19 birch dowels
  • Extended rubber grip
Vic Firth Rute X Poly Synthetic
  • 16.25” length
  • Hickory handles
  • Synthetic dowels
Vater Monster Brush
  • 15.8” length
  • Polymer strands
  • 2 control rings
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Hot Rods Drumsticks Reviews

Promark Hot Rods

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  • 16” length
  • Birch dowels
  • Short plastic grip
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Promark Hot Rods Review

The Promark Hot Rods are the most standard hot rod drumsticks on this list. Interestingly, Promark was the first stick company to introduce rute sticks for the drum kit. These hot rods have all that history behind them.

They have several birch dowels that are wrapped tightly together to give you slappy drum tones. You get a good amount of attack from the drums, making these sticks great for keeping up the intensity when you’re playing.

These sticks are quite thin compared to most hot rods out there, making them easier to play fast patterns. They also keep the volume down even more thanks to the thin body.

Overall, they’re a fantastic pair of sticks, ready to take on any gig.

Pros

  • Offers a good amount of attack
  • Thin and great for fast playing
  • One of the first-ever pairs of hot rods

Cons

  • The dowels break if you play too aggressively

Meinl Stick & Brush Bamboo Multi-sticks

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  • 16” length
  • Made from bamboo
  • 2 control rings
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Meinl Stick & Brush Bamboo Multi-sticks Review

These drum rods are intended to be played on cajons. However, they give an excellent sound when used on a drum set. The Meinl Multi-sticks are made of bamboo which brings out a fairly sharp tone from the drums.

They’re fairly similar to the previous pair of rods but they have a few added additions. They have two control rings that you can shift up or down to change the tightness of the rods. The tighter they are, the more attack they’ll bring out of the drums.

There’s also a small bit of center wrap, boosting the amount of rebound that you get from the rods. Since there’s a good amount of rebound, you can easily play double strokes and any other hand patterns that require great finger control.

Pros

  • Control rings let you choose how the sticks feel and sound
  • Great amount of rebound
  • Made for cajons, but sound great on drums

Cons

  • Bamboo rods break over time

Vater VSPS Splash Sticks

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  • 16” length
  • 19 birch dowels
  • Extended rubber grip
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Vater VSPS Splash Sticks Review

Vater is a stick company that is quite well-known for making unique auxiliary drumsticks. These Vater VSPS Splash Sticks are one of the options on their long list of products.

The biggest unique thing about these sticks compared to other multi rod drumsticks is that they have an extended rubber grip. It’s much longer than the standard rubber grip, giving you more room to hold it.

It’s a great pair of rods for drummers who like to hold their sticks nearer to the center. It also allows you to play softer when holding your sticks like that.

There are no control rings on these sticks, so you get an open sound with a fair bit of attack. The sticks are also quite thick, meaning you can get plenty of volume if you need to.

Pros

  • Extended grip gives you more room to put your hands
  • Deliver open tone with great attack
  • Plenty of volume thanks to the thickness

Cons

  • Not everyone will like the extended grip

Vic Firth Rute X Poly Synthetic

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  • 16.25” length
  • Hickory handles
  • Synthetic dowels
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Vic Firth Rute X Poly Synthetic Review

The Vic Firth Rute X Poly Synthetics sticks are a highly unique option on the list. They combine the feel of standard drum sticks with the sound of classic hot rods.

The base and shaft of the sticks are hickory, and they feel just as comfortable to hold as standard drumsticks. It’s much easier to adapt to using these sticks than it is with other hot rods.

There are synthetic dowels at the end of each stick that feel and play like rute sticks. They have a control ring that allows you to adjust how much attack and rebound they have.

These sticks are slightly more expensive than the others on the list. However, they offer more durability along with a unique design.

Pros

  • Feels like using normal drumsticks
  • Highly durable
  • Unique design

Cons

  • More expensive than other options

Vater Monster Brush

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  • 15.8” length
  • Polymer strands
  • 2 control rings
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Vater Monster Brush Review

The Vater Monster Brushes are technically considered to be brushes instead of hot rod sticks. However, they act the same as hot rods when you tighten them with the two control rings.

They have several polymer strands that give a very warm sound when playing the drums. The warmth is thanks to the sheer thickness of these sticks.

While the other sticks on the list have great attack, these hot rods are better for blending into mixes rather than cutting through them.

It’s great to have the added versatility as you can pull the control rings off to get more of a ‘brush sound’ on the drums.

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Produces warm sound from the drums
  • Can also get a brush sound

Cons

  • They’re quite thick

Hot Rod Buying Guide

Stick Material

The material that the hot rods are made of will determine how they sound. It will also determine how durable they’re going to be. The standard rods are made from birch and have an open attacking tone.

Birch rods tend to break the fastest out of all the different types of rods, so be careful not to play too aggressively with them.

Plastic rods don’t have as much attack, but they last much longer as you can’t chip away at the plastic.

Size

Most drum rods like the Promark Hot Rods, the Vater VSPS Splash Sticks and the Meinl Stick & Brush Bamboo Multi-sticks are 16” in length. They heavily differ in thickness, though. Some are thick while others are thin. The thicker a pair of hot rods are, the more volume you’re going to get from the drums. However, it will be harder to play fast patterns like you would with a standard pair of wooden drumsticks.

Thinner rods will be easier to play with, but they won’t have as much depth in tone. They’ll bring out more high-end from the drums.

Control Rings

Hot rods like the Vater Monster Brush and the Vic Firth Rute X Poly Synthetic have control rings while others don’t. Control rings allow you to adjust the tightness of the rods. This will change how they feel as well as how they sound.

If you want to have as much versatility as possible, you should get a pair of rods that have control rings. You’ll be able to switch things up whenever you need to.

This isn’t to say that rods without control rings are bad, though. They typically sound and feel great as they are. They just don’t have the versatility.

Final Thoughts

Hot rods are one of the key parts of a gigging drummer’s stick bag along with drum brushes and mallets. You’re going to need them if you ever play gigs with portable drum sets in coffee shops and restaurants.

If you’re playing straightforward tunes, they’re a better option than brushes as they still feel like you’re playing with solid drumsticks.

Just make sure to find a pair that you really like as they can sometimes be a hit or miss purchase. Not everyone has the same taste when it comes to hot rods, so choose carefully!

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