Best Cymbal Stand
Cymbal stands are the most abundant piece of hardware present in any drummer's setup. The following lists provide a selection of the best cymbal stands for straight and boom varieties as well as the best hi-hat stands on the market. For additional information to help you in your search, check out our cymbal stand buyers guide provided below.
Best Hi-Hat Stands:
The hi-hat stand has the most moving parts of any piece of drumming hardware, so its construction has to be flawless. Be ready to spend a little more money on a hi-hat stand than other piece of drum hardware because the quality of the stand will definitely affect your playing. Naturally it’s a good idea to invest in the best hi-hat stand available, because the right one can last you a lifetime.
Just as with bass drum pedals, there are multiple options for the drive mechanism of the hi-hat pedal including chain, strap, direct, and liquid types. The driving mechanism is a very personal choice that feels different from one person to another. Most of these hi-hat stands we’ve chosen are available in multiple varieties of driving mechanism, but we recommend the configurations noted above.
We’ve chosen the following five best hi-hat stands because of their high level of responsiveness which is a critical part of their performance. A hi-hat stand can actually affect your ability to execute specific patterns with the left foot, so the most responsive stand available should be considered. All of these picks have a variety of easily adjustable settings to suit your specific preferences including drive tension, leg rotation, and even tilt in some cases. Additionally, these picks either have three legs that can be rotated, or two legs that are out of the way to give you a good range of positing options. And since your typical hi-hat stand gets kicked around a bit, we made sure these picks are manufactured to handle a decent amount of punishment.
DW 9000 hardware is some of the best drumming hardware available with the DW9500 being an amazing hi-hat stand. The pedal is incredibly sensitive and perfect for executing advanced hi-hat patterns with your foot. If you truly want the best hi-hat stand and price is no object, aim for the 9500. Read Full Review
I’ve been loyal to Iron Cobra for my entire career, and the Tama Iron Cobra Lever Glide HH905N is one of my favorite hi-hat stands. It’s extremely durable and offers the most options and adjustable settings of any hi-hat currently on the market. While having a slightly different feel than other Iron Cobra pedals, it still has the speed, quality and responsiveness this manufacturer is well known for. Read Full Review
Tama's Speed Cobra HH915N is the most recent of their amazing hi-hat stand designs, featuring a slightly different feel due to a longer pedal board. This stand is equipped with multiple features which allow for fast and easy adjustments to improve playability. Read Full Review
Gibraltar’s 9707ML-LD is a very unique hi-hat stand because if its liquid drive mechanism which delivers a natural responsiveness some drummers instantly fall in love with. This stand exemplifies the durability and craftsmanship the Gibraltar name is known for. Read Full Review
Yamaha hardware produces some of the best drumming hardware on the market and their HS 850 offers tremendous value for a hi-hat stand. Made from high quality metal, the stand remains lightweight at the same time. It’s simply built to last and will still feel and perform great after continuous demanding use. Read Full Review
Best Cymbal Boom Stand:
The most common piece of hardware owned by any drummer, most have many cymbal stands in their setup and most of them are boom stands. Boom stands have a boom arm sticking out from the stand allowing a cymbal to be placed in almost any position. Boom stands are most useful to drummers who have a lot of toms and need their cymbals positioned over them. Many drummers these days configure their setups to exclusively contain boom stands with most high quality boom stands able to be converted into a straight stand by collapsing the boom arm inside the center tube making the straight stand almost obsolete. Honestly, the only reason to buy a straight stand is to save some money and although typically boom stands are more expensive than straight stands, they’re worth the added flexibility you’re gaining.
The following five best cymbal boom stands have been chosen based on their durability, weight, adjustability, convenience, and value. Durability is the most important criteria for hardware, and this is especially true for cymbal stands. The nightmarish experience of having a cymbal stand fall apart during a gig is something these cymbal stands on this list will help prevent. All of these stands are reliable, manufactured by the very best hardware companies.
This list also offers a balance of lightweight and heavy-duty models. The lightweight stands on this list are still very sturdy and well made, but should only be used for lighter cymbals with reasonable boom arm extension. Lightweight stands are important because they keep gear bags light and are still strong enough to supports smaller cymbals. Heavy-duty stands are a must when using heavy cymbals or when using cymbal positioning that requires a fully outstretched boom arm. All of the heavy-duty stands on this list are true workhorses which can hold the heaviest cymbals and and survive the roughest treatment. Additionally, all of the stands we've chosen have boom arms which provide unlimited options for quick and easy angle adjustment for the tilting arm.
Pearl's 930 series hardware offers some of the best values on the market and the BC930 is no exception. This pick is a very reliable boom stand that’s easy to adjust and it doesn’t move or rattle so it's great for studio use. Read Full Review
Yamaha Hardware is some of the most reliable drumming hardware available thanks to the durable and extremely quiet construction. The Yamaha CS 865 is extremely sturdy, and can support even the heaviest of cymbals with full boom extension. Read Full Review
The Yamaha CS655A is the best single-braced, easily adjustable stand on the market which is perfect for crash cymbals and is easily adjusted. It’s lightweight enough to pick up with one hand and easily adjust during a gig. Read Full Review
PDP'c PDCB800 is one of the best boom cymbal stands because it is inexpensive and still very durable. It’s a perfect stand for smaller crashes and rides while the same design doesn't take up a lot of space in your hardware setup. Read Full Review
DW's DWCP9799 is the best boom cymbal stand that can accommodate two cymbals. DW has always made reliable hardware that can take all the abuse that a gigging drummer can provide. This stand is a must for drummers who have many cymbals and need a compact stand to add to their setup. Read Full Review
Best Straight Cymbal Stand:
Straight cymbal stands are simple pieces of hardware which don’t have many moving parts. They’re called “straight” stands because there isn’t a boom arm for side-to-side cymbal placement. These stands are most useful to drummers who don’t have a lot of toms and have plenty of space in their setup. I usually mount my heavy ride cymbals on a straight stands because I feel that they are less likely to tip over. Drummers can often put a heavy cymbal on a boom stand and extend the arm so much that it sacrifices stability. A straight stand eliminates the possibility of this happening, even accidentally. While straight stands are typically less expensive than boom stands, they aren’t as flexible. This list mainly features heavy-duty models with double-braced legs, but some sturdy lightweight stands are also included.
We’ve chosen the following five best straight cymbal stands because they’ve all been built to be durable enough to last reliably through years of use, either on the road or in the studio. Additionally, all of these stands provide unlimited options for quick and easy angle adjustment to the tilter. Additionally, the tilters are very reliable themselves and designed so the cymbal will never move out of position while you're playing.
The Pearl C-930 straight cymbal stand has won several awards for being one of the best pieces of hardware on the market. This sturdy stand can support even the heaviest of cymbals and will last through a lifetime of dedicated use. Read Full Review
DW has always been known as the top name in drums, and their 9710 straight stand is one of the best straight cymbal stands available. One of the best single-braced straight stands available, this durably built pick has a lot of great features intended for the professional drummer. Read Full Review
Yamaha is one of the most trusted names in drums and their hardware is amazing. The CS-850 is extremely heavy-duty and can be taken on tour without worry thanks to high quality metals and components used in its construction. Read Full Review
Yamaha makes some of the highest quality hardware available, and I have been loyal to them my entire career. The CS660A is their best lightweight straight stand because it can support even the heaviest cymbals. Read Full Review
The PDP PDCS 800 is a very affordable, yet reliable, straight cymbal stand. While it doesn’t have a lot of the frills of higher end stands, it does provide the student and casual drummer alike with everything they need to provide a solid cymbal foundation. Read Full Review
Cymbal Stand Buyer’s Guide
The cymbal stand is the most abundant piece of hardware in any drummer’s setup. With so many different types of cymbals stands most beginning drummers have a hard time determining which type is best for them. This buyer’s guide will help you choose the appropriate stands for your needs.
Cymbal Stand Type
There are three main types of cymbal stand including straight, boom, and hi-hat. Most drummers require at least one of each stand type in addition to other specialty stands as needed.
This stand is used to mount a pair of hi-hat cymbals. It has a pedal which opens and closes the two cymbals as well as adjusting the tension holding the hi-hats together.
Straight Cymbal Stand
This stand is used for mounting ride, crash, China, and splash cymbals. Straight cymbal stands have an adjustable set of legs and a height-adjustable center pole. The cymbal is mounted on top of the main pole with a tilter for adjusting the cymbals angle.
Boom Cymbal Stand
Boom stands are similar to straight stands with the exception of the boom arm extending from the center pole. This boom arm offers almost unlimited options for cymbal placement with most drummers having several of these stands in their setup.
It’s important to note that most boom arms can be folded into the stand so it can double as a straight stand.
Cable Hi-Hat Stand
These stands have a cable attaching the pedal to the top of the stand. Cable hi-hat stands are useful for drummers who don’t want their hi-hat cymbals placed directly above the pedal.
Cymbal Extension Arm
This is a metal arm typically screwed into the mounting bolt of a cymbal stand. This arm allows for a cymbal to be mounted above another cymbal while providing some space between the two.
Most drummers use this to mount a smaller cymbal on top of a larger cymbal. I will sometimes mount a splash cymbal on top of my ride cymbal using this device.
Closed Hi-Hat Boom Arm
This hi-hat stand doesn’t have a pedal and therefore can’t be opened or closed with the foot pedal. This stand is most often used to mount a secondary hi-hat on the side of the kit opposite of the primary hi-hat. It’s commonly sold as an attachment which can be added to an existing cymbal stand.
Cymbal stands have between two and four metal legs but most have three. These legs keep the stand upright and prevent it from moving around while you play.
All cymbal stands have a metal center pole that’s usually height-adjustable. Some stands have a series of interlocking metal poles for additional adjustment options.
This is the mechanism at the top of the stand allowing the angle of the cymbal to be adjusted.
The boom arm is exclusive to boom stands. This is an adjustable arm that extends out for more options in cymbal placement.
This is a metal bolt that goes through the hole in the center of the cymbal, keeping it in place. There are two different sizes of mounting bolts, 6mm and 8mm so it’s important to know what size mounting bolt you have in order to purchase the correct corresponding sleeves and washers.
This is a rubber or plastic sleeve which wraps around the mounting bolt, preventing the cymbal from getting scratched by the metal bolt. It’s important to buy sleeves which correspond with the size of the mounting bolt.
This is a metal washer keeping the cymbal in place on the mounting bolt.
This wingnut is screwed on to the very top of the mounting bolt and keeps the cymbal attached to the mounting bolt.
These are round pieces of felt situated under and above the cymbal to prevent the cymbals from being scratched by either the washer or wingnut.
A cymbal stand often has rubber feet at the end of the legs preventing it from sliding around while you play.
This is a thin metal pole exclusive to hi-hat stands. It’s located inside of the center pole and attached to the footboard by a chain or strap. This rod will move up and down, controlling the tension holding the two hi-hat cymbals together.
This is a flat piece of metal exclusive to hi-hat stands. When the foot applies pressure to the footboard, the hi-hat cymbals are pulled together.
The part of the hi-hat stand supporting the bottom hi-hat cymbal. It often houses a bolt which adjusts the bottom hi-hat cymbals angle.
Hi-Hat Pedal Mechanism
A chain driven pedal has a metal chain connecting the footboard to a metal pole which opens and closes the two hi-hat cymbals. Just as with bass drum pedals, chain driven hi-hat pedals are popular because of their strength and ease of use.
A strap driven hi-hat pedal works in the same manner as a chain driven pedal except a leather or plastic strap takes the place of a chain.
A cymbal stands features will determine the ease in which the cymbal can be placed a comfortable playing location. Certain features will also add stability to the stand.
The width of the spread of the legs should be able to be adjusted with a turn of a wingnut. Some legs can also rotate to move out of the way for greater ease of placement.
The legs should have rubber feet at the end of them to prevent the stand from sliding.
Double vs. Single Braced Legs
In most situations double braced legs are sturdier than single braced. This is also dependent on the thickness of the metal used to make the legs as thicker gauge metal is more stable but also heavier.
Adjustable Hi-Hat Pedal
Some hi-hat stands have adjustable pedals for more or less tension. Often the angle of the pedal is also adjustable.
Hi-Hat Footboard Tread
As with bass drum pedals, some hi-hat pedals have a smooth surface for easy sliding and others have textured surface grips for enhanced control.
Gearless or “Toothless” tilters allow the cymbal to be adjusted to any angle and are often more reliable than tilters with gears or teeth.
Some tilters even have a ball and socket joint allowing for additional tilting options. These tilters sometimes strip if they aren’t properly adjusted so it’s important to unscrew the wingnut each time the tilter angle is .
Collapsible Boom Arm
Some boom stands can essentially change into a straight stand by collapsing the boom arm into the center pole.
Adjustable Center Pole
The center pole should be height adjustable with a simple turn of a wingnut.
These are metal washers preventing a cymbal from falling if a wingnut fails.
Insulated Metal Tubes
Some cymbal stands have insulated tubes to prevent metal-on-metal noise.
The only cymbal stand actually affecting your technical ability to play is the hi-hat stand. To choose the right hi-hat stand for your needs, see if you prefer a chain or a strap driven pedal. You can determine this by trying both options and then deciding which one feels more responsive to your foot movements.
Start by playing some simple hi-hat closures with whatever foot you use to play your hi-hat pedal; right-handed players often use their left foot so they can play the bass drum pedal with the right foot.
Next, play eighth notes with a stick on the top cymbal and slowly open and close the hi-hat with your foot. While playing, observe the responsiveness of the hi-hat pedal with your foot movements.
There should be a bolt or screw allowing you to change the angle of the bottom cymbal, so you’ll also want to determine how easy and effective it is to change the angle. You can refer to my list of “Best Hi-Hat Stands” for more information and recommendations for specific stand models and brands.
A boom or straight cymbal stand’s performance is based on the number of angle adjustment options it offers. Gearless tilters are very important because they don’t limit cymbal placement. Boom stands usually allow more options for placement and can also double as a straight stand. Since performance also relies on limiting stand noise, thick rubber feet and insulated tubes are the best options in studio recording situations.
Most companies have several different lines of hardware with varying degrees of quality with each model number. Usually one line will cater to professional drummers with these stands perform the best in recording situations.
Most manufacturers offer several different lines of hardware with their reliability largely based on the thickness and quality of the metal used to make a stand.
Manufacturers will usually offer a product line geared towards beginners where the equipment is lightweight but also not as reliable. Following are one or two mid-level lines which are lightweight but sturdier than beginner-level options. These mid-level offerings are heavy enough to take a beating but are light enough to carry around with ease. Finally most companies offer a heavy-duty line with thick gauge metal tubes and double braced legs.
The boom stands usually have counter weights to balance heavy cymbals at extreme angles. They are generally the most expensive stands available.
There are some values to be found in off-brand cymbal stands for practicing, but these stands are often too loud to use in the studio. Also, while cheaper off-brand cymbal stands usually hold up well in the practice room, they usually break down during extended gigging.
Most manufacturers offer several lines of hardware varying in quality and price. Refer to my Best Cymbal Stand list for more information on specific brands and models.
Heavy-duty stands with multiple features are usually more expensive than lightweight stands. However, I recommend splurging on the best hi-hat stand available because it has the most moving parts. The best straight and boom cymbal stands are often not necessarily the most expensive ones, so refer to my Best Cymbal Stand list for help finding values.