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  #1  
Old 08-14-2008, 05:53 AM
ajgutierrez23 ajgutierrez23 is offline
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Default strongest wood for sticks

This may sound dumb... But is there a type of wood that last the longest? Also whats your favorite drum stick brand? I use sam ash specials because they are $3.oo but they get chipped too easily. Help me out : ]
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I find Vaters last the longest for me. Vic firth not to bad as with promark.zildjian: dont even bother.As for woods got no idea but sound should come first as different sticks (wood size tip)sound alot different.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I believe Oak is generally accepted as the strongest wood for stick-making. For example, ProMark's Shira Kashi Japanese Oak sticks are great. They are very heavy for their size however.
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I don't really notice much of a difference in longevity between oak and hickory.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

Oak seems to shred more to me. I played the Promark 747 Japanese Oak for a long long time and those sticks would really get chunky and shredded with bits of slivers and wood everywhere. I switched to Vaters which are Hickory and they so far seem to not do that.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

Hickory,Oak,Maple there all hardwoods, what makes a stronger stick is the number grains in a stick the higher the number the stronger the stick.what I mean by grains is take the but end of the stick if you count only 2 or 3 grains that stick won't. last a stick with 8 or more will last a lot longer. Music stores hate me because I will grab 20 Pairs of sticks and pick the best 2-3 pairs out of them LOL. hey at $8-$11 for a pair of sticks you better grab the best pairs you can LOL.

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  #7  
Old 08-14-2008, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
Hickory,Oak,Maple there all hardwoods, what makes a stronger stick is the number grains in a stick the higher the number the stronger the stick.what I mean by grains is take the but end of the stick if you count only 2 or 3 grains that stick won't. last a stick with 8 or more will last a lot longer. Music stores hate me because I will grab 20 Pairs of sticks and pick the best 2-3 pairs out of them LOL. hey at $8-$11 for a pair of sticks you better grab the best pairs you can LOL.

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I never thought to do that before. I'm gonna try that next time I buy sticks. Thanks Bonzolead!!
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by ajgutierrez23 View Post
This may sound dumb... But is there a type of wood that last the longest? Also whats your favorite drum stick brand? I use sam ash specials because they are $3.oo but they get chipped too easily. Help me out : ]
Hickory is probably going to be the strongest you can actually buy, with Oak second and maple next.

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  #9  
Old 08-14-2008, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by Mikey Dangerous View Post
I never thought to do that before. I'm gonna try that next time I buy sticks. Thanks Bonzolead!!
What up Mikey Dangerous,
That's why I love the site you pick up cool things you never knew before I've learned a lot of things off this site and I've been playing for 33 yrs. my pops is a drummer and he taught me that a long time ago one thing I do know you never stop learning.

Keep Swattin'
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2008, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I don't know which general wood will last you the longest, but the longest any pair of sticks has lasted me are a pair of Vater Donati's Assault, which still haven't broken.

But right now, my favorite sticks are the Vic Firth Kenny Aronoff sticks. Right size, right weight, right sound. And they have a fantastic cross-stick sound. Maybe it's because they're new.
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  #11  
Old 08-15-2008, 03:12 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

it really varies with the companies though...
I've noted that Innovative Percussion and Zildjian hickory sticks are the most fragile things ever made. It's a shame too because they often had a good feel. Promarks, I found to be moderately durable but I didn't care for the sound (unique tip shapes). The Oak models were a bit lighter and stiffer feeling than the hickory, but not necessarily more durable. The Vater hickory models I've had were the toughest I've ever tried in a stick but all the pairs (Sweet Ride, Super Jazz, 7A Nylon) were not pitch paired. One stick was significantly heavier than the other--never buying Vater again, even with their super durability. With Vic Firth I've used both hickory and maple, and had pleasant results with both. I've had maple sticks to last for years and then others for a month or so (a SD7 broke after a few weeks, but SD4s, SD5s, SD2s, SD1s have held up for years). I've had hickory 5As last for a few years, then had marching sticks break after 3 weeks during the season. It really seems to be that the density of the wood matters, no matter what tree it came from. There is brittle hickory, and tough hickory. Probably, it just depends on the cut of wood and the companies manufacturing process (how much they dry them out for example). Overall, just find ones you are happy with in feel and sound.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by MaDaBe View Post
Oak seems to shred more to me. I played the Promark 747 Japanese Oak for a long long time and those sticks would really get chunky and shredded with bits of slivers and wood everywhere. I switched to Vaters which are Hickory and they so far seem to not do that.
I agree, i broke 3 sticks in about 10 mins just from doing rim shots with those things. It was ridiculous. For some reason i tried it again with my last stick, nothing happened.
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

i think japanees oak (neil peart) they lasted...but i fine vic firth ROCK they break so easily so i just use vic firth 5a or 5b they seem to last pretty good amout of time..


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  #14  
Old 08-15-2008, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I'm using promark hickory. Ive had 2 pairs of 5B's break on me. But the 5A's and 747's are going strong. A chip or two on the tips but no breakage.
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  #15  
Old 08-15-2008, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

Pro Mark, in my opinion, makes the best sticks on the market. Durability isn't super-duper, but they have a much better feel and balance to them. If you're really concerned about durability, maybe you should invest in some Ahead sticks.
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  #16  
Old 08-16-2008, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by Ironcobra View Post
Pro Mark, in my opinion, makes the best sticks on the market. Durability isn't super-duper, but they have a much better feel and balance to them. If you're really concerned about durability, maybe you should invest in some Ahead sticks.
I agree with you that the Pro marks are a great stick, but Ahead sticks suck.

I had a pair and was constantly replacing shaft covers because they would just crack, not splinter like a normal stick, i found that they became virtually unholdable when my hands sweated a bit and so I got blisters from holding them too tight,

Also, when playing with them, I found that they weren't solid at all, they had a strange feel, and I could tell that the stick was vibrating, (most likely because the centre of them is just thin, Hollow akuminium shaft) so I lost power and technique.

And THEN I was playing along one day, after about 2 months of use and the stick broke, so i thought " damn it! Not again!". I looked down at the stick and noticed that the plastic outer sleeve was fine. It had just been replaced, and it was not broken, but the stick just didn't feel together anymore. It turned out that the aluminium part in the centre had snapped. The stick was destroyed.

It had cost me 3 times what a normal pair of sticks cost, and lasted about 1/3 as long!

I then moved on to the Oak Pro marks, after using 5A Vic Firths for a long time, I felt like I Wanted a bigger, Heavier stick, so I grabbed some 2B Shira Kashi Oaks, and they were great.They were so consistent, always balanced and strong. (I still haven't broken one actually, I have all the assorted used pairs as backups in my practice room)

Not so long ago, I was in my local drum shop, checking out some of the sticks, and i noticed that there was this shelf which was full of these Vater sticks. So, I grabbed a pair down, and they were large like the Pro Marks, a little heavier with more length which is what I'd been looking for. They don't have a size on them, they just say "Nightsticks", and they look a bit darker in texture than say, Vater's 5As.

I asked the owner of the shop about them and he told me that they are great sticks, as are all vaters, but because of their size etc. they're not that popular. So, I tried 'em out and they are Perfect for me. It makes sense though doesn't it, because they're not popular so the stock in the shop will last for a long time and i might even get discount if the owner wants to get rid of them, PLUS I get a whole lot more wood for my money!

3 months later and the same pair is still going strong! :D

Sorry about the long post, just my $0.02
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  #17  
Old 08-16-2008, 03:25 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I have to say I bought a pair of Ahead sticks, but simply hated the way the plastic felt, even with the grips I just couldn't get used to it. So I went back to my Vic Firth 7A's, I would like to try out some Vater's soon though because they do seem quality.
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2008, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
What up Mikey Dangerous,
That's why I love the site you pick up cool things you never knew before I've learned a lot of things off this site and I've been playing for 33 yrs. my pops is a drummer and he taught me that a long time ago one thing I do know you never stop learning.

Keep Swattin'
Bonzolead
Hey man,
That's so true! I've been on this forum for only 6 months and I've learned a ton of stuff - it's awesome!! Take care bro.

- Mike
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

It seems as though with sticks "YMMV" should be a necessary disclaimer! There doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern.

In my case I happily used Vics until every wood tip would chip in minutes. Since I switched to Promark hickorys I have no more chipped tips.

Go figure!
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I would like to try ironwood drum sticks and I'd pay $25 a pair if they lasted long (no chipped tips!). It seems like when it comes to shells, manufacturers use all kind of wood, but with sticks, only a few kinds. There are some great woods out there that would make excellent drum sticks.
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  #21  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I've been using Pro Mark Japan Oak sticks for about 8 years. In all that time, I've broken 2 pairs of sticks. The first I used for about 4 years until they were just too beat up and chipped for me to use- I then told one of my students about it, and he set out to break them (through "normal" playing). Took him about 6 months of constant rim shots and playing WAY too hard to chew through them.

Pair number two was the first nylon tipped Japan Oak stick I had ever tried. The first day I pulled them out of the sleeve, launched into a loud worship set at church, and the stick cracked right down the shoulder. For what it's worth, the mate to that stick sits in my auxiliary bag and has been super durable hitting cowbells, woodblocks, and the like.

I'm using a pair of 747s right now that are about 2-3 years old (I usually like to keep at least one functioning pair of 7As, 2Bs, and 747s at all times). The only real issue that I have with the Japan Oak is that after a couple of years, the wood starts to get rougher and gives me blisters.

It's worth mentioning that I just picked up a pair of the Zildjian dipsticks to use while my blisters are healing... They feel nice- light and fast. I'll let you know how long they last.
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  #22  
Old 10-08-2008, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by dkerwood View Post
I've been using Pro Mark Japan Oak sticks for about 8 years. In all that time, I've broken 2 pairs of sticks. The first I used for about 4 years until they were just too beat up and chipped for me to use- I then told one of my students about it, and he set out to break them (through "normal" playing). Took him about 6 months of constant rim shots and playing WAY too hard to chew through them.

Pair number two was the first nylon tipped Japan Oak stick I had ever tried. The first day I pulled them out of the sleeve, launched into a loud worship set at church, and the stick cracked right down the shoulder. For what it's worth, the mate to that stick sits in my auxiliary bag and has been super durable hitting cowbells, woodblocks, and the like.

I'm using a pair of 747s right now that are about 2-3 years old (I usually like to keep at least one functioning pair of 7As, 2Bs, and 747s at all times). The only real issue that I have with the Japan Oak is that after a couple of years, the wood starts to get rougher and gives me blisters.

It's worth mentioning that I just picked up a pair of the Zildjian dipsticks to use while my blisters are healing... They feel nice- light and fast. I'll let you know how long they last.
you grab a japan oak stick with 2 grains of wood in the stick and you're break them for sure it's the number of grains not the wood.

Bonzolead
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  #23  
Old 10-12-2008, 11:34 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

You also might consider how the wood reacts in your hands.

I love the weight and balance on the Neil Peart Pro Marks, but I can't play them because after a few minutes, it's putting too much force / feedback into my hands. It actually hurts my hands to play them or any other of the Japanese Oak sticks.
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  #24  
Old 10-13-2008, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I've never really picked sticks by looking at the grain, but I do something different. I check to see which sticks have a higher density by clicking them together and listening to their pitch. I will take several pairs of sticks off the shelf, and keep the ones that have the highest pitched click. The ones that sound low in comparison, I assume will break much more quickly. I don't know if you can really argue and say that Promark, Vic Firth, Vater, or any other brand is the most durable. It depends on the individual pairs. One set of Vic Firth 5As might last 5 minutes, and another set of Vic Firth 5As with a higher density might last 5 weeks.

I think that the Promark Japanese Oak sticks seem to be stronger, based on the several pairs I've tried. Also, if you're constantly breaking smaller sticks, just buy bigger sticks. Yes, they will slow you down and are more likely to damage your equipment (and give you wrist trouble if you're not careful), but you have to compromise a little bit and find a balance that you're comfortable with.
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  #25  
Old 11-25-2008, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

I don't know if they're the strongest sticks but I have gone through many vic firth sd4's over the years and have never broke one pair. I discard them because the tips eventually get worn out. They last me about 2-3 months. I think grip and the way you strike the drum plays a big part as to how long your sticks last.

I believe maple is stronger than oak. I'm not sure about hickory.
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  #26  
Old 11-26-2008, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

Several of you have this backwards- oak is a more dense wood, and therefore heavier, than hickory. That doesn't mean that oak will always last longer; it's wood- an organic, unpredictable material. No 2 wooden sticks (or anything else, for that matter) is the same. Bonzolead's onto something there- dunno about the grain thing, but he's right that there's too much variation to state definitively that one wood is better. But generally, I've found that oak lasts longer. I've used ProMark 808 nylons almost exclusively since 1992 and after using both hickory and oak kind of arbitrarily for a while (not one of each though), the oaks were more durable. And since they're heavier too, I've rehearsed with the oaks and gigged with the hickorys for years. One last variable- although I've found oaks last longer, they also wear differently than hickory. Oak tends to shred and hickory tends to splinter. Dunno if that contributes to one lasting longer than the other before breaking, but my hickorys showed splintering sooner than the oaks showed shredding...
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2008, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: strongest wood for sticks

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Originally Posted by timmdrum View Post
Several of you have this backwards- oak is a more dense wood, and therefore heavier, than hickory. That doesn't mean that oak will always last longer; it's wood- an organic, unpredictable material. No 2 wooden sticks (or anything else, for that matter) is the same. Bonzolead's onto something there- dunno about the grain thing, but he's right that there's too much variation to state definitively that one wood is better. But generally, I've found that oak lasts longer. I've used ProMark 808 nylons almost exclusively since 1992 and after using both hickory and oak kind of arbitrarily for a while (not one of each though), the oaks were more durable. And since they're heavier too, I've rehearsed with the oaks and gigged with the hickorys for years. One last variable- although I've found oaks last longer, they also wear differently than hickory. Oak tends to shred and hickory tends to splinter. Dunno if that contributes to one lasting longer than the other before breaking, but my hickorys showed splintering sooner than the oaks showed shredding...

I am with you 100%. I have also been using the 808s and Ed Shaughnessy's for about the past 3 years now. I love the way they are weighted/balanced, they give me exactly the response I want. The Oak stick is a different feeling and you either like it or you don't....in my case, I love it. It even seems to give a little bit crisper sound, but that's probably just in my head. The Oak is definitely a more dense wood than hickory but it is also a little heavier. If you are playing light, intricate jazz then you might favor hickory.

In 13 years of playing, I've broken 7 sticks and I play metal/thrash. I broke 2 pairs of REALLY cheap sticks on top of that but these were like imitation wood so I don't even count those. Of the 7 professional quality sticks I broke, 3 of them were over the course of 2 days where I had to play my drums in an uncomfortable position due to lack of time to set up properly.... (also, all of the sticks I have ever broken were hickory)

Shredding and wearing down of sticks is inevitable and sticks are gonna break from time to time after repeated rim-shots, but I wonder how many people will actually adjust their technique to minimize breaking sticks, rather than just trying to find an indestructible stick.
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