How did you pick your favorite sticks?


Well-known member
my dilemma had always been that I spend 90% of my time with marching sticks in my hands, so any other type of stick felt non-existent in my hands. I used SD-1's for years b/c they were the closest thing to replicate the feel of marching sticks, but not do damage to the drums/cymbals. And they really felt awful for the most part.

About 7-8 years ago, I came across the Pro Mark PW808's. and they were deceptively "heavy" and thick feeling in my hands, but also had a more drum set type weight and reaction. And I really liked the way the beads sounded and felt on the ride cymbal (which, after feel in my hands, is my second biggest requirement of a stick). Then about 4 years ago, I tried some Vic Firth 3A's, and like them even more. So that is what I have settled on now.

through my involvement in the marching/educational world, and over the years of getting freebies at clinics, seminars and educational conferences, I can say that I probably own at least one of every kind of marching and drum set stick made since the mid 80's...I have 7 mallet bags full of just sticks alone, so I get to try just about every type that comes out...


I have tried every stick size from 5a Maple to Metal, but usually played 5b's. I finally ended up using Vater Assault. These are the best balanced sticks for me, great for light playing and powerfull for loud music.


Senior Member
With regard to finding my favorite sticks, some of it came from trying literally every single Promark model (definitely one of the perks of that gig!) and some of it came from working on the development of the Select Balance line (I guess that was another perk...). I have a handful of models that I absolutely love and rotate between depending on what I'm playing.

Thanks...but it was not that the Pro Mark diameter that didn't. I just felt there was a change in either the hickory that they were growing/purchasing and/or the manufacturing process. The newer 5As that I bought (which was a brick) ALL had bad vibrations in the sticks. Much easier to change brands than to deal with possible injury.
Unfortunately this was a situation that revolved around the kiln drying process and how the wood was being cut early on at the wood mill. Still, much of this was mitigated in the end. I've gone through literally hundreds (if not more) Promark sticks over the course of time from just prior to the manufacturing changes when they were still using lathes that weren't well maintained all the way through the changes in wood conversion, kiln drying, and the centerless grinding. It was a VERY rough transition but the sticks from last few years have matched or exceeded expectations set by other sticks that I've compared with on the market. Far more consistent in weight, feel, and durability than the Promark of the past. was sometime before Christmas well after D'Addario screwed up bought Pro Mark.
I'd be curious as to when the sticks were actually manufactured (finally something that can now be tracked similar to the Evans batch code system). It's really a shame that there were so many growing pains after the acquisition. In my opinion, manufacturing started to really achieve a quality and consistency in 2017 that was previously unattainable. That's also around the time that specs got tightened beyond what other brands were offering. Since I left in 2017, I can't speak to how things have changed since but I've yet to have any problematic experiences with product and I've been getting sticks directly from them ever since.

Local Oaf

Well-known member
But I think the main thing is to spend enough to get something made of decent wood (in other words, not 2$ from the bargain bucket)
I have a few pairs of bargain bucket sticks. But I use them for when I’m doing quiet practice because the tiny holes in the L80 cymbals have a tendency to mar sticks a bit more and I don’t want to ruin my nice sticks any faster than I have to.