Plastic straps verses strings to secure the snare wire


Well-known Member
I was watching a video about snare restoration and setup the other day. There was a suggestion that it is better to use plastic straps instead of strings to secure the snare wires. The reason is that the strings put more pressure on the rim and in the long run they may dent the edge of the resonant head and even the rim itself. Is this a valid issue with strings?
I doubt that strings can cause enough of a dent to affect anything. I've never heard anyone complain that their vintage snare has dents from strings.

I generally prefer string, because they can help push the wires into the head to curtail rattling. If the string is put through the holes the other way, the wires don't lay as flat. It depends on the end plates on the wires, but the ones I use respond well to string. :)

Like so -

Last edited:
Plastic straps are easier. I need my glasses to work string. But my snares have string, go figure. I like that string can't twist the snares
Usually 5/8" is a good width. I prefer this, because it is rigid enough to keep held firm, but is soft enough to conform to the snare bed/bearing edge.
Thanks for that 5/8" measurement! I made the mistake of buying grosgrain that was too wide without measuring first. I was gonna ask before venturing out again, but now I know.
I’ve had plastic straps forever. Some used drums came with strings or wires, but I replaced with straps because the strings were threadbare at the joints.
Plastic is garbage, I have them both slip and break. Why Ludwig insists using it on all their hi-end snares is beyond me. String ain’t perfect either, messy to work with. I like belts better than string, uniform tension like the strap is easier. There are plenty of DIY remedies as well.

Grossgrain ribbon, like string on steroids. Has the give of string but lasts way longer than string or plastic straps which are a bit meh.

A big roll of ribbon will last forever too and is readily available from any arts and craft shops.
Last edited:
I prefer grosgrain ribbon. A snare I bought, Signia 5,5 from a somewhat brute, had gutters cut in the bearing edge due to too much tension in the snare string, the head was also damaged of course, but I had to smooth the bearing edge.
Last edited:
Holy crap, these things made me not hate adjusting snare wires anymore.
I don't like strings, they're hekka fiddly and they pull more to the left or right, making the job a lil more..."jobby". Plastic strips are fine, but they're rigid, slick and kinda hard to grip or manipulate.
The poly strap (like this one) is somewhere in between. Super easy to adjust. Pull as even as you can and as hard as you want and it'll do the rest.
I'm a grosgrain guy. Thinner than strings, more flex than a plastic strap. I have Guru logoed grosgrain thanks to our good friend Andy who gave me a few feet of it
I like grosgrain ribbon well enough, but I'm not afraid of the plastic straps either. About the only thing I really don't like is string, whether it's the normal nylon string or (especially) the blue cable that comes with Puresound wires.
Being psychotic about this very subject I remember moons ago trying out a set of fatcats on a new snare and used the plastic strap to put them on quick. I liked the wires and sound immediately and just never went back. I'm just a strap head now.
I'll have to try grosgrain ribbon next time I change reso heads on my snares.
I used to cut my own strips from old Remo Ambassadors.
Never had a problem with them slipping out from strainers or butt plates.
I then tried Grossgrain and I still use it on all my snares.
I don't like string but I found it better for certain wires (DW).
I was able to get crisper, more present wire response from their wires using string.
Pitched and / or stepped end plates are the factor here.
My Puresound Blasters sound great with the ribbon.
Strings are easier to align, but straps pull the wire more evenly and are less prone to misaligning once set up. I still often use strings for simplicity, and I believe some wire designs (e.g. Noble and Cooley) are optimise for string use.
An alternative way of stringing,
Pushes into the head a bit, good for drums with less pronounced snare beds (like my Trowa - converted from parallel). Inspired by the Noble and Cooley cam action wire, probably not the same but still works