Sharp Edges on Zildjian Hi-Hats

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
Back in December, I bought a set of brand new 13-inch K Zildjian hi-hats. They sound great, but there's just one problem: The edges on both the cymbals are pretty sharp-- sharp enough to chop away at my sticks to the point where a pair of them will only last me 2 or 3 shows. I feel like I don't hit any harder than the average drummer and try to be as relaxed as possible when playing. Has anybody else experienced this issue? I also emailed Zildjian about the problem; we'll see what they have to say.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I used to break sticks all of the time whenever I used to play harder than I do now.

Also, the height of your hats maybe should be adjusted. If you are playing your hats at a Travis Barker height, you are going to chop your sticks up, especially if you are a heavy player.
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I used to break sticks all of the time whenever I used to play harder than I do now.

Also, the height of your hats maybe should be adjusted. If you are playing your hats at a Travis Barker height, you are going to chop your sticks up, especially if you are a heavy player.
That's the thing; my hi-hats are set pretty low, and the stick isn't hitting them at an odd angle.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
My hihat used to chip away at the sticks. Now I set the hihat lower and play on top of it. I’ve also rotated the tilter so where I play it the top cymbal overlaps and covers the bottom edge, so its less ‘sharp’.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Unless your hi-hats have been re-lathed at some point to where they are sharp, I really don't know what to tell you if you have good technique, and you aren't using cheapie sticks, and your hats aren't eye-level high.
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
Unless your hi-hats have been re-lathed at some point to where they are sharp, I really don't know what to tell you if you have good technique, and you aren't using cheapie sticks, and your hats aren't eye-level high.
Thanks! I certainly appreciate your input so far. It's just a bummer because I love the way these hi-hats sound & I don't wanna stop using them. I don't know if I could send them in to Zildjian & have them polish the edges for me or not; even if that were an option, it would probably take at least a few weeks, and I'd have to use another set of hats in the meantime. Or, I could special-order another set of hi-hats in Brilliant finish, which would guarantee smooth polished edges- but that would cost a whole lot of money, and again, I'd have to wait awhile to get them.
 

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
You're not the only one. My 14" K Light Hats have what I consider a sharp-ish edge, and they wear out my sticks more than my other HH pairs. I think Zildjian's edge finishing machines and/or process is hit or miss... all my Sabians and Paistes have nice, smooth edges.
 

Ang

Member
I’m a long time Zildjian user and the only time I’ve had this problem is when my hats had been used for many years on countless gigs, the top and bottom edges were very sharp. By this time the mounting hole on the bottom cymbal was totally blown out and mis-shaped also though.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I bought a used pair of regular 14" Ks and the edges were sharp and even a little rough in some parts. Some will cringe but I took a fine sandpaper block and gave the edges a light once-over and didn't have any problems after that.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I bought a used pair of regular 14" Ks and the edges were sharp and even a little rough in some parts. Some will cringe but I took a fine sandpaper block and gave the edges a light once-over and didn't have any problems after that.
I have actually put cymbals on a drill with a mandrill. And then I put the drill in a vise turn it on medium speed and rounded the edge with a file.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
A file's pretty harsh.
But as long as you follow it up with progressively finer grades of sand paper, then polish and wax,
you'll end up with some mighty fine looking edges.
Try not to hit the top and bottom and just gently round a few degrees above and below 90 (perpendicular).
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
I bought a used pair of regular 14" Ks and the edges were sharp and even a little rough in some parts. Some will cringe but I took a fine sandpaper block and gave the edges a light once-over and didn't have any problems after that.
I was wondering if anybody would mention rounding the edges themselves. I've done this many times with hi-hat cymbals, and the results have always been good. I've done it purely by hand and a sanding block, as Mustion noted. And I have an old slow speed industrial motor that I have rigged to slowly rotate the cymbals while I round the edges. Either way, sanding blocks or sandpaper works just fine.

I usually start the process with 220 grit automotive paper, then 400, then 600, and I follow this with #0000 steel wool. The only caution you have to take is making sure that you don't move beyond the edges and onto the cymbal itself. And don't get overly-aggressive with it. A little sanding goes a long way.

GeeDeeEmm
 

V-Four

Senior Member
I was wondering if anybody would mention rounding the edges themselves. I've done this many times with hi-hat cymbals, and the results have always been good. I've done it purely by hand and a sanding block, as Mustion noted. And I have an old slow speed industrial motor that I have rigged to slowly rotate the cymbals while I round the edges. Either way, sanding blocks or sandpaper works just fine.

I usually start the process with 220 grit automotive paper, then 400, then 600, and I follow this with #0000 steel wool. The only caution you have to take is making sure that you don't move beyond the edges and onto the cymbal itself. And don't get overly-aggressive with it. A little sanding goes a long way.

GeeDeeEmm
^^This^^
Yea, it's more precision using a motor/rotation device of sorts, but in a pinch, I'd just do it (sand paper the edge) by hand, if it's so bad it's chewin up sticks that quickly.


T.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
Whew, glad to not be admonished for that. Some around here get in a tizzy if you even mention cleaning a K cymbal, much less taking sandpaper to it!
I was curious as to why the edge would be rough like that, though. They don't seem damaged or flea-bitten; it's almost like the roughness was a manufacturing defect or something (which seems unlikely). Perhaps just typical wear on a very thin cymbal edge?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Whew, glad to not be admonished for that. Some around here get in a tizzy if you even mention cleaning a K cymbal, much less taking sandpaper to it!
I was curious as to why the edge would be rough like that, though. They don't seem damaged or flea-bitten; it's almost like the roughness was a manufacturing defect or something (which seems unlikely). Perhaps just typical wear on a very thin cymbal edge?
If they're new, the edges shouldn't be rough.

If they're used, someone might have done a half baked job on them.
 
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