Stainless Steel Brushes

Sonorfan

Well-known member
So, awhile back I inquired if anybody knew of a Stainless steel drum brush as I'm tired of cleaning my coated Remo Ambassador and Remo Diplomat FiberSkyn heads. The current brushes I use are ProMark TB5 which have medium wires and Vic Firth Livewire which have ultra stiff wires with small beads welded to the end of each wire. While both give good definition, the ProMark for Jazz and the Firth for Blues/Soft Rock, they not only discolor the head but in the case of the Livewires, deposit a lot of crap so that after cleaning with a Magic Eraser I have to use super fine Emery paper to remove that deposit..a pain and of course cuts into the head coating which reduces brush effect and life of the head. I researched all the main brush/stick manufactures sites and even sent out some emails all with no response, as to whether they had stainless. I lve in Canada and ran across a music store that advised me that a Canadian manufacturer named HeadHunters produced not only vg and unusual sticks and brushes but lots of other neat items. I went on their website and looked at brushes, sticks and hybrids. They produce two traditional brushes, Standard Jazz with 13 gauge and Jazz/Rock with 16 gauge wires respectively..and both have Nickel/Steel coated wires ! no more scrubbing ! This company also manufactures grooved tapered sticks in Hickory and Maple that resemble the old style Military style I used in Cadets .. thick butt and rapid taper to small tips. I used to like this variety but any that I've seen available lately were heavy.. like 2 or 3 diameter. These guys make several diameters and lengths so I'm buying the Maple Mini Bop which are 16in in length and .53in thickest. They also make some hybrid products called Tublitz and Ninja that feature standard wood handles with poly carbonate rods that strike the head and cymbals with super speed and definition.
So, being a sucker for new things even at my advanced age, I'm ordering heavy brushes, Ninja Hybrids and Mini Bop grooved sticks. And because they are a Canadian
company their prices are super reasonable for me. Google HeadHunters drum sticks and look at their lineup.
Note: Jared from Drumeo has a review of all the weird and wonderful sticks, brushes etc available today from all the manufactures. It's interesting to see that as he tests these items and gives his opinion as to which he thinks are worthwhile, the products from headhunters soundly out perform those of the big U.S. manufacturers. Hey, I'm crowing but Canada is bigger than the U.S. geographically, has 500,000 less people than California but has three very high quality, internationally accepted manufacturers of drum gear: Sabian Cymbals, Los Cabos Sticks, and Headhunters...and contrary to popular Us opinion, all live in Igloos. L.O.L.
P.S. After I get my order and play the products I'll give my honest opinion on this form...and you all know that Canucks are super friendly, apologetic and nevr lie !..right ?
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
I generally think accepting that heads will deteriorate with use is the best way to view them. Or get calfskin heads for brush work. I think the lengths you went to for "cleaning" the head is definition of overkill and a wasted effort.

Interesting stick though.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
I generally think accepting that heads will deteriorate with use is the best way to view them. Or get calfskin heads for brush work. I think the lengths you went to for "cleaning" the head is definition of overkill and a wasted effort.

Interesting stick though.
Well I’v been retired over 20 years and have nowhere to go and a long time to get there.. especially with Covid and working on my drums is a genuine pleasure so doing this is really not a chore. I have Evans Calftone on my Toms and Diplomat FiberSkyn on one snare and an Ambassador coated on another. And all of the heads get deposits and blacken with the brushes I’ve been using. So I’ve found a Canadian company.. Headhunters that makes two weights of brushes both using nickle steel wires.. and because they’re Canadian they are $10 less than brushes imported from U.S.A.
Got some on order. I’ll post my opinion
in the future.
And I’ve rebuilt about 6 kits over the years and one old 60’s Pearl kit this last summer and it’s a labour of love ❤️
But I appreciate your point of view.. that’s why there are Chevy’s and Fords.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Well I’v been retired over 20 years and have nowhere to go and a long time to get there.. especially with Covid and working on my drums is a genuine pleasure so doing this is really not a chore. I have Evans Calftone on my Toms and Diplomat FiberSkyn on one snare and an Ambassador coated on another. And all of the heads get deposits and blacken with the brushes I’ve been using. So I’ve found a Canadian company.. Headhunters that makes two weights of brushes both using nickle steel wires.. and because they’re Canadian they are $10 less than brushes imported from U.S.A.
Got some on order. I’ll post my opinion
in the future.
And I’ve rebuilt about 6 kits over the years and one old 60’s Pearl kit this last summer and it’s a labour of love ❤
But I appreciate your point of view.. that’s why there are Chevy’s and Fords.
You sure they're nickel plated, not just nickel-steel alloy?
I'm surprised all wires aren't stainless - who wants rusty wires?
I'm a beginner but love the Stagg hi-dynamic nylon brushes. They have wooden shafts so you grip them like a normal drumstick - and they have enough heft to make cymbals work.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I have been using the Jeff Hamilton wire brushes for years, and they don't leave as much residue as my old Regal Tips did...I use the Remo Classic Fit Diplomats on all batter sides. The jazz group I play in is a "brushes only" type group too, so the heads see a lot of use. They do still leave some grey on my Ambassador Coated on my other kit, but that is to be expected...

Did you march with Cadets of Bergen County/Garfield Cadets?
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
I have been using the Jeff Hamilton wire brushes for years, and they don't leave as much residue as my old Regal Tips did...I use the Remo Classic Fit Diplomats on all batter sides. The jazz group I play in is a "brushes only" type group too, so the heads see a lot of use. They do still leave some grey on my Ambassador Coated on my other kit, but that is to be expected...

Did you march with Cadets of Bergen County/Garfield Cadets?
I wanted to try the Jeff Hamilton from my fav national supplier but they don’t stock them. Amazon has them but they are over $60 Can delivered. The Headhunter Canadian nickle brush is only $30 and they have a Jazz with med wires and a Jazz Rock with heavy 16 guage wire so I’ll go that route.
I’m Canadian from a small prairie city but in the 50s we had three Cadet Corps. The Sea Cadets had 90 members and a full Bugle and drum band. The Army had about 60 and the Air Cadets of which I was one, had 50. We didn’t have Bugles but only “Side Drums” which I mentioned before were Brass, heavy and looked like they’d been through WW2.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
You sure they're nickel plated, not just nickel-steel alloy?
I'm surprised all wires aren't stainless - who wants rusty wires?
I'm a beginner but love the Stagg hi-dynamic nylon brushes. They have wooden shafts so you grip them like a normal drumstick - and they have enough heft to make cymbals work.
The mfr said they were nickle steel ?
Brushes are very personal and I’ve had a couple of sets of nylon and never liked them but that was probably due to the fact I started with wire in the 50s and well.. you get my drift. Actually I have a set of Promark TB5 which have medium wires and 5A
rubber coated grooved shafts and I like them very much save they’re not great on cymbals. I also have Vic Firth Livewires that have very stiff wires with small beads welded on each wire. They are fast and give good cymbal definition but they really blacken the drum heads about twice as fast as the Promark. So I’m giving the Canadian made Headhunters a try.
In Canada, we get most of U.S. made or distibuted brand names in Drums, hardware, accessories but even though they are made in Asia they come through the U.S. first so by the time duty and freight is paid twice and with $$ exchange, we in Canada end up overpaying. So if one can deal with a Canadian brand then the savings are considerable. A perfect example is Sabian Cymbals vs Zildjian and other imports. I bought a 20in AXX medium ride last summer. Full retail at a local store was $265 Canadian. On Amazon their price was the same in U.S. dollars. So add 30 plus % on for Can/U.S. exchange plus freight and it would have cost just shy of $400 Canadian plus tax. Now that there are two quality stick/ accessories and two cymbal manufacturers, retailers are starting too look harder at U.S. suppliers. Dream cymbals is also a good example. This is a Canadian company that contracts with Wuhan but have them mfr to their specs. As such they come directly from China to Canada. So again we can buy Deam for the same price as they are in the U.S. but in Canadian $$ (min 30% less)
Sorry for the long dissertation but I know from spending many winters in Florida that few if any Americans understand how much real difference there is between our countries commerce wise.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I also have to clean my snare head whenever I use brushes - a shiny, silver grey dust all over the head. Looks like light shading with a lead pencil. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and the head is all white again.

I’m interested in hearing how you go with the new brushes, but I can’t see how stainless steel would make a difference. The residue left on my snare is not rust, its fine particles of silver grey metal that have been sandpapered off by the coated head. That would still happen to stainless steel wires too.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
I also have to clean my snare head whenever I use brushes - a shiny, silver grey dust all over the head. Looks like light shading with a lead pencil. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and the head is all white again.

I’m interested in hearing how you go with the new brushes, but I can’t see how stainless steel would make a difference. The residue left on my snare is not rust, its fine particles of silver grey metal that have been sandpapered off by the coated head. That would still happen to stainless steel wires too.
Highly unlikely with stainless or nickle as they don’t bleed off like a lot of brushes in particular Vic Firth. My TB5 are somewhat “shiny” and don’t blacken the head nearly as much as the Firth Livewires. When I run those through my fingers they leave a grey coating and no it’s not rust as some have suggested. Time and my new Headhunter brushes will tell the tale.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
Cool! Waiting on the review please.
Side note about nylon: have any of you ever tried cutting the nylon brushes down to a normal brush length? That's the main thing that bugs me about nylon, they're too long.
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
Cool! Waiting on the review please.
Side note about nylon: have any of you ever tried cutting the nylon brushes down to a normal brush length? That's the main thing that bugs me about nylon, they're too long.
I think if the nylon I’d had 20 years ago had been more rigid I might have kept them. But they were so soft and bent so easily that they were nowhere near as good sounding as wire brushes. And then I tried the black nylon rod style brush. I found them to rigid. I guess I’m just to fussy or old school but I like wire.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
The mfr said they were nickle steel ?
Brushes are very personal and I’ve had a couple of sets of nylon and never liked them but that was probably due to the fact I started with wire in the 50s and well.. you get my drift. Actually I have a set of Promark TB5 which have medium wires and 5A
rubber coated grooved shafts and I like them very much save they’re not great on cymbals. I also have Vic Firth Livewires that have very stiff wires with small beads welded on each wire. They are fast and give good cymbal definition but they really blacken the drum heads about twice as fast as the Promark. So I’m giving the Canadian made Headhunters a try.
In Canada, we get most of U.S. made or distibuted brand names in Drums, hardware, accessories but even though they are made in Asia they come through the U.S. first so by the time duty and freight is paid twice and with $$ exchange, we in Canada end up overpaying. So if one can deal with a Canadian brand then the savings are considerable. A perfect example is Sabian Cymbals vs Zildjian and other imports. I bought a 20in AXX medium ride last summer. Full retail at a local store was $265 Canadian. On Amazon their price was the same in U.S. dollars. So add 30 plus % on for Can/U.S. exchange plus freight and it would have cost just shy of $400 Canadian plus tax. Now that there are two quality stick/ accessories and two cymbal manufacturers, retailers are starting too look harder at U.S. suppliers. Dream cymbals is also a good example. This is a Canadian company that contracts with Wuhan but have them mfr to their specs. As such they come directly from China to Canada. So again we can buy Deam for the same price as they are in the U.S. but in Canadian $$ (min 30% less)
Sorry for the long dissertation but I know from spending many winters in Florida that few if any Americans understand how much real difference there is between our countries commerce wise.
I love my 17" Dream paperthin crash - next buy will be a matching ride.
I'm British btw ( ;
God save the Queen!
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
I love my 17" Dream paperthin crash - next buy will be a matching ride.
I'm British btw ( ;
God save the Queen!
You know before our Prime Minister repatriated our constitution we , being part of the Commonwealth, traded a huge amount with the UK and got great products at decent prices... my first drums were Premier. Sure would like to see that happen again. Maybe with Brexit and the new Britain/Canada trade pact it will happen somewhat again. And while there are dissenters, the majority of Canadians are still Royalists and supporters of the Commonwealth. And thank God we use the British Parliamentary system where the leader of the party winning the election becomes Prime Minister and he and his party can be turfed by a non confidence motion and must dissolve the parliament. Meaning.. no cling on lame leader/demigod or government. In Canada it’s happened 5 times since Confederation.. 1867.
Chive on and yes God Save the Queen.. she keeps us unique and is perhaps the best leader and finest example of true democracy in the world. Amen
Like you we have non confidence motions that can
 

Sonorfan

Well-known member
Politics discussions are not encouraged, be careful Sonorfan.
Gee
this past weekend there was a wonderful and very insightful post by an American ex serviceman medic that
talked about the futility of war and peace keeping duties US has participated in. Did you miss it or my reply ? Gotta stay on top of things mate if your going to judge !
 
Top