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6 Best Budget Snare Drums in 2022 Reviewed

Being a drummer can easily become an essential part of your identity. Whether you’re a hobbyist or pro, you can take pride in the fact that you march to the beat of a tune uniquely your own. But it's not always the more affordable identity to maintain. 

If the time has come to invest in some new drums, you've come to the right place. With so many options on the market today at a range of prices, it can be daunting to know where to begin the search. 

At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we believe that you don't need to break the bank to upgrade your equipment. Here are 6 of the best budget snare drums to add to your kit in 2022. 

1. Tama Metalworks Steel Snare Drum

The Tama Metalworks snare drum comes highly recommended and delivers a powerful auditory experience at a competitive price. Its 1.2mm-shell features durable steel in matte black. 

The beaded center of the Tama Metalworks snare gives the drummer the best of both worlds: a sturdy structure and delightfully nuanced tonality. 

Its sleek, minimalist design adapts well to any set-up, adding a touch of modern flair.



  • Incredible Price — For quality at a minimal cost, you really can't beat the Tama Metalworks steel snare drum. This drum makes a great addition to any kit. Hearing it in action, you'd never assume the price is so low.
  • Great Range — The Tama Metalworks steel snare drum offers an incredible punch and a huge range when tuned properly. With a minimal whine, you can access incredible highs and lows.
  • Durable — Crafted from durable steel with black nickel-plated parts, Tama built this drum to last. The 1.2mm shell is thicker than many offerings on the market today, giving it added structure. It has proven to be a long-lasting, worthwhile investment for many buyers.


  • Overtone Ringing —Due to its metal construction, the Tama Metalworks snare drum does fall prey to some overtone ringing, a characteristic of most metal snares. That said, you can quickly remedy the issue by using damper pads.


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2. Pearl Sensitone Heritage Snare Drum

Coming in hot at 14 by 6.5 inches, the Pearl Sensitone Heritage snare drum is a powerhouse that you'll want to add to your collection as soon as possible. 

This snare is built to last with steel construction in the shell and a steel finish. Pearl uses Triple Flanged Hoops and 10 CL65 lugs. 

In combination, these individual bits of hardware work together to make the tone resonate and project effectively.



  • Versatility —This drum's range makes it an incredibly versatile instrument. The size of the shell gives it a deep, rich tone, but you can easily tune the snare more tightly for a higher-pitched tone.
  • Gig-Ready — The many gig-ready features on the Pearl Sensitone Heritage snare drum make it an incredible utility instrument that's always ready for action.


  • Weight — While not a make-or-break aspect of this drum, the weight of the Pearl Sensitone Heritage snare may not be ideal for those that travel with their instruments. That said, the weight also supports a tighter, focused sound that some drummers may prefer.


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3. Yamaha Stage Custom Birch Snare Drum

Yamaha is an industry standard for a reason. This Cranberry Red snare is a part of their Stage Custom Birch series, which features mounted toms, floor toms, and a bass drum in addition to this single snare drum. 

With durability and quality that amateurs, hobbyists, and professionals alike can get on board with, why would you need more than one? 



  • Style — The Cranberry Red color adds a splash of unbeatable style to any stage. Plus, this drum is available in a variety of colors, allowing you to mix and match to your heart's content.
  • Quality — The manufacturer crafts every component of the Yamaha Stage Custom Birch snare drum with high-quality materials. Featuring Remo UT heads and 20 strands of high-carbon steel, this drum will sound great for the long haul. With a six-ply shell, it has unbeatable structural strength.
  • Great Sound — This drum's 100% birch shell gives the drum a great rumble, while the deep snare bed intensifies the classic sound of a snare. It offers a good range and excellent sound quality on the low end.


  • One Size — Unlike many models, this snare is only available in one size. At 14 by 5.5 inches, one size may suit most drummers. But if you're looking for more diversity, this may not be the drum for you.
  • Not Ideal for All Genres — While this is a great snare for most drummers, those looking for a heavier sound for metal or rock music may prefer other drums.


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4. Mapex MPX Maple Snare Drum

This MPX Maple Snare Drums from Mapex measures 5.5 by 14 inches. It's a drum to write home about, featuring chrome lugs and a beautifully crafted 6.5mm maple shell.

The drum's transparent black finish gives it a subtly industrial look that blends with any equipment and adds a touch of flair to any set-up.



  • Price — At less than $200, the Mapex MPX snare drum packs a considerable punch for a low price.
  • Versatility — The drum boasts a deep, resounding low end that is frequently lacking in wood construction, making it a versatile choice for various genres and musical styles.
  • Sound Quality — This drum produces a warm, sultry sound with a fat, crisp backbeat. Featuring a solid tuning range, the depth and quality of sound are remarkable for the price.


  • Iffy Durability — Some users report that the drum is not as durable as other comparable models and opt to upgrade drum components, like the heads and snare strap. At the end of the day, durability boils down to your level of use. The MPX may be a perfect snare for beginners or hobbyists, but it might not endure the constant play of a pro.


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5. Pearl Modern Utility Maple Snare Drum

This Pearl Modern Utility Snare Drum gives drummers the best of all worlds. Measuring at 13 by 5 inches, this reliable drum powerhouse features a durable maple shell that appeals to a vintage aesthetic without losing the modern-day perks that make it a killer instrument. 



  • Great for Gigging — Boasting incredible durability and featuring a non-nonsense construction, the Pearl Modern Utility Snare Drum is a great instrument to pack up and take on the road. It can withstand constant play and comes with CL Bridge Lug and smooth SR700 strainer.
  • Excellent Sound Quality — This instrument does not sacrifice sound quality for portability. Producing a modern sound that needs minimal damping, this snare rings with a tight, multi-dimensional punch.


  • No Frills — While not a drawback in everyone's book, this drum offers precisely what a gigging professional needs and not many extras.


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6. Ludwig Supralite Snare Drum

For under $200, the Ludwig Supralite 14 by 6.5-inch snare drum is an excellent choice. This drum sounds great and looks the part with beaded steel, chromed-over shell, brass snare wires, and 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops.



  • Looks — This drum is a worthwhile investment for style alone. Its chromed shell is eye-catching, dynamic, and sure to impress.
  • Mid-Range Overtone — For a product with a steel design, the Ludwig Supralite offers a remarkably warm overtone when played live or in the studio. Plus, the sharp, bright crack of steel will never get lost or overshadowed in any genre of music.


  • Better for Hobbyists — This snare lacks the top-notch durability required by professionals. That said, it's an excellent drum for beginners and hobbyists or for those who typically play wood and want to try their hand at steel.


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If it's time to upgrade your equipment, it is 100% possible to get incredible sound, top-notch durability, and gig-friendly features without the outrageous price tag. 

Check out Drum Center of Portsmouth for highly-regarded snare drums from some of the industry's best brands! With these products, you can sound your best on any budget.

4 days ago