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7 Best Cajon Drums Under $200 in 2022 Reviewed

Cajons are portable, fun, and a great addition to any band, but they can get expensive! You shouldn't have to empty your wallet to get your own. Searching for more affordable options can be worth the time and research. 

At the Drum Center of Portsmouth, we aim to help you find what you need easily. It’s why we've done the hard work and research for you so that you can browse the best options and make the right choice for you.

Using a $200 budget, we've scoured the web for the top-performing cajons at this price point. Below, we're sharing the results of our work so you can explore the seven best cajon drums under $200 in 2022.

1. Meinl Snarecraft Cajon w/ Almond Natural Frontplate

The Meinl Snarecraft Cajon is constructed from Baltic birch to deliver those crisp slaps and punchy, deep thuds every drummer loves. It also features a beautiful almond natural front plate and rounded corners for a natural and comfortable sitting posture that improves your contact for a better sound. Dial in the tones or disengage the snares entirely if you want to with effortless adjustability. 

While created with Peruvian and Flamenco music in mind, you can use this cajon for any type of music. It would do just as well for a pop or rock performance with its natural beauty front and center.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: Baltic birch
  • Size: 11 ¾” x 18” (front plate size)
  • Snare system: Dual internal snare wires
  • Other features
    • Rounded corners
    • Rubber, anti-slip feet
    • Rear sound port
  • Finish: Almond natural front plate
 
 

PROS

  • Comfortable to sit on
  • Easy to adjust as needed
  • Maximized touch surface for better sounds
  • Compatible with various music styles

CONS

  • It can take a while to find your ideal sound setting
 

Who’s This For?

A cajon player who tends to play pop, rock, or anything with a strong groove will love the Meinl Snarecraft.

 

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2. Toca Cajon Workhorse Dark Walnut

Dark and moody, this cajon is a dependable and durable drum option that still looks graceful and sleek.

The body of this cajon is a medium-density fibreboard (MDF). Compared to the solid wood of many other models on this list, it has more density and less give, so you can trust that it will still play well even after loving it for many years. 

When you couple its materials with the Toca brand’s bass reflex construction, you get a lovely sound with a pure timbre, clarity, depth, and an impressive range of sound. 

This cajon costs half of some of the other items on this list, but its performance rivals them, making it a great low-cost buy for anyone on a budget.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: Medium density fiberboard (engineered wood)
  • Size: 11.75 x 19.75 x 11.75 in
  • Snare system: Two internal snare wires for crisp sound
  • Other features:
    • The bass reflex port improves the sustain
  • Finish: Walnut stain
 
 

PROS

  • Solid, durable, reliable
  • The stylish and warm dark walnut finish looks sleek
  • Great low-budget option

CONS

  • MDF material lacks sonic complexity
 

Who’s This For?

A new drummer who wants to get started with the cajon without spending a ton of money will find the Toca Workhorse is up for the job.

 

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3. Tycoon Percussion 29 Series Siam Oak Cajon

This cajon is another one constructed from reliable Siam Oak Wood, with a body that can enhance your bass tones and make your high slaps crisper. You can adjust the snares as needed to ensure the sound you want.

Tycoon is a trusted brand. They make all cajons by hand and test each one individually to ensure the instruments meet their sound quality standards.

It’s a sleek, understated model with solid wood on all four sides and minimal hardware that creates a comfortable and anti-slip seat when it’s time to play.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: Siam Oak Wood
  • Size:13 x 13 x 21 in
  • Snare system: On/off snare system with internal adjustable wires
  • Other features:
    • Solid construction that enhances tones
    • Allen wrench to adjust snares as needed
  • Finish: Natural
 
 

PROS

  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable to sit on
  • Beautiful construction
  • Hand-made and tested

CONS

  • Natural finish may look too rough for professional performances
 

Who’s This For?

A cajon player who wants their drum to double as sleek furniture when not in use will appreciate this instrument's understated, natural beauty.

 

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4. Meinl Headliner Cajon 11 ¾ W x 18 H x 11 ¾ D Frontplate: Natural

If you’re a fan of Meinl’s beloved Headliner series but want a natural finish on your cajon, this instrument is it. With this beautiful, natural-finished drum, you can stick with what’s familiar while getting the look you want.

The Headliner Natural features a darker tone than the line’s other Stained White Ash model. However, it has the same robust cabinet construction to keep your instrument durable and working well even after years of use.

This cajon comes with all of the features the Headliner collection is known for, including tones ranging from deep bass to bright highs and an adjustable front plate and strings. Its natural birch wood finish looks elegant whether on stage or tucked away in storage, and the contrast between the black logo and the natural wood tones adds a bit of flair.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: White birch
  • Size: 11 ¾ x 18 x 11 ¾ in
  • Snare System: Two internal snare wires
  • Other features:
    • 2-year warranty
    • Adjustable sizzle effect
    • Full-spectrum bass
    • Adjustable strings and front plate
  • Finish: Natural
 
 

PROS

  • Diverse tone range
  • Made with natural birch wood
  • Comfortable seat
  • Includes Allen wrench for modifications
  • Stylish look

CONS

  • A large size makes it less portable if you need to travel with it
 

Who’s This For?

Someone who enjoys playing unplugged gigs on a comfortable, beautiful cajon will find the Headliner is the star of the show.

 

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5. LP 12 Snare Cajon 2- Voice

Need a more lightweight, portable cajon you can take on the road with you? Look no further than the LP 12 Snare Cajon 2 - Voice. This product is from collaboration and partnership between Drum Workshop and Latin Percussion. The two leading brands came together to create this small, 12-inch portable snare cajon.

You can add the LP 12 to your drum kit or play it by itself in your lap. Both sides of this small, tambourine-esque snare are playable, offering two different sounds. On one side, you’ll get the Flamenco snare sound, complete with more texture on the surface to get a rich sound. On the other is the Peruvian-style surface, which is more open.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: Birch
  • Size: 12 x 5 in (circle)
  • Snare System: Fixed snare wires internally
  • Other features: 
      • Can play with brushes or bare hands
      • Two playing surfaces to choose from
  • Finish: Natural with Maple shell
 
 

PROS

  • Small enough to fit in luggage
  • Lightweight to carry
  • Perfect acoustic sound
  • Two-tone sound

CONS

  • Material construction is thinner than box cajons
  • High price for such a small drum
 

Who’s This For?

Someone who is always on the go and needs a low-profile, portable option to bring to their beach-side drum circle will find playing is easy with the LP 12 Snare Voice.

 

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6. Meinl Turbo Slap-Top Cajon Frontplate: Walnut

Another unique option is the Meinl Turbo Slap-Top Cajon with Walnut Frontplate. If you prefer an upright playing style and prioritize your comfort and posture, you may love the specialized design of this slap-top cajon that sits on your lap. 

The Meinl Turbo Slap-Top creates a great resonance throughout the body, thanks to snares on both sides and a forward-projecting sound. It’s constructed with MDF for more stability and durability and is slightly bigger than the brand’s standard Slap-Top cajon.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: Fibreboard
  • Size: 19 x 9.5 x 14.25 in
  • Snare system: Internal snare wires (on both sides)
  • Other features:
    • Wide range of sound
    • Forward sound projection
  • Finish: Walnut (front plate)
 
 

PROS

  • Comfortable playing design
  • Lightweight, easy to carry
  • Great sound for quieter, more intimate settings

CONS

  • Not a lot of variation in the upper tones
 

Who’s This For?

Someone who plays often and prioritizes comfort but also needs something equally portable and sonically impressive will find everything they demand in a cajon with the Meinl Slap-Top.

 

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7. Gone Bops Fiesta Cajon “Cherry Bomb”

Are you feeling fun? Want a cajon that’s as bold as you are? You’ll love this “Cherry “Bomb” Fiesta Cajon from Gone Bops

Easy to spot with a bright red face, this entry-level cajon comes with an equally pleasing price tag and tons of fun features, like adjustable internal snares and a beginner-friendly size.

 

Specifications

  • Wood: Wood/MDF
  • Size: 12 x 18 x 12 in
  • Snare system: Internal snare wires
  • Other features:
      • Bright red-colored design
      • Square rubber feet for anti-slip grip and isolation
  • Finish: Cherry red
 
 

PROS

  • Loud, snappy tone
  • Bright, fun front plate color
  • Budget-friendly option

CONS

  • A bit of reverberation from the wires
 

Who’s This For?

The Fiesta Cajon is great for someone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money but still wants enough pizzaz to stand out from the crowd.

 

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What to Look for in the Best Affordable Cajons

Plenty of affordable cajons offer excellent sound quality, construction, and features. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for the best affordable cajon:

Material

The material will affect the sound quality and durability of the instrument. Cajons are made from wood, plywood, or fiberboard, ordered from most to least expensive. 

The type of wood will affect the tone of the cajon. Traditionally, cajons use beech or birch wood. Fiberboard and plywood cajons are typically more affordable than those made from solid wood, but they may not provide as rich of a sound. 

If you’re looking for a cajon that will last a long time, it’s worth investing in one made from higher-quality materials. However, if sticking to a budget is essential, cajons made with MDF are still highly reliable and a great buying option.

Size

Cajons come in various sizes, from miniature models that can fit on your lap to larger models played standing up. The size of the cajon you need will depend on a few factors, including your playing style (lap, sitting, or standing) and the type of music you’ll be playing. Factors like traveling and portability might also influence your decision.

If you’re unsure what size cajon you need, it’s always best to try out a few different models to see what feels most comfortable.

Snare System

The snare system gives a cajon its signature sharp, bright sound. Cajons with internal snare systems have a set of wires or strands of metal stretched across the inside of the instrument. These wires vibrate against the wood, creating a sharp and penetrating sound. 

Cajons with external snare systems have a set of wires or strands of metal on the outside of the instrument. This type of system is less common but can offer a brighter sound than an internal snare system. 

Other Features

When shopping for a cajon, consider the additional features that are important to you. For example, some cajons come with a built-in bass reflex system. This system helps to enhance the lower end of the cajon’s sound, making it ideal for genres like rock and blues. If you want to be able to play a variety of genres on your cajon, look for one with a bass reflex system. 

Other features to look for include built-in pickups and preamps, which can be helpful if you want to amplify your cajon sound. Some cajons also come with multiple playing surfaces that may be flat, textured, or raised. These different surfaces can offer different sounds.

Not Finding Your Perfect Cajon Drums? Get in Touch.

No matter your budget, there’s an affordable cajon out there that’s perfect for you. At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we have a wide selection of cajons with multiple options in sizes, material, sound quality, snare system, and additional features.

If the Cajon you're looking for isn’t on this list, contact the experts at the Drum Center of Portsmouth. Our drummer staff members have intimate knowledge of the top percussion brands and can help you narrow it down to your perfect match. Get in touch for further assistance.

21 days ago