7 Best Heavy Metal Snare Drums — DCP’s Updated Guide for 2021

7 Best Heavy Metal Snare Drums — DCP’s Updated Guide for 2021

Getting just the right snare drum is essential to rounding out your band’s sound. If your group tends to focus on softer or more mellow beats, then a wood shell drum can get you a perfectly acceptable sound. But if you tend to play at top volumes with a blasting guitar and a bass cranked up to 11, then you’ll need a heavy metal shell snare drum just to be heard.

But these drums aren’t just loud, they have a great tone and dynamic range to flesh out their depth.



So let’s break down the best metal shell snare drums and get you on the way to finding a perfect match.

1. A&F Bell Brass A&F'er Snare Drum 14x6.5


At a whopping 23.6 pounds, this snare drum holds plenty of sound from top to bottom. In your face, yet still open with a wide tuning range, you can hear the entire drum when playing on the A&F'er. The single flanged bell brass die-cast hoops, project a clear smooth tone.

Unlike the other drums on this list, A&F makes all parts of this drum by hand; from welding, cutting, and rolling — to sanding shells and hoops — to even hand cutting bearing edges and snare beds. Made with love and individual care, the result from this level of care is magnificent. Truly one of the best metal snare drums out there

Buy It Here

2. Gretsch USA Bell Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5


An extremely popular option, the Gretsch Bell Brass snare is all about momentum. Ever since Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters picked up this snare, it's been flying off the shelves — and for a good reason. It is about the closest sound you can find to the legendary 1980 Tama Bell Brass.

This drum cracks at high tunings and keeps up with you however many beats per minute you're playing, while always ringing out a great tone.

The 3mm brass shell looks great in shining golden brass and pumps up the volume for maximum depth.

Buy It Here

3. Gretsch USA Solid Steel Snare Drum 14x6.5


In the world of steel snare drums, this is the best of the best. The thick, 3mm shell comes with quite a bite. But that acute sound is balanced out by its inherent darker tones. This steel snare drum is beautifully finished in black chrome featuring 10 classic lugs, a Lightning throw-off, die-cast hoops, and the famous center shell has the Gretsch knurled pattern.

The unparalleled brightness and pop will wake you up and make you remember why you love playing snare drums, and the dark tones will bring out sounds you didn't know you were after.

Buy It Here

4. Noble And Cooley Alloy Classic Snare Drum 14x6


This industry standard is sworn by session musicians for its reliable wide tuning range and close bearing edges. It can handle high tunings well, delivering a solid, concentrated sound. At lower tunings, it mirrors the sound of a wood shell snare drum.

This old standby has been around for decades and once you start playing, you'll see why it's been so popular for so long. This aluminum shell drum is best for anyone who likes to experiment, it will work with you to find just the right character in your music.

Buy It Here

5. Canopus 3mm Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5 8-Lug


In terms of brass shelled heavy metal snares, the Canopus SO3M is perfect for all magnitudes of playing. Whether in the recording studio or playing outside at a festival, this 3mm drum sonically responds to however you play, while keeping unique tones. If you are looking for a wide tuning range that will satisfy you across the spectrum, this is your new go-to snare drum.

Like battle scars, the bright brass finish will wear and take minor scratches. This heavy metal snare drum is as tough as you and the unique bearing edges produce unmatched responsiveness to your playing.

Buy It Here

6. Tama Signature Series Snare Drum John Tempesta 14x7


John Tempesta is a role model for anyone learning a metal or hard rock sound. The 14x7 Tama John Tempesta Series Snare Drum represents everything you love about his sound. Decked out with 42-Strand snare wires and a 2mm thick 7" brass shell — this drum has a strong sound without sacrificing depth of tone.

This snare drum is one of the best options for playing live, it cuts through all noise to shoot out a powerful and resonating sound.

Featuring a sleek black nickel finish, and solid die-cast hoops, this guy looks as solid as it sounds.

Buy It Here

7. Gretsch USA Phosphor Bronze Snare Drum 14x6.5


The heaviest drum Gretsch makes, this big boy packs a punch! With a 5mm shell and 45-degree bearing edge, you get precision and projection that will take the room by storm. It also features 42-Strand snare wires, Lightning throw-off, die-cast hoops, and a ‘Snap-In’ key holder.

This metal snare drum is not to be underestimated, think of it like harnessing thunder. You need to be a skilled player to really appreciate all this machine has to offer without getting overwhelmed by that powerful sound.

Buy It Here

Which Heavy Metal Snare is Right For You?

Drum Center of Portsmouth has been providing premium percussion instruments for over a decade. More than just snare drums, we are passionate about getting the best kit in the hands of any drummer. No matter your budget, Drum Center of Portsmouth is here to help you get playing on a drum you love.

Every employee at DCP is not only a drummer, but passionate about product design, and fully understands what instrument will provide the sound you're after.

Come on in today and let's chat about drums and get you paired up with your new kit!
2 years ago