5 Best Hi Hat Clutches (2022) – Quick Release & Standard

Updated on by Brett Clur | There may be affiliate links on this page.

As a drummer there are a few things that you need to have spares of - drum keys, drum sticks and hi-hat clutches. It’s important to have these things lying around, since you’re going use them and you’re going to lose them.

Hi-hat clutches tend to malfunction sometimes, making it a good idea to have a spare one. It’s also a good idea to have one in your gigging bag, since house kits will have a badly worn out clutch most of the time.

So, I have put together a list of my favorite hi-hat clutches to help you decide on which will suit you best.

Best Hi Hat Clutches for Quick Changes

Gibraltar is a company that’s known for making high quality, affordable drum hardware. I have used Gibraltar cymbal stands, kick pedals and hi-hat clutches that have lasted me years.

The SC-QRHHC is a quick release clutch that is designed to save time. It removes the process of tediously unscrewing everything to secure the bottom hi-hat cymbal. You just pull off the bottom sleeve, pull off the felt, attach the cymbal, then put everything back and you’re finished. No twisting and no turning.

It holds the hi-hats together very securely. If the hi-hats do separate more than you want, it’s a quick process to just readjust them.

There are only two bearings on the lock system, so the clutch might wear and lose grip over time. The SC-QRHHC is rather inexpensive. So, you could purchase a few of them to have some spares.

  • Inexpensive
  • Quick release mechanism
  • Loss of grip over time

The Remo Quick lock is a quick release hi-hat clutch that makes it quick and easy to lock in your hi-hats. It has a memory function so that you can preserve the exact way you like your hi-hats to be positioned.

It is really easy to use and only needs one turn to loosen off the bottom plastic part. It then needs one turn to tighten it again.

If you’re a Remo fan, you’ll love the Remo insignia neatly displayed on the handle of the clutch.

The Remo Quick Lock has large cymbal felts that tend to deaden the sound of your hi-hats a bit. So, I’d suggest that you swap those out if you get this clutch. There are also other quick release clutches on the market that are a bit cheaper.

  • Quick release mechanism
  • Remo sign on the handle looks great
  • Thick felts tend to muffle the hi-hats

The Tama STDC7 Sizzle Touch Drop Clutch is specifically designed for drummers who use a double pedal. It’s a specialty hi-hat clutch that allows you to play your double pedal and drop the hi-hat down to a closed position.

It has a lever that you hit with a stick to drop it down. You then hit it with a stick again to raise it up. This allows you to smoothly transition between open and closed hi-hats while you are playing. This is seriously useful, since double pedal playing often means you have to play with your hi-hat cymbals wide open.

This clutch is quite pricey. So, I’d suggest you only get it if you have a double pedal, otherwise its functionality will be wasted with a single pedal and you would have spent a fair bit of cash.

  • Made for double pedal playing
  • Easy to switch between open and closed hi-hats
  • Expensive

DW is a company that is well-known for making only high-quality drum kits. They also make high-quality hardware. You’ll see a lot of drummers using DW hardware, since it’s so solid and reliable.

The DW Drop-Lock clutch is made for double pedal players. It has a lever to hit that locks the hi-hats tightly or loosen them up.

It’s one of the more affordable clutches on the market when it comes to double pedals. It’s a bit tricky to set up, but works extremely well once you get the hang of it.

You can hit the lever with a stick to change the hi-hat setting, but it makes a bit of an unwanted noise. So, it’s better to just quickly move the lever with your hand. The lever also tends to move around when the hi-hats are played.

  • Affordable option for double pedal playing
  • Reliable DW quality
  • The lever moves around

The PDP PDAX379A is a standard hi-hat clutch designed for every situation. It’s cheap, easy to use and reliable. It has a fairly large wing nut that makes it easy to turn and adjust. It will fit on all hi-hat stands, even if they’re made by companies other than PDP.

This is the type of hi-hat clutch that you should have lying around in your practice space, in your gig bag and in your car. It won’t cost much to have a few, they’re reliable and you’ll always need them.

It may not be the best option as a main clutch, since it would be more beneficial to have a quick release clutch.

  • Affordable
  • Works well as a spare
  • Doesn’t have any special features

Hi-Hat Clutches are Important

Hi-hat clutches are vital to any drum kit setup. You can’t have a working hi-hat without a clutch, so it’s important that you know how they work and what the differences are between certain clutches. Clutches can be broken down into three categories – standard, quick release, and specialty.

Standard Clutches

Standard clutches are the most basic as well as affordable types of clutches. A standard clutch is what will come with most hi-hat stands. This means that all drummers have used standard clutches with their drums.

A standard clutch is basically a screw that mounts onto the hi-hat rod. You need to manually tighten the screws on it and make sure that the clutch is tight enough for the top hat to feel secure.

The PDP clutch that I listed above was the only standard clutch on the list. If you’re just looking for something that works well and is cheap, a standard clutch is all you will need.

Quick Release Clutches

Quick release clutches are a bit more specialized, focusing primarily on allowing you to set your hi-hats up very quickly. Clutches like these are great for when you’re limited for time. If you only have a short amount of time to set up your kit at a gig, the quick release clutch will make a world of difference.

Not all quick release clutches are designed the same way. Different companies often come out with unique innovations that allow the hi-hat clutch to mount in a rapid way.

The Remo Quick Lock is a fantastic example of a high-quality quick release clutch. Clutches like these are more expensive than standard ones thanks to the added mechanisms.

Specialty Clutches

Anything that does more than the previous two types of clutches would be considered as a specialty clutch. These clutches are designed to add convenience to drummers and accomplish a variety of different things. Many specialty clutches have made me think “I can’t believe I’ve gone so many years without this”.

The Tama Sizzle Touch Drop is a popular specialty hi-hat clutch. It’s designed to cater to drummers with double pedals by letting you adjust the hi-hats on the fly. Another good example of a specialty clutch is the DW Incremental clutch. It’s specifically designed to work with remote hi-hats.

Naturally, specialty clutches are the most expensive types of hi-hat clutches that you can get. However, most of them make a world of difference once they’re integrated into your drum setup.


When getting a hi-hat clutch, you’re going to have to decide what you need it for. You should get a quick release clutch if you’re going to be using it for recording. Studio work often requires different hi-hat sounds. So, the quick release clutch will make it quick and easy to swap out hi-hats.

Standard hi-hat clutches work for every situation. So, that might be a good option too. You may also need a specialty clutch for double pedal work.

I suggest that you get one of each. It will never be a bad idea to have many clutches lying around. You’ll be equipped for every situation.

About Brett Clur

Brett has been playing drums for 18+ years. He's a huge drumming gear enthusiast and also teaches drumming to his students. He's most active on Instagram (@brettclurdrums), where he regularly uploads drumming videos.

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