The hi-hat stand is an essential part of every drum kit, as it supports arguably the most important cymbals. Aside from support, the stand also largely influences the tone you get from the hi-hat. It is, therefore, very important to equip your drum kit with a quality stand.
7 Best Hi-Hat Stands to Upgrade Your Drum Kit
If you’re on a hunt for your next hi-hat stand, here’s a list of my favorite models. Read on as I have reviewed some of the most capable hi-hat stands out there and investigate what makes a good stand.
Here we have the H930 hi-hat stand, a member of the hugely popular Demonator series made by Pearl. This is a versatile, all-around option, made for both professional and casual use. Before checking the specs of the stand, just know that Pearl is well-known for making heavy-duty hardware that lasts decades.
The Demonator is a three-legged stand with a classic chain drive and sturdy construction. The legs are double-braced and made of durable materials. They feature rubber tips to prevent slipping. The H930 is a medium-heavy model and can be folded for easier transport.
The pedal is connected to a detachable floor board. It can easily be paired with a double bass drum pedal, thanks to the swivel design. The swivel design allows you to rotate the legs so that they don’t get in the way of a second pedal. The H930 also has a standard clutch on the top.
You can adjust the tension at the top of this hi-hat stand. It uses a threaded tension adjustment wheel, allowing you to easily dial in the right amount of resistance.
Overall, it’s a wonderful heavy-duty stand that will work with most applications. It’s fairly expensive compared to many stands on the market, so I’d only suggest getting it if you feel like you need a solid platform for your hi-hats to rest on.
The stand also makes a few squeaking noises when you adjust it. These noises may be distracting in certain environments, but won’t make much of a difference to most people. I just thought I should mention them so that you know.
2. PDP HH700
This is one of my favorite budget hi-hat stands. The Pacific Drums 700-series PDHH700 is made with beginners and inexperienced players in mind. It is a great hi-hat stand for a practice drum kit and it can also serve as an emergency backup.
It’s a three-legged stand with double-braced legs, chain drive, and lightweight tubing. The legs are equipped with big multi-tread rubber feet for additional stability.
The pedal is connected to a metal-rod base. As an entry-level model, the PDHH700 does not swivel and can’t accommodate a second bass drum pedal.
The PDHH700 is a lightweight model, so you shouldn’t abuse it too much. It can bend fairly easily if you’re not careful. This makes it a bad stand to use for gigging. If you’re constantly putting it in hardware bags, it’s not going to last long.
While gigging isn’t its strength, I found that it works perfectly well in static practice spaces or studios. For the cheap price it comes at, it’s not a stand that you shouldn’t consider.
If you want something with similar design features, but is a bit sturdier, check out the 800 Series from PDP.
The HHS-3 stand forms part of Yamaha’s Crosstown line of hardware. These stands were designed to be light and portable. The whole point of owning a stand like this is so that you can pack it into a hardware bag and easily carry it from venue to venue. The setup is also extremely quick.
A stand like this works incredibly well when paired with a compact drum set. The portable nature of both pieces of equipment forms an excellent combination. It still blows my mind how Yamaha is able to make such a light stand that still feels durable and strong.
While portability is the main focus, the stand also works well on its own, even in a static practice space. It’s surprisingly stable and it even works well with larger hi-hats.
The lightweight nature of it doesn’t blend too well with heavy playing, meaning it’s not the greatest option for hard hitters. Rather, it’s best suited for jazz and indie playing scenarios.
The stand also can’t be raised high for players who like to sit at high positions. If you like to raise your drum throne fairly high, there’s a large chance that you won’t be comfortable with this hi-hat stand.
If you’ve read any of our other gear reviews, you’d know that Gibraltar hardware is always a staple in any list. This bad boy belongs to the budget class and is one of the most widely used hi-hat stands in rehearsal studios.
Due to its medium weight, the 5707 can take a lot of punishment while still offering pretty decent stability. It is also foldable and easy to set up and take apart. The generous rubber padding on the legs provides additional grip.
This is a standard three-legged stand with a chain driven pedal board. It’s extremely comfortable to play on, allowing you to play all kinds of things that you need to. The legs can swivel all the way around, giving you plenty of freedom to add in an extra pedal.
Thanks to its versatile construction, this durable hi-hat stand can be used in a wide variety of setups. That being said, it’s not a heavy-duty stand, so I wouldn’t recommend using it for heavy touring or constant studio use.
I found that the pedal of this stand was a bit narrow, especially at the base. If you like to keep your foot near the bottom of the pedal when playing, it might feel a bit uncomfortable.
The Speed Cobras are famous pedals from Tama. They’re most popular with metal drummers thanks to their sleek designs that allow for speed drumming.
The biggest thing that separates this hi-hat stand from the rest on this list is that the pedal is a long board pedal. It’s slightly longer than normal pedals, giving your foot more room to apply certain techniques.
Not everyone is a fan of long board pedals. They can feel quite uncomfortable if you’re not used to them. However, having a hi-hat stand like this would go perfectly with double bass drum pedals that have long boards. The perfect example would be the Tama Speed Cobra pedals.
The stand only has 2 legs, further encouraging you to use it with a double pedal. It’s the perfect option for metal drummers.
The pedal squeaks a bit when being pressed up and down. It can easily be handled with some Q20 spray. However, it can be a bit of an annoyance if you don’t spray it regularly, especially if you’re needing to use the hi-hat stand in a recording environment.
If you liked the previous two-legged design, but don’t want to have a long board pedal, this hi-hat stand from DW may be the answer for you.
It’s is a two-leg stand with double-braced legs which end in rubber feet. The two-leg design combined with the swiveling construction helps minimize the clutter and free up space for additional pedals.
The CP9500TB comes with a heavy-duty pedal attached to a robust chain action mechanism. It also features a lateral cymbal seat which allows easier cymbal angle adjustment. The clutch on the top is simple but very secure.
The stand has a significantly high playing height, making it a great option for taller drummers who need to place their hi-hats fairly high.
Thanks to its robust construction, this hi-hat stand can be used in even the most demanding professional studio settings. The big downside is that it’s the most expensive stand on this list.
I also wouldn’t recommend using it to gig frequently. The floor board has two screws that need to be undone in order to set up or pack down the stand. This can get incredibly frustrating if you’re trying to move gear quickly. It’s the price to pay for having such a solid hi-hat stand. If you never plan on moving it, it’s the perfect stand to have.
7. Gretsch G3
Gretsch offers a good selection of both lightweight and heavyweight hi-hat stands. The Gretsch G3 is a lightweight model. Don’t let that fool you, though, as this stand is much more capable than it leads on.
First of all, it’s pretty heavy for a lightweight model. It also comes with a double-braced tripod design that offers superior stability on stage. These two characteristics give it a better chance against drummers that are keen on fast rhythms or beginner drummers that may hit cymbals harder and less accurately.
The chain drive has a direct pull and comes with a four-position tension adjuster. This should make the Gretsch G3 stand a good choice for multiple genres and various custom drum kits thanks to the versatility in adjustment setting. Even though the positions are fixed, most beginner and intermediate drummers should find the resistance settings to their liking.
Overall, it’s a great all-purpose stand to use. One thing that may stop you from getting it is the minimum adjustment height. This refers to how low you can set the stand up. It’s a bit taller than the other stands, meaning the G3 isn’t a great stand for tall people, but not optimal for short people and children.
The rod is also fairly long, making it difficult to position cymbals around it comfortably. If you like to have your cymbals placed high, then it won’t be an issue.
Main Types of Hi-Hat Stands
The first thing to consider when shopping for a hi-hat stand is its construction. Many variants exist, though they can be roughly divided into three major categories – three-leg stands, two-leg stands, and no-leg stands. The choice should mostly depend on your playing style and available room. Here’s a word or two on each of the three major types.
Models with three legs are the most common and are used by the vast majority of professional and amateur drummers.
Some three-leg models can swivel, allowing for the addition of extra pedals. On the other hand, fixed models are simpler and easier to use but don’t allow you to add pedals. These are made for drummers aiming to set up a basic drum kit.
Three-legged models typically offer better stability than legless and two-legged models. They stand on their own and don’t need extra support.
Two-legged models, as their name suggests, have only two legs. They face away from the player and use a rock plate as the third leg. The main selling points of two-leg stands are their ability to accommodate a number of additional pedals and the fact that they save a ton of space.
Like their three-legged siblings, two-leg models don’t need additional support to stand. They are made for drummers who want more room without compromising the stability.
The third and last major type is the so-called no-leg stand. True to its name, this stand only has a stand and a pedal with the rock plate at the bottom.
Due to the minimalist construction, it needs to be attached to a cymbal stand or a rack. This type is usually the lightest and the most compact, and the most travel-friendly of the three major types. Drummers looking for maximum portability and minimum clutter should consider the no-leg variant.
Weight of the Stand
The weight and robustness of the stand are very important. These should depend on your playing style and your needs. For example, if you’re playing in a hard rock/metal band, you’d probably want to look into some heavier and more robust stands. On the other hand, if you play less aggressive music, a lighter model might do the job.
If you perform frequently and have to transport and assemble/disassemble the equipment by yourself, a lighter, more portable stand might be the right choice. If you need a hi-hat stand for a recording/rehearsal studio drum kit, your playing style should be the most important factor.
Another thing to consider here is the weight of your cymbals. Usually, your average stand should be able to support most of the cymbals out there. If you, on the other hand, use particularly big and heavy cymbals, you might want to invest in a stronger stand.
Swivel is a very important feature, as it allows you to adjust the angle of the stand and add more pedals to your setup. The majority of two- and three-leg stands can swivel. However, flat-base models can’t. No-leg models can’t swivel either.
The right choice here depends on your playing style. If you like to keep it simple, then a no-swivel model will do just fine. If on the other hand you need additional pedals, a stand which can swivel is a must.
Resistance or spring tension is one of the key features of a hi-hat stand. It determines the “feel” of a stand and can greatly affect the playing experience.
The right amount of tension differs from drummer to drummer and completely depends on personal taste. If you dial in too much resistance, you’ll tire easily. But if the resistance is too low, you might accidentally hit the hi-hat.
Luckily, most of the stands come with adjustable tension. Some models come with pre-fixed tension levels, while others allow you to fine-tune the tension.
Build Quality & Durability
Like with all other elements of hardware, the build is one of the essential features of a good hi-hat stand. You should look for something that’s made of quality materials and components. This is especially important if you perform frequently.
When searching for stands for your drum kit, you’ll often encounter two descriptions: single-braced and double-braced. Since not a lot of people understand the difference between them, let me break it down for you.
Single-braced hardware is usually, but not always, used for lightweight stands. It can offer the same amount of stability as double-braced stands but is ultimately less versatile. Although I myself am not a drummer, I recommend going for double-braced hardware when and if your budget permits.
Why? – It’s simple. For one, double-braced stands can also be double tom stands (pun intended). Secondly, they can support more weight and can take a harder and longer beating. This means that for drummers that travel extensively, double-braced hardware is the ideal choice.
With that in mind, you can get away with single-braced hardware in rehearsal studios or music venues that only host blues, jazz, soft rock, and similar genres.
Finally, the budget should also come into consideration. Ideally, it should be tailored according to what you want and need from your hi-hat stand.
The prices can vary greatly, from well below $100 for budget models to several hundred for the high-end models, in case you're aiming for the absolute best hi hat stand.
If you want a basic stand for casual use, a simple affordable stand might do the job. On the other hand, if you use additional pedals or gig frequently, a pricier option with extra features might be the right choice for you.
When buying a hi-hat stand, there are many things to consider. Some of them include build quality, number of legs, ability to accommodate additional pedals, action, and many more. The decision should depend on your playing style and preferences, as well as budget.