It’s been a while between updates because I’ve had a rough time determining how to move this site forward without becoming too dry (with that in mind, I chose to write up a drum key this week). If you’ve got any suggestions about content, media or specific products for review, please comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewing a drum key certainly seems a little underwhelming, but having used this little guy so many times in the past few weeks, I felt obligated to write up a little endorsement.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely owned your share of keys. From the flimsy freebie to the seventy-six dollar special equipped with a GPS, most of us have accumulated more drum keys than we care to admit. I’m no different, keeping a key in my backpack, pedal case, car, girlfriend’s car and snare bag ̶ in addition to the four that are always in my stick bag.
Despite having so many keys at my disposal, I’ve always had a favorite. For many years, it was the heavy-weight TDK10 from Tama. Not long ago, when it came time to replace my trusty torquer, I found the Tama key unavailable. I made a quick decision, and ordered the Evans Magnetic Key, expecting it to be a quick, hopefully suitable, substitute that would probably end up riding the bench once I found another TDK10.
My first impulse is to say that ordering this key was a stroke of luck, but it wasn’t. Other drummers have recommended the Magnetic Drum Key for years, but unwaivering brand loyalty to Remo kept me from taking the plunge (more on loyalty in a future post). So, in the end, it was not luck, but necessity and a modicum of maturity finally hipped me to this excellent little unit.
The Evans Magnetic Drum Key is constructed as a single, drop-forged piece. The key carries a little extra weight, but the resulting sturdiness is reassuring. The knurled wings and textured extension won’t leave your hands hurting, and the added mass keeps it from feeling lost in my fat fingers. That’s not to say that you’ll need to hit the gym before tossing the key in your bag. It actually feels slightly lighter than other drop-forged keys I’ve used (including the TDK10), making it comfortably pocket-sized.
The other big benefit of the Evans Key is its magnetized head. The charge isn’t so strong that you’ll need to wrestle the key away from your rods, but it’s more than capable of adding a little extra stability for speedy head changes or tuning on the fly. More importantly, you can slap the key on top of a tension rod within arm’s reach and play away without risk of rattle (I should say that I’ve heard the key rattle once or twice on certain drums, but for the most part, it keeps quiet).
I was initially a little bummed that the key isn’t drilled for a key ring, but I think I’ve decided that it’s for the best. An attached key chain might upset the otherwise extremely comfortable grip on this very practically designed piece.
The Evans Magnetic Drum Key is a perfect “first call” key to keep in your bag. It’s always the first key I reach for, and I can’t imagine that changing any time soon. A great many of you reading this review probably already own a Magnetic key, but if you’ve been holding out for any reason, please consider grabbing one next time you’re making a purchase. You’ll be happy you did.
That’s 500+ words on a drum key. Help me be less boring.