This is especially true of the hi-hat stand, which not only has to be rugged enough to stand up to extended play but has to have smooth operating mechanisms so that mechanical issues don’t interfere with your sound or rhythm. You also need to find a stand that’s sturdy and well-balanced so it won’t topple over on you mid-set. Finally, a gigging musician needs to consider the weight and portability of the stand—in other words, how easy it will be to transport and set up. That’s a lot of stuff to consider for such a seemingly simple piece of equipment.
The four stands on this list, however, excel in all the above categories, and are models worth considering when you’re in the market for a new stand. These are likely the best hi hat stands you can buy.
Drum Workshop CP9500TB
This hi-hat stand strikes an impressive balance between rugged construction and light-weight materials, with the end result of a hi-hat stand that’s easy to transport to your gigs and reliable once you get there. It uses a sturdy two-legged design and a uni-body folding footboard that’s attached to the casting for better stability.
The mechanisms (see full specs) are fully-adjustable, letting you instantly make changes to the angle of the lower cymbal, and offering an infinitely adjustable locking spring tension that lets you make fine adjustments to the weight of the top cymbal, meaning you can customize it to your perfect feel. The plastic tube insulators make this stand great for studio recording applications as well as gigs, eliminating rattling and other noise from the equipment.
Pearl is known for making high-quality drum equipment that’s an excellent value, and this hi-hat stand is no exception. It’s sturdy from the bottom up, starting with the tripod parallel double-braced legs. This is an especially good stand for players in more intense styles who give their equipment a beating—it’s a heavier stand than the Drum Workshop model above, which means it’s less likely to warp or topple even in the kit of a high-intensity player.
The re-designed features (see full specs) include a die-cast joint with a stop lock, a lock nut on the clutch, and a direct drive system that’s fully adjustable, featuring the company’s innovative H2000-type spring adjuster. Clearly, this is one of the best hi hat stands on the market.
Yamaha equipment is durable and consistent. This stand gives you a choice of three weights. The lightweight model is appropriate for jazz drummers and frequent giggers; the heavy weight will stand up to the abuses of more aggressive styles, and the medium weight model strikes a great balance between the two, light enough for easy transportation and strong enough to stand up to aggressive players.
Equally important is the value, giving you quality construction and an 11-step adjustable tension for just over a hundred dollars. The rotating legs mean it can fit comfortably even in tight or complex kit set-ups, giving it impressive versatility along with its durability and value.
If you’re a drummer on a budget, check out the Gibraltar 5707 model—a professional hi-hat stand that will set you back less than a hundred dollars. It’s a low-mass double-braced stand with a compact profile, excellent for gigging drummers.
The double-braced tripod base gives you excellent stability and durability. The cast-hinged height adjustment makes it easy to give your hi-hat the feel that’s most comfortable for your playing style, and locks in securely so it’ll stay put once you find your perfect setting. When it comes to playing, the mechanism is smooth and moves easily without any extraneous noise from either the stand or the foot pedal. This is likely the best hi hat stand if you’re on a budget.
The main difference in base styles between hi-hat stands is the number of legs they use for support. Many have a tripod design, with a leg to either side of the foot pedal and another at the back of the stand. Others eschew this third leg, with just one leg for support on either side. The tripod designs tend to be more stable on their own, but stability isn’t the only consideration when it comes to the base.
No one piece of a drum kit exists in a vacuum. Even the best hi hat stand need to be able to comfortably fit within the spatial arrangement of your equipment. If you use a lot of cymbals and drums, a tripod hi-hat stand can be trickier to fit where you want it to go. For some players, moving the hi-hat around to accommodate the third foot puts it in an uncomfortable or inconvenient place, and this can interfere with your rhythm and style. If you play on a relatively simple kit, you should be able to fit a tripod hi-hat stand into your setup no problem and will benefit from the added stability. For some players, though, a two-foot design is necessary to make all the pieces fit together in the right way.
Don’t neglect the feet of the unit, either. You want to find a stand that has rubber feet at the base of each leg. Not only does this keep the stand from sliding around when you hit the cymbal, it also helps to minimize vibration traveling up through the stand and causing extraneous noise during your set.
The weight of your cymbals will also have an impact on what style of stand you need. Lighter cymbals will do just fine on a two-legged stand, but heavier cymbals will benefit from the added stability of the third leg. Beyond the leg arrangement, also think about the weight of the stand itself. Again, if your hi-hat cymbals are relatively light, a light-weight stand will do just fine. Heavier cymbals, though, can throw off the balance of a light-weight stand, affecting your sound and precision even if the stand never actually topples.
Finally, don’t only consider the structure of the base when you’re looking for a stand for wide or heavy hi-hats. The pull rod and clutch will need to be equally heavy-duty to work correctly with bigger cymbals.