The maintenance of a drum set is a lot easier when you have the best drum multi-tool by your side.
A drum set is a huge and complex instrument, so things break and get loose more often than not.
If you’re a drummer or a drum tech, you should carry around any tools you might need for a kick fix on the go.
Thankfully, in this day and age, with brands investing in drum multi-tools, you don’t need to carry around a dozen individual tools.
If you don’t know what a multi-tool is, according to Wikipedia, it’s a hand tool that combines several individual functions in a single unit.
The best example of a multi-tool is the Swiss Army Knife, which we’ve all at least heard of it before.
Drum multi-tools in particular are just like any multi-tool, but with a few drum-specific tools, like a drum key or a nut wrench.
Plus, they’re usually made by well-known manufacturers in the drumming world, like Pearl or Tama, so they know a thing or two about drums.
Anyway, if that’s something that might interest you, here’s the best drum multi-tool for your needs:
My first suggestion comes from TAMA, the manufacturers of some of the most popular drums in the world.
If they know a thing or two about building drums, I think it’s safe to assume they know what a drummer should have at his disposal to take good care of them.
The TMT9 Drum Multi-Tool is a 9-in-1 tool designed to make your life on the road (or at home) easier.
First things first, it comes with 5 hex keys for things like bass drum pedals, with sizes ranging from 2mm to 5mm.
On top of that, it wouldn’t be a drum multi-tool without a drum key. This one, in particular, comes with not one, but two: 1 offset and 1 T key for additional torque.
Additionally, to replace things like snare strainers and wires, the TMT9 features a Phillips screwdriver.
My absolute favorite part of the TAMA TMT9 Drum Multi-Tool is its wing nut loosener. As someone who over tightens t-nuts and t-bolts on the regular, having something like that in my pocket helps tremendously when setting up and tearing down a drum set.
To guarantee that you won’t ever lose it and it’s always ready to go, the TMT9 comes with a keychain link.
In the end, the TAMA TMT9 Drum Multi-Tool is one of the best on the market. It’s very well built and sturdy but isn’t as easy to store as some of the alternatives. Think of it as a bulkier Swiss army knife.
Just like TAMA, Pearl is another well-known drum manufacturer, endorsed by some of the best drummers in the world.
They also make high-quality hardware and accessories like a survival tool specially designed to fit all Pearl drums pedals and hardware.
Even though it was designed with Pearl gear in mind, the 13 tools it comes with work just fine with everything else.
As far as hex wrenches go, the Pearl PTT13 comes with all the 5 ones found on the TAMA TMT9, and an additional 6mm one.
On top of that, it features a total of 5 different screwdrivers – slotted 1.5mm and 5mm, as well as Phillips #00, Phillips #01, and Phillips #02.
That’s incredibly useful to replace or tighten things like snare wires and pedals, as well as drum lugs that might break on the road.
The Pearl PTT13 TechTool is extremely light and its small footprint allows you to easily carry it in your pocket or drumstick bag.
Additionally, no drum tool is complete without a drum key, so Pearl didn’t let us down and included one with the PTT13.
The TechTool is built to last with its heat-treated S2 alloy and finished with an anodized black finish. The tool’s body reflective orange guarantees you won’t lose it on stage even in low light conditions.
When you’re all done and everything’s ready to go, take advantage of the included bottle opener and relax with your bandmates before the gig.
In the end, the Pearl PTT13 TechTool is a really good drum multi-tool, with all the needed tools in a convenient, small and well-made accessory.
Unlike Tama and Pearl, Meinl is mostly known for making some of the best-sounding cymbals in the world.
Besides that, they also manufacture percussion instruments like Cajons and Djembes, and sometimes, accessories like the Meinl SB503 Drum Tech Multi-Tool.
The SB503 comes with a total of 10 tools, including the same 5 hex wrenches found on the TAMA TMT9 – 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm.
Since drums go out of tune more often than we would like to admit, the Meinl Multi-Tool features a drum key for last-minute tuning, heads’ replacement, or hardware adjusting.
Additionally, to tighten loose lugs or replace broken ones, adjust or replace snare wires, and everything else that might use Phillips or Slotted screws, Meinl included a Phillips and a slotted screwdriver.
Also included is a 7mm socket wrench, necessary for maintaining certain types of shells and pedals where screwdrivers aren’t enough. If you need any size other than 7mm, any ¼ inch drive socket will work with the socket driver.
When you finish the gig, use the included bottle opener to sit back and relax with your bandmates before, once again, disassembling everything.
The design is similar to the Pearl PTT13 one, so it’s just as compact and light for you to carry in your pocket or in a stick bag.
Alternatively, since it comes with a carabiner, you can attach it to a keychain or clip it to your belt loop so it’s always ready to go.
In the end, the Meinl SB503 Drum Tech Multi-Tool is a really solid accessory for drummers and percussionists in general, but not my favorite.
My third suggestion comes from Gibraltar, experts in drum hardware, but also drum parts and accessories.
First of all, it comes with 4 hex wrenches, so it’s missing a 2.5mm one when compared to every single alternative.
On top of that, it features two slotted screwdrivers, one independent, and one at the tip of the bottle opener.
Besides the slotted screwdrivers, it also comes with 2 different Phillips screwdrivers. Both slotted and Phillips screwdrivers are useful for a drummer, considering drum parts like snare wires, drum lugs, and pedal often use slotted or Phillips screws.
No drum multi-tool would be complete without a drum key, so don’t worry, Gibraltar included one for when you need to tune or replace your drum heads at the last minute.
Design-wise, the Gibraltar multi-tool is the closest one to the classic Swiss Army Knife, so it’s compact, light, and the easiest one to carry around.
Additionally, the red finish will make it easy for you to spot it anywhere, even in low light conditions. It doesn’t feel like the sturdiest multi-tool out of all my suggestions, but using it on the road shouldn’t be a problem despite feeling the cheapest.
To conclude, my favorite part about the Gibraltar SC-GPMT Drum Tech Pocket Multi-Tool is its price, considering it costs half as much as the alternatives.
With that in mind, if you’re someone on a budget or simply don’t want to spend more than $20 on a drum multi-tool, this is the tool for you.
From all my suggestions, GrooveTech is probably the least known company amongst drummers.
Don’t let that fool you though, they sure know what they’re doing and the GrooveTech GTDMT1 is a perfect example.
This impressive accessory comes with a total of 14 tools, including a ruler. I honestly don’t know how useful a ruler can be to a drummer, but better safe than sorry.
Besides the ruler, it comes with a total of 9 hex wrenches. Yes, you read it right, 9 different wrenches.
That’s because it features both metric and inch hex wrenches. The metric ones are the same 5 found on the TAMA TMT9 or the Meinl SB503 – 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm.
On the other hand, the inch hex wrenches included are a 3/32”, 1/8”, 5/32”, and 3/16”. Between the inch and metric hex wrenches, you’ll be able to adjust pretty much any drum part.
On top of that, it also comes with 3 different screwdrivers – a 5mm slotted screwdriver, as well as a Phillips #01 and Phillips #02 screwdrivers.
But there’s more…
To complete the package, the GrooveTech includes a drum key, otherwise, we couldn’t even consider it a drum multi-tool.
Sadly, there’s no wing nut loosener, or even a bottle opener included. I would skip the ruler and replace it with something else, but I don’t know if anyone shares the same opinion.
Additionally, this is another high-quality multi-tool made from heat-treated S2 alloy, similar to the one used in the Pearl PTT13 TechTool.
It’s also red, just like the Gibraltar multi-tool, so it’s unlikely you’ll lose it on stage, even in low light conditions.
In the end, this is a solid drum multi-tool, but for me, the ruler doesn’t make much sense and I don’t know if we need 9 different hex wrenches.
As you could probably tell by now, there are plenty of drum multi-tools on the market, but neither is perfect, as they all have their pros and cons.
For me personally, the TAMA TMT9 is the most ergonomic drum multi-tool and the easiest to use thanks to its shorter tools.
Plus, it comes with a wing nut loosener, which is a pretty smart use of the empty space on the side.
Sure, you could use the old trick where you place a drum stick on each side of the wing nut, and then it’s considerably easier to rotate, but I still think it’s a nice addition.
Additionally, I would also replace one of the drum keys with a slotted screwdriver, as there’s no need for 2 drum keys and a different head screwdriver is always useful.
On the other hand, it doesn’t have the greatest number of tools, so if that’s what you value the most, either get the GrooveTech GTDMT1 Drum Multi-Tool or the Pearl PTT13 TechTool.
On top of that, if you’re someone on a budget or you simply don’t want to spend much on an accessory, get yourself a Gibraltar SC-GPMT Drum Tech Pocket Multi-Tool.
It feels the cheapest out of all of my suggestions, but it should be enough for all of your needs and costs nearly half as much as the alternatives.
In the end, whatever you decide to buy will most likely be more than enough for the average drummer on the road.
I hope this article achieved its main purpose of educating you on the importance of a drum multi-working for the working drummer, and which is the best drum multi-tool for your needs.