Any reason not to re-use heads that are in good condition?


Senior Member
Over the past couple of years, I've experimented with lots of different drumheads, trying to find "my sound". I've ironically come back to where I started, double-ply on top and 10-mil single ply on bottom, but that's another story. Anyway, I've got lots of drum heads now that are in very good condition for the most part. I'm curious if there's any reason not to use those on my other drumkits? I'm concerned that maybe the bearing edges for the first kit I put them on would break in the heads in some way that would make them not good to use on other drums, but I don't know if that's really a concern.


Well-known member
I can only give an single sample size story of today's experience.
I reused a snare side head on a snare that I sent out for bearing edge work.
The drum was pretty dead and lifeless compared to how it was before I sent it out. The snares simply weren't responding properly.

I replaced the resonant head with a new one and everything is great now.
But the batter head seemed to be alright. My guess is that the tighter the head is cranked down originally the more poorly it will perform from it's original state.

No Way Jose

Silver Member
If heads are in good condition and you like the sound, and the playability is acceptable, then I'd use them.


Platinum Member
I think if you if you pinched a thin layer of your skin at the tension that some of your drum heads are at you'd realize it quickly would 'break in' the new bearing edge.


Senior Member
When I’ve changed my heads, I’ve always kept the ones in better condition as back ups. I’ve needed to use them on several occasions and never had an issue.

Mea Culpa - I’ve always been a mid tuner. Don’t know if that would hold true with high tuning.



Platinum Member
If you truly like double ply up top, and have a collection of single-ply tops you're looking to part with, please ping me, as I'm in the exact opposite situation and would gladly exchange Emperors (in red below) for Ambassadors.

The lifespan of a head is generally measured in hours of playtime. There is nothing wrong with re-use outside of dammage/divots, broken collars, and multi-decade-long-off-gassing.



Platinum Member
I have a lot of heads that I've collected over the years. I like trying new things and having options for different sounds and I often swap out.

In general I'd say that thinner heads and heads that get higher tensions don't respond well to repeated installation, but two-ply or even 10-mil single ply heads in general seem fine to re-use.


Senior Member
I do re-use heads all the time. Not all heads are a good fit for a particular drum but can work well with another. Just put a Fiberskyn that I tried and didn´t like on a couple of snares on a Tama 14x4 maple, and it sounds great on that drum.
The only problem, as stated, is with snare side heads - once they are stretched to fit the shape of a particular snare bed, they won´t fit a different one properly.