Favorite tuning key.


Well-known member
What is it and why. If you could have a custom key made what would it look like. How much would you pay for it.


I bought a Gibraltar key the other day. Curiously it's identical to the ones sold by Pearl in the 1980s. Makes me think Gibralter got hold of the castings/tooling somehow.


Junior Member
I keep an Evans magnetic key on my floor tom, so it gets the most use, but some T rod tops are a couple mm too small for the Evans to get a grip. I like a Promark Ratch-It which has both ratcheting and a large comfy handle.

Out of Round

Well-known member
I also like the Evans magnetic key because the "handle" part is curved in such a way that it's comfortable and finely controllable too.

My ideal custom key would be just like the Evans key, but with a way to have it on a key ring.

My sentimental favorite was the Premier key that came with my brand new '89 Projector kit. It had sharp corners, but it could go on a key ring and it was cool because it was Premier. I lent it to some knucklehead in '91 and of course he lost it.

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
sonor’s key with the orange rubber grip is the best i’ve used so far but it got stolen the second day i had it, so i’m using the tama keys with the knob on top. i will eventually get some more of those sonor keys.

Armor of Light

Senior Member

This one..came with my kit. My other favorite is the crappiest, chinese-made thing you can imagine, but in a fit of childishness, I stole it from a jerk. Ha!


Senior Member
I have like three bags of them - so whatever I pull out at the time.

But special note to the Gretsch one that Yammy posted because it's IN my snare haha and it does feel chunky and nice.

Also the ones that are L shaped and spin - those are nice for quick changes.


This one has served me well for several years now.

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
Either the DW key & holder (on the left) or the VicKey that I put a custom chain on to "wear my tools". ;)

DW key.jpgVICKEY-xlarge.jpg


Well-known member
well, D minor is the saddest of all keys, so that is what I prefer

but for my drums, it is this



Platinum Member
I'm a fan of the crank handle style...especially when time is essential...though i've taken on the 'have a replacement instrument at hand' as opposed to 'be able to switch out heads fast' approach for my snare. Other heads can usually be avoided until a time-break is had...except the Bass...and who wants to lug another bass around?

Mine has a more conical intake for the lug head so its a bit easier to get it mounted on the lug.(I think mine is Gibralter?)

Not sure how to gauge its monetary value...couple of bucks ranging to everything I have in the right needful situation.

As far as custom, I would like to see new approaches to head mounting but that is usually a nightmare of poor engeneering. I'd like to see Shubb take a stab at it...I really like their capo design.

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Senior Member
DW SM800 drum key keychain. Has the knurled top for spinning and detaches from the rest of my keys. Probably the only drum key I haven't lost in the seven years I've had it. Literally in my pocket right now!

The Tama and Sonor Protean come in tied for second, but the DW wins by virtue of being the detachable keychain.

The magnetic Evans key doesn't really fit very snug on tension rods, and I have zero use for the magnet.
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I have a bunch of Proteans, but that detachable keychain DW looks nice.

I've never needed anything more fancy. I just like to be able to fingertighten without touching the threads. Before the Proteans cane out I used the long Rolands when changing heads.