Cajon drums, also called percussion boxes are very traditional instruments. They are believed to be significant instruments and essential for the improvement of the Afro-Peruvian practice.
Although contemporary Cajons have already progressed, and the tonal descriptions are likely intricate, there is still something quite restrained when it comes to the way they create sound.
Nevertheless, there is always a time and venue for a Cajon. Comprehending the instrument, including how it plays and what it does, is necessary if you intend to utilize its usage. Thus, you might want to check the best Cajon drums in 2020.
List of Best Cajon Drums in 2020
To help you decide about the best Cajon drums, here is a list that will give you several choices. After checking the features of these models, you will become familiar with the essential elements of the best Cajon. It will be beneficial if you want to come up with a well-educated selection when buying the best Cajon.
1. Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon –Overall Best Cajon Drum
- Creates huge bass
- Soft but loud snare tones
- Internal reflex channels
When it comes to appearance and sound, the Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon is a monster. The abbreviation SUBCAJ refers to a subwoofer Cajon. Thus, users can anticipate a huge bass. Needless to say, this Cajon drum looks incredible because of its walnut casing.
This Cajon drum is very stable because of its ideal width and depth. Also, its dimension offers this instrument a remarkable deep sound. Inside it is the internal reflex channels that are responsible for diverting adequate bass from the ports found in front.
Overall, this Cajon drum is recommended to professionals. It is perfect for live performances, particularly when the player requires an excellent quality tone and loads of volume.
Editor’s Rating: 4.5
2. Schlagwerk CP404 2-in-1 – Best Spiral Composition
- 2-in-1 sound
- Deep sound
- Easy to use
Although Schlagwerk wanders away from Peru, it has established a great prominence in the industry. The Schlagwerk CP404 exhibits a very durable built and an intricate spiral composition inside the box. This structure can accommodate up to 40 snare wires.
What makes this model even more interesting is that the spiral composition can be detached. If you opt to do that, you can play with that conventional Peruvian sound. This also explains why CP404 is also referred to as a 2-in-1 Cajon. It can create two unique kinds of sound.
The size of this model is also very ideal. Its area is 11.8 x 11.8 inches, while its height reaches 19.7 inches. This makes this model ideal for taller artists. Hitting the front plate needs less bending of the back.
By keeping a suitable posture, the model provides plenty of bang for your kick-off. Nonetheless, there is more other than the output volume and size. The resonance box has 8 layers of birch which contribute to its deep-sounding and sturdy construction.
Editor’s Rating: 4.5
3. Latin Percussion LPA1332 LP Aspire – Best on Professional Look
- Flexible DW snare wires
- Beautiful aesthetics
- Curved corners and edges
If you aim to achieve a professional look with a Cajon drum, then the Latin Percussion LPA1332 LP Aspire. It is available in 4 colors. The quality of the construction will surely justify the price. But aside from that, it also has a design that gives a safe and comfortable feeling when being played.
This hulking model exhibits a very impressive adherence, and users will not have to worry about hitting into the curved edges and corners. It uses snare wires – exactly three sets of them. This lets players mirror a standard drum kit well if they do alternate slaps between the center and corners of the front plate.
You will be amazed upon hearing the conventional and woody sound of the box once the wires are perfectly adjusted. Dialing down the snare’s tone provides this model an acceptable Peruvian Cajon sound. This makes LPA1332 quite functional for both professional and novice players.
Editor’s Rating: 4.0
4. Pyle PCJD18 String Cajon – Best Value for Money
- Value for money
- Adjustable strings
- High-quality sound
The Pyle PCJD18 has internal steel strings and justly sized. It is domesticated, and you will realize the flair Pyle has exerted into making a Cajon with such remarkable construction quality.
The sound produced by this drum is especially smooth, primarily contributed by the adjustable strings. It is also outfitted with a hex key used for tuning, which is performed beneath the instrument.
The PCJD18 comes in excellent quality and is perfect for the novice who never got the chance to play the instrument before. It can work well either in a studio or live work.
Editor’s Rating: 4.0
5. Sawtooth ST-CJ120B – Most Portable Cajon
- Good durability
- Padded cushion
- Loud output
The ST-CJ120B of Sawtooth is a birch Cajon drum that is designed for supreme portability. Compared to other models, its feet are quite thicker, and they are rubber-padded. The package comprises a carry bag which serves to protect the faces of the box.
Whether you plan to use this model in a concert, in your home, or in a studio, this model is designed for convenience. It guarantees great stability because of its thicker feet. The padded seat cushion contributes to an appropriate playing stance for a longer period.
It produces a very impressive output. The artistry of the body is one thing to be applauded. However, it outperforms the quality of the sound. Its snare wire system is completely adjustable but requires a lot of fiddling to make the tune well-balanced.
This model is inclined towards an inflexible slapping sound with a little echo. Fortunately, the front plate is easily accustomed to mow down the echo.
Editor’s Rating: 4.0
6. LP Americana Groove Wire – Best Solution to a Snare Drum
- Designed from Baltic birch
- Has fixed snare wires
- Adjustable front plate
The LP Americana Groove Wire is designed from Baltic birch, which provides it an intense fullness and lively tone. It created a chilly snare sound and permeated with fixed wires, which make it sound like the actual thing. It has an adjustable front plate, which gives players the added control over the final sound.
This model weighs lighter; hence it is very portable. However, it does not provide an equal level of bass. It works well for people who like to use it as an immediate solution to a snare drum sound. It may not do well to people who want to get a huge range of bassy tones or sounds.
Editor’s Rating: 4.0
7. A Tempo Percussion Peruvian Classic – Most Traditional Model
- Peruvian conventional sound
- Made from Lupuna plywood and Spanish cedar
A Tempo Percussion Peruvian Classic is probably the most conventional Cajon drum. It does not have a snare, which makes it perfect for genuine Peruvian sounds. This model is designed from a Lupuna plywood and Spanish cedar, which gives it an intense tone and guaranteeing lastingness.
Although it boasts simplicity, it does not cost low. Nonetheless, the quality cannot be questioned, and the sleek, unrefined face finish on the sides is inevitable. It can work well for people who want to gratify the genuine sounds of conventional Peruvian folk sounds. Because of the missing snare or strings, this model may not be appropriate to people who like to play rock music, flamenco, or punchy pop.
Editor’s Rating: 4.0
8. Echoslap Vintage Crate – Best for Bigger Players
- Built from maple and oak
- Comfortable seat
- Adjustable snare wires
The Echoslap Vintage Crate is fully-sized and devised while considering a bigger-sized player. This model is made from maple and oak, which makes it a strong instrument and also capable of a bracing attack. And although it comes with an affordable price, its package includes a carry-case. It also has adjustable snare wires so players can calibrate the tone. It also comes with a wrench.
The Echoslap Vintage Crate is a flexible instrument that can do bassy, lively tones to crisp – carving snare sound. It offers a comfortable seat and shall fit the gigging artists who want to play on it during the entire gig.
Editor’s Rating: 3.0
9. Pearl Jingle Cajon PCJ629 – Best Design
- Creates loud sound
- Elegant design
- Very reactive
One fascinating thing about the Pearl Jingle Cajon PCJ629 is that it is not wood. It has a finishing of Carubinga wood lacquer yet its fiberglass. Nevertheless, this model produces a great sound. The Player will not even notice the distinction between this model and those that are made from wood.
It exhibits a delicate design which does not only make it an interesting instrument during a gig but also makes great as a home device. It has a Cajon kick port, which contributes to the enhancement of the sound.
This model is very reactive and poignant. It is available in four sound selections and two jingle selections, namely the Brazilian platinella-style and the stainless-steel tambourine jingle.
Editor’s Rating: 3.0
10. Joy 102 Junior Cajon – Most Organized Cajon
- Composed of birch ply
- Average size
This firmly organized and durable Cajon is generally composed of birch ply. It is equipped with a typical structure composed of long strings and emphasizes intense and absolute low-tone sounds.
Its interior string structure has four strings formed in double versus that enhance the sound as the player performs the slapping way sound. The metallic wires can also be evened with the hexagon-carved key to achieve an appealing tone.
This model exhibits an average size and does not consume a lot of space. It is also lightweight. It weighs around 5.3 pounds. It includes immense dependability extendible feet, which make it gradually stable, particularly for the recent musical arrival.
Editor’s Rating: 3.0
It is possible for someone not to know about Cajon drums. So, if you are clueless about these instruments – Cajon drums are the drum box that you used as a playing instrument while you are sitting on it. Cajon drums come in four types – the Peruvian Cajon, Flamenco Cajon, Snare Cajon, and Cuban Cajon. Hence, when buying for a Cajon drum, you should know what type of Cajon you will use.
Peruvian Cajon drums are quite smaller than the shipping crates. Since these instruments initiated the groundwork for Cajons, they are mainly barebones models. The player does not obtain a snare sound. This conclusively means that if you are about to obtain the excellent sounds from one, you should have hidden some state-of-the-art techniques.
Paco DeLucia, a Flamenco guitar icon, brought back a typical Cajon during his return to Spain from Peru. But to put more excitement, he opted to put guitar strings on the rear end. This provided the drum the component of Flamenco sound.
Nowadays, the most common type of Cajon that you will see is the Snare Cajon. The concept of this type of Cajon is to imitate the snare’s sound as well as the kick as used in the famous music genres. It is an approach that is quite more unconventional than a Flamenco Cajon, where guitar wires now are replaced by the snare wires.
Different from other types of Cajon, you use the Cuban Cajon right on the top. Hence, players do not sit on it. It does not exhibit a snare; hence the sound is comparably open. Cuban Cajon drums are mostly seen in Afro-Cuban music.
Types of Woods
Cajon drums are made from an array of various woods. Some of the most commonly used mahogany, oak, beech, maple, and ebony – all of these give a few various tones.
- Mahogany – This material is popular for the intensity of its sounds, its passion, and its durability. It is not affordable, but it is a famous selection for Cajon’s face, while the volume of the body is usually built from another kind of wood.
- Oak – It is a durable wood that is normally used for the body of Cajon. It is likely to be affordable and exhibits a resonant bass response. It also creates narrow, lively snare tones.
- Beech – It is a solid wood that provides a full-bodied percussive sound. It is sturdy and offers abundant resonance. It is also one of the affordable materials. It creates a lively tone that extends well and likely to create higher notes.
- Maple – It is another excellent wood that is commonly applied to the faces of the higher-end Cajons. It creates a brilliant, definite, and chilly sounds that imitate excellent-quality snare drums. It is lightweight and pleasing to the eyes. This wood is probably the most prominent selection used for the face of the Cajon drum.
- Ebony – It is quite the same with the mahogany, although this wood is heavier and a bit costly. It is commonly used for the Cajon’s face because of the lively tone it gives. It is a reliable selection for the player who wants the sound produced by mahogany but prefers something that does not weigh a lot.
What to Consider When Getting the Best Cajon Drums?
You will be facing a lot of choices when you choose the best Cajon drums. However, you cannot easily pick your choice without really considering some important factors. Some of the things that you should check before purchasing a Cajon drum are brand, quality, wire adjustability, various sounds, size, purpose, and budget.
Choose a brand that provides you comparable flexibility from model to model. Some trusted brands in the market are Meinl and Schlagwerk.
Quality is an important factor to consider when getting the best Cajon drum. You should check the joints of the Cajon. If the quality of construction is superior, the Cajon drum is likely to produce a great sound. This can be the toughest task when searching for a Cajon.
• Wire Adjustability
If you want to acquire a genuine Peruvian sound, then you should get a Cajon that allows you to play with wires off from the front plate or tapa. A hollow Cajon is recommended. If you like to get more range from a Cajon, then you may like to find for particular wire types and a great level of adjustability.
Some Cajon instruments feature a small lever in the outside. By using it, players can tailor the sound depending on whether the wires reach the tapa. This is an important feature, particularly if you like to use something such as pedal to provide the box a certain kick drum sound.
• Various Sounds
If you choose an adjustable Cajon, you may choose to change the sound. Expanding the tensions of the wire lets you possibly provide it a snare drum sound. You may also provide the drum with a more banging sound if you bring the pressure lower.
Altering the slap corners will also allow you to adjust the sound. You must also remember that small Cajons are likely to create a slim-sounding bass. If you like something that is capable of playing loud and with a wider bass, then you should go for a bigger box.
You should know that not all kinds of Cajons are made for the same circumstances. Remember that when following an acoustic player, you will like a unique and wide bass tone.
• Machine-assembled or Handcrafted Cajon?
The handcrafted Cajons are excellent instruments. Although they may seem the same, the handcrafted ones guarantee a somewhat distinct sound. Also, the handcrafted Cajons are more adjustable compared to the machine-assembled.
Know that bigger Cajons are not always the better ones. When assessing the size of your Cajon, you should consider two things. First is the volume. The bigger Cajons create louder sounds, hence more suitable for live shows.
However, a very large Cajon may not be so convenient for every player. Know that when you slap and tap on a Cajon, you are not only meant to hit one area. You should hit high and low, to the left and right, to acquire various sounds.
If you are small and you have been sitting on a Cajon for a long time already, shifting to a chair to use a taller Cajon may not be as easy and convenient. The intensity of tone or volume will outdo convenience if you are meant to play to a particular tune.
At first, you might think that Cajon drums are all the same. However, there are various ones for various purposes. Some Cajon instruments may have humming snares while others are edgier. All of these are greatly instinctive. So, make sure to choose a Cajon that meets your tastes for sounds.
Cajon drums have a vast range when it comes to price. Because of their great reputation, the Flamenco and Snare varieties are likely to be on the lower end of the range, although you can also acquire higher-end kinds of those.
Although more typical, the Peruvian Cajons are commonly more costly compared to the Flamenco Cajon. Cuban Cajons are commonly inclined to higher costs. So, it is practical to check how much you can spend on this instrument.
Cajon drums are relatively plain, but they are to be addressed seriously. These incredible percussions are the newest trend, and any player should at least think about using them because of the fact that these instruments can be both relaxing and useful. Playing these instruments is easy. They do not need any setup, and many models are more affordable than the standard sets of drums.
Overall, we conclude that the best Cajon drum in 2020 is the Meinl Percussion SUBCAJ5WN Cajon. It is an outstanding Cajon, although it is not completely built from wood. It may not have a bit of the fervor of a wood Cajon; however, when it comes to the ratio of price to performance, anyone can say that it provides an excellent balance. Next on the rank is the Schlagwerk CP404 2-in-1. Since these instruments are known for their simplicity, choosing the best one is not that complicated. Just make sure to follow the above guidelines, and you are likely to get the right one. When getting the best Cajon drum, make sure that you carefully evaluate the quality as well as obtain your desired sound.