The cajon drum is Spanish box drum which is exactly what it is. Originating from Peru, this drum is really just a box made of wood with snares on the inside. Of course the quality of sound greatly depends on the type of wood used, where the snares are placed, and the construction. When shopping for a cajon drum look for an instrument that has great sounding snares or at least ones you can adjust. It is important to have a drum produce sound you love. These drums often come in different wood patterns and colors but take note of how well it is built, after all, you will be sitting on it.
A Tempo Percussion El Artesano CajonPro: Beautifully crafted, multicolored wood drum
Con: Snare is not as strong as the bass
Not only does this El Artesano have incredible tone, it is also very pleasing to the eye. The wooden pieces that form the body of the drum are hand selected and finished with a gloss. Thankfully this beauty comes with a padded storage/travel bag. The snares are located in the upper corners of the drum so they do not interfere with the bass when it is being played. Some say the snare is a little weak for their taste.
Pearl PCJIC645 Cajun Tequila Sunrise Inner Circle Multi Drum CajonPro: Unique fiberglass and wood design
Con: Snares may buzz
This cajon drum is surrounded by a fiberglass box. The circular design is unique and the light wood color is appealing. Customer complaints center around the buzzing snares and manufacturing defects that cause the wood to split. Other than the buzzing, the sound is of good quality.
Schlagwerk CP404-BLKPro: Snare can easily be removed
Con: Does not come with a cushioning pad
This is a lightweight, versatile cajon drum with a deep, strong bass. There have been mixed feelings about the sound of the snare and it really comes down to personal taste. Most say there is not enough snare to balance the bass. Others choose to take the snares out since this particular model does not allow for adjustments. A great feature on this drum is the wood used to make it. Birch, a hard wood that provides even vibrations, makes up the body of this instrument.
Lp Aspire Accents Cajon Blueburst StreakPro: Unique, bright purple/blue finish
Con: Plastic covering over the wood
This cajon is a wonderful choice if you are on a budget, want a great sound, and a look more dramatic than just natural wood. This bright blue and black drum is made of oak but is covered with a thin plastic. It is built well and has an excellent higher range. The lower range is not as strong but overall customers are happy with the versatility and tone.
Meinl Percussion HCAJ1NT Headliner Series Rubber Wood String CajonPro: Adjustable snares produce a good tone
Con: Not very loud
This drum seems to be a favorite for beginners looking for a good quality drum at a decent price. The snares typically need to be adjusted when you first get the drum. After adjustments are made, the snare sounds great and resonates well. Depending on your preferences, this drum may not be loud enough for you.
Tycoon Supremo Series CajonPro: Easily adjustable and removable snares
Con: Low quality construction
Beginners who want to test out a cajon to see if they enjoy playing should consider this drum. The snares have a nice, strong sound and are easily adjustable. You can also remove them. The reason this drum is best for beginners is due to the quality of construction. This drum probably won’t last too long since the wood can easily split and the paint chips.
World Stage WS461001 Natural Finish Wood CajonPro: Comfortable seating built in to the top
Con: Snare buzzes and does not tune well
Basswood is one of the cheaper materials manufacturers use to make drums and unfortunately, this cajon is made of basswood. Basswood typically does not make for a tonally pleasing drum and customers have noticed. The snare tends to buzz and though it is adjustable, many have found tuning to be difficult and unsuccessful. Others have tried this drum and have been satisfied with the sound. With that being said, this World Stage Cajon is best suited for beginners.
Latin Percussion LP1428NY Black Box CajonPro: Great bass sound
Con: Majority of the drum is made of MDF
Despite this drum being constructed primarily with MDF as opposed to real wood. It is comfortable to sit on and the sound is of decent quality. The bass is rich and the snare, depending on who you ask, has a nice snap to it. Unfortunately the snare cannot be adjusted so if you don’t like the tone, you cannot change it.
Sawtooth ST-CJ120B CajonPro: Comes with padded seat and carry bag
Con: Not built well
While the sound you get from this drum would make it a great steal, a majority of customers say this drum is poorly constructed. The glue does not hold it together well and the screws holding the rubber feet to the bottom have fallen out in some cases. The manufacturer may not send you what they have promised. Some customers did not receive the cushioned seat or the carry bag with their purchase. If you’re willing to take a chance and are a true beginner, give this drum a try but don’t count on returning it easily.
Meinl Percussion JC50LBNT Birchwood Compact Jam CajonPro: Compact, easy to store and travel with
Con: Bass is not as deep as a full size cajon drum
Perfect for casual jam sessions or teaching your kids to follow a rhythm, this little cajon drum makes for a great addition to your assortment of musical instruments. Because this drum is so small, the bass is not as deep as usual. Another minor concern with its small size is for taller drummers. It varies from person to person but if you are on the taller end of the height spectrum, your playing time may be limited. Whenever you do play, the quality of this cajon drum will, however, be excellent.