Top 6 Best Cajon Drums Of 2020 – With Buying Guide

Cajon drums originate from Peru. Back in the day, African slaves used small container crates to play percussion grooves and rhythms. They would turn the crates up-side-down, sit on them, and play drum beats.

Since then, the world has fully embraced Cajons and turned the concept into professional musical instruments. The Cajon now has snare drum effects, multiple playing surfaces, and bells.

Currently, Cajon is the most-selling hand drum in the market. The simplicity of its design, excellent sound andaffordability are the primary qualities of a Cajon. The best thing about this instrument is that it can adapt to almost all musical settings.

Though it’s famous for Flamenco music, percussionists are now using it in other genres, such as pop, jazz, folk, rock, and many more. It is a must-have set for performing acoustically-styled music.

 IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILBUY
 1. Roland EC-10 ELCajon – Best Hybrid
  • Quality playing surface
  • 30 built-in electronic kits
  • Studio-optimized Cajon sounds
2. LP Americana Groove Wire Cajon – Best for durability
  • Rounded corners
  • Superior durability
  • Superior resonance
3. Meinl Percussion Jam Cajon – Best for travel
  • Dual sets of internal fixed snare wires
  • 100% Baltic birch wood
  • Compact size
4. Meinl Percussion Almond Birch Cajon – Best for Home Use
  • Crisp Snare sounds
  • 100% Baltic Birch Body
  • Rubber feet
5. Pyle String PCJD18 Cajon – Best for Beginners
  • Internal Adjustable guitar strings
  • Hex key included
  • Rubber- capped feet
6. Schlagwerk CP404-BLK 2inOne – Best for Tall people
  • Beachwood Front Plate
  • 40 Snares
  • 2inOne-Technique

Below is an in-depth review of 6 best Cajon in the market

1. Roland EC-10 ELCajon – Best Hybrid

Roland EC-10 ELCajon – Best Hybrid

Things we liked

It is self-amplifying
Comes with 30 different sets of electronic sounds
It is solid and durable
Has a high-quality playing surface
Comes with studio-optimized Cajon sounds

Things we didn’t like

Very costly

This is one of the best Cajon box, which is a distinctive hybrid instrument. It comes from one of the world's famous brands in the manufacture of musical instruments.

It combines an acoustic Cajon and Roland's percussion technology. Its playing surface is of very high quality and is made of Sapele wood.

The good news here is, with six AA-size batteries, you can use this box drum for a maximum of 12 hours. Alternatively, you can also connect it to the AC power supply.

It also comes with 30 electronic kits that are built-in. For each kit, there are two independent sounds. You can trigger these sounds from the head and edge of the playing surface.

The other great feature is that it comes with studio-optimized Cajon sounds. The sounds are key in enhancing the instrument's acoustic sound. Also, they provide additional depth and punch while performing.

It is also crucial to note that this is not just an acoustic Cajon; it's also an electronic instrument and amplifier. It's unique in that while many other Cajons give about 3-4 different tones, it provides 60+.

The only downside is that being a hybrid instrument, it is quite costly. However, this is most likely the most innovative and versatile Cajon on the market!


2. LP Americana Groove Wire Cajon – Best for durability

LP Americana Groove Wire Cajon – Best for durability

Things we liked

It is durable
It has a robust construction
Made by a trusted brand
It offers you comfort and stability as you play it
Efficient response
Easy to tune
Pocket-friendly price

Things we didn’t like

You may need to get a cushion if you plan to use it for long hours
You cannot adjust the snare sound

Latin Percussion is a brand that boasts of a high reputation in making the best percussion instruments. Americana Groove wire is among their best sellers in the market.

Its body is of 11 ply Baltic birch and is well manufactured. Its front plate is also of Birch. To increase its stability and comfort, it comes with base rubber feet.

As you play this Cajon drum, you have an assurance of comfort since its corners are round and smooth.

Another feature that makes this among the best Cajons in the market is its enhanced resonances and efficient response. As such, it is very suitable for use when you do not have your kick drum kit.

To ensure it gives you the best sound, it also comes with internal snare wires. The wires are fixed in such a way that they produce a crisp sound. Moreover, you can also adjust the front plate to fit your requirement.

If you love a classic woody tone, that is what this Cajon offers. It will also give you a very credible response.

Americana Groove wire is suitable for adding that unique touch. It will go a long way to offer you a unique musical experience.

One other thing that this Cajon will offer you is longevity. You will not have to spend your money now and again buying a Cajon.

It is durable and boasts a robust construction. It is a good combination for Pop, Polka, jazz as well as other musical styles.


3. Meinl Percussion Jam Cajon – Best for travel

Meinl Percussion Jam Cajon – Best for travel

Things we liked

It has reinforced carrying handles
It is lightweight and portable
Slap sound is adjustable
Sensitive and crisp internal snares
Comes in a compact size
Great sound

Things we didn’t like

It's not very robust

Meinl Jam Cajon is a musical instrument by another leading brand in the manufacture of instruments. Meinl is among the best leading industries in the production of Cajons and Percussion.

In Meinl Jam Cajon, you will get build quality and features that are ideal even for top players. All these come in a convenient and very compact package.

The Meinl Cajon box will also offer you a nice projection and class for your stage performance. Its resonant shell and faceplate are of Baltic Birch.

This Meinl Cajon comes with dual internal snares, which are both sensitive and crisp. This feature adds to the backbeats a snare-like snap. It is also crucial in adding articulation to finger rolls.

The other feature that you will love in the Jam Cajon is that it is very light in weight. You will be able to carry this Cajon around with you very conveniently.

Its size also adds to its portability. You can just grab it and be on the move for any spontaneous jam session. When you play it near the center, the Jam Cajon will give you a great low-end punch. Moreover, when you strike it on the top corners, it will provide you with nice high-frequency slaps.

The two sets of internally fixed snare wires that brush against the playing surface are key in providing the crisp, sensitive snare effect. The hardwood ply construction also helps produce a rich sound that can go with any style of music.

This Meinl Cajon also allows you to adjust the slap sound from the front panel with a screwdriver. It also comes with rubber feet that are crucial in ensuring your floors scratch-free.


4. Meinl Percussion Almond Birch Cajon – Best for Home Use

Meinl Percussion Almond Birch Cajon – Best for Home Use

Things we liked

Solid design
Crisp sound
You can adjust playing surface
It is compact
Has a rear port for easy mic placement

Things we didn’t like

Internal snare wires are not adjustable
It may be smaller for some people

If you are highly involved in spontaneous jam sessions, this compact Meinl Cajon is all you need.

As one of the best Cajon, it is very easy to use and carry. Meinl percussion cajon only weighs 1.87 pounds; hence it is very lightweight and portable. It also looks great on your desk or coffee table.

Another reason why you may want to buy this best Cajon drum is that it is durable. It is of high-quality Baltic Birch Just like the full-sized model.

Concerning the production of sound, this Meinl Mini Cajon integrates internal snare wires. It produces an excellent crisp snare effect. The slaps are very articulate, and the bass tone is quite rich and deep.

The Meinl Percussion Birch Cajon also allows you to produce a deep backbeat and several slap sounds. You can achieve this by changing the distance between the front face and the resonating box.

These changes are also easy to effect. All you need to do is use a screwdriver to tighten or loosen the screws on the corners of the front plate at the top.

If you would like to get a low-frequency sound, play the Cajon near the center. However, when you beat it at the top corners, it will give you slaps of high frequency.

The other reason you may want to buy this Meinl miniature Cajon is that its design allows it to produce a rich sound. You can use it for the production of the most natural musical sounds.


5. Pyle String PCJD18 Cajon – Best for Beginners

Pyle String PCJD18 Cajon – Best for Beginners

Things we liked

Produces high-quality, smooth sound
Comes with adjustable strings
It is lightweight, and you can carry it around
A very pocket-friendly price
Good bass tone as well as snare sounds
It is sturdy

Things we didn’t like

The strings may rattle you a bit

Pyle String Cajon is another drumming box form a reputable brand. Pyle has earned a name for itself in the manufacture of well-constructed, good quality, and durable instruments.

This drum box is among the best Cajons in the market today. It comes in a wooden box that has a traditional instrumental design.

One of its features that may interest you is the internal guitar strings. The good thing is that you can adjust the guitar strings. They are crucial in producing flawless rhythmic output.

The drum box comes in a compact size and is light in weight. As such, it is not bulky if you want to transport it from one place to another.

The other feature that makes it a good Cajon box drum is that it has a rubber feet capping. This feature is key is that it helps to block any interference by vibration. As such, you end up getting crystal clear tone quality.

This Cajon box drum also comes with a key. You can use it to open the drum box in case you want to adjust the snare strings to tune your sound. It a very suitable musical instrument for use in the studio and stage live performance.

Moreover, for the peace of mind, its drum box comes with a one year warranty.


6. Schlagwerk CP404-BLK 2inOne – Best for Tall people

Schlagwerk CP404-BLK 2inOne – Best for Tall people

Things we liked

Has a solid construction
Comes in an attractive design
Its tone is excellent, with or without snares
Rich and deep bass
Offers you an option of removing the snares

Things we didn’t like

Quite pricey compared to competitors
Felt may not be very durable

This drum box is a large, bold instrument. It comes in a beautiful industrial look that has a Beachwood Front Plate.

It is among the tallest of the Cajon drums. Consequently, taller players find it more comfortable to work with than others.

It offers them an opportunity to play for long hours without stopping. Its tone quality is also excellent. It is of Baltic birch wood, which gives it a sound that is almost the same as that of a drum kit.

Moreover, its bass is rich and deep. However, it may not be as loud as that of other drum boxes. The Cajon box also comes with a 40-snare wires system.

These snare wires control the snare sound on this box drum. Consequently, the Cajon box will give you sizzle with less attack and a more blended sound.

However, it is referred to the 2-in-1 because it offers you the option of removing the snare strings. If you do so, what you will get is a traditional sound.

The Schlagwerk CP404-BLK 2inOne is good for the production of different sounds. As such, you can use it with a wide range of musical styles.

The only major downside of this Cajon box is the feet. Although rubber-coated, they are made of felt. The felt may tend to tear as you move the box from place to place or sit on it.


Buyers Guide for the Best Cajon

Cajons are increasingly becoming popular among musical instruments due to their affordability, great music, and ease of playing.

However, not every Cajon in the market is suitable for your needs and personality. Below are several key factors you need to consider when buying a Cajon, whether you are a beginner or a professional.

Sound Quality and Tone Variations

Before you start shopping for a Cajon, you should figure out the type of sound you want. Are you interested in more snare or bass or a balanced model? You will notice that each Cajon produces a unique tone, especially when you consider the pricier options.

More bass is excellent when playing as a duo with an acoustic guitarist. However, when playing with a bassist, consider a Cajon that has more snare.  

With so many options to choose from, it is recommendable to go for a Cajon that compliments your musical style.

Different Cajons produce different tones based on their design, building materials, and other unique features. Before deciding on which one to buy, compare the tones of various models to determine the perfect fit for your musical needs.

An ideal Cajon should project sound to the audience with more volume and clarity. Let the seller play the instrument for you and check its projection from an audience angle. Bass frequencies are more notable from a distance.

Size

When playing a Cajon, you sit on it and lean forward slightly to strike the tapa. So, it is recommendable to try different drums to determine which one fits your body.

A wrong fit Cajon can cause you back problems or aggravate existing ones. Finding the right size is not an issue because Cajons come in different sizes and shapes.

Cuban style Cajons are taller. You can mount them and play while standing or hold them between your knees and play like a conga. Cajons are also available in small laptop models, which you can play like bongos. Others have angled tapas, thus allowing easier access to the bass.

It is important to note that the size of a Cajon influences its sound. Smaller inexpensive models tend to be more silent and produce a high-pitched bass sound. Large models produce more volume and have deeper bass.

Build Quality

The longevity of a Cajon relies greatly on the quality of its build materials. Never judge the quality of a Cajon by its price. High-priced Cajons are not always the best qualities and vice versa.

Wood is the most common material in the manufacturing of Cajons. However, the type of wood, especially on the front plate, determines the quality of Cajon's sound.

Hardwood is the most recommendable material for Cajons. It is incredibly durable and stiff. It also produces a deeper bass sound as compared to other build materials.

Price/ Budget

The prices of Cajons vary from one manufacturer and model to the other. Standard models are more affordable than premium options.

Ensure that you have a clear budget when doing your shopping to avoid overspending or underspending. There are plenty of good models within varying price ranges.

Usually, branding is the leading cause of high prices. Therefore, do not underestimate the less-famous and cheaper options of Cajons. Look beyond the price and name and consider other factors such as additional features, durability, and the quality of sound.

Usage

Cajon musical instrument is applicable in a variety of setups. You can use it in a recording studio, an acoustic ensemble, at drum jams with friends, and in an amplified setting. Therefore, you need to select a model that is suitable for your daily or frequent use. 

For instance, in an amplified setting, you need a Cajon that has good volume and full, bold sound. In an acoustic ensemble, excellent projection and resonance are key considerations. A Cajon used in a recording studio must have controlled, clean sound.

If you frequently travel with your Cajon, ensure that you buy a portable model to ease carriage.

Your musical style is another factor that determines the kind of Cajon to buy. Different Cajons produce varying tones. There are specific types of Cajons designed for traditional musical styles, while others play flamenco styles. Snare Cajons tend to replicate the sounds of a drum kit.

Additional Features

Before deciding on which Cajon to buy, compare the feature of each model. Doing so helps you get the most out of the final pick.

The most important features to consider are a protective cover and a carry bag. Some manufacturers sell their Cajons alongside these accessories to add protection and longevity to your drum.

Buying a set that already has a protective cover or a carry is cheaper than purchasing these accessories separately.

Other essential features to consider are adjustability and designs. Take your time and select a satisfactory set with as many extra features as possible.

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