Best Cajons of 2020 – Complete Review

The lifeline of all musical performances can be found in percussion.

Without the basics of a rhythm leading the melody of a song or performance, it would be ultimately dull. It will not express any form of emotion or shape any pleasing resonances or rhythm.

One percussion instrument that has been rising in popularity is the cajon. Let’s check out some of the best cajon drums you can choose from.

Comparison of the Best Cajon Drums

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Excellent quality and buildmanship
  • Handcrafted, flamenco-styled instrument
  • Features anti-vibration interference for clearer sounds
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  • Can switch between different drumming styles
  • Powerful sound with a sensitive snare
  • Removable snares with double count strings
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  • Best for the money
  • Most affordable quality available on the market
  • Features the use of a bass port for better low-end resonances
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  • Features internal, adjustable, coiled strings and tapa
  • Includes rubber feet for eliminating any added vibrations
  • High-end, German-made quality built on the highest standards
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  • The finest cajon made specifically from quality birch wood
  • Design is made from flexible compositions for enhanced resonances
  • Features a basic, simple, snare string system
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What is a Cajon?

In its most basic form, the cajon is nothing more than a box-shaped drum. It is played by slapping or striking the front or rear of the drum with either fingers, hands, a mallet, or a stick. The cajon is made with six panels to complete the box shape. 

Pyle String Cajon

In general, ½-inch to ¾-inch plywood is used for the five main sides. The striking surface, or top, is usually made from a panel of thinner wood. The striking surface of a cajon is called a tapa. A soundhole is cut into the backside of the drum to improve its resonances. Modern cajons usually have rubber feet.

How Do I Choose a Cajon Drum?

Choosing the correct cajon depends greatly on the kind of sounds and resonances that you want to create. The greatest influence on the needed sounds is the genre of music that you perform. 

It is a versatile instrument and can be added to accompany any form of music. The most popular are groovy Peruvian music and stylish flamenco guitar music. The sound of the cajon drum is greatly influenced by the design and materials used. 

Some say that the best resonances are produced using maple wood. However, this is an expensive option that might not suit all players and styles. Doing the correct research and observing the product you want to buy is vital.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Review of the Best Cajons

Finding the right cajon for you could be tricky, as there are so many brands to pick and choose from. You will find, though, that some are just better than others. Finding the good, quality cajons out there is a daunting task for sure. 

Luckily for you, we have searched and gathered all the best options on offer today. Take a closer look at some of the most popular and trusted cajons you’ll find out there. Picking any of these will surely leave you feeling happy with your purchase.

Best Overall:
Pyle String Cajon

Pyle String Cajon - Wooden Percussion Box, with Internal Guitar Strings, Full Size

PROS

  • Handcrafted using only the finest materials and design
  • Adjustable strings for better musical expression
  • Compact and lightweight design is ideal for traveling musicians
  • Tuning hex key is included for convenient tuning of the guitar strings
  • Rubber capped feet prevent interfering vibration to help produce clear sounds

CONS

  • Includes the addition of strings that will not suit Peruvian-style players

What Recent Buyers Report 

Everyone has fallen in love with the remarkable quality that this manufacturer invested. It is handcrafted to ensure that only the best products make it into the shops. The most adored feature of the Pyle String Cajon is the adjustable design of the strings. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Its top-end quality and attractive price are the key reasons why it is our top pick. The quality invested in the Pyle String Cajon is of the highest standards and is guaranteed to last in both sound and make.

Who Will Use This Most 

Any professional cajon players or drummers looking to add a bit of Peruvian groove to their percussion should invest in the Pyle. The only artists not likely to appreciate this model are the ones that either prefer snares or basic cajons. The inclusion of strings makes it the ideal accompaniment for guitar music.

Bottom Line

All the effort and quality that went into the design and make of the Pyle makes it the best choice on the market. For those who are not interested in flamenco, we advise moving on to another choice. If you are looking for a flamenco cajon, this is likely to be the finest instrument that you could ever encounter.

PROS

  • Snare system can easily be removed if needed
  • Impressive sound quality from a high-quality snare cajon
  • Stylishly attractive design available in multi-colored selections
  • Removable snare system for adapting the cajon to a basic style
  • Double the normal quantity of strings to increase the versatility of the sound

CONS

  • Not a suitable option if in search of a flamenco cajon

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent supporters and lifetime patrons of this Spanish-made cajon have not been let down by the quality and design of this product. Among the most praised features that stood out was the high-quality sound produced by the DG De Gregorio Chanela. There were hardly any complaints, and the quality and timbre have been described as powerful. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

We chose the DG De Gregorio Chanela as our runner-up selection for those who would not prefer a flamenco-styled drum. If you are looking for the best quality cajon that can switch between the snare and basic styles, this is the most ideal option. Its quality is up to international standards, and the Spanish manufacturer goes all out to ensure their product is worth the investment.

Who Will Use This Most 

Any professional percussion player would be wise to invest in this cajon. The DG De Gregorio is ideal for a variety of music. Thanks to the interchangeable snares, it is versatile enough to play classic and snare typical grooves. It is also considered the ideal cajon for worship music. 

Bottom Line

If you have the money to buy the most flexible and high-quality option available, we would suggest trying out the DG De Gregorio. Those looking for a beginner’s investment would be better off looking for something a bit more affordable.

Best for the Money:
Sawtooth Harmony Series

Sawtooth Harmony Series Hand Stained Elephant Design Compact Cajon

PROS

  • Interesting Peruvian design and styling
  • Adjustable top allows versatile playing options
  • Compact build that is suitable for easy traveling
  • Full set of snare strings for the best in snare percussion
  • Additional features improve both sound quality and vibration control

CONS

  • Not a suitable choice for traditional cajon players

What Recent Buyers Report

Not even one person claimed to be dissatisfied with this purchase. The quality of the Sawtooth Harmony Series is outstanding. It features plenty of innovation and offers astoundingly beautiful resonances to cycle between. It is an ideal snare-style cabin that is praised for its quality and attractive price. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

As our choice for the budget-driven musician, we have chosen the Harmony Series. It meets the requirements and demands of drummers, and it comes with a very presentable price tag. As the best option with a modest price tag, you cannot go wrong with this choice. 

Who Will Use This Most

Musicians driven by a need to save money would be best suited to this option. If you are in need of a high-quality, entry-level product that is affordable, then the Harmony Series is an ideal choice. It comes in two motive designs that are appealing and three sizes to choose from.

Bottom Line

The Harmony Series from Sawtooth is an ideal beginner's option or budget choice. It is affordable and does not compromise quality to achieve this. If you want the best cajon drum for snare-styled playing, this is the best option available.

Meinl Cajon Box Drum, Full Size with Internal Metal Strings for Adjustable Snare Effect, Birch Wood, HCAJ1NT

PROS

  • German quality with full two-year warranty support
  • Includes a mic port for easy recording and amplifying
  • Features a dual striking zone for bass and snare percussion
  • Responsive design that performs brilliantly in any genre and venue
  • Adjustable options for both the snare strings and the tapa for max versatility

CONS

  • Not a suitable option if in search of the basic-styled cajon

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent supporters of the Meinl String Cajon Box Drum were mostly satisfied with their purchases. Only a few customers complained that the quality of the product compares poorly with close competitors. Although it may be suggested that they bought knock-offs of the same product, some do believe that it is not up to standard. 

Why it Stands Out to Us 

Meinl is one of the most celebrated percussion instrument manufacturers and is based in Germany. Their products offer great value and affordable standards, but they are a little under the competition. It stands out as an alternative if any of the other products mentioned are not suitable. 

Who Will Use This Most 

Beginners who are looking for an affordable entry-level product but are not willing to compromise sound would be best suited to this option. If any of the other cajons are, for some reason, ill-fitting to you and your needs, this would be an ideal choice to try. However, if you are in search of a plain, basic alternative, this would not be suitable.

Bottom Line

If German quality is what you would prefer over national or Spanish manufacturers, then Meinl drums would be the best option available. The sound quality is up to standard, and the price is much friendlier. If in search of the perfect beginner's instrument, look no further. 

PROS

  • Sensitive snares with the highest sound quality
  • Spanish quality birch wood composition snare cajon
  • Snare response is consistent thanks to the cajon’s design
  • Stylish fashioning and design that many would find appealing
  • Design features the best optimum cooperation between metal and wood

CONS

  • Not a suitable option if in search of either flamenco or Peruvian-style cajon
  • Simple design of the snares does not allow for quick replacement or individual tuning

What Recent Buyers Report 

Recent buyers of the De Gregorio Bravo Snare were not at all disappointed. Among the most beloved features is the impressive tone and sound delivered by this snare cajon from the Spanish manufacturer. The only thing not really appreciated in the DG Bravo is the simplified snare system.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

As our final option and suggestion to you, we chose the Spanish manufacturer’s more affordable option. This is simply because one cannot compromise the quality of sound for any reason whatsoever. If you can’t afford some of DG’s more opulent cajons, we would point you in the direction of the Bravo.

Who Will Use This Most 

Any professional percussion player will tell you about the fine quality that DG De Gregorio produces. Therefore, any musician looking for the best selection of cajon drums would do themselves a favor by selecting from this manufacturer. 

Bottom Line

If the Spanish quality of DG De Gregorio is what you want, you cannot go wrong to invest in either the Bravo Snare or the Chanela. If you want the best of the best, regardless of the cost or import fees, then go for DG. 

Types of Cajons

There are three main types of cajons available for purchase. These types all have unique sounds used in different genres of music. 

The selection is as follows: Peruvian, flamenco, and snare. 

  • Peruvian is the most basic design, being nothing more than a box drum with a soundhole. 
  • Flamenco is exactly the same, except it includes additional strings inside the box for added resonances. 
  • Snare-style cajons are like the flamenco but instead uses two sets of thinner snare wire strings; some may only use one set, but for the best snare quality, more strings are recommended. 

Snare cajons average a total of twenty strings, with some having fewer and some having more.

How to Tune a Cajon

Tuning a cajon is only needed if the drum is either a flamenco or snare design. Tuning consists of perfecting the string tension to provide the correct resonances and tones needed. A cajon that is out of tune will sound awful. 

Tuning is rather simple, as most include the use of keys that are adjusted with an Allen or hex wrench. For perfect detail and the right tone to tune your Snare cajon, watch the provided video we have linked here for you:

Conclusion

There you have it! This is our selection of the finest cajons available on the instrumental market. Due to the changes and additional variations added to the cajon, it would not be likely to find the old, traditional styles anymore. Only those that have the ability to remove the snares and strings can be used for Peruvian classic music.

People Also Ask

If you have reached this point and still have a couple of questions on your mind, take a look at the commonly asked questions and their answers below.

Is the Cajon Easy to Learn?

Learning to play the cajon is an ancient tradition and has developed for many years. It is not the easiest instrument to learn, but with practice, you will be well on your way to mastering it.

What is Inside a Cajon?

The most basic cajon is nothing more than an empty box with a soundhole. Only cajons used in flamenco or snare music would include the addition of strings on the inside of the box. Flamenco-styled cajons have fewer strings and typically use metal guitar strings. 

How Loud is a Cajon?

A cajon has a long-range of volume sets. In particular, the loudest types are suitable for orchestra music, and the smaller ones are very ideal for open-air performances. The quality of the sound is loud enough to support all kinds of instruments and can be heard well above accompanying resonances. 

Who Invented the Cajon?

The cajon was originally made and developed in Peru. According to traditional lore, the cajon was made by African slaves who were taken to South America. Upon their arrival in Peru, the Africans were prohibited from practicing their cultural drum music and dances. In rebellion, the cajon was made to imitate traditional African drums and was practiced in secret.

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