Best Cajon Pedals of 2020 – Ultimate Guide

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Have you ever felt pain while stretching for deep-bass sounds down there on cajon? That’s one of the most important reasons why you should buy a cajon pedal. It’s a foot-controlled device played in the same manner as the drummer is playing the bass drum and leaves your hands for playing percussive parts freely.

Comparison Chart of the Best Cajon Pedals

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best Cajon Foot Pedal
  • Quiet and slick cable system
  • Pedal offers superior weight and feel
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  • Design keeps the cable in line
  • Emulates the impact and sound of your palm
  • Great for low volume applications
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  • Best for the Money
  • Spring tension is adjustable
  • Metal pedal and ground plate is heavy-duty
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  • Affordable, responsive, and durable
  • Pedal size will fit every cajon player
  • Suitable for both heel and toe playing techniques
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  • Best Cajon Bass Pedal
  • Has a non-skid rubber grip
  • Equipped with unique pivot drive system
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  • Comes with completely adjustable springs
  • Fits all common cajons
  • Relieves the system of tension
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  • Best Cajon Kick Pedal
  • Able to create big bass tones
  • Unique bracket eliminates Cajon movement
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Can Any Pedal Be Used With a Cajon?

While technically it is possible there are many drawbacks to this idea. 

First, you would need to place cajon in front of you. Next, you would need to think about how to attach a drum pedal to the cajon. And afterall, cajon is a hand played instrument, it wasn’t designed to be played with a drum beater in the first place and can be damaged due to such performance.

That’s why we would advise you to choose pedals made for cajon specially and those have a much bigger contact area than a regular drum pedal beater in order to spread the impact force. 

How to Choose a Cajon Pedal Perfect For Your Needs 

If you’re a newbie, all cajon pedals might look the same. But, unfortunately, there are several big concerns that you may need to cover up before buying your first cajon pedal.

Heel or Toes?

If you’re playing an instrument or singing along with playing cajon. sitting on cajon with your face facing towards the audience will be probably your regular stage setup. That’s why pedal placement may be an important part of choosing your ideal pedal. Some can be played with your toes only while others provide support for heel play as well. Such an option will be especially praised by acoustic guitarists.

Left or Right Foot?

Some models aren’t made to be used with a left foot. It may not be possible for you to play it with your right foot if you’re a piano player as you would use it for the sustain pedal frequently, for example. But luckily, some models can be customized so think about it before your purchase

Additional Noise

Chain drive system pedals tend to produce metal sound every time it’s pressed. It may not sound so pleasant for some gentle acoustic shows so you may pick a cable or direct drive systems instead.

Review of the Best Cajon Pedals

These are some of the best cajon pedals available right now.

Latin Percussion LP1500 Cajon Pedal

PROS

  • Can be used with both feet
  • Cable drive system, with extremely quiet design
  • Beater design simulates the sound of a palm strike
  • Adjustable spring tension can match different playing styles
  • Pedal footprint is made to match bass drum pedal experience

CONS

  • Could be considered as expensive
  • Due to its specific beater design, the sound might not be ideal for all genres

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers really loved how this pedal works and the sound it delivers. They approve the innovative design of the beater and are surprised by its responsiveness despite being a cable drive system. But, like with most cable drive equipment, it’s not reliable so you should have a spare cable with you.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Instead of copying the bass pedals, this pedal was made from scratch. That’s why the beater may look odd but it’s shaped in a way so it can simulate palm strike. Thus, the sound it produces is wonderful compared to other shapes. Sprint tension is adjustable so it can match different playing styles.

Who Will Use This Most

Given its price, it’s more oriented towards professionals. Beater design can help you a lot to create an excellent sound in studio recordings. The pedal feel may help drummers to adapt to the new instrument much easier and all other musicians can use it as it can be used with both feet.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an advanced and unique cajon pedal, LP made something for you. You will love the sound and responsiveness of this cajon pedal and its hardware quality will justify the given price. 

Gibraltar G3GCP Cajon Pedal with Mount

PROS

  • Fixed cam drive and cable housing
  • Durable and well made - it won’t move during performance
  • Nicely designed beater bar size - doesn’t take too much space on cajon
  • Affordable cajon pedal from a famous manufacturer of the drum equipment

CONS

  • Not very customizable due to fixed elements
  • Current model version comes with a round beater - the former flat surface was better for cajon playing

What Recent Buyers Report

Experiences are positive in general. They resolved a lot of cable breakdown problems by posting a YouTube instruction video. It also appears that the first versions came with a flat beater while the current (version 3) comes with a round one, so maybe you could check what version you will get before ordering.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Gibraltar decided that this model will trade the ability to do fine adjustments for reliability and durability. The idea worked out like expected, so, fixed cam drive and especially fixed cable housing reduced the stress on cables maintaining them in a firm but not tensed position. 

Who Will Use This Most

Beginners will enjoy its stress-free fixed system because there will be fewer parts that can break the complete hardware if set wrong. Professionals may appreciate its design decisions because it will be much more reliable for tours while finding spare parts for a famous manufacturer such as Gibraltar will be much easier to find.

Bottom Line

This is a decent gear that comes for an affordable price. Hardware is well made, so you can use it as a solid base and enhance it by changing the beater type if that would suit your playing needs better.

Best for the Money:
Ortega Guitars OCJP-GB

Ortega Guitars OCJP-GB Cajon Pedal

PROS

  • Soft foam flat beater
  • Provides a carrying gig bag and a tuning key
  • Very responsive, designed for both heel and toes use
  • Every part of this pedal is very adjustable to your preferences or needs
  • Affordable, chain-driven pedal with a cradle-like mount that fits regular cajons 

CONS

  • Beater may take too much of your hand playing space
  • No additional way for mounting without advanced customizing

What Recent Buyers Report

They seem to be pleased with this purchase. Slim design and versatile style of playing is especially being praised, while some users even managed to customize it for a left foot usage easily. It seems that the players who used cables before prefer this drive style a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ability to play it with both heel or toes is very appealing. Slim design allows this pedal to take a very small space in front of the beater. The chain-driven system in this product is very reliable and responsive and it allows you to perform even some advanced playing techniques.

Who Will Use This Most

Both inexperienced and advanced players can find this model very useful. Musicians can accompany their playing or singing while playing bass cajon on their own thanks to being able to play with the heel. And because of the chain-driven system, this pedal can withstand a long-lasting gig like a breeze.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something versatile and durable, we would definitely recommend this cajon pedal from Ortega Guitars. It comes with a very affordable price and provides you with everything you would need no matter what type of music you’re performing.

Meinl Percussion TMSTCP Direct Drive Cajon Pedal

PROS

  • Adjustable spring tension provided 
  • Pedal bar size is ideal to cajon players of all size
  • Affordable and durable direct drive pedal system
  • Can be played with both toes and heel technique
  • Comes with a decent sounding flat surface beater 

CONS

  • Doesn’t fit on compact cajons
  • Can’t be adjusted to be played with left foot

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report it to be durable even after a year of frequent usage. They say it’s extra responsive and that they got more than they expected, especially concerning loudness. The only reported concern is that it’s not designed for left foot users and that it may not fit all compact-sized cajons.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Direct drive system provides you with a seamless response that allows the pedal to be played much faster.  This model design provides options to utilize the heel playing technique and the pedal bar is long enough to accommodate taller players.  And on top of that, the price provided is very budget-friendly.

Who Will Use This Most

It was designed for right foot players and thanks to heel playing technique options available, musicians can use it to play the bass cajon additionally while singing or playing other instruments. It can also be utilized as a bass drum for a minimal drum kit setup. 

Bottom Line

Whether you want to try something different than a cable drive system or this is your first cajon pedal purchase, this is a very affordable and well-built cajon pedal that you may find ideal even in the long run.

Best Cable Drive Pedal:
Drum Workshop Inc. DWCP5000CJ

Drum Workshop DW DWCP5000CJ 5000 Cajon Pedal

PROS

  • Well built, aluminum made floorboard
  • Exceptional round beater coated with soft foam
  • Remote cable drive system with a pivot technology
  • Great customer support and replacement parts logistics
  • Excellent cajon platform design compatible with every cajon model, literary

CONS

  • Might seem a little bit expensive
  • Cable could be a lot longer to fit bigger players

What Recent Buyers Report

Users comment that the pedal works the best when the cable is fully extended. And, it seems that the cable drive system was finally made good. There are some reports that cable snapped, but it was after a much longer period and thankfully DW replacement parts ship promptly to address your issues.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The sound beater delivers is one of the finest that a cajon pedal can create. Pedal hardware is constructed very well as we would expect from DW and with its unique mounting system, it can fit on every cajon. And with remote cable technology, DW’s playing response comes with unnoticeable latency.

Who Will Use This Most

Because of its price, it’s oriented towards more professional cajon players. It is fine-tuned towards modern music with a beater delivering almost already produced sound. It may be a nice investment for a beginner as well because they won’t need to worry about breaking their equipment so easily and suddenly.

Bottom Line

If you had Chromacast or Meinl models before and you like the response of cable drive systems, you should consider DW. It's a more professional and durable upgrade that will endure much more gigs before you will need a cable replacement.

Meinl Percussion Cajon Box Drum Pedal, Cable Drive — Fits all Common Models with Length Adjustable Cradle Mount, 2-YEAR WARRANTY, TMCP

PROS

  • Comes with a soft beater and cradle mount that fits most cajons
  • Cable is mounted horizontally, to create the best response for a pedal
  • Pedal can be positioned in many ways thanks to a flexible cable system
  • Cable drive pedal with adjustable cam for fine-tuning to your performance needs

CONS

  • Questionable build quality issues reported
  • May feel a little bit sluggish for advanced performance

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers' impressions about this pedal are split. They all agree that it has a great sound, but currently, there are frequent complaints recorded about the build quality and how several parts tend to fall apart after just a couple of performances, underlining cable issues especially.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s about the sound it makes. This pedal can bring your cajon sound some extra dynamic range. The double chain that links the soft beater with the floorboard is very stable and doesn’t allow any side to side movement while making the complete pedal very responsive. 

Who Will Use This Most

It was made for cajon players that prefer playing with toes like they would on a regular drum pedal. It may not be a beginner-friendly product because all the moving parts need to be fine-tuned to suit your needs the best. But, that’s always a welcomed option for professional players.

Bottom Line

All cajon players that aren’t performing technically advanced or playing heavy or intensive would enjoy this pedal. Sound is beautiful, playing feel may surpass your expectations, but, for physically bigger players, we would rather recommend other pedals from our list.

ChromaCast CC-CPDL Cajon Pedal

PROS

  • Fully adjustable springs and beater placement
  • One of the cheapest cajon pedals on the market
  • Comes with mini wrench tool for quick adjustments
  • Roller pedal system allows advanced playing techniques
  • Direct cable drive system that provides a quick pedal response

CONS

  • Cable tends to break easily (again!)
  • No instructions manual in package or available online

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are especially satisfied with the action response of this pedal compared to others. But, unfortunately, it appears that it may have the same problem with cable breaking like the Meinl product - which made us wonder if this unit is just a budget copy of a more famous manufacturer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It’s very nice to see such an affordable yet decent cajon pedal, Especially when it provides a roller pedal system which accompanied by excellent pedal response allows you to perform some advanced techniques such as double stroke. And being able to adjust it to both the left or right foot makes it even better.

Who Will Use This Most

Cajon players on a budget that plays with their toes. It’s ideal for occasional cajon players, for example, drummers that may play get a sudden invite for a gig. It also may come handy for singers to put some additional flavor on their acoustic performance with added bass cajon sound.

Bottom Line

If you wanna try how cable drive system works for your cajon playing, Chromacast cajon pedal will be at least a much cheaper solution than Meinl. Be sure to check your return options and try to find some advanced mods and fixes for it.

Types of Cajon Pedals

We have already covered some of the most important differences between drum and cajon pedals in general, but there is a part that they do share - pedal drive system.

The drive system is how the pedal actually works, how the manufacturer connects the beater with the floorboard. They all come in three major types:

Chain Drive

Chain driven pedals are most common and may come in, less durable, single, or double chain variation. The drawback is that due to the metal parts its performance might be quite audible during some softer acoustic performance.

Direct Drive Pedal

This system links the floorboard and the beater with a solid part called the bridge. Bridge ensures responsiveness and control of the whole system and the whole pedal may feel lighter compared to chain driven. Lighter feel has a drawback of rebound effect, though.

Cable Drive

Cable-driven pedals traded durability to lighter feel and more responsive connection finding a middle ground between the chain and direct drive system. But, it appears that cable breaks easily and makes the whole system unreliable. Luckily, it seems that any bike shop can provide you with a more durable cable that will fit your pedal - mechanics might even skip a setup fee.

How to Assemble a Cajon Pedal

As cajon pedals are usually shipped without a manual, Gibraltar made a video for their GCP model. Luckily, it can be used as a general guide for all pedals.

This pedal comes with three parts - pedal, beater frame and the mount that connects pedal with the cajon. Its clamp secures a pedal on all cajon up to 13” deep.

The most important part is to understand that the cajon pedal may be assembled wrong in a factory and that hardware changes may occur during shipping time. That’s why you should check the next steps:

  1. Cable supports needs to be set completely vertical. Slightly skewed cable support may eventually damage the cable. 

  2. Cams on the cable side of both pedal and beater needs to be set completely horizontal. That will prevent the cable from additional bending and also provide you with the best playing feel. 

  3. Cams on the spring side don’t need any adjustment.

  4. You can tilt the beater manually to match your cajon orientation.

  5. Before changing the height of the beater, loosen the cam on the cable first and then spring side. Lift the pedalboard up, find your positioning and lock the cams in reverse order (sprint, then cable side)

Also, check out the video tutorial at the end of this article.

Conclusion

Cajon pedal is a nice add-on that shifts your performance closer to playing the real drums. Think about it - while you’re playing, you’re probably tapping in the rhythm with your foot. Is there any reason to not include such movement to cajon performance so your hands can do the rest?