Best Cajon Drums Under $200 – (2020 Reviews)

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Unplugged events are getting more and more attention these days. That’s why the drummers are often asked if they have a cajon to bring to a gig. It is very nice to know that there are some very affordable models under $200 that we’re about to cover in the next article.

Comparison Chart of the Best Cajons Under $200

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Great for jam sessions and accoustic shows
  • Easy to use grab-and-go instrument
  • Made from wood admired for natural acoustic qualities
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  • Designed for an enhanced experience
  • Rubber-capped feet to prevent vibration interference
  • Internal guitar strings are adjustable
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  • Best for the Money
  • Comes with carry bag to transport easily
  • Equipped with padded seat cushion for comfort
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  • Has a very attractive exterior design
  • 6 horizontal coiled snare wires that are evenly spaced
  • Front plate corners are adjustable for sound variety
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  • Wooden panel box is handcrafted
  • Rubbered feet prevents any vibrations
  • High-quality carry bag is included
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Can You Find a Quality Cajon Under $200?

The good thing to know about all instruments is that even the most affordable models sound 90% like the most expensive ones. It’s all about trading features and picking those important to you.

So, for example, you will perform with a microphone - then it doesn’t really matter how low-end sound as you will beef it up with your mixer. 

Or maybe you know you won’t bring out your cajon often. Ultra-durable features won't mean too much for you.

If you're a percussionist more than a drummer, you should look for cajons that excel with a snare wire system. Fine tuning to match your playing style can make wonders. And remember, the bigger the cajon is, its sound is more low-end oriented.

It’s also worth noting that the general rule of thumb is when in doubt what instrument to select, always disregard price difference and stretch for a better one, because, in the long run, benefits will be much bigger than the money you invested.

And to conclude, quality always lies in the player’s performance, and not the instrument. Skilled players can make the worst equipment sound like heaven. So, if you’re on a budget, don’t you worry - practice can make everything perfect. The rest will come along.

Review of the Best Cajons Under $200

Get ready for the review of the best cajons under $200 we could find on the market.

Meinl Cajon Box Drum with Internal Snares — MADE IN EUROPE — Baltic Birch Wood Compact Size, 2-YEAR WARRANTY, JC50LBNT

PROS

  • European made - Baltic birch wood material
  • Comes with a dual set of coiled metal snare wires 
  • Compact sized - might be ideal for smaller venues
  • Sound port placed rear to enhance the overall tone 

CONS

  • Size and weight limit might be a problem for some users
  • It may come short when the acoustic loudness is important

What Recent Buyers Report

Users say it’s an excellent choice for beginners and that they would definitely buy it again. Reviews are very positive about the sound it delivers its build quality; there are some reports that despite being compact-sized, even 6’4” tall players didn’t complain about its size.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Because of its exceptional sound qualities, birch wood is frequently used for making top-class drum kits. And the “made in Europe” label just ensures its build quality. It comes with a rear port in case you need to mike your cajon and such placement is ideal for achieving perfect bass tone.

Who Will Use This Most

Its price makes it affordable for novice cajon players while more advanced users will consider it as additional gear because of its size. It’s made for venues such as coffee houses or for smaller and more private jam sessions while rear port placement makes it possible to use on big stages.  

Bottom Line

This Meinl cajon is a perfect all-around unit. It was built to last, comes in more compact size while being equipped with everything you’re going to need for your performance at a very appealing price.

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

PROS

  • Full-size cajon coming with the price of compact
  • Handcrafted stringed jam cajon made from birch wood
  • Big rubber capped feet ensure anti-vibration interference
  • Equipped with 4 guitar strings for a more musical snare sound

CONS

  • Doesn’t seem to be very loud
  • Bass enhancement in the rear would be nice

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers especially praise the build quality and details it provides for such a low price. They say it’s a decent entry-level cajon and that it sounds just great. The only complaint we could find is that it might not be as loud as other more expensive cajons can be.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Handcrafted instruments always come unique. Every piece is different and the build quality is even better than standard factory-made because of increased attention to detail. Guitar strings allow more musical range of your cajon and they can be additionally tuned. Tape that secures strings can be removed to increase snare resonance volume.

Who Will Use This Most

It is slightly oriented towards newbies and live performance. But, thanks to full size and guitar strings, professional play could fine tune it to match any song tone for proper studio recordings

Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying your first cajon or might be considering changing your compact-sized one, Pyle made a decent model coming at a very affordable price. You will love its handcrafted details and the sound birch wood provides.

Sawtooth ST-CJ120B Cajon Birch Wood with Padded Seat Cushion and Carry Bag

PROS

  • Rubber feet 
  • Nice build quality along with proper quality control
  • Comes with removable cushioned seat and durable gig bag
  • Cheapest full-size cajon on the market made from birch wood

CONS

  • Awkwardly positioned top screws
  • Snare could benefit from having more sizzle in sound

What Recent Buyers Report

People are shocked that they can get a product of such quality at this price. Reviews are very positive and the only complaint we’ve seen so far is that the snare sounds a little bit dull and dry compared to other models. The gig bag also seems to be well built.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The sound is decent, it looks quite sturdy and well built, especially how rubber feet nullify floor vibration interference. We really appreciate how Sawtooth equipped this model with the padded seat cushion and gig bag and would like to see other manufacturers do the same in the future. 

Who Will Use This Most

We would recommend it to anyone. Advanced cajon players can hold it as a spare or for practicing purposes while others can simply try it out and see if cajon playing is their thing or not for a very affordable price. It can be a nice present for your kids, too.

Bottom Line

When we check all the extra options it provides straight from the box, we must say that this is the best-equipped cajon on the market. Consider it as a great cajon starter pack for anyone.

Sawtooth Harmony Series Hand Stained Elephant Design Travel Size Cajon

PROS

  • Available in other (bigger) sizes
  • Extraordinary travel-friendly size
  • Every model is uniquely hand-painted
  • Snare sound comes from 6 horizontal string wire system 
  • Adjustable top front plate corners and bass port on the rear side 

CONS

  • Snare system isn’t so adjustable like other cajons
  • Travel size may not be for everyone because of height and weight limitations

What Recent Buyers Report

Experiences are extremely positive. It is often stated as an excellent bang for your buck and there are some buyers who were amazed at how many notes it can pull off compared to the regular-sized cajons they already had. They also love the quality of the woodwork and paint finish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Beautiful hand-painted details look great and make every cajon unique in appearance. It comes in even smaller than a compact size at a very low price. It’s also rare to find a cajon in this price range that has strings placed horizontally as it can improve snare response a lot.

Who Will Use This Most

Due to its miniature size, street performers might be very interested as it will be very easy to carry along anywhere. Its size will also be ideal to make kids interested in learning more about music. But, if you're an advanced user, please do keep in mind that it’s more beginners oriented.

Bottom Line

This model will draw everyone’s attention because of beautiful and unique paintings in front. Its snare system will give you a lot of tonal expressions while ultra portable size and weight will make it possible to bring with you anywhere.

Moukey Full Size Cajon Box Drum, Birchwood Percussion Box Internal Guitar Strings with Backpack Dual Adjustable Straps - DCD-1K

PROS

  • Available in kid format, too
  • Comes with high-quality cajon nylon gig bag
  • Four adjustable guitar string system for snare sound 
  • Handcrafted full sized jam cajon made from birch wood
  • Top front plate can be adjusted with a quick turn providing you slap variations

CONS

  • Edges might not be sanded down properly
  • Expected low tones to be much louder coming at this size

What Recent Buyers Report

No serious complaint found about this product. Users were especially thrilled with the snare sound it provides. However, take extra care of the bag handle as there are reports it may fall off easily. Also, due to the handcraft making process, please check if the edges were sanded down properly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Guitar strings system provides more sonic variations when playing closer to the top of the cajon. 19” tall generates enough of size to create some really low notes. Being shipped with a heavy-duty nylon bag is a nice add-on as it will make it gig-ready right away. 

Who Will Use This Most

Full-size cajon always aim towards professional users as it can be used in more than just jam sessions, as a part of an acoustic drum kit, for example. And since it’s easy to do additional tuning, beginners can take a step further in learning more about cajon.

Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with this cajon. And in case you love this Moukey model but are worried if it may be a little bit robust for you, there is a more portable kids version available.

Pros and Cons of Cajon Drums

Here’s a quick recap about what is considered to be cajon overall advantages and flaws

Pros

Below are the main pros.

Genre Versatile 

Modern breakbeat, samba or tango, you can recreate all grooves on cajon effectively.

Drums or Percussion? Yes.

Cajon has an interesting ability to act as drums and percussion at the same time. It all depends on your playing style.

Portability

It is easy to carry or travel with cajon. You can set it up fast in virtually every possible place and, if you want to play, all you need are your hands. That’s why it’s very popular among street performers.

Drummer’s Mindset Upgrade

Hands playing can do miracles for drummers. They may not enjoy playing cajon but their drumming style can have serious benefits because advanced cajon performance requires a different approach and thinking from regular drumming.

Pyle String Cajon

Cons

Below are the main cons.

Not a Real Drum Replacement

While it is versatile, cajon was never made to create that massive and loud sound that drums can do.

Not so Comfortable For Tall Guys

Tall guys might need to bend and twist further in order to achieve some deeper bass sounds which may feel ergonomically not so comfortable if played with hands only, especially on compact and travel-sized cajons.

Conclusion 

No matter if you’re a drummer looking for some alternative gear or an absolute beginner who would just want to learn to play some basic beats, cajon might be the right instrument for you.