ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cymbal repair guide

Updated on September 30, 2010

In life of every drummer there is a moment when their precious cymbals cracks. When this happens you feel like your world just fell apart, and you immediately start thinking about costs it will take to replace the cymbal. Because cymbals are so expensive there is never the right time to buy them. So what to do now? Repair it!

When dealing with any cymbal crack, is that if you continue to play the cymbal – the crack will get bigger. If you want to prevent that, you must act fast or it will ruin your cymbal completely. That is why it is so important to spot cracks early. The smaller the crack, the less work it will require to remove it.

With quality cymbals, right method and execution, you can get pretty good final result. On the other hand, with low-end cymbals the sound will go from acceptable to awful or even horrible. Sometimes the final effect is outstanding and you can end up with completely new sound to add to your kit.

Some ways of „fixing” a cymbal you might have heard of are: drilling holes, cutting, soldering or using an epoxy. None is ideal, but some are better than other. On to the methods!

Methods shown here are for informational purposes only. All of them are unreversible. If you use any of them you do so on your own risk! If you are inexperienced in use of any tool discussed here, consult and ask for help people with proper experience. Wear protective gloves and eye protection. Read the manuals before using power tools or epoxy. Remember – safety above all else. Hereby you acknowledge that you do not make any claims towards me, based on the use of information shown in this article.

You don't want any of your cymbal to look like this.  2010 photo by AK8000
You don't want any of your cymbal to look like this. 2010 photo by AK8000


Probably the easiest, and least invasive is using an epoxy to seal the crack. This is acceptable if you are not a hard hitter, and you plan to buy a replacement soon. Unfortunately the epoxy is not going to last long because of very small contact area.

How to apply: Set up a cymbal stand, and mount the cracked cymbal (if it is not mounted), so it can hang flat. Adjust the height so it is against your stomach for easy access. Mix the epoxy and push it into a crack. Wipe the excess with soft cloth. Then hit a cymbal with your drumstick (not too hard!), and let it vibrate. The epoxy will move further into the crack. Then repeat the process until your are satisfied (two to three times total should do the trick). Do not play the cymbal for a few days.

Some people claim that after applying the epoxy you should heat it to strenghten it (using oven for example), but I would not recommend that. You will destroy the cymbal coating and soften the alloy. This will waste the cymbal sound and bring new cracks very soon. Always use an epoxy that does not require high temperatures to harden.

Drilling holes

One of the better methods to fight cracks in cymbals. Unfortunately it is not so easy to apply as one could think. Obviously you need a drill motor and some kind of vice to hold the cymbal (watch out to not bend it!). If you do not have the experience with handling the drill, better ask someone experienced for help.

Mark the place you want to drill with marker. Make the mark not where the crack ends, but a little higher (depends on the diameter of used bit). The hardest part is to hold drill steady when drilling, because it can slip very easily around your cymbal and damage the coating. You may need to use considerable force to make the drill through. Remember to turn off the hammer and use bits suitable for metal before you start.


Making a cut

In my opinion the best method to carry out a cymbal repair. Great about it is that cymbal can get second life after successful application. Cutting a cymbal properly is pretty easy to carry out, but requires some patience.

Most important part is the plan for the cut. How you should cut your cymbal is mostly affected by the size of the crack. If the crack is small you can do what I call a „concave cut” (see the picture). If the crack is bigger, turns or splits you should do a wide cut or round cut instead.

Use marker to draw a curve around the crack in the manner shown in the picture. Leave around half inch of space between crack and planned cut. The wider the cut, the better for the cymbal durability.

For a concave cut you will need a fretsaw or coping saw equipped with metal cutting blade. For less curvy cuts I used just a wider blade without handle and results were outstanding. Take your time when cutting, make it precise. When the cut is made, use file and sandpaper to smooth out the edge. You are done!

Note: I DO NOT recommend using any electric or gas powered saws. They generate high temperature very fast and can do more harm than good to your cymbal.

Did you ever tried to repair a cymbal?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • AK8000 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Yes, I did cut cymbals a few times, and indeed they appear weird sometimes (not circular), but in my opinion you should always aim to strip only the metal you have to, to maintain some sonic characteristics of a cymbal. If you cut it all the way round you lose huge amount of it.

      As with all cuts the sound changes significantly. If you apply a wide cut you usually end up with a lower pitch.

    • alqx profile image


      8 years ago from Singapore

      It would be good to have some pictures of the end results.

      Do you cut your cracked cymbals? Seems kind of weird to have cymbals that are not completely circular. What do they end up sounding like?

      Epoxy seems like a choice I might consider if I ever have cracked cymbals. I'm not much of a heavy hitter.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)