There are three basic types of drum rims. These include, die-cast, triple-flanged, and wooden hoops. Below, I'll show you what each of these looks like, how they alter the sound of your drums, and which types of music they work best for. If you already know what type of rim you want, you can shop for them using the link towards the bottom of the page.
The most commonly used type of rims are the triple flanged rims. They give the snare drum a lighter feel than die-cast rims and they tend to give a little more when you hit the rim. If any of the flanges are bent, you can try to beat or bend it back into shape, but you would be better off purchasing a new hoop. These are nice because they tend to make tuning somewhat easier as the hoops give slightly near the tension rods.
This closeup shows you the flanges on this particular type of hoop. Triple flange hoops are widely used across all genres of music.
Wooden hoops are gaining popularity thanks in part to their natural look which really adds to overall design of a wooden snare drum. They tend to produce a warmer sound than metal rims do, and they absorb more shock from rimshots and cross-stickings making it a little easier on your limbs. You'll lose a little bit of the punch that comes with metal rimmed rim shots, which makes this kind of hoop great for genres like jazz, big band and country to name a few.
Die-cast rims are found on many higher end drums. They have a greater effect on the tone of drums and give them a much firmer feel. With these hoops, you will get increased attack, but the drums will sound less warm. They fit great with louder genres like metal, rock and r&b. Tuning can be trickier too since they don't give as easily as triple-flanged hoops do.
This closeup shows you how to identify a die cast rim.
Now that you have a better idea of what type of rim you want, you can click here to start shopping for drum rims.
Learn More About Drum Shells, Rims, and Parts.