Repairing a Cymbal with a Keyhole Notch

If you’re a drummer for any length of time, you might notice on one or more of your cymbals, a keyhole notch developing.

This keyhole notch does not happen as much on the newer cymbal stands as it did on the old ones. Key-holing, once started tends to get worse over time. It keeps the cymbal from freely rotating in the cymbal stand, and forces the place you hit the cymbal to only be the bottom half of the cymbal instead of all around the cymbal.

Cymbal with the dreaded keyhole

Because of the way cymbals are made, the idea of repairing it with welding or some other technique usually does not work well, and may in fact ruin the cymbal. A cymbal that sounds good, is like a favorite pair of jeans. You want them to last forever.

I tried a fix I read about online, where you add a grommet to the cymbal. A grommet is a circular washer with a top and bottom you can affix to the cymbal hole. Grommets are typically used in fabric where you want to add a hole for mounting a cloth, or linking the cloth to a string, like in a sail.

Grommet Pair Top and Bottom

These grommets come in a kit, for about $10.00.

There are tools provided in the kit that help you attach the grommet to the cymbal. Basically a hammer and a specialized anvil, that forces the two pieces together permanently.

You attach the top and bottom parts.

Top and Bottom Grommet

You bang the two together, and voila you get a perfect cymbal repair.

Repair — Top View
Repair — Bottom View

The repair does not affect the sound in any way (that I could hear), and it protects it against the keyhole getting worse. And if the grommet ever wears, it can be replaced.

Very happy with the repair.