I play an 80's Pearl Export kit and today, while tuning, I accidentally undid the parts of the snare strainer. I'm not sure if I found all parts that got loose and I certainly am not sure how to put it together.

This is how it looks now, and the parts I have:

Pearl Export snare strainer disassembled

I found three washers:

  1. smaller hole
  2. bigger hole
  3. curved washer (looks like some kind of lock washer)

As seen in the picture there's also a nut (the one to tighten the snares) and a "screw" that looks different in either end.

How do the parts of an '80's Pearl Export snare strainer come together? Do I have all parts? A picture of an assembled one would be great!

  • Google Pearl export snare strainer - there are plenty of pics to look at.
    – Tim
    Aug 6, 2021 at 18:18
  • Good idea @Tim, and yes there are plenty of pics but if you could find one that show the position of the screws and washers (seen from the backside) point it out to me :P Aug 6, 2021 at 18:28
  • What about looking for videos/blogs/etc... of people that make percussion instruments (if there are). You might find an idea of what screws are usually used.
    – Kai Vinter
    Aug 9, 2021 at 2:00
  • I submitted this question to Pearl support, but their reply was to look for an instructional video on YouTube. I did find one for assembly of a Trick strainer. Even though it's different hardware, I wonder if it would give you enough clues to reassemble yours. How To Assemble A Trick Unassembled Strainer.
    – Aaron
    Aug 9, 2021 at 19:20
  • Here's another candidate video. It involves a Pearl marching snare, so at least the brand is the same (but you might need to watch it backwards). Disassembling snare throw off and strainer!.
    – Aaron
    Aug 9, 2021 at 19:28

2 Answers 2


One nut was gone in my original setup (or got lost when it disassembled itself :). All washers but the spring washer seems to have been put there by someone else than the manufacturer (since they where of odd sizes and also not fitting the screw).

This is what it looks like assembled:

'80s Pearl snare strainer assembled, inside


  1. The screw goes with the fully threaded end into the block, so that the partially threaded end is pointing upwards when the strainer is in place.

  2. The screw is screwed into the block until there enough play for the strainer to be adequately adjusted when the strainer is in place. You have to put the strainer in place and check that this is ok -- then take it out from the rail again, put on the spring washer and lock the screw with the nut.

  3. Then slide the strainer upwards on the rails again, and put on the adjustment nut that is used to adjust the snare.

  4. Done!

Strainer fully assembled

  • 1
    How did you find the solution?
    – Aaron
    Aug 13, 2021 at 14:22
  • 2
    @Aaron, Unfortunately just trial and error ... There are many ways to put it together, but this is the only way it works as far as I've tried :) Oviously the screw can't be loose (as it would be without the nut), since it would then unscrew itself when the snare is adjusted with the adjustment nut/dial whatever you call it (this is what happened in the first place). I haven't been able to find a video or pictures of this particular model. Aug 13, 2021 at 14:45

Most snare strainer mechanisms rely on a sort of knee joint. Imagine a limb where the hip joint is attached to the snare wires and the ankle is attached to the snare drum shell. When the knee joint is bent the hip and ankle are close together and the snare is off, and when you straighten the knee joint the hip moves away from the ankle and tightens the snare across the drum head. The other detail is that, like an actual human knee, when you straighten the knee, it goes just past the fully-straightened alignment, and then locks. This prevents your snare suddenly popping off - you have to turn it off deliberately.

The double-ended screw in your photo is part of a fine tensioner. The partially-threaded end screws into that silver knob, and the other fully-threaded end screws into the barrel nut in the photo.

From the photo I can't identify the parts of the knee joint, but you should be able to work it out. The washers are there to spread the load and reduce friction so the adjuster knob can be turned easily.

If you attach a photo taken facing the mech rather than from above, I could add more suggestions if you really need them.

  • All your thoughts are good to hear, and they make sense, but my problem is how to assemble the parts in the right place. It turned out that a nut was missing. Aug 13, 2021 at 12:26

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