Best Ice Hockey Sticks

Updated January 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
136 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best ice hockey sticks

After your hockey skates, the most important piece of ice hockey gear is undoubtedly your stick. The right ice hockey stick plays a significant role in your overall game performance, affecting everything from your shooting to your stickhandling to your control of the puck.

An ice hockey stick is a fairly simple piece of equipment, but each component plays a critical role in its performance. The long, straight portion of the stick is the shaft, which tapers at the end to an area that flexes during passing and shooting. The heel is the area where the shaft meets the blade; the blade is the thin portion of the stick that angles away from the shaft and allows you to control the puck.

Some ice hockey sticks are one piece: the shaft and blade are a single, continuous piece. Others are two pieces: the shaft and blade are separate pieces that are then connected.

With so many choices, finding the right ice hockey stick can pose a challenge. Read on to score tips and tricks as well as the information you need to find the best ice hockey stick for your game.

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In general, hockey sticks with a greater amount of fiberglass offer greater flex. Those with a greater amount of carbon fiber are typically stiffer.

Key considerations

Wood

An ice hockey stick may be made of wood or composite material. Wooden hockey sticks are usually the most affordable. Beginners and budget-minded players often purchase this type. However, you typically don’t get the same quality from a wooden stick as you would from a composite stick.

Composite

Composite hockey sticks are more popular than wooden sticks, and they are what professional players use. You can get composite hockey sticks in one-piece and two-piece styles. Because they contain a mix of materials, composite sticks offer greater flexibility than wooden sticks. However, they also cost more, and they sometimes break.

The term “composite” could refer to a number of materials or material combinations. Here’s a deeper look:

  • Fiberglass is used to coat or wrap wooden sticks for strength. These sticks are valued by players who want a more durable stick.
  • Carbon fiber is the material of choice for most high-end hockey sticks. These may feature 100% carbon fiber or a combination of carbon fiber and other materials. Budget-friendly sticks typically blend carbon fiber with fiberglass.
  • Kevlar is sometimes used in combination with other materials to improve strength and durability. It’s often used to reinforce a specific area of the stick.

Right-handed vs. left-handed

Hockey sticks are available in right- and left-handed models. A right-handed stick is held with the left hand above and the right hand below. A left-handed stick is held with the right hand above and the left hand below.

Your “handedness” does not necessarily relegate you to one type of stick or the other. Some hockey players prefer to hold a stick with their dominant hand on top because it provides better control for puck handling. A right-handed person who wants to hold the stick with their dominant hand on top would use a left-handed stick. A left-handed person who wants to hold the stick with their dominant hand on top would use a right-handed stick.

Some players prefer to hold the stick with their dominant hand on the bottom because it allows the stick to flex more easily and lets them snap their wrist for shooting. In that case, a right-handed person would choose a right-handed hockey stick, and a left-handed person would choose a left-handed hockey stick.

In sum, your stick preference boils down to comfort. Try gripping a stick both ways and see which hold feels best before making a purchase.

Length

For the best game performance, you need an ice hockey stick of the appropriate length.

Determining the right length is easy. If you’re wearing your skates, hold a stick in front of you with the blade on the floor parallel to your body. The top of the stick should be 1 to 2 inches above your nose. If you’re not wearing skates, the top of the stick should hit closer to your nose.

Some players prefer shorter sticks because the shorter length affords for more control over the puck. However, short sticks don’t provide shots that are as powerful as longer sticks. A longer stick gives you greater reach and a harder slap shot.

Keep in mind that an ice hockey stick can be cut if it’s too long or has an end cap added if it’s too short.

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Did you Know?
Some composite hockey sticks come with a 30-day warranty to ensure they don’t break too quickly.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

Flex

“Flex” refers to the stiffness of an ice hockey stick shaft. Sticks are marked with a flex rating that indicates how much force, in pounds, is required to flex the stick 1 inch. For example, a hockey stick with a 100 flex rating requires 100 pounds of force to flex one inch.

Ice hockey sticks with a higher flex rating are stiffer. To decide what flex is best for you, consider factors like your weight, the way you prefer to play, and what feels most comfortable.

As a general rule, you should opt for a stick with a flex rating that is one half of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, opt for a stick with a 100 flex rating. If you are between ratings, round down.

Kick point

While the flex rating measures how much an ice hockey stick shaft flexes or bends, the kick point describes the area of the stick that flexes most during shooting and passing. You can choose from three kick points: low, mid, and high.

A low kick point usually works well for players who want rapidity for wrist shots and snapshots. In general, it’s effective for shots taken within close vicinity of the net.

A mid-kick point is the best option for players who like to take shots from all around the offensive zone. It offers a good combination of speed and power.

A high kick point is the best option for players whose goal is to make extremely powerful slap shots and wrist shots. It works well for shots taken at greater distances from the net.

Blade pattern/curve

The blade of an ice hockey stick is obviously an essential part of its construction, and blades are available in a few different styles which affect your shooting and puck handling. The blade pattern refers to how the blade is curved.

The most common options are toe curve blades, mid curve blades, and heel curve blades.

  • Toe curve blades are curved mostly at the top third of the blade.
  • Mid curve blades feature an obvious curve in the center of the blade.
  • Heel curve blades are curved mostly in the last third of the blade.

Choosing a blade pattern is a matter of personal preference, so you may want to test different blade patterns to see which you like best.

A two-piece hockey stick may loosen at the seam over time, so it is a poor option if you play several times a week.

Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Ice hockey pucks: Faswin Classic Ice Hockey Pucks, Set of 12

You can’t play hockey without some high-quality pucks to move around the ice. We love these pucks from Faswin because they’re extremely affordable and are the same dimensions and weight as NCAA and NHL regulation pucks.

Ice hockey skates: Bauer Senior Vapor X2.5 Ice Hockey Skate

Your game can be seriously impacted by the ice hockey skates you wear. This pair from Bauer is a favorite because they feature microfiber lining and memory foam ankle padding for comfort.

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Did You Know?
The average National Hockey League (NHL) player goes through 6 to 10 dozen sticks during each 82-game season.
Staff
BestReviews

Ice hockey stick prices

Inexpensive: The most affordable ice hockey sticks are usually wooden or youth models. Some feature replaceable blades, but they’re not the most durable option. They can be a good choice for beginner hockey players, though. Expect to pay between $11 and $45 for these sticks.

Mid-range: Mid-range ice hockey sticks are usually wood and fiberglass models. These are more durable than basic wooden hockey sticks and a better option for intermediate hockey players. Expect to pay between $45 and $150 for these sticks.

Expensive: The priciest hockey sticks are composite models. They’re more durable than wooden or wood and fiberglass models. This type of stick is commonly used by professionals and is best for those who are serious and experienced. Expert to pay between $100 and $260 for these sticks.

Tips

  • Most hockey players like to customize the butt end of their stick. You can purchase a complete grip to add to the end of your stick or use tape to create your own.
  • To improve your puck control, try taping your hockey stick blade. That makes the blade a little bit tacky, giving you better control over the puck.
  • Youth hockey players can quickly outgrow their hockey sticks and other equipment. It’s best to opt for a more affordable hockey stick for kids so you’re not frustrated by the frequent need for replacement.
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Wooden hockey sticks are usually heavier than composite sticks, weighing up to two or three times as much.

FAQ

Q. How long does an ice hockey stick last?

A. It depends on various factors, such as stick quality and construction, your position, and your level of play. High-quality composite sticks are the most durable, but even those can snap under certain conditions.

If you play often or at a high level, your stick is more likely to break down. Beginner hockey players who only play once a week usually get more time from their sticks. However, if your gameplay involves many slap shots, that’s more stress on the stick — and a greater chance of a snap.

Q.  How many hockey sticks should I have?

A. Most hockey players like to have two sticks for games. That way, you have a backup if your stick snaps during play. However, if you play and practice regularly, it’s a good idea to have more than just two since you may snap one during practice. Three to five sticks is a good number for most players.

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