There are many saxophone stands available today. Each is designed to balance size with portability, while keeping your valued instrument secure. The purpose of a sax stand is to hold the instrument when you're not playing it, making the instrument accessible when needed.
Important features to consider are: how safe the instrument is while on the stand, durability, transportation, size or footprint of the stand, and cost. Some stands are very sturdy but not easily moved. Some are very compact and even fit in an instrument case so they are always with you when needed, but the saxophone looks like it could slip out too easily. There are single instrument stands designed for one instrument and stands made to hold multiple instruments, covering all the woodwinds you might own. Your needs will dictate the size of the stand, but we should take a quick look at the different types of stands to insure the best sax stand for your needs.
The most important thing to me is safety. I have instruments that are very expensive and a simple fall from a sax stand can be very costly at the repair shop. I have seen my sax fall and be fine, and I have seen my sax fall and not play at all. The goal is to not see it fall!
I am going to focus on the saxophone stands that I know and use – safe, a little larger but designed to protect your investment. The best names in sax stands today include: Hercules, Belmonte, K&M or OnStage . My next sax stand purchase will be the Hercules doubled stand ; built like a tank with great reviews all over the web!
All of these stands are adjustable and it is important to take the time to insure a good fit for your instrument. The hoop for the bell is called the yoke. You can adjust the fit by carefully bending the yoke a little closer or further apart. The support arm or backrest is often adjustable and should be set to meet the lower front of the sax securely, while protecting any contact with the metal of the stand. Once set for your sax, the stand should hold the instrument securely while allowing you to put it on and off the stand without fear of the sax falling.
On the standard yoke stands, some coating should be in place to protect the sax from scratches while also adding a little extra grip – like rubber or foam. When fitted properly to your sax, the added grip will secure the sax from slipping. I have purchased a few of the little fold up stands over the years. Often the stand doesn't last very long due to the moving parts wearing or breaking, or a sax takes a spill and the stand gets retired. The convenience of a small stand is quickly offset by the price of a saxophone repair.
Many argue that they will be careful and that little sax stand will be fine. The problem is, other people might bump the sax and there is that occasional 'accident'. I have been the cause of my saxophone falling off a stand, but have also had others walk into a stand, catch a mouthpiece walking by, and a dozen other accidents over the years.
The stands I use today are larger, sturdier, safer, adjusted properly, don't take up too much room on stage and seem to last forever. BUT, they don't fit into my case or sax bell, don't fold up into a tiny space or have many moving parts. Since many manufacturers have different models available, the most important thing to consider is instrument security first, then how small it folds down for transporting the stand. Remember, you will have to move it to use it, so think it thru before making your purchase.
The safest place for a saxophone is in the case. Exercise caution when you see an instrument on a stand and store your instrument in the case when not in use. “An ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure.“