12 November 2018

Review: Toysmith Rock On! Drumkit Calculator

I am constantly on the lookout for interesting calculators. Every time I think I've got a solid variety of devices, I end up discovering a whole new genre that I can't help but explore. Having built and programmed an instrument myself, I'm especially interested in musical calculators. It's a lot more vague of a term than you might think, but today's review is a good example of such a device.

Toysmith Rock On! Drumkit Calculator.
The Toysmith Rock On! Drumkit Calculator can add, subtract, multiply, divide, and play a sick drum solo. But most importantly, it can annoy everyone in a room.

Featuring "10 realistic drum sound effects," the numbers one through nine and the equals button have their own sounds. Equals is a base drum, 1-3 are cylindrical drums, 4-6 are snares, and 7-9 are cymbals. For some reason, zero and other operational buttons do not play sounds. Toysmith really wanted to restrict themselves to ten sounds and only ten sounds.

If you aren't interested in banging on the drums all day, a switch on the left side sets the device to calculator mode and no sounds are playing. This leaves you with the most bare-bones calculator I have in my collection. I've seen calculators given away for free with more functionality than this. The earliest electronic calculators have more features than the Drum Calculator. Only the most basic math functions can be performed with this thing, and given its size, you'd be better off with pretty much anything else.

This isn't to say that it's a bad calculator though. It's made of a thick, durable plastic and has a nice weight to it. Buttons feel good to press, the display is large with a nice contrast, and the color scheme is reminiscent of 1970s calculators with a metallic spin to it. I really like the giant equals button at the bottom and wish more calculators would feature it so prominently.

Look at how many functions it doesn't have.
It's a great looking device, but is it also a great sounding device?

No audio outputs other than the speaker.
Not really. The speaker is large for a calculator, but the sound it produces is fairly low quality. This is probably why they just went with drum sound effects, because anything else would likely sound bad. There is also no other means of output, so you couldn't connect this to a midi setup and create something cool.

The Drum Calculator is little more than an amusing gimmick calculator. It's constructed with quality materials and fits nicely in a calculator display, but it's not something I would want to take with me when I leave home. Still, I like having it.

If hearing drum sounds while you perform basic math operations is something you need in your life, you can buy a new one on Amazon for under $7.

Back, batteries removed.

Back of packaging.


  1. Of all the calculators you’ve reviewed, you’ve sold me on this one.

    1. Something tells me just posting a picture of this thing without any context would have been enough to win you over.

  2. So you are saying if you want to annoy someone, buy this for their child.....got it!