1. Tip Size
The same tip shape (round for example) can sound and feel quite different depending on its size. Small tips produce brighter, more focused sounds, while large tips "fatten up" the projection and overtones and add volume.
Tip shapes dramatically affect the type of sound sticks will produce when you use them since they are the part of the stick that makes the most contact with cymbals and drums.
The area just before the tip and the thinnest part of the stick. Thinner necks flex more, making the stick more responsive.
Where the stick shaft slopes into the neck. Front-heavy sticks feature shoulders that are closer to the stick tip. This produces less bounce and response, allowing you to dig in and be "on top" of the music.
Smack a good rimshot on your snare. The shaft takes the most impact.
5. Grip (diameter)
This area of the stick should feel comfortable in your hand when you play. Thinner sticks are easier to handle and therefore more versatile.
Shorter sticks are easier to control and weigh less. Longer sticks increase reach, response, flexibility and leverage.
Centerless grinding shapes a rounded butt-end that is more comfortable in the hand. It also creates fuller tones than the tip end when played on drums and cymbals.