What is Graded Hammer Action? – Best Graded Hammer Action Digital Piano

What’s all the fuss about “Graded Hammer Action”?

In this post we’re going to discuss what’s often known as “Graded Hammer Action” (though there are other terms, as you will see). This will be particularly useful for beginners or those who are not that familiar with the way digital pianos work.

Graded Hammer Action in Background – Acoustic pianos

If you’ve ever played an acoustic piano – whether it be an upright or grand piano – you’ll have noticed that the keys on the low end offer more resistance than those on the high-end. Or, put slightly differently, the keys on the low end feel heavier and the keys on the high end feel lighter.

Graded Hammer Action in Digital pianos

Some digital pianos seek to recreate this effect on their keyboards. In other words, the idea is that when you play the digital piano, the keys will be heavier in the low end and get lighter as you move up the keyboard, just as they do on an acoustic piano.

The commonest term to describe this is “graded hammer action.” However, different brands/manufacturers use slightly different expressions. Yamaha, for example, use the expression “Graded hammer action.” Casio call it “scaled hammer action.” Roland call it “progressive hammer action.”

Rest assured – these different terms all refer to the same phenomenon (which we might call the “weighted-keys effect”).

Why would you want “graded hammer action” / weighted keys?

Many people are interested in buying a digital piano because they simply don’t have the space for an acoustic upright or grand piano. However, these people still want to play something that feels like a “real” piano.

For these people, graded hammer action is of the utmost importance. It’s what allows them to enjoy the “weighted key effect” that one experiences on an acoustic or grand piano. If it’s important to you that a digital should feel like an acoustic, you’ll want to find digital pianos that have graded hammer action (or “scaled hammer action” if you’re buying a casio etc.)

There are other reasons why you may want (or even need) a digital piano with weighted keys. If you’re taking piano lessons, for example, your piano teacher may insist that you practise on a keyboard with weighted keys.

Assuming you don’t have the space for an upright or grand piano (or simply don’t want to pay for one), your best bet is to get a digital piano with scaled or graded hammer action. If you like Casio, you could try the Casio PX-780 Privia 88-Key Digital Home Piano with Power Supply, Black or the Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, Black  . If you prefer Yamaha, check out the Yamaha DGX-660 88 Key Grand Digital Piano with Knox Piano Bench,Pedal,Dust Cover and Book/DVD 

Conclusion

Hopefully this post has helped you understand what “graded/scaled hammer action is” and why you might want it. It’s very easy to find out if a digital piano has this feature. You’ll find it high up in the specifications list on any product page.

You can also simply look through the digital pianos featured on this site. We make it very clear which have graded hammer action and which do not.

NOTE: Some users say that the keys on certain digital pianos actually feel a little heavier  than on an acoustic.This is not necessarily a bad thing. For it allows you to develop strength in your hands and fingers. And this makes switching to an upright or grand piano a lot easier.

The best Digital digital pianos with graded hammer action keys are : 

Bestseller No. 1
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
280 Reviews
Yamaha P125 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle with Furniture Stand and Bench
  • Includes P125B digital piano, L125B furniture stand, BB1 wooden bench
  • A fully weighted digital piano with 88 full sized piano style keys
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano
  • The pure CF sound engine faithfully reproduces the tone of the acclaimed Yamaha 9' CFIIIS Concert Grand piano
  • USB to host connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need 1 Cable to connect to your music making software
Bestseller No. 2
Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle With Wooden Furniture Stand And Bench
373 Reviews
Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano Home Bundle With Wooden Furniture Stand And Bench
  • Includes P45, L85 furniture stand, PKBB1 bench, and sustain pedal
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low end and lighter in the high end, just like an acoustic piano
  • Advanced wave memory stereo sampling recreates natural instrument sound in stereo
  • 64 note polyphony allows the player to perform moderately dense piano passages with few or no dropped notes
  • The USB to host port allows you to connect and interact with a wide variety of educational, music creation or music entertainment applications on a computer or mobile device
Bestseller No. 3
Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, Black
120 Reviews
Casio PX-770 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, Black
  • The AiR engine provides highly-accurate grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics for a remarkably expressive and powerful performance
  • The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard has an incredible feel and captures the dynamics of a performance with unparalleled speed and accuracy
  • Includes a powerful stereo amplification system offering an optimal listening experience that is crystal-clear across the entire audio spectrum
  • Duet Mode splits the piano into two equal pitch ranges, allowing a student and teacher to sit at the same instrument
  • Concert Play allows you to play along with ten recordings of well-known orchestral pieces
Bestseller No. 4
Casio PX-870 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, Black
46 Reviews
Casio PX-870 BK Privia Digital Home Piano, Black
  • The AiR engine provides highly-accurate grand piano sounds with seamless dynamics for a remarkably expressive and powerful performance
  • The PX-870 features a variety of 19 instrument Tones, with the ability to layer and split them as needed. Touch Response - 3 sensitivity levels, Off
  • With a generous 256 notes of polyphony, you can rest assured that even the most complex performances will sound perfectly natural
  • The Tri-Sensor Scaled Hammer Action II keyboard has an incredible feel and captures the dynamics of a performance with unparalleled speed and accuracy
  • The powerful 40-watt, 4-speaker system is designed to envelop the listener, audience and room with rich, detailed sound
Bestseller No. 5
Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano - Black Bundle with Yamaha L-125 Stand, LP-1 Pedal, Furniture Bench, Dust Cover, Instructional Book, Online Lessons, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
101 Reviews
Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano - Black Bundle with Yamaha L-125 Stand, LP-1 Pedal, Furniture Bench, Dust Cover, Instructional Book, Online Lessons, Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD, and Polishing Cloth
  • GHS weighted action is heavier in the low keys and lighter in the high keys, just like an acoustic piano.
  • The special matte black key tops are designed to absorb moisture and remain tactile after extended use without becoming slippery.
  • The Pure CF Sound Engine faithfully reproduces the tone of a meticulously sampled, acclaimed Yamaha 9' CFIIIS concert grand piano, allowing for incredibly dynamic and expressive playing.
  • Split mode lets you play a different Voice with each hand
  • USB to HOST connectivity with MIDI and audio transfer means you only need one cable to connect to your music-making software.
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