10 Best Distortion Pedals For Metal Guitarists

Are you ready to shred?

It’s important to have an amazing distortion pedal that can truly keep up with your playing and help you cut above the noise. You need one of the best distortion pedals for metal and a pedal that has high gain. You also need some excellent EQ features to change the tone as needed for metal guitar playing.

If you’re looking for an excellent distortion pedal for metal then look no further.

Below we’ll take a look at the 10 best distortion pedals for metal guitar, so you can get to shredding in no time at all.

1. Jim Dunlop MXR M116 Fullbore Metal – The Best of the Distortion Pedals For Metal Guitarists

distortion pedals for metal guitar

The Jim Dunlop MXR M116 Fullbore Metal is one of our very top picks for metal guitar. While the pedal comes in a very compact package, it has all the power you need to give your guitar some intense bite.

It provides some excellent high-gain distortion and has a 3-band EQ for control over the sound. The pedal also has a mid-range sweep control, a Scoop switch, and a switchable Noise Gate that includes internal sensitivity control.

Overall this is a great metal guitar pedal that will make any guitarist swoon with the sounds that are achievable through this high-gain pedal.

2. Wampler Triple Wreck Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

The Wampler Triple Wreck Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal is another excellent pedal that packs a real punch. If you’re looking for a massive amount of gain, you can’t do much better than the Wampler pedal. It is a high gain distortion pedal that can give you some great metal tones.

The pedal has a really heavy sound and can deliver exactly what you need as a metal guitar player. You can also change up the tone some with the 3-band EQ. Other features include a Hard setting which can add a warmer thump to your guitar tone.

The pedal also features a Brutal setting which can give you an excellent full-spectrum sound. The Wampler guitar pedal also has a footswitch which can give you boost features along with a Contour control that will allow you tweak your gain and achieve a range from higher and heavier to some intensely fuzzy distortion.

Overall, this is an excellent metal pedal with some amazing range and versatility.

3. Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal

The Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal is an excellent pedal for metal guitar playing. The pedal is well-known among guitarists and for good reason.

The pedal was introduced in 1978 and was Boss’s first distortion pedal. However, the pedal has not lost any quality over the years and remains a great option for guitarists of all genres.

The pedal comes with some excellent versatility and can allow you to achieve hard-driving screaming distortion tones or softer whimpers.

If you’re looking for one of the best distortion pedals for metal that has remained excellent for decades, the Boss DS-1 may be just what you’re looking for.

4. DigiTech DDM Death Metal

The DigiTech DDM Death Metal is the perfect pedal for metal. DigiTech has passed a worthy amount of distortion into this pedal and is a great option for death metal guitarists.

The DDM Death Metal pedal comes in a rugged sturdy metal chassis and has an amazing stylish look of black and red.

The pedal gives you plenty of tonal options and comes with dual amp and mixer outputs. You can also adjust the low, mid, and high EQ to give you even more control. The pedal is simpler than some of the other options on this list but has everything you need for some amazing and powerful distortion.

Overall, if you’re looking for an excellent metal pedal you can’t do much better than this.

5. Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Pedal

Another great pedal option for serious metal guitar players is the Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Drive Pedal. The pedal was introduced in 2004 but has been updated to include even more options and range.

The pedal gives you some excellent sounds and emulates the sound of a classic tube amp, giving some amazing overdrive sounds. The OCD pedal gives you a good range of sounds and tones you can achieve.

The pedal only has 3 knobs and that includes volume, drive, and tone. It also has Switchable Enhanced Bypass and True Bypass modes for some serious tone. The pedal also features a Class A input section with a better dynamic response.

Overall, this is one of the best distortion pedals for metal that you would do well to choose for your guitar playing needs.

6. Blackstar HT-METAL

The Blackstar HT-METAL is a good pedal with an amazing tone that you can use if you’re playing with a band and trying to achieve a hardcore metal sound. The Blackstar is a full-featured pedal with a bulky set of features and knobs to give you an incredible amount of control over your sound.

The pedal is a two-channel, ultra high gain, distortion pedal that is powered by 300V high-voltage. The pedal features three-band EQ, a patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature) control, and more.

Overall the pedal features a lot of options for the guitarist and can help you achieve an amazing and full-featured metal tone with your playing.

7. DigiTech Hardwire Series TL-2 Metal Distortion Pedal

The DigiTech Hardwire Series TL-2 Metal Distortion Pedal is an excellent pedal for metal. The pedal is extremely sturdy and comes with a design that is made from premium all-metal components. The pedal has two high-gain amp tone circuits that help to achieve a full sound.

The Tight Mode will give your guitar tone percussive low-end sounds as well as seamlessly smooth high-end frequencies. The Loose Mode, on the other hand, is great for a guitar that is using alternate tunings and features a low EQ that helps produce a huge and spectacular amount of low-end sounds.

8. Electro-Harmonix XO Metal Muff With Top Boost

No list of amazing metal pedals would be complete without the Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff pedal. The Metal Muff pedal includes 3 powerful EQ bands that will help you sculpt the mids and the pedal also has a total of 6 controls. You can use the pedal to achieve some metal sounds with some strong bite.

The Top Boost function on the pedal can add even more intensity with its own control knob and the included footswitch. Overall, this is a great option for a metal pedal that you can use if you’re looking to add some serious strength to your guitar sound.

9. Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal

The Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal offers some distortion tones that are marketed as unique and different from other pedals. The Pro Co RAT2 pedal can have a range of sounds and can be more mellow or can be much stronger and dirtier. It’s worth noting that the pedal is good for both rhythms and for playing solos while cutting above the noise.

The pedal is true bypass and has three knobs including a distortion knob, a filter knob, and a volume knob. The pedal features glow-in-the-dark luminescent control graphics and is easy to see while on stage.

Overall the Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal is one of the best distortion pedals for metal that offers a different range of sounds than some other options have.

10. Boss ML-2 Metal Core Distortion Pedal

The Boss ML-2 Metal Core Distortion Pedal is the final great metal pedal on this list is an excellent option for guitar players. The metal and distortion sounds are very heavy and strong and have some amazing gain with heavy lows.

The pedal has low control for heavy, low-frequency sounds and is excellent for 7-string guitars or alternate and dropped tunings. The pedal features 4 knobs including level, low, high, and distortion.

Overall, the pedal is great for genres that require a heavy sound such as Nu Metal, Grind Core, Industrial, or Hardcore.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to play metal and want to create some amazing punch and hardcore high gain distortion, these distortion pedals for metal guitar are excellent choices. Each of these would be excellent for you when playing genres that require tough and wicked distortion.

Looking for the best strings for playing metal? Check out our post on the best metal guitar strings for electric guitar.