Top 10 Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

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Our #2 Rated
Behringer Ultra Metal UM300 Heavy Metal Distortion Instrument Effect Pedal
Our #3 Rated
Donner Giant Metal Guitar Pedal Boost Distortion Effect 3 Modes
Our #1 Rated
Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
Our #4 Rated
Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal True Bypass
Our #5 Rated
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal
Features a dedicated distortion, 3-band EQ and level controls
Made with top-notch whole aluminum-alloy that is stable and strong
Comes with the classic BOSS Distortion tones for guitar and keyboard
Made with high-quality whole aluminum alloy to ensure stability and strength
Known for its rich distortion and distinctive mid-focused style
Has multi-grain circuity for a thick, tube-like distortion with endless sustain
Its true bypass provides transparent tone, hi boost also provides players with a more expressive metal sound
Reproduces playing dynamics, giving users the freedom to tailor your personal sound with Distortion, Level, and Tone controls
A high-grain distortion of metal, stable to solo - comes with 3 knobs to control level, grain, and tone
Comes with MT-2’s dual-stage gain circuit that helps produce a versatile range of heavy tones
Also has a handy status LED to signal effect on/off and also a battery check
Also comes with an LED indicator that shows the effect on/off
The bundle comes with a ton of accessories: instrument cable, patch cable, picks, and an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth
True bypass provides transparent tone, and it also has an LED indicator that shows whether or not the item is in use
Features the original BOSS analog design but with enhanced performance and responsiveness
A great choice of distortion pedal for rock or heavy metal
A great pick for those who prioritize clarity over anything else
The best distortion pedal for anyone who wants to find their personal sound
For those looking for a distortion pedal that is unique and has personality
The go-to distortion pedal if you like to play classic metal sounds
Our #2 Rated
Behringer Ultra Metal UM300 Heavy Metal Distortion Instrument Effect Pedal
Features a dedicated distortion, 3-band EQ and level controls
Has multi-grain circuity for a thick, tube-like distortion with endless sustain
Also has a handy status LED to signal effect on/off and also a battery check
A great choice of distortion pedal for rock or heavy metal
Our #3 Rated
Donner Giant Metal Guitar Pedal Boost Distortion Effect 3 Modes
Made with top-notch whole aluminum-alloy that is stable and strong
Its true bypass provides transparent tone, hi boost also provides players with a more expressive metal sound
Also comes with an LED indicator that shows the effect on/off
A great pick for those who prioritize clarity over anything else
Our #1 Rated
Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
Comes with the classic BOSS Distortion tones for guitar and keyboard
Reproduces playing dynamics, giving users the freedom to tailor your personal sound with Distortion, Level, and Tone controls
The bundle comes with a ton of accessories: instrument cable, patch cable, picks, and an Austin Bazaar polishing cloth
The best distortion pedal for anyone who wants to find their personal sound
Our #4 Rated
Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal True Bypass
Made with high-quality whole aluminum alloy to ensure stability and strength
A high-grain distortion of metal, stable to solo - comes with 3 knobs to control level, grain, and tone
True bypass provides transparent tone, and it also has an LED indicator that shows whether or not the item is in use
For those looking for a distortion pedal that is unique and has personality
Our #5 Rated
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal
Known for its rich distortion and distinctive mid-focused style
Comes with MT-2’s dual-stage gain circuit that helps produce a versatile range of heavy tones
Features the original BOSS analog design but with enhanced performance and responsiveness
The go-to distortion pedal if you like to play classic metal sounds

OUR #1 RATED BEST DISTORTION PEDAL FOR METAL

A lot of beginners often ask, “why would you need a distortion pedal?” There’s a misconception that all musicians with an electric guitar or an amp need a distortion pedal. Actually, a distortion pedal is not a requirement.

 
  

Best Distortion Pedals for Metals

It is an add-on that could give your tone and your music more color and texture. That said, if you are happy with the sound you already make, then there is no need to purchase a pedal.

However, if you are someone who is looking to learn metal, then you might want to invest in a few pedals. Achieving a true metallic sound can be difficult with a guitar alone.

Even if you own a high-end guitar, sometimes it simply isn’t enough – especially if you are looking to replicate some classic metal music. Perhaps it’s the amp, the guitar itself, or something else… But whatever the case may be, a distortion pedal could be an easy fix.

A good distortion pedal should be capable of giving your tone a boost, producing a more metal sound. It should also give you more variety of tones so that you can add your desired texture to your music.

Picking the best out of the whole lot is challenging, but the good news is, we’ve rounded up the 10 Best Distortion Pedals for Metal. Check it out and you might find what you’re looking for.

 

10 Best Distortion Pedals For Metal

BOSS DS-1 Distortion Pedal

Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
131 Reviews
Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
  • Classic BOSS Distortion tones for guitar and keyboard
  • Reproduces dynamics of playing, from soft to hard
  • Distortion, Level and Tone control to tailor overall sound as desired
  • BOSS 5-year warranty
  • Classic, affordable live distortion

The BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal is literally the boss of all pedals. It is robust, easy to use, and is full of features that every guitarist would love. if you’re looking for the complete package, then this is the only distortion pedal you will ever need.

Its Tone, Level, and Distortion settings successfully provide a wide variety of sound to accommodate almost any musical style. What I love about the BOSS DS-1 is how clean and crisp the sound is. No matter if you are looking for some fuzz or a high squeal, the BOSS DS-1 delivers without sounding too harsh.

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Pros
  • Offers a wide variety of sounds
  • Perfect for the musician who loves experimenting with new sounds
  • Can also be used with a bass guitar with no problems
  • Compatible with many music styles

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Cons
  • Low-end tones tend to disappear

 

Behringer Ultra Metal UM300 Heavy Metal Distortion

SALE at 34% OFF
Behringer Ultra Metal UM300 Heavy Metal Distortion Instrument Effect Pedal
301 Reviews
Behringer Ultra Metal UM300 Heavy Metal Distortion Instrument Effect Pedal
  • Take off with the most extreme and sought-after hard rock or heavy metal distortion
  • This BEHRINGER product has been designed to compete head to head with leading products on the market
  • Multi-gain circuitry to give you super-thick, tube-like distortion plus endless sustain
  • Dedicated Distortion, 3-band EQ and Level controls for awesome sound shaping
  • Status LED for effect on/off and battery check

The Behringer Ultimate Metal UM300 is often regarded as the best distortion pedal for heavy metal. With its multi-gain circuitry, you get super-thick and tube-like distortion and endless sustain – just the thing heavy metal rockers need to complete their sound.

Like other distortion pedals, the UM300 also comes with the usual Distortion and Level controls. It also has the High and Low controls that allow you to control the amount of the top-end and bottom.

But what impressed me most about this guitar is the mid-frequency control – now that’s something we don’t see very often among distortion pedals. This mid-frequency control allows you to select a midrange frequency ranging from 200 Hz to 5 kHz, and boost/cut by up to 15 dB.

In short, you get a whole palette of great-sounding metal tones.

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Pros
  • A super affordable distortion pedal with quality that is comparable to higher-end pedals
  • Comes with a mid-frequency control that most distortion pedals don’t offer
  • Produces a nice crunchy sound but is not too noisy

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Cons
  • Although sturdy enough
  • It is made of plastic which could pose a problem for durability
  • Gain or distort function may not be sensitive enough for some users
  • The included instruction manual needs improvement

 

Donner Giant Metal Guitar Pedal Boost Distortion Effect

Donner Giant Metal Guitar Pedal Boost Distortion Effect 3 Modes
94 Reviews
Donner Giant Metal Guitar Pedal Boost Distortion Effect 3 Modes
  • Entirely gaining and boosting the distortion degree of metal, has the special and strong distortion effect
  • Whole aluminium-alloy classic, stable and strong
  • True bypass provide transparent tone, LED indicator shows the working state
  • The improvement of the high frequency of the pedal makes the heavy tone-color and difficult skills perform in a clearer level
  • The hi boost provides the players the most expressive metal sound

Looking for a more expressive metal sound? You need to check out the Donner Giant Metal Guitar Boost Distortion Effect. This modest-looking pedal may look too plain and simple on the outside, but wait until you hear what it can do.

With just three sound buttons and three mods, you can adjust your desired metal tone and you also get an abundance of rich metal sounds. And the best part of it all is that it was designed to be so easy, you can access all those tones with just those three buttons.

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Pros
  • A robust and well-built distortion pedal that has a good range of metal tones
  • Able to produce a sound that is comparable to higher-end distortion pedals
  • Straightforward and easy to understand
  • Great for beginners who want to try their first distortion pedal

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Cons
  • Mid-levels are inconsistent
  • Either non-existent or producing a low-quality sound

 

Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal

Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal True Bypass
205 Reviews
Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal True Bypass
  • High degree distortion degree of metal, stable to solo, has strong expression with dynamic echo sound
  • Whole aluminium-alloy classic, stable and strong
  • True bypass provide transparent tone, LED indicator shows the working state
  • Morpher is High-Gain Distortion, great made and affordable. Sounds like a crossover between MI Crunch Box and Suhr Riot.3 knobs to control Level, Gain and Tone.
  • Notice :there is not power adapter included,you need to buy one

If an aggressive distortion isn’t exactly your cup of tea, then the Donner Morphed Distortion Pedal could be what you are looking for. It produces a smooth and softer distortion – just enough to get that distortion fix for your music.

Just like the other Donner distortion pedal mentioned above, this one is also a beginner-friendly pedal. If you are new to the metal genre and would like to achieve a fuller, louder sound then The Morpher could give you an easy fix.

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Pros
  • Provides a “Full Stack” sound effect for your amp
  • Maintains original sound structure
  • No panic frequency
  • Dull bass
  • Or obtrusive medium frequency
  • The clip inside the pedal is built for better adaptability to distortion in all three modes

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Cons
  • Distortion is a bit harsh compared to other models
  • Inconsistent quality
  • It can be a little bit noisy occasionally

 

Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal

SALE at 5% OFF
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal
111 Reviews
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal
  • The MT-2 provides super-long sustain and heavy mids and lows like a stack of overdriven amps.

Are you a big fan of classic metal and would like to replicate the same metallic tone, a similar punch and screech just like your favorite bands? The Boss MT-2 can help you achieve your goals.

The quality of distortion from this pedal is incredible, thanks to its unique dual-gain circuitry. It also provides users with super-long sustain, heavy miss and lows – in short, the perfect companion for anyone who loves hard rock and metal.

But for me, it’s all about the three-band EQ with the mid-control. When it comes to distortion pedals, I’m all about the range of distortion textures – the wider the range, the better. And this distortion pedal delivers.

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Pros
  • A good-quality distortion pedal that produces a thick sound
  • And provides a great tonal range
  • Quick
  • Highly-responsive
  • Has amazing sustain and natural feedback
  • Perfect for producing classic metal sounds like Metallica

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Cons
  • A lot pricier than other options in this list

 

Rowin Analog Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal

Rowin Analog Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal for Guitar True Bypass
14 Reviews
Rowin Analog Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal for Guitar True Bypass
  • 🎸3 way toggle switch allows you to choose from a hi boost, low boost and off boost
  • 🎸Additional shaping is achieved using the gain and tone controls. You can use the Lo and off boost positions to get a great rhythm tone. In this position play with the tone and gain knobs to recreate tones from your favorite bands or uniquely create your own sound. Then switch it into Hi-Boost for a face melting solo.
  • 🎸【SOLID CONSTRUCTION】Made of high-quality zinc alloy, durable and sturdy.
  • 🎸【TRUE BYPASS】True bypass provide transparent tone.LED indicator shows working state.【MINI SIZE】Small and exquisite,can save a lot of space on pedal board.
  • 🎸Please note this pedal NOT include power adptor. Need a DC 9V power supply with negative in the center to power up. Pleae buy it separately at Rowin Music store. Thank you.

If you are just starting out with metal distortion and do not want to spend a fortune on a pro pedal, the Rowin Analog Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal is a good choice to start with.

It has all the basics you might need with a standard distortion pedal for metal: volume and tone controls and a True Bypass. It’s simple, easy to use, and very straightforward, making it a great beginner’s option as well.

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Pros
  • Simple and straightforward
  • Delivers all of your basic needs at a pocket-friendly price

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Cons
  • The “Boost” option sounds too harsh

 

Donner Metal Head Guitar Effect Pedal

Donner Metal Head Guitar Effect Pedal Super Mini Metal Distortion Pedal
21 Reviews
Donner Metal Head Guitar Effect Pedal Super Mini Metal Distortion Pedal
  • Two models:BOOST Mode: Provide BOOST effect of Metal drive.NORMAL Mode: Provide normal effect of Metal drive.
  • Entirely gaining and boosting the distortion degree of metal, has the special and strong distortion effect
  • Super mini size, made of aluminum alloy, convenient and durable.
  • True bypass provide transparent tone, 100% Analog design
  • LED indicator shows the working state

Judging by its name, the Donner Metal Head Guitar Effect Pedal is obviously made for metal. But did you know that it is more commonly known as the smallest distortion pedal in the market today?

The nano-size might put off some people but personally, I think that it is great. It could potentially free up some space on one’s board and who doesn’t want more space?

But if you think that the mini size of the Metal Head meant minimizing its features, you’re in for a big surprise. This tiny pedal produces a mean metallic sound. In fact, it has all the components all the other regular-sized great-sounding distortion pedals have.

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Pros
  • Comes in a smaller size than the standard distortion pedal making it more portable
  • And a good companion for the traveling musician
  • Has the special and strong distortion effect
  • And a True Bypass that provide a clear and transparent tone

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Cons
  • The size might be weird for some users

 

Behringer OD300 2-Mode Overdrive/Distortion Instrument Effects Pedal

SALE at 4% OFF
Behringer OD300 2-Mode Overdrive/Distortion Instrument Effects Pedal
103 Reviews
Behringer OD300 2-Mode Overdrive/Distortion Instrument Effects Pedal
  • Runs on 9V battery or the BEHRINGER PSU-SB DC power supply (not included, best with Polaroid 9V Batteries)
  • Take off with overdrive, distortion or a combination of both effects in one powerful pedal
  • This BEHRINGER product has been designed to compete head to head with leading products on the market
  • Dedicated Level, Tone, Drive and Mode controls for awesome sound shaping
  • Status LED for effect on/off and battery check

Most of the other distortion pedals mentioned above need to be plugged in with cables. If you’re looking for a pedal that runs on batteries, the Behringer OD300 is one of the better options out there today.

With this pedal, you can switch between overdrive or distortion, or even a combination of both effects. You can also control Dedicated Level, Tone, Drive, and Mode, allowing you more creative freedom to shape the sound you desire.

What I really love about this pedal is the fact that the overdrive and distortion can be controlled with just one pedal. Now you don’t need to buy separate ones to get the sound you want.

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Pros
  • A well-built distortion pedal that allows the user full control of its sound
  • Comes with both overdrive and distortion controls
  • Making it more economical than buying two separate ones
  • Features an infinite amount of tones
  • Thanks to the Distorted Level
  • Tone
  • Drive
  • And Mode controls

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Cons
  • Batteries are great but may not last very long through heavy usage

 

Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff Distortion

SALE at 17% OFF
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff Distortion with Top Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
57 Reviews
Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff Distortion with Top Boost Guitar Effects Pedal
  • High input impedance buffered bypass
  • Output volume and master drive controls
  • 3-Band EQ: bass, mid and treble
  • Foot switchable Top Boost with separate control knob
  • 9-volt battery included, Optional 96DC-200BI power supply available

This super solid and robust-looking distortion looks like it was made for metal music. And true to its shape and appearances, it does come with a lot of fun features that a true metalhead would love.

If you’re looking for a distortion pedal that gives you the best of all possible controls, this is what you need to be looking at.

The Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff has a high impedance buffered bypass, output volume, and master drive controls, and a three-band EQ: bass, mid, and treble – basically, it’s the kind of stuff every metal musician would need.

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Pros
  • Comes with a 9-volt battery and the option to have the 96DC-200BI power supply
  • Features a unique Top Boost knob which allows you to dial in frequencies between 3.5 kHz and 4.3 kHz

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Cons
  • Features a unique Top Boost knob which allows you to dial in frequencies between 3.5 kHz and 4.3 kHz

 

SALE at 11% OFF
Joyo JF-01 Vintage Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal with True Bypass
366 Reviews
Joyo JF-01 Vintage Overdrive Guitar Effect Pedal with True Bypass
  • 9V battery included and 9V DC power connection
  • Quality Switch, Tone, Volume and Drive Knobs
  • LED, notched knobs
  • Stomp box style DPDT switch for clean, quiet switching
  • Single ¼ inch (instrument cable) input and output jacks

The Joyo JF-01 may look like it’s all about fun and games with its green body and bright yellow knobs, but this pedal means serious business. Cosmetics aside, it has all the basics covered for a nice metal sound.

The Joyo JF-01 comes with a Quality Switch, Tone, Volume, and Drive controls. But what I love most about it is its stompbox style DPDT switch for clean and quiet switching. It may be my choice of distortion pedal for a beginner who is just starting out with their first distortion pedal.

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Pros
  • A good-quality distortion pedal with lots of gain and tons of sustain
  • Works great with single-coil pickups
  • Producing a hard metallic tone
  • True bypass works great
  • Does not interfere with your original sound

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Cons
  • Material for its parts could be improved

 

10 Best Distortion Pedal For Metal

We love talking about Distortion Pedals over here at The Guitar Junky simply because there are the kinds of tools that bring out the creativity in a musician – and we are all about that creative freedom.

If you want to choose the best distortion pedal for metal, you’d want something that isn’t just robust and built with great quality craftsmanship. You’d want one that could produce your personal sound, just the way you like it.

Shopping for a distortion pedal is a lot of fun because you get to discover and listen to different types of effects. And who knows? You might be able to find something that is unique but compatible with your type of music.

Best Distortion Pedal

So the first thing you should do to find the best distortion pedal for metal is to understand what kind of metal, or rather, what type of metal sound you are looking for. Once you’ve got that settled, go ahead and try out a lot of distortion pedals.

The next thing you want to look for in a distortion pedal is all technical. You need one that is not just durable, you need one that is stable, responsive and one that can produce your type of distortion in a clear way.

 

Our Selection

Distortion pedals are a lot of fun, and it’s difficult to just choose one especially if you’re the type who loves experimenting with sound. But for the sake of this roundup, we had to choose one winner, and that is the BOSS DS-1.

As we’ve said, we like distortion pedals that give users a lot to play around with, and this distortion pedal has it.

It is one of the more robust pedals that allow users to control distortion, level, and tone. Plus, it comes with all those attractive accessories in the bundle – who wouldn’t want to receive all that?

  

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