Metal is not a music genre for all families. The society might think of the metal guitars for being noisy and crazy bunches of guys screaming and wielding their guitars. However, these guitarists have been sacrificing a lot for this demanding music genre. Metal guitarists, especially newbies, have to practice and feel the rhyme as well as find the best companion to embark on their journey. If you are new and still looking for your perfect match, you might find yourself confused in the middle of so much information regarding the Best Metal Guitars.
Best Metal Guitars Comparison 2020
Best Overall Metal Guitar with legendary iconic look
Best for beginners with simple look
Best for travel-aholic guitarists who are often on the moves
** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best Metal Guitars, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
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Top 15 Best Metal Guitars Reviews 2020
Yamaha Pacifica Series PAC112V Electric Guitar; Black
When somebody mentions “Yamaha”, chances are that people will think of motorcycles. But don’t let this name fool you because Yamaha is also one of the leading companies in the music industry.
This PAC112V’s body shape stems from Stratocaster. The main material to carve the guitar body is alder which can produce well-rounded and clear tone with great bass response. This material makes PAC112V stand out from those cheaply-made guitars out there. Solid maple guitar neck with satin finish and rosewood fingerboard will offer players an excellent feel. Yamaha decided to upgrade the pickup, from traditional ceramic to Alnico 5 offering a strong and aggressive punch. One more plus for this PAC112V is HSS pickup arrangement, along with a bridge position humbucker. This advantage makes the axe become one of the best metal guitars in the guitar community.
HSS pickup construction
Perfect satin finish
Annoying buzz from single coils
Decent tremolo bar
Les Paul SL, Ebony
For the metal guitar beginners, this Les Paul SL is worth considering. This Les Paul SL is truly a duplicate of iconic Gibson Les Paul with a more affordable price. The SL’s poplar body is slim, lightweight, and compact as Epithone decided to make it with a solid alder body and hard maple neck. Because it is suitable for entry level, Les Paul SL’s controls are simple and straightforward. Different from typical Les Paul guitars, this one features single coil pickups and it surely will deliver sounds different from other traditional humbuckers.
Easy to use, perfect for beginners
Too simple for the advanced players
Tuning stability problem
Les Paul Studio LT Electric Guitar
Another budget-friendly mate coming from Epithone is Les Paul Studio LT. Although the manufacturers from Epithone claim this version is suitable for all levels, it is more likely that Les Paul Studio LT is built for entry levels. Construction of zebra coil ceramic humbuckers, carved mahogany top, and neck of the same wood promises a high-quality experience.
Suitable for all levels
Pretty good build quality
- Not many features to expect
Epiphone Les Paul Express Travel-Size Electric Guitar Ebony
The name says it all. This guitar size is not only suitable for children but can also serve as a travel guitar. Well-balanced and lightweight, this LP Express is comfortable to hold and to play. However, to satisfy some demanding and professional guitarists, this LP Express Travel-size is not a suitable candidate. Although the size is perfect for those who are often on the moves, excellent balance and form, its quality control might make it a poor choice for higher levels.
Super light and easy to hold
Quite poor quality produced overall
Need further upgrades for experienced guitar player
Les Paul Special VE Vintage Worn Heritage Cherry Sunburst
Another candidate for the best metal guitars worth the bucks from Les Paul is Epiphone Les Paul Special VE whose appearance is as beautiful as the sound it can produce. One cool thing is, this axe is built with a short scale and slim playable neck which will help stage dreams come true for those with small hands. Like other iconic LP brothers, this Special VE has the similar cut-away body shape with excellent 1960s SlimTaper D neck.
This monster is armed with two Epiphone humbuckers, a 650R at the neck, and a 700T at the bridge. They are well connected to the three-way pickup selector switch, master tone knob, and master volume knob. This friendly-budget mate can provide a sound of both warm and sharpness when in the hand of a guitarist. One more thing, this vintage coat will never disappoint you, even the most demanding one.
Perfect for both beginners and experienced players
Great Humbucker sound
Low-budget for excellent quality
Lightweight and vintage look
Buzzing bass strings sometimes
Quite poor tuning stability
ESP LTD EC-10 KIT Electric Guitar with Gig Bag, Black
The smart single cutaway build is truly a plus for EC-10 as it is slim and comfortable to use as well as aesthetically pleasing. The neck, frets, and fingerboard come together offering a smooth and comfortable experience that is definitely constructed for speed and easy string bending. The two humbuckers really do their work by giving a good output and being powerful enough to become one of the best metal guitars. A big plus is that they are silent when in background noise and feedback.
Not suitable for stage performance
ESP LTD EC-256 Electric Guitar, Black Satin
This beautiful axe comes with a mahogany body and neck. along with the rosewood fingerboard. Excellent design with two powerful humbuckers connecting to the three-way pick-up selector switch and one master tone knob offering more versatility and tuning stability. Die-cast tuners and Tune-o-Matic bridge also help a lot for the string’s stability.
Extremely responsive to bluesy tones
Powerful sound to rock and metal genres and styles
- Decent pickup quality
ESP LTD EC Standard EC-1000 Vintage Black
This screaming baby looks quite like other traditional ESP guitars but the experience it offers is beyond expectations. Until you rock with this, you will accept it as one of the best metal guitars you have been looking for. This stylish guitar features a Mahogany body and neck including EMG Humbucker pickups that offer high-octane tones.
While being elegant and slick, this guitar is always ready to rock and scream with you. Suitable for the pits of heavy metal and rock, this EC-1000 can deliver a loud tone cutting through any noise. EC-1000 makes a bold statement when giving a good touch in hand and offering tons of fun to play.
EMG Humbucker pickups
Eclipse body shape
Incredibly solid and smooth in hand
A little bit expensive
ESP LTD EC-Black Metal Electric Guitar, Black Satin
A real duplicate to ESP's LTD Deluxe "1000 Series" with an affordable price really makes this axe become amongst the best metal guitars. Design of the ESP guitar needs no more explanation. Familiar sleek and Eclipse single-cutaway body shape makes all eyes linger on this EC-Black Metal. All-black and all satin finish coat just simply puts it in the spotlight whenever it appears.
This EC-Black is a definition of “quality over quantity” when it features only one humbucker but still as powerful as other ESP brothers.
Awesome single control
- Stability problems sometimes
steinberger GTPROBK1 Solid-Body Electric Guitar Black
The look of this Steinberger GTPROBK1 is innovative and definitely will make you stand out from the crowd. Main body material is solid wood that helps achieve unique and excellent sustain, perfect tonal response, and very clear sound. After all, the design of this baby is quite unusual to the eye which might make it lose a high position in the race to become the best metal guitars.
Easy to carry and suitable for guitarists often on the moves
Light and compact
Out of tune and string unstability sometimes
Jackson JS Series Dinky Arch Top JS22-7 DKA HT 7-String Electric Guitar
If you are a seven-string fan, this deadly axe is a great companion. Featuring a guitar with 26.5 inches in length, this JS22-7 has a 24 fret neck along with a 16-inch radius. The solid build of this metal guitar improves the playability and offers better tension for low strings. This finally results in tighter sounds. One advice is you should pay attention to the fret edges because they are pretty sharp. Like finger-cutting sharp.
Good feel and good tone
Nice sleek fast neck
Decent tuning quality
String buzz issue
Fender Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar - Maple Fingerboard - Buttercream - Right Hand
For the guitar enthusiasts, Fender Statocaster is not something new. Traditional Strat’s designs and quality has enchanted guitarists of all times. Elegant body curves which will never go out of fashion and tonal dexterity marries the expressive vibrato, making this guitar an icon.
Featuring a modern C-shape maple neck along with a 9.5-inch-radius fingerboard, this beautiful axe possesses an unique smooth satin finish. Everything just makes it one of the most popular and best metal guitars of all times.
Iconic designs and comfortable in hand
Hardly out of tune
Perfect tremolo arm
- Switch pickup problem sometimes
Squier by Fender Mini Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar - Indian Laurel Fingerboard - Black
Another good candidate for adult guitarists with small hands just enters our room. This Mini baby, one of the best metal guitars, might look quite funny at first but the power is incredible. It features a short scale and compact neck. Even the kids can find it easy to play this guitar. The build might make us feel a little bit heavy but this Mini Strat is quite portable for its dimension.
The tone this Mini baby can produce tends to be clear, light, bright, and punchy. The maple neck with a C-Shaped curve and 20-fret rosewood fingerboard will deliver an excellent smooth in hand.
Great design with beautiful finish
- Little fret buzz
Another deadly weapon from the Fender house is Squier Affinity Telecaster. No need for further discussion into Fender’s design which deserves the title “Best Metal Guitars” for multiple times. It never goes out of fashion. To make this axe a replica to the legendary Fender Telecasters, manufacturers decided to equip it with two Single-Coil Tele Pickups.
And not only does it look like an original Telecaster but it also sounds the same. Six saddles are adjustable for intonation which helps changing string a simple task. This also solves the tuning stability problem as well as offers the string height’s adjustability.
Quality for an affordable price
Very smooth neck
Excellent tele sound and intonation
Little to no adjustments
Solid and iconic build
Thin chrome plating
Flimsy tone knobs
Squier Bullet Mustang HH - Imperial Blue
This Bullet Mustang HH marries the compact and expressive curves of the Mustang along with straightforward construction of double humbucker. This blue axe is excellent for punk, rock, metal, and grunge. Volume, tone controls, and 3-way toggle switch collaborate to control pickups. Meanwhile, a fixed hardtail bridge with 6 single individuals contributes to the resonant sound every time in the hand of guitarists.
Great fretwork with smooth edges
- Further adjustments for better quality
Ultimate Buying Guide: How to Find the Best Metal Guitars
When it comes to finding the best metal guitars, there are specific notes to take careful considerations into. If you have made the right decision, that axe might become your first and also your last companion.
There will be more and more information about electric guitars. Because they also depend on personal purpose and favorite playing style. But no matter what, there will be some standards to consider and follow. Journey to choose the best metal guitars might be hard but when you finally choose the most perfect match, it will be extremely satisfying.
First off, figuring out the key components of a guitar is a must. Without this, some information on the Internet might be misleading. The trend is choosing an electric guitar with humbucker or active pickups. Those active pickups will give you more control over the sound. You should also consider the neck and the scale length you actually need. One more thing is, you should think about the style you prefer for your best metal guitars.
One of the most important parts for guitar’s sound, apart from the guitarists’ skills, is the pickups. Pickups with terrible design and construction can ruin one guitar with the most awesome looking. Meanwhile, excellent pickups can better the sound beyond expectations. It is a story about magnets and coils. For metal, humbuckers or dual-coil might offer a better response.
In fact, they are often in the favorite lists of the guitarists. But guitarists can also choose pickups suitable for their styles. Alnico V and ceramic magnets are often used for good pickups and I bet you commonly see these keywords in metal guitar description.
For a guitar to be comfortable, necks should be thin and the action should be low. This will make it easy to shred. Reinforced or three-piece necks offer more stability than one-piece necks can. Neck-through designs which the neck will pass through the entire length with wings glued on can perform with better sustainability than bolt-on necks.
A hardware with high quality is so important that you cannot forget when considering to buy your best metal guitars. One of the advantages for the modern guitarists is that there are a large number of aftermarket parts which are available to upgrade your own guitar. It is easy to catch sight of many guitarists will change parts like tuners, bridges, nuts, and pickups to bring their guitar to the higher game levels.
When you buy a guitar with an excellent hardware, you will spend no much time and effort finding a better one for your guitar. If you are so desired, you might be at risk when trying to buy aftermarket parts because parts you choose might not perform well with your guitar.
One of the keys to remember when choosing a guitar is a well-balanced body. With a perfect balance, it will not stay in a weird angle along your body. For some odd-shaped guitars, this might come as a common problem. Guitars should not be too heavy. Sometimes, you might stand and perform for a long period of time. Imagine you are in such a stage holding a heavy guitar for hours of performance, not to mention you have to scream and wield the axe, you might get too tired to finish the performance. Furthermore, if you are the ones who love travelling but still want to carry a suitable musical instrument, consider this, too. A portable guitar will make your vacation become unforgettable.
Make sure it is well-balanced and lightweight enough for long-term purpose.
Some common materials are woods, maple, ash, or mahogany. But these types are very heavy. In the meantime, basswood, alder, or poplar will give a far more lightweight feel.
Maple wood, which makes the name of Leo Fender, is medium weight. This kind of material will not cause the guitar to be heavy in the neck. Fenders often make their guitar’s fingerboard from maple as well.
Mahogany, a perfect candidate for acoustic guitars for a long time, is more flexible than maple and, of course, a little bit lighter.
The tight-grained rosewood is a kind of heavy wood. However, it is still common, yet a little bit expensive compared with other materials you can find on market.
Basswood can be found in both acoustic and electric guitars. They are extremely light and can produce incredible sounding results.
Wood which is too heavy and dense might ruin the vibrations while the wood that is too light might not provide enough density for the vibrations’ sustainability. The problem to be solved is to choose a guitar with good balance between light and heavy for the purpose of sustain. That’s the moment when you find out the best metal guitars for your music life.
Controls and Features
In this modern time, guitarists have numerous options compared with those living years ago. Coil tapping will allow a guitarist to turn one coil of the pickup off which will help produce a sound of more treble and less low end. Sometimes, guitarists will use it to change the direction of current flow. Active pickups will provide far more options for stereo output or equalization.
Although we often claim we focus on the tonal quality, it does not mean we pay no attention to how the axe might look. Individuals will have personal taste either for music or for the appearance of things. They might think the sound produced is excellent but in the meantime they can also judge the “ugly” axe silently.
Our common way of thinking will be, we do not accept any judgement towards our axe. Stage presence is as important as the tonal quality and overall performance.
Your guitar choice will depend on your personal taste but try to make the right decision because this metal guitar might go with you a lifetime. One more thing to remember is that, take a close look at the edges. If they are too sharp, they can hurt you very badly. That is not to mention you will need to spend some of your time and energy to figure out how to make them smooth. Some considered the best metal guitars might cut you badly, so just be careful when picking one for you.
If you are a novice to the field, how much money should you pay for your first guitar? Even the experienced ones might not be confused when facing the market with numerous metal guitar options - all of which claim them to be the best one.
Thanks to modern improvements towards manufacturing techniques, a wide range of guitars has been introduced to the world. The price varies a lot. For the beginners with tight budget, your first choice can be a decent guitar for around $200-$300. And in case you have set aside enough money for your interest, spending from $1,000 to $2,000 for a metal guitar is common as well.
Accordingly, if you are a new player to this metal genre, you can consider purchasing a lower end guitar model. Once you have, not to say, mastered a low-end guitar, it is time you should do some more research toward the hi-end ones.
One advice is, buying an expensive guitar with a signature will never make you a true guitarist. Practice makes it.
You might feel interested in the guitar with an awesome look or signature. Yet, what you should know is, a signature won’t make you professional. So, focus on your purpose. Ask yourself: “Why should I buy this one?” or “Does this one will help me improve my playing skills?”
You can start off with a low-budget guitar with comfortable touch and decent sound effects. But you can upgrade your axe later. You actually can. Some improvements in the strings, tuner knobs, pickups, bridge, etc. can lead to incredible sound effects.
For the beginners, take a careful consideration toward the size and the weight of your guitar. It does matter a lot. It will take time to find the best metal guitars, but it will be worth the wait.
If you are completely new to metal guitars, we hope this video will give you an overall look and basic knowledge to take the first step in the field:
Takeaway: Top 3 Picks for the Best Metal Guitars
Figuring out the best metal guitars either for your professional career path or for your daily habits is a work full of hardships. Just be true to yourself, follow what you like, and choose what fits your budget the most.
If your music life has just started, a budget friendly guitar is the best for your consideration. It is enough for your learning time. But once you get experienced and upgrade your playing levels, more expensive guitars are more suitable for you. At this point, you might also consider buying a luxurious-looking guitar with numerous features. Some might reach the climax of buying guitars only to hang them on the wall decor. But that’s not the majority.
From our experience, we have picked out 3 top picks for the best metal guitars.