Best Guitars for Heavy Metal

What brand of of guitar and model is most efficient for metal... Also I know I haven't come anywhere near naming the realistic amount of brands so please add whatever you think is the best brand for metal... ps if anyone votes fender as a metal guitar, well that speaks for itself.

The Top TenXW


"my ESP kh-2 black ouija is the most bad ass guitar ever when ESP makes guitars, they do it right, the neck through, emg81/60, and ouija graphics not only make It look and sound awesome, but also gives you the feeling that you are holding a true instrument, and it feels dangerous, like you could fight off zombies with it. No wonder so many guitarists are turning to ESP

Absolute best Guitar Brand full stop. Not only are their metal guitars perfect, their other guitars are perfect as well. I own an ESP eclipse II and it is pro. My second guitar was an ESP LTD which I tour with along with the eclipse. Different guitar for different tuning. ESP is pro. Anyone who is looking for a recommendation, I recommend ESP. There is a reason why metalists use ESP.

ESP's are great. I have a lower end model (EC-50) and it plays as good as my nicer guitars and sounds very solid for the low price. I have also played a few of the pricier ESP's and they seem to have the same great neck and feel with a little tighter sound.

ESP guitars have the BEST necks..

V36 Comments

Quite honestly, I own dozens of guitars that I have collected through my 50 years, and have played in many bands, own a sound, and light business as well. I must start out by saying I hate fender products! That being said, ibinez guitars are stiff, and their necks can be sharp, even cut your fingers if you move too fast, they are a very technical sounding, and brash. Gibson has a great warm sound, but heavy as hell, with thick necks. I love jackson. Smooth to play, and pretty nice metal pickups, and feel good to hold, and play-ability is great. Prs feels like a dream in every way, plays like butter, but still have a thicker neck than I prefer. I am currently seeking a new esp, so don't have an opinion as of yet on them. Washburn has some great feeling guitars, but their pickups aren't very bright sounding, kinda muffled sounding.B.C. Rich has an awkward feel, but heavy sound. Kramer always struck me as a cheap brand. Some people prefer really cheap, old brand guitars, but those are ...more

How is fender a metal guitar? Jackson USA select for the win! I know most metal bands out there uses ESPs but the USA made Jacksons have the best quality tone. The Jackson Soloist SL2H is the best super strat out there although I'm not such a fan of superstrats. If you're looking for an ultra high-end US made super strat or V shaped guitar (symmetrical or asymmetrical) jacksons are the best. The only reason they're so low on the list is that they're too expensive that not many people now about the brand

You can buy a Jackson for next to nothing, you don't need a USA select - although they are amazing if you have the cash! You can buy a Pro or X series for half the price of a USA model in loads of different shapes. Jackson were one of the first metal guitars you could buy and most other metal guitars are based on their designs, why buy a copy when you can have an original - that's why Fender and Gibson are so popular because they don't steal anyone elses ideas!

Jackson's are the best guitars for heavy metal. They have a nice aggressive tone, slim and comfortable necks and reliable builds.

V32 Comments

schecter is the 1st! especially schecter hellraiser c1 fr

I've played Dean, Jackson, Ibanez, Gibson, Fender, ESP, PRS, and Schecter guitars for most of my work. Out of all of those, I'd pick a Schecter any day. Doesn't matter what genre I'm playing, I will always pick a Schecter. Most people don't realize that they have a hidden ability to split the double coil pickups into single coils, so they say that Schecter is a metal guitar. In reality though, you can play almost anything with a Schecter. Also, the company takes very good care of their customers. I broke one of their necks without a warranty, and they let me ship it back for about twenty bucks and it came back as good as new. All in all, a Schecter is the best guitar company for almost anyone.

Two weeks ago I played the hellraiser extreme c-1 fr. This guitar is the most powerful guitar I've ever played... And the feeling is amazing. Better than some others that cost about 300 or 500 euro more

Best Guitars ever wont' let you down

V30 Comments

The Ibanez guitar company focuses primarily on metal music and they have the perfect designs for the metal genre, the RG 7 strings, Ibanez guitars have amazing playability and great sound and in my opinion Ibanez sounds the best. ESP guitars have great playability but I prefer the sound of Ibanez because they balance the high and low pitch perfectly. I think Jacksons sound terrible but they do have great playability and Schecter can suck it because the wish they could make good 7 strings like Ibanez does.
My top 10 is:
4.Jackson (sadly)
5.Schecter (sadly)
9.B.C. rich
If you don't vote Ibanez you're not a true metal head. Enough said.

Although they don't really venture out on the body shapes, their guitars look and sound great, and all 3 of my good guitars are Ibanez. My favorite came stock with good pick ups, a kill switch, and a really sturdy tremolo that doesn't need a retune every week. Aside from that, the neck is great, being incredibly thin as to let you maneuver, yet thick enough to not be awkward.

Especially the Ibanez Iceman series! They also have really good distortion pedals as well

I have a prestige from the early nineties and nothing has the tone and balance that can match this war machine

V16 Comments
5B.C. Rich

To see that quote of someone saying, "Kerry King is the only guitarist to use B.C. rich! " Is bull. The king of Death metal Chuck Schuldiner would destroy Kerry King. And Dave Mustaine did his legendary early recordings with Metallica on Kill 'em all.

I have played a lot of guitars and definitively I choose B.C. rich as my favorite. With it's killer shape and great sound, they're the most great guitars I've ever played.

My because rich warlock is a beast, definitely the best choice if you are a metal head. It's easy to shred and looks awesome on stage. My advice to you is to buy one if you still haven't

Very underrated guitars - countnightdark13

V20 Comments Visit Website9

Have a dean love it I like it much more than my ibanez it sounds much heavier

They are my go to and I have had many and never had a problem with them and they just sound beefy compared to many esp and other metal guitars I have played.

I really like to play the dean guitar the strings, shape, and it sounds good for playing heavy metal.

Awesome metal guitar period!

V9 Comments

Gibsons, SGs and explorers especially can handle any sub-genera of metal. They have hot pick ups and fast necks. The best metal guitar all around is a gibson SG hands down. After all metal was founded by SGs.

Got an SG-400 myself Fast neck and consistent action, handles clean and high, sustained and dramatic, and low down and dirty. Mine is built like a tank and is hard to knock out of tune. But other than that Gibson has an entire battalion of artists in their stable that have inspired a lot of guitarists to pick one up in the first place.

Gibson should be number 1. If you want a proper guitar, buy Gibson, Fender, or Paul Reed Smith.

From experience, brands to avoid include Dean, ESP, Schecter, and Kramer.

What seriously Gibson's aren't for metal

V10 Comments

I agree esp should be first, but my Kramer is really heavy! They should at least be in the top 10.

The old American made customs have absolutely no comparison - alexskolnick13

Lost my Kramer when I was a kid... I miss you Kramer!

I have a few Kramer Pacers from the 80's, american made. They rock!

V3 Comments

Screaming pickups. Although I like my JEM more as an all around guitar.

Epiphones are great guitars, they are versatile and can play any style, they have Gibson pickups and when you set it to rhythm it can really thud or scream.

They're Great, Just avoid the lower end Les Paul models like the Special II and Express.


I think fender aren't the best metal guitars but, fender do have the jim root series! Also jackson is owned by fender so is charvell and gretsch!

I actually own a Fender Strat and it sounds great for playing metal. Sure maybe it's not as good as ESP or Schecter but it's still decent enough. - MetalFoREVer1228

Cannibal corpse on a fender Richie sambora strat, no problem?

What is with these people fender isn't metal

V4 Comments

The Contenders

11Ernie Ball Music Man

My music man screams and really easy to play. #13

Music man guitars can do anything! !

V2 Comments

I love my Washburn X40ProQ, Floyd Rose Trem, Duncan pick ups and quilted blue body. Beautiful guitar

I've had Schecters, Gibsons, Fenders, Guilds, and a dean. Washburn overall has the best feel, and the best crunch for metal of any guitars I own. Depends on the genre of metal though, my start kills for thrash and my guild is unbeatable for doom

I love my bucklay y washburn guitar its so nice and good brand to me

V2 Comments
13Dave MurrayDavid Michael Murray is an English guitarist and songwriter best known as one of the earliest members of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Does anyone know where I can get a " Dave Murray " guitar?
any info about specs etc? - AndyMetal92


Carvin guitars are perfect, super affordable, and since you choose the specs, they're truly Yours. Next best thing to building your own.

I have a CT4T, with C22J in the neck position and M22SD in the bridge, and while I spec'd it to be versatile (I also play jazz and funk and prog) there's no better instrument for metal.

Hands down, Carvin at #1. If you won't take my word for it, just ask Jason Becker or Lee McKinney.

V1 Comment

Everybody in metal played Charvels in the 80's... The schaller floyd roses are xlnt and the jc-90 pickup is the best metal pickup ever.

V1 Comment
16Mayones Guitars

Ideal for 7 string stuff.



DBZ is the father of metal guitars! Vote for metal!

Best guitar with the best features. No crappy licensed parts, only original floyld rose tremolos, active pickups, and the best wood possible for sound and effortless playing!

V1 Comment

I have no idea who put this on the list, but it's pretty funny, paha.

Gibson for me.


I hate this company anyways

20Moser Custom Shop

For me the guitars made by Neal Moser would always be the best guitars in the world. My maple bodied Arachnid fitted with BKP Warpig Ceramics just scream metal...

For me the guitars made by Neal Moser would always remain the best. My maple bodied Arachnid guitar with BKP Warpig ceramics, EMG afterburner preamp, and a Sustainiac Humbucker at the neck just screams metal...

V2 Comments
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List StatsUpdated 27 Oct 2016

1,000 votes
42 listings
6 years, 184 days old

Top Remixes

1. ESP
2. Jackson
3. Kramer
1. Schecter
2. Ibanez
3. Jackson



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