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. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

"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.
[Newest]My ESP white OUIJA the best and perfect for METAL Sound!

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 people who play punk, or not metal of any kind in my opinion. I'm really looking forward to playing an esp, but remember this, you usually get what you pay for! Lots of people claim that you shouldn't have to pay more than a grand for a great guitar, but in my experience, if you want a dreamy, hard-core, guitar, that feels like home, like you hate to ever put it down, and even entices you to be more creative, save up, and pay the 2,500, to 5,000, to buy your dream guitar! Until then, work with what you got. It'll pay off, when you finally save up for that, you'll be more deserving of that precious gem you save for!
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!
[Newest]There so comfortable to play the neck of a Jackson literally rests right in my hand and the body styles are amazing not to mention they sound amazing even the cheaper models

schecter is the 1st! especially schecter hellraiser c1 fr
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
What makes Schecter better is the combination of high quality and reasonable pricing, they have the build quality of ESP/Ibanez without being over priced... And lets face it, they even look better! :P
[Newest]I have three of them, and I would not trade them for anything.

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
[Newest]My first guitar... they seriously make no-nonsense guitars

5B.C. Rich
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.
B.C. rich has the most impressive forms. Just look at classical Warlock! My vote definitely for it!
B.C. rich Rocks. These brands are one of the best heavy metal guitars of the world. The B.C. rich Assassin Zoltan Bathory signature, B.C. rich V, and B.C. rich Warlocks are the greatest guitars ever,
[Newest]Its awesome I used it better than all
Visit B.C. Rich Website

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


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

Dime proved it... M/.
Have a dean love it I like it much more than my ibanez it sounds much heavier
I really like to play the dean guitar the strings, shape, and it sounds good for playing heavy metal.
[Newest]Dimebag darrell and dave mustaine, enough said

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.
Got one, they do the job really well. You of course have to have the money however I think that they are incredible. I wouldn't recommend the Les Paul Series as they don't have the best tone but SGs are fantastic.
[Newest]Pretty have and thick sound, lots of harmonics and swallows distortion keeping the signature!

I love my Washburn X40ProQ, Floyd Rose Trem, Duncan pick ups and quilted blue body. Beautiful 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.
Screaming pickups. Although I like my JEM more as an all around guitar.

The Contenders

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.


I see it this way: if switch out the pickups to humbuckers and maybe get a Floyd Rose installed, and even go to get the neck switched out (like a schecter/ ibanez or other necks) then you can have one of the greatest metal guitars around.

12Ernie Ball Music Man
Music man guitars can do anything! !
John Petrucchi rocks with it man! There are no other choices!

Beautiful feeling, beautiful sounding guitars, but I prefer a thinner, set, or through-body neck, I love PRS, but not my favorite for speed, that's for sure. Depending on what pickups it has, is extremely versatile, and heavy, but just not built for speed.
Man PRS make the most versatile guitar in the world. Definitely for metal. Look at Mark Tremonti.

The SGs have an amazing tone and don't have the heavy neck problems you often have with epiphone's. Honestly great metal guitars in comparison to what they charge.

One of the greatest guitars ever. And of course afordable.
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.

16Dave Murray

Why the hell weren't they mentioned.


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

Gibson for me.

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!

21Moser Custom Shop
Neal moser made the best guitar I'd ever had, until I traded it...
I'm friends with Neal Moser
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...

22Mayones Guitars
Ideal for 7 string stuff.

23Music Man

24Halo Custom Guitars






30Paul Reed Smith
Just great guitar can't believe it's this low I mean come on it should be up higher with an ESP or Jackson should be much higher then a Gibson even


32You Rock Guitar

33Orville By Gibson

34First Act

Metal somehow IS about instruments... malmsteen plays neo-classical and Jimi Hendrix isn't metal. the only fender metal band with heavy sound (that I've seen) is iron maiden. it differs if you play a startocoaster or warlock... off course they are diverse



38Skervesen Guitars



Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List


Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 4 years, 306 days ago and has been voted on over 800 times. This top ten list has been remixed 1 times.

Updated Friday, February 27, 2015

List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.