Top 10 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 all the realistic brands so please add whatever you think is the best brand for metal.
The Top Ten

I play on lot mid-range and high end guitars.. I have few ESP models, few LTD.. I have also few mid-range and high end Jackson and B.C. Rich.. Before used Gibson, Fender, Ibanez etc... (gibson and fender are just expensive, but NOT GOOD for them cost guitars! For example I had Fender - cost look as 7000 euro! Crazy.. This is price for 2 REALLY GREAT ESP Custom Shop models and will have the cash for a good Bass! Fender is just a name! nothing more.. ESP is the best guitar builder all over the world! )

actually the best instrument ever I touch (I have one piece of this treasure) is ESP Jeff Hanneman UC model from 2006.. the fines giutar ever I saw!

ESP rocks!

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.

I don't have an actual ESP, but I have an LTD mh-1000 and it's the best guitar I've ever owned. It came stock with my favorite pickup combo, jb and a 59, and it has the sexiest blue maple quilt I've ever seen and the abalone makes it really stick out. I have a schecter hellraiser as well but the LTD just feels more comfortable.

A no brainer really.
Absolute industry leaders in terms of quality and attention to detail.
These guitars play so unbelievably well, it's no wonder it's in first place.
You can make any guitar sound good, but no other guitar plays quite the same as an ESP.
Superb superb SUPERB.

2 Jackson

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

Best necks I've ever played on and I've played and owned a lot of guitars. I have 2 pro series Jackson's (a 6 string soloist and a 7 string hardtail dinky) and the necks just fit my hand so perfectly. I like the sound, tonewoods, and pickups they use and think the guitars they make are all really cool looking and great playing. I personally think all pro series Jackson's should be made in the Mexican factory where the Mexican strats are made but maybe Jackson will make that call in the future. Ibanez is pretty good as well but some of the necks are just to flat like the prestige and they cramp my hands after a while.

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!

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

3 Schecter

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.

The Schecter blackjack sls is hands down the most comfortable guitar I have ever played. Super slim neck like a jackson but not flat like an ibby (I'm personally not crazy about flat necks). The ergonomics of this guitar are just amazing and the specks are super nice for the price. Ebony fretboard with a satin finish on a super thin neck and seymore duncan pickups to top it off make this axe a joy to shred on. It has a coil tap as well for added versatility although I don't use it much myself. All in all, this guitar can be put up against any other on this list, ESP and jackson and ibanez all make wonderful guitars but this one takes the cake in terms of looks, play ability, and versatility and is cheaper than many of the top contenders. The hellraiser, blackjack, and banshee are all around $800-$900 while a top end ESP may cost $5,000.

Schecter makes great guitars, I've played a bunch of the main 4 brands (esp,Ibanez,Jackson, and schecter) and schecter is always a great value with good attention to detail. I personally like the hellraiser and blackjack series the best. a lot of Ibanez guitars I have played have felt pretty lackluster to me and some of the neck shapes just feel weird to me, coupled with the fact that a lot of their guitars have bad stock pickups even over $700 there just isn't much about them that is any good unless you just love the paper thin necks they have on their prestige line.

I've never played a guitar that sounds better for metal than a Schecter. I used to favor Ibanez and even Dean for a while, but when I bought my first Schecter, a used Custom XXX (with the inlaid lady silhouettes on the fretboard) I knew instantly that I found what I was looking for. From there I went on to buy 3 more Schecters, a Synyster Gates FR model, a Platinum C1 and a Studio-4 Bass and I've never looked back. They play amazing, sound amazing, stay in tune like I've never seen before and always look sharp as hell.

4 Ibanez

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.

My real first guitar was a Ibanez GIO... Excellent piece of metal, just right for beginners.
After I had Ibanez SA260FM... Just superb, feels nice in hand. I replace one of the single coil with a Clean D'Addario Mic and was outstanding clean sound.
I also like Jackson, and probably my next guitar is going to be one (a Jackson Dinky JS11). Because I'm short of money and in Panamá there is no Ibanez GIO in any store. But I'm sure I'm going to love it. Once I bought a Jackson with Sustainer Mic, and was the real deal.
Sadly I sold them all for other uses. I want to rebuy my gears.

My top 5:
Ibanez (Fast, for Metal Musicians)
ESP (I never play one, but I'm sure they are great)

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.

Ibanez RG is made for Meatl and screams Metal. For Sure Jackson, ESP& Schecter are other good guitars for Metal, but the Ibanez is the Most Versatile Guitar Here and the Stock IBANEZ has Thick distortion than an Equivalent other 3 Guitars. Ibanez has the Thinnest Neck in the class and Palm Muted Powerchord Progressions and Playing DJENT style with hard upstroke and palm muting are an ease in IBANEZ.

5 Kramer

My first real guitar was a Kramer Pacer. Like a bonehead, I sold it. Wish I still had it. I've had about everything since then, but Kramer gets my vote.

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

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

Kool Guitar I had one for about 15 year sadly it got stolen.

6 B.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.

A B.C. Rich Warlock will crush the tone of a Les Paul on stage any day. Fat warm tone, clean as hell on lead too.B.C. Rich is the best metal guitars available, and the price is killer. $500 dollars will smoke a 1,000 and uo Gibson any day. Just for starters, just saying though.

I own a B.C. Rich KKV I love it. I also own a Jackson RR5 I thought I would love I was wrong having to cut the ball off every string is a pain and seems to always need to be retuned every time I go to play it. my B.C. Rich always is in tune. I sleep with mine. I've yet to be disappointed. Sure it was made in Korea and not the U.S.A. but I bought it second hand so I got what I got my Jackson probally isn't made in the U.S.A. either.

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.

7 Dean

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.

My Dean Guitar lets me do so much and then some. Great for not only metal, but also hard rock. RIP Dime.

My Mustaine style V is awesome. It's the perfect mix of badass and beauty. Some V's only have the badassery to their image, and some cheesy glam bands only have the beauty, but Mustaine's has both

8 Gibson

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.

I'm in a metal band and I use a Gibson Les Paul and a Vox amplification. The is a certain range that I can get with my LP and Vox that rules all. My second choice is Jackson. Jacksons are really good guitars but I prefer my Gibsons and Fenders

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.

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.

9 Washburn

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

Washburn maya is legendary!

10 Epiphone

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.

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

The Contenders
11 Fender

I have a Fender Strat with a humbucker at the bridge, and it works out pretty nice - good feel for fast, technical stuff, and a nice sound. Maybe not for the more modern, extreme end of metal, but it worked fine for classic metal guitarists like Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow), Uli Roth and Matthias Jabs (Scorpions), Dave Murray and Janick Gers (Iron Maiden), Yngwie Malmsteen. Other bands like Saxon, Helloween, Gamma Ray I've seen pictures - they're playing either Strats or copies with a Strat shape.

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.

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 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!

12 Ernie Ball Music Man

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

Fret Accessibility and tone are amazing!

Music man guitars can do anything! !

13 Solar

Best guitars I played ever!

14 Charvel

I have a Charvel mod. 6 from around '89, and it smokes everything I have ever played. Craftsmanship and sound is up there..

Charvel is right up there. The recent San Dimas and SoCal models are incredibly versatile.

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.

15 Paul Reed Smith

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.

16 Carvin

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.

I have a DC-127 since 1996 w/tremolo option,black chrome etc...It is hands down a fantastic guitar. Everybody that has played it has allways stated that it is a really nice playing guitar with a smooth neck and quality sound..I would buy another carvin in a heart beat..It also has good resale value...

Why the hell weren't they mentioned.

17 Mayones Guitars

Ideal for 7 string stuff.

18 DBZ

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!

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

19 Yamaha

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.

20 Agile

Very nice specs for the price you can get an agile sector pro for 500 and get the specs that are on a +1000 guitar. 5 piece neck through, ebony fretboard, baritone scale, name brand pickups, and most have hipshot bridges and Grover tuners. These guitars are great for the money and the quality is what you would find on a hellraiser or Ltd mh1000. No locking tuners kind of sucks but an easy fix.

21 Legator Guitars
22 Solar Guitars

Monster that made it! Dimebag would be Proud! What more can you say that's Metal!

23 Eko
24 Hamer

Should be in top 3

25 Vox
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