Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

Distortion is basically a game for the musician when it comes to metal and rock based heavy music. The hard-clippings of a guitar signal can be done generally in one of two ways – one is with a distortion pedal, and another one is with a guitar amp. And these distortion pedals are not for only bedroom players envisioning Peavey stacks - so why not have both at the same time! We have enlisted the best distortion pedals for metal!

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal in 2021

Finding a suitable one and settling with that a difficult task. But don’t you worry. We have come up with the best distortion pedals of different models carrying several features. Check out our list and figure out which you need to ‘ROCK’!

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Product

Features

Price

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Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

Comes EQ that is powerful and adjustable


True Bypass design.


Aluminum alloy with stoving vanish.

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Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

Multi-gain circuitry.


Features LED for effect on-off and battery check.


3-band EQ and level controls.

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Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

High-gain, tight, cutting metal tone.


Features an active 3-band EQ.


Features true-bypass switching and convenient top-mounted jacks.


Power is 9V battery or 9V DC power jack.

$$$

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

Features the dual band EQ.


High-end material.


Great durability.


Power: 6F22 9V Battery or DC 9V adapter.

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Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

Digital delay effect pedal.


Light weight, user-friendly construction.


Delivers excellent tone.


Aluminum alloy casing with Stoving varnish finish.

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Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

Features bottom-heavy distortion for hard rock and modern metal.


Dual distortion with gain boosts circuitry.


Heavy distortion with brutal low-end punch.

$$$

The CP-99 is very versatile pedal.


Provides thick or transparent sound.


Constructed with durable and stable aluminum alloy.

$$$

The super high-gain distortion pedal.


Features three bands EQ active.


It has additional Scoop switch.

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Pedal powered between 12-18vdc.


Require no battery.


Includes 12V power supply and 18V Splitter Cable.

$$$

3 selectable "aggression" settings.


Versatile enough to cover other styles as well.


Bass, middle, and treble EQ controls.

$$$

1. Best Distortion Pedals for Metal: Caline CP-15

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

The ever popular Caline technology always designs professional electronics with the best features. Needless to say, this distortion pedal offers the best feature in a high-end quality. This pedal is constructed with a full metal case with aluminum alloy for maximum durability.

If you are looking for transparent frequency, then this will be the best pick for you. The 3 bands are strongly adjustable with mid-freq, knob and sweep. This distortion pedal features volume, treble, bass, mid and Dist. settings. It also has a true bypass with a heavy duty stomp switch.

PROS

  • Provides a strong low frequency.
  • Deliver transparent and clear high frequency.
  • Sturdy stomp switch.
  • It helps to minimize the tone loss.

CONS

  • Very expensive.

2. Best Distortion Pedals for Metal: Behringer

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

The Behringer designs their products to make tough competition in the market. The brand has launched the most extreme and top-notch quality heavy metal or hard rock distortion pedals. So, if you are a professional musician and don’t want to compromise on quality, then this is for you.

For serious sustainability and super thick distortion, these are designed with multi gain circuitry. For great durability, these distortion pedals are constructed with high-quality components; and the rugged pattern also ensures long life. You can keep an eye on the battery check with its blue status LED.

PROS

  • Provides highest signal integrity in bypass mode.
  • High-end quality components and rugged construction ensure long life.
  • Gives you a super-thick and a tube-like distortion.

CONS

  • Not so versatile.

3. Best Distortion Pedals for Metal: Wampler

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

What you will mostly love about the high gain of this Wampler distortion pedal is that it gives your tune aggression, contemporary depth, power and clarity. It has a three-band EQ that sculpts the tunes perfectly and clearly. This pedal is popular for its dominant features and high-quality components.

For an easy placement of the pedal-board, these pedals are designed with top-mounted jacks.  There is also a soft-touch foot-switch that will last for a good number of years.

PROS

  • Constructed with high-grand components for superior sound quality and response.
  • Features top-mounted jacks that makes placement of pedal-board easy and effortless.
  • Designed with true-bypass switching; which won’t affect on your tone quality.

CONS

  • Less durability.

4. Best Distortion Pedals for Metal: JOYO JF-04

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

If you want more mid-bass and throat for all sounds, then try out this distortion pedal. It has controlling knobs, so that you can make easy and effortless adjustments. For more durability and stability, these JOYO pedals are constructed with high-quality components.

It may have a simple construction, yet it delivers better sound quality. The most important thing is that the high gain distortion pedals from JOYO features the dual band active EQ; which is best for Rock guitar sculpting.

PROS

  • Features gain, mid, treble, volume control knobs.
  • High-end components made pedal.
  • Simple yet great tune quality.

CONS

  • Poor versatility.

5. Best Distortion Pedals for Metal: JOYO JF- 08

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

This JF-08 is designed with a sound and easy interface of classic slap back echo; and also has the repeatability and signal integrity. Due to its controlling knobs, it is easy to dial a sound you like or you can just take it away.

This is a light-weighted distortion pedal and a user friendly one as well; so that you can make an easy placement of this pedal. This simple pedal delivers excellent and sharp tunes; and this is the important feature of this one.

PROS

  • Features time, level, repeat control knobs.
  • The true bypass pattern minimizes the tone loss.
  • Simple design with fabulous appearance.

CONS

  • Very expensive.

6. Best Distortion Pedals for Metal: Behringer HD300

Best Distortion Pedals for Metal

If you are looking for something in budget that comes in great quality; then here you go! With its dedicated distortion, gain boost, tone, level and bottom control. You can easily dial in the trademark sound on your own.

The Behringer HD300 has a blue status LED; that tells you when the pedal is activated, and another rock-solid switch that maintains quick signal integrity in the bypass mode. You can power this up with a 9 V battery or with a PSU-SB DC power supply.

PROS

  • Rugged construction ensures great durability.
  • Runs on 9 V batteries.
  • First-class electronic on and off switch.

CONS

  • Poor adjustment feature.

The Caline overdrive pedal is basically inspired by the original Centaur and this is a higher-gain compact version of their original CP-43.The CP-99 is versatile and more importantly, it can create a full range of natural and sharp sounding overdrive tones. It has a clean and clear transparent tune.

Even though the gain is set low, you will notice that it still holds a smooth and better quality sound when cranked up high.

PROS

  • This is a mini size, space-saving and portable pedal.
  • It can create a full range of natural sounding overdrive tones.
  • Strong and solid construction.

CONS

  • Quite expensive.

The best part of this JIM Dunlop pedals is that these are combined with a built-in noise gate; so that it can knock out all the unwanted noise and add an extra definition to syncopated riff-age. The extensive and active EQ controls help you to sculpt your desired tone with outstanding precision.

Moreover, the other additional scoop switch gives an instant high-low frequency boost. This compact but solid and powerful MXR distortion pedal is what you need to let off the most terrific contemporary heavy or metal guitar tones that your audience has ever heard.

PROS

  • This is combined with a built-in noise gate.
  • Scoop switch gives an instant low and high frequency boost.
  • Treble knob allows sculpting the tone.

CONS

  • Poor stability.

With its VH4-2 preamp distortion pedal, The Diezel allows you to place the pedal snugly on the pedal-board.

Most importantly, this pedal easily turns any sharp amp tone into a massively versatile and better high-gain monster. This pedal is made of fine components for long lasting durability. 

PROS

  • Features two foot-switchable channels.
  • Delivers aggressive and clear sound.
  • Great durability.

CONS

  • Poor flexibility.

This Revv features versatility in both thickness and warmth and even tightness and brightness. These are basically heavy amp-like saturation or light overdrive. It can integrate into any rig distortion channel in front of a clean and better amp.

This user friendly distortion pedal is a great studio tool; which works well with both analog & digital gear. This Revv distortion pedals are famous for its versatile feature which has bass, mid, treble EQ controls; that allows you to optimize the tune for any type of pickups.

PROS

  • Great versatility.
  • Stable and durable.
  • Works great with analog and digital gear.

CONS

  • Poor adjustability.

Buying Guide

Often guitarists simply cannot live without it, especially the heavy metal musicians. In this golden era of guitar pedals – with all sorts of low-scale boutique stomp-box producers confronting industry titans like - TC Electronic, MXR, and Boss – there has never been a greater era to find a leading distortion pedal to assist you; that you can use to turn your music spotless.

Overdrive vs. Distortion

People, even professional guitarists, sometimes get confused about the overdrive and the distortion pedals. If you are serious about your tones and you want better and higher tones, then distortion is going to have the crown.

These two types of pedals are similar, so we recommend you to make an informative research on the difference and which suits you. However, keep in mind while picking a pedal that most of the time, the lines are often blurred between the override and distortion pedals. So, don’t go for features and choose one that suits your needs!

Flexibility and Control

When you are trying to buy distortion pedals, you better go for the simple one. You will find plenty of options in the market that are pretty simple and easy to handle; as they feature only a few knobs to tweak. It doesn’t matter if you are in the middle of your musical session or if you feel the need to change or control the knobs. You can do that without giving much effort.

And most of the time, creating a good control pedal with only 3 knobs is enough. With the treble, bass and mid knobs, you can control the pedal to make perfect sounding distortion. Sometimes, only treble or bass is enough to turn an average sounding distortion into a thrilling one.

Budget

Guitar pedals are now a very popular instrument among the musicians; and most of the brands offer budget friendly pedals with lots of good features. But in case of distortion pedals, a decent one comes in $50 in price with the best features.

The significant part is that the overall quality of your tunes depends on a good distortion pedal. So, rather than going for affordable ones that can’t give you noise and buzz-free tune; try to go for high-end quality pedals instead.

Final Thoughts

In our best distortion pedal list, for studio work, you will need a robust preamp, for rock n’ blues you’ll need a ‘wide-open’ tune and for metal there is a compressed distortion pedal, also some wilder one. So, before you buy one, research well and then decide!

You can also read: Best Capos for Acoustic Guitar

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