Best Metal Pedals to buy in 2023

Are you looking for the best metal pedal? Then you are in the right place! In this article, we will be featuring some of the top-rated pedals that can add power and performance to your playing style. But first, do you know which effects pedal is right for the metal genre?

At this point, any guitarist would recommend distortion pedals if you are into metal and its other variants. Whether it is thrash metal, heavy metal, or death metal, a distortion pedal will always be the optimal choice.

A quality guitar can bring the sound and scream that you want for your leads or rhythms. However, without a good distortion pedal, it would just be dull and weak. It will never possess the power and intensity that a metal song should have.

If you are quite enthusiastic about this genre, then investing for a good metal pedal is necessary. As long as you got the right distortion pedal, the screams and shreds of your electric guitar will always stand out. And for that, here are our top picks for the best pedals for metal.

Top 5 Best Metal Pedals for Guitar

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If you are looking for a pedal that has an iconic legacy that can par with Boss DS-1, then you should choose the Pro Co RA2. From around the world, it is undeniable that this one has a lot of fans.

They say that this is one of the few pedals that you can love or hate. However, there still a lot of manufacturers that try to copy its design and performance.

Pro Co RAT2 is a distortion pedal that boasts a full and authentic analog path. Therefore, it can produce nostalgic metal sounds without having too much flavoring. Aside from metal, this effects pedal can also serve in other trending genres (e.g. blues, jazz, rock, punk).

The Pro Co RAT2 has a filter control that lets your instrument to stand out in the mix. The said control would also allow you to toggle between various frequencies.

Meanwhile, you can guarantee that the Volume and Distortion controls of this pedal work in perfect harmony to keep the tone impactful and consistent!


  • Enclosure is seeming indestructible.
  • True bypass circuitry.
  • Pure and authentic analog signal.
  • Simple but coordinated controls.
  • Versatile effects pedal.


  • Can produce distinct sound that may sound a little off to some.
  • It has a lot of trebles that might annoy you.

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One of the oldest and highly revered distortion pedals is the Boss DS-1. This list won't be complete without this particular product from Boss. We all know that Boss already produced a lot of distortion pedals, such as the DS-2.

However, nobody can just simply remove the DS-1 from the limelight. It can change the sound of your guitar in a straightforward manner. You don't have to do a lot of tweakings to make it run!

Despite its simplicity, the Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal has a lot of custom mods. It is also durable and can last years of usage. Even if you use it every night, this pedal won't surrender.

Moreover, the best deal that this distortion pedal is its price. An excellent quality pedal at a cost that won't sunder your pocket. Could you still ask for me?


  • Excellent quality for an entry price pedal.
  • Sturdily built and highly durable.
  • Doesn't have huge footprint.
  • Ideal for amateurs and novices.
  • Highly ergonomic setup.


  • Tone control is quite limited.
  • You may also need to partner it with other pedals to make it fully shine.

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Pump your leads to the next level and keep your rhythms drenched with the MXR M78 Custom Badass. This pedal is also a classic, just like the Boss DS1. It has a true bypass circuitry that any seasoned guitarist would recommend!

Regardless of the size of your setup, this pedal can still give you the full amp sound and tube-like distortion you are craving for. As long as you got the MXR M78, you can easily emulate various metal sounds and effects.

The simplicity of the MXR M78 is one if its useful features. The three-knob setup lets you get the powerful tone that you want your guitar to scream. Moreover, it also got a "Crunch" button for enabling its two diode modes. Meanwhile, you will love that it has LED clipping that enhances the distortion's harmony.


  • Circuitry is true bypass.
  • Metal construction (highly rigid).
  • Can generate full amp sound at any setting.
  • Consistent performance.
  • Doesn't consume too much space.


  • Its tone control has limits.
  • More of an overdrive sound than distortion.

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If you are looking for a high-end version of Boss DS-1, then you might want to take a look at the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone.

Just from its name, you can assure yourself that this one is built for metal! Aside from its magnificent tone production, you will love the improvement of its tone control.

This distortion pedal comes with a dual gain circuit that can create ear-crushing screams. It can also generate bone-shattering distortion and long sustains!

One of the best upgrades that you can see in the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone is its 3-band EQ parameter. Specifically, it includes knobs for high/low shelving and a mid-band EQ as well.

Once you got this weaponry in your arsenal, you can already say that are ready to crush the sonic barriers!


  • Comes with dual-gain circuitry.
  • It got a parametric mid control.
  • Can produce various tones in simple configuration.
  • Quality of tone is truly excellent.
  • Works perfectly on live gigs.


  • You must dial the controls correctly to get the right sound.
  • The jack outputs are somehow loose.

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Donner Morpher is one of the distortion pedals that will tell you that your journey in metal will never end! With its true bypass circuitry, it will introduce you to a new spectrum of sound.

We can say that the quality of distortion that it produces simply outshine other pedals!

The intensity of distortion of Donner Morpher can get through your senses. It is an expressive distortion pedal that can echo shattering sounds. Despite its appearance, the Donner Morpher can work on different applications.

It is not just a practice pedal. You can also use it to recording sessions and live gigs!


  • Highly durable construction because of its aluminum-alloy chassis.
  • Performance is stable and consistent.
  • True bypass circuitry that can generate compelling tones.
  • Possesses LED indicators.
  • Quality but affordable.


  • It doesn't run on a battery.
  • You will need a 9-volt power supply for it to run.
  • It doesn't have a delay or echo function.

Best Metal Pedal Buying Guide

Best Metal Pedal

Before buying a distortion pedal, you should ask yourself with this important question: what is the amount of distortion you want to integrate to your signal? Do you want a lot of distortions or just a little?

From answering this question, you can already decide the type of pedal that you want. Specifically, you will deal with the different tone-manipulating capabilities of the pedals. Of course, the basic setup should include a level control, EQ, and harmonics.

The Importance Of EQ Parameters

The EQ parameters will put your guitar on the sound spectrum in where it could shine all out. It doesn't matter if you are in a recording studio or a live performance. The distortion pedal that you should choose should have an excellent EQ configuration.

Most of the time, big amps accompanies distortion pedals. They are the perfect partner. If you got good units of these two, you could produce full shredding sounds that everybody can hear.

However, the ideal distortion pedal should be able to give a full sound even in low volume. It should be able to do the same even if you only have a 15-watt amp.

Distortion pedals have variants, or cousins, to be appropriate. They are the overdrive and fuzz pedals. Both of the distortion and overdrive pedals can pack up the peak of your signal.

It will then load the latter with harmonics by rendering it to various clipping stages. When this process happens, the tone of your guitar will change.

Specifically, distortion pedal can alter your signal, regardless of the level. This makes this pedal ideal if you usually switch between high and clean gain sound. In short, it is one of your most versatile options for the metal genre.


A distortion pedal is your ideal choice if you want to pursue your interest in the metal genre. This effects pedal will give you the right tone that can amplify the overall sound of your electric guitar.

Moreover, it will guarantee that your instrument will stand out in the entire mix!

Of course, we know that you are looking for the best metal pedal. For that, we will give you the Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal as a recommendation.

Although it is true that this pedal may not be the most advanced in the league, it can still provide you shattering screams and long sustains. The quality of the distortion it produces is compelling and irreplaceable, too!

However, we still suggest that you try all the metal pedals on this list. Who knows, you can find another distortion pedal that will satisfy your needs!

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