10 Best Guitars for Metal

Metal music demands precision, speed, and power from both the player and their instrument. Over the years, several guitars have emerged as favorites in the metal community due to their design, playability, and tonal qualities. Here are 10 of the best guitars for metal in our opinion:

1. Ibanez RG Series

  • Why it’s great for metal: The RG series, with its thin and fast necks, is tailor-made for shredders. The guitars usually come equipped with high-output pickups, which are perfect for metal.
  • Highlighted model: Ibanez RG550

2. ESP LTD EC-1000

  • Why it’s great for metal: With its set-neck construction, active EMG or Seymour Duncan pickups, and sleek body design, the EC-1000 is a versatile guitar capable of delivering heavy riffs and solos.
  • Highlighted model: EC-1000VB

3. Jackson Soloist/ Dinky Series

  • Why it’s great for metal: The compound-radius fretboard provides comfort for both riffing and soloing. High-output pickups and the iconic pointy headstock make them stand out.
  • Highlighted model: Jackson Soloist SL1

4. Schecter Hellraiser Series

  • Why it’s great for metal: Featuring active EMG pickups and a set-neck design, these guitars produce a heavy and sustaining tone, perfect for modern metal styles.
  • Highlighted model: Schecter Hellraiser C-1

5. Gibson Explorer

  • Why it’s great for metal: This iconic shape has been associated with metal since the 80s. With its mahogany body and powerful pickups, it can deliver punchy and thick tones.
  • Highlighted model: Gibson Explorer ’76 Reissue

Before purchasing an Explorer, use the Gibson serial number lookup tool to check its authenticity.

6. B.C. Rich Warlock

  • Why it’s great for metal: Its aggressive shape and design scream metal. Traditionally equipped with high-output pickups, it’s made for heavy rhythms and solos.
  • Highlighted model: B.C. Rich Warlock Extreme

7. Dean ML Series

  • Why it’s great for metal: Known for its unique shape and association with Dimebag Darrell, the ML series offers raw power and sustain due to its large body size.
  • Highlighted model: Dean Dimebag Razorback

8. PRS SE Mark Holcomb Signature

  • Why it’s great for metal: This guitar, designed in collaboration with Periphery’s Mark Holcomb, offers a balanced tone with its Seymour Duncan Alpha & Omega pickups. The 20” radius and 24-fret design is perfect for technical players.
  • Highlighted model: PRS SE Mark Holcomb

9. Washburn Parallaxe Series

  • Why it’s great for metal: Focused on the needs of modern metal players, this series provides fast necks, active pickups, and unique designs for better upper-fret access.
  • Highlighted model: Washburn PXM20

10. Music Man John Petrucci Signature Models

  • Why it’s great for metal: Crafted with the specifications of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, these guitars offer versatile tonal options, smooth playability, and are perfect for technical metal playing.
  • Highlighted model: Music Man Majesty 7