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Best Distortion Pedals For Metal – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews


Distortion pedals are widely used for enhancing the quality of sound and achieving tones that would otherwise be unachievable. However, while many musicians swear by these gadgets, others don’t give them enough credit.

The truth is, using a distortion pedal can take your heavy metal sound to a whole new level. After all, the quality of sound largely depends on the pedals you chose to include in your setup.

With that said, a high quality distortion pedal can be a great addition to your equipment, as it can complement the sound and deliver higher tones. Still, whether you’re going to use one or not is a complete matter of personal preference.

With hunderds of models available on today’s market, choosing the right distortion pedal for the best metal sound can become a real nightmare. That’s why we’ve put together reviews of the top five distortion pedals you should be looking at.

Whether you’re looking for your first distortion pedal ever, or you’re simply searching for an upgrade, the five models reviewed below are truly worth taking into consideration. Besides, we’ve put together models of all price ranges (including a limited edition pedal) to help you find the most value for your budget! Without further ado, let’s get into the reviews.

Best Distortion Pedals For Metal Comparison Table:

#1Rowin Analog Heavy Metal4.8 Check Price
#2Boss DS-1-4A3.9 Check Price
#3Behringer Ultra Metal UM3004.1 Check Price
#4Joyo JF-044.1 Check Price
#5Boss ML-23.6 Check Price

#1 Rowin Analog Heavy Metal Distortion Pedal

First up on our list of the top five distortion pedals for the best metal sound is a model sold by Rowin Music. This pedal is a great choice for those looking to fit together good quality and a decent price. TBH, the pedal packs more features than you would expect.

Its well-integrated three-way toggle switch conveniently lets you adjust the boost, ranging from hi to low boost or completely off boost. Using the advanced gain and tone controls, you can easily adjust and customize the sound for a more unique result.

If you’re aiming for a greater rhythm tone, the lo and off boost positions will truly work in your favour. There is no doubt that the Rowin analog distortion pedal can go way beyond your expectations in terms of sound quality and effects.

On top of that, it features a solid and sturdy body that will last for years. It’s red shell is made of high quality zinc alloy, which makes it extremely durable. Besides, the device is so small and compact that it won’t take up too much space on your pedal board.

It’s worth mentioning that this pedal also packs a true bypass for more transparent and clear tones, as well as an LED indicator that shows its working state. The only downside of the product is the fact that the power adapter is not included in the purchase. For proper function, it’s best to use the pedal with the DC 9V 500mA power adapter.

#2 Boss DS-1-4A 40th Anniversary Distortion Pedal

If you’re looking for the original early 80s metal sound, this limited edition Boss distortion pedal is the way to go! The pedal was built to honor Boss’ 40th anniversary and it features a modern and more advanced design than any of their other models.

This unique black and gold pedal won’t be available for grabs much longer, meaning you should get your hands on it while you still can. It comes in a special, elegant packaging that truly puts it above their other models.

Besides the design, this distortion pedal has a lot to offer in terms of sound quality and features. We can classify it under the mid-priced category, as it is slightly more expensive than the pedal we reviewed previously but it’s still more affordable than some of the higher priced models on the market.

You will get a distortion pedal that can truly change the way you play the guitar. It features a wide sonic range with a great distortion effect and it is certainly built to last.

It comes with the Blucoil Power Supply Slim AC/DC adapter and features three knobs, including the tone, level, and the distortion knob. The power supply adapter meets all UL safety standards, which is a great plus for this product.

#3 Behringer Ultra Metal UM300

Next up we’ve got another lower priced model that offers a great distortion effect with additional features. If you don’t want to spend a lot on a new pedal, this Behringer model is a great way to get the most value for your money.

Some will cross off this product from the list because of its bright pink shell but, if you look past the color, this distortion pedal has a lot of quality features. It provides the kind of rough, aggressive heavy metal sound everyone is looking for these days.

It packs several distortion and level controls that allow you to customize the sound from thick distortion to a milder effect. The pedal also features a mid-frequency control, which you can use to select a midrange frequency from 200 Hz to 5kHz for a more unique sound.

This highly efficient yet affordable distortion pedal will give you full control over the sound, allowing you to go from the basic, traditional sounds to the most aggressive metal you’ve ever played!

Furthermore, the pedal packs an LED indicator light and 3-band EQ for better sound shaping, along with a fast and responsive on/off switch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a power supply but a simple 9V battery will get it going.

#4 Joyo JF-04 High Gain Distortion Guitar Pedal

The Joyo JF-04 distortion pedal allows you to enjoy various levels of sound. With its amazing features, this pedal lets you adjust the tone and fully customize the distortion levels for a professional sound.

Unlike many low or mid-priced pedals, this model actually comes with a 9V battery included. The pedal packs the dual band EQ feature for the best quality of sound and responsive switches that allow smooth and percise transitions.

Other feautres you can adjust on this pedal include gain, treble, mid, and volume. Thanks to high quality bypass wiring, turning the pedal off won’t mess up the signal of your guitar.

With a wide range of sounds going from mid-bass to deeper tones, this distortion pedal is perfect for heavy metal. It is fully adjustable and very easy to use, allowing you to put on a show like a professional!

#5 Boss ML-2 Metal Core Distortion Pedal

Just like you might have expected, we’ve saved the best for last! The final product on our list is another distortion pedal model from Boss, the ML-2 Metal Core pedal. This product provides the thickest and heaviest distortion than all other Boss models.

If you’re looking for a professional, thick heavy metal sound, the Boss ML-2 distortion pedal is exactly what you need. It features both low and high control, allowing the tones to range from low frequency sounds to the metallic screaming tones.

While the device provides complex, heavy distortion, its design and layout is pretty simple. It features all the ordinary options you would find on other models, including level, low, high, and distortion switches.

The pedal is battery powered but plugging it into an AC adapter will save you from switching batteries too often. Unfortunately, no power supply is included in the price but the quality of sound and the features it offers are what makes it worth the money.

It features more advanced and upgraded technology than other Boss models and the majority of similar products in this price range. Most importantly, the quality and the value the product offers is in line with its price, meaning you won’t regret making this slightly more expensive investment!


Enhancing your guitar sound with a high quality distortion pedal doesn’t have to cost you hundreds of dollars. The market is full of high quality products available at affordable and decent prices if you don’t feel like spending more on an additional piece of equipment.

All you need to know is how to find the right products that will provide the most value for your budget. Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours researching because we did that for you! Get your hands on one of the top five distortion pedals for the best metal sound!

If you’ve already tried out any of these models or you’re planning to get one, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

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