5 Best Guitar Picks for Metal (Comparison & Reviews)

Looking for the Best Guitar Picks for Metal?

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In A Rush? Check Out The Number 1 Pick Here:

Dunlop Jazz III Pick Pack, Red Nylon,1.38mm
  • Small profile, quick-release molded edge, and a sharp tip
  • The Jazz III gives you the control you need to play with speed and precision
  • Dunlop has extended the gripping surface for added maneuverability and grip.
  • Color: Red

If you play metal guitar, you’re probably aware of how difficult it can be to find high-quality picks, especially if you are a beginner. Playing metal requires picks with certain special properties and not all picks are suitable for this purpose.

In this guide, we’re going to go over the 5 best guitar picks you can buy for metal and will explore their features, pros, and cons in great detail. We’ll also answer common questions you might have on the subject

Read on to find out more!

How Does Pick Choice Make a Difference?

The choice of guitar pick can have a significant impact on your playing style and the overall sound you produce on the guitar. Here are some ways in which the pick choice can make a difference when you’re playing guitar:

  • Tone: Different guitar picks are made from various materials, such as plastic, nylon, metal, or even wood. Each material has its own unique characteristics, which can affect the tone produced when striking the strings.
  • Attack and Dynamics: The thickness and shape of a pick can influence the attack and dynamics of your playing.
  • Speed and Accuracy: The right pick can enhance your speed and accuracy. A lighter and smaller pick may allow for faster picking because it requires less effort to move across the strings quickly.
  • Playing Style and Genre: Different genres of music often require different pick choices. For instance, if you play acoustic strumming or folk music, a medium to heavy gauge pick made of materials like celluloid or nylon might work well.

What Guitar Picks Do Metal Players Use?

Metal players often prefer guitar picks that offer durability, precision, and the ability to produce aggressive tones. Such picks are great for tremolo picking and alternate picking too. Here are some popular metal guitar picks among metal guitarists:

  1. Tortex Picks. Tortex picks, made by Dunlop, are a common choice for metal players. They are made of high-quality, durable material that withstands heavy playing and provides a good grip.
  2. Ultex Picks. Ultex picks, also manufactured by Dunlop, are known for their durability and bright tone. They are made from a high-density material that offers a crisp attack and excellent precision.
  3. Jazz III Picks. Jazz III picks are smaller and have a pointed tip, making them popular among metal guitarists for their precision and speed. They provide a tight grip and allow for accurate picking, making them suitable for intricate riffing and fast soloing.
  4. Flow Picks. Flow picks, developed by Gravity Picks, have gained popularity among metal players due to their beveled edges and ergonomic design. These picks allow for smooth and fast playing while maintaining control.
  5. Big Stubby Picks. Big Stubby picks are thicker and provide a solid grip, making them suitable for heavy riffing and palm-muted chugging. They offer a bright tone and are often favored by metal rhythm guitarists who require precision and power.
  6. V-Picks. V-Picks are made from acrylic material and are known for their thickness and beveled edges. They offer a strong attack, excellent grip, and increased control, making them suitable for aggressive playing styles.

How We Choose Products

All the products we recommend in this guide have been extensively tested and reviewed by our team and are among the best options you can buy right now.

You can fully trust our reviews and recommendations since we have meticulously explored each product in detail and are in a position to analyze it objectively.

Best Seller
Dunlop Jazz III Pick Pack, Red Nylon,1.38mm
Editor Choice
JIM DUNLOPMXR Super Comp Compressor
Best Budget
Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks, Standard, Black 1.5mm, 6-pack (P09199)
Dunlop Jazz III Pick Pack, Red Nylon,1.38mm
JIM DUNLOPMXR Super Comp Compressor
Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks, Standard, Black 1.5mm, 6-pack (P09199)
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Best Seller
Dunlop Jazz III Pick Pack, Red Nylon,1.38mm
Dunlop Jazz III Pick Pack, Red Nylon,1.38mm
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Editor Choice
JIM DUNLOPMXR Super Comp Compressor
JIM DUNLOPMXR Super Comp Compressor
-
Best Budget
Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks, Standard, Black 1.5mm, 6-pack (P09199)
Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks, Standard, Black 1.5mm, 6-pack (P09199)
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5 Best Guitar Picks for Metal – 2023 Review

1. Dunlop Jazz III Pick

Dunlop Jazz III Pick Pack, Red Nylon,1.38mm
  • Small profile, quick-release molded edge, and a sharp tip
  • The Jazz III gives you the control you need to play with speed and precision
  • Dunlop has extended the gripping surface for added maneuverability and grip.
  • Color: Red

Product highlights

Jim Dunlop is a world-famous brand that needs no introduction and all their products are very high-quality. The Dunlop Jazz III Pick is no exception to this. It is one of the best you can buy for playing metal. It is made from nylon, is very reliable, and is extra thick. Overall, it is a no-frills pick that does its job really well and is a must-have metal pick for any metal player in our opinion.

Features

  • available in 6-pack and 24-pack quantities on Amazon
  • red color
  • extra thick
  • easy grip and sharp tip
  • material: nylon

What we like about the Dunlop Jazz III Pick

There are plenty of things we love about the Dunlop Jazz III pick. It is simple, reliable, and very durable. The quality of the pick is excellent and the grip is easy and comfortable. Moreover, the 6-pack and 24-pack quantity options on Amazon offer excellent value for their respective prices. You simply can’t go wrong with this pick, metal player or not!

What we don’t like about the Dunlop Jazz III Pick

There’s nothing we don’t like about the Dunlop Jazz III Pick. It is an excellent product and our testing revealed no problems with it.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
high-quality designNone!
easy grip 
very accurate and durable 
quite inexpensive 

2. Dunlop Tortex® Pitch Black Jazz III

Sale
JIM DUNLOPMXR Super Comp Compressor
  • Gauges (mm): .50, .60, .73, .88, 1.0, 1.14mm
  • Maximum memory, minimum wear
  • Precise articulation and fast picking action in a cool matte black color

Product highlights

Our next recommendation for metal players is another excellent product by Jim Dunlop. The Tortex® Pitch Black Jazz III pick has an easy grip, a thick design, and a matte black color scheme. It is highly durable, very precise, and enables fast picking action. Due to these reasons, we highly recommend it for all metal players.

Features

  • matte black color
  • easy grip, sharp tip
  • thick
  • available in multiple sizes (from 0.5 to 1.5mm) and quantities (12-pack and 72-pack) on Amazon
  • material: Delrin

What we like about the Dunlop Tortex® Pitch Black Jazz III

The Dunlop Tortex® Pitch Black Jazz III is easy to love. It has an easy grip and sharp tip, is great for fast picking, and is a thick pick. We also love its matte black color and Tortex texture as well as the inexpensive price. Overall, it offers great value for the money.

What we don’t like about the Dunlop Tortex® Pitch Black Jazz III

While the Pitch Black Jazz III is a great pick, the Tortex texture might not be comfortable for everybody and it might not pick through the strings easily in some cases. Moreover, it can sound a bit scratchy.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
great design and qualitytexture might not be comfortable for everybody
good for fast pickingcan sound scratchy
very inexpensive 

3. Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks

Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks, Standard, Black 1.5mm, 6-pack (P09199)
  • Matte black Delrin finish
  • Sharp point for precise articulation
  • Beveled edge for speed and control
  • Non-slip grip
  • Strong, durable contruction

Product highlights

The Ernie Ball Prodigy is manufactured by Ernie Ball and is among the best guitar picks for metal players. It comes in several size and color options, has a sharp point, features a beveled edge design, and has a non-slip surface. Our testing revealed it to be an excellent product, though a bit difficult to master.

Features

  • available in two colors and seven buying and size options on Amazon
  • comes in packs of 6
  • beveled edge design
  • non-slip grip
  • matte black color
  • material: Delrin

What we like about the Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks

It’s hard to find fault with the Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Pick. It is a great pick that has an excellent design and is perfect for developing speed and control. Moreover, we love the fact that it is available in several sizes and style options on Amazon.

What we don’t like about the Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks

Our testing revealed no major fault with the Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Pick. The only thing we think is worth mentioning is that it may take a while to master the pick.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
excellent designmay take a while to master it
allows faster and more precise picking actionis slightly more expensive than other similar options
available in several size options 

4. D’Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks

D'Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks - Guitar Accessories - Guitar Picks for Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar - Natural Feel, Warm Tone - Assorted, Heavy 1mm, 25-pack
  • 1MM HEAVY GUITAR PICK: Heavy gauge (1mm) ideal for strumming and articulate picking
  • NATURAL FEEL & WARM TONE: Premium quality celluloid provides natural feel and warm, fat tone
  • COMFORTABLE PLAYING: Standard shape for comfortable playing
  • PACKAGING: 25 picks per package. The D'Addario, formerly known as Planet Waves, pick packaging is designed for minimal waste and environmental impact
  • GIFT FOR GUITAR PLAYER: D'Addario picks make great guitar accessories gifts for men, women, and kids. They make great acoustic guitar picks, electric guitar picks, bass guitar picks, and more.

Product highlights

The D’Addario Celluloid guitar pick is designed for all sorts of guitars, including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, and metal guitar. The picks come in assorted colors and several size and quantity options. The picks are ideal for articulate picking and strumming and rank among the best guitar picks for metal, based on our testing. It can also produce an extremely bright sound.

Features

  • thick
  • sold in assorted colors
  • available in several size options (including heavy and light)
  • great for strumming and articulate picking
  • material: celluloid

What we like about the D’Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks

The D’Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks are a solid option if you’re looking for quality picks for playing metal. We simply love their sound, precision, and sturdy and durable design. Moreover, they are quite inexpensive, which makes them even better.

What we don’t like about the D’Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks

The only problem we discovered with the D’Addario Celluloid Guitar Picks was that the grip is very smooth, which can make the picks slip out of your hands.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
available in several sizesthe grip can be too slippery
come in assorted colors 
comfortable grip 
sound great 

5. Snarling Dogs Brain TNSDB351 Guitar Picks

Product highlights

The Snarling Dogs Brain TNSDB351 Guitar Pick features a non-slip grip and is made from nylon. This particular pick has an all-red color design and is small in size. The pick has a gritty surface that allows you to have a sturdy grip and is perfect for fast-playing techniques.

Features

  • red color
  • thin
  • textured, non-slip grip
  • small size
  • material: nylon

What we like about the Snarling Dogs Brain TNSDB351 Guitar Picks

We love this guitar pick’s non-slip surface that gives you a firm grip and its overall design. We also love its sound and the fact that it enables fast-picking techniques.

What we don’t like about the Snarling Dogs Brain TNSDB351 Guitar Picks

The Snarling Dogs Brain TNSDB351 Guitar Picks might be too thin and small for some players. Moreover, they have been found to wear down quickly in some cases.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
great designmay be too thin and small for some players
non-slip gripmay wear down quickly
bright red color 

How to Choose The Best Pick for Metal?

When it comes to choosing the best guitar pick for playing metal, there are a few factors you should consider. Below, we mention some tips to help you make an informed decision:

1. Thickness

Metal requires a pick with some thickness to handle the aggressive playing style and heavy tones. Medium to heavy gauge picks are generally recommended for metal and are also suited for a lead guitar.

2. Material

The material of the pick can significantly impact your tone and attack. In metal, picks made of harder materials tend to be preferred for their durability and precision.

3. Shape

The shape of the pick can affect your grip and control. Standard teardrop-shaped picks or picks with sharper tips are commonly used for metal. They offer precision and accuracy for a fast picking technique and shredding.

4. Texture

The texture or grip of the pick can influence your playing. Metal picks often have some texture or grip-enhancing features like raised dots or patterns to prevent slipping during aggressive playing. Consider picks with textured surfaces to ensure a secure grip.

When you’ve figured out what pick you need to buy, head over to your local music store and try out a few different types that suit you.

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Final Verdict – The Best Guitar Pick for Metal

Dunlop Jazz III Pick

To sum it up, the best guitar pick for metal according to our testing and research is the Dunlop Jazz III Pick. It has a very reliable and durable design, has an easy grip, and is great for fast-picking techniques. We highly recommend it.

You can buy it here on Amazon.

FAQs

Are heavy picks good for metal?

While choosing a pick for metal mostly depends on personal preferences, heavy picks do offer certain advantages. They provide a stronger attack, offer more resistance and thus better control, and can contribute to a thicker and fuller tone.

Why do guitar picks have different thicknesses?

Guitar picks come in different thicknesses to cater to the varied preferences and playing styles of guitarists. The thickness, or gauge, of a pick affects several aspects of playing, including tone, attack, flexibility, and control.

What size guitar pick for heavy metal?

When it comes to heavy metal playing, the size of the guitar pick is generally a matter of personal preference. However, many metal guitarists prefer smaller-sized picks for their playing style.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Acoustik Attak STEALTH XL Structured Guitar Pick - Large Beveled Guitar Picks, Unique Tone (10 Pack, Black)
  • ACHIEVE CLARITY AND FLOW - The curved, beveled tip glides easily across strings to clean up and tighten the lows and low mids of each note - (PICK SIZE: 33 x 26 x 2MM)
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN - This structured pick cradles the thumb for consistent dynamic control and effortless harmonics and the APEX design at the top features a broader shoulder and point for strumming
  • MAXIMUM FINGER GRIP - The large size is perfect for bigger hands and concave center areas with an embedded twelve node matrix surface allows for improved grip and power
  • EXTRA DURABLE GUITAR ACCESSORIES - Acoustik Attak STEALTH XL Guitar Picks are made with a strong proprietary material mixture composed of nylon and carbon fiber
  • VERSATILE PICK FOR ANY GUITAR COLLECTION - Designed as the ideal guitar picks for electric guitar or acoustic guitar, our signature Extra Large Guitar String Picks are fantastic for lead playing and performing
Bestseller No. 2
Economy Picking Guitar Technique: Speed Picking Secrets for Smooth, Economical Picking Mastery (Learn Rock Guitar Technique)
  • Economy Picking Guitar Technique: Speed Picking Secrets for Smooth, Economical Picking Mastery
  • ABIS BOOK
  • www.fundamental changes.com
  • Brooks, Mr Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 3
20 Pieces Metal Guitar Picks Plectrums Stainless Steel Picks Guitar Pick Holder Black With Picks Storage Case for Electric Guitar Bass Ukulele
  • Quantity and dimension: 20 metal guitar picks (0.3 mm) will leave you a distinct experience; 2 Black stick-on holder can insert 3-5 sheet picks, easy to stick-on on your guitar any part; 1 Storage box can keep these accessories safe and well-organized
  • Ergonomically designed: the guitar pick has standard size for comforts, suitable for most fingers; Protect your fingers even when long time practicing or playing, improving you your exercise or performance
  • Good quality: the guitar ukulele bass pick is made from stainless steel, which is good material; Sturdy metal assures beautiful tone and durability, not easy to deform, and can be applied for long time. Metal material can also offer you special sound quality
  • Wonderful gifts: the guitar pick set is a sweet gift for any guitar or bass player, or a nice present for yourself; Play the guitar and enjoy the happy time with your lovers, friends or families
  • Wide application: this guitar pick set is applicable to various different instruments, like electric guitar, acoustic guitar, classic guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, etc.; It can quickly and effectively strengthen guitar bass and grainy
Bestseller No. 4
Sweep Picking Speed Strategies for Guitar: Essential Guitar Techniques, Arpeggios and Licks for Total Fretboard Mastery (Learn Rock Guitar Technique)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brooks, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 07/08/2018 (Publication Date) - www.fundamental-changes.com (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
Ernie Ball Prodigy Guitar Picks, Mini, Black 1.5mm, 6-pack (P09200)
  • Matte black Delrin finish
  • Sharp point for precise articulation
  • Beveled edge for speed and control
  • Non-slip grip
  • Strong, durable contruction