Wednesday Question: Best Metal Guitars?

Which axe is best at chugging out stone-cold riffs and wailing solos? Take part in the ultimate debate right here.

Ultimate Guitar

There is no guitar that covers every musical base in the world, but there are plenty of guitars that try to perfect just one.

Perhaps the most hotly contested guitar category is in the metal genre. Metal guitars don't just have to sound f**king huge - they have to look so bada-s that you could chop a tree down with it.

We're turning to the ever-resourceful UG readership to answer this week's question:

What is the best metal guitar of all time?

Feel free to focus on the sound quality or appearance in any measure you like. Just make sure that it's generally considered to be suitable for metal.

For some ideas to get the ball rolling, think of what the big metal stars use themselves. James Hetfiled rocks an "EET FUK" Explorer, while Tony Iommi tends to use a more traditional Gibson SG. Or you could look to something more iconic like Randy Rhoads' Polka Dot V or Dimebag Darrell's Washburn 333. Take your pick if other readers agree, they'll vote for it.

Post your nominations in the comments, and remember to upvote any you agree with. We'll stack up the results and post them in a horn-slinging top 10 this Friday.

323 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The best metal guitar at any given time is the one nearest to the Pick of Destiny.
    Tony Iommi's SG is the foundation of metal.
    I got to agree. With out it and the tone it created, metal could have not be what we know it as today.
    That's not the question. The question is the "best metal guitar"...which the SG is easily NOT.
    I think (as per usual) the article by UG is poorly written. I too originally though it was best metal guitar in general and I would probably say the Les Paul as its the most versatile and iconic, but I think what the author is looking for is guitar from an iconic metal player as given by the examples.
    Obviously, because Sabbath clearly don't have a good metal sound...
    Dave Mustaines's Jackson King Vs are pretty beast.
    YES finally someone says it. Jackson King V! in various forms.
    Jacksons in general are just plain metal. Rhoads, King Vs, Kellys, Soloists, they all rock! Now if I could just afford a KV2...
    I was scrolling down and down, figuring at least one person would mention the King V. I can't imagine that guitar being played in any other genre. METAL!!
    We have done this before and some metal guitars made the list. Think of something else UG. Slam something, i havent seen that in a while.
    Insanity ninja
    Dave Murray's strat?
    I would take this to Drop D and then tune everything down 4 whole steps, and play a tour with it in a heartbeat. Not even kidding. Put on some 13-65 gauge strings and you're all set.
    My sister has one of these but with a black body and I wrote an awesome riff on it when it was drop tuned. All in all the guitar sounds like absolute crap and is meant more as a show piece.
    James Hetfield's ESP MX-220II EET FUK Explorer, of course. And, in my opinion, Ol Drake from Evile's red Neal Moser Bastard V should have a mention.
    I'm a fan of the Rhoads V myself. Nothing screams metal like the longer upper horn. Also, whenever I see a solo'ist I automatically think "this guy shreds"
    Gotta be the Gibson Explorer Whenever I think of metal, I think of a Gibson Explorer with a white pickguard and gold hardware. Classic stuff
    Dean From Hell.
    I wish I could've liked it a hundred times, cuz it's definitely one of the best
    It's kind of a hit and miss for me. I like the look of the guitar, and it's incredibly easy to play compared to other guitars. But i'm not a huge fan of the tone I get from it. Of course, it's possible that could just be the way that I play.
    That video you posted? WTF was that? That tone is so bad you should be punished.
    True, of course I was sick at the time I recorded it (which was a couple months ago) with a bad case of stomach flu. I literally recorded the solo, started feeling sick, dropped my guitar and ran to the bathroom to vomit before returning and seeing the camera was still filming. I didn't really check for tone I just did it cause I was tired of laying in bed all day. Also, in the post I claimed that I didn't like my Dean because I was unable to get a good tone out of it compared to my other guitars. So, with your comment you pretty much proved me right. Also, did anybody notice the Ace Of Spades I placed in the headstock? I thought it was a nice touch.
    "Hey guys here's a video of me playing guitar when i had explosive diarrhea. Hope you think it sucks as much as i do..."
    It's always funny to me when I see people who write that they were sick when they recorded a video of them playing an instrument "I'm sick, so if I **** up or suck, it's because I was sick. You can't talk shit about me because I was sick. Did I mention I was sick?"
    Zakk Wylde's Bullseye LP, Dimebag Darrell's Razorback or Dave Mustaine's Rust in Peace Flying V
    Either Friedman's Kelly's Zakk's ZV's or Dime's ML/Razorbacks Edit: Almost forgot, Jason Becker's guitar the colourfull one
    Randy Rhodes yellow Les Pual. Beautiful.
    This is going to be a pretty scattershot poll, there's just SO many different guitar models out there that have come out in the past 20 years designed for metal. I can't think of any other than the classic Gibsons that really stand out more than others.