Best Distortion Pedal You Need In Your Rig Right Now

Distortion isn’t something many players can play without, and the quest to find the best distortion pedal that transforms your cleans into pure dirt is a noble one that also needs a lot of patience. 

I have included a wide array of the best distortion pedal in the market with some very popular cult names used by artists you look up to. These pedals will easily turn your guitar into a monster. Moreover, it would be best if you had a powerful Amp to highlight distortion pedal effects while performing in a crowed show.

My best distortion pedal chart includes distortion pedal with very affordable price points as you do not have to shell out hundreds of dollars for that growl. 

review of best distortion pedal

1) Wampler Sovereign V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal



  • Hand-built.
  • Input and output jacks.
  • Battery or power supply.
  • EQ panel.
  • Tonal and volume control.
  • Mid contour.
  • Dual gain.
  • Single coil.

Sovereign is one of the best distortion pedal named and it also acts like one too. Wampler decided that it was time to build the best pedal.  So he took apart all the circuits to build on that will surprise you with all that it has to offer, given that it is just a tiny box.

Apart from the tonal control for the highs you also get dual gain stages for that dynamic crunch and the distortion level, a bright switch, and finally the mid contour so you can dial in the exact sound to fit perfectly with the other frequencies.

This hand-built structure is all that you need for a fantastic range of sounds with an excellent response along with soft relay switching.

This best distortion pedal also features input and output jacks, and is versatile enough to run on both batteries, or a steady power supply which makes it perfect for achieving that perfect rhythm on the road or on the stage.


  • ​Crunchy highs.
  • Versatile.
  • Bright sound.
  • Advanced options.
  • Smooth distortion.


  • Adjusting the rig takes patience.

2) Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff distortion pedal with Top Boost Guitar Effects Pedal



  • 3 band EQ.
  • Impedance buffer bypass.
  • Output volume.
  • Master drive.
  • Top boost.
  • Foot switchable.
  • Bass and treble.
  • Distortion and midrange.
  • Amp line out.
  • Input jack.

Are you a metalhead looking for a best distortion pedal? Look no further. This Electro-Harmonix beauty will do it all from having a wide distortion range to an overdrive sound with an excellent sustain to more versatile possibilities. What more do you need?

Speaking of its features, you can dial in the perfect sound with the powerful EQ band. Other knob controls include bass, midrange, distortion, treble, and top boost that allows you to shape your tone and frequencies.

The foot-switchable option allows you to lead with the control knob. Coming to its power, although the battery will last you a few days, you also get a power supply option. So if you are into heavy metal, do not think twice.


  • ​Versatile.
  • Speed picking.
  • Good clarity.
  • Wide range.
  • Perfect for metal.


  • ​Not suitable for beginners.
  • Complex interface.




  • Glossy body.
  • Three-position switch.
  • High touch sensitivity.
  • Gain.
  • Level.
  • Tone.
  • Natural overdrive.

Whether it is progressive, blues, jazz, or classic rock, the Suhr riot is the only distortion pedal you need. Speaking of its sound, it has a warm tube-like distortion that is almost pleasing to the ear if you are not looking for the strong buzzy sound.

The versatile pedal makes it easy to get the perfect low or medium gain with a dirtier high gain.The three voicing switch makes is pretty straightforward to dial in, and shape the exact tone you are looking for. You can regulate your distortion pedals through the output, and push the amp into a more organic overdrive.

At the end of the day, you will be thankful to have this extremely responsive little amp with its cutting lead tonal flexibility that gives you that mellow smooth sound. 


  • Powerful adjustments.
  • Solid build.
  • Good crunch.
  • Very responsive.
  • Versatile.


  • ​The sustain is sub-par.
  • The volume is very high at its lowest.

4) ​Rowin Plexion Distortion Pedal for Guitar & Bass with Bright and Normal Mode True Bypass



  • Zinc alloy body.
  • LED display.
  • True bypass.
  • Input jack.
  • Line out.
  • 9 V power supply.
  • Bright and normal channel.
  • Plexicon distortion.
  • Gain tone and volume.
  • Toggle switch.

You may have definitely heard of the cult Plexi amps. This Rowin plexion has been built to emulate them to a tea. It has two different channels with the bright channel allowing you to dial in the classic rock sound from the eighties depending on what gain you need. That being said, do not be mistaken, the normal channel should not be underestimated either.

Once you adjust your gain, you will be shocked by the tonal range that maintains its richness and quality whether it is clean or distorted. When it comes to hardware, it has a sturdy compact body that can easily fit any pedal board with space to spare.

It has a high zinc alloy body and an LED display. Additionally, the true bypass feature is the highlight of its clear tonal capacity.


  • Full-bodied output.
  • Flexible tonality.
  • Rich sounding.
  • Compact.
  • Easy to regulate.
  • Sturdy.


  • Noise gate is subpar.

5) ​Fender Pugilist Distortion Pedal



  • Anodized aluminium body.
  • Magnetic battery compartment.
  • LED knobs.
  • Bright switch.
  • Series blend control.
  • Tonal control.
  • Dual gain engines.

Fender is another best distortion pedal out there in market. With the fender pugilist, you get all the gain you need for that fierce roar, starting with the individual dual gain controls that can be adjusted to dial in the tone with the blend.

The blend simply combines the signals to create a versatile tone that can be further shaped by using the bright switch. Although it has a decent overdrive, since we are more focused on its distortion, you can rest assured that you will have enough gain that flexible enough for your pickup.

On the hardware front, the design is built for the stage with a sturdy anodized aluminium body and LED knobs that can be seen during the dark performances. You also have a magnetic battery door that allows you to quickly change batteries if needed. 


  • Flexible sound.
  • Value for price.
  • High gain is perfect.
  • Versatile controls.
  • Built for the stage.


  • The blend is a bit complex to understand.

6) ​MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion



  • 9 V battery or power supply.
  • Sturdy shell.
  • Output.
  • Distortion.
  • Mid-range.
  • Treble.
  • Power sockets.
  • Line out.
  • Input jack.
  • True bypass.
  • Analog.

As the name suggests, the distortion is pretty badass. It has the classic tube crunch sound, and if you are someone who exclusively plays metal, then you do not want to miss this gain.

It also features a 3 band EQ, that is powerful enough to completely take your tone to another dimension, The mid-range gives you the eighties Metallica growl, and when you further boost it, you will reach the seventies sound.

In conclusion, this complete analogue pedal gives you an exceedingly responsive full range distortion with the true bypass feature built into a compact little case in a fraction of a price, but the same number of possibilities as the other high-end ones in the market. What are you waiting for? Go and grab this best distortion pedal.


  • Versatile distortion.
  • Powerful.
  • Huge output capacity.
  • Value for price.


  • Gain extremes are not stable.

7) Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal



  • 18 V.
  • Hardwire valve distortion.
  • Overdrive.
  • Bass filter.
  • Fat switch.
  • LED display.
  • Sturdy hard shell.

Next up in my list of best distortion pedal comes the Pro Co Rat2 distortion pedal. The rat pedal is something you must have seen frequently on pedalboards, and with good reason. Proco RAT pedals are famously used by legends like Dave Grohl, Thom Yorke, and has since formed its very own cult following in the market.

Most commonly used by bass players for more tonal options, this piece is versatile enough for that perfect fat setting. When you want pure fizz and rich grind in your distortion, then this model is perfect for you.

Whether it is leads or rock tones, clean tones to the mellow overdrive, this tube pedal hits the right balance on most extreme cases leaving you with that boost you need. 


  • Good sustain.
  • Filthy growl.
  • Versatile tonal options.
  • Used by legends.
  • Affordable.


  • Gets a bit fuzzy at the extremes.

8) TC Electronic Dark Matter Distortion Effect Pedal



  • True bypass.
  • Four knob panel.
  • Two band EQ.
  • Voicing switch.
  • Active, bass, and treble.
  • Vintage distortion.

Dark matter distortion pedal is the kind of pedal that you will never get bored of playing around with. It is something you definitely need on your pedalboard.

With a wide range of sounds it strikes the right balance between vintage and modern sound. Especially with the toggle switch it allows you to add extra bass and fill your tones more with retro sound. 

It is extremely responsive and due to little compression, the distortion is at its peak. You have a four knob panel, and a two-band EQ, so you never tire of moulding your tone to you desire tweaking according to what inspires you.

The true bypass feature keeps the clarity going even on the higher end. The highlight of this pedal is how fast it is to dial in the sound with the treble and bass controls.


  • Highly responsive.
  • Compact.
  • Clear high end.
  • Versatile.
  • Low compression.


  • Not the most powerful in the market.

9) ​Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal True Bypass



  • Aluminium alloy.
  • LED indicator.
  • Optimal circuit design.
  • Dynamic range.
  • True bypass.
  • Level, gain, and tone control.
  • Natural, tight, and classic switch.

Are you looking for the best distortion pedal with high gain stack while still maintain the organic sound? Donner Morpher is the one for you especially if you want something for that clear riffing or shredding.

The high gain distortion with the versatile controls is a combination that is hard to beat. The gain monster switch transforms your clean amp into, you guessed it, a monster.

The three-knob panel has a wide range of control to shape your tone including the output volume, brightness, and the distortion amount.

The three tonal switches give your further range of motion with the natural mode for an organic tone, classic mode for a mellow mid-range, and finally the tight mode for that growl with more defined edges.


  • No medium-frequency.
  • Adaptable distortion.
  • Enhanced mids.
  • Wide range of control.
  • Good growl.


  • Extremely sensitive to weather.

10) Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle with Instrument Cable, Patch Cable, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth



  • Patch cable.
  • Instrument cable.
  • Distortion.
  • Level.
  • Tonal control.
  • Input and output jack.
  • Guitar picks.
  • Polishing cloth.

Let me end this list of best distortion pedal with the original pedal that can beat all the others with its superior performance and simplicity. This boss pedal does not completely alter your guitar tone, but gives it a bit of a boost, and come crunch that goes a long way.

With straightforward controls of tone, level, and distortion, it has a footswitch made of rubber. Speaking of the controls, the tonal control will allow you to dial in those fat tones while altering your highs or tweak the vocals.

This comes with a bundle of all that you could possibly need including a patch cable, guitar picks, gearlux instrument cable, and a polishing cloth from Austin bazaar, so you only need to worry about rocking those tones whether it is eighties metal or nighties rock.


  • Useful accessories.
  • Good effects.
  • Heavy sound.
  • Durable.
  • Easy to use.


  • The base tone might be a bit monotonous.


If heavy metal is the cake, distortion is the batter. You cannot have one without the other. That being said, if you have gone through my list you will know that you need one with a powerful EQ, and just enough gain to give it a boost but not to rely on it completely.

You also need a few versatile switchable modes and voices to choose from and as they say, find the sound that makes you want to break things, and melt people's faces off. That is when you know you have a winner.

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