5 Best Guitar Strings for Metal

The right guitar can make all the difference when it comes to your sound. Too much of a good thing? Not so fast! The wrong pick-ups, strings or even just improper care could be what’s holding you back from getting that perfect tone for any genre in particular – metal included.

The variety within this type of music is immense: from death/black through thrash and power,’ but every guitarist should consider investing time into finding out how they can customize themselves an axe if only. 

Metal guitars have a way of pushing the limits. For example, they’re often tuned lower than other instruments. And use aggressive techniques like dive-bombing or down tuning that only some can pull off with finesse (and maybe even them).

But it’s not just about being able to make those sounds for metal players; strings are also integral in giving your axe its tone! In this article we take you through five quality sets from different brands: Elixir, D’Addario Pro Series XP 88s (.013-.054), GHS Vintage 62 Extra Heavy (.044/.092)…”

Metal musicians approach their craft differently since guitarists must create unique tones using specialty materials.

Top 5 Best Guitar Strings for Metal

Metal is a genre of music that has been around for decades, but only recently have guitarists started to branch out into other areas. That’s why in this guide we looked at the best strings for metal players with varying needs and tastes–to keep things consistent each set was tested on an iconic Telecaster played through various effects pedals (like distortion) provided by one particular pedal setup: The Bugera V22 Infinium!

Ernie Ball Power Slinky Cobalt

Ernie Ball’s Power Slinky Cobalt strings are one of their newest innovations and have been on the KGR “must try” list ever since we heard about them. As you can see from the name, they use cobalt in an alloy that’s pretty exotic for guitar strings – but it pays off big time with smooth feeling non-coated ones like our test subject here!

The Power Slinky strings are a combination of both the smooth finish and heavy attack. There’s no hang-up when you strum them so your timing will stay right on track for extended periods, not like other sets that have gauges ranging from .011″ – .048″.

Using heavier strings to tune your guitar was a great idea! They sound awesome and will make tuning easier when you break in the new ones.

I’m glad that I found this information because my previous set would always be too tight at first but after some playing they warmed up enough so now it’s all good – just like with any instrument really except for maybe violins (they stretch way more).

These strings were impressive. After more than a week of heavy use, there weren’t even the first signs of deadening, and they sounded great too! The cobalt alloy is designed to improve magnetism which will be useful for players who don’t have pickups on their guitars (or at least not as much). 

One downside: it can get expensive since these aren’t cheap compared with our best overall winners-Mammoth Slinkies by Franklin Guitar Company ($11).

Ernie Ball Power Slinky Cobalt strings are the best for electric guitarists who want a fast, smooth sound and feel. They provide incredible feedback when playing with distortion or using alternate tunings but maybe too sharp-edged in other genres of music because it takes longer than average to settle into drop tunings.

  1. D’Addario NYXL Light Top/Heavy Bottom 

NYXL Hybrid strings provide a great blend of light and heavy gauge, creating the perfect combination for metal or any other style where you need to switch between hard strumming rhythm and intricate solo work. The high end is very slight – only coming in at just .010″, which helps make it easy to create bends up 1 full step on either treble side with ease!

Despite being designed for alternative pitches, the strings were able to provide great tuning stability. They’re also among the best at standard tuning and can hold up well in other tunings as well!

If you’re looking for a set of strings that make your acoustic guitar feel like an electric one, the NYXL was made just for you. The smooth coating makes licks and fast metal riffs easy as pie with these super-responsive nylon strings!

D’Addario’s new electric string set is great for metal guitarists. They have a nice crunchy sound and will stay tuned even if you bend your notes over the limit!

For those who like their strings loud, these are perfect because there isn’t much feedback when they’re plugged in which means it sounds just as good through headphones or speakers at low volumes too- no need to turn up so high next time things start getting quiet around the stage again. 

Overall, the D’Addario NYXL Light Top/Heavy Bottom strings were fantastic to play. They were fast and had great mid-tone quality with a powerful punch across all registers of the guitar. If you are looking for an affordable yet high-quality set on your electric or acoustic guitar this is one way that will do it!

  1. DR Strings DDT

The DR Strings’ DDT set is a great option for musicians looking to perform without changing their strings. These handmade, extra-heavy gauge strings are pre-stretched and have rock-solid stability from the second they’re tuned in perfect pitch. This means you won’t need an instrument tuner on stage or during gigs when this brand’s quality makes all of the difference!

Sometimes, craftsmanship is an unfortunate trade-off for inconsistency. The B string on my guitar began to pit after just a few months of use and it was disappointing because this wasn’t something that would have happened if it had been manufactured correctly in the first place!

It didn’t really affect tone but I know some people are less forgiving about such issues so pay close attention here – pitting will progressively get worse over time until eventually there’s nothing left but dust or chunks missing from your strings’ thicknesses…

With the potential to smooth out and improve with more use, these strings are perfect for those who love a stiffer feel. They offer excellent control on fast strumming guitar without feeling gritty or unmanageable in any situation!

These strings are perfect for any guitarist looking to make their instrument sing. They sound amazing, and will easily cover a wide range of sounds without muddiness or anything else that could be distracting in an audio environment. If you want a great tone – these ones have got it all!

If you’re looking for a great tone when playing super heavy, these strings are not the set for you. However, if your priority is comfort and tuning stability over feel then DR Strings DDT will make a perfect match!

  1. Ernie Ball Mammoth Slinky

These strings are made of heavy gauge, with at least one string being an extremely thick .012! They have proven themselves in drop tunings and can keep your guitar’s sound tight no matter what. The tone is fun, professional yet friendly all rolled into one.”

These strings are unlike any other set of Power Slinky. They come in a variety of gauges, from .011” to 048″, with different finishes including cobalt and they have excellent tuning stability – like the rest not specifically designed for drop tunings which makes tension just right so it’s an easy to break in but doesn’t settle too low after some time.

If you’re looking for quality hardware that’ll last regardless of how hard you rock out on stage or at home then I’d say these might be worth checking out!

In comparison to other strings, this set was impressive. After more than a week of heavy use there weren’t even the first signs that would indicate deadening or dulling tone quality- massive lows with clear mids and highs for an extended period before needing replacement! 

The cobalt alloy is designed so you can get your pickup’s magnets working properly again; something every guitarist should know about if they’re looking into upgrading their sound without changing everything else (guitars come pre-tuned).

For those looking for a more affordable and tone-sensitive alternative to electric strings, the Cobalt Slinkies might be worth checking out. They offer good sound quality without compromising on feel or tonality in comparison with our top pick from last year’s survey -the Mammoth Slinky-in fact we found them even better!

  1. Dunlop Heavy Core NPS 

Dunlop Heavy Core NPS strings are available in three gauges: heavy, medium and heaviest. We checked out the lightest weight of this set – “heavy” gauge which has a range from .010” to 048.”

When Dunlop designed these strings, they made a conscious decision to use thicker cores than any other set. This allowed them to create higher tensions which resulted in less buzzing when playing hard and fast on the guitar while tuning stability was not an issue at all even after settling time had passed.

The nickel-plated steel strings of the guitar are bright, well-articulated, and have punchy mids at high distortion. However single note articulation is not as fast due to its lack of sustains. 

But these still make for a rock-solid choice among rhythm players who want their tone without worrying about sustaining too long on an instrument with low action.”

For those of you who love the sound and feel but want something light enough for your fingers, Dunlop Heavy Core NPS could be a great choice. These strings have been specially designed to behave like heavier gauge strings when it comes to their durability. 

Yet still, maintain an appropriate tension so as not to break easily under pressure or stress from playing style changes without changing gauge themselves! At any rate, they will never fail on performance: these are some fantastic string life-savings at such low price points too. 

Buyer’s Guide: Best Guitar Strings for Metal

The right strings for you are going to be decided by your playing style and the type of instrument. Strings should feel comfortable, they’re best when tuned in a way that makes them sound great! 

If it ever occurs that one or more fingers start feeling uncomfortable then don’t worry about taking up this guitar lesson because our expert staff is always there with solutions tailored specifically around each person’s needs so keep coming back any time needed. 


In order to get the best sound possible, you need strings that are in tune with your guitar. For metal styles of music such as death metal or blackened doom melodies where alternative tunings often called for at pitches below standard can be utilized.

This is because heavier gauge guitars typically require them (and play well under these conditions). To achieve heavy tension on a string without it buzzing out too much and retaining clarity. Consider using thicker gauges: stiffer ones will keep their tone longer than lighter ones do when tuning lower due. 

Heavier gauge strings are better able to retain tension in drop tunings, they’re also much harder wearing. Metal being a fairly aggressive genre requires fast and heavy playing that can snap lighter guitar strings under these conditions; while metalheads have no problem with their instrument’s needs as some say “guitar players know what they’re doing.”

Hybrid strings are a great option for players looking to get the most out of their instruments. They’re designed with light-to-medium top end and heavy bottom, so they can handle sharp attacks when playing rhythm notes as well as softer strumming or soloing on trebles without losing any pliability in between!


A guitar string’s tonality can be customized with different alloys. Metal musicians often experiment to find the best strings for their style and needs, but some of those preferences may come down to what kind of alloy is used in creating it! 

One popular choice among metal players has been nickel-wound steel this type includes having a core made out of steel wire while wrapping bass side wound wires with nickel.

It offers well-rounded sound profiles between beefy lows & punchy mids without being overly harsh or bright; it perfect when playing heavier styles like hard rock n’ roll. 

Nickel strings are often used to give the instrument a bright, clear tone. They’re not as harsh on your fingers and offer more sustain than steel or brass because of their smoothness which goes hand-in-hand with how they produce muddiness in sonically dulled instruments like guitars. 

There is also some evidence that suggests these alloys last longer before needing replacement – so if you’re looking for an upgrade from what’s currently there don’t forget about nickel!


Coated strings have been used successfully in the metal genre for years. Polymer coating helps improve longevity, which can allow players to play more aggressively and without worry about their instrument breaking on them at any moment due again thanks largely because this corrosion is slower than expected when using traditional steel or aluminum coated counterparts. 

The coating also makes it easier to reposition around fretboards as well as glide over its surface with picks so that there’s less chance of breakage from heavy strumming along with increased lubrication properties reducing wear even further!

Coatings like polymers will help keep your guitar sounding great no matter what you throw at her: whether she be getting cozy after hours spent tuning up lullabies under dim moonlight by torchlight. 

Final Thought

The Mammoth Slinkies are our number one choice and deserve your attention. They were brilliant all around – they never let us down! If you’re understandably trying to stick with a budget (and we totally get that), then the Dunlop Heavy Cores might be an attractive proposition for you as well. 

There is some downsides but such a low price still makes them worth considering. But if money isn’t really an issue? The D’Addario NYXLs would make perfect sense because they have coated strings which means faster action on any instrument using them.

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