Top 12 Electric Guitar Strings For Metal 2022

Top 12 Electric Guitar Strings For Metal | integraudio.com

This article will review some of the best guitar strings for Metal that are on the market in 2022, and we will analyze some of their characteristics in detail.

Metal is one of the heaviest genres in music, and it fuses elements of rock, blues, and classical music. His technical demand is usually high, and his arrangements and solos stand out for their speed and complexity. Although there are different subgenres within Metal, most share these characteristics.

It is important to note that Metal is a demanding style for our guitar since we will be using thick gauge strings, and the way of playing will be quite aggressive compared to other musical styles. Therefore, we will need to have an instrument according to these demands.

On the other hand, the humbucker-type pickups will be the ones indicated for this style of music since we will obtain more gain from them and a thicker sound, which will follow what we need to play Metal. Let’s get started!

Top 12 Electric Guitar Strings For Metal 2022

1. Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom

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Ernie Ball is always in the discussion when we talk about brands from leading string manufacturers.

This model fuses three thin gauge strings (1st, 2nd, 3rd), ideal for comfortable soloing or arranging practice, and three heavy bottom strings (4th, 5th, 6th) for thicker riffs, power chords, and deep notes.

Key Features:

  • 010, . 013, . 017, . 030, . 042, . 052 Gauges
    The right combination between three thin gauges, which allow you to play without exerting too much pressure on the strings, and three thick gauges designed to achieve a heavier and more consistent sound. The heavy bottom strings allow you to modify the tuning to obtain a drop D or even a drop C, expanding the possibility of obtaining even lower and heavier notes. This is a very common resource in Metal, and we can use it without problems with the Skinny Top Heavy Bottom, without losing presence in the high range of our sound.
  • Nickel-plated steel wrap strings
    When nickel-plated, the strings have a full body in their low-frequency response, something highly required in genres like Metal. However, they maintain that bright tone on the high strings, thus achieving an almost perfect balance. This model is a kind of hybrid between rock strings and metal strings. This makes them versatile in terms of sound and, at the same time, comfortable to play. Somehow, we get the best of both worlds. So it is correct to say that this is a very good option if we think about strings for Metal.
  • Tin-plated Hex Steel core
    The core of the strings is made of an alloy with a high carbon content that makes them extremely firm and durable. They are manufactured in the United States of America.
  • Round Wound Type
    They are standard strings, which allow us to feel their texture when moving across the fingerboard and produce that characteristic rubbing sound.

Pros:
We can play Metal and many other musical styles with these strings due to their versatility. In addition, its hermetically sealed packaging protects the strings and allows us to store them for a long time before using them.

They are in an optimal place in terms of their price-quality ratio. All Ernie Ball products are rigorously tested and used by many of the most established guitarists. Moreover, its price is good concerning the facilities it offers.

Cons:
Because its first three strings are of a thinner gauge, they are more exposed to breaking since the type of attack that we will use on them will be generally aggressive.

2. Dunlop Heavy Core Heavier

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These strings are designed to withstand aggressive attacks and are ideal for dropped and lowered tunings.

 This makes them exclusive strings for this particular style. With a thick gauge, balanced tension, and quick attack, Dunlop Heavy Core Heavier are among the most chosen options for strings to play Metal.

Key Features:

  • .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .050 Gauges
    The thickest string model in the Dunlop catalog, they are robust enough to withstand aggressive attack and have long-lasting durability. Despite being much thicker than average, they have a Smooth feel. Its wrapped strings are tight but have a fantastic bungee feel when bent or using vibrato and present a very stable tuning.
  • Nickel-Plated strings
    This makes them optimal for achieving a tight low-end, focused midrange, and smooth high-end type of sound. They also have a hexagonal core for better string tension. Manufactured in Benicia, California, each of its elements, from the material used to its moisture-proof packaging, are made to obtain a high-quality product at a very reasonable price.
  • Round Wound Type
    Standard wound-type strings. This model allows a good grip and the sound of our fingers sliding over the bottom strings.

Pros:

These strings give you that punchy low end needed for a fat, heavy tone. They are a very good option if we want to play in drop tunings.

Its price is a point in favor, compared to other strings of the same style, it is somewhat cheaper, which makes them highly selected, and easier to replace when they begin to lose their characteristic sound due to using.

Cons:

They tend to lose their sound and properties quickly if they are not regularly cleaned or maintained. This is because, being thick strings, they have a tendency to accumulate dirt and moisture, which will eventually deteriorate the strings.

If we want to use these strings for a genre other than Metal or heavy rock, we will not be able to get the most out of them since they were not designed for that purpose. This will be reflected in a dull sound and a feeling that the strings are somewhat hard, which is a limitation if we like to play different styles.

3. Elixir Optiweb 19077 Light/Heavy

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This Elixir model combines three thin-gauge strings with three heavy-gauge strings to balance brightness and comfort to play robust bass notes, on the other hand.

This gives them versatility and makes them suitable for playing Metal and other genres close to rock.

Key Features:

  • .010, .013, .017, .032, .042, .052 Gauges
    They have an almost identical gauge to the Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom, with the difference that the fourth string (D) is even thicker. This combination seeks to have good control of the higher strings and greater presence and robustness in the lower strings. Made in the USA
  • Nickel-Plated Strings & Optiweb System.
    As a point to highlight, these strings have an ultra-thin plastic coating, which protects them from dirt, sweat, and corrosion, and keeps their acoustic qualities intact, called Optiweb Technology. This way, they can last much longer than other strings without losing their sound and integrity. They have a nickel-plated finish that makes them have a lot of body in their low-frequency response, and at the same time, with their Optiweb coating, they can last longer than average, and they also maintain their brightness and tone for longer.
  • Round Wound Type
    Like most strings designed for this genre, its surface is of the round wound type, but unlike other models, since it has a plastic coating, the texture sensation on the wound strings is less. The Optiweb coating is very subtle but, at the same time, makes the strings a bit softer as you move your hands from one end of the fingerboard to the other. In addition, these strings have enough gauge to use lower tunings if required.

Pros:

They are strings with a good shine and a good combination of gauges if we plan to play Metal or heavy rock with them. They stand out for maintaining their tension and tuning over time.

Its Optiweb system considerably lengthens its useful life and protects them from dirt and humidity changes in the environment. On the other hand, if we have excessive sweating on our hands, this is a very good option to counteract it.

Cons:

They are expensive. Its price is almost double that of any other strings with similar characteristics. This is because its manufacture is more complex, and at the same time, it lasts longer over time.

4. D’Addario EXL116

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When we talk about D’Addario, we are talking about one of the brands most chosen by guitarists over the years.

This model with nickel-plated strings, specially designed for heavy notes, can be used in standard and drop tuning.

Key Features:

  • .011, .014, .018, .030, .042, .052 Gauges
    Hard-type strings, designed to play hard rock and Metal without too many additions. They are suitable for testing different drop tunings. These strings, made in NY, USA, stand out for their durability, and although they are thick on both the top and bottom, they are still comfortable to play with compared to other brands. Ideal for aggressive attacks.
  • Nickel-plated Steel
    To achieve a good midrange and bass tone, give it durability and resistance. They feature an anti-corrosion gasket, and their round wound construction provides a familiar playing feel. In addition, most strings of this style have a hexagonal steel core wire that provides extra stability, greater reliability, and improved intonation.
  • Round Wound Type
    Classic wound strings give us a better sensation of our hands moving through the fingerboard.

Pros:
They have a very good relationship between price and quality. They stay in tune for a long time. Although they are not the cheapest, the brand is a guarantee of quality. They hold up very well to constant use and do not degrade quickly.

They also have Color-coded ball ends that make it easy to change and replace strings, and when you purchase a D’Addario product, you can join Players Circle and get rewarded with free stuff and other perks just for using their strings.

Cons:

They are heavy gauge strings, which makes them quite tough. Although we can perform bends, vibratos, or other techniques that alter the tension, these will not be the most comfortable strings.

5. Ernie Ball 2214 Mammoth Slinky

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In this case, as its name indicates, Mammoth Slinky is one of the thickest and heaviest string sets in the entire Earnie Ball catalog and market.

With a gauge that starts at 012 for its thinnest string and ends at 062 for its sixth string, this set is designed to reach lower tunings like Drop C, B, and even Drop A.

Key Features:

  • .012, .016, .024w, .034, .048, .062 Gauges
    Two plain and four heavy-gauge wound strings for an extra heavy sound. Being so thick, they make it easier for us to obtain very low notes with a lot of sustain. This makes them ideal for metal and aggressive attacks. In addition, the third string of this set (G) is of the wound type and not flat like the first two to achieve the right balance of tension together with the other strings. Its heavy, thick and consistent sound makes it an ideal setting for playing Metal and supporting aggressive attacks.
  • Nickel Plated & Tin Plated Steel
    Hexagonal center steel strings with super resistant carbon alloy and nickel-plated surface for a good bass response, stable tone, and slightly bright. These robust American strings are manufactured following exacting specifications to guarantee consistency, optimal performance, and a long lifespan, like all products of this brand. An excellent option if we want to take our heavy sound one step further.
  • Round Wound Type
    Its rough texture makes it comfortable to touch and gives a good feeling in our hands. By moving on the fingerboard, we will obtain an expressive sound thanks to the thick gauge of these strings.

Pros:

Optimal for practicing tunings in drop A or drop B. They have the necessary rigidity and do not feel loose when lowering the tuning. Its sound is heavy and forceful. They are strings strictly for Metal.

Cons:

They are not comfortable for standard tuning. Also, being of such a thick gauge, they accumulate more dirt than regular gauge strings, so cleaning and care must be more constant to maintain the shine and integrity of the strings over time.

6. D’Addario NYXL Light/Heavy

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These D’addario premium packs are made with a reformulated material to provide greater resistance and durability both in its carbonated steel core and in its nickel-plated alloy wound.

In addition, they are cut-proof and have the necessary qualities to be used for Metal, heavy rock, and other genres.

Key Features:

  • .010, .013, .017, .030, .042, .052 Gauges
    This combination allows you to play power chords, riffs, and heavy notes aggressively on the bottom strings while having ease on the top strings to make vibratos and combinations that require speed and comfort. As in other combinations of light top and heavy bottom, the NYXL offers good versatility when combining soft strings, easy to play in the treble, with low and heavy notes. In addition, the firmness of this reinforced material allows you to stretch the strings and abuse the whammy lever without fearing string cuts.
  • Nickel Plated & New York-Made High-Carbon Steel Core
    Nickel-plated steel boosts frequency response in the 1 – 3.5 kHz range, giving you more presence and crunch. Carbon-reinforced steel core that offers firmness and resistance above average. This model approaches a much warmer and mellower sound than other D’addario models, focusing on the low and mid frequencies for a clear and balanced sound.
  • Round Wound Type
    Classic wound strings that provide a good feeling when moving on the fingerboard and that characteristic slide sound. They are stable and do not require re-tuning after stretching, tensioning, or playing for several hours.

Pros:
They are strings specially created to offer durability and a breaking percentage much lower than average. They fulfill their purpose well, taking into account that playing Metal will be hard on the strings.

The strings have Color-coded ball ends to make it easy to change and replace strings, and when you purchase a D’Addario product, you can join Players Circle and get rewarded with free stuff just for using their strings.

Cons:

Despite being made of a more resistant material, you can notice a decrease in the treble tones and some loss of brightness. So if we are looking for a sharp sound, typical of thin strings with good timbre and high end, this will not be the best string option for your guitar.

It is a premium edition, which means its price is much higher than a set of regular D’addario strings.

7. DR Strings Drop-Down Tuning DDT-11

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The Drop-Down Tunings, manufactured by DR in New Jersey, USA, are strings oriented to drop D and drop C tunings.

They can also be tuned in drop B and A to reach their limit. These robust, heavy gauge, heavy note strings are a great option when choosing a set that meets the requirements for playing heavy Metal at a very reasonable price.

Key Features:

  • .011, .015, .019, .032, .042, .054 Gauges
    Pure metal set. Thick strings on top and bottom are designed to play in lower tunings. Heavy and consistent sound. DR strings blend the best of old-fashioned handmade craftsmanship with current manufacturing methods. As a result, they are very stable, and in terms of sound, they are covered in nickel-plated steel, which gives them a clear tone
  • Nickel-Plated Steel.
    Made with hexagonal American steel cable, coated with nickel to ensure resistance and good balance in high and medium frequencies. We can play very aggressively on these strings, and rest assured that there will be no need to make tuning corrections.
  • Round Wound Type
    Classic wound strings that provide a good feeling when moving on the fingerboard.

Pros:

If we buy these strings, we pay a more than reasonable price for a quality product. They are thick, stable strings made for heavy metal playing. They fulfill their objective very well.

Cons:

They are only comfortable if we want to play in lower tunings. They are very hard to use with standard tuning and will lose a lot of comforts if we try.

Their packaging is not hermetically sealed, so we have to consider where we will store them so that they do not deteriorate due to humidity in the environment.

8. Elixir 12152 Nanoweb Heavy

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In this case, Elixir presents a much more metal-oriented string set.

With a gauge of 12 for the first string and 52 for the sixth, this set seeks to offer a hard and forceful sound and extended durability.

Key Features:

  • .012, .016, .024w, .032, .042, .052 Gauges
    A heavy gauge set with two flat and four wound strings. It is apt to try lower tunings and aggressive attacks. An excellent combination of thick and heavy strings.
  • Nickel-Plated Steel/Anti-Rust Plated
    Nickel-alloy steel strings add body to your sound and good response in high and mid frequencies. They have coating, an extra thin layer of polymer which protects the strings from dirt, sweat, and humidity and is called Nanoweb. It gives them greater durability and maintains their sound and integrity. 
  • Round Wound Type
    Wound strings, in this case, from the fourth forward. Their feel changes slightly due to their plastic coating, making them softer than uncoated ones.

Pros:

They are excellent strings for playing Metal, offer maximum durability and heavy bass notes thanks to their heavy gauge, and have a good amount of shine without being too crispy, thanks to the nanoweb coating.

Cons:

Its high price is something to take into consideration. Although they are durable and can prevent us from changing the set frequently, the value is about double that of other sets with similar characteristics.

9. Ernie Ball 2720 Slinky Cobalt

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Earnie Ball Power Slinky Cobalts are designed for more responsive tone, brightness, and output.

This is somewhat beneficial if we combine it with a good amount of gain, as we will get a big and consistent sound with well-defined low frequencies.

Key Features:

  • .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .048 Gauges
    Although it seems somewhat thin, this combination of gauges can be used to play Metal with standard tuning and will also be used to play other styles closer to blues.
  • Iron/Cobalt Alloy
    This semi-heavy gauge model has strings covered with an iron and cobalt alloy, which provides a stronger magnetic relationship between pickups and strings than other alloys, giving us a wider and more defined dynamic range. Thanks to this, even if we play with less intensity, we can get a good output. This string set is a good choice for heavy rock and metal playing.
  • Round Wound Type
    These cobalt-wound strings have a very similar feel to nickel-plated ones. Its feeling when playing is comfortable, and they have good durability. The core of the strings is still made of steel and carbon. All Earnie Ball sets have hermetically sealed packaging protecting. They allow us to slide down the fingerboard without problems.

Pros:

These strings have a greater range and presence than regular strings, which can be seen in more defined bass notes. In this sense, they can add a lot to our sound when playing Metal.

Cons:

They tend to be a little stiffer than nickel-plated strings, so if we are not used to it, they will feel harder.Its iron-cobalt alloy is slightly more abrasive, which can cause guitar frets to wear more quickly in the long run.

10. DR Strings Tite-Fit EH-11

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While this DR Tite-Fit EH string set is geared towards heavy Metal, they are versatile strings and can be used for many different playing styles.

In addition, unlike other brands with similar characteristics, DR uses round steel cables for the core of its strings, achieving a more compressed finish.

Key Features:

  • .011, .014, .018, .028, .038, .050 Gauges
    Heavy gauge strings that can handle aggressive picking without issue and produce a good amount of sustain. This combination works for playing Metal and other styles.
  • Nickel-Plated Steel
    Round core wrapped in nickel-plated American steel that allows for a bright and full-bodied sound, along with strength and durability. This results in a product that perfectly meets your demands. The strings have a good shine and feeling, they don’t go out of tune easily, and their price is one of the best on the market. Thanks to their wide gauge, they can be used with lower tunings as well.
  • Round Wound Type
    Classic wound strings that provide a good feeling when moving on the fingerboard. The strings have a good feeling, and it’s easy to slide down the frets on them

Pros:

They offer all the facilities a standard string needs to have to play Metal. They are a bit more expensive than other DR strings, but it is justified by the quality they offer.

Cons:

Its packaging is made of cardboard and paper and does not offer the same security as other products that pack their strings sealed. If we do not use them, we must have them stored in a place with low humidity.

11. Ernie Ball 2839 Slinky Baritone

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The Slinky Baritone is Earnie Ball’s thickest set for guitars.

This means that all the quality of their sound and construction are put into making these extra heavy strings sound as fat as possible.

Key Features:

  • .013, .018, .030, .044, .056, .072 Gauges
    Super thick strings on both top and bottom to play hard without losing any definition. Exclusively designed for lower tunings, the lowest possible notes that a guitar can reach. These strings excel at drop B and drop A but can even go as far as drop G. With a .072 gauge on the sixth string, which allows us to hit extra fat and deep notes.
  • Nickel-Plated Steel
    Tin-plated hex steel core is nickel-plated for optimal balance of low and mid frequencies, optimal tension, and plenty of sustain. Like all Earnie Ball sets, this set comes hermetically packaged, protecting the strings from corrosion and ensuring long-lasting durability.
  • Round Wound Type
    Wound strings are comfortable and easy to slide your fingers across the fingerboard. In a gauge as thick as this, we can appreciate the texture of the strings.

Pros:
Slinky Baritones can take the low-frequency range a step further without losing the brightness, consistency, and tightness necessary to maintain optimum tuning. They are metal strings by excellence.
Cons:
Sometimes we will have problems placing the strings on the pegs depending on our guitar. This is because the sixth string is much thicker than what an average guitar uses.

12.D’Addario NYXL1260

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In this case, we are facing the thickest and heaviest set of strings in the D’addario catalog.

The NYXL1260 are strings created and optimized to play in drop C, although they can also be used in drop B. A great option for playing Metal and reaching heavy, deep notes with a lot of sustain.

Key Features:

  • .012, .016, .020, .034, .046, .060 Gauges
    A thick combination both on top and bottom, ideal for playing with aggressive attacks in lower tunings. This premium set from D’addario improved tuning stability over their regular sets, and its nickel-plated strings offer better frequency response in the 1–3.5kHz range for more punch, crunch, and bite.
  • Advanced Nickel-Plated Strings
    Made from New York forged hex core high carbon steel, this set from D’addario offers strength and durability. It stands out in the stability of its tuning, which is above average, and its nickel coating gives it brightness and definition.
  • Round Wound Type
    Classical wounds have a good feeling, allowing us to move well through the frets. But, like all heavy gauge strings, they are somewhat hard if we are not used to them. Each set comes tightly packaged, and each string has color-coded ball ends, making it easy to change and replace them.

Pros:
They are the heaviest option this brand offers, and the focus is on offering a very well-made product, including all the virtues of D’addario and some new improvements.
Cons:
Being a Premium pack, its price is much higher than other sets with similar characteristics.

Conclusion

Many options are available in the market, with different prices and features. Therefore, it is very useful to consider what type of guitar we will play with, what tuning we will use, and the type of sound we are looking for to choose the most suitable set for our instrument.

If we consider these indications, it will be much easier for us to make the right decision. But, on the other hand, it is always good to try different products, draw conclusions, and define our particular tastes.

These have been the Top 12 Electric Guitar Strings For Metal 2022. I hope this list is useful when choosing your next strings. Until next time!

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