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Top 10 Best Distortion Pedals in 2021 Reviews

The best distortion pedals are indispensable tools for any musician. They enable you to crank up your amplifier and achieve a metal or rock and roll tunes. Get the crowd dancing with the 80 tunes or add buzz to classic songs by adding this handy feature to your electric guitar. These pedals can also be used at the start of the chain, at the finish as well as within the effects loops. Better still, these machines will also enable you to dial in metal tones that have a fender combo, as well as allowing you to create a signature tune to entertain the crowd.

When you are looking to push the guitar tones to new sonic heights, the below distortion pedals are a great choice. These models will enable you to create different effects and customize the signal relayed by the amplifier. With so many models on the market, it can be hard to find a model that suits your needs. In this detailed guide, we have done in-depth research to bring you the best distortion pedals in the market.

List of 10 Best Distortion Pedals in 2021

Last update on 2021-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#10. Dunlop MXR M116 Fullbore Guitar Pedal

Dunlop MXR M116 Fullbore Guitar Pedal

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By: MXR

If your guitar sound doesn’t rock well enough, then the Dunlop MXR M116 Fulbore metal distortion pedal makes a perfect choice. This cleverly designed unit will enable you to customize your guitar to get perfect lows, mids, and high tones. This unit boasts of a turbocharger, which provides your guitar with lethal amounts of ultra gain.

Better still, this model also features an inbuilt noise gate that eliminates the noise that usually develops when there are extreme gain levels. For enhanced performance, this unit also comes with a three-band EQ with interchangeable midrange allowing you to customize it to offer your desired lows and highs for a big metal tone. Moreover, all this functionality is packed in a compact device with a metal casing to ensure optimal performance.

Features
  • Has a super high gain distortion
  • Equipped with an all-analog circuit path
  • The internal threshold control enables you to set the noise gate’s sensitivity
  • Also includes six Dunlop picks
Reason to buy
  • Comes in an exceptionally rugged construction
  • Delivers exceptionally construction
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Ensures production of exceptionally great tones
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#9. Caline USA, CP-15 metal Distortion Guitar

Caline USA, CP-15 metal Distortion Guitar

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By: Caline

From operation to aesthetic look, Caline USA, CP-15 tantrum distortion guitar pedal offers you a simple yet effective way to customize the tones. With this unit, you can rattle your windows or bring a lively atmosphere when performing in a large arena. This unit is best suited for hard rock sound, thanks to the basic filter control that allows you to get a variety of tones to suit your needs.

Another notable feature with this model is the distortion knob that enables you to selects your desired level of gain. At the same time, this unit also has an output port that enables you to balance between the wet and dry signal. The model also comes with a three-band EQ allowing you to fine-tune your sound to get the best performance. Additionally, when compared to other models this unit also comes at a budget-friendly price.

Features
  • Features an excellent equalizer that offers a strong low frequency
  • Made from aluminum alloy
  • True bypass design
  • Impressible sound control
Reason to buy
  • It comes in a nice budget
  • Versatile design makes it compatible with various models
  • Simple yet functional design
  • Also comes with adequate mid-level shifts

#8. Lotmusic Electric Guitar Effects Pedal

Lotmusic Electric Guitar Effects Pedal

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By: lotmusic

Sculpting the perfect tone is now easier with the Lotmusic electric guitar effects pedal. This uniquely designed distortion pedal will enable you to tweak just about every tone, allowing you to achieve the best effects. The best part is that it is suitable for tuning the bass, highs, and lows. It offers many possibilities from setting the amount of saturation such as overdriven signals as well as an amalgamation of the input signal with overdriven signals.

Different from other models, this unit allows you to do all the tweaks with simple dial knobs. The intuitive controls include the level knob for adjusting the volume, blend, drive, grunt, and attack switches. Besides, it has well-labeled symbols that enable you to easily see the right combinations. What’s more, as expected this unit is crafted from high-end materials that ensure durable performance for years.

Features
  • Integrated noise reduction
  • Crafted from a solid aluminum body
  • It has an excellent dynamic response
  • Comes in a compact, lightweight design
Reason to buy
  • The true bypass switching provides pure signal flow
  • Also equipped with a LED indicator that shows the working state
  • It Mimics most of the well-known styles
  • Wide compatibility makes it versatile to use

#7. Mooer Black Secret micro distortion pedal

Mooer Black Secret micro distortion pedal

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By: Mooer

A standard guitar will allow you to entertain your crowd, but if you want to stand out from the crowd then you need this micro pedal from the Mooer store. Just as the name indicates, this unit comes in a compact design that will take minimal space. It also offers incredible performance, enabling you to customize the tones from classic to quirky by simply turning the dial.

Speaking of the dials, this model comes with three control knobs that will assist you in controlling the distortion levels and tone control for adjusting the effects. There is also the sustain control that enables you to adjust the sustain level. Another feature that makes this unit stands out is that it enables you makes tiny adjustment allowing you to make significant changes to the tone. Overall, this model is versatile and flexible, enabling you to get the best performance.

Features
  • Equipped with two working modes including turbo and vintage
  • Delivers a smooth, warm vintage distortion sound
  • Made from solid metal for enhanced durability
  • The turbo mode delivers two times more power full distortion sound
Reason to buy
  • Exquisite performance without costing too much
  • Great value for money
  • Sounds great, making it practical to use
  • Simple controls allow even beginners to use it without any issue

#6. JOYO JF-03 Crunch Distortion Guitar Pedal

JOYO JF-03 Crunch Distortion Guitar Pedal

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By: JOYO

There is a reason why the JOYO JF -03-crunch distortion guitar pedal has gained exponential popularity for guitarists globally. This model will cleverly tune the tones to get the classic hair band metal that was quite famous in the 80s rock. It enables you to achieve what the yesteryear Marshall heads would accomplish, only that this unit will allow you to boost the sound significantly.

Forget the complicated controls; this unit comes with precision controls that make turning a breeze. Another great feature that makes this unit stand out is the aluminum alloy casing that ensures optimal performance for years. Additionally, the knobs are super sensitive enabling you to get your desires performance without taking too much of your time and effort.

Features
  • Precision controls make tuning a breeze
  • Boasts of an aluminum alloy casing
  • Simple design with an intuitive interface
  • Made from high-quality materials
Reason to buy
  • The aluminum casing protects the sensitive internal components
  • The knob is super sensitive, allowing you to customize the experience
  • The true bypass design will minimize the tone loss
  • Ideal for both beginners and experts
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#5. MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion pedal

MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion pedal

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By: MXR

For many years, MXR pedals have always provided a reliable performance for guitarists. Being true to their reputation, the super badass M75 distortion pedal is crafted to enable you to achieve superior distortion. Dissimilar from other models on the market, this unit has a vast range of gain, allowing you to shape the unique signature tones, as well as driving the music to sweet spots.

Thanks to the intuitive design, this model will enable you to replicate the tones of the 70s rock to the modern metal world. The pedal is built for heavy distortion although it will still offer you a bit overdrive and crunch, allowing you to get both of the worlds. For enhanced performance, this unit comes with a main central control that is backed by three additional dials that enable you to fine-tune the tones to your liking.

Features
  • True bypass design makes it stand out
  • Offers highly responsive full spectrum distortion
  • It is 100 percent analog
  • Comes equipped with bass, treble and mid controls
Reason to buy
  • Just as its name indicates this unit lives to its expectation
  • Made from solid materials for enhanced performance
  • Comes in a decent price tag
  • Delivers loud sound output

#4. Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Guitar pedal

Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Guitar pedal

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By: Catalinbread

Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret distortion pedal is an ultimate weapon when you are looking to achieve the thundering bass that you would get from the 70s Marshall super leads. This unit will enable you to supercharge the performance, shaping the sound of rock and roll. As expected, this unit comes with simple controls that enable you to fine-tune the sound to get a variety of tones.

With the Pre-Amp control, it responds accurately to meet your desired tones. Notably, this gadget comes in a super compact and cute design that looks great on the control panel. It is also made from durable materials, allowing it to provide optimal service for a long period. Moreover, this model combines two different amps, which include super bass and super lead. Each of these amps works separately, allowing you to get both of the two worlds.

Features
  • Combines the super bass and super lead amplifiers
  • It delivers excellent rock sound of a Marshall Super Lead amp
  • Equipped with a full three-knob treble-middle-bass tone control
  • Delivers loads of gain
Reason to buy
  • It includes two switchable distinct voicing
  • Compact and super cute design
  • It has a broad gain range
  • Great value for the money

#3. Donner Multi Guitar Effect Pedal

Donner Multi Guitar Effect Pedal

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By: Donner

Donner multi guitar effect pedal brings you various effects including an analog distortion, analog voiced delay, as well as a dreamy chorus. What makes this unit stand out is that the delay mode produces a warm, analog voiced delay that offers a smooth echo. There is also a chorus model that offers a pure and warm sound that customizes the tunes to deliver high-end performance.

This unit delivers insanely high distortion making it ideal for both rock and metal style. It also comes with a user-friendly form factor and portable size, making it not only ideal for home practice but also live gigs. Some of the other notable features that come with this unit come with a full metal casing, LED indicator, and aesthetically appealing design. Moreover, thanks to the analog circuit design which brings you optimal performance.

Features
  • Equipped with delay mode knob, Higain mode, and chorus mode knob
  • It has an input and output jack
  • True bypass ensures zero tone coloration
  • Comes with a full metal casing
Reason to buy
  • It is made from high-quality materials
  • Equipped with an LED indicator that shows the working state
  • The analog circuit design makes it easy to use
  • Perfect for home practice or during a performance

#2. Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal

Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal

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By: Proco

From time immemorial, the RAT2 Distortion pedal has remained one of the dominant drives that deliver quality sound output. As expected, the Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal boasts of an intuitive design that delivers the fuzz quality that is hard to find on other models. It comes equipped with three control dials that enable you to control the gain levels, creating a darker tone.

By combining the latest technology, this unit provides a crunchy tone with a highly distorted rock tune. Better still, you don’t need to keep touching the guitar to get the effects apart from when you are looking to achieve a mellow tone. Additionally, this unit comes with a metallic shell with a bright color that glows in the dark. This enables you to see the controls easily even when performing a live gig in a dimly lit venue. Moreover, the sturdy design also makes it a to-go choice for musicians who are always on the go.

Features
  • Versatile design makes it a perfect fuzz distortion pedal
  • Equipped with a tool-less battery compartment
  • The metal casing makes it durable
  • It offers excellent graphics controls
Reason to buy
  • Works as a main distortion for rock rhythm tunes
  • Comes with large control knobs for easy control
  • Delivers excellent overdrive for your electric guitar
  • It has a lovely sound quality

#1. Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle

Boss DS-1 Distortion Bundle

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By: Boss

The beauty of the Boss DS-1 distortion pedal lies in its simplicity and versatility. It makes a perfect primary distortion thanks to its excellence at recreating arena rock rhythm tones as well as soaring leads. This model also works well especially when you have too much headroom for performance as it enables you to nail that sweet spot. Similar to other high-end models, this unit features three knobs that enable you to make a smooth gradual adjustment to meet your needs.

Equally, this model works not only for electric guitars but also for your keyboard. This offers you the versatility you need, as well as saving you a lot of money. Additionally, this unit comes with a generous level of harmonic richness, allowing you to get the right gain. What’s more, the unit is easily modifiable making it ideal for beginners and professional musicians.

Features
  • It features distortion, level, as well as tone controls
  • Also includes a high-quality instrument cable
  • Equipped with a patch cable to add to the DS-1 into the signal chain
  • Replicates dynamics of playing, from hard to soft
Reason to buy
  • It offers distortion tones for keyboard and guitar
  • Deliver affordable live distortion
  • Also includes a patch cable and polishing cloth
  • The large dials offer fast tone-customization options
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The Best Distortion Pedals | Buyer’s Guide

If your electric guitar is producing weak or annoying distortion sounds, then a distortion pedal will enable you to upgrade the sound effectively. With any of the above distortion pedals, you can easily turn your guitar into a tone machine for rock and roll, metal, and other tones. Below are some of the features to consider before making your choice.

  • Sound quality: One of the reasons to get a distortion pedal is probably because the guitar isn’t producing the tone that you would like. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you get a model that offers you great distortion effects. Ensure that the model is versatile enough to deliver distortion for bass, mids, and highs. Additionally, the model should offer a wide range of tones, allowing you to customize it easily.
  • The controls: Next, you will need to look at the controls. Remember most of the time; you will be performing in dimly lit areas. For this reason, you need a distortion pedal that is easy to control. We recommend going for models with oversized dials. This will allow you to fine-tune the performance in a bliss.
  • Construction materials and design: Additionally, you should ensure that you pick a model that is crafted from high-quality materials. A model with a metal casing will offer better protection and durability than a model with plastic casing. Also important, go for models that come in a compact design. This makes it easy to carry wherever you go.

Conclusion

The best distortion pedals will help you customize your tune to meet a particular tone in your genre. The above model is versatile and effectively fits most music genres and styles. Thanks to the excellent features, these models are often used by legendary rock stars and guitarist. Take your time to go through the numerous models and pick the one that meets your needs. All the best!

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