What's the Best Heavy Metal Guitar Under £500? Here's Our Top 5... (Updated for February 2023)

Published on 16 February 2023

What is the best Heavy Metal Guitar under £500? Well, while we can't tell you which satanic shred machine will call you, we can certainly lead you towards some of our favourites. Read on to learn about our top 5...


LTD EC 256

Our first choice today is a guitar that could easily be used in a wide variety of musical environments, but is also superb at blasting out the metal. ESP are one of the biggest hitters in the metal scene, and their more affordable LTD range has long since been mainstays for gigging pros. The ‘singlecut’ design typified by Gibson’s famous Les Paul model is an evergreen favourite amongst many musical communities, and the metal scene is no different. Many brands offer their take on this powerful totem of hard rock, and ESP’s Eclipse (EC) model is more successful than most.

Wielded by globetrotting bands such as Metallica and Rammstein, the ESP EC is a very familiar sight indeed, and the great news is, there’s a wide range available to fit all wallets and purses. This model, the LTD EC 256, is from ESP’s more affordable sub brand, and it packs a lot of punch for the cash! Select your favourite look and enjoy coil-tappable humbuckers, a thin U shaped neck and extra jumbo frets. All in all, this guitar has the feel, the look and the sound that any metalhead will be happy with.


Epiphone SG Standard

Looking for something dark and menacing? Are you a Black Sabbath fan? If so (and also if not), you’ll love this Epiphone SG Standard. As you’ll be aware, Epiphone are the official replica brand for Gibson, so this SG has all of the correct lines and curves, just like the original!

We like the combination of classical looks and mean attitude here. The body is mahogany and the neck is glued in, just as you’d hope. Upgraded pickups and a slim 60s neck make this an SG for all seasons, and you can choose from a number of colours, but let’s get real: you want the black one, right?


Jackson JS32 King V

Ah, yes. You are a classic Thrash metalhead, yes? Or maybe you’ve come to Jackson via their very on-point roster of modern day artists? Either way, you’ll be buying into hard rock royalty if you choose this most excellent Jackson JS32 King V

‘Shape’ guitars are never more welcome than in metal. The more pointy and dangerous your axe, the more dangerous your playing, obviously. Jackson have taken the Flying V shape and delivered a sleeker, more metal take, and this superbly affordable JS model is just the ticket for moshers on a budget.

You get that classic headstock (no sub branding here, it’s full-on Jackson, which we love), those iconic sharkfin inlays, and even a Floyd Rose locking tremolo for all of your screeches and divebombs. This is obviously not something for playing trad jazz on, but if your heart is Trve Metal, this is the sword you seek.


Ibanez Iron Label RGA42FM

It may be pretty, but this Ibanez does not mess around. The ‘Iron Label’ refers to a group of Ibanez instruments built particularly for heavy-ass guitar playing. Given that Ibanez already have a reputation for putting out excellent rock and metal axes, this is really saying something!

The Ibanez Iron Label RGA42FM may be an affordable model, but it’s ready to wreak havoc with its pair of Quantum pickups, which are ceramic units set to stun. There’s no whammy bar on here: this guitar wants to get down to business! That said, it’s also dressed to impress, with a flamed maple veneer on the body’s top to give a very upmarket look. 24 jumbo frets, a sleek, ergonomic design and a major bark all add up to a deceptively savage machine indeed.


Schecter C-7 Deluxe

Looking for some lower-end rumbles than a standard 6 string allows? Sometimes downtuning can get you what you want, but sometimes you just need to go for a 7. 7 string guitars handle the low notes better since they tend to have slightly longer scale lengths, which means the strings wont flap about quite as much when you go for those drop G or A riffs!

Schecter, like ESP and Ibanez, are one of the big boys on the world’s metal scene. They are well known for delivering quality and value, so you’ll generally always get a great deal when being Schecter. Take this Schecter C-7 Deluxe, for instance. It’s got a 26.5” scale length with 24 big jumbo frets and a lovely flat 16” radius to make technical playing (and rhinoceros-sounding riffs) a breeze to play. It’s another simple design, but that’s kind of what you want with these subterranean extended range guitars: too many details can fuge your focus and get in the way of brutal riffing. Keep it simple and effective with this effective 7 string, from one of the most experienced brands in the biz.



...The Journey Ends

There we have it, friends. Our brief yet exhilarating journey through the lands of affordable Metal draws to a close, and what a successful adventure we’ve had! This is but a scratch on the metallic surface of what we have for you Metal Masters and Maidens within each guitarguitar stronghold. All of our stores are packed with the instruments you need to make your mark upon this earth. Be bold, friends, and remember that we are here to help you on your way! Our team members are all experienced Maesters who are more than willing to guide and advise you on your journey to the summit of Mt Rock. Visit us, peruse our wares, try a few in the privacy of one of our soundproofed chambers and buy those which speaketh to you. Browse our entire selection of wares online and click through to order your new sabre of Metal.

May the Metal Gods be with You.


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