7 Best Distortion Pedals for Punk

7 Best Distortion Pedals for Punk

Punk Rock can be summed up in one word: rebellion. Punk Rockers are known for their loud and fast music, with lyrics that protest against the status quo of society.

The first time I saw a punk show was at a local venue when my friend’s band played. They were absolutely incredible; they knew how to get the crowd going and really bring out emotion from their audience.

Distortion pedals are an essential part of any punk rock guitarist’s pedalboard. They can be used to create anything from subtle, warm distortion to a heavy, crunchy sound.

In this article, we will explore the 7 best distortion pedals for punk rock guitarists and help you find the perfect tone that fits your style and budget.

The Pro Co Rat2 Distortion pedal is one of the most popular pedals on this list. Used by numerous bands from all types of genres, this pedal is highly recommended and considered to be the ultimate classic distortion pedal.

It can go from an overdriven tube amp tone at low gain settings to a very thick and heavy distortion or fuzz tone. And with only 3 knobs, the Rat2 is extremely easy to figure out. 

It’s also built like a tank and can handle any type of conditions you put it through whether you’re playing old school thrash punk or the mellower pop-punk.

Pro Co RAT2 Distortion Pedal
  • Used as a primary distortion, it excels at arena rock rhythm tones and soaring leads
  • Nails that sweet spot where a tube amp goes from sparkly clean to warm overdrive
  • Use the RAT 2 as a boost for solos and get the extra kick you need

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • A classic pedal that stands the test of time


  • May be a bit too “fuzzy” for some guitarists

Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal

Out of all the distortion pedals that I have tried, the Boss DS-1 distortion pedal is one of my all-time favorite pedals. Not only is it a very versatile pedal that’s built like an army tank, but it also sounds amazing no matter what type of distortion you need.

What’s even better is the fact that it sounds equally amazing whether you’re using it as a booster pedal or you just want some amazing distortion at lower volumes. 

The Boss DS-1 distortion pedal has been a fixture for many punk bands since the genre was first “discovered”. And it still is a staple for many punk guitarists still to this day. 

Boss DS-1 Distortion Pedal
  • Disttion Effects Pedal f Guitar
  • Keyboard with Disttion
  • Tone Controls
  • Level
  • Bass

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Built like a tank
  • Amazing distortion at either low or high volume settings
  • Boss stands behind all their pedals and they are known in the industry for their quality. 


  • None

Fulltone OCD Obsessive Compulsive Pedal

The Fulltone OCD is a premium, versatile overdrive pedal that offers an impressive array of tonal options in the range of gain and tone.

The sturdy build makes it versatile to use with any guitar/amp combo thanks to its Low Gain mode, which retains the original tone of your amp or guitar.

With plenty of tonal options on tap at all times, you’ll have no problem finding your perfect sound. The ultimate overdrive prize winner!

It’s not difficult at all to open and replace or adjust the battery or buffer settings either. The OCD can be used for heavy saturation with articulate tones due to its natural harmonics as well so it’s no surprise this has won over many users. 

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • One of the best overdrive pedals on the market!
  • More crunch and sparkle than a tube screamer.
  • Built like an absolute tank!


  • Not for the heavier sub-genres of punk rock

Fender Pugilist Distortion

With this heavy-duty, boxed distortion pedal, you will never need to go through those battery changes again.

The Pugilist is crafted with durable anodized aluminum and has a sculpted shape that provides tons of control for even the most complex distortion sounds.

Outfitted with LED-lighted tone knobs and easy-to-read labeling this affordable guitar effects pedal provides precise volume and analog gain features that scream pure distortion glory all over your amp.

Fender Pugilist Distortion Pedal
  • Dual gain engines
  • Discrete tone controls per channel
  • Led backlit knobs
  • Fender amp Jewel LED
  • Magnetically latched hinged 9V battery door

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Tons of customization options
  • Quick and easy battery change with the magnetic compartment
  • Cosmetically beautiful with it’s golden casing design.


  • The biggest complaint is that the LED light is way too bright when using in a dark setting.

MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion

The MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion Pedal provides a lot of character and tone in an affordable pedal. When speaking about distortion, it’s sometimes hard to define what is great sounding and natural—but the M75 has both.

It features true bypass for low noise performance, bass, mid and treble controls as well as a 3-band EQ that has tonal control in one stage of the circuit while not being just an EQ filter in another.

The effect can do warm-sounding punchy highs to natural overtones with subtle sustain even at high gain levels. This thing can take abuse and still shine through night after night at gigs or laying down tracks at home.

MXR Super Badass Distortion
  • Highly responsive full spectrum distortion
  • Bass, Mid & Treble controls
  • 100% Analog
  • True bypass
  • Model Number: M75

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Has some nice weight to it
  • Sounds great at lower distortion levels
  • Ton of value for the price


  • Volume knob is really sensitive

JHS Pedals 3 Series Distortion Pedal

The 3 Series distortion pedal from JHS offers a wide range of features at an excellent price point. From beginners to professionals, everyone can find the perfect sound for them on this pedal.

The Volume, Filter, and Distort knobs allow you to dial in your perfect sound anywhere between light crunchy tones and heavy overdrive all the way up to heavy fuzz tones.

The Gain toggle allows you to choose what kind of distortion you want – more compressed or open? Adjustable input Level lets you match your level with other pedals when stacking them together on your board giving you maximum clean volume.

JHS Pedals 3 Series Distortion (3SDISTORTION)
  • Made in Kansas City USA
  • A massively versatile distortion pedal with the ability to achieve medium gain crunch, heavy overdrive, distortion, and even fuzz tones
  • The controls on the Distortion are Volume, Filter (or Tone), and Distort knobs that give you a wide range of usable sounds in any position
  • The Gain toggle gives you a choice between more saturated and compressed or a more open and crunchy distortion. This switch plays a big part in how the pedal responds to your playing and touch dynamics
  • Runs on 9V DC Negative Center power and consumes 9mA

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Made in the USA
  • Extremely easy to dial in the perfect type of distortion for your needs
  • Has a gain toggle


  • Runs on a battery only

Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe V2 Pedal

If you are in search of a distortion pedal that has endless customization options, with a crunchy and dynamic circuit, high-grade components picked for their superior sound and response, the Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe V2 looks to be your best bet.

With built-in tone control bass, mids and treble; Gain knob; boost toggle, and boost knob as well as top-mounted input/output jack this beautiful product looks to be worth its weight in gold.

The Pinnacle Deluxe V2 Distortion Pedal offers so many different customization options and tone control options, you can dial in the perfect sound for not just playing punk rock, but anything else too.

Using premium components like top-grade quality resistors picked to make your distortion as dynamic as possible, this is one of the best sounding pedals on the market.

Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe V2 Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal
  • New Version 2 features top-mounted jacks
  • Hand built in the U.S.A.
  • Captures the classic "Brown Sound" in a pedal
  • Completely true bypass (soft relay switching)
  • High-gain, crunchy pedal with extremely tweak able EQ

Last update on 2024-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Has a Sag Switch
  • Tons of customization options
  • Perfect for any genre of music where you need distortion


  • Not beginner friendly
  • Expensive

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