Best Guitar Fuzz Pedals – 2019 Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Are you still in search of that perfect tone? A fuzz pedal might be precisely what you need, even if it is something you haven’t considered so far.

A high-quality fuzz pedal could be a game changer for your music, particularly if you are looking for a wooly, vintage sound.

Have a look at the following sections to discover how a fuzz pedal can help you step up your game and which fuzz pedals are the very best on the market. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Guitar Fuzz Pedals

Product

Rating

Price

MXR M103 Blue Box Octave Fuzz

MXR M103 Blue Box Octave Fuzz

Best Overall

Way Huge WHE401S Swollen Pickle MKIIs

Way Huge WHE401S Swollen Pickle MKIIs

Runner-up

Electro-Harmonix Op Amp Big Muff

Electro-Harmonix Op-amp Big Muff Pi Fuzz Pedal

Best for the Money

Donner Guitar Stylish Fuzz Classic Effects Pedal

Donner Guitar Stylish Fuzz Traditional Rich,Aluminium-alloy Classic Effects Pedal

Best Bass Fuzz Pedal

Dunlop FFM3 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini

Dunlop FFM3 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini Distortion

Best Octave Fuzz Pedal

What is a Fuzz Pedal, and What Does it Do?

A fuzz pedal is an effect pedal which lightly ‘clips’ your sound, resulting in an unrecognizable tone. Essentially, it covers and saturates the sounds so that it gives you a woolly – or fuzzy – feeling. 

The fuzz pedal completely transforms and processes your sound, so it is more ‘artificial’, entirely changing it. They are often used for lead lines, but also for single-string riffs – anything else will leave you with an awkward feeling. The fuzz pedal is great for adding some unpredictability to your songs. 

What Makes a Great Fuzz Pedal?

A fuzz pedal might not be as easy to find as other effect pedals, so here’s a shortlist of what makes a great option: 

Sound Qualities

The fuzz became popular in the 1960s when a song was recorded with a broken amp. To this day, some musicians still believe that fuzz pedals give you the impression of a faulty amp – yet, for fuzz pedal lovers, the closer it gets to the 60s, the better! Most fuzz pedals tend to replicate the original models very closely, while incorporating some modern high-tech. 

True Bypass

If you want a good quality fuzz pedal, true bypass can help you. It keeps tonal integrity and eliminates any possible interferences that can spoil your performance. Luckily, our products in the section below offer you just that. 

Versatility

This one is up to one’s preferences – are you a fan of traditional fuzz, or are you willing to keep up with modern changes? Some products will have only a couple of features, while others can be extremely versatile and offer you broad options. Once again, it is up to you which one you prefer. 

Review of the Best Guitar Fuzz Pedals

Once you have considered the above information about guitar fuzz pedals, you should take a look below at the best options available.

MXR M103 Blue Box Octave Fuzz

PROS

  • Affordable and durable
  • Simple and easy to use design
  • Unique subterranean, deep sound
  • A unique experience – not for timid users!
  • Duplicates the guitar signal two octaves down

CONS

  • Not the typical fuzz effect
  • Should use a boost pedal with it in live settings
  • Best only for producing one type of sound, lack of versatility

What Recent Buyers Report

If you want some wild fuzz, this Blue Box is the ideal choice and definitely not for the faint of heart. It is quite limited in terms of controls, but it is best used by those looking for a distinct, subterranean sound. You may need to take some time to master it before achieving the best results.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This fuzz pedal fuzzes the guitar signal and takes it down two octaves, recreating deep, otherworldly sounds. If you are wild and enjoy experimenting with your music, this product is the right choice. For the best results, try to strum the chords with this monophonic device – beware, not for the shy ones!

Who Will Use This Most

If you want to experiment with your music, this pedal is the answer to this problem. It is not recommended for live performers unless you have a boost pedal since it does take the volume down significantly. It is great for recording, on the other hand. Ideally should be placed after the overdrive for best results.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you want a fuzz pedal to make others look at you in disbelief, this one can scare off a blue whale. The fuzz is completely unique, so if you are looking for a standard sound, you need to have a look at other products on our list. Make sure you compensate for the drop in volume.

Way Huge WHE401S Swollen Pickle MKIIs

PROS

  • Good quality craftsmanship
  • High versatility and flexibility
  • Affordable price and top-notch sounds
  • Small case suitable for a crowded pedalboard
  • Includes controls for crunch, scoop, internal voice and clip

CONS

  • Many knobs that can confuse beginners

What Recent Buyers Report

This fuzz pedal offers excellent versatility and control over the fuzz sound. You can recreate a wide range of sounds and tweak the performance as you wish. It is a great addition to any pedalboard, and it also has a stylish look.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pedalboard-friendly product can transform your signal from a mild crunch up to high gain. Other controls include scoop, internal voice, and clip, which allow you greater control over the fuzz sound. This petite package is durable and reliable, and also easy to attach to the pedalboard.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is recommended to anyone who wants to try out a top-quality fuzz pedal. It is affordable, offers multiple controls such as crunch, scoop, clip, and internal voice, allowing you to broaden your tone spectrum. We recommend it as one of the best and most affordable products on our list.

Bottom Line

Overall, this minimalistic case is perfect for a crowded pedalboard and offers great fuzz qualities to the sound, anywhere from a mild crunch to Armageddon. It provides great flexibility and value for money, and the design is long-lasting and user-friendly. This unit is affordable and should definitely be tried out.

Electro-Harmonix Op-amp Big Muff Pi Fuzz Pedal

PROS

  • Highly affordable
  • Great quality and outstanding performance
  • True bypass maintains the integrity of the sounds
  • Offers crunch and opens an entire world of distortion
  • Iconic, vintage sound qualities reproduced from 1978 first issue

CONS

  • Not very versatile
  • Lack of flexibility in controls
  • Some might not enjoy the vintage sound features

What Recent Buyers Report

This fuzz pedal opens up an entirely new universe of distortion. Instead of having to choose between high pitched highs and low-end drive, this can do both. It can be crunchy, powerful, and everything you need in your pedal collection.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This classic fuzz pedal is a reiteration of the 1978 model, offering an iconic vibe. The true bypass switching aims for the maximum possible signal integrity. It is highly sensitive, and you can achieve a great fuzz effect with this pedal. The vintage sound is highly addictive!

Who Will Use This Most

This fuzz pedal is recommended for anyone who enjoys a grungy and clipping fuzz. Highly affordable, this pedal is a must-try for any effect lover. The pedal has quite broad variations worth experimenting with. The pedal retains a vintage quality of sound.

Bottom Line

This product is a high-quality fuzz pedal that can offer you an iconic, vintage vibe. It is a reissue of the classic pedal released in 1978 and maintains most of the initial qualities and features in a new, updated, and modern casing that is also durable and extremely affordable.

Donner Guitar Stylish Fuzz Traditional Rich,Aluminium-alloy Classic Effects Pedal

PROS

  • Easy to control
  • Extremely affordable
  • Mini-size, high-quality aluminum alloy case
  • Includes controls for volume, “Bustain”, and tone.
  • Preserves traditional richness of sounds offers fullness and sweetness

CONS

  • Inconsistent quality
  • Loses the volume in time
  • Not for extended use (loses its properties in a few months)

What Recent Buyers Report

This pedal allows you to better express emotions through the fullness and sweetness of the tone. The pedal is easy to use and understand – it has a volume, tone, and “Bustain” knob, the last one allowing you to adjust the degree of the fuzz. It has a simple yet practical mini design and a useful LED indicator.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Our top recommendation for a bass fuzz pedal is this Stylish Donner classical product, which encompasses a wide variety of modern features, while at the same time maintaining traditional sound qualities. The abundant tones can be compared to the violin tones, and it has three simple knobs, in a mini-case.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a fan of full, rich tones, this pedal is great for you. It is highly recommended for bass players, it is versatile and flexible, yet the design is user-friendly and straightforward. It allows you to tune the sounds to your liking, and the true bypass ensures that there is zero tone coloration.

Bottom Line

Overall, for classics, this tiny pedal brings deep satisfaction. Extremely affordable, to the point that you just cannot believe it, this pedal is a true traditional fuzz sound, turning the sounds into plump tones while maintaining full integrity due to true bypass. While it is not on the top of our list, this is the best pedal for bass players. A must try!

Dunlop FFM3 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini Distortion

PROS

  • Affordable price range
  • Simple to use, classical design
  • Great fuzz pedal reiterating the 1960s
  • Durable and sturdy design, true bypass
  • Minimalistic design, perfect for a crowded pedalboard

CONS

  • Plays well only in front of the chain
  • No tone knob, only volume, and fuzz
  • Does not play very well with other pedals

What Recent Buyers Report

If you want a quick trip to the 1960s, this pedal gives you just that. It is simple, preserving the traditional sound qualities of the old fuzz face, and you can have in no time the unforgettable sounds of the early days. It is a true gem for classic lovers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Lastly, on our list is the best octave fuzz pedal, a close reiteration of the classic Jhf1 Hendrix. This fuzz face is a legendary fuzz pedal that masterfully combines traditional sound qualities with modern technology – including a true bypass for tonal integrity, bright LEDs for status, and an AC power jack. This pedal is well known for its thick, smooth fuzz.

Who Will Use This Most

If you need simplicity and classics, this pedal is the right fuzz for you. The product has only two main knobs – volume and fuzz, and you can tweak them as you wish. The only issue is that you need to ensure it is right in front of the chain; otherwise, it will cancel out any other pedals you have in front of it.

Bottom Line

Overall, we love the simplicity and traditional sounds – this little pedal works wonders. It is effortless, so you should consider something else if versatility and flexibility are what you need. Make sure it is the first one on your chain, and you’re ready for your 60s time travel.

Advantages of Investing in a Quality Fuzz Pedal

There are a lot of benefits to purchasing a new, good quality fuzz pedal. Here are some of the most important advantages:

High-Quality Vintage Sounds

Traditional fuzz pedals were great – yet, it does not mean that grabbing any old box will do the trick for you. They are not easy to choose – and definitely not easy to use. It takes time and patience, but most importantly, if you want top performance, you need to invest in a top-quality fuzz pedal. 

Simplicity Versus Versatility

Most vintage fuzz pedals have only two controls – fuzz and volume. No tone-shaping or any complicated stuff. However, getting the fuzz goodness and turning it into complete noise are separated by a very fine line. A high-quality fuzz pedal will help you maintain tonal integrity, quality, and it will be easier to maneuver. 

Durable Investment

Lastly, consider the fact that your fuzz pedal will always be part of your pedal collection. And there are never enough pedals for some of us. A high-quality pedal will last you a long time, save you lots of money and trouble replacing it and, once you get to use it properly, you will be a dedicated fan of the fuzz goodness. 

How to Use a Fuzz Pedal

A fuzz pedal is harder to manipulate since it is not enough just to plug it in and start playing. Here’s a step by step guide on how to make the best of your tone:

Fuzz and Volume

Most pedals have only these two knobs. If you have a vintage pedal with only these two knobs, it is best to use the volume to match the situation (studio, live with the band, etc.), and the fuzz should be approximately at full bore. 

Reduce Guitar’s Volume in Order to Find the Right Spot

This depends on whether you play lead or rhythm, the last one requiring to go back a few degrees. 

More Modern Pedals Include a Tone Control

This will help you adjust the highs, mids, or lows as desired, and sometimes a bit more mids will help the pedal to go through a mix. Tone controls are also often referred to as balance or body. 

Other Optional Knobs You Might Find Include Bias or Gate

Bias can add some extra contour and balance out the fuzz texture, while gate tames a bit the sharpness of the fuzz.

Pay Attention to Chain Location

The recommended position should be in the front of the chain – or possibly after the wah if you own one. 

Conclusion

Overall, fuzz pedals offer you quite some variety, and there is a lot to take in, especially if you’ve never tried one before. Make sure you properly research your desired tones and fuzz sounds before purchasing one and try to establish whether the pedal is appropriate for your situation. 

People Also Ask

Here is a short FAQ section to help out beginners with more information about fuzz pedals – where to place it in the effect chain, what is the difference between a fuzz pedal and an octave fuzz pedal, and why you need one. 

Where Should I Put my Fuzz Pedal?

The fuzz pedal is highly sensitive to the voltage, which is regulated through the guitar’s own volume knob. Therefore, a fuzz pedal should be placed, as much as possible, to the right of your guitar – thus, in the front of the chain. However, if you use a wah pedal, you should place the fuzz pedal right after it. You will also see fuzz pedals attached directly into the guitars. 

What is an Octave Fuzz Pedal?

An octave fuzz pedal has one more feature compared to a traditional fuzz pedal. Apart from creating the fuzz effect, the octave fuzz pedal can provide to your sounds additional frequencies – 12 semitones, or an octave above or an octave below. 

Do I Need a Fuzz Pedal?

You certainly do if you tried out the fuzz sounds and you enjoy them. They are not for everyone, but they can help you achieve quite surprising and unexpected results. Fuzz is a ‘rough’ concept, not about a clean, great tone. Before deciding how useful it is for you, remember that the 1960s fuzz effect is more like a broken amp.