Jim Dunlop guitar picks are probably the most popular and widely used plectrum brand in the world. They have earned a stellar reputation for constantly producing some of the best picks in the industry. There are many reasons for this.
Firstly, Dunlop produces a wide variety of different guitar picks in a wide range of shapes, materials, and gauges.
As a result of this, it is very easy to find a Jim Dunlop guitar pick that will suit your specific playing preferences. Secondly, the price of their picks is very affordable for all budgets.
Finally, and possibly most importantly, Jim Dunlop picks are used by guitarists of all levels. From beginners to professionals.
Some of the world’s greatest musicians and guitar players use Dunlop picks. These reasons all contribute to their domination of the guitar pick world.
The Worlds Best Guitar Players Use Dunlop Picks
This definitely says something about the quality and high standard of their products. These include guitar players such as Joe Bonamassa, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Slash, and Metallica, just to name a few.
All these players use Jim Dunlop’s guitar picks. And some of them even have their own Dunlop signature pick.
I’ve outlined below, some examples of a wide variety of Jim Dunlop guitar picks available to buy. I’ve also provided a link to see their price.
Dunlop Tortex Guitar Picks
First up is the Dunlop Tortex range. The Tortex range has become the most well-known of the Jim Dunlop plectrum range. Tortex refers to the material of the guitar pick. But no one really knows for sure what the exact materials that makeup Tortex.
From what I understand it is pretty much like a Delrin guitar pick. You can see below how Dunlop makes the Tortex picks in a wide variety of all of their shapes and gauges.
Each color of the Tortex range is representative of a different gauge. So, while the shape may change, you’ll always know which gauge to get by looking at the color of the Tortex pick. Tortex picks range from a thin gauge of 0.50mm, including medium as well as heavy and thick all the way up to 1.5mm.
|Dunlop Tortex Standard|
|Dunlop Tortex Flow|
|Dunlop Tortex Jazz III|
|Dunlop Tortex Triangle|
|Dunlop Tortex The Wedge|
|Dunlop Tortex Flex|
|Dunlop Tortex Sharkfin|
There is such a wide variety of shapes available when it comes to their Tortex picks. This is yet another reason their products are so popular.
If you are not sure which of the Tortex products is for you, I recommend trying their Tortex variety pack. They’re reasonably priced and come with picks of great quality and quantity.
Nylon Guitar Picks
Nylon is a favorite material for many guitarists due to its incredible feel and flexibility.
Over the years, I have become exceptionally fond of Nylon picks. And I have found very few that come close to being as good as the Nylon picks Dunlop makes.
Jim Dunlop has made some pretty famous nylon picks. These include their Stubby range as well as the Herco range, which is a pick used by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.
|Dunlop Nylon Standard 0.60mm|
|Dunlop Nylon Midi 1.07mm|
|Dunlop Jazz III Red|
|Dunlop Nylon Big Stubby 3.0mm|
|Herco Flex 75|
|Dunlop Nylon Sharkfins 1.0mm|
Before Tortex took over as the preferred Dunlop pick, their Nylon and Herco picks were the number 1 choice for many guitar players. For more info on this, check out my piece on nylon guitar picks here.
The Herco picks often get confused with the standard nylons. And whilst they are very similar, there are some differences. I’ll be doing a review on the Herco picks soon so keep an eye out.
Lastly, the 0.73mm Nylon Standard is probably my top choice and when suggesting the best picks for beginner guitarists.
The Max-Grip innovation is a fairly recent addition to the Jim Dunlop lineup.
Max-Grip technology can be found on certain picks and is not always available in every range. Having said that, Most Nylon picks have the Max-Grip feature.
|Dunlop Max-Grip Nylon Standard|
|Dunlop Max-Grip Jazz III Red|
|Dunlop Max-Grip Heavy Nylon Standard|
|Dunlop Max-Grip Carbon Fiber Jazz III|
In order to solve the problem of nylon picks slipping out of the guitar player’s fingers, Dunlop created a special criss-cross guitar pick grip that is called the “Max-Grip”.
A lot of the time these kinds of innovations are nothing more than gimmicks. However, in this case, the Max-Grip is actually useful and serves its intended purpose.
The stand-out Max-Grip pick for me has to be their Black Jazz III Carbon Fiber.
The Gator Grip series is yet another popular Dunlop plectrum. However, these tend to be overlooked or forgotten due to the popularity of nylon and Tortex.
That is not to say that these Gator grip picks are bad. In fact, they are exceptionally good. And, you’ll have a hard time dropping them due to their special coating.
|Gator Grip Heavy 1.14mm|
|Gator Grip Medium 0.71|
|Gator Grip Thin 0.58|
|Gator Grip Jazz III|
|Gator Grip Triangle|
These are famously used by Dave Grohl of the Foo fighters. What makes these great is the chalk-like coated layer which improves the grip immensely. Hence the name, gator-grip.
Furthermore, I really like the tone that these produce. If I could put sound into words, I’d say they produce a slightly darker tone when compared to the Tortex series. With that in mind, I prefer to use the Gator picks for playing rock music.
When it comes to the material, they are made from “Delrex”. At first, I thought that Delrex was a variation of the Delrin material. But it turns out that it is different. In which case I guess it makes sense that they sound darker in terms of tone.
This range is available in a wide variety of gauges. And, up until recently, they were only produced in the standard shape. In the last couple of years, Dunlop has released the Gator Grip picks in the Jazz III shape as well as in the Triangular shape.
Finally, the Gator Grip picks featured on my list of best bass guitar plectrums due to their sound and feel.
Ultex refers to the material used to make these picks. Sometimes the material “Ultex” is also called, Ultem.
They are liked by many guitarists because of the attack the pick produces. Ultex also wears down slower than other picks. And the tone it produces is one that is sharp and cuts through any mix.
|Ultex Standard 0.73|
|Ultex Triangle 1.0mm|
|Ultex Standard (Sharp) 0.90mm|
|Ultex Jazz III|
|Ultex Jazz III 2.0|
|Ultex Thumb Picks|
This is yet another relatively new addition to the Jim Dunlop range. It’s quickly gaining in popularity and many renowned guitarists are switching over to the Primetone picks.
They sound very similar to Ultex due to the fact that they are also made from the Ultex material.
Whilst you can get Primetone picks in a regular shape, the triangle-shaped picks are the most favored by guitarists. Myself included.
Within the Primetone range, there are two options to choose from. These are either smooth or with a grip. I prefer the Primetone picks that have the grip.
Artist Signature picks
As I mentioned at the beginning, Jim Dunlop picks are used by so many famous guitarists around the world. If you look below, you can see the many signature series picks that are available.
|Joe Bonamassa Jazz III|
|James Hetfield White Fang Ultex 1.0|
|Kirk Hammett Jazz III Purple Sparkle|
|Jim Root Dunlop Nylon|
|John Petrucci Ultex Jazz III|
|Eric Johnson Jazz III|
These include Robert Johnson, Kirk Hammett, Animals as Leaders, etc. Many more famous guitar players use Dunlop guitar picks but may not have a signature series pick. The only signature plectrums that don’t seem to be around are those which are made from celluloid material.
Hey, fellow guitar mate! I’m Justin, I have been a professional guitarist since 2012. I have traveled the world playing on different stages alongside some of the best indie bands, at some of the biggest music festivals in the world. As a result, I’ve played lots of different guitar gear. Instead of keeping that knowledge to myself, I have set up this site to share my honest reviews of various guitar gear. But most notably, my love for guitar picks.