the edge guitar picks u2

The Edge Guitar Picks – Which Plectrums Does He Use?

Last Updated on July 3, 2023 by Justin

So you’re here because you want to know which guitar picks the Edge from the legendary band U2, uses. In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the specific guitar pick used by the edge as well as give you an overview of the characteristics of the plectrum and how such a small piece of nylon can have such an integral part of guitarists and bands sound.

The Edge Uses…Herdim Guitar Picks (Nylon Blue)

It is no secret that The Edge from U2 has used the blue nylon Herdim guitar picks since the beginning. He also proudly admits that he still uses these exact Herdim guitar picks today and makes no bones about the fact that his plectrum forms a massive part of his guitar sound, especially from their earlier records.

the edge guitar picks herdim germany

Herdim Guitar Picks History

Herdim is a German company (formerly known as West Germany) that started manufacturing guitar picks in the early 60s. Despite the fact that West Germany no longer exists and only Germany exists, this guitar pick company carries on making these exact guitar picks that are available to everyone.

The Edge has been using the Herdim blue guitar picks since the 1970’s when the band started. I’ll explain below how his guitar pick became so key to his tone. First, let’s look at the characteristics of The Edge’s guitar picks.

Characteristics of The Edge’s Guitar Pick

The Herdim blue guitar picks that the Edge uses are made from nylon material. Nylon as a guitar pick material is known for its warm sound. However, The Edge uses this guitar pick in such a way that makes it sound brighter. I’ll get to that in a bit..

Whilst the shape of the guitar pick is considered the be the regular 351 shapes, I believe it is slightly different.

The Herdim guitar picks resemble the regular guitar pick shape but they are slightly bigger yet somehow still feel almost like a jazz guitar pick. It is very hard to explain and should be experienced in person by using this pick to strike a note.

u2 guitar picks

The Herdim guitar picks are made with a stubbed gripping surface which is commonly referred to as “dimples”. These dimples are very reminiscent of the Herco guitar picks (now owned by Jim Dunlop) which were a popular plectrum among guitarists at the time of the 70s because of this surface.

The dimples are meant for grip BUT The Edge actually turns the guitar pick around and uses the dimples to strike the guitar string.

This adds to a crisp and bright sound that chimes and provides somewhat of a very light distorted sound. Whilst this element of The Edge’s guitar pick is an important part of his sound, it should always be remembered that it is only one of many parts that make up his tone.


What Gauge is The Edge’s Herdim Guitar Picks?

Herdim produces this particular guitar pick in three different gauges with each gauge being a different color as you can see below.

  • Blue: 1.1mm
  • Red: 0.87
  • Yellow: 0.63

It is evident that The Edges uses blue Herdim guitar picks. This can be backed up by statements he’s made regarding his guitar picks as well as a plethora of pictures of him rocking these exact Herdim blue guitar picks for decades now.
One would only assume then that the gauge guitar picks that The Edge uses is the 1.1mm Blue Herdim pick. The problem is that I’ve heard a few times that he uses a 0.88mm gauge Herdim.

This to me, makes no sense as he’s clearly stated in interviews that he likes the sound of the blue Herdim. Anyway, we can leave this one up to the public but I’m gonna go with saying he uses a 1.1mm guitar pick.

herdim guitar picks

More Facts About The Edge’s Guitar Pick

It is clear that The Edge’s love for this Herdim guitar pick rubbed off onto Bono and we can now see that Bono also uses a Herdim plectrum with dimples.

It is not often that Bono plays guitar but when he does it is pretty much always acoustic. I am unsure of the gauge of Bono’s Herdim but I’d assume, given the application in which it is being used that it would be on the softer side.

bono also uses the same guitar pick as the edge

One of the cool things we see nowadays is that the Herdim company makes these picks with exclusive U2 branding which is made just for The Edge and Bono.

I’d be reluctant to add this pick to my list of best guitar picks as they’re not commonly known. But one day it will grace that list.

An important thing I came across in doing my research for this post was that I discovered The Edge might not only just use the Herdim guitar picks.

I’ve seen and heard about some smooth yet heavy-looking guitar picks in a material that looks like Delrin or celluloid floating around with The Edge and U2 branding. Below we can see a few examples of other guitar picks used by The Edge which is official yet is not the Herdim guitar picks.

other guitar picks used by the edge
Band Guitar Picks