There are many materials that have been used for guitar picks over the past several decades. One less common material is stainless steel. Many may be put off by stainless steel as they probably expect it to be harsh and overly metallic sounding. Surprisingly its not, as I discovered thanks to Crazy Joe’s Picks. George at Crazy Joe’s Picks sent me a few of his picks to try out, some carbon fibre (which will be reviewed soon) and a stainless steel model.
The Crazy Joe’s stainless steel pick is 0.8mm thick, and has a standard pick shape with rounded tip. As expected stainless steel makes for a very rigid pick material. There is no flex what so ever when using the pick.
The tone is quite bright and articulate, but the surprising thing is that the attack isn’t as sharp as you might think. It actually has a slightly soft and warm attack, but not so soft that you lose the sound of individual strings being picked. The stainless steel provides a full tight low end, and nice level of mid-range that ensures notes cut through.
I employ a lot of pick slides when playing rhythm parts in my band, and stainless steel makes for a fantastic material for this. Pick slides are enhanced by the stainless steel, and are practically impossible to miss.
The great thing with stainless steel is that it definitely does not wear out easily. This pick will last a very long time, making the extra costs associated with a stainless steel pick very worthwhile.
The other side of the coin is string wear. One might assume that stainless steel on nickel might wear out the string prematurely. I found no such thing. The edges of the pick are machined nice and smooth to avoid any wearing of the strings.
There are some issues though. Being stainless steel, the pick is quite slippery in the hand. The Crazy Joe’s logo is etched into one side of the pick, but it could be a little bigger and deeper to aid grip. It would be even better if the etching was on both sides.
It is easy to slip a little when playing fast single note runs, losing the attack and volume. I personally prefer a sharper tip, and I think a stainless steel pick would benefit from a slightly sharper tip. It may take a little more accuracy from a player, but that’s best considered a developmental thing, rather than a hindrance.
Overall the Crazy Joe’s Stainless Steel Pick is a very cool pick, that with the few minor issues rectified could make it the go to pick for many players. The tone is very bold, but not too harsh, and the pick will last for such a long time. It’s definitely worth trying out, and I think you’ll discover that a metal pick really isn’t as bad for your tone or strings as you might have thought.