November 4, 2018

The Big List

Welcome to the Big List!

This is where all the pick companies that I currently possess are listed, with a brief description of where you can find them, their Instagrams and what they do.

I’ll update this list as and when new companies make their way into my possession, and if you’ve got a pick company I absolutely must get my hands on, hit me up on Instagram @heavyrepping or give me a shout through the Contact link on this site.

I’m not endorsed by any companies and show no preference, therefore the builders below are listed in the order I acquired them. Enjoy, and take a chance!

Jim Dunlop
The great ones practice the basics. Jim Dunlop are the pick company you’re already using, and most likely the one you started with on your journey. Making everything from the beyond-classic Tortex series to Herco, Nylons, Ultex and more, this ubiquitous organisation is the pick company worldwide.

Repping-mendation: Ultex Jazz III XL

Insta: @jimdunlopusa

My personal gateway into the world of boutique plectrums, Gravity are based outside of San Francisco, and make picks in a number of shapes from acrylic and thermoset plastic. Available in thickness from .60mm to a meaty 6mm, they’ve got custom text and graphic options.

Repping-mendation: Sunrise XL 2mm

Insta: @gravityguitarpicks

Chicken Picks
Made in Belgium and Germany and finished by hand in the Netherlands, Chicken Picks make their products from matt-finished Thermoset exclusively. Designed in 1984 by country picker Eppo Franken, they offer thicknesses from 2.2mm to 3.5mm, as well as stocking Monster Grips (for when you love your sound but your pick keeps slippin’).

Repping-mendation: Bermuda III 2.7mm

Insta: @chickenpicks

V Picks
Started in 1980 and based in Nashville, Tennessee, V-Picks offer 82 different models of acrylic plectrum from the almost-normal .8mm Ultra-Lite to the nonsense 11.85mm Insanity. All acrylic life is here, from the pointiest Stilletto to the Gypsy which is, in fact, a circle. Engraving is also available, and they’ve got some heavy names on board.

Repping-mendation: Snake

Insta: @vpicksguitarpicks

Dragon’s Heart Guitar Picks
Using their full name as they also do that, Dragon’s Heart is run by ex-marine Corey Whitey from Texas, and centre their signature design around 2.5mm-thick Polyamide-imide. Blended with glass, carbon or graphite and available as a thermoset version (the Faux series), Dragon’s Heart make one shape with three edges and are some of the toughest picks on earth. They also offer the Wyvern series (cut from polyoxymethylene) at a thickness of .75mm, and the largest stickers I’ve ever been sent by any company.

Repping-mendation: Hardened Heart

Insta: @dragonsheartguitarpicks

Winspear Instrumental
One for the Ormsby fans, Tom Winspear’s company makes thick plectrums, the only exception being the Fountainhead Signature. Currently undergoing a massive overhaul, I don’t know what models he’s about to do, but from what I’ve had they’ll be well made and bombproof. Winspear also make their own cables and strings, designed for low tunings and fan-frets.

Repping-mendation: PEEK Shiv

Insta: @twinspear

Worf Shop
Hailing from Lithuania and run by Andrius R., Worf Shop make their sharp-looking picks exclusively from Carbon Fibre. Great customer service and a constantly-changing catalogue means that all I can recommend is that you check them out. Beautifully made and shipped crazy fast as well.

Repping-mendation: Jazz 3.5mm

Insta: @worfshop

Got at by a Van Halen gig at the age of 13, Dallas native Jason Mathas makes guitars as well as picks, and offers an array of Delrin-derived shapes and thicknesses. From a teeny Jazz III to the Jazz MAXX and the highly pointed stuff in between, he offers streetwear and killer-looking stickers. Generous with the bonus picks too.

Repping-mendation: Jazz Junior 1.5mm

Insta: @mathasguitars

Howling Monkey
Whaddayatahkinabat? Crafted in Rochester, New York by way of Ecuador, Howling Monkey make their picks from Tagua nut exclusively. Otherwise known as vegetable ivory, they feel like living things, and the nature of their manufacture means that each one is unique. Founder Brian Staebell is a dude as well, and answered my emails himself. They also make the Antonios, one of the most distinctive plectrums I’ve ever put hands on.

Repping-mendation: Fat Jazz

Insta: @howlingmonkeypicks

Rivalling Dunlop for sheer scope, PickBoy are famous for making their plectrums out of Meta-Carbonate, and doing them in every size, shape and feasible material that no-one else uses. In business since 1967, they’re responsible for more picks than I can count, and everything I’ve tried from them has been different. Mad.

Repping-mendation: No idea. Dig through this crazy site and you’ll find something

Insta: @pickb_oyosiamo

Stone Age
Made from – you guessed it – stone, Stone Age have a beautiful selection of practical tools. Cut by hand from Agate, Acrylic, Obsidian, Glass and Jasper to name a few, they make some serious gear. Excellent customer service too.

Repping-mendation: As each piece is essentially a one-off, I’m going to say ‘anything’.

Insta: @stoneageguitarpicks

Run by Guptill Music, ProPik specialise in thumbpicks and fingerpicks for banjo players. Made from a blend of Nickel, Steel and Delrin, they’ve got a very wide array of picks for those of you who play a lot sitting down.

Repping-mendation: Thumb Flat Thumbpick

Insta: @guptillmusic

Fred Kelly
Openly influenced by the fast, fluid style of Merle Travis, Fred Kelly is hard into thumbpicks. A friend of mine uses one of his Speed Picks at terrifying hybrid velocity, and as Kelly’s been banging out picks for 40 years he knows a bit and then some. Made in his workshop from Delron, Polycarb and Nylon, Kelly offers flatpicks, thumbpicks and something called the Freedom Pick, because America.

Repping-mendation: Bumblebee

Insta: @fredkelly

Specialising in glittering ‘special blend’ Thermoset plastic, Daw Man are situated in Belarus, and do love a good engraving. They make picks out of Delrin as well, but they’re big into the Jazz III and XL. They do make a unique model called the Jazz King, which is quite smart.

Repping-mendation: The Pointed

Insta: @dawmanpicks

Savage Customs
The strongest acrylic picks I’ve ever come across, Bob and Daryl at Savage Customs use cross-cast acrylic to create custom picks with almost endless permutations. Based in Oklahoma, they make a small number of shapes extremely well.  Run with straight-up passion, with excellent customer service.

Repping-mendations: Galaxy 4mm

Insta: @savagecustompicks

Made in Colombia by a 20-year-old called Alejandro Cortiz, Dasotomic build primarily from Acrylic and Polyester Resin, making some of the most striking plectrums I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. Ludicrously good and building everything as a one-off while he figures out his definitive models, Dasotomic are ones to watch if you’re anywhere near this blog.

Repping-mendation: anything at all

Insta: @dasotomic_picks

Plexstrum/Purple Plectrum
Otherwise known as the Purple Plectrum company, they make that mad giant thing that Rob Scallon uses. Very keen on the likes of Ultem, UHMWPE and PEEK, Plexstrum operate at the higher end of pick manufacture. That being said, the picks seem to be almost indestructible so you’re getting your money’s worth.

Repping-mendation: The Serge

Insta: @plexstrum

Riki Le Plectrier
Oui bien sur c’est un plectrier Francais. Hailing from Moosch, Eric makes tremendous picks with a dose of welcome humour thrown in. Using all sorts of materials from Horn and Acryswirl to watch cogs and Titanium, his whole range is mad as balls but also fantastically practical. Great stuff, and as French as a beret.

Repping-mendation: Big L

Insta: @rikileplectrier

BHL Industries
Originally from Queensland but now based in Hong Kong, Brock Little makes his picks from Ultem, UHMWPE, PEI and Polyetherimide to name a few. Beautifully finished and crafted without compromise, they even come in a little golden bag, which is a quality touch.

Repping-mendation: The Megalodon

Insta: @bhl_guitar

Iron Age Accessories
The kind of plectrums you throw into your enemies’ chest while leading a phalanx of infantry, Alexis Radeo makes the most dedicated, impeccably hardcore picks I’ve played so far. Although he builds from ivory substitute and Ultem, his acrylic work is devastating, and each plectrum feels like it’s armed. Brutal.

Repping-mendation: Fenrir’s Fang

Insta: @iron_age_guitar

Rock Hard
The only company on the Big List to utilise nano-coating and offer a plectrum made entirely of diamonds, Rock Hard are a division of GVA Aerospace, who make night-vision equipment for military aircraft. Their picks are made from steel and clock in at 0.76mm, with bevels for right or left-handed use. Louder and warmer than you’d expect, and fade-free. The most ’80s packaging ever.

Repping-mendation: The Plasma (even cooler than it sounds)

Insta: @rock_hard_picks

Swiss Picks
They look like cheese but they’re not – they’re picks. Favoured by the likes of grinning shredder Rusty Cooley, Pete Punckowski’s cheddary chunks are made primarily from Delrin, Polycarbonate and Acetal, and offer pretty banging value for money in the boutique field. He included a hand-written note with my first order too, so that was nice.

Repping-mendation: The Nuclear Cheddar

Insta: @swiss_picks

Clifford Essex
The company I bought my eye-wateringly expensive Wegen from also make their own picks out of Buffalo horn. These are excellent, though everything you’ve heard about horn wearing down quickly is true. One of the most antiquated websites on the internet, but a tremendous selection of picks, especially if you’re into gypsy jazz.

Repping-mendation: The Triad

The Original Coin Guitar Pick Company
Founded by the impeccably attired Ruvane Kurland, TOCGPC are the big lads in the coin-pick game. They also make plectrums from casino chips – which I’m desperate to get my hands on – as well as fairground tokens and other things to an extremely high standard.  TOCGPC are the only company on this list with their own coffee, thereby standing alone in this field. Big stickers as well.

Repping-mendation: each piece is a one-off, but I’ve got a 1921 50% British Florin, so I’ll go with that.

Insta: @coinguitarpicks

Monster Grips
Not a pick company as such, but important in the field. Monster Grips make little silicon pads that you stick to your plectrums to prevent you from dropping them. An extremely useful tool for the slippery-fingered, they’ve taken the admirable approach of trying to make these are re-usable as possible, and only sell in packs of 16.

Repping-mendation: the thing they make

Insta: @monstergripsllc

Woodland Cast
A company so new they’re still defining their product range, Woodland Cast are a one-man operation from Missassauga in Canada, crafting picks from an amalgam of wood and epoxy. The whole range has been revamped since I got my initial picks a few months ago, and it’s looking pretty healthy, so keep an eye on these amazing bits of gear.

Repping-mendation: The Rune

Insta: @woodlandcast

The brainchild of Johnathon Thompson, Coarse Picks come in a single thickness, and have a smooth, polished side juxtaposed with a 165-grit sandpaper side. They also come in a fancy metal tin, so you can all stop using those stupid Altoid things.

Repping-mendation: the pick they make

Insta: @coarsepicks

Thinner than my wallet and made of steel, T1 aren’t messing about. Sidling into my top ten picks of last year, these daft-slim plectrums have a scrapy, keen tone and great grip – their new carbon fibre model should be quite something. Excellent value as well.

Repping-mendation: The Jazz

Insta: @t1picks

Barking mad German company who make picks that look like the future in the 1950’s, Xufoy are responsible for the GO, one of the most incredible picks I’ve ever tried. Everything Malte Sadler makes is absolutely mental, so go and see for yourself.

Repping-mendation: The GO/The Nap

Hufschmid Guitars
Renowned for mad-tight wiring work and incredibly thick plectra, Patrick Hufschmid makes some of the most perfectly-finished picks I’ve ever seen, and does it all by hand. Boasting some of the most breathtaking, tough-as-nails materials out there, the man can make picks, I’ll tell you that.

Repping-mendation: anything made of Huftech

Wild as balls and with some of the craziest materials I’ve ever come across, John from Superbite makes what he wants, and what he wants doesn’t always make sense (like the Butter series). Endlessly entertaining and the maker of my favourite acrylic plectrum to date, his whole range is daft and great. Check it out!

Repping-mendation: The Icedrop

Steaming into the race from down under, this Australian builder favours nylon and polycarbonate, and has a line called the Ninja which look like shuriken. Designed primarily with rhythm playing in mind, the Piglet series has brash, charming character, and are a must for anyone who strums more than anything.

Repping-mendation: The Rhythm

Crows Customs
Based in the UK, Liam at Crows is a recent entry into the pick game, and makes his plectrums from wood. Ebony, Walnut and more abound, and aside from excellent finishing, each pick is lovingly rendered by hand. Great things will come from this, I am certain.

Repping-mendation: the Jazz

Instagram: @crowscustoms

German horn-shaping experts who recently got seriously into the pick game, Thohr have been in existence since 1918, making extremely high-quality combs and spectacles. As they sent me an abundance of plectrums in varying thicknesses, I can confirm that they’re consistently beautifully finished, and for the jazzers among you are an absolute must.

Repping-mendation: anything, in all honesty