Last updated on October 27, 2022
Pippa, Duchess of Dice | Illustration by Simon Dominic
If you’ve owned or played any tabletop game in the last 10 years then you probably have a veritable dragon’s hoard of assorted and mismatched plastic d6s, starter set d20s, fat pack spindowns, and all sorts of odds and ends. But what if none of these dice “speak” to you?
Do you find yourself “ho-humming” as you dig around in that old Crown Royal bag for that damn WHFB scatter die? Maybe it’s time to take some pride in your dice and start looking into a set of fine metal dice.
Taking that next step into quality die ownership can be intimidating. Lucky for you I’ve scoured the internet for the best metal dice on the market, and today I present you with this buyer’s guide to you. Let’s dive right in!
Sometimes you just need a set that lasts a long time, gets you where you’re going, and requires minimal upkeep. Diehard Dice’s Drakona Eldric series are the best overall metal dice for all that.
These are the “daily drivers” of the dice world. They feature a dragon scale inlay beneath some lightly stylized numerals. They’re easily legible but still interesting to gaze upon.
- Great design that comes in multiple styles.
- Softened edges means they’re kind on tables.
- Legible numerals.
- Great price.
- Zinc can easily scrape and scuff.
- A lot of the designs are “battle-worn,” giving the illusion of scuffing before it even happens.
Are Metal Dice Worth It?
Metal dice are worth the purchase if you’re looking to invest in a product for both practical and aesthetic reasons.
Think about investing in a set of metal dice like buying a nice hammer for your toolbox. You’re making a purchase that you want to last, and you want to be completely satisfied with your dice for years to come. Metal dice outlast most plastic dice by years and years, staying rigid and precise where plastics erode and warp with wear and tear.
Besides that, there’s a certain feel to metal dice that a plastic one just can’t replicate. The satisfying kerplunk of a heavy metal die hitting the table (or, hopefully, your rolling mat) can’t be beat. That sound tells you that the die won’t be bouncing around off the table, too.
Their design and aesthetics are also typically a cut above your standard plastic die, accounting for their steeper price tag.
Faerie Guidemother | Illustration by Mila Pesic
Buying metal dice is exactly like buying a car. You’re making an investment in a product that you’ll use for years to come so it’s important to know what you’re getting into. You should take these aspects of the dice into consideration to avoid making any regrettable purchases.
Good quality dice tend to not be cheap. Which is good! Of all the high-end purchases I’ve made over the years for supposed high-quality artisanship, metal dice have been the most consistent in their price-to-quality ratio.
Fair prices for sets of metal dice roll in around $50. Some come to as low as $20 while others reach high above $1,000 depending on size, quality, and materials.
With such a wide price range I recommend deciding what you intend to spend and then shop around at that price point. A good set of seven polyhedral metal dice usually runs you from $25 up to $120.
Not all dice are created equal. Minute imperfections in production can heavily influence the accuracy of a die’s randomness. Dice with decorative edges and non-standard polyhedral layouts (for lack of a better term) won’t roll as fairly as, say, a casino die.
Testing the fairness of plastic dice in salt water is fairly simple, but metal dice can’t use the same test. I recommend only buying metal dice from reputable retailers, and avoid buying dice with extensive designs and divots on their faces.
There are any number of ailments that can befall your precious metal dice, so buying a robust set is important. While some low-quality aluminum can actually break when rolled on the wrong surface, you’re mostly worried about scratching the surfaces and wearing the edges of your metal dice.
As a rule, stronger substances like tungsten resist damage better than cheap aluminum. To check the durability of your dice, try to scrape them with your fingernail. If you can leave a mark on the surface then it’s time to consider some tougher stuff.
If the heavier metals aren’t your thing, buying a rolling tray or mat can save both your dice and your dining room table from damage.
Different sized dice are put to different uses.
Big dice make great life counters. A quarter-pound big metal die sure makes a statement on your playmat, but it’s probably too disruptive for rolling. On the other hand, some metal dice come as small as 10mm. These might interest you if you’re interested in squinting all night or need to place a lot of counters on a very small space.
The average dice size is 16mm, so adjust depending on your preference.
Finally and probably most importantly, consider how you want your dice to look and feel.
Think about the type on the facings. Should they be pips or numerals? Raised edges, or traditionally smooth? Maybe a fancy color swirl, or plain metallics?
The choice is yours, and there’s no lack of options out there for truly unique dice.
The actual material may be the most important factor to consider when buying metal dice. The material affects the die’s durability, weight, and (most importantly) its price. Common metals are the ones I’ll cover here, but dice are by no means limited to these five materials.
Zinc is typically cheaper than other metals. It takes several different processes to refine zinc into dice which leaves a lot of room for error, but otherwise zinc makes a great budget option for metal dice.
Tin is a soft metal, meaning it dents and scratches easily. You won’t find a lot of options for tin alloy dice and I’d avoid them in favor of a more robust material. They just won’t survive the rolls or transport without a lot of care, something you’re much better off paying a little extra for a nicer material.
Aluminum alloy dice are some of the highest quality you can buy. The material is sturdy enough it won’t dent but also light enough that you won’t throw out your wrist rolling them.
Aluminum dice don’t a lot of room for error because of the complicated manufacturing process. Buy from a reputable retailer only to make your dice roll right!
Heavy, robust, and without much plasticity, stainless steel is best for dice that won’t be rolled too often, like life trackers or counters. It’s also a difficult color to paint over, so make sure you get a design you like.
Titanium is the metal for you if you’re looking for something stronger, lighter, and more expensive than anything else on this list. Like steel it’s difficult to paint, so don’t expect to find any with wacky colors or designs. Why would you want to hide that beautiful silver surface, anyways?
Obscura Storefront | Illustration by Muhammad Firdaus
These metal dice are an investment. You can’t just toss them in that same old Crown Royal bag with the rest of your assorted d6s! The metal dice obliterate those plastic dice on contact, wearing them down to nothing over time.
Metal dice need to be stored in soft, dry containers. Cutting foam to fit your metal dice keeps them and your other dice safe. Absent that a dice display case can keep your dice safe and separated just as well.
The number one way to improve your dice’s longevity is to consider the surface you’re rolling on. Metal dice can and will scuff up your average IKEA dining room table, and they’ll absolutely leave scratch marks all over your mom’s nice glass-top coffee table. That’s why you need a rolling tray.
Rolling trays serve two purposes. They protect the surface of the table from the dice (and vice versa), and they keep your dice from rolling off wildly. Some folks go all-out on their rolling trays and get dice towers, but a cheap foldable tray works just as well. Either way it’s important to consider how your dice will damage and be damaged by the surface you roll on.
You don’t want just any dice. You want your dice to turn heads. You want players to hear your dice hit the table and run for cover. You want Norse Foundry’s tungsten true metal seven-piece RPG set. Each die is close to a pound of the world’s third heaviest solid-state metal, meaning you definitely need a rolling tray.
While expensive, these dice are built to last. These nigh-indestructible polyhedrons will outlive both you and I, especially if we develop debilitating wrist cramps from rolling these babies.
- Built to last, nearly impossible to damage.
- Some of the heaviest dice on the market.
- Requires upkeep and proper storage.
- Rolling tray not included.
- They’re a full $600.
Sometimes you need a ride built for a specific purpose.
Spindowns aren’t typically rolled. In fact, it’s best if they don’t roll away so players can accurately keep track of life. Eldersteel’s metal spindowns are the best choice for all your MTG d20 needs.
- Heavy enough that shaky tables won’t change your life total.
- Comes in an assortment of colors and flavors.
- Great price at just under $6.
- Shipping from Europe isn’t cheap.
- 20mm size means it won’t be legible at a distance.
- Copper can easily scuff.
The Best Budget Metal Dice
Maybe you’re not looking for the best car in the lot, you’re just looking for the car that fits your budget. It doesn’t need to be fancy, because it can’t afford to be! In that case you want D20 Collective’s Copper seven-piece set. They’re a standard set in a lighter metal but still feel weighty and cool to the touch.
They won’t break the bank at around $30 and are a great entry point for the new metal dice owner. Anything below that and you’re sacrificing quality and precision. Not to mention that they’re copper and not zinc, the typical low-end metal dice material.
This set also comes in all different colors. I’m partial to the Greyhawk set.
- Easy to read.
- Budget price for a quality set.
- Not too heavy, easier on the wrist overall.
- Wide selection of colors and styles.
- Frequent 30%-off sales.
- Copper scuffs more easily than steel or tungsten.
- 7-Piece Dnd Dice Set: Includes 1 x d4 dice, 1 x d6 dice, 1 x d8 dice, 2 x d10 (0-9 and 00-90 percentile) dice, 1 x d12 dice, 1 x d20 dice, and arrives in a solid metal case - made from our metal dice series.
- Durable Cast Metal: Cast alloy polyhedral dice sets have some weight to them for easy rolling, for those that need the little extra precision the metal can provide, with easily identifiable numbers, clear lines, and clean edges, and a rainbow of color.
- Vibrant Colors: Special manufacturing techniques ensure these DND dice have consistent bright colors and features, while the metal adds an extra fancy flair to your dice rolls; a great item for any diehard DND fan searching for their own legend.
- Multi-Purpose: Used for tabletop RPG games such as D&D (Dungeons and Dragons), Shadowrun, Pathfinder, Savage World, Warhammer, and many other roleplaying, table top, and card games; perfect for any gamer.
- Top Notch Support: USA-based Company and money back guarantee; if you are not satisfied, please message us and we will refund your purchase.
Aluminum is generally considered the most precise metal for dice, and Gravity Dice’s gemstone collection dice are as accurate as they come.
- Wear and tear accumulates slowly on aluminum.
- The pips are drilled to precise depths to distribute the weight evenly, making them the most precise dice on the market.
- Heavier than plastic but lighter than other metal dice.
- Each d6 is sold individually at $11.50 per die.
- Only standard colors with minimalist designs available.
There are some truly wild dice designs out there. I stumbled upon Awesome Dice’s Caltrop dice, which you should have to register as lethal weapons before rolling.
The structure that metal materials bring to dice create some ambitious designs, like these hollow metal orbs. Perfect for pondering.
- ⚽ Round Dice Roll Better - Our unique Hollow Orbs feel *amazing* to roll with smooth, balanced and random rolling. They ‘snap’ into place much like sharp edge polyhedral dice but perform better than regular DND metal dice that land and stop without much roll. With no sharp edges, our dice are family, furniture and DM friendly. 😉 (*Expedited US Patent Pending, Foreign Patent Issued)
- ⚽ Unique New Design - Elegant, unique and intricately detailed. The artistically styled Ancient Dragon dice design not only look beautiful but exude a magical aura. You'll be sure to enchant the rest of the table as you pull them out at a game. The eye-catching, clear numbers are also really easy to read.
- ⚽ Just the Right Heft and Size - Just the Right Heft and Size - Hollow Metal Dice Orbs are not only highly durable but lighter than you’d think, with just the right heft and size to make them feel great in the hand. The satisfying jingling sound they make when they clink together is almost musical.
- ⚽ Dice Pouch Included - The cool looking pouch conveniently protects and stores your Orbs so they won't get lost after a game or get dinged up while in transit. Plus it looks good enough to make the set even more giftable than it already was. These role playing dice are perfect for dice goblins, DM's and other RPG enthusiasts!
- ⚽ Soar Forge Satisfaction Promise - Create lasting memories with friends and family knowing that if you're not totally satisfied with this d&d dice set for any possible reason, just let us know and we'll do our absolute best to make it right again.
Dramatic Finale | Illustration by Steve Argyle
The next step for a lot of gamers is to start taking their gaming tools seriously. A nice tape measure for Warhammer, matching sleeves for your Commander deck, and a nice set of matching metal dice, built to last and to your personal specifications.
The variety of metal dice options available is staggering, so having the know-how to sift through the chaff is paramount to finding those perfectly “you” metal dice. While my best overall pick is Diehard Dice’s Drakona Eldric set, your perfect set might be something heavier, or more visually dynamic, or something cheaper. Just remember to keep your priorities straight and know what you’re looking for, and you’ll be well on your way to owning a brand-new set of metal dice.
Did I miss any favorite dice retailers? Is there something to consider before buying that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments or over on Draftsim’s Twitter.
Thanks for reading, and keep on rolling!
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