Metal Dice vs. Plastic Dice: How to Choose the Right One

Metal Dice vs Plastic Dice

When it comes to dice, there is but one war: metal dice vs. plastic dice. Each side has pros and cons. But which one is right for you? That depends on your preferences and needs. In this article, we will compare metal dice to plastic dice and help you decide which type is best for you.

Metal dice are heavy and luxurious
Metal vs. Plastic Dice

Heavy and Luxurious

Metal dice are heavier which gives them a substantial feel in your hands and on the table. There’s no denying metal dice are the more luxurious option.

When you roll metal dice, the heft of them can make you feel powerful and in control. As metal dice clatter across your gaming table, they will let everyone know that you mean business.

Plastic dice are cheaper and come in a massive variety
Metal vs. Plastic Dice—Less Money, More Variety

Metal Dice vs. Plastic Dice—Less Money, More Variety

Plastic dice don’t have the weight or feel of metal dice, but they do make up for it in other ways.

The biggest advantage plastic dice offer is price. You will pay a premium for metal dice, but you can buy plastic dice in bulk for the same price as a single set of metal dice.

And with that lower price tag comes an unbelievable variety of colors and patterns. They can even be translucent. You can find clear plastic dice with multi-color swirls and patterns, and embedded with glitter or objects like gears.

Metal dice can rust if you're careless
Metal vs. Plastic Dice—Don’t Get Them Wet

Metal Dice vs. Plastic Dice—Don’t Get Them Wet

Metal dice can rust if they get wet, while plastic dice cannot.

If you’re the type of gamer that likes to play in the rain or underwater, metal dice may not be the best option for you.

Realistically speaking, as long as you’re not submersing your metallic polyhedrons, they will stand up to wear and tear without issue. I’ve used one $15 set of metal dice for almost three years now and I didn’t even know rust was a concern until writing this article.

But then again, I don’t play D&D underwater.

Nothing beats the sound of metal dice
Metal vs. Plastic Dice—Nothing Beats the Sound

Metal Dice vs. Plastic Dice—Nothing Beats the Sound

Metal dice make a satisfying thud when you roll them, like metal ball bouncing off ancient green dragon scales.

Speaking of Ancient Green Dragon Scales

Metal dice are more durable than plastic dice.

This is due to the fact that metal dice are made from metal and plastic dice are made from plastic.

If you’re the type of gamer that likes to throw your dice across the room in frustration, metal dice are the better choice (though your walls, furniture, windows, children, and pets may disagree after being caught in the line of fire).

Also, metal dice are the way to go if you ever need to defend yourself. Sure, you could get creative with plastic dice in a pinch, but metal dice will do more damage with the same throwing speed.

Plastic dice are more bouncy, but less stable
Metal vs. Plastic Dice—More Bouncy, Less Stable

More Bouncy, Less Stable

For those of you who want more rolling per dice roll, plastic dice are the way to go.

Metal dice do not roll as far as plastic dice, which may appear to be less random. However, the true source of randomness in both kinds of dice is shaking them in your hand.

With that said, because plastic dice bounce around more, it makes them more likely to bounce off the table if you’re not using a dice tray, like this hexagon shaped folding dice tray.

Then again, you might want to pick up a dice tray if you’re using metal dice because they can scratch and dent the surface of wooden tables.

Metal vs. Plastic Dice—What are fair dice?

Fair Dice

Dice are considered “fair” when there is an equally probable chance of landing on each face. Any shaped face should result in a fair die as long as all surfaces are identical in size and the center of gravity is perfect.

Plastic dice sometimes go through a tumbler to smooth out their rough edges during production, resulting in uneven rounding of the faces.

Metal dice, on the other hand, tend to have more uniform faces.

Metal vs. Plastic Dice—Maintenance

Caring for Them

If you will be carrying your metal dice around on a regular basis, you should consider a case that restricts movement. If you carry metal dice around in a bag, they can collide with each other, causing cosmetic damage.

You can bang plastic dice around without as much concern because they are more forgiving. But don’t be careless. If you’re going to be transporting plastic dice on a regular basis, consider an opaque case that will protect them from the elements and being crushed.

Metal vs. Plastic Dice

In a Nutshell—Metal Dice vs. Plastic Dice

In the end, the battle of metal dice vs. plastic dice comes down to personal preference.

Do you want something that feels heavier and more luxurious in your hand? Or are you looking for a cheaper option that comes in a variety of colors?

Maybe you prefer the sound of metal dice clicking against each other as they roll across the table and into a volcano.

Whatever your preference, there’s no wrong answer when it comes to choosing between metal and plastic dice—it all comes down to what makes you happy.

Now go forth and roll 20s!

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