Metal detecting is seeing a surge in popularity, thanks to shows like The Curse of Oak Island and Lost Treasure Hunters, which have inspired people to turn their own hand to finding lost treasure. If you’re interested in getting into metal detecting, then the most important decision you’ll make is choosing the right metal detector for the job.
While there are many excellent (and many not so excellent) metal detectors available, what is most important is selecting the one that best fits your needs and preferences. If this is your first metal detector, then you’ll want an entry-level model, so as not to be overwhelmed with features and make the experience more stressful than it is enjoyable. You also probably won’t want to spend too much money on a hobby that you may not even like enough to continue long-term. More experienced explorers will have specific requirements based on where they like to go metal detecting and which features are most important to them, such as being waterproof or having an accurate pinpoint feature.
Once you have a good idea of your search criteria, our list of the 15 best metal detectors will help you hunt down the perfect detector for you.
This low-cost metal detector has an impressive lineup of features, including two detection modes, a pinpoint feature, an LCD screen, and a waterproof search coil. The detector comes in two pieces and is simple to assemble. The adjustable length handle is lightweight, making it ideal for children.
Users of this detector love how easy and intuitive it is to use and the fact that batteries were included. It’s a good choice for children or beginner metal hunting enthusiasts, though it does receive mixed reviews from some users who experienced constant beeping from the unit even when no metal was nearby.
You may also be interested in some of the best underwater metal detectors. Check them out.
For around the $200 mark, this metal detector is loaded with features that don’t fail to impress. It has an accurate pinpoint feature, adjustable detection modes, and will identify coins at a depth of up to 8 inches. The Delta 4000 has a large and easy to read LCD display, a waterproof search coil, and an adjustable, lightweight stem.
Users of this Teknetics metal detector are pleased with how accurate it is. Metal detectors in this price range can sometimes be lacking in sensitivity and fail to find what you’re looking for, but this detector performs exceptionally well. It is lightweight and easy to hold for sustained periods of time, making it a good option for those who rate comfort as a high priority.
This would be an ideal metal detector for keen beginners and those at an intermediate level of prospecting.
This compact metal detector is just 9 inches long and 5.6 ounces in weight, making it perfect for traveling with. It can detect metal hidden up to 2.4 inches underground and will alert you by beeping and vibrating when it locates some metal. The wand has a 360-degree scanning capacity and features a pinpointer for extra precision. The tip of the detector is waterproof, but the LED display must not be submerged.
Users of this detector love how simple and fun it is to use. It’s so compact and easy to operate that even young children can enjoy finding hidden treasures in their own backyard. While this detector can’t cover much ground, and therefore would never be a replacement for a full-size metal detector, it does have its uses. If you have lost some jewelry and know the rough area you lost it but still cannot locate it, this would be an ideal, cost-effective way to find your lost items.
This USA-built rugged metal detector operates on two 9-volt batteries. It has an adjustable length to suit any height, so you can hunt for treasure in comfort. With several modes of operation, you can select the setting to your liking, discriminating between the types of metals you want to find and those you don’t.
It also features a built-in speaker along with a waterproof, 8-inch search that which can be completely submerged in water for hunting in shallow wetlands. With a proven track record, an easy-to-use system, and a reasonable price of under $100, it’s not hard to see why this is the best-selling metal detector on the market.
Users of this metal detector give overwhelmingly positive feedback. Setup is quick and simple, the machine itself is lightweight and easy to use, and it proves itself to be hard-wearing and long-lasting. It’s a great all-rounder for first-time buyers of metal detectors, as well as those with more experience.
This metal detector is compact and lightweight, with an emphasis on being comfortable and pleasurable to use. It’s ideal for use on long expeditions, thanks to its size, weight, built-in armrest, and waterproof carrying bag. With three modes, you can select which types of metal you want to find with the flick of a switch. This product is so easy to use that even children and beginners will be able to start hunting metal straight out of the box. A detachable shovel is included with this detector, so you can dig for your treasure when necessary.
Users of this device are impressed with the quality of the build and the simple design. The way the detector can be disassembled into three parts for travel or storage is also a handy feature.
The ACE 250 from Garret is a popular metal detector, thanks to its numerous features coming in at a reasonable price point. With eight levels of sensitivity, which can be adjusted for different ground conditions, and a graphic target ID cursor, this detector is ideal for hunting old coins, jewelry, relics, and buried treasure.
Users find the sensitivity of this detector very impressive for the cost of it. It detects metal at a rate similar to that of detectors that run into thousands of dollars at a fraction of the price. While this would make an excellent beginner’s metal detector, thanks to its simplicity and ease of use, it will also be a detector that you continue to use for many years, even when you’re more experienced. For a little over $200, this metal detector is a solid investment that should see you through plenty of enjoyable detection trips.
This low-cost metal detector has some impressive features for the price. Three modes allow you to choose between finding all types of metal or eliminating the junk metal, while the pinpoint function will show the accurate depth of a detected item on the LCD display.
The LCD screen has a backlight to enable working in low-lit or dark conditions, and the handle is adjustable for use by children and adults. The stem can extend from 41 to 47 inches, so this would be a good family detector, which can have the height adjusted depending on which family member is using it.
Users of this detector are predominantly beginners, who purchase the unit at around $80 to start out their hobby without breaking the bank. With surprisingly accurate detection, this metal detector is a great buy for novice adults or kids who want to explore. It also comes with some handy extras, too, including a tiny pickaxe and carrying bags.
The Land Ranger Pro packs in a range of useful features, such as computerized ground balancing, four-tone audio ID, seven operation modes, an elliptical, 11-inch, waterproof search coil, and a pinpoint function with target and depth indicator. With the ability to detect coins at a depth of 10 inches, this detector can outperform detectors that are more than twice the price. A padded armrest makes the unit comfortable to use, along with the extendable stem.
Users of the Land Ranger Pro are amazed at the performance for the cost. It packs some serious bang for the buck, and if you didn’t know better, you’d think it had cost much more than it did. This is an ideal unit for beginner or intermediate users but will also be seen as respectable to much more experienced detectors among your peers. If you’re looking for a serious metal detector but don’t want to spend north of $1,000, then this is the one for you.
With the ability to detect metal up to 9 inches deep, this metal detector performs impressively. It is weather-resistant and lightweight, making it easy to use in any conditions. It has four operation modes to distinguish different metal types, a pinpoint feature, and three differently sized search coils.
Included with the detector are an arm strap and a protective carrying case. Known for their cutting edge technology and versatility, the Fisher range of metal detectors are a safe bet for anyone looking to get into metal detecting as a hobby.
Users of this detector love the sensitivity of it, finding that it picks up metal that other detectors in the same price bracket didn’t pick up. It is easy to use and understand, being ready to go straight out of the box. The only issue users found was that the pinpoint feature had some accuracy problems.
This metal detector from National Geographic is surprisingly accurate for the low price point of approximately $160. It features four sensitivity levels, three detection modes, and a waterproof, 10-inch search coil. The telescopic design means no assembly is required, and it collapses to just 22 inches long, making it ideal for travel. Weighing just 2 pounds, this detector is extremely lightweight, making it an especially good choice for use by children or anyone who suffers from back strain.
Users of this detector rave about the pinpoint feature and how precise it is compared to other similarly priced detectors. The other popular elements of this product are the size and weight of it, making it a breeze to take along on trips to the beach or vacations further afield. This unit performs very well, with highly sensitive detection, although it sometimes gets mixed up between metal types, confusing coins with junk metal.
This metal detector from Garrett is the latest addition to the Ace series, featuring a new higher frequency of 10kHz, enhanced iron resolution, more stable camlocks, and a digital target ID. It benefits from five discrimination modes, a sensitivity adjustment, and electronic pinpointing. So, purchasing this detector, you’ll also be inundated with extra accessories, including a rain cover, a search coil cover, an adjustable arm strap, a set of ClearSound headphones, a search coil hardware kit, four batteries, differently sized search coils, and a copy of the latest Garrett Searcher magazine.
Users of this metal detector love the features and performance of it. It has many features of the previous version of the Garrett AT Pro but with a smaller price tag. It also handles interference phenomenally, finding metal at impressive depths below junk, which other detectors had failed to find. At a little under $350, this detector is probably too advanced for entry-level hobbyists and would be well-suited to intermediate and even advanced metal hunters.
This complete metal detection kit comes with the detector itself, along with a sturdy carrying bag, a set of headphones, and a sand sifter. The detector also has a ground control feature for tuning out false signals in areas with heavy mineral deposits or saltwater. It also has a discrimination mode and a tone mode. The LED display screen allows you to customize all of your options, as well as informing you of information about what you find.
Users of this detector are pleased with the performance for the price. It has good levels of detection, and the included accessories are handy to have. The drawbacks are that it can be temperamental, and it isn’t as sensitive or as finely tuned as more expensive detectors. But for a starter detector or as a gift for a teenager, this would be ideal.
This is a good, solid example of a low-end metal detector. It features a discrimination mode, an extendable handle, and both the stem and search coil are fully waterproof. An LED light and buzzer sound alerts you when an item is detected, and you can dig it up with the included shovel. A handy carrying bag is also included to keep the detector protected during travel and storage.
Users of this detector are happy with how easy it is to use and are especially impressed with the customer service offered by the company if anything goes wrong.
This detector would be an ideal gift for a child who was interested in treasure hunting, or for use by a family wanting to have some hunting fun on the weekends. It won’t perform to the same level as higher end detectors, but for a little over $50, you wouldn’t expect it to.
This high-end model is the most powerful gold nugget detecting handheld metal detector currently on the market. Depending on size, it can detect gold nuggets at three feet underground, or under other nonferrous surfaces, such as rocks and dirt. The detector is powered by rechargeable batteries, which are included with the detector, along with a charger. Other included accessories are the search coil, a search coil skid plate, a bungee cord, and a detector harness.
Users of this detector profess it to be the best detector ever invented, though, at a little under $8,000, you would expect nothing less. This is undoubtedly an extravagant purchase, recommended for serious gold hunters.
This children’s metal detector can detect objects up to 8 inches underground. It features a water-resistant search base for use in puddles or damp sand and has an adjustable-height handle. It is lightweight and aimed at children aged 8-15, though many users have found that their younger children were able to use it and gain enjoyment from it as well.
Users of this detector love the thrill and excitement that kids experience when exploring with this item. It would be great for children who want to get involved in their parents’ treasure hunting but want to have a metal detector of their very own. While the detector isn’t the most sensitive, it does work well and will supply endless adventures for children looking for buried treasure. It’s a great gift idea to encourage kids to get outside and explore their local area.