Best Metal Detectors

Written by Irene Melton | Updated
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As a professional metal detector enthusiast, we understand how important it is for you to get an in-depth look for devices and equipment that you would use in your treasure hunting, or coin detection endeavors. Most beginners in the hobby, have a lot of questions; so we’ve decided to share our knowledge here to help you find the right metal detector brand.

The general belief that metal detectors are quite expensive is not true; there are actually different buying options for you, with a wide range of advanced features. We’ve prepared helpful guides so you can decide on the right metal detector for your specific search project. You’ll read helpful resources on the components, features, types, and best products you should consider buying for yourself, for your kids, or as a gift.

On this page, you’ll read reviews of 10 of the best products, which are popular with experts, beginners, and enthusiasts in metal detectors. Most of these detectors have thorough reviews and ratings, so you know they are considered by a lot of people.

Why would you use a metal detector?

You’ve probably seen detectors in malls and buildings for security reasons, so you might ask why would you need metal detectors for your personal use.  Most people need metal detectors for a variety of other reasons, not necessarily for security.

Some of these reasons include the following:

  • Locating misplaced car keys, door keys, or key chains.
  • Finding dropped jewelry like rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, or necklaces in the lawn, or buried in snow.
  • As a hobby, to search for coins, jewelry, relics, treasures in different places such as parking spaces, parks, beach, old houses, etc.

If you’re someone who wants to try out the activity and get excited for the prospect of finding some gold nugget, or lost treasure; then metal detection is a great hobby for you.

How to Select the Best Metal Detector?

You definitely want to make a good decision when you buy a product, so get to know some of the basic factors in choosing a metal detection device.

Use – If you plan to use the tool for long hours, it is recommended that you get a brand model with the most features.

Price – The price of the product depends on the manufacturer, brand, model, features, materials, and  a primary purpose of the device.

Features – The settings, modes, and functionality may vary according to the maker.

Location – The most typical places where metal detectors are used include historic sites, beaches, diving sites, old homes, parking spaces, national parks, open fields, gardens, lawns, yards, farms, etc.

Category – There are different categories in metal detection such as gold prospecting, coin hunting, relic search, treasure hunting, etc. It can be a specialized category or general metal detection project.

Best Metal Detectors Comparison

10 Best Metal Detectors Reviews

1. Bounty hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector

Bounty Hunter is quite known for their range of products for beginners, intermediate, and professional users of metal detectors. The Land Rover Pro is within their series, which they launch with improvements in design, functions, and performance. For instance, Bounty Hunter features the variable tone break point, which can be adjusted, so you will hear a lower audible tone for targets in their low range.  The sensitivity level indicator that can be controlled, by lowering or increasing the setting from 1 to 10. The model has the pinpoint mode which tells you the depth of your targeted metal, while the display shows a 5 section depth indicator that can detect down to 10 inches deep. You can identify different types of coins and metals like dimes, nickels, quarters and pennies. It is made of durable plastic, so it’s lightweight and easy to carry even on long walks.

2. Ace 350 Garrett Metal detector

Garrett is one of the giants in the metal detector business, as they have a wide range of products from highly advanced security equipment to high-level metal detector devices. The Garrett Ace 35o is one of their popular detectors. Some of its finest features include metal discrimination through the enhanced iron type resolution system technology, which is more advanced compared to the previous Ace 150 as well the Ace 250 editions. This mode serves to enhance the best separation of what are trash targets from the golden targets. In addition, the machine has the DD search coil to provide you with the best treasure detection even on unusual depths, since it can  search even at high-level frequencies. These higher type of frequencies can allow you to scan both the small items like rings, as well as bigger objects like relics.

3. Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector All-Terrain 100

This Garrett Metal Detector is aptly called the All-Terrain 100, which helps can be used in the land as well gives you the option to submerge in water. It is a high-quality metal detector, as it comes from a trusted brand which is Garrett. This product can help you if you like to become a professional treasure hunter, though it works just as great if you want to hunt for any form or metals, coins, iron, or other similar metal items. The AT100 device is one of the highly recommended products by experts and skilled metal detectors, who have tried and tested many other products. This Garrett MD can help you cover a wide range of search activities, as it is updated with Garrett’s up to date technology in metal detection.  Other features of the Garrett AT Pro, is the pro mode audio settings namely –  proportional audio and tone roll audio function.

4. White’s Coinmaster 800-0325

The Coinmaster metal detector from White’s Electronics is one of the most affordable products in the market. This is recommended for those looking for an entry-level product to get started, or if you’re looking for a new metal detector to serve as a back-up for your devices on endeavors such as coin hunting, relic search, and metal detection competitions. The screen displays clearly, so you get an idea on the depth of the targeted item. This should help you decide whether to dig the material or move to other targets. Most people look for something to help them identify the exact location. The Coinmaster has the pinpoint function, which you can alternate with the all-metal settings, which can help you defines the type of search you would want to perform. You can use it in low-level trash areas up to mid-level trash places. However, the heavy trash levels can offer big differences of false readings. This device rocks a good 5-range discrimination mode for your preferred sweeps and easy target mode identification.

5. American Hawks Explorer 2

A popular metal detector for older kids and teens, the American Hawks Explorer 2 is an entry level product you can buy for your little one.  It has basic functions to help someone get started in coin detection, and metal search. As it is, the Explorer 2 metal detector can help beginner operators to be introduced in the use, components, and functions of detectors. The listed functions of operation include the following:

Auto notch filter – So it can help you find the metal targets in their exact location.

Motion Discrimination – a setting that gives you different tones while the coil is slowly moving.

All metal function – which distinguishes the ferrous metal items from the non-ferrous objects. This is not a costly metal hunting device, which makes it a great gift as well as a personal metal search equipment.  This American Hawks detector has similar functions from other entry-level items of well-known manufacturers such as Garrett and Bounty Hunter.

6. Ground EFX Swarm Series Digital GPS

The Swarm from Ground EFX features different features such as the big digital backlight interface, 8 metal categories, and adjustable discrimination. The settings of this product should help you find the valuable coins and not the worthless tin cans. It also offers 4 elimination modes as well as the 4 HD tones. A GPS-enabled metal detector, it also allows you to save as well as locate the targets, up to 10 various places. In addition, the 10-inch water-resistant coil is versatile in depth, as well as in a wide range of land; so you can reach the high-valued coins and other treasured items.

This metal hunting product also provides a dexterous capability, since it can be used easily by right-handed and left-handed operators. Keep in mind, that you can’t submerge this device, so just use it exclusively on dry land. If you ask about its waterproof nature, it does shield away droplets of water and rain. You need to have sets of 6 AA batteries in your bag if you wish to continuously use the Ground EFX Swarm series continuously.

7. Fisher F2 metal detector with pinpointer

The Fisher F2 features the pinpoint setting button, the 8 section visual target identification mode, as well as the large-sized LCD. If you like to control the discrimination level of metals and the sensitivity of metal elements, you can do so with the F2’s easy to adjust function buttons. The device’s notch feature can be switched on by a single touch of the settings. You can actually see the two digits numeric ID value of your target shown in the middle of the LCD. If you tend to use the detector in parks, you can utilize the sensitive response mode, that dictates the materials rejected out of your preferred range.

You should have no trouble knowing the power level as this MD will tell you when to get your batteries, so you will not get the false signals caused by low power. The precise four tone ID tag system can be heard with by using headphones that can be plugged into the external audio jack.  The coil of the Fisher F2 has three types namely: 10 inches, 8 inches, and 4-inch coil, which the size determine the sensitivity to your targets.

8. Winbest Sharp Edition Metal Detector by Barska

The Sharp Edition of Winbest can help you search metal stuff, jewelry items, rings, and other iron objects in the land, as well as shallow water lines. It is important to know about the 2 modes to help you operate the device. These modes are the selective mode and the non-selective mode.  For the selective, it will help you find metals using some exclusive criteria; while the non-selective can help you set metal category type detection.

The detector’s LCD screen will display your sweeps, settings as well as the battery power. Since this is powered with 8 pieces of AA alkaline batteries, you need to get them separately as they are not included in the package. The batteries shouldn’t be an issue, as you can bring your set of batteries and reserve them, just in case the power level starts to go down. The package for the Barska’s Winbest metal detector also includes carrying case, so you can easily store it when you travel to different metal hunting grounds. The Winbest Sharp Edition metal detector is versatile as it can pick up gold, bronze, silver, copper and many other kinds of metals.

9. Bounty Hunter Gold Digger

Bounty Hunter is a highly regarded metal detector maker, with their wide range of products and the quality that they included in their items.  Take, for instance, the Gold Digger, which is one of the most affordable metal detectors in the market. If you’re looking for a device below $100, then this product is your best option. In fact, the price range of the Bounty Hunter Metal Detector can range from $50 to $80. However, the affordable cost understandably misses other feature such as the display screen. If the screen is not an issue for you, and you just want an MD to help you locate small jewel items, lost keys, coins, dropped wedding rings among many others, the Gold Digger is a basic metal hunting product you can have.  It just weighs around 3 pounds and just needs 2 nine volt batteries. It also comes with a pair of headphones, so this is one of the best product buys you can get from renowned manufacturer Bounty Hunter.

10. Bounty Hunter Time Ranger

If you’re ready to move up to the professional level of metal detecting, then the Bounty Hunter  Time Ranger is without the doubt the expert’s choice.  You will not be disappointed by the features such as the 8-inch search-coil, Ground track,  D-Tech coil, iron level discrimination mode,   manual ground balance,  and  ground balance monitor.  It has the jumbo LCD screen so you can easily see the readings and signals of the targets.  Another notable feature is the touchpad control where you can set the programs and settings of the sensitivity, depth, and ID tags. You can use either of the visual and audio identifiers, or you use it in combination with the other.  The wide range of functions can help you increase your metal hunting skills through continuous use.

Which metal detector would you buy?

By now, we hope you have already had one or two choices on what product you will get your metal detector endeavors. If you like to learn more about the products we have reviewed, just proceed to their individual review pages. At any rate, if you have any questions and reactions on certain metal detector products, just let us know on the contact page.

Metal Detector Frequently Asked Questions

How to operate a Metal Detector

Many of us have seen a metal detectors used on TV and they are a relatively simple device to use.  Once all of the components of the metal detector have been assembled the user passes the search coil back and forth over the ground.  Some units should first be calibrated.  This calibration allows the unit to adjust its sensitivity to naturally occurring metals in the soil thus limiting false positives.  When the search coil passes over a possible target the detector produces an audible signal.  As mention below the sophisticated detectors display the type of metal detected as well as how deep the object is.  Once an object is found the user then has an area to dig to find the object.  Metal detectors are very good at locating an area with an object but this is usually isolated to a 6 inch area and the find may be up to 15 inches deep.  Many users also then employ a hand (wand) detector.  These are designed to be more precise in a small area.  This the user can use as they dig the hole to determine if they have already removed the find or if it is still deeper in the hole.

How does a metal detector actually work?

Most detectors on the market today use VLF technology.  In a VLF set up a detector has 2 distinct coils.  The first is a transmitter coil, with in this coil is a wire.  The wire has an electrical current sent across it.  The signal is sent first in one direction and then in the other.  This signal is switched thousands of time per second.  This is described as the frequency of the unit.  The second coil contains a separate wire.  This wire inside of the coil acts as an antenna to pick up the signals sent off by the transmitter coil and amplify the frequencies coming back off of objects found in the ground.  The current moving through the transmitter coil creates a magnetic field that is constantly being pushed into the ground with each oscillation.  When the magnetic field hits a conductive object in the ground the item create a magnetic field of its own.  The polarity of the magnetic field of the objects is the exact opposite of the transmitter coil.  The receiver coil is designed to be shielded from the magnetic field generated by the transmitter coil, but it is not shielded from magnetic fields coming from the ground.  When the receiver coil passes over an object that gives off a magnetic field the receiver coil magnifies the signal and send that to the controller box.  Based off the strength of the signal the metal detector can determine approximately how deep the object is.

Parts of a Metal Detector

A metal detector is composed of 3 main components:

 1) The most obvious part of the metal detector is the search coil.  This is the part of the detector that sits close to the ground and is commonly a round or oval shape.  The coil is what detects the metal in the ground.  Above we discussed deeper the technology behind the coil and the main variants of technology.

 2) The Shaft this is the part of the detector that connects the search coil and the control box.  On many models this is adjustable so that the metal detector can be adjusted to the user’s height.

 3) The control box contains the electronic components that interpret the signals given off from the coil.  This box includes the microprocessor that interprets the signal changes.  Some detectors come with digital displays to assist the user in determining what type of metal they are detecting and the approximate depth of the item.  These new digital displays will aid the new hobbyist by making much of the decisions for them.  The control box often also contains the batteries and a speaker to hear the signal.  It often also contains a headphone jack.  Many prefer to use headphones as they allow the user to concentrate on the audio feedback from the detector.

 Most metal detectors also include a stabilizer.  The stabilizer attaches to the control box and rest against your forearm.  The stabilizer does two things: it helps counterbalance the search coil, and allows the user to keep the detector steady as they sweep the detector back and forth.

How does the Metal Detector distinguish between different types of metals?

To determine the type of metal being detected the detector relies on phase shifting.  Phase shifting is the difference in time between when the transmitting coil’s frequency and the frequency of the object in the ground.  This phase shift provides the metal detectors control unit with information.  This information is compared by the unit against the average phase shift for number of different metals.  The control unit then provides the user via an audio tone or a visual indicator on the display what the likely type of metal is in the ground.  Many metal detectors come with the ability to filter out certain phase shifts.  This would allow the user to for example to only get signals for coins.  This can be helpful if you are only looking for specific objects.

Treasure Hunting with a metal detector.

Obviously metal detectors are good at finding object buried under the ground.  Most detectors are good at locating objects between 8 and 12 inches underground.  The detection accuracy of a detector can be effected by:

 1) The soil are made of a number of minerals that are natural magnetic conductors and these minerals can interfere with the detector accuracy.

 2) The size of the object, as you would suspect it is much easier to detect a quarter than a dime.  Also, many times an object may be on its edge and perpendicular the surface rather than parallel to the ground thus reducing its reflective surface.

 3) Type of metal, as some metals have a stronger magnetic field, such as iron, the magnetic field will be much stronger and may mask the magnetic field of an object with a weaker magnetic field.

 4) Interference can come from above or below ground powerlines and underground buried pipes.

What items can I search for with my metal detector?

Those in the metal detecting hobby may focus on hunting certain items.  This may be effected by where they or looking or personal preference.  Some popular interest include:

 1) Coin Shooting, this includes looking for coins dropped after a main event such as a ball game, concert, or looking for historical coins where one of these pervious events may have taken place.

 2) Prospecting, in parts of the country where precious metals can be found a metal detector can be used to search for valuable metals like gold nuggets.

 3) Treasure hunting, here a user may research an area trying to find cashes of gold, silver or coins that may have been buried somewhere.

 4) Relic hunting, is very popular areas of know civil war battles. Here people search for items of historical value such as weapons or bullets used in a historical battle.

You will find that the metal detector manufactures are constantly trying to improve their products by making them more sensitive, and accurate.  Below are a list of links you find helpful in learning more about the detecting hobby.

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