Best Metal Detectors

Review & Comparison, Last Update June 17, 2019
Not all the treasures and metal scrap can be seen with a naked eye as they are buried under the ground or water. Handheld metal detectors allow finding such metal objects by sweeping their detector probes over the ground. We have reviewed the 5 best models to help you make an optimal choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Operation frequency
Coil
Detection depth
Indication
Detection modes
Sensitivity
Additional modes
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The model's increased frequency (8 kHz) works wonders providing better sensitivity on low and medium-conductivity targets like gold and lead. The detector features twice the iron resolution compared to its predecessor and is able to do a much better job overcoming targets masking in iron-laden hunt sites.

CONS

Might take some time to figure out the functions. 

OUR VERDICT

Garrett Ace 300 is the overall best metal detector on the list. Its excellent specs and improved features make the model perfect for coin hunting, different competition events, dry beach and freshwater hunting, prospecting, jewelry and relic hunting, the list goes on.

detailed parameters
Operation frequency

8 kHz

Coil

7" x 10" PROformance™ waterproof search coil

Detection depth

Coins: up to 12 inches

Big objects: up to 40 inches

Indication

LCD screen, Pulse-width modulation sound indication

Detection modes

5 search modes (plus Pinpoint)

Sensitivity

8 sensitivity/depth adjustments

Additional modes

Digital Target ID, Continuous coin depth indicator

Extras

Adjustable length (40" to 53"), Padded arm cuff, Headphones included, ACE Environmental Coverup and Searchcoil cover

Weight

2.8 lbs

Warranty

2 years

PROS
Fully waterproof detector coil assembly and weatherproof control module enable you to use this metal detector in any weather conditions and even in shallow water. The very conservative power consumption of the device provides a day-long device operation using two AA batteries.
CONS
The big and high contrast display is not scratch-resistant and requires careful use.
OUR VERDICT
The effective search for jewelry, coins and artifacts is achievable with this model regardless of your previous detectorist experience. The detector offers a 4-tone sound discrimination among the detected metals.
detailed parameters
Operation frequency
7.69 kHz
Coil

9" triangulated concentric elliptical waterproof search coil

Detection depth

Coins: up to 12 inches

Big objects: up to 39 inches

Indication
Digital monochrome display, Sound indication
Detection modes
One user-configurable and three predefined search programs: Coin search, Relic search, Jewelry search
Sensitivity
10 levels
Additional modes

Depth indicator, Digital Target ID, Pinpointer

Extras
Adjustable shaft length from 41" to 51", Disassemblable design
Weight
2.3 lbs
Warranty

5 years

PROS
The toggle switching of detection modes and knob adjustment of sensitivity and discrimination allow a fine device tuning for detecting specific metal types and objects.
CONS
The manufacturer did not allow for the pinpoint feature.
OUR VERDICT
This feature-rich metal detector is quite easy to operate. Amateur and professional treasure hunters alike will highly appreciate the capability of the device to detect all types of metal.
detailed parameters
Operation frequency
6.6 kHz
Coil
8" waterproof search coil
Detection depth

Coins: up to 8 inches

Big objects: up to 24 inches

Indication
Needle analog indicator, Sound indication
Detection modes
Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, 2-Tone audio mode
Sensitivity
Smooth sensitivity adjustment
Additional modes
Preset ground balance, Disc/notch control
Extras
Adjustable shaft length, Disassemblable design
Weight
2.9 lbs
Warranty

5 years

PROS

You'll be able to figure out the sensitivity and volume levels as well as the battery condition at a glance. There's this nice little arrow displayed right below the target icon that lights up immediately when the model detects an object. The target depth is right there as well. 

CONS

The batteries don't last too long. 

OUR VERDICT

RM RICOMAX GC-1028 is probably the best metal detector in the mid-range/all-rounder category. It is excellent for deep search. The model comes equipped with a headphone jack that will let you rely on audio tones in noisy environments. The discrimination mode here is pretty good too.

detailed parameters
Operation frequency

~7 kHz

Coil

10″ waterproof search coil

Detection depth

Coins: up to 8 inches

Big objects: up to 24 inches

Indication

LCD screen, Sound indication

Detection modes

3 search modes (plus Pinpoint)

Sensitivity

8 sensitivity/depth adjustments

Additional modes

Discrimination mode

Extras

Adjustable length (33" to 40.6"), Padded arm cuff

Weight

2.3 lbs

Warranty

Limited lifetime

PROS

The sensitivity meter lets you assess the signal strength so that you're able to decide whether to dig it up or not. You can set the shaft to anywhere between 34.5" and 45.5". The motion all-metal mode and trash elimination control work wonders helping you find only the treasure you want and exclude the garbage you couldn't less care about.

CONS

The search coil is relatively small. 

OUR VERDICT

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger is excellent for beginners. The model is equally suitable for inexperienced adults and teenagers. It is as lightweight as they come, perfect for the little hands that will be carrying it around. Plus, the 7-inch coil is very much waterproof.

detailed parameters
Operation frequency

6.6 kHz

Coil

7" waterproof search coil

Detection depth

Coins: up to 6 inches

Big objects: up to 24 inches

Indication

Needle analog indicator, Sound indication

Detection modes

Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, 3-Tone audio mode

Sensitivity

Smooth sensitivity adjustment

Additional modes

Preset ground balance, Disc/notch control

Extras

Adjustable length (34.5" to 45.5"), Headphones included

Weight

2.2 lbs

Warranty

5 years

Garrett Ace 300

Best Metal Detector for the Beach

Garrett Ace 300 is everything the company has been able to introduce to the metal detecting game during in the last decade or so. The model's specs are excellent and every little detail here plays its role. We can start practically anywhere here, but we really want to do that with what's been done to the Digital Target ID feature, so let's go with it first. With its 0 to 99 scale, the feature offers comprehensive and precise target information.

Of course, the feature wouldn't be worth much without the right coil. That's where the 7" x 10" PROformance™ submersible search coil comes into play. Incorporating increased coil diameter, this not-so-little component is able to offer more coverage and more depth.

At the same time, you could make an argument that the model's increased frequency (8 kHz) is what really makes the most difference here. It works wonders providing better sensitivity on low and medium-conductivity targets like gold and lead.

Ace 250 was an excellent metal finder in and of itself. But its successor is better on many levels. Among other things, the model features twice the iron resolution compared to its predecessor and is able to do a much better job overcoming targets masking in iron-laden hunt sites.

Review of Garrett Ace 300 Metal Detector

Hunt It All

Other than that, it is the little things that seal the deal and make the model one of the best metal detectors for gold hunting and many other activities like that. For example, the detector's adjustable frequency will allow you to eliminate interference. There's a camlock that improves stem stability.

The Pulse-Width Modulation audio is hardly a little thing but we will add the feature to the category anyway. The sharper, more responsive audio that it is able to deliver makes the model much more practical overall.

You can't go wrong with the device's electronic pinpointing function. The way it can precisely locate targets and accelerate recovery will make a huge difference both in the short and long run.

We've seen notch discrimination before but it is seldom as effective as it is here. You'll be able to easily modify discrimination patterns based on what it is that you are seeking.

The model's 5 search modes (not including the usual Pinpoint feature) will let you adapt and adjust to the environment and different targets. Its 8 sensitivity and depth adjustments serve a similar purpose. The coin depth Indicator does an excellent job determining target depth. Last but not least, the expanded target ID legend is able to indicate U.S. coin denominations.

In short, Garrett Ace 300 is probably the overall best metal detector on the list. Its excellent specs and improved features make the model perfect for coin hunting, different competition events, dry beach and freshwater hunting, prospecting, jewelry and relic hunting, the list goes on.

Garrett Ace 300 Metal Detector in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

I chose the Garrett ACE 300 , it is so accurate and strong and light weight

Features

Really like all the features this 300 gives you for the price, including the basic accessories.

Key Specs

This detector can be modified with different search coils. Great little machine.

Detection

The numerical readout is a great improvement over previous models and the frequency upgrade is nice as well.
 

Fisher F22

Specifications

The Fisher F22 metal detector exhibits good search and detection parameters due to its 7.69 kHz operating frequency. The F22 model was designed for searching coins, jewelry, and artifacts. With that in mind, the manufacturer has equipped this metal detector with the 9" triangulated concentric elliptical coil to allow you to effectively search in the woods or in the territories with many narrow passages and places hard to sweep over with a round detector coil. The magnetic loop circuitry and digital elements of the F22 handheld metal detector provide a good coin detection at the depth of up to 12" and large objects detection at up to 39" depth. The elliptical coil of this metal detector by Fisher is made waterproof to ensure safe and effective treasure hunting on a shore or in shallow water.
Review of Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector

Operation Modes and Controls

Using the F22 underwater metal detector with the three preset search configurations enables you to detect precious metal objects, coins, and metals through a ground-induced interference and noise. In addition, the metal detector offers one user-definable search configuration for you to tune the device for finding a specific metal type. The integrated informative LCD-screen displays a current detection mode, detected metal ID as well as the discrimination scale for determining the valuableness of the detected metal. For a convenience of use, the metal detector is equipped with the 3-position depth indicator and the pinpoint feature for discovering a precise location of the detected object under the coil. To further facilitate the device use and suppress the background noise the manufacturer provided for a 10-position sensitivity adjustment.
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector in the use

Extras

The waterproof detector coil and control module of the Fisher F22 detector allow its use in adverse conditions. Such design enabled a wider detector application range and search territory. The use of modern parts and implementation of modern technologies made it possible to reduce the energy consumption of this metal detector solution up to two times comparing to competitive solutions. Only two АА power elements are enough for providing a day-long operation of the device. A comparatively small detector weight and disassemblable design greatly facilitate its use and storage.
Detailed review of Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector

VIDEO
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector

What customers say about this product

Key Specs

The coil is waterproof and the control head is water resistant. It has a VDI readout and a depth indicator.

Size & Weight

It is very light weight, it only requires 2 AA batteries, and the VDI readout makes it easy to determine what you are about to find.

Detection

I have found it reacts faster in relic mode than in coin mode. The depth gauge is fairly accurate.

Features

Great display. Battery life is great. He has found a few coins on our property, along with buried metal.
 

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

Specifications

The Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV refers to the entry-level segment but offers an outstanding performance. 8" detector coil makes this digital eye peer through an 8" thick ground layer detecting small objects while the maximum detection depth reaches 24" depending on a metal type and object size. The operating frequency of 6.6 kHz of the TK4 metal detector provides a good iron and precious metals detection. And while that isn't the most impressive operating frequency you would be able to find on the market, the range of detectable metals includes gold, silver, brass, aluminum, iron, and steel.

Review of Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

Operation Modes and Controls

The TK4 Tracker IV model comes equipped with a needle indicator, which allows discriminating one metal from another based on its conductivity. The preset ground balance neutralizes response of the device to a noise produced by mineral content in the ground. The stepped sensitivity adjustment of this metal detector also serves for filtering off any interference. Two-tone sound notification of metal detection enables you to differentiate between the detected metal types. In turn, switching from the Motion all-metal mode to the Discrimination mode will allow you to search for non-ferrous metals in a much more effective way. The submersible detector coil makes it possible to search for metal objects in shallow water with this metal detector.

Another thing we would like to point out is the fact that the Bounty Hunter TK4 metal detector comes with an S-shaped handle that provides a firm grip and comfortable device use throughout a whole day. The curved armrest with a foam pad prevents your hand from slipping when handling the device and effectively absorbs moisture. All the members of your family and friends can use this metal detector as it has an adjustable shaft length. The Bounty Hunter TK4 is also easy to store and carry in a bag or transport in a car trunk due to the disassemblable design of the detector. The 2.9-pound weight of the Tracker IV model makes it easy to carry around so both teenagers and adults can search for relics and coins with it.

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector in the use

VIDEO
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
 

RM RICOMAX GC-1028

A Better Setup

RM RICOMAX GC-1028 is a solid mid-range all-rounder. The model does not necessarily excel in any particular category but is able to deliver on as many fronts as possible. As far as we're concerned, the detector's biggest selling point is its huge 10-inch waterproof search coil. With metal detectors, bigger coil always means higher sensitivity. Its increased size will make you much more efficient in your metal detecting endeavors.

This isn't just about the size though. As you would imagine, the "waterproof" part suggests that you'll be able to submerge the model underwater and explore the shore. Just keep in mind that the stem and coil are very much waterproof but the control box is not, so do not submerge the whole thing underwater.

For our taste, that is the only issue with the control box. Other than that, it is very much convenient, practical, and intuitive. You'll be able to figure out the sensitivity and volume levels as well as the battery condition at a glance. The detection mode here is just as accessible and no less effective than the next deal.

There's this nice little arrow displayed right below the target icon that lights up immediately when the model detects an object. The target depth is right there as well. All in all, contrast it with the usual knob-and-dial setup and you'll find out that this buttons-and-LCD approach isn't just more accurate but a lot more convenient too.

Review of RM RICOMAX GC-1028 Metal Detector for Underwater Metal Detecting

Best Metal Detector for the Money

RM RICOMAX GC-1028 doesn't really present any challenges. It will let you hunt many different metals, including but not limited to gold, silver, bronze, iron, aluminum, and various articles in the all-metal mode. You can set the target range up to 7.1’’ inches deep and/or eliminate the metal(s) you don’t necessarily want.

As it is usually the case, the model comes equipped with a pinpoint feature. It is particularly effective here and will let you pinpoint different targets with excellent accuracy.

We really like the distinctive audio tones that you can set to correspond to different metal types. After some time, the low/medium/high will be enough for you to figure out the metal that you've been able to locate.

In summary, again, RM RICOMAX GC-1028 is probably the best metal detector in the mid-range/all-rounder category. It is excellent for deep search. The model comes equipped with a headphone jack that will let you rely on audio tones in noisy environments. The discrimination mode here is pretty good too.

RM RICOMAX GC-1028 Metal Detector for Underwater Metal Detecting in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger

Private Searches in Crowded Places

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger is arguably the best metal detector for beginners on the list. It isn't the most effective and/or functional model here. At the same time, it is not very complicated and its metal detecting capabilities are good enough for the inexperienced crowd.

You'll be able to use the model practically anywhere to search for various valuable metals, from gold coins and iron relics to different household items. The people behind the device recommend it for coin, jewelry, and relic hunting first and foremost. At the same time, it is pretty good for gold prospecting and utility applications.

We really like just how adjustable the model is. You can set the shaft to anywhere between 34.5" and 45.5", making the detector more or less equally suitable for teenagers and adults. We can also extend a similar sentiment towards the headphone jack and headphones that come with the package. With these bad boys, you will be able to use the model for private searches in crowded places.

The metal detector is good for beginners but it is not a basic model at all. The motion all-metal mode and trash elimination control work wonders helping you find only the treasure you want and exclude the garbage you couldn't less care about. The device is very well able to detect coin-sized objects up to 6 inches deep underground and senses larger items up to 2 feet deep.

Review of Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector

The Right Fit for Children

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger isn't without its flaws. Its relatively limited 6.6 kHz frequency doesn't present particularly excellent sensitivity on low and medium-conductivity targets like gold and lead. The 7-inch search coil is a little small too. You just won't be able to cover the same distance within the same time frame with this model as you'd be able to with a 10-inch coil.

But, as far as we're concerned, these are the only real issues with the detector. On the bright side, it is a breeze to operate. There are only two knobs here that you'll have to tinker with. The first knob is there to let you control the power level and sensitivity, while the second knob controls the trash eliminator, letting you set the discrimination where you want to avoid junk signals.

Other than that, the model comes equipped with 3 very different audio tones that will help you discriminate between the targets and a sensitivity meter that lets you assess the signal strength so that you're able to decide whether to dig it up or not.

Once more, Bounty Hunter Gold Digger is excellent for beginners. The model is equally suitable for inexperienced adults and teenagers. It is as lightweight as they come, perfect for the little hands that will be carrying it around. Plus, the 7-inch coil is very much waterproof.

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector in the use

 

Infographics

Comparison of Metal Detectors

What Is a Metal Detector?

A handheld metal detector is a tool that consists of an oscillator, which produces an alternating current that passes through a coil generating an alternating magnetic field. When the coil gets close to a piece of electrically conductive metal, eddy currents (also called vortex of Foucault currents) are induced in the metal, thus producing a magnetic field of their own. The distortion of the magnetic field caused by the presence of a metallic object can be detected if another (identical, D-shape or concentric) coil is used to measure the density of the magnetic field. Nowadays a metal detector is not only an instrument for finding various metal objects under the ground but also a thing that offers you an enjoyable time spending with your family or friends in the field. The search for ancient coins and artifacts is an exciting occupation for your children to get involved in, which makes them learn new things about the history of your area. Using a handheld metal detector is a hobby that can be fun and interesting as well as profitable. The practical use of a metal detector can help you clean a land plot of metal scrap and junk buried under the ground or find an adornment lost in your garden.

To help you make the right choice we have compiled 5 different metal detectors reviews and singled out the main features, which you should keep in mind when buying such a device. If you are a fan of alfresco pastime, you may find headlamps and sleeping bags objects of your interest, which can make you spend a night outdoors with comfort.

Best Metal Detectors

What Features to Compare

Specifications

When choosing an appropriate metal detector you need to consider several aspects, which affect metal detection efficiency. First, you need to learn about the Specifications of a detector model in question. The operating frequency of a metal detector has a direct influence on the types of metals detected. If you are to choose a tool for searching for base metal objects on your land plot then you should look at the models with operating frequency of up to 5 kHz as they are very affordable and capable of effective detection of non-precious metals. The metal detector models with an operating frequency from 6 to 9 kHz range are best fit for finding precious metals and ancient coins. In case you decided to go digging for artifacts or precious metal objects and adornments you need to arm yourself with an operating frequency of 10 kHz and higher as these metal detectors are optimal for detecting different types of metals in big depths. The ability to peer deep under the ground will definitely come in handy for professional diggers.

A detector coil type, its size, and shape are of much importance when analyzing a metal detector features. The most popular coils used by metal detector vendors are mono coils because they are very effective in detecting base and precious metals at different depths. These advantages render them a number one choice for the vast majority of middle- and entry-level metal detectors.

DD-shape (D-shape) coils are grouped back-to-back to form a circle, which enables them to detect a type and burial depth of metal with high precision. Such coils are often used in professional metal detectors. When it comes to the size and shape of detector coil one should remember that the bigger coil covers a larger area and can be swept over the same territory faster but this comes as a tradeoff for a slightly reduced detection precision. The smaller coils, on the contrary, can locate metal objects more precisely due to a smaller area of coverage, but they require more time to perform a search on a specific territory.

Operation Modes and Controls

The next group of aspects for you to consider includes device Operation Modes and Controls. For example, different configuration profiles of a metal detector allow detecting specific types of metal and discarding the other, which enables a discrimination among the artifacts you are after and prevents you from digging for a scrap. Thus, applying your own configuration profile greatly increases the search efficiency. Some metal detectors support a depth meter function, with which you can obtain information on the burial depth of a precious ring or a coin. The feature of detector sensitivity adjustment provides an easier search and makes it possible to filter the interference and noise produced by mineralized soil or nearby transmission lines. Extra features, such as determination of the type of a metal object or even a denomination value of coins are the pros when considering a metal detecting device. A digital pinpointer feature provides detailed info on the location of an object in the ground so you can excavate this object without damaging it. Big and informative screen and various data displaying configurations allow you to choose a mode that suits you best and easily read the detector info. While a multitone sound indication of metal detection empowers you to distinguish different metals by ear.

Extras

Having decided upon the Specifications and Operation modes of a metal detector you are about to purchase you should gain insight into its Extras, which facilitate the detector use very much. If you plan to search for coins and adornments in the water we strongly encourage you to buy metal detector models with waterproof coil assemblies in order to avoid damaging the detector. To be able to search for artifacts and precious metal objects in adverse weather conditions you need to pick a detector model with a rainproof control unit. Some detectors feature a shaft with an adjustable length to help you further customize the device and provide a comfortable long-term usage. The collapsible or foldable design of metal detectors will help you transport such devices in your vehicle’s trunk or put it in a bag. The Bluetooth or smartphone connectivity enables you to save location data and search results as well as share your data with other detectorists. The small weight of a metal detector is also a big advantage for continuous use of the device.

Sources:

1. Chris Woodford Metal detectors, Explain that Stuff. July 31, 2017.

2. Metal detector, Wikipedia.

3. How Do Metal Detectors Work? Wonderopolis.

4. Mary Bellis History of the Metal Detector, ThoughtCo. March 6, 2017.

5. Dillon McLaughlin 6 Real World Treasure Hunts That Could Make You Rich, Cool Material.

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