Whether you have just plunged into, are a hobbyist, or a pro in metal detecting, or you simply need a tool to locate your lost wedding ring or coin, the most crucial decision you will have to make is getting a metal detector that is right for your needs.
||Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector||9.0|
||Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector||9.1|
||RM RICOMAX Metal Detector||9.4|
||Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector||9.7|
||Garrett Ace 300 Metal Detector||9.6|
||NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO Series Metal Detector||9.3|
||Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil||9.4|
||Garrett AT MAX Waterproof Metal Detector||9.9|
||URCERI GC-1028 Metal Detector||9.0|
- Types of metal detectors
- What should you consider before your purchase?
- Best Metal Detectors 2020
- Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector (Lawn & Patio)
- Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector (Lawn & Patio)
- RM RICOMAX Metal Detector for Adults & Kids – High-Accuracy Metal Detector Waterproof LCD Display [Pinpoint Function & Discrimination Mode & Distinctive Audio Prompt] 10 Inch Waterproof Search Coil (Lawn & Patio)
- Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector (Lawn & Patio)
- Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories (Lawn & Patio)
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO Series Metal Detector – Ultimate Treasure Hunter with Pinpointer, Large Waterproof 10″ Coil – Lightweight and Collapsible for easy travel (Toy)
- Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones (Kitchen)
- Garrett AT MAX Waterproof Metal Detector, MS-3 Wireless Headphones and Pro-Pointer AT Z-Lynk Pinpointer
- URCERI Metal Detector GC-1028 for Adults High Accuracy Waterproof 2 Modes Outdoor Gold Digger with Sensitive Search Coil LCD Display for Beginners Professionals Yellow
Types of metal detectors
There are three main types of metal detectors. These are:
Beat frequency oscillation metal detector
These are the most basic detectors. These types of metal detectors use the same concept as that used in tuning AM radios. They use two radio frequency oscillators, the search, and the reference oscillators. These two oscillators produce different signals and this difference is what is transmitted to the speakers and the speakers, in turn, produce a continuous humming sound. When the detectors detect a metallic object, the frequency is interrupted. The disadvantage of the BFO detectors is that they are not as accurate. Besides, technology has seen the invention and production of more enhanced detectors to replace the BFO’s which are now not the best metal detectors to buy
Very low frequency (VLF) metal detector
These are the most common metal detectors for sale in the industry. They are versatile and can detect a range of metals. These detectors use a transmitter coil and a receiver coil. The transmitter creates a magnetic field on the terrain that the detector is being used on. This field is interfered with when metal is detected after which the receiver picks up this signal and transmits it as sound to the speaker. The VLF detectors have a function that filters out unwanted targets.
Pulse induction (PI) metal detector
PI metal detectors are among the latest that technology has had to offer. They use only one coil which creates a magnetic field, transmits pulse to the search ground and at the same time acts as a receiver by generating an audio tone when a metallic object is detected. They are suitable for mineralized terrains and as such the best metal detectors for beach hunting where metal is deep under the ground. On the con, however, they lack a discriminating function.
What should you consider before your purchase?
Your skill level
Simply put, the frustration that a beginner can get trying to use an advanced metal detector is just enough to discourage him/her from pursuing this fascinating hobby. Secondly, the metal detectors prices attached to them may not be a worthwhile investment for those who are yet to learn the ropes of this venture. If you are just new into metal detecting, select an easy-to-use tool with simplified controls and an easy to read display. Also, make a point of going through the manual before setting out on your adventure.
The terrain you will carry out your search in
If you intend to perform a search in a wet environment like at the wet sandy beaches or the water, you will need a waterproof metal detector. In case you will be searching in salty water, you consider a detector built for the same because not all waterproof detectors are fit for use in salty water. However, if you will use your detector in a dry desert-like environment, the waterproof ability in a metal detector will not matter much.
The type of metals you are interested in searching
From iron relics, aluminum and brass to precious stones like gold and silver to coins and jewelry, different metal detectors are best suited for specific metal searches. While most will have an all-metal search mode that identifies all types of metals, you will realize that most have a bias towards specific types of metals and this is what you need to match to your needs before your purchase.
Most entry-level metal detectors fall below 10 kHz frequency. Of importance to note is that the lower the frequency the better a metal detector will be at discriminating between unwanted and sought-after targets. On the flip side, a higher frequency means that these units will be excellent metal detectors for gold, silver, and such-like metals. Some detectors and this is to their advantage, come with multiple frequencies. This is because they let you easily discriminate out unwanted targets. However, you do not have to go all out on multiple frequencies if you are simply having fun and not seriously prospecting.
The search coil
Larger search coils may be good at accessing greater depths, they also tend to pick up false signals as they cover a larger terrain during a search. The advantage of using a smaller coil is that you cover less ground hence picking up less false signals and separating your target quite easily. This way, you will narrow in on your target much faster. Having said this, bigger search coils make the best metal detectors for depth in a location with less metal.
Some detectors have their controls integrated with a screen which displays while others use audio IDs. However, the best metal detectors in the world are those with a screen which displays more information accurately at a glance. Such information includes target depth, target type, sensitivity level and discrimination, search mode, battery charge level, and other information.
Some detectors come with a digital pinpoint function, headphones, carry bag, or a shovel. However, always consider these last after you have checked all other features.
Best Metal Detectors 2020
Our review features some of the best metal detectors you can find in the space. They are reliable in terms of accuracy, performance, features, and quality build and will surely make you love hunting every time you venture out.
1. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
This 8-inch metal detector by Bounty Hunter is a rugged tool built for tough ground situations. This detector is designed to detect virtually all metals including aluminum, brass, gold, silver, iron, steel and others of varying sizes. It will detect small coin-size metals up to 8 inches deep and large metals up to 24 inches deep. The TK4 Tracker detector is designed with three modes of operation including Motion all-metal mode, discrimination mode which shuts out unneeded targets to let you do your search with precision, and the 2-Tone audio mode. It is fitted with control knobs which helps you switch between the modes easily and set sensitivity.
The Tracker IV search coil also features a target strength meter which indicates how close you are to your target. It is waterproof and lightweight weighing just 4.2 lb. it has an adjustable length and comes with ¼-inch headphone jack and built-in speakers. This detector is powered by two 9 V alkaline batteries. It works on a 6.6 kHz frequency.
- It is waterproof which extends its function to underwater search
- Adjustable discrimination and sensitivity
- 3 search modes
- Using the discrimination mode may affect the sensitivity of the detector
- Knobs can get damaged
2. Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector
Bounty Hunter has earned a name for producing some of the best metal detectors on the market. The Gold Digger metal detector is more or less the same as the Tracker IV also by Bounty Hunter. It features a target strength meter, adjustable discrimination, adjustable sensitivity, and control that uses knobs. The Gold Digger, however, will detect coin-size metals to only six inches and the larger metals to a 24 inches depth.
The 7 inches detector detects all types of metals including precious metals, iron, steel, aluminum, and more. It works great in a variety of situations such as in relics, underwater, underground, and other places. It comes with two search modes, all-metal, and discrimination modes. The latter is good for eliminating the unwanted target.
This metal detector has also been designed to eliminate unwanted noise using the ⅛-inch headphone jack with built-in speakers. It is powered by two 9 V alkaline batteries and operates at 6.6 kHz. It comes with a preset ground balance.
- Trash elimination function makes the search easier
- Three tones for precision
- Great for beginners and kids fun activities
- Has only two search modes
- Could do with better headphones
3. RM RICOMAX Metal Detector
Looking for something a little beyond a beginner metal detector, the GC1028 model by RM RICOMAX would be a good bet. This 10-inch detector comes with several impressive features. It features several adjustment functions from the height, sensitivity, to volume.
More than that, this metal detector is outfitted with an LCD screen and button-press control panel, that is pretty easy to use. It has three operating modes which you can switch using the mode button. Set the all-metal mode to detect just any type of metal and the discrimination mode to detect only the metals that you want. At the control panel, you can also set the target range up to 7.1 inches deep for precision. It’s pinpoint function is one of the most accurate thanks to the large screen 10 inches coil.
Like most others, this metal detector is powered by two 9 V alkaline batteries. The battery level shows on the screen to allow you to plan your operation. This metal detector is built with an ergonomic armrest with a securing strap and a comfortable sponge. It has a waterproof stem however, you will have to protect the display from getting into contact with water. Use the available 3.5 mm headphone jack discreetly when doing a search crowded places.
- Great sensitivity thanks to a relatively bigger search coil
- LCD screen and button-press present more convenient controls compared to dial knobs
- Waterproof can perform underwater and beach searches
- Different audio tones indicate different types of metals
- Display sends outglares when the sun is at its peak
- Detects iron metals better than the others
4. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector
Bounty Hunter’s Land Ranger is the metal detector for the budding pro. An 11 inches waterproof Elliptical DD coil, seven operation modes, and 4 ID tones are just some of the incredible features built into this metal detector which put you more in control of your search. In addition, it features both manual and automatic ground balance functions. However, the automatic balance is available for all but the jewelry and relic modes. Again, switch between the two ground balances with a simple press of a button.
The Land Ranger is designed with a large display on the control unit, which shows the discrimination function on a target ID scale of 0-99, notch, target depth, program number, sensitivity level, V break, as well as the volume and disc levels. In addition, it has a higher operating frequency of 7.69 kHz compared to others in its category.
Quite surprisingly, this unit is powered by one 9V alkaline battery yet with good use it can go an entire day. Overall, this is a solidly built metal detector
- Has a pinpoint mode along with depth indicator for a precise search
- 7 operating modes
- Rugged construction
- Manual and automatic ground balance
- Connection cable may come off easily during active use
- Display lacks backlight
- Headphones not included in the package
5. Garrett Ace 300 Metal Detector
An upgrade from the Garrett 250 model, this metal detector comes equipped with impressive features. 5 operation modes including the electronic pinpoint function, 8 sensitivity, and depth adjustments, 0-99 digital target ID scale, an adjustable length, and a waterproof PROformance™ search coil make this model one of the best metal detectors for coins and jewelry and a popular one among advanced hobbyists.
Garrett 300 operates on an adjustable frequency of up to 8 kHz to offer better sensitivity for different types of metals and eliminate interference. Other amazing control features in this metal detector include pulse-width modulation audio at three levels and Camlocks so that your shaft will be stable during a search.
Its package includes headphones, ACE environmental cover, along with a search coil cover. This metal detector is powered by four AA batteries which are included in its package.
- Better iron resolution
- A large waterproof PROformance search coil
- Lacks adjustable ground balancing
- Lacks an audio ID for iron
- Not a great performer on the wet sand
6. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO Series Metal Detector
The PRO Series metal detector by National Geographic is one of the best metal detectors for beginners and advanced users. Featuring a large waterproof 10-inch coil to give you wider ground coverage, three search modes including the discrimination mode, four sensitivity levels, and a pinpoint function, this detector is suited for just about any environment. It is capable of detecting metals up to 12 inches deep placing it among the best metal detectors for depth.
This metal detector has the notable advantage of portability. It is collapsible to 22 inches and is lightweight at just 2 lb. It also features an audio alert that adjusts in volume as the detector draws near its target. A headphone jack allows you to use it effectively in crowded places where you would want to shut out unnecessary destructive noise. It is powered by four AA batteries.
- Easy to use
- Collapsible and lightweight which makes it a good option for traveling
- Does not always detect coins accurately
- Best for kids
7. Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil
Garrett Ace 250 model stands out for its amazing control panel. Simplistic in design yet not missing out on the important details. It features an LCD display with six easy-press buttons including the mode button which lets you switch between five search modes, a discrimination button, depth setting button for up to 8 inches, sensitivity button which lets you set your desired sensitivity between one and eight levels, a power on and off button, and a digital pinpoint button. The display will indicate the target depth, battery level, search mode, sensitivity, and other useful data.
This entry-level metal detector features a 3 piece design with an ergonomic elbow rest that has been integrated with a securing strap, a 9 inches submersible PROformance search coil for accurate searches, and a solid shaft. It operates at a frequency of 6.5 kHz.
- Best for coin detecting
- Easy to use control panel
- Comfortable elbow rest
- Not ideal for salty water searches
- Ground balance cannot be adjusted
8. Garrett AT MAX Waterproof Metal Detector
AT MAX model is an impressive metal detector with all the advanced features you would look for in the more sophisticated detectors. This all-terrain metal detector has been built to operate well at varying depths and environments. It is equipped with an 11 inches PROformance DD search coil. It is also waterproof up to a 10 feet depth making it the best waterproof metal detector among many others. An advantage worth mentioning is that that this detector’s performance is unaffected by salty water thanks to its high 175 points automatic ground balance resolution. It comes with both the automatic and manual ground balance for enhanced search precision.
This metal detector comes with almost double the operating frequency of most others at 13.6 kHz. Coupled with a digital target ID on a 0-99 scale and the integrated pinpoint function, this unit happens to be one of the most accurate detectors and among the best metal detectors for finding gold. It also features iron audio ID along with 44 iron discrimination segments and a notch discrimination function, eight sensitivity levels, four search modes, and an adjustable shaft.
A noteworthy feature is the Z-Lynk wireless technology built into this metal detector. It pairs well with the MS-3 headphones for excellent wireless transmission of audio. All data is displayed on the large LED-backlit screen. Again, it has one of the most detailed but easy-to-use controls. The AT MAX is powered by four AA batteries and weighs 3 lb.
Additional accessories like the AT MAX cap and a coil cover place Garrett’s AT MAX model almost at the top of the best metal detector deals. There is no denying that there is so much going for it for the price.
- Z-Lynk wireless technology
- High automatic ground balance resolution makes it fit for salty water and mineralized terrain
- High frequency works well on a wide range of targets
- Ergonomic handle grip
- A little heavy at 3 lb
9. URCERI GC-1028 Metal Detector
The GC-1028 model by URCERI is an excellent entry-level two-mode metal detector. It has been designed to detect 7 kinds of metal including relics, coins, gold, silver, and jewelry. With an adjustable stem between 47.6 and 40.1 inches, a waterproof 8.7 inches search coil, and an adjustable detection depth of 7 inches, the GC-1028 comes in as a handy tool for both underwater and underground searches.
It also features a digital pinpoint function to help you laser in your target, a notch control function which lets you distinguish different targets, and 3 target audio IDs. It is also designed with a large LED screen display which shows the sensitivity level, battery level, discriminated metals, operating mode, target types, and depth. This unit operates at a frequency of 6.5 kHz which falls in the range of most beginner detectors.
It weighs 6.6 lb and is powered by one 9V battery. Other accessories included in its package include a foldable shovel, headphones, and a carry bag.
- Will detect 7 kinds of metals
- Adjustable stem length
- Drains battery charge rather fast
- Quite a bit heavy at 6.6 lb
- Sensitivity not as accurate
Metal detecting is a fun activity. There are so many precious metals to discover underground. However, the use of a metal detector extends beyond just fun. It comes handy in security agencies, serious precious metal hunters, and even for residential purposes such as clearing the backyard off dangerous metals or locating lost metallic valuables. Still, the best metal detector reviews come from those who made an appropriate choice. This means that it is about identifying which detector best suits one’s needs and going for it.