The Best Cheap Metal Detectors for Every Hobbyist

Are you looking for a metal detector but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Or maybe you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest in a top-of-the-line model. Either way, we’ve got you covered. This blog post will discuss some of the best cheap metal detectors. So whether you’re looking for your first metal detector or are just looking to save a few bucks, read on for the info you need!

4 Best Low-Cost Metal Detectors

1. Garrett ACE 200

The Garrett ACE 200 is comparable to the ACE 300. However, it is less adjustable and less expensive. This makes it a perfect alternative for beginners in metal detecting because it offers reasonably priced most of the necessary capabilities.

The ACE 200 is equipped with three distinct search modes. These are the types of searches you can do. The machine will tell you what is in the ground by giving different sounds. It also has a digital number that will tell you how close to the object you are. This machine is a little lighter than the ACE 300.

This metal detector uses a fixed frequency of 6.5 kHz. It has a smaller coil (6.5″x9″) than the ACE 300, but the length is the same.

This unit’s pole length is adjustable between 40 and 53 inches, allowing for a suitable fit. This device is ready to use out of the box; it operates on four included AA batteries and requires minimal setup.


  • 100 Unique Target IDs
  • Three Search Modes
  • Easy Disassembly for Travel
  • Lightweight at 2.75 Pounds


  • The ACE 300 and 400 offer significantly more functionality at only a modest price increase.

2. Minelab X-TERRA 305

The Minelab brand makes quality equipment, which can be more expensive. However, the X-TERRA 305 is an exception. This model was designed to be more affordable while still including great features. These features include a manually adjustable ground balance, noise cancellation, and a wide threshold adjustment.


  • This detector’s technology is good for locating gold. It employs VFLEX technology and two preset search patterns.
  • 20 Setting Guide Mode for Ground Balance Pinpoint with Continuous Depth Indicator
  • 30 Level Threshold Modification
  • Noise Abatement
  • Compatible with 6 High- and Medium-Frequency Coils
  • At 2.86 pounds, this item is lightweight (with batteries)


  • Price barely qualifies as cheap
  • Only 12 Target IDs

3. Bounty Hunter Tracker IV

The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is the cheapest hobby metal detector, but don’t let that fool you. It is the number one selling metal detector, and this brand has been able to keep that distinction for several years.

This metal detector is of great value. The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV has a discrimination control feature that allows you to ignore junk. At the same time, you are metal detecting. An automatic ground balancing to alleviate the frustration caused by mineralized soil. Adjustable sensitivity and three search modes with two audible tones are provided. For auditory cues, there is a built-in speaker and a headphone connector. It weighs 4.2 pounds, making it bulkier than the prior units reviewed and lending it a robust appearance.

This Bounty Hunter unit is surprisingly good for the low price. It can detect small objects at 8″ away and large objects at 2 feet away.

This metal detector has a fixed frequency of 6.6kHz, and it is powered by two 9V batteries. It also has an 8″ waterproof coil and a 5-year limited warranty. The interface is easy to use, making it one of the best metal detectors for kids. The knob controls also let you set the detector to your needs.


  • The least expensive metal detector on our list


  • Reduced functionality to achieve a cheap price point.
  • HEAVY! Approximately 2 pounds heavier than our best selection.

4. Teknetics Delta 4000

The Teknetics Delta 4000 is a great metal detector because it is very affordable yet still has great performance and flexibility. The first thing you will notice about this detector is the large, easy-to-read display. This display tells you what the target ID system is and how much battery life you have left. This makes it very easy to use and understand.

The Delta 4000 is a lightweight metal detector that is easy to carry around. It has an adjustable pole length, so it can be used by people of different heights. The detector also uses an 8″ waterproof coil, effective in different environments. It runs on a single 9V battery, which gives you up to 25 hours of use. You can also adjust the detector’s discrimination settings to better suit your needs. The detector operates on a fixed frequency of 7.8kHz

This machine has a long battery life and is simple to operate. This enables you to hunt for extended durations. It is ideal for beginners or those graduating from a beginner-level metal detector. It is covered by a 5-year warranty against defects.


  • Live display of target depth
  • Separate alert for oversized targets
  • Pinpoint Mode
  • Target category icons for ease of use


  • Preset Ground Balance (not adjustable)
  • Less detail and granularity in controls

What Features Should An Affordable Metal Detector Contain?

When looking for a budget detector, it is important to understand some basic concepts to get the most bang for your buck. The most important concepts are discrimination, notch, and ground balance.

Metal detectors use discrimination to identify objects by their conductive or ferrous properties. This lets you distinguish between objects worth digging up and more commonplace materials. Using a visual or audible signal, a metal detector with the appropriate discrimination will overlook trash and alert you to valuable objects.

A notch filter is a more specific type of discrimination that lets you focus on a certain type of metal. If you’re looking for a specific thing, this will let you find it more easily. Notch filters make a big difference when looking for coins, so we have a whole page about the best metal detectors for finding coins.

The makeup of the soil can sometimes make it hard for metal detectors to find what you’re looking for. For example, suppose there are a lot of ground minerals (like iron or salt). In that case, it can create a false positive and make it difficult to use the detector. In this case, we need to use ground balancing. Ground balancing will help the detector ignore the soil minerals and allow you to get higher-quality hits at greater depths.

The more a machine can do these three things effectively, the more likely it will find desirable objects.

Best Cheap Metal Detector Reviews

Do you ever stop to consider the potential riches that could be buried in the ground beneath you? Gold and other priceless relics have been discovered by archaeologists dating back hundreds of years. They were laid to rest by long-forgotten travelers, locals, soldiers, or rulers.

Imagine if you are interested in finding valuable goods successfully. If this is the case, you do not require an expensive metal detector of the highest caliber. You do not need to spend a significant amount of money on one. Regardless of the depth of your familiarity with the topic at hand, the material you need may be easier to locate with the help of the tools shown here. Put part of the money you’ll need to buy additional items like gloves, a pinpointer, and a shovel into your budget’s separate savings account.

We have selected many different metal detectors, each offering different capabilities and pricing.

  • Weights
  • Frequencies
  • Modes
  • If you are a newbie, you should investigate the top metal detectors for beginners. These detectors have been selected for those who are new to the hobby.

Suppose you are considering getting a metal detector. In that case, you should make a prioritized list of the features and specs that are most important to you in a product of this kind. We have gathered a list of the best metal detectors currently on the market for an affordable price and information on how and why using one is beneficial.

Best Metal Detector For Gold

10 The best cheap detectors

The Bounty Hunter Gold Digger is designed to be lightweight, which is helpful for people who use it for a long time. This makes it, so the arm doesn’t get tired quickly. It also can be adjusted to different heights, which is great for households that have different users of different heights.

This is a less expensive metal detector that costs less than $100. It has many features that make it a good buy for anyone who wants to find metals. It uses two 9V batteries, which are easy to access. The detector can find most types of metal, including silver, gold, aluminum, iron, and steel.


  • It can identify metals buried at least 8 inches beneath compacted earth.
  • The supplied arm brace is effective in preventing wrist strain from prolonged use.
  • It is adept at locating objects in various environments, including soil and snow.


  • The headphones that come with the product are made from low-cost materials. Users recommend using a different pair of headphones for the best experience.

2. Wedigout MD-4030 Pro Edition

The Wedigout MD-4030 is a pro edition detector with an arm cuff for support and comfort. This model is also adjustable to fit users of different heights, which is great for families with multiple users.

This metal detector is simple to use and has multiple modes to assist you in locating your target. The target indicator is easy to read to see where the metal is. It also comes with a headphone jack, so you can listen closely to the sound of metal when the detector is close to it.


  • This detector emits a distinctive sound that increases louder as it approaches a metal object.
  • Inexperienced metal detectorists will appreciate its ease of use.
  • The headphones and shovel are bonuses.


  • This metal detector has simply a single tone pitch.

3. Nokta Makro Mini Hoard

The Nokta Makro Mini Hoard is an especially designed metal detector for youngsters. It is constructed of durable materials, so it will not break easily. The LCD display is simple to read. Additionally, the metal detector includes a retractable shaft that moves down to 63 cm, making it easy to transport and ideal for beach trips and other vacations.

The Nokta Makro Mini Hoard is a compact and lightweight metal detector. This makes it more portable and hence easier for children to utilize. In addition, this metal detector contains two separate audio tones that make it easier for children to identify their finds and reduce their search area.


  • This metal detector is specifically developed for youngsters.
  • The detector’s lightweight design and large, easy-to-read LCD make it a breeze to carry everywhere.


  • It is not meant for adults because the stem is too short.

4. Bounty Hunter QSI Quick Silver

The five-year limited warranty for the Bounty Hunter QSI Quick Silver covers flaws in materials and workmanship. The detector operates at 6.6 kHz on two 9V alkaline batteries. The LCD panel is designed to be easily viewed. It incorporates a low battery indicator to alert the user when the batteries are running low.

The handgrip and armrest are padded, making them more comfortable. They can use the depth select control to set the detector to a suitable depth. The Bounty arc stand helps keep the detector safe when placed on the ground.


  • This metal detector’s three-tone auditory feedback makes correct identification simple.
  • It features progressive discrimination settings
  • It possesses an 8-inch replaceable waterproof coil.


  • There is no volume control on this metal detector.


The TACKLIFE MMD02 is a lightweight and user-friendly metal detector. It includes a bag for mobility and features an ergonomic design that provides arm support. This metal detector’s 3.55mm headphone jack facilitates a clearer sound adjustment. This means that users of all levels will be able to pick up on the different tone changes when the detector gets closer to buried items.

The LCD screen on this metal detector shows pictures of different things. This makes it easier to find things buried under the ground. The metal detector is adjustable to be used by kids and adults. It only weighs four pounds, making it easy to carry around. The LCD screen also has a low battery indicator, so you will always know when to recharge or change the batteries.


  • This metal detector is equipped with three audio targeting modes.
  • It has a backlit LCD display and advanced predictive technology.


  • This model does not include a ground balance function.


A fantastic choice for newcomers and experienced metal detectorists alike, the RICOMAX GC-1028 RM metal detector is user-friendly. This detector features a capability that enables children to pinpoint their targets precisely. The LCD screen will offer the user a straightforward view of the identified metal kind. The detector emits different tones based on the type of metal it detects, facilitating the search for a specific type of metal.

The metal detector can find silver, iron, gold, aluminum, and bronze. It is lightweight- only 2.31 pounds- and it runs off of 2 9V batteries. You can use it in most places, including the beach, because it has a waterproof coil. RICOMAX’s exceptional customer service is available if you have any questions or issues about the metal detector’s proper operation.


  • This metal detector is equipped with three selectable detecting modes.
  • It contains a headphone jack to assist with noise cancellation.
  • Highly precise, making metal detection easier


  • The supplied directions may be difficult to follow for some.

7. Minelab GO-FIND 11

Beginners will have no problem using the Minelab GO-FIND 11 Metal Detector because it is simple. Because the instructions are so straightforward, it’s a wonderful place to begin detecting if you’re a beginner. In contrast to others, this metal detector comes with various pre-programmed search modes. That will show different icons on the LCD screen to help you find what you are looking for. This metal detector also has volume control. You can adjust the volume to make it easier to hear the different sounds when getting close to something on the ground.

This metal detector is light, weighing only about three pounds. If you don’t need it, you may fold it up and take it with you when you go on a trip. You can adjust the stem of the metal detector to make it suitable for kids or adults, adding a fun and educational activity to any family outing.


  • This metal detector has a straightforward layout.
  • This metal detector does not need to be assembled.
  • It utilizes four standard AA batteries for power.


  • This metal detector lacks target identification.

8. Bounty Hunter BHJS

The Bounty Hunter BHJS is designed for children, but it can also work as a starter detector for adults. This metal detector can find metals between five inches and three feet deep, depending on the ground and metal type. Its ergonomic shape makes it simple to manipulate and comfortable for children to hold.

This metal detector uses batteries for power, and it can be used in different places, like on the beach. It has a weather-resistant coil, so it won’t get ruined if it rains. The metal detector also comes with a one-year warranty if there are any problems. Plus, the user can see what type of metal the detector is finding before digging it up. This saves time because they don’t have to waste their time looking for something that’s not silver or gold. Finally, this metal detector has a discrimination control so that it doesn’t find any unwanted metals, like iron.


  • This metal detector comes with a 6.5″ closed weather resistant coil
  • It is capable of detecting metals up to three feet deep in the ground
  • It has a target indicator meter that measures single strength


  • It doesn’t have an extensive LCD screen display.

9. Garrett ACE 400

This detector can help you find treasure and less trash. There are five search modes and eight sensitivity settings, so you can adjust them to what you’re looking for. You can also choose where to search depending on the ground, the mineralization of the ground, nearby power transformers, or radio signals.

The Garrett ACE 400 has a digital target ID that tells you what metal the target is made of. The number corresponds to a list that Garrett provides. The list helps you determine the metallic content of the target. It can be used in many different terrains.


  • Very user-friendly, with a quick upgrading path to another Garrett.
  • It features iron audio, like the AT Pro and AT Max.
  • It can be modified with Garrett’s Z-Lynk wireless technology for usage with wireless headphones.


  • Not waterproof
  • Due to its low operating frequency, this little jewelry locator is ineffective.
  • The headphones are fundamental. Consider upgrading your headphones.

10. Minelab Vanquish 340

The Vanquish is a metal detector made by Minelab. It has many features, including a 12-inch coil, customizable frequency range, and a red LED backlight. It is available in different models, such as the 440, 540, and Pro Pack.


  • Very affordable
  • Great for beginners
  • Features Multi-IQ technology


  • No frills
  • Will update as the reviews come in!

Metal Detector Technology Basics

The machine body, the control box, and one or more search coils are the three essential components of a metal detector. The search coil is the component accountable for sending an electromagnetic field into the earth. Not only does it generate a sound when it comes into touch with an object, but it also transmits a signal to the coil when it does so. You furthermore have the choice to view the response on the screen.

Some detectors produce various sounds, each unique to the object that the detector has found.

Your metal detector is compatible with various coils, depending on your needs. You can select one that is more sensitive to things of a smaller size or one that is capable of searching deeper. A larger coil can detect a deeper depth, yet it may have less sensitivity to detect smaller items. Smaller coils are typically more sensitive, but they are limited in the depth they can detect.

It is to your best advantage to acquire coils straight from the business that initially developed your metal detector. This will ensure that you receive the highest quality possible. Each model of metal detector uses a different kind of coil.

Low frequency, pulse induction, and multiplex detection are the three primary technologies that detectors utilize. The ability to hear numerous frequencies simultaneously is denoted by the “multi.”

Talking to someone using VLF is comparable to doing so over the phone; however, there are frequent pauses. The VLF coil transmits the signal, which serves as the transmitter. The coiled wire functions in a manner analogous to that of an antenna. It “observes” the target and then transmits the sound for you to be able to hear it.

A very low frequency (VLF) machine has two coils. The electricity is first sent in one direction by the transmitter coil and then in another. A magnetic field is detected by low-cost metal detectors. The return signal from the target and the environment around it is analyzed to determine how effective the detector is. Objects made of metal will experience the passage of electric currents when subjected to a fluctuating magnetic field.

A magnetic field is produced whenever a metal detector is utilized to search for hidden objects. This produces a sound that suggests there may be metal in the area. The metal detector will hear a sound from the surrounding environment once the magnetic field is no longer being sent out. This sound will indicate the location of the metal.

VLF detectors are susceptible to being disrupted by impediments like metal in the ground. Because they continuously signal to the ground, PI detectors do not have this issue.

Terminology & Definitions

The hobby of metal detecting has its own terminology. Here, we define a few terms that you may not be familiar with.

  • Ferrous: Metals that contain iron are called ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals are metals that don’t have iron in them, and they are not magnetic, like brass, gold, silver, nickel, tin, and lead.
  • Frequency: The metal detector’s frequency impacts its ability to detect various metal forms. The frequency is measured in kilohertz, which indicates how many magnetic fields are conveyed to the ground. Based on their conductivity – the ease with which they enable electricity to pass through the – various metals respond to different frequencies.
  • Mineralization: The soil’s iron and salt concentrations can vary based on location. For example, black sand on beaches comes from iron, redness in the dirt means there is iron there too, and salt in the sand on saltwater beaches means there is salt present.
  • Interference: Anything that emits an electromagnetic field, like cell phones or power lines, can interfere with the detector’s signal.
  • Control box: The metal detector has a control, speaker, batteries, and processor.
  • Search coil: The metal detector’s search coil is what finds the metal in the ground. Different sized and shaped coils detect different types of metal. Most small coils are very sensitive, but they may not detect metal as deep as larger coils.
  • Discrimination: You can adjust your settings to filter out different types of metal or objects.
  • Ground balance: The detector was adjusted to work well with different soil types and mineralization.

What is a Metal Detector used for?

Coin Shooting: 

The most common thing metal detectors are used for is finding coins. People often find coins by going to popular places, like the beach. They can find quarters, nickels, dimes, and even one-dollar coins there. However, people can also search for more valuable vintage coins by going to less frequented places.

Relic Hunting: 

Looking for treasures from a bygone era is another fun thing you can do with a metal detector. You might find things, like valuable antiques or interesting objects, that can tell us more about the past. When looking for relics, it’s important to think about the type of ground you’ll be searching in. Often, this means searching in areas where there are a lot of minerals, so your detector needs to be able to filter them out.

Gold Prospecting: 

People who get into metal detecting usually dream of finding a big gold nugget. This is called gold prospecting. If you’re one of these people, you’ll want a metal detector that’s particularly good at finding gold.

Gold prospecting is difficult. That’s why detectorists suggest you learn how to find coins before trying to find gold. The Garrett – Ace 250 performed the best in our testing for locating gold. The Treasure Cove – TC-3020 and the Bounty Hunter – Tracker IV were tied for second place.

Beach and Water Hunting: 

Metal detectorists use metal detectors in two primary ways: on the beach and in the ocean depths.

Beachgoers should be aware that valuables can be found in the sand and the sea. Coil waterproofness is critical while utilizing your detector in or near water. We made certain that the watertight coils on all tested models were claimed.

Important Features to Consider


When using your metal detector in soil with metallic minerals, you will want a good calibration feature known as ground-balancing. Your detector will be more accurate if you follow these steps.

The ground-balancing feature ensures that your metal detector doesn’t get interference from the various metallic minerals in the soil. If the calibration strength is too low, you might experience interference from these minerals.

There are three types of calibration for metal detectors: preset, automatic, and manual.

  • If your detector is calibrated, it will stay calibrated at the same range.
  • Detectors with auto-calibration automatically adjust their sensors to the minerals in the ground.
  • Some detectors allow you to adjust the ground balance yourself.


There are many different types of coils for metal detectors. You can choose a double-D, concentric, or spider coil. You should think about how you intend to use your detector before choosing because each has advantages and disadvantages.

Double-D coils are good for finding things that are close to the surface. Concentric coils can find things that are buried a little bit deeper, but they are not as good as spider coils. Spider coils work well in all kinds of terrain.

Depth Indicator: 

Depth indicators are a rare feature of metal detectors. But they are very helpful. Find your treasure by following their advice. The number on the indicator tells you how deep the thing is. It can be from one inch to twelve inches below the ground.


Metal detectors can be set to find specific objects. This is called the discrimination feature. The options for this mode vary from detector to detector.

The discrimination feature on metal detectors allows you to find the type of metal you are looking for. You can choose which magnetic responses you want your detector to respond to. This way, you can ignore other metals and just focus on the type of metal you are looking for.

Pinpoint Mode: 

A pinpoint mode is an option on some metal detectors. It helps you find the object more easily. The detector will tell you where the object is, but you can figure out exactly where it is with pinpoint mode. Activate the sensor by placing it in the middle of the coil. When you know an object nearby, press the button and find it precisely.

Radar Type: 

The quality of the radar technology in a metal detector affects how much the detector costs. The more advanced the radar system, the more expensive it will be. If you want a high-quality metal detector, be prepared to spend extra money.

Sensitivity Meter: 

Second, the sensitivity feature on a metal detector can be utilized to find things of various sizes. More sensitive settings will pick up smaller metal objects, while less sensitive settings will pick up larger ones.

The sensitivity feature can be accessed when searching for objects at different depths. If you set the sensitivity to high, you will find objects closer to the ground’s surface. If you set it to low, you will find objects buried deeper. Keep in mind that each metal detector has a different range for how sensitive it is.

Final Thoughts

There is a diverse selection of metal detectors available on the market today. You have to look around and choose the option that suits you the most. This includes becoming familiar with your financial plan and the tasks you require it to complete. Suppose you don’t require all of the capabilities of a top-of-the-line metal detector. In that case, a less expensive alternative might be the best choice for you. Finding the correct tool for the job and having all of your questions regarding those tools answered can be facilitated by serious detecting.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Cheap Metal Detectors

What’s the Easiest Metal Detector to Use?

The most popular metal detectors are the Nokta Makro Simplex, Garrett Ace, and Fisher F series. These detectors are easy to use. They have advanced features that will let you grow into a hobby.

Are Chinese Metal Detectors Any Good?

They will break because of the lack of quality control on Chinese products produced by American companies as apple does.

Are Metal Detectors Worth Buying?

Metal detecting can be enjoyable for a lot of different reasons. You can do it for money, exercise, explore the outdoors, or make new friends. No matter why you do it, metal detecting is definitely a hobby worth trying.

Do Inexpensive Metal Detectors Work?

Many people starting out in metal detecting decide to start with a low-budget, cheap metal detector. Even though these detectors are called “cheap,” they still offer great quality and performance.

Will a Cheap Metal Detector Find Gold?

Even though some dealers may tell you that it is possible, you will not be successful at finding gold nuggets with a cheap metal detector. A coin detector might be able to find coins in a park, but finding gold nuggets is a much more difficult task.

Are Chinese Metal Detectors Any Good?

They will break because of no quality control imposed on Chinese products. American companies like Apple have quality control measures to ensure their products are up to par.

Is Buying a Metal Detector Worth It?

Starting a new pastime serves a variety of purposes for various individuals. It’s the same with metal detecting. Some do it for profit, some do it to get exercise, others do it to explore the outdoors, and others do it just to make friends. But metal detecting is definitely a hobby that is worth it.

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