Best Metal Detector for the Money: Finding the Right One for You
When you start the metal detecting hobby, it can be confusing to find the right machine. You want one that will find lots of buried gems, but you don’t want to spend too much money if you’re not sure if you will like the hobby. Look for a machine that is user-friendly and effective.
This article will explore how you can find the best value metal detector. We are not looking at the high-end models, but we are also not just looking at the cheapest ones on the market. Instead, we are looking for the best value metal detector you can find for your money.
Following is a comparison of various metal detectors. They are ranked by price, weight, and customer rating. Each machine also has its key features or specialty.
Obtaining the Finest Metal Detector for the Money
All metal detectors use a similar design. They have a coil, a control box, and a shaft. The two main features that affect how successful you will be in finding coins, jewelry, gold, or relics are sensitivity and discrimination.
When looking for your first metal detector, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Simple to Use
- Good target discrimination
- Positive reviews
What to Consider Before Buying
You must think about several things before buying a detector that does exactly what you want because many different types of detectors are on the market. before purchasing a detector that does precisely what you need, consider the following factors to ensure you’re getting one with all of the features you desire:
Where Will I Be Searching?
The area you will be searching will be very important when choosing a metal detector. If you are near water, you should get a waterproof detector. Get a submersible detector if you want to use the detector while scuba diving. If the area is highly mineralized, you may want to get a pulse induction detector. If you are traveling to hunt, you will want to consider a metal detector with sections that can easily come apart.
What Do You Want to Find?
When starting, it is okay to just look for any type of metal. But once you get more experienced, you may want to specialize in looking for a certain type of metal. Do you seek gold, coins, jewels, or artifacts? Certain things are easier to locate with certain detectors than others.
How Big of a Machine Do I Need?
You should examine if the detector is adjustable if multiple people use the machine. You must also consider the weight of the machine. The heavier the machine, the shorter the amount of time you can use it comfortably.
Will It Be Easy or Complex to Use?
Numerous metal detectors are user-friendly. Simply switch them on and go. If you are a hunter, this is what you desire. Even seasoned treasure seekers choose simple devices to operate to concentrate on locating metals.
Now that you know what you want your metal detector to accomplish, it is time to look for one with the required capabilities. This will aid you in locating the desired metal kind.
Five characteristics should be noted because they will be relevant when comparing and contrasting different detectors:
- Automatic ground balancing – particularly for mineral-rich regions
- Multiple ways to find just what you need
- Adjustable sensitivity controls
- Indice of depth
- Target identifier
Important Features to Look For
When choosing a metal detector, some things are a matter of personal preference, and others are just non-negotiable. The most important thing is to make sure that the metal detector is comfortable to hold and easy to use. Metal detectors with an LCD screen and a button interface will be easy, even for beginners.
Also available are metal detectors with knobs. This way, you can set the discrimination and sensitivity yourself. It’s like a radio. You can choose preset channels or tune to your favorite stations using knobs.
You learn which settings on your metal detector are your favorites. You use these settings the most. The same is true with knobs and buttons – they both work well but are slightly different when using them.
Sensitivity and Discrimination
When researching metal detectors, you encounter “sensitivity” and “discrimination.” These are important factors when purchasing a metal detector because they determine how successful your hunts will be. Sensitivity determines how deep the metal detector will search.
If you turn up the sensitivity on the detector, it will search for objects at a lower depth. However, you need to be careful not to set it too high, or you might get a lot of interference and false signals because of the ground mineralization.
If your detector beeps a lot, you need to reduce the sensitivity. If you’re unsure how to bury a test target and see if it finds it. If it doesn’t, turn the sensitivity up until it does. You should usually keep the sensitivity in the middle range until you have more experience.
Another key term you’ll frequently hear when metal detecting is discrimination. Discrimination helps you determine if a target is a valuable piece of metal or junk, like bottle caps or foil wrappers.
Each metal detector has a different way of handling discrimination tones. Almost all detectors have unique tones for different kinds of targets. You will need to experiment to determine which tones are telling you to dig and which ones are just signals you should ignore.
In the beginning, you will probably dig through a lot of dirt before finding something you want to keep.
Finding an Effective Metal Detector on a Budget
Now that you know about the different features of metal detectors, it is time to think about your budget. Metal detectors can range in price from $100 to over $1000.
You do not need to invest much money to succeed in your searches. However, a reliable metal detector is required. This is true no matter what your price range might be.
So, here are some of the best metal detectors that offer good value for money.
5 Metal Detectors for $200 or Less
1. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
You can buy a metal detector for about $100. This will be a good detector when looking for jewelry, coins, or relics. The Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is a beginner metal detector that is also affordable.
This metal detector is easy to use. You can set it up in about a half-hour and start using it. It includes simple knobs that allow you to adjust the sensitivity and level of discrimination. You will be surprised at how easy it is to use once you get it!
2. Garrett Ace 150
The Ace 150 is an excellent detector for beginners. It costs approximately $150 and contains an LCD screen, button interface, depth finder, and target identification. This is an introductory-level detector intended for novices. It has three search modes, three depth levels, and four preprogrammed sensitivity settings.
The Garrett Ace 150 is an excellent metal detector for novice and seasoned hunters. It features three modes, allowing you to select what you wish to search for conveniently. The device can be programmed to detect “all metals,” “jewelry,” or “coins.” The display on the Ace 150 is quite intuitive and cool. The depth indicator is very visible and clear.
The Ace 150 has four levels of sensitivity and push-button controls. The target ID on this machine is not as good as some other machines, but it is still a good detector. The Ace 150 is simple to operate and can search to a depth of at least 6 inches. Additionally, Garrett gives excellent customer service. Please contact us if you ever have concerns about how to use the detector or require assistance with an unforeseen issue.
3. Tesoro Compadre
The Tesoro Compadre is a great choice for new hunters who want many features for their money. It has the same functionality as more expensive detectors but is designed to be easier to use.
The Tesoro detector is a streamlined version of their premium detectors. It is an excellent option for coin and relic searching in various environments. The discrimination can be adjusted with a fast turn of the knob. The eight-inch coil provides a broader search area and more accurate depth discrimination.
This detector is very easy to use. You must set the discrimination with one knob and then turn on the device. You can start looking for coins right away. It’s that easy!
This metal detector is incredibly lightweight, weighing only two pounds. It also has built-in metal rejection abilities. Plus, you get a lifetime warranty with your purchase. This detector can compete with more expensive models and outperforms them all. The only downside is that it doesn’t have an LCD, which some people like.
4. Bounty Hunter SS2 Sharp Shooter 2
The Sharp Shooter 2 is a good metal detector. It costs between $150 and $300, depending on where you buy it. So do some research to find the best deal.
This metal detector has an LCD screen that tells you what type of metal you’ve found. It’s good at telling the difference between silver and gold, so you know what to expect before digging. It’s easy to use and lightweight, making it a great choice for a budget-friendly metal detector.
5. Treasure Cove TC-3020
Consider the Treasure Cove TC-3020 if you search for a reasonably priced metal detector of high quality. This metal detector has a digital display, three types of alerts, and a durable carrying case. It also has great discrimination and alerts to tell you what kind of metal you have found.
The Treasure Cove TC-3020 is a great detector for finding treasure. It filters out false signals and junk, making you more likely to find the real thing. This means you won’t waste time digging up trash when you could be finding a treasure!
These five metal detectors will be good choices if you want to spend less than $200. They are all good detectors for beginners who want to start treasure hunting.
We feel this detector is a great value for its price. It is ideal for those who intend to utilize it near water.
For Use in Saltwater on the Beach:
When looking for a metal detector to use at the beach, it’s important to find one that will be perfect for the environment. You’ll want to find a waterproof metal detector that can be adjusted for different ground conditions. It’s also important to find one that can be used in saltwater.
Saltwater can cause detectors to give false positives or to make constant noises.
The DetectorPro PiratePro is a great saltwater or beach metal detector. It costs around $370, but it will be worth the money because you will find many things with it at the beach. It is also very easy to use, so anyone in your family can have fun with it.
This metal detector is perfect for shallow water searches in both salt and fresh water. You can also use it in the rain. The coil on this model is 8″, so you can easily pinpoint where you are getting hit by the found metal. This device has only a single tone for its aural identification, making it difficult to distinguish between different metals.
This model can be programmed easily by changing the settings on three dials instead of push buttons. Push buttons are not the best choice for tough conditions. Dials are often more desirable, especially if children use the device.
There are numerous varieties of metal detectors. Some work better on some beaches than others. You may want to consider the Garrett AT PRO, the Tereso Sand Shark PI, and the Whites Dual Field PI.
Buyer’s Guide Terminology & Definitions
Like every great hobby, metal detecting is rife with specialized terminology that may be difficult for outsiders to comprehend. Here, we define a few terms you may not be familiar with.
Metal detecting specialists may skip to the following section.
- Ferrous: Metals containing iron. Non-ferrous metals include brass, gold, silver, nickel, tin, and lead, not magnetic.
- Frequency: On metal detectors, frequencies vary, and different frequencies are utilized for various types of detecting. The Kilohertz frequencies quantify the number of magnetic fields supplied to the earth. Based on the properties and conductivity of the metal, multiple metals react to different frequencies.
- Mineralization: The quantity of iron and salt present in the soil. Black sand on beaches (due to iron), redness in the soil (iron), and salt in the sand on saltwater beaches are examples of mineralized ground.
- Interference: Everything with an electromagnetic field, such as cell phones and power lines, can interfere with the detector’s signal.
- Control box: Contains the metal detector’s controls, speaker, battery, and processor.
- Search coil: This detects the presence of metal in the earth. Different sizes and forms of search coils operate differently. Smaller coils are typically the most sensitive, whereas larger coils can reach further down.
- Discrimination: You can exclude various metals and things by altering your settings.
- Ground balance: Adjustments to the detector for various soil and mineralization types.
- Target separation: How well a detector can distinguish between nearby targets.
Criteria for Selecting the Most Effective Metal Detector
There is no single metal detector that is superior to all others. However, there are a few individuals that excel in multiple areas. This buyer’s guide to the best metal detectors examines the features that constitute an excellent detector in these categories. We will make suggestions based on several category-specific criteria and several cross-category criteria.
We shall investigate such factors as:
- Simplicity of use
- Price point
- Customer evaluations and comments
- Warranty duration
For each evaluation category, we shall recommend three distinct detectors:
- The absolute best
- Best for beginners
- Best value
In addition to sharing our experience in these categories, we solicited feedback from our clients. We surveyed our customers to determine which metal detectors they consider the “best” in each area. Their responses are available after each category. Some categories had a clear favorite among our clients, while others were less clear-cut. This information, presented in our opinion, provides an additional metric for comparing machines within each category.
Regardless of your experience with metal detectors, this guide will help you find the right one for you. Once the metal detecting bug has bitten, there is no single metal detector.
Selecting A Metal Detector
Consult With Metal Detecting Professional
Choosing a new metal detector might be difficult for novice treasure hunters. Many different brands and models are available, making it difficult to locate a device. The assistance of more experienced hunters is always available to assist novices in selecting the ideal metal detector. While it is true that they can provide you with helpful advice, it is always a good idea to speak with multiple individuals. As enthusiasts and pros are often loyal to a specific brand or model. Occasionally, they may be unfamiliar with a newer or different brand or metal detector model, given how quickly new features and equipment are offered.
Where Will You Conduct Your Metal Detecting?
Anyone seeking a new metal detector should determine where and how often it will be used. Metal detectorists need to pay close attention to the area they are searching, as it often indicates what they will discover. A person metal detecting on the shore will often search for coins or jewelry. Still, a hunter in the rocky gold country will typically seek nuggets. They will be searching for relics if they are metal detecting at a historical location.
Custom Metal Detectors
Here, it is essential to pay close attention to the selection of the metal detector, as a specialized gadget can make or ruin a treasure hunt. Specialty metal detectors feature many modes of operation for detecting various types of metals and often work as advertised by their producers. Depending on the brand of metal detector, the quantity and variety of settings and functions can vary. Some metal detectors may require different swing speeds, weigh more, and disassemble into a different number of pieces.
Who Is Going to Use the Metal Detector?
Who will be using the metal detector is another factor to consider. This can affect decision-making, particularly when a young child is involved. It is essential to examine the metal detector’s size and the pole’s maximum length. Some metal detectors may be modified to accommodate the height and arm length of the user. Some allow the controls to be withdrawn and stored in a small bag, while others change the rules at the arm cup.
Determine Your Budget
The best approach to calculate how much to spend is to examine previous large purchases. If the individual seeking a metal detector prefers to purchase a premium, feature-rich gadget, that is an alternative. In addition, there is a metal detector for those who want to test the waters and try out the activity. Suppose you want a high-quality metal detector without paying high-quality pricing. In that case, it is recommended that you acquire at least the second-highest model in the brand. These devices typically incorporate more functions than their entry-level counterparts and offer greater overall control without breaking the bank. Adaptability and a price range are essential before making a purchase. Investing money in a pastime or vocation without considering the associated costs would be counterproductive. In addition, if a person saves enough money on purchasing a metal detector, there will be additional funds for coil covers, scoops, headphones, and trowels!
Other Types of Metal Detectors
- Gold Metal Detectors
- Relic Metal Detectors
- All-Purpose Metal Detectors
- Underwater Metal Detectors
Best Metal Detectors for Beginners
Read our buyer’s guide for the best metal detector for beginners for more information.
When even technology aims to promote games that get children out of the home and moving, why not introduce the children in your family to the thrill of true treasure hunting? This is superior to Pokémon GO. Beginner metal detecting is an exciting new realm of exploration that teaches essential lessons in perseverance. Your children will engage in mental and physical activity, and at the end of the day, they will have something to show for it.
Which Metal Detector Is Ideal for Beginners?
You do not need to spend significant money to begin metal detecting. There is affordable metal detectors ideal for the new hobbyist in your life. However, the fact that metal detectors are advertised in toy stores and websites does not imply that they are anything other than toys. Typically, this starter metal detector will only detect trash and lacks a powerful signal to detect valuables. You want the greatest metal detector for the money, easy to use, and equipped with the necessary technology. Below are several beginner-friendly metal detectors.
Where’s the Treasure?
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Metal Detector for the Money
The most widely used metal detectors are Nokta Makro Simplex, Garrett Ace, and Fisher F series. These detectors are easy to use. You don’t need to be worried about advanced features. These features will let you grow in the hobby.
Metal detectors that can find more things cost more money. If you desire a metal detector that can locate more objects, you will need to spend more than $1,000.
Many new metal detecting people start with a low-budget, cheap metal detector. Even though these detectors are “cheap,” they offer great quality and performance.
Even though some dealers may tell you otherwise, you won’t be able to find 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 whole different story.
Diverse motives motivate individuals to start a hobby. Metal detection is comparable. Some people do it for profit, while others do it for fitness or to explore nature. Regardless of your motivation, metal detecting is a hobby worth attempting!
The Garrett AT Pro is an excellent metal detector for beginners. It is rugged, light, and waterproof. Additionally, it is straightforward to learn how to use. This detector can compete with more expensive detectors, so it is a good value for the price.
You don’t need to quit your day job, but you can make some money with a metal detector if you find good areas to look at. For example, this person found about $75 worth of small gold nuggets with a Makro Gold Racer metal detector.
One common question we get is if metal detectors can find gold. The answer is yes, they can. Some metal detectors are better at finding small pieces of gold than others. For example, the Minelab Gold Monster and GPZ 7000 are designed to find small amounts of gold.
The Bounty Hunter metal detectors have a wide range of prices, from $89 to $500.