Metal detectors are nifty machines that will help you find buried treasure — in theory. It can be tougher to find anything worthwhile than most people expect, but it can also be way more rewarding than you’d think. Metal detectors are made with accuracy in mind and can find the smallest or largest objects in the water or ground — some of which can be worth a lot of money. With a good-quality metal detector, you have the potential to find treasures in even the most unlikely places, as long as you read your detector’s screen and keep your ears open for its beeps.
Best Metal Detector Reviews
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
This metal detector is an absolute win for first-time treasure hunters. It is simple to use, functions well, and is not difficult to understand.
The Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV has a nice, streamlined appearance and comes with a mode selection switch and operating controls that make it effortless to use. It doesn’t weigh very much and will get you started on your way in tracking.
The detector’s discriminator works well, and it has a depth range of about 4 or 5 inches, with 7 inches being the absolute max. At its price, it does the job pretty well for beginners. The Bounty Hunter is lightweight, has a handle that extends to fit your size, and you can easily set the angle of the coil. Also, the setup is easy and fast.
The metal detector has been made so it is straightforward to use, even for absolute beginners. It has a rugged design and can survive even the toughest environments and conditions you can think of exposing it to.
Unfortunately, this detector doesn’t work so well in wet sand, and it can start going off continuously if you get closer to water. This is a motion metal detector, which means you have to keep it moving for it to effectively detect metals — this can lead to confusion if you are simply holding the detector still over a target.
RM RICOMAX Metal Detector
With this metal detector, your next adventure is just the press of a button away. It can detect items that are up to 7 inches deep, and you can choose to avoid any metals you don’t want to find.
You get a bigger-sized search coil with this product, so you will be able to detect objects more effectively. This isn’t a very well-known product (yet), but it offers some form of security to clients in the form of a great warranty. You’ll be able to improve your treasure hunting skills in no time with this product.
The Ricomax offers high accuracy that will result in better findings. You have a cool LCD control screen that makes it a very good buy. You can also enjoy peace of mind with a lifetime warranty. The newest technology is used in this product for a better experience. It is also very comfortable when carried around. A detailed guide book with tips is included in the package, and you’ll have no real trouble with assembly with this metal detector.
You will be able to take it apart and store it away easily until you use it next time. The detector also has a waterproof coil, so you can search for metal in watery areas. Just remember that the controller box is not waterproof.
This metal detector’s control box is not waterproof, so you’ll have to be careful about not leaving it out in case it rains (as with most detectors). The LCD screen is a nice feature, but it can be tough to read in bright daylight.
TACKLIFE Metal Detector
This metal detector is one of the top-selling products on the market, it wand it is a favorite with hobbyists. It can be used by adults and children alike — it is fairly adjustable. If comfort is what you’re hoping for, you’ll find that with this detector. It’s also a lightweight product that is easy to use.
The TACKLIFE detector has three audio tones that will let you know what kind of object it is detecting. It’s a great product for beginners who are curious about metal detecting, and it has a large LCD screen that displays operating mode, sensitivity level, and detecting depth, as well as the battery level.
You’ll get a 24-month warranty upon purchase. You will find this detector at a very reasonable price, making it a great buy. Because it is adjustable, the TACKLIFE Metal Detector is excellent for children — they will be able to use it with no difficulties, making it a family-friendly product that will make your adventures so much fun.
Thanks to its discrimination mode, you can also ignore all the metals you don’t want to find during your treasure hunt. Plus, it has an excellent design that is easy to carry and use.
This metal detector’s wand is not water submersible, so be cautious with that kind of approach. The signals from the detector can be delayed, making the process of searching frustrating.
INTEY Metal Detector
With this metal detector, you get two modes for your different treasure search needs. You’ll be able to find all kinds of metal, from jewelry to coins and relics. The depth of detection to be expected from the INTEY is up to 6.5 inches. It also features a special pinpoint function that will ease your search.
Thanks to an armrest design, this metal detector is very comfortable to use. It will accurately find all the treasures buried in the area you’re searching, and it has a waterproof coil for searching in watery areas. Good technology is integrated in this detector to give you the best possible results.
The INTEY offers you a high sensitivity that will make your search easy and fun. The detector is lightweight, which means you can carry it around for long periods of time without getting tired or sore. It also comes with a 2-year warranty for extra peace of mind, adding even more value for your money.
With a clear and effective sound, you won’t likely accidentally miss out on a metal that could have been that great treasure you’ve been searching for.
Unlike other metal detectors on this list, this product does not have an LCD screen included. It also doesn’t offer as many distinctive tones for identifying your finds.
SAKOBS Metal Detector
The SAKOBS comes with four different tones to make it easier to know just what you’ve found. Thanks to its settings, you’ll be able to ignore all the metals that you’re not really looking to find.
You’ll be able to search in streams, on the beach, and in any other underwater conditions, because the coil is waterproof. You get more accuracy from the detector, because it has a handy pinpoint function.
It comes with a big metal coil, making it 8 times more efficient at finding treasures hidden than with other models. With an LCD screen that will show you the battery level, sensitivity level, and detection mode of the detector, you won’t be left confused about how things are going.
The depth of detection with this metal detector is more than 8 inches, which is more than most detectors can offer. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee with the SAKOBS.
There are very few things to find fault in with this product — the only thing that can be pointed out is that the instruction manual could be easier to understand.
When deciding what kind of metal detector to invest in, it can get tricky, because there are so many products to choose from. What kind of conditions you’ll be using the metal detector in is very important. You have to consider the land composition and climate of your surroundings. There are land-based, underwater, and prospecting detectors. The most common detectors are land-based, as this is what most people look for when choosing a product.
In most cases though, you’ll have the following things that you’ll need to look for before deciding on a detector:
No metal detector is the same, so it is advised to make use of the included user manual to better understand how to use your device.
This mode is best for when you’re just probing in general and aren’t picky about the kind of metals that the detector might find. It’s great for getting used to handling the metal detector.
If you’re looking for coins and jewelry, you’ll want to use this mode, as it finds iron, nickel, and other metals present in these items.
Relic mode is a very specific setting that will search for more substantial objects with greater presences. In general, this mode is used by archaeologists who are searching for lost and buried relics that might contain metals.
This is the mode you want if you’re gold-hunting. In this setting, the detector will search specifically for traces of gold in mineral deposits and the ground.
Size of Search Coil
It is standard for metal detectors to come with medium-size search coils. Medium coils are typically between 8 and 11 inches in diameter. This is the size you’ll most likely find in the detectors for sale at the most reasonable prices. It can find a large number of objects and targets under average conditions.
The metal detector’s display is often neglected — not all products have LCD screens included for ease of use. A display will make it much easier to determine settings and battery levels.
The accessories you can expect to find included can vary from one product to the next. Some will come with carry bags, others will have a shovel included, as well as a headset. Take a good look at the metal detector you want to buy before investing in it.
Price vs. Value
It is commonly accepted that price equals value. However, that is not always the case. You can pay an arm and a leg for a metal detector and still be left disappointed. Likewise, you can pay a reasonable price for a detector and still feel satisfied and happy about the product you have purchased. Just remember to do your research into the detector you want to use.
When was the metal detector invented?
Few people know this, but Alexander Graham Bell was famous for more than making telephones a real thing. He also came up with the first metal detector back in 1881. It happened as a necessity in a very stressful situation — President James Garfield was dying after he had been shot, and the inventor quickly invented a crude metal detector. Sadly, he was unable to find the fatal bullet. Still, he managed to come up with a very cool gadget.
How deep does a metal detector detect?
How deep a detector can pick up metal objects will depend on the product, obviously, but there are some general things to keep in mind, such as the size, settings, and how far the objects are from you and your detector.
The size of the object you are trying to detect could have an influence on the metal detector’s ability to detect it. If it is a big item, your detector will be able to detect it easier, even if it is deep.
Your discrimination setting
The amount of discrimination you have set your detector for is also important. If it is not set for proper discrimination you will not be able to find those deep treasures, especially not through junk metals. Many detectors do not offer this setting, so keep that in mind.
Target metal composition
Some metals have a higher level of electrical conductivity (such as brass, copper, and silver) and will be easier to find. There are objects, such as stainless steel, that don’t have a lot of conductivity and will be almost impossible to find, if not entirely impossible.
Naturally, the proximity of the object will make a difference.
The detector's sensitivity settings will also impact how much success you will have finding objects. If your detector has a good setting, you’ll be able to find small objects at a considerable depth.
What are the best brands of metal detectors?
The best brand is a bit difficult to pin down, as it depends on your needs. There are many brands available on the market, and how effective they are depends entirely on where and when you want to use them.
Be careful when making a decision and keep in mind everything that you’re learning here — it will come in very handy and will help you make an informed choice. If you’re not willing to waste your money and buy more than one product, you’ll want to learn from this article.
As far as entry-level products are considered, the following are your best bets:
For relic hunting, the following are considered great:
- Minelab Equinox
- XP DEUS
For saltwater beach treasure hunting, consider:
- Tesoro Sand Shark
- Fisher CZ-21
- Garrett Sea Hunter
For your freshwater detecting needs, check out these brands:
- Garrett AT Pro
- Garrett AT Gold
- Fisher 1280x
If you’re looking to do some prospecting, check out the Minelab.
For children, you can take a look at these brands:
- Fisher F22
- Garrett ACE 300
- Tesoro Silver uMax
What can metal detectors detect and what can they not?
When you want to go treasure searching, it is important that you know just what metal detectors can and cannot detect to save yourself from heartache and disappointment.
- Gold: You can find it in jewelry, as well as in pure form, like gold nuggets
- Copper: Not everyone thinks that copper is worth anything, but, if you gather huge amounts, you’ll be able to pocket some serious cash
- Platinum: Platinum is often confused with white gold, because it looks very similar. However, platinum is way more valuable. It has far superior durability and appearance
- Brass: Brass is not as valuable, but it can still be a pretty cool find
- Silver: Perhaps the most sought-after of all metals, silver is also the most difficult to find. You might find it in jewelry and relics, but not in its pure form most likely
- Titanium: This is very common to find, but it is not very valuable at all
- Tungsten: Tungsten is not really what most people set out to find, but it can still prove to be somewhat valuable
- Aluminum: You will find this almost everywhere — cans and caps are plentiful and worth basically nothing
- Nickel: Nickel is not very precious or worth much, unless you find a cool coin or a neat relic
- Lead: The same as nickel — unless you find an impressive old bullet or war relic, you won’t find much value in this
- Meteorite: Though in itself not a metal, meteorites do consist of different metal deposits, such as nickel and iron However, finding a piece of meteorite will surely make your treasure hunting experience that much more of an adventure. You can get some really nice prices for it, too, depending on how big it is.
What metal detectors will not be able to find?
- Raw diamonds (pity)
- Stones and sculptures, or figurines made up of stones
- Glass and glass objects
How does a metal detector work?
The most basic design of a metal detector works by converting direct current into alternating current by passing it through an oscillator. The current is then further fed into a coil to produce an alternating magnetic field. If a conductive metal passes through the magnetic field, it will induce eddy currents and produce its own magnetic field. Using a second coil, changes in the prime field can be detected.
Usually, the changes in the magnetic field are communicated to the operator by producing a sound. In modern development, Gerhard Fischer noticed that radio beams can be distorted by the presence of metals. He then invented his first detector based on using a search coil resonating at a radio frequency that could communicate any distortions it picked up. Modern manufacturers use their own patented technologies to improve on these earlier designs.
If you’re looking for a good time that will also result in some neat relics or metal discoveries, you will not regret getting into metal detecting. It’s something you can do almost anywhere and still get results, even if just in the form of tins and caps. Metal detecting is a great family activity that can involve everyone, but it’s also cool for a solo adventure.
Our favorite metal detector has to be the SAKOBS Metal Detector. It is very popular with hobbyist detectors, and for good reason. It offers different tones that will make it easier to know what you find. It has a waterproof coil, which means that you will be able to search in rivers and the ocean.
Like any metal detector, though, the controller box isn’t waterproof — it contains parts that should definitely not get wet. The detection depth is exceptional, making it one of the best products on the market.