[2020’s] 10 Best Metal Detectors For Beginners & Professionals

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A metal detector is an electronic device that is used to detect hidden metals by experienced and beginners. The metal detector can detect not only the metals on the ground but also the underwater metals.

Made in 1960, this metal detector serves as the best handheld device exploration. It is an instrument that has been discovered to improve the field of archeology and to provide better results. This has often revolutionized the field of industrial applications, the use of treasure and weapons archeology, and the field of geophysics.

Best Overall Metal Detector

(ThermoGears #1 Pick)

Why this is #1?

  • Large and Clear LCD
  • Great Frequency
  • High Detection Range

During the invention of the metal detector, it was used for different purposes, like steel and household for finding wires but now used for recreational and safety purposes.

Adding to discovering the metals and hidden objects, these metal detectors are now used for entertainment. They are particular like detectors to find gold, search for underwater metals, and find children (using metal).

These metal detectors are designed to provide a variety of applications in a modern society with high accuracy, also making it a fun tool for kids invloved in the innovation industry.

Today a wide variety of metal detectors are available in the market with different technologies and designs. It is not easy to choose the best and most suitable one for your work or interest.

Our team of experts has picked and tested few metal detectors and reviewed the top 10 metal detectors here in terms of quality, construction, technology, extra features, and usage.

Table: Top 10 Metal Detectors of 2020

Product
Product Name
FrequencyOur Rating
Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
15 kHz[ 5 ]
Fisher F75 Metal Detector
13 kHz[ 4.9 ]
Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector
10 kHz[ 4.9 ]
XP DEUS Metal Detector
4, 8, 12, 18 kHz[ 4.8 ]
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector
7.69 kHz[ 4.6 ]
Garrett Ace 350 Handheld Metal Detector
8.25 kHz[ 4.4 ]
Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector
19 kHz[ 4.3 ]
Fisher F4 Metal Detector
5.9 kHz[ 4.3 ]
Minelab Equinox 600 Multi-IQ Metal Detector
5, 10, 15 kHz[ 4.2 ]
Whites TreasurePro Metal Detector
8.2 kHz[ 4 ]

Best Metal Detector – 10 Products Reviewed

1

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

AT Pro is the VLF metal detector, actually which is one of the best products in Garrett, and it is designed to be an all-purpose machine. This AT Pro metal detector is highly used on alkaline soils and ocean beaches and is very powerful while finding coins, jewelry, and relics. You won’t get fatigued when swinging for long periods because this machine is just 3.03 pounds of weight.

Frequency

15 kHz

Digital Target ID

0 to 99

Dimensions

22 x 11 x 5 in

Weight

3.03 Pounds

Batteries

4 A Batteries

Waterproof Design

It’s surprisingly rare to have a detector to be submersible; AT pro is one of the most versatile detectors because these detectors are specifically designed for water hunting. You can use this equipment even in deep rivers, lakes, creeks, and sea; it can be submersible to a depth of 10 feet.

Iron audio

The iron audio tones available in this detector are different from the normal tones so you can easily find the real targets. While you run AT Pro in custom mode with iron discrimination, you’ll not hear any unwanted sounds so you can guess the target by this technique.

Ground balance

One of the remarkable features of AT pro is that it has both manual and automatic ground balance, with this technique you can hunt in salt water and high mineralization areas; as a result, it improves the depth of the ground.

The automatic ground balancing of this machine is very easy and requires only the GND BAL button to operate, as the equipment is automatically calibrated to suit ground conditions.

The Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector offers great performance in this field as it is designed with a professional standard detector and is great equipment for hunting silver coins and other jewelry.

Discrimination

The device has iron and notch discrimination, which is used to discriminate the metal by your decision.

  • Iron Discrimination

The iron discrimination comes with 40 segments so you can dial the discrimination to find the target and input the value to the iron discrimination by setting around 30-35, which is great for starting. On the contrary, if you set the lower value, then there are chances for missing the target.

  • Notch Discrimination

There are 12 discrimination segments in this part, and it’s quite easy to notch out this segment. If you want to operate this you need to just press and hold the ELIM button. And remain one thing, you can use this notch feature in custom mode, but can’t use in zero modes. More than a detector, it is great for coin shooting method, and you should carefully work with it while using it.

Digital Target ID

The target ID is placed in the center of the view, which generates accurate data about the target. The AT detector is fast at delivering the target ID, especially when it is uniform on the ground.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Depth detection
  • Digital target ID

Cons

  • It requires manual adjustment

2

Fisher F75 Metal Detector

The Fisher F75 is an all-purpose detector that’s mainly designed for jewelry, coin, and relics hunting in all kinds of environments. This metal detector is useful for parks, beaches, deep woods hunting areas and iron infested areas at an affordable price. Fisher F75 is a lightweight detector, thus easy to use.

Frequency

13 kHz

Digital Target ID

0 to 99

Dimensions

7.5 x 11.5 x 52 in

Weight

4.7 Pounds

Batteries

4 AA Batteries

Design

The fisher F75 comes with multiple features such as a large LCD screen, Double-filter discrimination modes, Double-D Waterproof Search Coil, and non-volatile memory. This type of detector is designed to have very high power limits despite being light.

Double-filter discrimination mode is often used in trashy areas because the metastatic all-metal mode is easy to detect. Boost mode is for enhanced sensitivity and depth, making it easier to detect even deeper objects and cache mode do the same for some cases. All these modes are benefited with the LCD.

And it comes with a lot of valuable characteristics such as a frequency adjustment, search mode, large coil, and depth indicator.

Search Coils

The search coil of the metal detector has an elliptical shape with waterproof material. The coil is designed to be capable of detecting individual targets, and it benefits from ignoring ground mineralization. This refers to the target correctly by the use of an audio tone, meaning that when the sound is loud, the target reaches the center.

The Fisher F75 detector comes with the appropriate characteristics such as to modify the setting to the knob, rotate the knob, and automatically exits to the system.

Performance

The Fisher F75’s exterior controls are simple to learn and easy to use, so you can work for several hours effortlessly. The pinpoint mode, fitted with this mechanism, identifies the product space and provides a clear audio pitch for the target.

The metal detector tool has a non-volatile memory so you can easily store the detection details, and it comes with a backlight so you can easily identify objects even in low light conditions.

Batteries

The 4 AA alkaline batteries that come with this detector are capable of working up to 40 hours, which are covered by a rainproof cover to avoid damage by rain or dust.

Pros

  • Great ergonomics
  • Large LCD display
  • Adjustable audio pitch

Cons

  • A bit confusing to setup and use

3

Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector

Garrett Ace 400 is one of the excellent metal detectors because it has the additional features that are not found in the normal detectors, it’s a bit expensive than the above product but it’s a popular and reputable brand ever.

Frequency

10 kHz

Digital Target ID

0 to 99

Dimensions

22 x 15 x 6 in

Weight

5.35 Pounds

Batteries

4 AA Batteries

Design

The Garrett Ace 400 is designed by the durable materials which offer electronic pinpointing and e-width modulation. And it comes with extra accessories like search coil cover, headphone and rain cover which protects this metal detector from any kind of hazards. This machine has a self start feature, so it is comfort to use in the metal detector zones.

Features and Performance

The Ace is one of the updated versions of Garrett, the Ace 400 is a high-end model in the Ace, and it offers many advanced features that develop metal detector technology, especially for entertainers and professionals alike. This metal detector is built with many methods such as standard all-metal mode, boost sensitivity and depth mode, and cache mode.

The Garrett Ace 400 detector introduced the Camlock option that helps to stabilize the device and easy for the user to control the detector.

Iron Audio and Discrimination

The iron audio in this detector used to detect what kind of metal is that, and it filters the metal without false information and the mid-tone is used to change the range of the detector.

This discrimination technology allows hearing the clear audio sound of the target. Additionally, you can easily change the discrimination pattern that is better than the older version because it has 4 segments to split the unnecessary iron from the good targets.

Ground Balance

The detector with the lack of ground balance will not be good choice even that is affordable because it can confuse. Garrett 400 makes this work easy. You can also practice some adjustments that work on the great environment, ACE 400 works well to hunt the gold on the beach, but it doesn’t come with the manual and automatic adjustments.

Related Post: Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector Review

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Top-Quality
  • High sensitivity

Cons

  • Not highly waterproof

4

XP DEUS Metal Detector

The XP Deus Metal Detector is made with unique capabilities and great features. It can work with wireless technology and can be used to hunt almost anywhere due to perfect ground balance.

You don’t have to worry about hunting on beaches and mineralized sand because it has an easy drilling technique that can even effective for the underground. 

This detector makes your hunt successful with less effort and more productivity.

Frequency

4, 8, 12, 18 kHz

Coil

9”/11"/13"x 11"

Dimensions

24.6 x 12 x 4.2 in

Weight

5.35 Pounds

Batteries

4 AA Batteries

Control Unit

The control unit of the detector looks like a Smartphone of just 3.5 ounces, it can be fixed with a click-clack fixation on your belt or a pocket. In the earlier version, the control unit has the magnetic holder but now one click can fix the device.

Dues firmware upgraded in the detector, for example, The control unit has the USB port to plug the wired headphone or something if necessary. You can download files easily from the computer using the USB ports which is really a notable pro of this detector.

Wireless Device

You don’t have to worry about the connection between the wires in this XP Deus as it connected via Wi-Fi. The Metal Detector has wireless headphones so you can hunt with one click even if it’s raining. Whatever the weather, its control unit can work all the time, as it is built with complete anti-weather materials.

The metal detector stem is foldable so you can carry this kit anywhere without any struggle and it does not occupy more space in your storage room or a car.

Search Modes

The XP tool has pre-set search mode and you can search your option, and you can freely hunt using this one, and the ground balance has the power of automatic, manual, semi-automatic modes.

Multi-Frequency

The metal dial detector’s frequency quick switching option is liked by all treasure hunters, the XP kit has this specialty, and you can change the frequency without changing coil or anything.

That works on more frequencies such as 4, 8, 12, 18 kHz but they are not working parallelly, and it works on one frequency at a time, that’s why it can find the target on the depth location.

Pros

  • Weatherproof
  • Lifetime upgrades
  • Computer connectivity

Cons

  • Doesn't has noise cancel function

5

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector

Bounty Hunter Metal Detector has a modern design and great interior technology. 

The Metal Detector Bounty Hunter is made of high quality and is known as a user-friendly device. This trustworthy metal detector comes with a satisfied warranty on it and it provides multiple features with just a single piece.

Frequency

7.69 kHz

Digital Target ID

0 to 99

Coil

11'' DD

Weight

2.4 Pounds

Batteries

9V Alkaline Battery

Waterproof Coil

This metal detector’s dual D waterproof coil is very different from other detectors, it has an 11’DD elliptical waterproof coil and it increases the depth of search. Designed to minimize ground mineralization, this metal detector helps separate the target as needed.

Features

V- Brake

V-brake refers to a varied tone breakpoint function, which allows the user to modify the audio response to a specific target, and allows you to quickly identify the target sound for identification.

Ground Balance

Ground balance is an important aspect of a metal detector, and if you work with most metal detectors that have not been done with this type of feature, you may not yet have the experience of the soil effect. Sometimes its mechanism is controlled to ensure strength.

Bounty Hunter Metal Detector comes with an instruction manual and automatic ground balancer, so this gives the user the option of an easy push-button adjustment. And the ground balance of this detector is more stable than we’d expect.

Bounty Hunter is equipped with a wide display screen that is large enough to monitor and explore functions and its control panel is easy to use.

Modes

This detector comes with seven preset modes that you can search for all kinds of metals. Land Ranger Pro has a selection system for finding jewelry, coins, 2 tons, 3 tons, 4 tons, artifacts and all metals.

Notch Discrimination

This is the best version of Bounty, which has improved the notch discrimination feature to eliminate all trash. You can set the unlike or unnecessary metal to the target type curve so you can focus on your target without worrying about anything, thus saving your effort and precious time.

Pros

  • High sensitivity
  • Adjustable ground balance
  • Waterproof and Lightweight

Cons

  • Sometimes unstable

6

Garrett Ace 350 Handheld Metal Detector

Garrett metal detector provide easy usage for beginners and is a great tool for starting a new hobby. It is suitable for finding hidden treasures, finding coins, souvenirs, and jewelry. The device comes with headphones & DD coils and is an advanced version of the Garrett ACE 250.

Frequency

8.25 kHz

Search Coil

New Double-D

Dimensions

22 x 11 x 5 in

Weight

2.8 Pounds

Batteries

4 AA batteries

Features

This handheld metal detector comes with all the standard features and advanced technology so it is suitable for all types of buyers, including beginners, hobbyists, professional treasure hunters, also it has designed to be lightweight, providing quality exposure.

Display

Garrett Ace 350 has the largest display screen, which differs from the older version. This helps the labs find a good target with higher frequency because it varies with gold color and iron resolution. Other quantifiable features of this detector are, display detection system, target ID, coin depth indicator, sensitivity indicator, and battery level indicator.

Electronic Pinpointing

The pinpointing performance of this metal detector is very great because it quickly reaches the target. This pinpointer will make the beep sound rapidly for easy to touch the treasure.

Search Model

The Garrett Ace 350 Detector is designed with 5 different search models to make your job easier. It also has a built-in search mode. Coming up with a variety of unique features, Garrett achieves its goal in a matter of minutes. 

The Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector comes with headphones and DD coils to make the detection process quicker.

Push-Button

The push-button is easy to operate, which improves the control of the tool, separate buttons for on/off, mode changing, discrimination, and sensitivity.

Design

Because the device has essential balance and lightweight, Garrett finds metal even under freshwater and dry sand without any false guessing. Its headphones come with high quality and inline sound control, plus rotating earphones. The detector also has side plugs, so it allows you to use the adapter.

This adds the search coil and iron parser which is a great update of this version. It has multiple iron section controls and easy to view LCD screen monitors.

Pros

  • Suitable for all
  • Coin depth indicator
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Mostly it can find simple things

For the user's convenience, we'd like to inform you that, this particular product is unavailable right now. If it comes back to the market, intimations will be given shortly for the customers by us.

7

Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector

The Fisher brand is one of the most popular brands for detectors, and this Fisher Gold Buck Pro Metal Detector is unique from other models. The metal detector is built with very new features and it acts as a very sensitive and versatile detector.

Frequency

19 kHz

Audio ID

4 Tone

Dimensions

6.5 x 11.2 x 40 in

Weight

2.5 Pounds

Batteries

9V Alkaline Battery

Design

The metal detector is designed in gold color, the detector system is handheld and it is equipped with 5DD and 11DD search coil link. This solid instrument designed with waterproof materials and comes with a 9V battery that works for a long time.

Gold Finding

The Gold pro detector is best for gold hunting that easily finds the gold and the pinpoint gives the exact location of the target. Additionally, the display of this detector has the option to find the gold.

Fisher Gold metal detector is best for treasure hunting and mostly used to detect gold even if it is in a small amount and highly mineralized areas.

Easy to Use

The metal detector weighs just 2.5 lbs so it is easy to carry over long distances. All functions of the detector are controlled by push buttons, so you can easily hunt for gold or iron with the help of this system. The LCD displays the perfect result of the target even if it is little nuggets.

Performance

The device is easy to work with and in deep-sea and unconventional areas, making it easy to find gold even in highly mineralized areas. The ground balancing feature is very easy to use if you clearly understand the manual comes with the tool.

Pros

  • Hunting fast
  • High sensitivity
  • Great breakpoint

Cons

  • Fewer search modes
8

Fisher F4 Metal Detector

Fisher is one of the mid-sized devices with better performance than the initial state and multi-purpose devices. It is used to hunt souvenirs, coins, and beach sandals. Fisher has an excellent sensor that provides excellent depth of detection, discrimination, and sensitivity.

Frequency

5.9 kHz

Digital Target ID

0 to 99

Dimensions

6.5 x 11.2 x 40 in

Weight

4.07 Pounds

Batteries

9V Batteries

4-Tone Audio

During hunting, the Indy system has four different sounds to detect different objects, so you can easily identify what metal is on the ground. Fisher has a range of 0 to 99. The DD coil detects the metal, then the signal transmitted to the CU, after that the internal speaker identifies what kind of tone it notifies then the metal is identified.

Buttons and Modes

The Fisher F4 has a wide variety of buttons and modes, which are 9 buttons, namely the peak button, discrimination button, power button, pinpoint, DISC button, and auto-tune mode button. It has a special knob to control ground balance. There are two distinct modes available under DISC, the Discrimination Method and the All Metallic Discrimination Mode.

Just clicking the + and – buttons, you can choose the discrimination mode used to detect specific types of metals. The all-metal discrimination button used to detect all types of targets, and the sensitivity button, which detects the underground object very well.

The sensing mode on this Fisher Detector manages the Back Point button so the object can be identified using the pinpoint.

Performance

The controls of this user-friendly metal detector are easy to use and modify. The notch mode is used to ignore the trash detected, and then separate the unwanted things from the target. The all-metal discrimination mode is also available on this Fisher F4 Detector that collects all you need.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Depth detection
  • Digital target ID

Cons

  • It requires manual adjustment

9

Minelab Equinox 600 Multi-IQ Metal Detector

The Equinox 600 metal detector is a high-grade and trustworthy multi-purpose detector. It comes with all the advantages of popular and appreciated brands like, added convenience, well-balanced and handy design, satisfactory user activity and consistent performance.

Frequency

5, 10 and 15 kHz (Single)

Standard Coil

11" Double-D

Dimensions

26 x 13 x 5 in

Target Volume

0–25

Weight

1.34 kg (2.96 lbs)

Equinox 600 is one of an excellent product among the multiple detectors available out there which works well with multi-frequency and multi IQ technology. 

Multi IQ Technology

Multi-IQ indicates multi-frequency in-phase and quadrature synchronized demodulation.

The stability of the research confirms that some metals are vulnerable to frequencies or extreme soil mineralization, although they are not affected by its smooth technology.

This indicates that each frequency of the multi-IQ instrument pays for those affected by latent constraints. The coil field is kept constant and useful. Low frequencies reach deeper levels of soil, higher frequencies find smaller objects.

The Minelab metal detector comes with easy control and adjustable settings so it is perfectly suitable for both beginners and experts.

Search Modes

Beach, Field, and Park are the 3 search modes of this metal detector that permits you to place the most optimal signs for the most diverse locations.

  • Park Mode – This mode provides exceptional pre-set provisions for search with huge discrimination and associated ground balance against the trash.
  • Field Mode – It has perfect sensitivity to field soil, a unique depth, viscosity, and more.
  • Beach Mode – The beach system affords low sensitivity to trash and saltwater is taken into account.

Pros

  • Depth detection
  • Multi-Q technology
  • Accurate pinpointing

Cons

  • No wireless headset
10

Whites TreasurePro Metal Detector

White TreasurePro is the entry-level detector, another name of the detector is “Turn-on-and-go”, it is an excellent metal detector for beginners, but compared to the other brands it can work in low conditions.

This metal detector has the 10 DD search coil and which comes with three parts such as search coil, lower rod, and s rod. It is very easy to connect this metal detector and no tool is required.

Frequency

8.2 kHz

Coil

10"

Dimensions

26 x 10 x 8 in

Weight

2.8 lbs

Batteries

2 AA Batteries

Buttons and Modes

The detector has four sets of buttons on the control box, the buttons make their job quicker and easier, and it has five different methods for controlling the conditions of the metal detector. Those 5 search methods are respectively coin detection, jewelry detection, all-metal detection, beach detection, and high trash detection.

Pinpoint Mode

The working principle of Whites Treasurer’s pinpointing is great and it locks the target immediately when locating it then provides the accurate place of that target through the LCD.

Coin, Beach, Jewelry Mode

These modes are used to find the separate metal; these modes can simply reject the unwanted things like foil, ferrous objects. The beach mode is used particularly in the saltwater soils and wet soil, in this mode it can work well as we expect.

The Whites metal detector's search coil with waterproof housing makes it easy to find the material even in the deep water in a short time.

High Trash Mode

The high trash mode provides a higher degree of discrimination which detects the important thing. It is mostly used for the high trash area.

Performance

It has many impressive features like tones, the Tone Id of this metal detector is succeeding to find the target, and it comes with 2-tone and 4-tone aspects. That identifies the different types of targets quickly; additionally, you can find the nickels, foil, iron, pull tabs, zinc, coin, dollars, and etc…

Pros

  • Flashlight
  • Great tone ID
  • Automatic ground balance

Cons

  • A bit heavy

How to Choose the Right Metal Detector

Here we will discuss a few factors that you should consider while purchasing a metal detector.

First and foremost, be specific on your choice. 

Because you can search as ‘best metal detector,’ but the fact is it is not possible to find one like that. 

There are different types of metal detectors, and each one has its best model or brand. Also, every brand has its unique features, functions, and way of use. 

So, decide which type of metal detector you will need. Like, if you are more likely to hunt gold metals, search the best metal detectors for gold, and if you are a coin collector and need a metal detector for your job, search for the best metal detector for coins. 

In this way, you shortened the process of selecting the right metal detector. 

Your Experience

Are you a beginner or a starter? Do you already have experience of purchasing metal detectors?

If you are not the one who just started metal detecting, jump into the next section.

Otherwise, I am sure you are in search of the best entry-level metal detector probably for gold hunting, coin collecting, or else.

Don’t complicate your hobby by buying a machine that you don’t understand.

No matter if it is small, long, cheap, or pricey, any metal detector can detect the metals. Only their added functions and features help us to decide if it is a good fit or not.

As a beginner, you should have a budget between $150 to $300. Anything below this range will not agree as a detector.

If you are a hobbyist, then I don’t recommend you spend more than $300 on a detector.

There are detectors above $700 to $800 that are worth buy for the professionals.

Usage

As already said, the type of hunting you do or planned to do with a metal detector impacts the choices you have.

1. Coin and Jewel

Most of the hunters use a metal detector for hunting coins and jewelry.

The metal detectors under $600 are intended for coin and jewel hunting.

If you need a metal detector for coin and jewel, make sure you don’t go for very high-frequency like metal detectors for gold. 

Stay under 15 kHz.

Because frequency and depth shares an inverse relationship so 

If the frequency is high, the depth of how long the metal detector goes will low. The result, you lose coin-sized targets.

Avoid pulse induction or PI machines. These are built for saltwater and gold hunting.

2. Saltwater Hunting

For hunting in and around saltwater, you will need a special metal detector. But dry sand areas of saltwater beach will not require it.

If the area to be detected is wet or full of water, you will need a PI or multi-frequency machine.

Avoid single frequency machines for saltwater.

  • PI for Saltwater

PI machines are not for differentiating things. So if the beach area you are searching for is filled with trash and different items, choose multi-frequency machines.

Most PI machines are designed for diving, so they weigh high. These diving machines will require a shoulder harness to make you comfort and balance the weight.

The highest depth is the great benefit of PI machines. With these machines, you can hunt effortlessly even in high mineralized areas.

After all, it is not necessary to tell that you need a waterproof machine for the beach, as that is the essential quality.

  • Multi-frequency

The multi-frequency machines are best at the discrimination of different metals.

Unlike PI, you can use multi-frequency machines for all types of hunting.

Having less depth ability is the only drawback of multi-frequency machines.

Freshwater

Freshwater hunting is not as tough as saltwater. It just needs a detector that is fully submersible and has good discrimination.

Relic Hunting

All-purpose machines do an excellent job in relic hunting. 

Few features must account for an advanced metal detector for relic hunting. Check the below list if you need one for relic hunting.

  • Coil Size: Large (DD preferred)
  • Frequency: 10-20 kHz
  • Adjustable Threshold
  • Iron Audio
  • Ground Balance: Auto and Manual

Technology

Once you decided to buy a metal detector, you should search and know about different technology that comes with a machine.

Let see one by one.

  • Very Low Frequency or VLF

Very Low Frequency or VLF is the standard technology seen on most metal detectors. These machines come under $1000.

These single frequency machines are the best choice for entry-level detectors and highly used for coin, jewel, and relic hunting.

  • Pulse Induction or PI

All specialty machines have pulse induction technology. In hunting at saltwater and high mineralized areas, this technology performs well.

These machines can find all the metals even through salt, iron, and other minerals.

  • Multiple Frequency or MF

Multiple Frequency machines have highly seen in high-end Minelab detectors. These machines cost above $1000.

It is for the most serious coin, jewel, relic, or other hunters.

These machines can be used to detect all the metal objects in dry land and saltwater areas. It combines both VLF and PI.

Search Coils

Stock coil size is another important thing you should check when purchasing a metal detector.

Does coil size important?

Generally, coils are ranged from 6 inches to 14 inches. We can divide the size groups into three as Small, Medium, and Large.

Small Coils – 6 to 8 inches

Small coils are used to identify and differentiate the metals. 

For fast-moving water, small coils are the best because they have less chance of getting aside by the waves because of their lightweight.

Medium Coils – 8 inches

Most commonly seen coils in the metal detector are these medium coils.

Medium coils can cover more space than the smaller ones, and they are far better in identifying the smaller objects than the larger coils.

Large Coils – 10 inches

Larger coils are highly recommended for deeply hidden metal objects, and they can cover a large amount of ground.

The only concern is its weight. For long-duration inspections, it is a bit difficult to hold. You will need a harness if your hunting extends 30 minutes.

Circular Coils Versus Elliptical Coils

Standard circular coils cover more area. On the other hand, Elliptical coils can only serve smaller spaces, but they can be used in very narrow and tricky places.

Choose the coil based on the area to be detected and the size of the metals you are searching for (if you know already).

I know, now you have decided that the larger coils are the best, but it is not the end, we have to discuss it further.

There is no doubt that larger coils have high depth and cover a large area. But there are other things to consider, such as ground condition and mineralization. These two have a significant part in choosing a coil size.

As the large coils go better depth and search a large area, they have to work on more signals in highly mineralized zones that lead to false alerts, and then you will miss the targets. So you have to reduce the sensitivity. Thus you lose depth.

While a small coils search less ground and process fewer signals, you can maintain the sensitivity and depth. 

Smaller coils also best at discrimination so you can find multiple metal objects.

There are reasons why you should have different coil types other than soil type and ground mineralization. 

While you are searching in small areas, you need a smaller coil for better mobility. These are also called as sniper coils.

On the other hand, hunting at the beach, farm fields, or any open areas will need a larger coil. 

Coil Type

Though there are various coil configurations available, the most commonly used are concentric and Double D (DD).

  • Concentric

Most cost-effective option.

It is easy to pinpoint the target with concentric than DD.

  • DD

DD offers high depth than concentric.

It deals better with ground mineralization.

Screen

The sound and screen or VDI (Visual Display Indicator) are two things with which a hunter can identify the metal objects.

As for as we know, most of the hunters use sound for detection. But the screen has things like the depth of the target, the time, what is the metal or target, battery life, sensitivity and discrimination values, and many more based on the model.

There are detectors with and without a screen. Mostly, people like the ones with the screen. Only, few choose detector without the screen.

The detectors without the screen are identified as dig machines. It just has a knob and doesn’t tell what it thinks about the target.

Weight

We have metal detectors from different ranges of weight from lighter as a feather to heavier as concrete.

If you can do only limited physical activities because of the elbow or other bone problems or if you are just a beginner started hunting, or if you will hunt for several hours, I would recommend you to choose the lighter models. Fisher and Garrett are well known for their lightweight metal detectors.

Considering weight is a must especially if it is your first metal detector.

The Working Mechanism of a Metal Detector

The style, look, and design of metal detectors may vary between different brands and models but the way they work is the same.

Let see how a metal detector works.

Any metal detector has 4 main parts. 

Control Box

It is the heart of the detector that is placed with the power source. The control box is located at the top of the machine that is near to your hand.

Antenna

Antenna otherwise known as a coil is placed at the base. It consists of two parts.

  1. Transmitter
  2. Receiver

Shaft

It is the lengthy rode or tube to which all the components of the detector are attached.

Stabilizer

Obviously, from the name, it says what it will do. It stabilizes the machine so that you can easily control and hold.  

Batteries are the power source of metal detectors. The electricity from the control box with the shaft is transmitted using cables to the coil. By this, a magnetic field is created. 

When you use a metal detector on the ground, this magnetic field will be placed over the hidden metals so the current flows via metals and turn it to the detector that activates the receiver coil.

After that, the receiver coils alert you with the ‘beep’ sound about the metal objects.

Few detectors have bell and whistle sounds for the alert but the process is the same.

Consider the Essential Terms of Metal Detector

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is a feature or the ability of a metal detector that used to detect different metal objects even in high mineralized areas. Nowadays, most metal detector comes as default sensitivity settings based on the manufacturer’s instruction, but you can also adjust the sensitivity based on the ground condition. This feature will help when you planned to hunt at different soil types.

Most of the starters think that having high sensitivity will provide them more treasures, but it is not true in all cases.

Yes, the high sensitivity will offer high depth, but it signals all the metal objects, even minerals and trashes. The metal detector will end up uncontrollable and annoying. So you need adjustable sensitivity that you can adjust it based on the ground condition and mineralization. 

Ground Balance

Metal content is present in all types of soils, so you can’t deny it while detecting metals. Sometimes they turn you against the detector. 

If your metal detector has ground balancing, it will detect the soil and find what types of minerals it has. Later, the detector avoids these minerals while detecting on the ground and give a signal to only the valid objects.

Metal detectors come with four variations of ground balance adjustment.

Preset Ground Balance: This is the ground balancing settings set by the manufacturer that works fine for most of the environments that have low or medium mineralization. 

Automatic Ground Balance: Modern metal detectors with automatic ground balancing will adjust itself based on the mineralization on the soil as you move around. 

Manual Ground Balance: If you have great knowledge of soil types and minerals, and you need full control of the detector on your hand, then you can choose manual ground balancing. Here, you, the user has to adjust the detector based on the soil type. Mostly for gold hunting, these manual setting is used.

Multiple Ground Balance: With multiple ground balance in a metal detector, you can switch between manual and automatic as per your need.

Discrimination

Discrimination is a great ability of a metal detector that saves searching time by differentiating different metals. If you set discrimination value as low, the metal detector will avoid detecting nails, coins, bottle caps, tins, trash cans, and other small targets. 

As the discrimination value increase, the metals a detector detects will decrease. So if you are searching for a specific metal or object, this mode will help you a lot with time and effort. It is a good choice to pick a detector with discrimination mode as you can utilize it if you want; otherwise, you set it off. 

Target ID

Target Identification in a metal detector allows the machine to tell you which type of target you are currently detecting. This alert will be provided in two ways, either Tone Identification or Visual Identification. 

Most of the recent metal detectors come with Visual ID, where a value called VDI number shown on an LCD screen to indicate the type of target. You have to familiar with these numbers to know what number probably means what target.

Machines with Tone ID will provide different types of tones based on the target. High pitch tone for valuable treasures and low pitch sounds for trashes or minerals. 

With these identification methods, the overall detecting, digging, and variating time will be reduced.

Ground Mineralization

You can’t simply ignore minerals and chemicals in soil and sand while using a detector.

The most problematic mineral while hunting treasures is Iron. It is conductive and turns the machine against you.

Iron exists in the soil for decades by itself. Most of the treasure hunters mention it while talking about ground mineralization. A metal detector can trace even a small mineralized thing as they are more sensitive. 

Then imagine, detecting or finding metal in highly mineralized soil or sand with chemicals. It is nearly impossible because the machine says ‘find.. find…’ every time it detects any mineral content.

Mostly, soil in Red or Black is old with high iron components that are forced by rain. It is merely tough to identify if the signal is for metal or mineral.

You can experience serious ground mineralization problems on the beach of black sand with iron compounds. 

To solve this problem, you just need a metal detector with auto or manual ground balancing and manual sensitivity features.

Like ground mineralization, another interference too affects the detectorists, Electrical interference. 

If you hear your detector singing, check if there are nearby power lines. 

Also, make sure the machine has enough space from their fellows.

Depth

It shows how depth your metal detector can detect coins and other treasured metals. Usually, lower frequency metal detectors provide better depth. 

Search coil size also matters. A large search coil will more likely go deep. 

For your easy understanding: In a depth of 1 ½ time of coil diameter, you can find coin-sized objects.

But it also based on the soil being detected and types of targets.

How Deep Can A Metal Detector Check?

A very common question asked by almost all the buyers.

As there so many factors invloved in this case, it is not easy to give a solid answer.

Some of the variables that can affect the accuracy of metal detectors are below.

Soil

If the soil contains more minerals, it is hard for a detector to penetrate as they are sensitive.

Time

The objects that are grounded for years will have rust so they make strong signals even if they buried so deep.

Size

Finding the large-sized objects in deeper water or ground in a large area is easier than finding smaller ones.

The larger the size of the object, the quicker you will get it.

Coil Size

Like the size of the objects, the size of the coil also plays a major role. Large coil detectors penetrate so well.

Shape

Rounded metals are caught more likely than lean or sticky objects.

Type

Using the specified detector for metals makes the job easier. If you are hunting gold, then use the perfect gold detector than a random type.

Accessories You May Need With A Metal Detector

Having a metal detector is enough for detecting any metal objects but you may need extra tools and accessories after you found the targets. 

Dig Trowel

You get the alert to the target metals, now what you have to do? Just dig and get off the metals from the ground. For that, you will need a trowel. There are special trowels for metal detectors that are long and thin. But I would recommend the normal hand trowels. 

Sand Scoop

A utensil having a mesh that used for filtration. After digging sand or water, you have to drag the targets before you lose it to sea. A scoop with a pointed tip is best for rocky areas.

Harness

If you hunt for a long time or you use heavyweight metal detectors, having shoulder harness will cut off the weight and offer great balance. 

Headphones

Wearing headphones while hunting metals avoid the noise from outside so you can focus on your search and more likely find targets. If you hunt at the beach, using a headphone will avoid sound from waves, wind, and people.

Pinpointer

Pinpointer is not an essential tool for hunting metals but they make sense.

An external pinpointer is a great option if your metal detector can’t pinpoint to save the digging time and avoid guessing.

Pinpointer used to exactly locate the target. Your metal detector may lead the search to one or two feet, but it will be hard if it is a large area. In that situation, a pinpointer is much helpful.


Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Detectors

How To Use A Metal Detector?

After you powered up the machine, sweep the machine in front from side to side. You need to keep it close to sand or soil that the magnetic field will create and penetrate. Be careful that you don’t strike the coils on stones or rocks.

Do it steady and slow giving time to coil to detect the target and reach depth.

If you already have an experience of using a metal detector on your lawn for buried coins, metals, trashes, and tins, you know which moves of your machine will work out.

The metal detectors come with tone and visual identification. So be familiar with that VDI numbers and different tones. 

When you got that successful ‘beep’ sound, it is the time to pinpoint the location. Pinpointing will reduce the digging time.

Start digging a small hole without damaging the ground. 

After digging out your target, fill the hole and remove the waste then leave. 

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What Is The Best Metal Detector for 2020?

From our research and review, we chose Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector as the best metal detector with overall features and abilities. It is an All-Terrain metal detector so you can use it for coin hunting, metal detecting in any ground, and beach.

AT detector comes with a manual and automatic ground balancing, adjustable settings, and quick recovery time. The price of this machine is entirely worth its features.

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What Are The Best Brands for Metal Detector?

In no particular order, some of the best and famous brands that make from basic to high-end metal detectors are Garrett, Fisher, Minelab, and Whites. 

Any machines from these brands will be a good choice. 

Branding is essential, but it is not everything. So choose a metal detector that you can afford. All those brands offer machines from hundreds to thousands of dollars, so sure you will get one that suits you.

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Should You Buy or Rent A Metal Detector?

If you just started metal detecting as a hobby, it is better to rent a machine. 

Mostly, you get the opportunity to try out different brands of high-quality metal detectors in a renting option. So you know better about various features and functions of metal detectors.

But as everyone says, owning a one is always the best choice.

Because each machine works differently, even if they are from the same brand, you will know how your machine will behave and which settings will work for specific soil types, targets, and metals as time goes and you use.

Though you have the user manual for coin or gold settings, features like mineralization and sensitivity, it will not match the self-exploration you do with your machine.

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Where to Use A Metal Detector?

If you don’t have any location ideas already, you can start your first detection at your yard or lawn. You can understand your machine a lot when you tried in a comfortable place.

There are chances you or your family dropped something in the land. It does not matter if it is your new house; the land should be used so you can find valuable objects.

The second will be a beach as it is a mostly used public place. Playing games, handling things in slippery hands, keeping or taking coins in cold fingers will leave the valuables for you on the beach.

You surely need legal permission for both private and public beaches.

Parks are another congregate place that people often go. You can search around trees, benches, and places where the public sits and spend time.

For historical research in certain fields, you can use these machines. If you know what type of finds you are going to detect, it will be easier and make the job done quickly.

Churches are old buildings that must be respectful. There you have chanced to collect different coins under the trees and gates.

Following a footpath will lead you to a place with a human activity that offers valuable dropped objects.

Abandoned towns due to mining and transportation is a great place for exploring. Get permission from your Government if it needs to be safe. 

You are lucky if you live near historical fields or battle sites because you can get very interesting things like pistol balls, uniform buttons, and others used by our ancestors.

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How To Troubleshoot A Metal Detector?

Here are the answers to a few questions that users raise while starting the machine.

Why is it not working?

Turn the machine on. If it is not working, you have to check the batteries. 

The high-end metal detectors come with the screen that shows the level of the battery, and it warns if the battery is low. 

Try after changing the battery. Always keep a spare battery with you. 

Also, check for loose connections.

Why I can’t read the display?

When the detector is in the shortage of power, the display will fade, so check the battery.

Why is it not signaling?

Check if the volume turns up or low.

Increase the volume and check without headphones. If it works, then the problem is with the headphone. 

Don’t check with high discrimination; otherwise, you will miss valuable signals.

Why is it too noisy?

Reduce the sensitivity if you were set it high. Make sure there are no powerlines, cables, or radio stations nearby.

Take a move from that place.

What if I dropped it on water?

If your machine is not waterproof, then it is a severe problem even it just got wet. It will surely damage the control box.

Remove the batteries and place the machine in a warm place and let it dry.

If it is saltwater, then you must prepare yourself to replace your machine because it will quickly corrode the sensitive parts of the device.

Why I can’t change the controls?

Once you switched on after taking out or changed the batteries, try a factory reset option.

Why I can’t move the needle?

It is because of static electricity. Use a damp cloth to remove it.


Wrapping Up

Metal detection is now becoming a hobby that can develop into overtime. This article reveals several determinants to consider before buying quality or qualified metal detectors, but this post isn’t meant to frighten you away from your existing purchase.

I hope this guide is great for your new search and will help you get the good stuff. After reading this full-length article, I hope you have a good idea about the best metal detector. Stay with us at all times for the best information and guidance.

Disclaimer: If you purchase any products in this post, we may receive a small commission. We promote only the products which we test and recommend. Read our affiliate disclaimer here.
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