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Home » Best Metal Detectors of 2024 – Top 10 Recommended

Best Metal Detectors of 2024 – Top 10 Recommended

A man using a metal detector in a park.

Top 10 Best Metal Detectors

The best metal detector overall is the Minelab Equinox 900.

A man using a metal detector in a park.

Metal detecting, a hobby that sparks the thrill of treasure hunting, can also be a pricey endeavor. But don’t let that discourage you!

Here’s the good news! This list is your treasure map to finding the perfect metal detector, no matter your skill level or budget. Instead of just 10 options, each model featured here has been handpicked for its versatility, features, and price.

So, what makes these models stand out? Each one is crafted with a specific user in mind – be it gold prospecting, underwater detecting, or beginners and children. Because of this, there’s a suitable option for everyone, making your quest for the ideal metal detector as exciting as finding hidden treasure.

Our Top 10 Picks

Best Bugdet Metal Detector:

Best Children's Metal Detector:

Best Metal Detector for Beginners:

Best Intermediate Metal Detector:

Best Metal Detector for Experts:

Best All-Around Metal Detector:

Best Metal Detector for Gold:

Best Underwater Metal Detector:

Best Metal Detector for Coins:

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Metal Detecting for Beginners

Before diving into the world of metal detecting, it’s crucial to understand the workings of a metal detector and what to anticipate first. Equally important, you should be aware of all the necessary tools you’ll need in addition to a metal detector before you begin.

Now, if you’re entirely new to this fascinating hobby, we recommend starting with our beginner guide, titled “How To Start Metal Detecting For Beginners”. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the basics you need to get started with metal detecting.

So, take your time to read and understand the guide. Once you’re done, you can return here, armed with knowledge and ready to choose the perfect metal detector for your treasure-hunting adventures.

Quick Summary of How Metal Detectors Work

Metal detectors work on the principle of electromagnetic induction(1). This happens around its main operational component, the search coil. As you swing your metal detector around, the search coil emits its own unique electromagnetic field into the ground. In effect, when this electromagnetic field comes in contact with another piece of metal, that metal disrupts the field(1), promptly sending you an alert that an item is buried there.

Required Tools Besides A Metal Detector

Some metal detectors can be purchased as complete kits with all the tools you need in them. However, others require that you buy all your tools and accessories separately. 

Tools You’ll Need:

All the required tools for metal detecting laid out on a table.
All the required tools for metal detecting laid out on the table.
  1. A Shovel – Most importantly, you’ll need A shovel with sharp edges for digging.
  2. A Hand Digger – This is the smaller and more precise shovel used for extracting items without damaging them.
  3. Pinpointer – An extremely useful handheld device that helps you accurately pinpoint targets and know exactly where to dig.
  4. Pair of Headphones (Optional) – We recommend using noise-canceling or Bluetooth headphones since they can help you focus and hear faint detection alerts better.
  5. Finders Pouch – Use a pouch to store all your finds and tools on the go.
  6. Protective Gloves – Safety First! You only get two hands after all. Protect them from objects or contaminants during your adventure.
  7. Drop Cloth – A simple towel or cloth works well for placing dirt on and cleaning off finds.

Things to Consider First

  • Level of Use: The first thing you’ll want to consider is how invested you’ll be in the hobby. If you’re just going to do it casually, it doesn’t make sense to break your budget on a high-end metal detector. However, if you’re going to take up this hobby for a while, a higher-end device will offer you more valuable features and the ability to find more treasures.
  • Price: Metal detectors can range in price from under $100 to over $3,000(2)! If you’re just starting out, it’s best to start with the most affordable option for your budget.
  • Features: Some metal detectors have more features than others, such as discrimination modes, target ID, and ground balancing. These features can be helpful, but they can also be overkill for a beginner.
  • Ease of use: Look for a metal detector that’s easy to assemble and operate. Some detectors have automatic ground balancing, making them easier to use in different soil types.
  • Weight: You might be swinging your metal detector back and forth for a while. Consider choosing a model that’s lightweight and comfortable to carry.

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s jump into the 10 Best Metal Detectors in 2024!

Best Cheap Metal Detector

"Dr. Öteks MT-XR Metal Detector Kit"

One of the best inexpensive metal detectors is Dr Otek's MT-XR kit.

First, we have one of the best inexpensive metal detectors available, “Dr. Ötek’s MT-XR Kit”. Its advanced features and comfortable design ensure a productive metal-detecting experience for both beginners and seasoned treasure hunters alike. With a price tag of $150 or less, this metal detector is surprising with how powerful it is for the price! As a bonus, this kit comes with all the tools and accessories you’ll need to get started, making it the perfect plug-and-play option. In summary, this model is the perfect choice if you’re looking to purchase the best inexpensive device.

Key Features

  • 5 Major Detection Modes: ‘All-Metal’, Disc, Memory, Jewelry, and Pinpoint(3). These modes enable users to personalize their search based on the types of metals they’re hoping to find. Ultimately, it will improve your accuracy and efficiency during hunts.

  • Large LCD Screen: The notably large user-friendly LCD screen provides easy-to-read information on the battery status, target depth, and much more, making it easy for new users to comprehend.

  • Backlight: There’s also a backlight on the LCD screen that allows users to see clearly see information in varying light conditions.

  • Large Waterproof Coil: One feature that stands out is the powerful 9.8-inch waterproof search coil(3). The size alone allows the device to pick up metals buried up to 10 inches underground! Additionally, the search coil is waterproof allowing for effective searching underwater and in damp areas like the beach.

  • Lightweight:  The entire unit is only 2.2 pounds making it super easy to carry!

  • Includes All Accessories: Unlike other metal detectors, this machine comes as a kit with all the essential tools you’ll need.
  • Discrimination: Offers discrimination modes to ingonre unwanted targets.

Best Budget Metal Detector

The “Minelab X-Terra Pro”

Photo of the Minelab X-Terra Pro.
The Minelab X-Terra pro is one of the best metal detectors for the money.

Are you looking for the best metal detector while on a budget? Lucky for you, the Minelab X-Terra Pro is the perfect balance between price, quality, and valuable features. For $270, the X-Terra Pro is an attractive choice among treasure hunters because of its impressive effectiveness as only a single-frequency metal detector. Although this metal detector only offers single-frequency capabilities, its groundbreaking PRO-SWITCH™ technology allows users to quickly switch between frequencies, allowing the adaptability to various metals and terrains.

Not too cheap and not too expensive. The Minelab X Terra Pro proves to be the best budget metal detector!

Read the full review here: Minelab X-Terra Pro Review

Key Features

  • Interchangeable Coils One nice feature is the fact that you can interchange search coils from the Equinox 900 onto this model. So if you already own an Equinox 900, or just want a better search coil, it’s easily interchangeable.
  • PRO-SWITCH™ Technology – The Minelab X Terra Pro allows seamless frequency switching ensuring top-notch performance across environments and target types.(4)
  • Plug & Play – With set search modes like coin, relic, beach, and prospecting, users can tailor their detection settings based on their specific treasure-seeking needs.
  • LCD Display – The large LCD display provides easy-to-read details on target identification, depth levels, and ground balance aiding users in easily identifying their discoveries.
  • Waterproof – The waterproof search coil allows for detecting in water and damp conditions and full submersion up to 16ft (4)

Best Metal Detector For Children

The “Bounty Hunter Junior”

Photo of the best metal detector for kids.
The Bounty Hunter Junior is one of the best choices for a kid's metal detector.

Next, we have the Bounty Hunter Junior Metal Detector. It’s considered one of the best metal detectors for children because of its simplistic design and user-friendly features. If you’re like most, once you start enjoying metal detecting yourself, you can’t help but want to share the fun with your whole family. Imagine, making memories with your kids or grandkids, hunting for gold and treasure beside the beach on a nice Saturday.

While some devices may seem complicated, this metal detector by Bounty Hunter, combines simplicity, lightweight construction, and performance all into one. Designed with kids in mind the Bounty Hunter Junior comes with controls easier than any other metal detector. Its ingenious control panel features buttons and knobs, as opposed to an LCD screen, ensuring super simple operation for kids. The user-friendly benefits and affordable price make this model the best metal detector for children.

Key Features

Designed with youth in mind, the Bounty Hunter Junior Metal Detector comes with an interface that’s easier to use than any other detector. It’s super easy for kids to understand.

  • Comes with simple-to-use knobs instead of LCD screens
  • 6.5 inch water resistant coil
  • Adjustable length to accommodate all kid sizes
  • Offers discrimination control
  • Lightweight (1.5 lbs)

Best Metal Detector for Beginners

The “Nokta Simplex Lite”

Photo of the Nokta Simplex Lite metal detector.
The Nokta Simplex Lite is rated the best metal detector for beginners.

Are you captivated by the idea of finding hidden treasures? Maybe you’ve been watching people on social media and the idea of finding unique trinkets excites you!

Well, look no further! 

The Nokta Simplex Lite metal detector is specially designed to be the best metal detector for beginners. It combines an easy-to-use interface with exceptional performance and design, making this the perfect metal detector for a beginner. Its preset search modes eliminate the need for complex adjustments, while the clear visual and audible target ID helps you understand what’s buried before you dig. Additionally, its lightweight & waterproof design ensures confident exploration and opens doors to exciting beach and water hunts. As a novice, you’re excited to start metal detecting and don’t want to be bogged down by complicated setups. The Nokta Simple Lite prevents just that with its simple plug-and-play design.

Key Features

  • Plug-N’-Play Simplicity: The Nokta detector lives up to its name Simplex in every way. Forget complicated set-up procedures! This metal detector has a single menu design, allowing you to power it on and begin detecting instantly.
  • Preset Search Modes: There also isn’t a need to worry about customizing intricate settings. The Simplex comes pre-loaded with various search modes like Park, Field, All-Metal, and Beach. Just choose the mode that best suits your environment and start searching!
  • Visual Target ID: The Simplex Lite provides clear and visual target identification on the LCD screen.
  • Audible Target ID: Visual AND Audible Target ID! Audible target ID plays distinct audio tones for different types of metals. This makes it easy to differentiate between valuable finds and junk.
  • Waterproof Design: Don’t let water dampen your day! Haha, this metal detector is fully submersible up to 3 meters (10 ft), making it perfect for searching beaches, shallow water, or digging in wet soil (5).
  • Lightweight and Compact: Weighing in at 2.7 pounds, it’s a breeze to carry around ;). Its compact design makes it easy to maneuver through various terrains and allows for comfortable extended detecting sessions(5).

Best Intermediate Metal Detector

The “Garrett AT PRO”

Garrett AT PRO is undoubtedly the best metal detector for intermediate level hobbyists.

Treasure hunters, rejoice the Garrett AT PRO! This feature-packed device boasts advanced features and versatility, making it the best metal detector for intermediate and novice diggers alike. Withstanding the test of time, the Garrett AT Pro metal detector is here to take your adventures to the next level.

The Garrett AT Pro is a reliable metal detector that has been around for years. Although it’s not the newest model, it still does an amazing job at almost half the price of some higher-end models. It can seamlessly adapt to various terrains, conquering any beach with its brilliant waterproof build. Plus, its advanced audio informs you about nearby targets, while its customizable search modes and adjustable ground balancing empower you to tailor your settings for maximum detectection.

Key Features

  • Waterproof Design: The AT Pro conquers any environment. Its waterproof design lets you search beaches, wade through streams, or uncover submerged secrets in lakes and ponds with a depth rating of up to 10 feet (6)
  • Hear Every Whisper of Treasure: Garrett’s innovative Proportional (Pro) Audio lets you “hear” the target. Subtle variations in the signal’s tone and pitch will tell you about the size, shape, and even the depth of your find. Standard Audio Modes are also available, offering clear beeps for each target, perfect for beginners or those who prefer a simpler approach (6)
  • Discrimination Modes: Discrimination modes act like your personal treasure filter. Fine-tune the AT Pro to ignore unwanted targets like trash or iron, allowing you to focus on the valuable finds you truly desire.
  • Ground-balancing: Mineralized ground can sometimes mask treasures. The AT Pro’s adjustable ground balancing feature eliminates this electronic interference, ensuring you receive accurate target identification for every hidden bounty. (6)

Best Metal Detector for Experts

The “Minelab Manticore”

Photo-of-the-Minelab-Manticore-metal-detector
The Minelab Manticore is the best metal detector for the money.

The Minelab Manticore is nothing short of elite. Just read the reviews and you’ll see why the Manticore is rated #1. It has features not offered by any other metal detector, not to mention unrivaled detection power! In addition, its 11-inch search coil will cover more ground and give you the depth to find things no other metal detector can.

Remarkably, the Minelab Manticore is known as the most powerful metal detector available on today’s market. It has mind-blowing 50% more detection power than a traditional metal detector and waterproof capabilities of up to 16 feet (7)! This model is the way to go if you’re looking for a metal detector with all the bells and whistles. You won’t regret it!

Key Features

  • Advanced Multi-IQ Technology: The Manticore’s multi-frequency is like no other! Minelab’s ground-breaking technology gives this machine 50% more power than any other machine on the market (7).
  • Upgraded Visual & Audible Target ID: Minelab’s innovative visual and audible target ID allows you to clearly hear and see your targets, thanks to the rich target ID map.
  • Built-in GPS tracking: The built-in GPS feature allows you to log your path while hunting and mark points of interest.
  • Wireless: Offers wireless audio for your headphones.
  • 10 Search Modes: Search for any metal in any terrain, thanks to 10 different search modes like all-terrain, beach, surf, and even goldfields (7)
  • Vibrating Grip: Not only does the Manticore alert you visually and audibly when it detects a new treasure, but it also features a vibrating grip that alerts you of nearby targets. (8)
  • Backlit LCD & Flashlight: The daylight might end, but your hunt doesn’t have to! Thanks to an LED flashlight integrated directly into the control box, you can keep the hunt going as long as it takes! (8)

Best All-Around Metal Detector

The “Minelab Equinox 900”

Photo of Minelab Equinox 900
The Minelab Equinox 900 is the best all-around metal detector.

Our pick for the best all-around metal detector is the Minelab Equinox 900. As one of the most popular models among enthusiasts, the Equinox 900 is such a favorite because of its versatility. Some metal detectors are designed for specific environments/targets and using them outside of that doesn’t yield the best results. However, this metal detector has a multitude of features, allowing it to detect in any environment or terrain.

One of the most noticeable features of the Minelab Equinox 900 is the multi-IQ feature which allows you to search for multiple metal frequencies at the same time. Pair this with it’s incredible Target ID feature and you’ll be able to see what’s undergound before you start digging! Being able to find anything, anywhere, at any time, is a luxury not all metal detectors give you… But this one does.

Key Features

  • Multi-Frequency Feature: One of the best features of the Equinox 900 is its multi-frequency technology. For those of you who don’t know, multi-frequency is a feature on metal detectors that allows them to search for multiple targets at once. While using the multi-frequency feature, users can easily search for silver, gold, and other valuable metals, all at the same time. This feature also enables the detector to perform optimally in a wider range of environments, ranging from mineral-rich soils to sandy beaches. (9)

  • Adaptability Modes: Dominate all terrains with the Minelab Equinox 900! Quickly adjust your metal detector’s settings, depending on your surroundings, with just the tap of a button. Easy-to-understand modes like Park, Field, Beach, and Gold, allow users to tailor their metal-detecting experience to suit their terrain.

  • Waterproof (Fully Submersible): The Equinox 900 allows a whopping 16ft of submersion in fresh or saltwater. This feature makes it perfect for underwater metal detecting in any condition. (9)

  • Target Separation: Control how your detector responds to a variety of signals to weed out unwanted items even, in the trashiest ground conditions.

Best Metal Detector for Gold Prospecting

The “Garrett AT Gold”

Photo of the Garrett AT Gold metal detector.
The Garrett AT Gold is specially designed to be the best metal detector for finding gold.

The Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector is exclusively tailored for gold hunting. If you’re looking for nothing but phenomenal performance in finding gold, this model will get the job done exceptionally well.

Garrett AT Gold’s high operating frequency optimizes its ability to find gold, while the ‘All Metal’ Mode ensures maximum depth and sensitivity in either water or land. Its ‘tone roll audio’ enhances signal clarity and helps you identify targets more effectively. Plus, the customizable selections in ‘Zero Discrimination’ and ‘U.S. Coin Mode’ make it easy to discriminate against unwanted items.

If you’re serious about gold hunting, this metal detector should be your choice. It boasts full submersion up to 10 feet and features a 5” x 8″ search coil (10), allowing you to detect even the tiniest gold nuggets along shorelines. Whether you’re prospecting in mountain streams or searching for lost jewelry on the beach, this Garrett model is an ideal companion.

Key Features

  • One feature that makes the AT Gold special, is its proprietary Garretts Ground Balance Window™ feature. Ground balancing is a feature that increases the device’s sensitivity to gold while reducing interference from mineralized soil and hot rocks. In turn, this makes the Garrett AT Gold highly effective in gold-rich areas. (10)
  • 3 Valuable Search Modes: ‘All-Metal’, Discrimination, and Ground Balance, each suited for different detecting situations.
  • Operates at a high frequency of (18 kHz) and can be adjusted. High-frequency levels are optimum for boosting sensitivity to tiny gold nuggets, ensuring no potential treasures are overlooked.
  • Amazingly durable in all terrains.
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet deep in fresh water.
  • Built-in Z Lynk™ wireless technology, offering the ability for wireless audio.

Best Underwater Metal Detector

The “XP Deus 2”

Photo of XP Deus II Metal Detector
With waterproof capabilities of over 60 feet under water, the XP Deus II is the best metal detector for underwater hunting.

If what you’re looking for is the best waterproof metal detector, stop right here at the XP Deus II. This machine represents a significant advancement in metal detecting technology, offering unparalleled speed and accuracy for any enthusiast. With an unbelievable waterproof depth of up to 66 feet underwater (fresh or saltwater), this device is terrific for those looking to test their luck at beaches or snorkeling. While it may take some time to get comfortable operating this detector, the results will surely be well worth it.

Key Features

  • Fully Wireless: Once paired, the coil, remote control, headphones, and pinpointer communicate without latency.
  • FMF® Technology: Fast Multi-Frequency technology allows for simultaneous multi-frequency operation; with the choice of 49 single frequencies ranging from 4 to 45 kHz3. (11)
  • All-Terrain Performance: High efficiency on both land and underwater, ensuring versatility in all environments.
  • Waterproof Design: The device is waterproof up to an astounding 66 feet, suitable for underwater adventures.
  • Customizable Audio Options: Multiple dynamic audio options, including PWM and SQUARE, cater to different user preferences.

Best Metal Detector for Coins

The “Minelab Equinox 600”

Photo of the Equinox 600 metal detector.
The Minelab Equinox 600 is hands down one of the best metal detector for finding coins, jewelry, and old relics.

The Minelab Equinox 600 has paved its way as an effective metal detector, catering perfectly to coin-hunting. Notably, the Equinox 600 is renowned for its swift recovery speed and accurate target identification. It can reliably detect coin-sized objects up to 8 inches deep and larger items even deeper. Moreover, users can increase and reduce the sensitivity settings to their preferences, minimizing false signals and honing detection accuracy.

In addition, this metal detector is designed for comfort with a lightweight build and ergonomic structure, making it suitable for extended use. Furthermore, its collapsible shaft enhances its portability, while the long-lasting battery supports up to 12 hours of continuous treasure hunting. Coupled with multi-frequency capabilities, this metal detector will find tons of amazing trinkets that others can’t.

Key Features

  • Multi-IQ feature allows for fine-tuning, effectively optimizing searches for lost coins and jewelry (12).
  • 3 Specialized Search Modes: Park, field, and beach; 3 different ground modes each optimized for select terrains.
  • These modes provide the ability to fine-tune settings for optimal performance detecting coins in every condition.
  • Large backlit LCD screen
  • Waterproof design, allowing submersion up to 10 feet (12)
  • Precise Targeting: Fast recovery and reliable depth indication.

Conclusion

As you embark on your adventure in the realm of lost treasures, it’s essential to choose the right gear for a successful and enjoyable hunt. Whether you’re new to this hobby and need your first metal detector or an experienced enthusiast looking for an upgrade, our recommendations cater to all levels of expertise. Remember to keep in mind factors, like detection depth, discrimination capabilities and the specific kinds of treasures you hope to discover when choosing. Armed with the metal detector you’ll be ready to uncover lost gems and make everlasting memories.

What metal detector are you currently using and how do you like it? Leave a comment below.

References

  1. “How A Metal Detector Works.” *Micro Magnet*, https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/electromag/java/detector/. Accessed 23 May 2024.
  2. Stewart, Steven. “How Much Does It Cost for a Metal Detector? Plus Tips and Recommendations.” *Backyard Lord*, 17 May 2024, https://www.backyardlord.com/how-much-does-it-cost-for-a-metal-detector/. Accessed 23 May 2024.
  3. DR.ÖTEK MTXR Metal Detector for Adults. Drotek. https://www.drotekor.com/collections/all. Accessed 23 May 2024.
  4. “X-Terra Pro.” Minelab, www.minelab.com/usa/metal-detectors/x-terra-pro. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  5. “Nokta Detectors.” Simplex Lite, Nokta Metal Detectors, https://www.noktadetectors.com/metal-detector/simplex-lite/. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  6. “AT Pro.” Garrett, garrett.com/sport/at-all-terrain/at-pro. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  7. “Manticore.” Minelab, www.minelab.com/metal-detectors/manticore. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  8. “Minelab Manticore.” Big Boys Hobbies, bigboyshobbies.net/minelab-manticore. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  9. “Equinox 900.” Minelab, www.minelab.com/usa/metal-detectors/equinox-900. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  10. “AT Gold.” Garrett, garrett.com/sport/at-all-terrain/at-gold. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  11. “Deus II Detectors.” XP Metal Detectors, www.xpmetaldetectors.com/en/gamme/deus-ii-detectors.php. Accessed 25 May 2024.
  12. “Equinox 600.” Minelab, www.minelab.com/metal-detectors/equinox-600. Accessed 25 May 2024.

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