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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Metal Detectors of 2021

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Metal Detectors of 2021

Being one of the few online metal detector specialists in the world, and serving many customers every day we get asked a lot of questions! One of the most asked questions that we often hear is, “What is the best metal detector to buy today?”

In the simplest of terms, there's no easy answer to that question. Due to so many varied types of metal detecting there are many "best detectors" suited for each style. So, we've created this buying guide to thoroughly answer your questions as in-depthly as possible.

Please take note of the areas of criteria you should consider when researching to buy a metal detector. We have illustrated the main aspects to consider, that will help you decide which detector to buy for your detecting preference.

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Terminology & definitions
Evaluation criteria for this buyer’s guide
Best metal detector for coins, rings & jewelry
Best metal detector for relic hunting
Best metal detector for gold
Best metal detector for saltwater & beach hunting
Best metal detector for freshwater
Best all-purpose metal detector
All things considered

Terminology & Definitions

Have you ever come across those strange looking words that only metal detectorists seem to understand? Metal detecting is filled with unique words that each have their own meaning that newcomers may find difficult to understand. So with that said, we have decided to define the most important words for you below: 

Ferrous: Metals that contain iron. 

Non-Ferrous: Non-Magnetic metals such as, gold, silver, brass, nickel, lead and tin. 

Frequency: Different types of metal detectors use different types of frequencies. Frequencies are measured in Kilohertz and range in value for various types of detecting styles. Essentially they measure the number of magnetic fields sent out to the ground. Various metals are made discoverable by reacting to various frequencies. The conductivity and characteristics of each metal react in different ways. 

Mineralization: The measurement of how much iron and salt is in the ground. Iron is evident in black sand on beaches and the redness you see in dirt. Salt can be found in the sand on saltwater beaches. 

Interference: Electromagnetic fields can interfere with your detecting. These fields usually come from cell phones, power lines or other electronics. 

Control Box: The unit on the metal detector that contains the controls/menu, options, presets, volume, speaker, batteries and processor. 

Search Coil: This attaches to the bottom of the metal detector that scans the ground below for metal. You can use different search coils, each with their own size and shape to change the performance. It is most common for smaller coils to be much more sensitive in comparison to larger coils that can penetrate the ground more deeply. 

Discrimination: This is a setting on your metal detector that allow you to filter out unwanted types of metals of objects by adjusting to your preference. 

Ground Balance: This is an adjustment made to the metal detector to allow you to detect in various types of soil and mineralizaton. 

Target Separation: This function relates to how well a metal detector can determine how close targets are to each other,  

Evaluation Criteria for this Buyer’s Guide 

You now know (or at least have a fair understanding!) of the terminologies, but what do these mean in practice? How is this going to help you decide which out of all those metal detectors is the best one for you? There isn’t one single metal detector out there that beats all others, although there are some that stand out. But again, how do you know which of these is best fit for your purpose? 

It all comes down to evaluating your options which have quite conveniently been already categorized. By doing this you can make a judgement based on predefined criteria. This buyer’s guide examines the specific features that make for a good detector within those categories. You will find that some categories share criteria and include metal detectors with similar specifications. This can get confusing especially for a newcomer, therefore suggestions/recommendations have been included to help guide you. 

We will be looking at factors such as:

  • Weight
  • Size
  • Ergonomics
  • Ease of use
  • Durability
  • Reliability
  • Price point
  • Customer ratings and reviews
  • Warranty Length
  • Weatherproofing
  • Waterproofing

 Every category we evaluate, we will recommend the best metal detector for these three areas: 

  • Best of the best
  • Best for Value
  • Best for Beginners 

 It is one thing reading about this type of information and another being able to associate or apply it ‘in real’. To supplement our expertise and in-depth analysis of your options we asked customers to share their own experiences and reviews. By filling in surveys they gave us insight and helped us gather evidence on what they considered the best metal detector is in each category. Their responses have been included at the end of each category.

As mentioned above different categories have unique criteria but similarities are also evident. Results show clear-cut favorites for some of these whilst others have less defined winners. For a more objective evaluation we have combined all these opinions as well as the data, providing you with yet another way to judge what your personal favorite is.

Whether you are a fresh starter or an experienced professional this guide will assist you make an all-encompassed decision which metal detector will be yours next. In all honesty once you start you can’t stop. You will learn something new every time you refer to this guide and there really is no such thing as owning just one detector. 

Best Metal Detectors for Coins, Rings & Jewelry 

Have you ever heard of the term ‘Coin shooting’? No? Well its another fun term heard in the detector community to describe the hunt for coins. Alongside finding coins, rings and other types of jewelry are popular finds for metal detectors. To find such items we recommend taking your metal detector to areas where lots of people have visited or ventured in the past. This may include beaches, parks, schools, churches, sport complexes and bleachers as they are all rewarding areas to search around in. 

It is common for coin shooters to only search in the very best locations. These are places that are abandoned today but were full of people visiting in the past. 

When you are making the decision to choose a detector for your coin or jewelry hunt, it is important to choose one that is simple to use and has a good discrimimation or target separation. It will allow you to filter out unwanted items such as foil, cans, pull tabs etc. that could be found in parks. Notch Discrimination is also a great feature that benefits coin shooting. It will allow you to choose a target and filter out everything else that is outside that targets feedback range. The best metal detectors for this style of detecting have a frequency range of 10-15 kHz and a depth range of 6-8 inches. 

Best of the best 

Minelab CTX-3030 

Minelab CTX 3030

If you are looking for a high performing all-round metal detector this one will exceed expectations. Minelab have expertly designed and crafted this metal detector to find objects in every type of soil and even mineralized ground where gold is present. This premium machine has many advanced, fully customizable menu options and five preset search modes. The CTX- 3030 is waterproof to 10 ft (3 m) which means you can take this detector out in any terrain, such as the ocean and freshwater lakes.

The Minelab CTX-3030 is a bit heavier than other detectors but is well-balanced. If you like to detect for long periods of time, a fully customizable harness is available to relieve any tension or strain. We also give our customers the harness as a free included accessory when purchasing the CTX 3030. 

  • Weight: 5.20 lbs
  • Battery Life: 25-30 hours
  • Frequency: 1.5 kHz – 100 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 17 inches
  • Headphones: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 ft (3m)
  • Warranty: Manufacturers Three-year limited 

ctx-3030-rating

What our Customers Say: 

Before purchasing my CTX 3030 I had a lot of questions as I was looking for an upgrade. Once I called Modern Metal Detectors they guided me through everything and explained how this machine works. It certainly is the best metal detector I have ever used. It contains the best of both worlds as I can take it from land to water all in the same day. After some time spent on the field with it I learned to understand the different sounds and have now attuned myself with it. I will never need another detector than this one. Thank you very much for your time and recommendation.” - Kenneth

Best for Value

Garrett AT Pro 

Garrett AT Pro

Just like the Minelab CTX 3030 the Garrett AT Pro is also fully submersible up to 10 feet. It is the perfect all-terrain device that an incredible 40 discrimination settings that allow you to notch out different types of ferrous metals, including iron.

 It even includes the upgraded Garrett MS-2 headphones that are lightweight and comfortable for longer use. Many of our satisfied customers say that the AT Pro is an all-round detector that can do it all. 

Other features include the Pro audio mode setting that will allow you to “hear” a potential target before even being detected. This is because it will give out a different tone that identities how deep the target is buried. Not only will your ears be more attuned but so will your eyes, as the digital target ID on the screen will allow you to identify what type of metal you are detecting. Ferrous targets are characterized between 1-40 and more conductive targets such as silver are closer to 99. If you are having trouble identifying a larger target from ferrous to non-ferrous you can correctly identify it with the Iron Audio feature. 

  • Weight: 3.03 lbs
  • Battery Life: 15-20 hours. 4xAA batteries included
  • Frequency: 15 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches
  • Headphones: Wired. Although Garrett makes a wireless adapter kit. 
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers 2-year limited

What our Customers Say:

“Before buying the Garrett AT Pro I was totally new to metal detecting and was looking for something versatile and easy to understand. After shopping around I decided to go with this device because I like how lightweight and waterproof it is. I have found something every time I have used it and was very easy to set up from the get go. I look forward to many years with my AT Pro as Garrett have made such a durable and quality machine.” - David L 

Best for Beginners

Garrett ACE 400

 

Garrett ACE 400

The Garrett ACE 400 is the best entry level metal detector in their ACE line. It differs from the more advanced AT PRO as it is not fully submersible and is only waterproof from up to the control box. This means only the coil and pole can be submerged under water. It is a very simple to use machine and you can be set up to detect in minutes.

Advanced features such as Digital Target ID will help you accurately identify the type metal of which target you are detecting. To correctly identify the metal; Garrett has a numerical system from 0-99 which relate to a reference list that can help to determine the metallic construct of the target. The Garrett ACE 400 is a very versatile machine and can perform exceptionally well in many different ground conditions and terrains. Just like the AT PRO, it also comes with the all inclusive Iron Audio mode, to help you easily identify larger ferrous objects. 

  • Weight: 2.8 lbs
  • Battery Life: up to 40 hours. 4xAA batteries included
  • Frequency: 10 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 10-12 inches 
  • Headphones: Wired. Although Garrett makes a wireless adapter kit. 
  • Waterproof: Only the coil and pole. Not the control box
  • Warranty: Manufacturers 2-year limited

What our Customers Say:

“ I can honestly say that my ACE 400 has been more than perfect for me over the last year. I would always keep this machine even if I bought another, as I have found many coins and jewelry with it. It is easy to operate and get used to right away and with some patience you will be finding all sorts of valuables in no time." - Jacob

Customer Favorites 

 

Best Metal Detectors for Relic Hunting

Whether you are a trained archaeologist or not, both they and metal detectorists investigate history in some form or another. The activities involve patiently researching and excavating sites for objects and relics to uncover and preserve the past.

Locations where people based their homes or spend a lot of time back then (e.g. churches) are the best places to start looking for treasures. Any abandoned or quiet place has great potential. For example, old train depots, secluded or secret beaches or ‘money trees’ - large trees in the centre of town squares.

To do this you want a sturdy machine; a tough and jagged machine that can withstand rugged grounds and environments. Depending on your location, weather is an important factor to consider when choosing the best detector for you. As mentioned previously this activity requires patience but you get so sucked into searching hours on end. Realizing you have gone off track and in uncomfortable environments is likely (beware of beaten paths!).

To be effective whilst as efficient as possible a ‘must have’ feature for your metal detector is good target separation. What this means is straightforward: you want your findings (especially coins) to be easily detectable but to not confuse your device with old construction materials (e.g. nails or railroad spikes). You need to remove the audio picked up for iron targets and focus on the valuable objects (unless of course iron is what you are looking for).

Therefore, your criteria here is ‘discrimination’. A good machine will have a depth range of 12-14 inches and use frequencies between 12-15 kHz. And, the more coils your detector has the better. For deeper depths you are looking for coils that are at least 12 inches wide, important when searching for relics.

Going back to considering the weather, waterproof coils are a must for rainy conditions but also for submerse hunting. You will find yourself in all kinds of terrains when exploring and being prepared for any and all of them defines a good hunter.

Many Civil War relics have adopted the habit to ring up as iron. This means that, if you are not on an old homesite, a true all-metal mode or zero discrimination machine is useful. As an example, horseshoes and shell fragments wouldn’t be heard if your settings are set as ‘high discrimination’.

Something to keep in mind though is the weight of the machine. Many top-range relic machines are considerably heavier than others. You could go for a lighter one, but it would probably not have the right features for this type of hunting. Alternatively, consider investing in a harness or a guide to help you distribute the weight.  

Best of the Best

Minelab Equinox 800 

Minelab Equinox 800

The Equinox 800 is a versatile machine that can be used on every type of ground. It is an all-purpose device that has been designed for beginners to serious enthusiasts. It is not only great for relics but also for coins and gold nuggets. You will also be able to detect underwater as this detector is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It also has eight custom search profiles allowing you to fully customize your hunt. Ergonomically it is lightweight, and strong enough to be able to handle any environment, including salt water. Its high definition LCD screen features target numbers that easily explain to you the target ID. 

Back in 2018 the Equinox series set the metal detecting world on fire when it was first released. It’s revolutionary true simultaneous frequency technology, aka (Multi IQ) makes this the only device in the world with this type of technology. This is a real game changer as you can now search with the fastest recovery speed and target separation compared to any other metal detector on the current market. Since it has been released it has been a bestseller and has created a wave of detectorists that use it on every hunt.  

  • Weight: 2.95 lbs
  • Battery Life: 12 hours 
  • Frequency: 5 single frequencies of 5, 10,15, 20, and 40 kHz
  • Depth Detection:11 inches 
  • Headphones: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Yes up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers Three-year limited 

What our Customers Say:

"In the past I have experienced entry level garretts AT Pro, mine lab Excalibur's, and a multitude of other detectors. This detector beats all of them x100. I have gone to my favourite hunting grounds and have found stuff that I have been scanning over a million times with the AT pro. I took a holiday not so long ago in Hilton head and I found jewelry made of platinum, titanium and a 14 gold diamond ring alonside a whole lot of other items. I have never been so happy about a metal detector as I am about this one. It is brilliant on wet and dry sands, in water and dirt and its just a fabulous device. The wireless makes all the difference as well as the light weight design." - Steven

Best Value

Garrett AT Max

Garrett AT Max

The AT MAX is one of the flag ship detectors from Garrett. It features the renowned Z-Lynk wireless technology allowing your detector and pinpointer to be heard in your wireless headphones, even in noisy environments. Aside from no more messy cables, you can use the AT MAX on land or in freshwater as it is fully waterproof up to 10 feet. You will easily be able to filter out junk such as bottle caps and ring pulls with the high-resolution iron discrimination features.

The AT MAX is fully customizable with four search modes: all metal, custom, coins, and zero discrimination. If you're looking for the best depth and sensitivity we definitely recommend using the all-metal mode. The AT MAX is highly power efficient for what it is, as you will also be able to hunt up to 15-20 hours without running out of batteries. 

  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Battery Life: 4x AA12-20 hours
  • Frequency: 13.6 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches
  • Headphones: Wireless / Z Lynk technology
  • Waterproof: Yes up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers 2-year limited 

What our Customers Say:

"I am extremely impressed with my machine, it has some outstanding improvements on my previous ones. I can hunt a lot easier with a backlight, wireless headphones, and a rubber grip that doesn't hurt my hand. It is also a lot easier to clean and maintain. Additionally, all the modern upgrades make this a fully adaptable machine. I highly recommend the AT Max." - William. V

Best for Beginners

Garrett ACE 400 

Garrett ACE 400

 If you're a beginner or the get up and go type of detector then the Garrett ACE 400 is the detector for you. It’s simplistic and minimal design is efficient, very easy to use and you can be detecting in minutes. 

You can quickly identify which targets are made of what metal by utilizing its digital target ID. The ACE 400 features a list labeled 0-99, and they relate with a list provided by Garrett that can be referenced to find out the metallic properties of the target. Versatility and durability and at the core of this device as you can use it in all types of environments. Just like the AT Pro, the ACE 400 also features the Iron Audio mode, which will help you correctly identify larger ferrous targets.

  • Weight: 2.8 lbs
  • Battery Life: 15-20 hours
  • Frequency: 10 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches
  • Headphones: Wired
  • Waterproof: No
  • Warranty: Manufacturers 2-year limited

What our Customers Say:

“ I can honestly say that my ACE 400 has been more than perfect for me over the last year. I would always keep this machine even if I bought another, as I have found many coins and jewelry with it. It is easy to operate and get used to right away and with some patience you will be finding all sorts of valuables in no time." - Jacob

Customer Favorites 

 

Best Metal Detectors for Gold

Gold. It’s pretty, right? Moreover, it doesn't decrease in value over time! Though the seven dwarfs used pickaxes for diamonds, imaging using those when looking for gold? Or panning for hours on end? Fact: using a metal detector makes it a bit more attractable, no? Machines made specifically for gold hunting make this activity a lot easier. To increase your chances of finding gold (especially in the western side of the US) popular areas include rivers, streams and exposed rock beds as well as mountains.

The number one feature of gold detecting is choosing a metal detector that works well in highly mineralized soil. Regarding the frequencies the ideal spec would include a 20kHz or higher feature. Waterproof detectors would be highly beneficial (if not necessary) for rivers and streams, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be the whole thing. Just the coil being waterproof works well.

As with relic-appropriate metal detectors a harness or guide is a good idea. It distributes the weight of the heavier detectors evenly, particularly attractive (is not essential) for long missions. Stability is important when searching for gold, this means using a metal detector designed to give out less noise in mineralized ground. The western states contain soil with a lot of iron that can interfere with your search, so make sure you got a detector specifically engineered for finding gold nuggets that could potentially be surrounded by iron. 

Best of the Best

Minelab GPZ 7000

Minelab GPZ 7000

The Minelab GPZ 7000 is the best gold prospecting detector on the market today. It is easily capable of finding gold unquestionably deeper than any other metal detector.If you are seeking to find even the smallest gold nuggets, you must have the Minelab GPZ 7000 in your arsenal. Other detectors can miss the smallest nuggets leaving much behind. The GPZ 7000 combats this with its Super-D Smart Search Coil that comprises a central transmit winding and two additional outer receive windings. This type of technology highly decreases any interference from mineralized soil and/or magnetic frequencies. This revolutionary device will allow you to find gold in extreme depth levels (up to 40% increase in-depth than the GPX series) With that said, the GPZ 7000 truly is in a class of its own!

Although this is the most expensive metal detector in our guide, you will easily see how it will pay for itself with its profound pulse induction technology.

  • Weight: 7.32 pounds
  • Battery Life: 8-10 hours
  • Frequency: PI
  • Depth Detection: Up to 2.5ft (40% deeper than the GPX 5000)
  • Headphones: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Only the coil and shaft to 3ft (1m) 
  • Warranty: Manufacturers Three-year limited 

What our Customers Say:

"If you are looking for deep gold nuggets and flakes, in super deep and tough mineralized soils you'll be pleasantly surprised. The price can look a bit on the expensive side but it is worth it. The wide range of settings and options, take time to learn but help you understand your grounds and soils for min-max surface or deep object settings.

Additionally, the detector will go split-second silent when passing over the object to determine metal (ferrous) or gold (non-ferrous), which can save you time digging up worthless items. I don't even have to say good luck as you won't need it with this!" - Alf. J

Best Value

Minelab Gold Monster 1000

Minelab Gold Monster 1000

Minelab's Gold Monster 1000 is an easy-to-use high-performance metal detector that features a gold chance indicator that allows you to know the likelihood of whether gold is present.  If you're looking for a perfect, gold seeking companion at a great price you have found your match. This detector comes with two super sensitive coils that will help you  unearth your next gold stash! The menu settings and controls are simple to use, the coil is waterproof to three feet and the control box is also rain proof. The Gold Monster has a high frequency range up to 45 kHz that is extremely sensitive to gold nuggets of any size. It’s control box also features a lightening-speed signal processor to boost its sensitivity even more so. 

  • Weight: 2.94 pounds
  • Battery Life: 20-25 hours
  • Frequency: 45 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches
  • Headphones: Wired
  • Waterproof: Only the coil and shaft to 3ft (1m) 
  • Warranty: Two years for control box and coil 

What our Customers Say:

"The GM 1000 is a very user friendly device. As soon as you grasp the feel of the sensitivity it finds very fine gold easily.

I was surprised at how light it actually is as it fits in a backpack. Left me with no arm fatigue like most detectors and the battery lasts a long time. On my first day I found my first ever gold ring. I absolutely love this machine and I can't wait to add to my collection of gold!" - Steven

Best for Beginners

Fisher Gold Bug Pro 

Fisher Gold Bug Pro

The Fisher Gold Bug Pro is a great mid-range gold detector. It can also be used as an all purpose metal detector. It has a high sensitivity to smaller gold nuggets, It comes equipped with a 5 inch coil, which makes it perfect for smaller gold fragments. It can also be adjusted to be fitted with an 11 inch DD search coil. 

  • Price: $549
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Frequency: 19 kHz VLF
  • Waterproof: No
  • Warranty: Five-years 
  • Battery Life: 10 to 15 Hours

 

What our customer say:

"I live in Arizona and I am new to gold detecting. On my first trip with this detector I found a couple of small gold nuggets. I found it really simple to use and it is very sensitive. I was surprised at how light it felt too, which was great for my back." - Alex

Customer Favorites 

Best Metal Detectors for Saltwater & Beach Hunting

Have you ever gone to the beach and lost something really valuable to you? To be honest I have – not a nice feeling particularly if you spend a considerable amount of time afterwards looking for it with no luck… But imagine how many other people have. Beaches are especially known for ‘fresh drops’. Objects are not only lost or left behind, but with waves tides coming in and out (again, especially during tricky weathers) objects actually find their way towards you. To avoid long stories, it is a perfect opportunity to find gold rings and chains.

The ground at the beach continuously changes in a way that is out of your control, from dry to wet sand. Manually adjusting ground balanced is something you are looking for when detecting at the beach. Potential noise might construe your enthusiasm as it becomes difficult for it to focus on valuable items when they are surrounded by unwanted items. Therefore, a multi-frequency detector is what you should be devoting your focus on. 

Moreover, the same way as a highly mineralized soil affects your machine, saltwater is not kind to your instrument either. For the machine itself to detect what kind of soil or sand conditions you are dealing with the feature you are looking for is called ‘ground tracking’. 

Finally, and probably most obviously, a waterproof metal detector is the first feature you are looking for.

Best of the Best

Minelab Excalibur II

Minelab Excalibur II

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to scuba dive with a metal detector? If you'r up for a new exciting adventure try the Minelab Excalibur II. Long forgotten, sunken hoards of treasure will now be discovered as the Excalibur is completely waterproof up to 200 feet. It is also effective on land and beaches. With an impressive 17 frequencies, you can easily find more coins, relics and rings lost under sand or at the bottom of the sea bed. One of the unique features is that the Excalibur emits a different tone for every frequency. The tone for gold, for instance, will sound different to the tone of silver.

  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Battery Life: 20-25 hours
  • Frequency: 17 frequencies from 1.5 kHz – 25.5 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 10”
  • Headphones: Wired & waterproof
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet
  • Warranty: One year limited

What our Customers Say:

"I am very happy with my Excalibur, it is the best for the beach and water hunting that I love to do. It took me a few days to begin to understand the different tones for the Excalibur, but in about 10 days I have already dug up a beauty of a gold ring and an assortment of silver and platinum jewelry. Im very satisfied with the ease of use and how fast it is to get set up and go. I have found my custom threshold settings and now keep my other dials in the same place from my last successful hunt and I'm ready to go." - Robert

Best Value

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark 2 Underwater Metal Detector

If you are looking for credibility as well as value, you cannot go wrong with the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II. For the last 25 years it has been regarded as one of the best underwater metal detectors in the world. It’s unique “Discrete Elimination Mode” allows you to ignore trash items such as foil and pull tabs, without reducing the sensitivity of valuable metals found in rings and coins. It is completely waterproof with underwater headphones and a specially designed housing that can be mounted to your hip or preference. The Sea Hunter Mark II cancels out salt and ground mineralization with PI (Pulse Induction) circuitry. 

  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Battery Life: 5-10 hours
  • Frequency: PI — 750 pulses per second
  • Depth Detection: up to 14 inches 
  • Headphones: Wired & waterproof
  • Waterproof: Submersible up to 200 feet
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

 

 What our Customers Say:

"If your looking for a fully waterproof and easy to use machine go with the Sea Hunter Mark II. I have found over 60 gold and silver rings in the last 2 years. I usually find them in chest high water but occasionally on the wet sand. This means it is also perfect for coin shooters and relic hunters. I have even heard from others on forums that they have successfully found gold in the mountains whilst prospecting with this machine. In that case this certainly is a can-do-all device" - Darrell.J

Best for Beginners

Minelab Equinox 600

Minelab Equinox 600

The Equinox 600 is a versatile machine that can be used on every type of ground just like its big brother the 800. This an all-purpose device has been created for beginners to serious enthusiasts. It's all encompassing nature will allow you to find relics, coins and gold nuggets. You will also be able to search and find underwater as this device is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It contains eight custom search profiles allowing you to change to any style of detecting. It is very lightweight, and durable to be able to handle any ground condition, including salt water. Its HD LCD display features target numbers that easily explain to you the target ID. 

The Equinox series set the metal detecting community alight when it was first released in 2018. It’s powerful true simultaneous frequency technology, aka (Multi IQ) makes this an exclusive device with this technology. This is a true game changer as you can now detect with the fastest recovery speed and target separation compared to any other metal detector on the current market. Since its release it has been a bestseller and has inspired detectorists to use it on every treasure hunt.

  • Weight: 2.96 lbs
  • Battery Life: 12 hours 
  • Frequency: 5 single frequencies of 5, 10,15, Multi
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches 
  • Headphones: Wired
  • Waterproof: Yes up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers Three-year limited 

What our Customers Say:

"An amazing piece of kit and arrived fast. I've so far used it mostly on the beach where it has been very effective. I have also used it closer to home in the fields and it picks up the slightest signals of metal very quickly and accurately. The waterproofing is a huge bonus especially at the beach. You cannot go wrong with this kit." - Steven

Customer Favorites

Best Metal Detectors for Freshwater

Have you ever hunted or wondered about hunting at the shoreline of a lake, creek, stream or river? In comparison to beaches, freshwater locations may offer you more luck as they are less common spots to go hunting. In fact, a lot of jewelry, coins and relics can be unearthed in freshwater environments. 

In addition to their reserved nature, freshwater areas will also allow you to hunt freely from salt interference that you find at beaches. In this respect you will have more flexibility in choosing a freshwater machine. It is certainly important for you to choose a machine that is waterproof and durable.However, If you're only planning to swing your device in ankle deep water, a waterproof coil will do. Make sure you are extremely careful if you are to do this with a machine that doesn't have a waterproof control box. As a dropped detector that's not fully waterproof is a lost investment Due to this potential risk, we only recommend using a fully waterproof detector near any water. Also when purchasing it is a wise investment to consider a coil cover, as you can then protect it against rock and rugged spots.  

Best of the Best

Minelab Excalibur II

Minelab Excalibur II

 Have you ever wondered what it would be like to scuba dive with a metal detector? If you're up for a new exciting adventure try the Minelab Excalibur II. Long forgotten, sunken hoards of treasure will now be discovered as the Excalibur is completely waterproof up to 200 feet. It is also effective on land and lakes. With an impressive 17 frequencies, you can easily find more coins, relics and rings lost under sand or at the bottom of the lake. One of the unique features is that the Excalibur emits a different tone for every frequency. The tone for gold, for instance, will sound different to the tone of silver.

  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Battery Life: 20-25 hours
  • Frequency: 17 frequencies from 1.5 kHz – 25.5 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 10”
  • Headphones: Wired & waterproof
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet
  • Warranty: One year limited

What our Customers Say:

"I am very happy with my Excalibur, it is the best for the beach and water hunting that I love to do. It took me a few days to begin to understand the different tones for the Excalibur, but in about 10 days I have already dug up a beauty of a gold ring and an assortment of silver and platinum jewelry. Im very satisfied with the ease of use and how fast it is to get set up and go. I have found my custom threshold settings and now keep my other dials in the same place from my last successful hunt and I'm ready to go." - Robert

Best Value

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi

The Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi allows you to detect underwater to depths of up to 16 feet. It is tough, reliable and strong enough to withstand multiple environments. The menu design is simple to use; it has a variety of search tones which make this perfect for finding all different types of objects. The amphibious nature of the Anfibio Multi allows you to detect on multiple ground conditions. It is extraordinary on dry or wet sand, and stable enough to not pick up any junk signals. 

It’s all inclusive “Vibration” mode, allows the hearing impaired to search at ease and this feature is only exclusive to the Nokta Makro brand. You will be fully equipped with 9 search modes, including a cache mode and deep mode. It also contains a fully adjustable armrest, for added comfort.  

  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Battery Life: up to 19 hours
  • Frequency: Three Frequencies: 5kHz / 14kHz / 20kHz
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches
  • Headphones: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Up to 16.4 feet
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

What our Customers Say:

"Choosing the Anfibio Multi was a tough decision for me as I had never had an experience with a multi frequency machine before. However after educating myself with instructional videos it convinced me it was the perfect one for me. After I received it I went back to where I used to hunt with a single frequency device. In less time I found twice as much relics with the Anfibio. This is the best detector I have ever owned as it is so finely tuned to what you want to find. 

The ingenious feature this machine has, is the function to control the volume of iron signals. This is a bonus when hunting iron-infested ground as it allows you to seek relics faster filtering out junk items. I would definitely recommend the Anfibio Multi if your thinking about upgrading from single frequency detecting." - Matthew

Best for Beginners

Minelab Equinox 600

Minelab Equinox 600

The Equinox 600 is a versatile machine that can be used on every type of ground just like its big brother the 800. This an all-purpose device has been created for beginners to serious enthusiasts. It's all encompassing nature will allow you to find relics, coins and gold nuggets. You will also be able to search and find underwater as this device is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It contains eight custom search profiles allowing you to change to any style of detecting. It is very lightweight, and durable to be able to handle any ground condition, including salt water. Its HD LCD display features target numbers that easily explain to you the target ID. 

The Equinox series set the metal detecting community alight when it was first released in 2018. It’s powerful true simultaneous frequency technology, aka (Multi IQ) makes this an exclusive device with this technology. This is a true game changer as you can now detect with the fastest recovery speed and target separation compared to any other metal detector on the current market. Since its release it has been a bestseller and has inspired detectorists to use it on every treasure hunt. 

  • Weight: 2.96 lbs
  • Battery Life: 12 hours 
  • Frequency: 5 single frequencies of 5, 10,15, Multi
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches 
  • Headphones: Wired
  • Waterproof: Yes up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers Three-year limited

What our Customers Say:

"An amazing piece of kit and arrived fast. I've so far used it mostly on the beach where it has been very effective. I have also used it closer to home in the fields and it picks up the slightest signals of metal very quickly and accurately. The waterproofing is a huge bonus especially at the beach. You cannot go wrong with this kit." - Steven 

Customer Favorites 

Best All-Purpose Metal Detectors

Throughout the guide we have described metal detectors that are appropriate for “these-and-those” conditions. Nevertheless, there are machines that are all-inclusive; detectors that are for any and all conditions and purposes. These are the ones that are the most popular ones – workhorses that do more than one job.

In each category here we have described or suggested which ones are the best based on the criteria suitable for each type of hunting. The all-purpose devices can potentially be outperformed by the more limited ‘best of’ ones, but because of their (cap)abilities and ‘do anything’ behaviour, these are often the ones that are purchased by the majority of aspiring and/or experienced professionals in this field. Bear in mind it is often their only purchase.

This category states many of our best sellers; the ones that can go, do and give you anything. 

Best of the Best

Minelab Equinox 800 

Minelab Equinox 800

The Equinox 800 is a versatile machine that can be used on every type of ground. It is an all-purpose device that has been designed for beginners to serious enthusiasts. It is not only great for relics but also for coins and gold nuggets. You will also be able to detect underwater as this detector is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It also has eight custom search profiles allowing you to fully customize your hunt. Ergonomically it is lightweight, and strong enough to be able to handle any environment, including salt water. Its high definition LCD screen features target numbers that easily explain to you the target ID. 

Back in 2018 the Equinox series set the metal detecting world on fire when it was first released. It’s revolutionary true simultaneous frequency technology, aka (Multi IQ) makes this the only device in the world with this type of technology. This is a real game changer as you can now search with the fastest recovery speed and target separation compared to any other metal detector on the current market. Since it has been released it has been a bestseller and has created a wave of detectorists that use it on every hunt. 

  • Weight: 2.95 lbs
  • Battery Life: 12 hours 
  • Frequency: 5 single frequencies of 5, 10,15, 20, and 40 kHz
  • Depth Detection:11 inches 
  • Headphones: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Yes up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers Three-year limited

What our Customers Say:

"In the past I have experienced entry level garretts AT Pro, mine lab Excalibur's, and a multitude of other detectors. This detector beats all of them x100. I have gone to my favourite hunting grounds and have found stuff that I have been scanning over a million times with the AT pro. I took a holiday not so long ago in Hilton head and I found jewelry made of platinum, titanium and a 14 gold diamond ring alonside a whole lot of other items. I have never been so happy about a metal detector as I am about this one. It is brilliant on wet and dry sands, in water and dirt and its just a fabulous device. The wireless makes all the difference as well as the light weight design." - Steven

Best Value

Garrett AT Pro

Garrett AT Pro

Just like the Minelab CTX 3030 the Garrett AT Pro is also fully submersible up to 10 feet. It is the perfect all-terrain device that an incredible 40 discrimination settings that allow you to notch out different types of ferrous metals, including iron. It even includes the upgraded Garrett MS-2 headphones that are lightweight and comfortable for longer use. Many of our satisfied customers say that the AT Pro is an all-round detector that can do it all. 

Other features include the Pro audio mode setting that will allow you to “hear” a potential target before even being detected. This is because it will give out a different tone that identities how deep the target is buried. Not only will your ears be more attuned but so will your eyes, as the digital target ID on the screen will allow you to identify what type of metal you are detecting. Ferrous targets are characterized between 1-40 and more conductive targets such as silver are closer to 99. If you are having trouble identifying a larger target from ferrous to non-ferrous you can correctly identify it with the Iron Audio feature. 

  • Weight: 3.03 lbs
  • Battery Life: 15-20 hours. 4xAA batteries included
  • Frequency: 15 kHz
  • Depth Detection: 11 inches
  • Headphones: Wired. Although Garrett makes a wireless adapter kit. 
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Manufacturers 2-year limited

What our Customers Say:

“Before buying the Garrett AT Pro I was totally new to metal detecting and was looking for something versatile and easy to understand. After shopping around I decided to go with this device because I like how lightweight and waterproof it is. I have found something every time I have used it and was very easy to set up from the get go. I look forward to many years with my AT Pro as Garrett have made such a durable and quality machine.” - David L

Best for Beginners

Nokta Makro Multi Kruzer

Nokta Makro Multi Kruzer

The Nokta Makro Multi Kruzer is a compact device that can find relics, coins, jewelry and gold in many locations. It is known for delivering outstanding results in areas such as greasy parks, ancient sites, beaches, river beds and in all kinds of weather conditions. 

You can easily choose between 3 frequencies of 5, 15 and 19 Khz, to allow you to find a wide range of valuable objects. Its onboard program is updateable allowing you to search for many years to come. The total weight of this detector is only 3lbs! Making this extremely lightweight.

You will be in awe of its advanced beach mode, as it makes it stable on dry and wet sand as well as underwater. With that said, it is fully waterproof up to 16 feet. 

You will also be able to hunt for long periods of time with its high quality, lithium polymer battery that gives you up to 19 hours of use. The Multi Kruzer also comes equipped with a set of wireless, lightweight, very comfortable set of wireless headphones, which can be connected to other Nokta Makro devices.

  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Battery Life: 19 hours
  • Frequency: Three frequencies: 5kHz / 14kHz / 19kHz
  • Depth Detection: Up to 10 inches
  • Headphones: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Up to 16.4 feet
  • Warranty: 2 Year Limited

What our Customers Say:

"You will not be disappointed with the Multi Kruzer - I've had mine now for 8 months and have almost paid it off with clad coins. I've also dug out lots of silver coins and rings. I absolutely love the practicality and value of the device, and look forward to many more days out with it. I also have to say that the customer service from Modern metal detectors is unparalleled..." - S.T

Customer Favorites

All Things Considered

Well here you have it! You've reached the end of this guide and we now hope that we have educated you to the best metal detector for you. After much thought and consideration, you should now be well on your way to knowing which style of detecting you want to try and which metal detector is best for your treasure hunt. 

Metal detecting is so much more than just a hobby, it's a lifestyle. When you get your first one you will never want to stop! The possibilities are endless, as each time you take it out you will come back with a new story to tell. Not to mention the feeling you get when you find your first silver coin, ring or even hoard! 

If you are still reading this with a certain question on your mind, please feel free to contact us by giving us a call or even engaging with our instant message chat so we can help answer any questions. 

 


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