Metal detecting is one of the few hobbies that can not only pay for itself but actually can be a profitably hobby. However, there are so many metal detectors on the market each with a variety of features, how do you know which one is right for you?
To make your decision easier we evaluated 10 different makes and models of metal detectors and narrowed it down to our top 5 picks based on features and ease of use.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Metal Detectors For 2017
- Fisher F75 Metal Detector
- Whites TreasurePro Metal Detector
- Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector
- Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector
- Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
First lets take a look at the metal detectors, then well talk about how to choose the best one for you. Here is a feature overview of my top 3 overall picks with full reviews and our buying guide below.
Best Metal Detectors
Metal Detector Reviews
For those that are looking for a professional, high quality metal detector, the Fisher F75 metal detector has everything you have been looking for. First off, the price point on this professional grade metal detector is great and very reasonable for the quality and durability you get with it.
This is a light weight detector and the ergonomics on it make it extremely comfortable walking around with. It also has a very large LCD screen with 0-99 numeric target identification display.
The coil on the F75 is a Double-D waterproof search coil. It also has an available rain cover for the control housing and battery housing.
One of the best features about this metal detector is the double filter discrimination modes that really help out when searching in heavy garbage type areas.
It also has a magnetic mineralization bar graph and readout. There is also the trigger actuated fast grab ground balance.
This is one of the metal detectors you can find if you are interested in searching for coins, relics, beach hunting and gold prospecting.
In fact I would say the Fischer 75 is the best metal detector for gold. It’s a very versatile machine that can cover many different types of environments and surroundings.
Features of the Fisher F75 Metal Detector:
- Adjustable audio pitch
- Ability to activate and deactivate DST mode
- Improved target separation
- 13 khz frequency
- 11” search coil
- 3 pounds
- Double-D Waterproof Searchcoil
- Non-Volatile Memory Saves Settings
- Magnetic Mineralization Bar Graph and Readout
One of its better features is that this machine has approximately 40 hours of battery life on just 4 AA batteries. This will allow you to spend more time hunting and less time changing batteries out.
If you are wanting to really get deep into metal detecting and looking for a metal detector that will provides you years of metal detecting fun, then choose the Fischer F75.
This machine is so versatile that no matter what type of metal detecting you want to do; this metal detector will help you do it. Balance all of the features with its light weight and design this will be a metal detector that you will keep around for a long time without the need for upgrading.
For those of you really looking to take the next step forward in metal detecting, then the Whites Treasure Pro Metal Detector is the way you want to go. This is a high quality metal detector that comes complete with tons of features and accessories that will allow you to go metal detecting virtually anywhere. You can adjust the length on this from 46” to 51” which is a nice feature.
One of the great features to the Whites Treasure Pro metal detector is the 10” DD waterproof coil that it comes with. This coil gives you so much versatility and allows you to detect on both land but also in water.
This is great because you can be a beach for instance and scan the beach and also into the water. The detector also has automatic ground balance which adapts to ground conditions as you hunt for increased depth and sensitivity.
Features of the Whites Treasure Pro Metal Detector:
- 8 audio tones
- Adjustable threshold volume
- Pinpoint mode
- Turn and sweep simplicity
- Weather resistant
- 5 search modes
- Back lit display
- Beach mode
This metal detector also has 6 different search modes and a very large display screen. It features 8 audio tones also to help you identify objects in the ground. The arm rest is also adjustable allowing for maximum comfort on those long days of metal detecting.
The Whites Treasure Pro Metal Detector with 10” DD Waterproof coil is definitely the metal detector for those who are serious about the hobby. If metal detecting at the beach is in your future, this is the best metal detector for the beach.
It includes a Bullseye II pin pointer which helps you to find the object you are targeting without having to continuously dig.
This metal detector is also wallet friendly but will serve you for many years. It is so featured packed that even the most experienced metal detector will love it and those new to the hobby be able to grow with it as they get more experienced.
If you are searching for an intermediate level metal detector then the Garrett Ace 400 metal detector is one that is definitely worth considering. This is a metal detector that is designed for the those deeper involved in the hobby and for professionals.
This detector has a feature called Iron Audio. This allows the user to hear discriminated iron and allows you to alter the detectors mid tone signal range.
The Garret Ace 400 also includes a higher 10khz frequency that allows better sensitivity to low and medium conductivity items such as lead and gold.
The coil in the Ace 400 is a DD coil that measures 8.5” x 11” allowing you to cover a lot of ground while you are out detecting. The coil is also submersible to you can go detecting in and around water.
Features of the Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector:
- 5 search modes
- 8 sensitivity, depth adjustments
- 10khz frequency
- Pulse Width Modulation audio
- Electronic pinpointing
- Coin depth indicator
- Adjustable frequency to help eliminate interference
A really cool feature of this metal detector is in can actually detect the type of American coin in the ground. So this machine will help you identify if you are finding a dime, quarter, etc. There are also 5 different search modes so you can target certain types of items.
This is handy if you are in an area where you are wanting to find only certain types of items and don’t want to detect every type of metal in the ground.
Overall this is a great metal detector for those looking to take a step up in the hobby. The price also is very reasonable and not going to the break the bank.
With all of the features this machine has you will find yourself loving it. The Garrett Ace 400 will serve you for many years and is featured pack to keep you finding new items all day long.
The Garrett Ace 400 with its 5 search modes, 8 sensitivity and depth adjustments is the best metal detector for coins.
The Ace 250 Metal Detector is a great metal detector for those looking to cover more ground quickly. This metal detector features a 10” scan area that allows for quick and accurate scanning. It also has an electronic pinpoint feature with coin depth gauge to help you quickly get to your target.
Some other great features of this detector are the custom notch discrimination, adjustable sensitivity and depth settings.
What makes this metal detector so nice is it comes in weighing only 4.5 pounds. The design also allows for each carrying and scanning of the area you are covering. The Ace 250 runs off of 4 AA batteries so swapping out batteries in the field is easy to do also.
Features of the Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector:
- Graphic Target Id With 12 Element Notch Discrimination For Greater Accuracy
- Headphone Jack
- Adjustable sensitivity and depth settings
- Camlocks for increased stem stability
- Three search modes – coins, jewelry & zero disc for all metals
- Four sensitivity adjustments
- Low battery level indicator
- 0-99 target scale identification
The coil in this machine is also waterproof so you can search in shallow waters with it. The electronics though are not waterproof.
This is a excellent metal detector for those looking for a large coil size that can help you cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. In my opinion this is the best beach metal detector under $300.
For those of you that are looking for a budget friendly yet feature packed metal detector, the Bounty Hunter Time Ranger is the metal detector for you. This metal detector features a full submersible 8-inch Bounty D-Tech coil and can also be interchanged to match the different soil conditions.
It also has a very large LCD readout with a touch pad. The touch pad is fully programmable and can be configured to help you search for the types of items you want to find.
Features of the Bounty Hunter TK4 Metal Detector:
- 4 mode operation
- Programmable notching system
- Ground balance monitoring system
- Blanker feature rejects unwanted targets with a push of a button
- 3-Tone audio discrimination gives unique tone for different kinds of metal
- Coil – 8 inch concentric waterproof search coil
- Operating frequency 6.6 kHz
The Bounty Hunter Time Ranger also has a built in headphone jack and runs off of two 9 volt batteries so you can keep detecting easily for hours as the batteries are very easy to swap out.
Another great feature about this unit is that it only weighs approximately 5 pounds. That makes it very comfortable while walking around with it. The sweet spot of this metal detector is in the 4-8” deep range which allows you to find a lot of amazing items. Overall this is a great beginner friendly metal detector and has an amazing price point.
So for those of you that want to get started with metal detecting, the Bounty Hunter Time Ranger metal detector is the best metal detector for beginners.
How To Choose The Right Metal Detector
- What Do You Want To Find?
- Where Will You Be Using The Metal Detector?
- How Often Will You be Detecting?
- How Much Experience Do You Have?
- How Much Do You Want To Spend?
- How Do Metal Detectors Work?
- Coil Construction
- Know What You’re Digging
- Target ID
Some get started because they want to find that piece of jewelry that is worth thousands of dollars. Others because they love finding coins that are over 100 years old. Then you have others who get into metal detecting for the exercise part of it.
What Do You Want To Find?
Metal detecting is a fun and exciting hobby. You never know what treasure you may find next. One step in determining what kind of metal detector you should purchase is figuring out what you want to find. There are so many different kinds of items you could go detecting for.
You may have an interest in finding coins to add to a collection. Some people are history enthusiasts and want to look for relics from wars. Others want to find jewelry and hopefully find that buried treasure everyone has been looking for.
Where Will You Be Using The Metal Detector?
You have an idea on the type of object you want to find so now where do you want to start looking for those items. Knowing where you will be doing most of your metal detecting is important in figuring out the right kind of equipment you need.
Are you planning on just checking local parks and friends yard? Would you like to go metal detecting near the beach and even go detecting under the water? Does a mix of water and land metal detecting sound most appealing to you?
Figuring out where you plan on doing most of your metal detecting can you help narrow in on the right detector for you and ensures that you are spending your hard earned money correctly on the right piece of equipment.
How Often Will You be Detecting?
One of the best things about metal detecting is you can do as much or little of it as you want. Say for instance you are heading over to a friends house who lives near a park. They tell you they won’t be home for another 30 minutes.
That’s 30 minutes of detecting time you have while you wait for them. Some people devote numerous hours and even entire vacations to metal detecting. What is what is so great about this hobby is anyone can do it with any amount of free time you have.
If metal detecting is something you plan on doing for hours at a time, then make sure when purchasing a detector to check the battery life. This is an important aspect of a metal detector and something many people overlook.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
What makes metal detecting great is no matter what age you are you can learn how to metal detect. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, everyone can learn metal detecting. When purchasing a metal detector, consider if you have any previous experience using one.
If you are purchasing one as a gift, consider how much experience the person has who will be using it. Someone new to metal detecting may not need one with a lot more features whereas the seasoned detector may want something more versatile with more features.
How Much Do You Want To Spend?
Now that you have figured out all the other aspects of starting to metal detect, the next process is figuring out how much you want to spend. Metal detectors range in price from just a few hundred to a few thousand.
Figuring out the budget you want to stay within will help narrow down the perfect metal detector for you. If metal detecting is something you plan on spending a decent amount of time doing then maybe purchasing a higher end model is for you.
If you are new to the metal detecting world and want to start off and save some money, then you may be better off purchasing a more budget friendly model. No matter what your budget is, just make sure the detector that you pick fits all of your metal detecting needs.
How Do Metal Detectors Work?
Metal detectors work on a science that is called electromagnetism. So basically a metal detector contains a coil of wire. When electricity flows through this coil, a magnetic field is then generated. As you use perform the sweeping motion with a metal detector, the magnetic field itself is also moving around.
As that coil passes over a metal item, the magnetic field affects the atoms that are inside the piece of metal. From there your machine uses the technology inside and can help you identify the type of metal or object in the ground.
Coil Construction: Concentric vs. Double D Coil (DD)
There are 5 different types of coils, but the two main types of coils a metal detector can have are Concentric and Double D. The biggest difference between these two types of coils is how they detect objects.
The Concentric coil uses two round antennas, one inside of the other and creates more of a funnel type shape when you are using it to detect. The Double D coil uses two D shaped antennas that are placed back to back. This gives you more of a direct type of detection.
Know What You’re Digging
Now you know how the different coils work, your probably asking yourself why does that matter? For instance, the Double D coil covers more ground but it’s not as accurate in telling you what is below.
It is less affected by mineralization but does have a harder time identifying what type of object you are digging for. The Concentric coil will tell you more accurately what is in the ground before you dig but has less of a scan field. This means it is easier to miss an object if you don’t scan directly over it.
The Target ID on your detector is one of the most important features of a metal detector. The Target ID are numbers that essentially tell you what type of metal is underneath the coil of your detector. This is extremely helpful because it can help you identify if what you scanned is gold or silver or just a rusty all bottle cap.
Some metal detectors are very intricate with their Target ID and can show you all ranges of metals. Others are very simple. Knowing the Target ID of your detector is very important and will help you know what your digging before you start to dig.
Discrimination or also known as the differentiator, is a setting that will help you bypass the junk type metals you are not interested in finding. If you don’t adjust, your detector will pick up everything it scans. By adjusting this, your machine will not even look for certain types of metal or object in the ground.
Notching is very similar to discrimination except that notching still searches for all items and metal but it will not relay an audible signal for those items. This way your detector still scans the items and you can decide if you want to dig it or not.
Coin Shooting vs. Gold Detecting: Setting Your Expectations
Coin shooting is probably the most common way that most people use their metal detectors. Coin shooting is basically using your detector to find coins. This could be old coins or new coins. The best part is no matter what kind of coins you find, is it has some kind of value!
Gold detecting on the other hand is using your detector to try and find real gold. Finding real gold is a lot harder because it takes a lot more planning and research. You could also spend hundreds of hours and never find gold.
When you decide on what type of metal detector you want to purchase, keep a realistic expectation of what it is you want to search for. Many people purchase a detector with the hopes of finding buried treasure that is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others just want to find some extra pocket change to walk around with.
Whatever you goal is, make sure to keep your expectations realistic and to do metal detecting for the fun and hobby of it and not so much for the monetary value of it.
Metal Detectors: What We Evaluated
We have covered a lot of information so far in regards to metal detectors. Overall just always remember that metal detecting should be fun and stress free. It is a great hobby that is made for everyone. No matter what your goals are with it, just have fun and enjoy it.
When trying to choose the best detector for yourself, just make sure the detector does everything that you want and need it to do. If you just want to start off casually, then choose a more economical metal detector with less features that will allow you to get out there and see if you enjoy it.
The Search Coil Makes the Difference
Choosing which coil you want can make the different in your experience in metal detecting. Make sure to really decide what is most important to you and why it is most important.
The Importance of Ground Balance
Ground balancing is a process through which the metal detector is able to cancel out the negative effects caused by ground mineralization. This is important because it will allow you to essentially cancel out all the items you are not looking for.
Say you are in search for gold. Well gold is usually found in mineral rich areas. Sweeping your metal detector over this kind of ground, the sounds and signals would be constantly going off. By canceling out these metals you are not interested in searching for, you can more accurately find the types of metal you want without all of the interference.
Ergonomics are very important when considering your purchase of a metal detector. There are two types of designs. You have the L shape and the S shape. The L shape is said to have less stress on the wrist when you are swinging the coil.
What it really comes down to though is personal preference. What may be comfortable to one person may not be comfortable to the next person. If possible, you should try to hold both and walk with a swinging motion to see which feels more comfortable for you.
Why Metal Detecting Is A Great Hobby
Metal detecting overall is an amazing hobby and perfect for everyone of all age groups. Its a hobby that lets you get outside and enjoy this great earth that we all live on. It is also a hobby that can you get in shape with all of the walking you can do while metal detecting.
There is so many great things about the world of metal detecting that almost everyone will find some reason to fall in love with.
One of the best things overall about metal detecting though is the thrill of the hunt. For as long as people have been on this earth, people have been hunters and treasure seekers.
There is something just built into each and every one of us that has a the desire to discover the unknown. Metal detecting allows us all to do just that. To get outside, go hunting and discover something new and different that may have been lost in the earth for hundreds of years.