As the year progressing into 2021, Metal detection technology and performance of the detector are improving day by day. As a beginner, the right detectors are important to consider when starting your new hobby like metal detection.
Though it may not be difficult to choose the best metal detector for beginners from the market, those who are first-time buyers may have some technical difficulties.
So, we'll review some of the beginner metal detectors that can be used by a beginner who needs to start detecting coins, jewelry, or other objects with the consideration of all aspects from user orientation to technology.
From these review units, The Garrett ACE 300 Is mostly compatible with any beginner detector. These beginner's detectors will help you to get the performance from other models with its rich specifications. So if you're in a hurry then you can try it.
Editors Pick: Garrett ACE 300
Best value: Bounty Hunter TK4
Overall Good: Nokta Makro Simplex Plus
Kids Starter: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Junior Metal Detector
Top 8 Comparison Table of best metal detector for beginners
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil
Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories
Nokta Makro Simplex Plus
RM RICOMAX Professional Metal Detector GC-1037
DR.OTEK Lightweight Metal Detector
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Junior Metal Detector
1. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
The Bounty Hunter Tracker 4 is a great option for beginners if you want metal detectors at a cheap price point with quality components. Here's what you get for the price-
2 Tone Audio Discrimination: When you are going through the park or any other place where there is a lot of trash, it can be very hard to distinguish between the good stuff and the junk. This mode will help beginners out a great deal.
Take note that this function still lets you detect at reduced sensitivity, allowing you to get the stablest performance possible when detecting it.
3 Modes of Operation: You can choose between the first three modes of operation, thus providing you with greater flexibility as you go along your way.
3 search modes, all-metal, iron audio discrimination, or disc/tone (you can also turn off the tone mode if desired) which gives you a lot of flexibility in how you want to detect.
Not just good for beginners but for detectors with more experience as well. Pads are designed for comfort and longer use time which is preferable for beginners to experienced treasure hunters.
A Good Depth: This detector is perfect for beginners because of its decent depth and sensitivity to iron and other metals. It doesn't discriminate against iron and nickel which is great for a beginner because it’s more likely to be annoying.
This detector can detect the coin up to 6 inches deep and for the larger derivations, it can locate it up to 2 feet, which makes sense for the beginner.
Lightweight and Sturdy Design: This is a very lightweight detector that makes detecting both fun and enjoyable. The sturdy design ensures that the detector will always be safe to use, thus increasing your confidence in it.
The 8-inch coil can be submerged to hunt for targets in freshwater. These features open likely treasure hunts with wet and dry conditions.
Easy to use controls: A digital target indicator means that even though it’s not fully automatic, there is some indication of what type of metal your detector has found so that you don’t have to dig everything up before finding out whether it’s located.
- Weight - 4.2 lbs
- Length - Adjustable
- Coil Size - 8-inch waterproof
- Operate with 2 - 9V alkaline batteries
- Frequency 6.6 kHz
2. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro metal detectors are designed to offer entry-level performance, while still being competitive with more expensive models.
The Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro is considered by many experts as one of the most affordable and high-performing detectors on the market today.
It features a V-Break that allows you to hear different tones (4-Tone audio ID.) based on what setting it's set for so you can find your target quickly and efficiently without digging up everything in sight.
It has an all-metal mode (7 Mode s of operation)that will pick up any target no matter what type of metal it is made from which makes this detector perfect for beginners or pro's alike.
The adjustable user settings allow you to customize how sensitive or deep you want it to go when searching for something.
The Menu System with Variable Notching provides a setup that mimics the human ear for more accurate detection.
The detector will identify what type of metal it is and adjust to that according to any settings set on the Target ID scale.
Computerized Ground Balancing is a great feature that allows you to adjust for any currents in the soil or ground.
This detector has an incredible range of depth, durability, and quality that makes it perfect for detecting targets at a variety of depths.
It also offers an impressive ID system which includes Target ID (0-99 Target-ID.) and Pinpoint Mode with Depth Indicator, both of which are features not typically seen on budget-friendly detectors.
The Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro is not only an excellent detector for beginners but also one that intermediate or expert users will find worthwhile to invest in.
- 2.4 pounds
- Adjustable Length
- 11 inches DD waterproof search coil.
- Operates with one 9v battery.
- Operational frequency 7.69 kHz.
3. Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil
If you want all purposes and weatherproof metal detectors with some of the great technology, this is a good buy. The f22 has great depth and accuracy to find treasures with ease.
The F22 is the new and improved version of the very popular F2. If you’re looking for high-performance without a high price, this may end your search. The F22 has a numeric Target ID scale that provides users with an idea of the detected target's conductivity and what it is.
The search coil is 9 inches and has a waterproof exterior. This is a plus for those who are looking to go into shallow water or wet environments where there is the chance of corrosion. However, the control box is not waterproof so it will need to be placed in a dry area for storage.
It also comes with pre-set ground balances such as jewelry and coin which can come in handy at first, but this limits what can be detected once things become noisy due to minerals.
Like any new hobby, chances are you may not want to spend a fortune on something that you have never tried. This metal detector comes in under a quarter thousand bucks.
This is a must-have for old-timers who aren't into flashy stuff and just want it done right! It's easy function never changes, making it simple for anyone in your group as well!
The price is great because it's not that expensive compared to other programs. With programmable features, you can set what type of metal you are looking for and adjust audio signals.
This Metal Detector has preset modes for when you're first starting, such as artifacts and coins. It also offers 7.69KHz frequencies that can detect up to 9 inches underground.
Tips for it: When searching for metal, make sure to use an adjustable iron audio detector. When you adjust the volume of ferrous targets, make them lower than non-ferrous targets so that the sound is clearer on desirable metal objects.
- 4 Modes of operation
- 4-Tone Audio ID
- Operates on 2 AA Batteries
- This seismometer is a 9-inch diameter consecrated, concentric elliptical search coil.
- 7.69 kHz Operating Frequency
- Only 2.3 lbs. Operational Weight
4. Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil
The Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector is perfect for beginner or intermediate detectorists. It has a variety of stages of discrimination to help you find specific types of metals in the ground and comes with many exclusive features that improve efficiency.
Five available search modes allow users to choose their own searching preference based on what's most important- coins, jewelry, relics, or all metal?
The Zero Pinpoint mode disables all discrimination, allowing you to find everything in the ground. The Custom Mode allows you to program and save your own preferences based on what is most important- coins, jewelry, or relics.
Two-digit Iron Resolution gives users more resolution by reducing interference from non-valuable items like iron while a numerical Target ID scale identifies specific metals with 2 digits.
There's also a tantric volume control for use when listening through headphones as well as ambient sound reduction earphones so that you can hear every target.
The search coil may be used with freshwater but the ACE 300 will not go below fully underwater, which means it cannot be submerged totally. Because if it goes totally submerged then the search box will be spoilt.
For your peace of mind, it also has a 2-year warranty so there's no risk if you buy it today!
- Product Dimensions: 22 x 11 x 6 inches
- Weight: 5.15 pounds
- Batteries 4 AA
- Searchcoil Cover 7" x 10"
5. Nokta Makro Simplex Plus
The Nokta Makro Simplex+ is quite an expensive model on our list. But it comes with a lot of advanced features. Check out the below to know more about this detector:-
The Nokta Makro Simplex+ is very lightweight at only 2.9 lbs. The IP68 waterproof feature makes this device submersible up to 10 feet water depth only which is sufficient for beach hunting - not suitable for deep sea diving.
Also, It will be great if you could go close to salt water beaches as well without any worry about damaging your machine. Its submersibility feature can also make it useful for gold prospecting although we wouldn't recommend using metal detectors for such activities because most of them have some degree of metal detection.
The LCD Backlight and LED Flashlight for nighttime searches make it perfect for night hunts. Its Vibration feature is quite useful while searching in the water, especially during the cold season when there are frequent chances for numbness in fingers.
By the way, You will be able to differentiate between different metals by using three audio tones in the detector for All Metal, Field, Park, and Beach modes.
Apart from this, we really didn't find anything wrong with this device and recommend it to every beginner or intermediate treasure hunter out there. But if you want something that's more portable, lightweight and has good battery life then we would recommend going for Garrett AT MAX which looks similar to Simplex+ but higher price.
- Product Dimensions :22 x 11.5 x 5.5 inches
- Weight: 2.87 pounds
- Batteries: 1 Lithium Polymer. (included)
- 11" Coil
6. RM RICOMAX Professional Metal Detector GC-1037
The Rico Max adult metal detector is entry-level and therefore a must for those who want to get started. It is also an all-around metal detector which means it can be used by beginners and experienced users alike.
There are so many features in this price segment that you will not believe it until you experience them yourself. The search coil only has one size which makes it easy for anyone to use the product regardless of their gender or height.
The Rico Max metal detector uses three modes which include All Metal, Discrimination, Pinpoint, and Disc/Notch. These modes have a specific purpose and serve different purposes.
All-Metal mode permits the user to detect any type of metallic object in the area even if they are at shallow depths and buried under ground coverings like grass or sand etcetera.
Easy to use, because of its simplicity, makes you have a good time out in the field. It will feel lightweight and durable for long-term use. The IP68 waterproof feature of the metal detector provides a lot of security for you.
You won’t have to worry about getting wet when detecting as it will remain undamaged and fully functional even after water comes in contact with it.
Disc/Notch Mode is specially designed to detect only certain types of metals like gold, silver etcetera even if they are mixed with other metal types. The Max detects this by ignoring all signals that are not related to finding these metallic objects.
This mode is the most efficient way to detect items without wasting time on unwanted targets. Pinpoint & Discrimination modes are two more special features that enhance the performance of the metal detector.
The Rico Max has an advanced DSP chip which makes it very accurate and precise to provide the highest level of performance. This is because it uses digital technology that helps in eliminating background noise and interference from other electronic devices located nearby. The result is a better detection rate.
7. DR.OTEK Lightweight Metal Detector
The DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector is one of the finest in the deluxe line of affordable products. This model offers multiple modes including Pinpoint Mode, All Metal Mode, Discrimination Mode, Memory Mode, and Jewelry Mode.
The innovative Memory Mode on this detector remembers one type of metal and only detects that type. Use just three buttons to access the deep settings and to enable or disable all other modes.
A large backlit screen makes it easy to read the digital image and sound with various settings for customization. The 9.8" wide search coil can find objects at a depth up to 10" underground and larger items at greater depths too.
It is waterproof so it has no problem working in shallow water and is able to find metal objects in waterproof containers. This lightweight detector weighs only 3.5 pounds and is easy to carry as a full-size adult would do.
The device's depth and sensitivity are adjustable. Adjust the indicator for objects 2", 4", 6" and 8". Easily fine-tune for conditions with 5 grades of sensitivity that give you more control than inferior designs. You spend less time digging while finding more items.
Who is suitable for the DR.OTEK Lightweight Metal Detector?
The DR.OTEK Lightweight Metal Detector is the perfect choice for both beginners and enthusiasts and a fantastic gift for anyone who loves metal detecting or hunting. It's an excellent choice for vacations, camping trips, and outings. The detector is lightweight so it's easy to carry as a full-size adult would do.
- Dimension: 16*3*4cm
- Product Weight 4.34 pounds
- Material ABS Plastic Color Black Working
- Frequency 7 kHz
- Batteries: 1 9V battery. (included)
8. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Junior Metal Detector
This metal detector is adjustable, making it a perfect choice for kids aged 5-10 years old. The weight of this detector is 1.4 lb which makes it easy for kids to use and not difficult to carry around. The detector has a detecting depth of up to 6 inches deep for small coins and metal objects.
This is great for treasure hunting beginners as they will be able to find items that are buried beneath the ground. It also has a telescoping arm and also an adjustable arm strap and a caomfort grip.
The detector can measure either 24-inches or 39 inches when being used and all these features make it the perfect choice for children who want to find treasure.
The metal detector is also portable which means that it can be taken on trips and used at your favorite treasure hunting spots. The package includes a full-color learning guide that will teach children about the history of metal detectors, how the coils work to find metal and so much more.
The National Geographic Junior Metal Detector comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer when purchased through an authorized seller such as Amazon. This guarantees you that in case if there are any defects or damages then they can easily get replaced.
Buying Guide: What should you look for before buying a beginner metal detector?
1- What is your budget: The cost of a beginners metal detector can range from $100 to $1000. You have to set your mind, what price you are willing to pay for the beginner metal detector. If you are buying a magnetic detector then make sure that it has all the qualities which will suit your needs and if you are buying a pricier model, then be assured that it would be worth every penny spent.
2- Type: There are two types of metal detectors. One is an entry level product that works only with coin sized objects, so they are quite limited in terms of features and functions. They also require expertise on the part of the user in order to identify signals properly and process them smoothly
Beginners metal detector features should look onto?
1. Is the metal detector waterproof?
Before you buy a metal detector, check if the detector is allowed to submerge its coil into water. The detector should have a warranty, check if the warranty covers accidental submersion into water by the user and whether the buyer will get replacement or repair service of the metal detector in case it is damaged while being used under water.
So A good beginner metal detector must be waterproof, otherwise you will face quite some technical issues when using your Metal detectors.
2. How did the detector respond to different types of ground mineralization?
The responsiveness with ground mineralization with the metal detectors is fairly important. If the detector is responsive to ground mineralization then it will easily detect the objects in your field of vision. and if you are detecting old coins then a higher response rate can save your time from digging detected but unwanted objects.
3. What is the depth range you can expect with your new metal detector, in terms of hunting a coin sized target below the surface.
As a new metal detectorist with a beginner detector it's important to know the depth range of your metal detector, so you can set expectations right.
Check if the depth range of your new metal detector is enough for you to detect items in the area which you want to search in and also be assured that it will cover a variety of soil conditions too.
4. How easy or difficult is it to learn and use this device properly?
The maintenance of the detector is also an important part. It should be easy to understand the manual and use it properly. Maintaining a metal detector is very simple if you follow a few basic steps which are given in the user manual of your new metal detector
5. What accessories are included with your purchase, such as headphones or a carry case?
When you buy a metal detector, look at the accessories that come with it . Some companies give extra accessories free of cost with their metal detector. So you can buy other metal detector’s accessories at an affordable price.
6. Battery voltage and charging time?
Battery voltage and charging time also should be considered when you are buying a new metal detector.
The voltage of the battery should match with your country voltage, if not so then there are chances that it will be damaged, and also the charger time should be reasonable enough to charge the detector fully in an hour or two only.
7. What is your experience with metal detectors?
When you are a newbie, then you should consider yourself as an apprentice in this area. So it is good to buy from companies who provide some videos for the learning purpose. These will help you to understand how to use it properly and also how to maintain your metal detectors.
You should also check whether it's an LCD display device or not, how many frequencies it operates on and how sensitive those frequencies are and if there any other screen indicators which will be useful for finding better treasures .
8. How convenient/easy it is to change coils when they get damaged?
If you damaged your search coil , then you should check the replaceable coils feature in your new metal detector, otherwise it will not be easy to change.
9. How good is customer support?
Customer support of a company is a very important thing for beginners who are buying their first device. You might face some technical issues with your device and need to know how to solve them step by step.
10. What about the Warranty Period?
Try to check about the warranty period of your new metal detector. As you are buying a mid range device then it should have at least one year or two years limited warranty period.
What technical features should you look for?
There are some technical features which you should look at while buying your new metal detector . These include the search coil compatibility, Visual Target ID , Multi Tone Audio Discrimination , Coin Depth Indicator and other special modes etc.
Search coil compatibility:
It is important to buy a metal detector that has the ability to fit the specific search coil on it. This ensures that you will be able to find all of the desired objects with your metal detector.
Visual Target ID:
Visual Target ID is the name given to a feature on many metal detectors. This special feature ensures that your detector will tell you what kind of metal object it has found after detecting it. So this makes the process much easier and faster, as you can proceed ahead knowing what each hit means and how deep below the surface it lies.
Target ID Indicator :
Visual target id screen indicator helps to identify buried objects quickly before digging them out of the ground. The visual target id is widely used by beginners because of its easy interpretation.
Multi Tone Audio Discrimination:
Many great beginner metal detector are equipped with multi tone audio discrimination feature which indicates different types of metals with difference sound signals like low pitch for coins , medium for jewelry and high pitch for
Coin Depth Indicator:
This feature helps you to know the depth of the coin or any other metal object before digging it. So this way users can make more profit and save their time and money .
Also there are some special modes which one should look on like the Silent Search Modes, Motion All Metal Mode etc.
In addition to these features , you also have to check its functionality , durability and other important things so that your device will work properly for a long time without getting damaged.
You might be wondering about hunting places to test your new metal detector because even though it sounds easy in theory, practicing with real cases may be hard. Because you don't want your first experience using the machine to be when outside somewhere where you have no idea what kind of things
Additionally, some metal detectors have a "whites" and "colors" mode where one controls how much discrimination there will be during detection.
The colors on your detector's screen are usually red for iron, white for foil and other nonferrous metals, and greenish or bluish for precious metals which includes coins. This makes differentiating between types of metal much easier than if they were all red or white.
Discrimination and Discrimination Level:
This mode will allow you to eliminate unwanted metals such as iron. This way, it becomes easier to find certain objects like a gold piece deeper down while sifting out all the junk that is on top.
The accuracy of your metal detector need to be is referring discrimination level. Are you looking for something that is extremely accurate, or are you looking for a metal detector that can still do its job even if it's not so precise.
The answer to this question will vary from user to user, though the majority of beginners will want something more on the accurate side as opposed to not so accurate. So make sure you know what your needs are when choosing a metal detector.
The price of your metal detector should be determined by how much money you are willing to spend and how many features it comes equipped with. Also, keep in mind that there is usually a big difference in quality between cheaper models and more expensive ones, which may mean spending a bit extra now saves you lots of headaches later down the road.
There are two main frequency ranges when it comes to metal detectors, and they include the following: Low Frequency Infrared (LF) detectors operate at a range of 8 kHz to 20 kHz. High-frequency (HF) operates at frequencies higher than 20 kHz. Each type of detector is suitable for certain types of hunting. For instance, LF works well in mineralized ground conditions while HF can detect smaller objects in loose soils or sand.
Target Identification :
During your search with your metal detector, you will come across many different kinds of targets that have been buried underground for years and tons of things may be buried under the surface which you might not even know about yet so it is very important to identify targets properly using tones or screen bars before digging.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are metal detectors scams or are they really worth your time and money?
Yes, it is worth your time and money , here's how. The Business Of Metal Detecting In the early 1980s, a new phenomenon began to emerge in many natural areas across this great country of ours, and that was the onset of "the business of metal detecting". We know what you're thinking… "What? we thought it was just a hobby!"
Well, yes and no. It is true that most people who first start out as a beginning hobbyist do so because they enjoy being outdoors, feeling the fresh air blowing through their hair as they search for hidden treasure in our vast American landscape.
And yet there are others who seek out some financial reward from their passion for the pursuit of lost treasures buried within our soil; which makes sense!
After all, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income for America in 2010 was $49,445 which means that if you are a hobbyist who averages 8 hours of detecting per week with no additional time taken to research and plan treasure hunts or clean, repair, test and prepare your machine before each outing along with all the necessary digging hours, you will make less than minimum wage! Yes folks…we're not exaggerating here.
Now we realize there is one major factor affecting every detectorist's overall success rate: his/her level of expertise! A beginner on a "hunt" can easily spend over 5 hours searching an area that has been previously butchered by other metal detector enthusiasts without ever finding anything except trash because they lack of proper skill.
Is a metal detector worth the investment?
Maybe a good investment or maybe not. It depends how you look at it. We'll break it down for you. The metal detector itself - Yes, it can pay off. If you buy a good quality machine that will last more than 5 or 6 years, and use it on a daily basis; then yes, we think it will be worth the cost of buying one. Your time putting in hours searching land -
This is hard to calculate because no two people have the same equipment and skill level when they first start out in the hobby. You might do all your own research and planning but some things like permission to search are not included on any job list because well, there is going to be some waiting involved! When talking with other detectorists about their hourly rate as professionals for different tasks
What is an appropriate price for a metal detector?
As a beginners guide to buying a metal detector, there is nothing wrong with spending less than $500.00 on your first machine as long as you are aware that it may wear out quicker due to the fact that most entry level detectors use plastic parts and don't have a lot of power or features.
We find that many hobbyists who take up metal detecting for fun end up getting more serious about their hobby over time. In order to do so they will need to upgrade sooner or later when they realize that their current metal detector isn't offering what they need in their efforts to get better at finding coins, jewelry and other treasures buried beneath the surface of our landscape.
Are low-cost metal detectors any good?
Cheap metal detector machines are good for certain applications but not all. When we speak to people at coin shows about our used metal detectors for sale we always hear the same thing: "I was thinking of getting a new machine, how much?"
Well that is when we have to be honest and say that these days there are far better models on the market than ever before in history! Entry level machines really aren't built to last very long because they use more plastic parts than metal and therefore regular use will wear out the internal components faster if you take it out into the field, woods or farm where there are lots of tree roots, rocks etc.
Is it possible to find gold nuggets with a metal detector?
Gold nuggets are usually found in areas where there was a great deal of water action such as along the banks of rivers, under the bank on beaches, or in glacial stream beds where stones have washed down stream over thousands of years. Nuggets however do not resonate like rusty junk does so you will need to use some other method of finding them such as a water dredge, gold pan or prospecting.
Can a metal detector find a diamond?
A metal detector can't detect diamonds because a diamond is not a metal or mineral. Diamonds begin as carbon which is a mineral, but the way they are processed makes them into gemstones. They happen to be one of the hardest substances on earth and will not resonate like most objects buried underground either!
Where is the easiest place to find gold?
Probably the easiest place to find gold in large amounts is by looking for old river beds. Many still exist although there are fewer of them around because many have been drained and back filled with dirt, concrete, or rock. But some can still be found which are virtually untouched.
Not any detector is meant to last forever and they usually won't come with all of the features of more expensive models, but they will give you a good idea of what you want your future detector to do.
The best metal detector for beginners model must be powerful enough to find coins and other metals buried up to 8" underground or more, so it can be used on any kind of surface without having to constantly change settings. This is one reason why we always recommend starting out with something affordable before investing in a larger or more advanced machine.
For a beginner who wants to use the metal detector for multiple purposes, the Nokta Makro Simplex Plus is a great choice. If cost is not an issue, we recommend this model.