- 1. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
- 2. RM RICOMAX Waterproof Metal Detector & Headphone Kit
- 3. TAKLIFE 3 Mode Adjustable Metal Detector
- 4. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Junior Metal Detector for Kids
- 5. INTEY Customized Metal Detector Pinpointer Kit
- 6. RM RICOMAX LCD Display Metal Detector for Adults & Kids
- 7. American Hawks Gold & Silver Metal Detector for Adults & Kids
- 8. Sakobs Adjustable & Waterproof Metal Detector
- 9. Garrett ACE 400 Special Metal Detector Kit
- 10. Goplus Metal & Treasure Detector Kit with Shovel & Headphones
- 11. OMMO Adjustable Metal Detector for Adults & Kids
- 12. VVinRC Metal Detector with Pinpointer Function
The Best Metal Detector
If you are looking for a new or replacement metal detector, you will know that they are useful tools for detecting the presence of many types of metal in nearby environments. They can find objects hidden under the ground that are pure metal, or that have inclusions of metal. If you are looking at a new prospecting hobby, are already a pro, or want your kids to spend time having fun and trying to discover treasure then new metal detecting gear might be right up your street - you might even find you have a little bounty hunter under your wing!
Some days you will find nothing and there might be that one precious moment you think you have found a valuable treasure. Either way, it's a great way to spend time outdoors and it's hugely rewarding when you find stuff. Whether you are or are not familiar with the features of the metal detector we have reviewed twelve metal detecting tools. The Unclutterer team has covered features to look out for like detection depth, target identification, operating frequency, battery life, waterproof search features, budget, and more. Go, find your pot of gold!
Our best choice metal detector is the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector. It’s a great beginner’s model as it’s easy to learn how to use. It is low frequency, quite a rugged and traditional design, and has simple to use control knobs. This is the only Bounty Hunter model we are featuring on our review list yet the company has been producing well-made beginner and professional level metal detectors for years. This is an entry-level model that uses a very low frequency. This means that it’s great in searching for coin-sized objects up to around 8 inches below ground, and larger metal objects down to around 2 to 3 feet.
The ground balance is an important feature as it minimizes any feedback noise from underground minerals – this model doesn’t need you to do anything to alter the ground balance as it is already programmed into the machine. You might like that the search coil lets you submerge up to 8 inches of shallow water.
Simple notch control
Easy to use
Great for kids
Can’t narrow search field
No LCD screen
6 operating modes
3 detection modes
6 kHz (approx.)
10″ waterproof search coil
The RM RICOMAX Waterproof Metal Detector & Headphone Kit is the best metal detector for beginners or at least one of them, the RM RICOMAX IP68 is the pricier of two metal detectors from this manufacturer on our review list. This particular model is great for getting the kids into a new fun hobby! While it does have all of the features that a more high-end metal detector does, these awesome additions might not perform to their level.
This large yet lightweight model has the 10″ search coil allowing for hunting through shallow waters. It has a good-sized, highly accurate, LCD screen and you can adjust power and sensitivity settings and you’re ready to go. Once it tells you it’s detected something you can press the red button to more accurately pinpoint its location which allows for less time digging as it helps avoid debris interfering with the readings. There is no confirmation on the frequency level.
Large LCD screen
Easy to assemble
Super accurate readings
Batteries not included
Plastic bolts need regular replacement
Perfect for beginners this is the TAKLIFE 3 Mode Adjustable Metal Detector and it’s got one great feature that stands out, especially for kids – the LCD screen uses cartoon smiley-style notifications, although it’s still pretty clever. It has a discrimination mode which helps to eliminate objects that you don’t want but includes the ones you do. This is an easy to use option for juniors or entry-level hobbyists if you or someone else is looking at getting into metal detecting.
Low battery indicator
Fun LCD screen
Short battery life with the one supplied
Remove battery if used occasionally
Only shows images not actual readings
The NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Junior Metal Detector for Kids is perfect for juniors or those at entry-level as it’s easy to learn how to use it. It also comes with a full-color learning guide that introduces the user to the features, how to operate the metal detector, and what kind of treasure hunting you can do with it. It’s adjustable so ideal for kids of all heights and it contains full features for them to learn and have fun with.
The indicators on the LCD screen show battery life and the depth of the object/s found and, although this could be more detailed, we think that for the price and the fact it has been designed for kids nobody can complain and you know what to expect. This metal detector is good for searching up to around 6 inches below ground for coins or similarly sized objects with larger objects being detectable up to around a foot. It will also allow searching in shallow water up to 7.5 inches.
Great model for children
Only needs 3 AA batteries
Batteries not included
Feels a bit cheap
May prefer more features
Discrimination and sensitivity settings
7.5″ waterproof search coil
The INTEY Customized Metal Detector Pinpointer Kit is an efficient and low-cost option and is our budget pick. There are other better quality options available but this makes for a fun gift for a treasure hunt enthusiast. It’s a neat bit of gear that can get the young ones involved in hunting for gold! While it isn’t suitable for professionals or hobbyists it does have a few features that a learner will enjoy. It looks smart and sturdy and it’s a handheld pinpointer version which detects over just 2″.
It is highly accurate and it’s fun to turn the discrimination knob to the metal type that you want to find – nickel, iron, copper, and zinc – so if you are looking for something specific, perhaps something you have lost in a certain area – it helps pick up on it if it’s there. It’s easy to carry a bag is provided also, a nice little touch.
Easy to use
Carry bag included
Only detects 4 metal types
Not for the serious hobbyist
No advanced features
The next metal detector is the second and cheaper of the RM RICOMAX models on our review list. RM RICOMAX LCD Display Metal Detector for Adults & Kids is an affordable option for a beginner and has been designed for kids and adults who want to start metal detecting. It’s not the cheapest metal detector but a great all-rounder. You can search for small items as you would expect, like coins and jewelry, up to 8 inches beneath the ground due to its low frequency (a little higher than the IP68, no.2 on our list).
The LCD display will detail how far you need to dig to find the object. The three search modes plus pinpoint mode, to zero in on your target, will ensure that you don’t waste time digging large areas and you will be able to search shallow waters at streams or the beach so it offers extra fun for the family.
Great for kids
Includes carry bag
Manufacturer replacement policy (if bought via Amazon)
Batteries not included
The American Hawks Gold &; Silver Metal Detector for Adults & Kids, an averagely priced metal detector, is another model designed for kids or beginners, so again a good machine to buy at entry level to get you started with a new hobby. This manufacturer is pretty small compared to other well-known brands on our list yet it still has some pretty mean features and includes extras that others don’t like batteries, carry bag, and headphones – smart little touches.
The LCD display shows the depth of the object you’ve found so before you start digging, you will know how far down you need to go. As always, discrimination mode allows you to avoid objects you don’t want and concentrate on the ones that you do. For the features, additional items supplied, and accuracy this is a great value for the first time buyer. You’ll be able to find coins and similar sized items to around 5 inches beneath the ground. Where American Hawks might have once come under the radar, their Explorer II model won’t let your relic hunting efforts suffer!
10 year warranty
Full kit supplied
May work intermittently
Assembly instructions difficult to follow
3 detection modes
6.5 kHz (approx.)
Preset ground balance
10″ waterproof coil
Weighs 4.2 lbs
The Sakobs’ treasure hunting metal detector is a great choice and similar to the Bounty Hunter price (no. 1 on our review list) but it looks a little different. The Sakobs Adjustable & Waterproof Metal Detector has some great features for a beginner, a child, or someone just looking for basic detectors. Although it is basic it is ideal for finding different types of metals that are worth searching for, its size is more suited to adults. Like most metal detectors with 10-inch diameter search coils it has a higher sensitivity than most metal detectors on our list that are either 8″ or pinpoint only.
The differentiation mode will allow you to determine the objects that you want and eliminate those you don’t want. It can find small objects like coins and jewelry to around 8.5 inches deep and the LCD screen will show various readings including the digital target ID and volume.
Includes carry bag
Batteries not included
Preset ground balance
5 search modes
Preset ground balance
11″ x 8.5″ waterproof search coil
Weighs 5.8 lbs
The Unclutterer premium pick within our metal detectors review list is the Garrett ACE 400 Special Metal Detector Kit which is at the high end of the price bracket, and for good reason. It has features that other models don’t have (it out-powers the Garrett ACE 300) but it’s cheaper than some other models like the Garrett AT Pro. It is very popular with serious enthusiasts.
This isn’t an entry-level detector like the majority of metal detectors on our list although even though it is designed for those who have been detecting for some time the controls are simple to use. That said if, as a beginner, you want to invest then our simple tip would be it’s great as long as you read the manual and learn to use it properly! It features iron audio, super sensitivity, responsive audio, 8 adjustable frequency levels to eliminate interference, and an impressive graphic interface. Super choice for those wanting more.
Only needs 4 AA batteries, included
Excellent % of 5* reviews
The Goplus Metal & Treasure Detector Kit with Shovel & Headphones is a fairly accurate way of detecting metals and it does have a discrimination mode so that you can eliminate objects that you do and don’t want to search for. It promises to detect six types of metal – gold, silver, copper, iron, nickel, and aluminum – and at its budget price, it’s a great way to get started. At the starter’s level, really all that is needed is a detector that is easy to learn and easy to control and, of course, one that finds what you want to by avoiding the rubbish stuff. The extras it comes with makes the whole kit multi-purpose and it is suitable for adults and kids alike, making it a good choice for family fun.
LCD control display
Easy to use
Extras include shovel and headphones
More powerful models available
Another of the budget buys on our review list is the OMMO Adjustable Metal Detector for Adults & Kids, one of the lower-priced we decided to review. It is fairly accurate at detecting small items such as coins and jewelry up to 8 inches below ground and is a good entry-level choice if you are looking to either try a new hobby or simply have outdoor fun with the kids. As well as being able to pick up a variety of metals it has an LCD display that has a battery level indicator so even the kids know when it needs new batteries. The display also shows the depth at which your object is so you don’t have to waste time digging, or can decide to move on to something to find that’s more shallow.
The all-metal mode will detect different types of metals, with the discrimination mode identifying only the metals you want to find. You can even search shallow waters up to around 8″ as the search coil is waterproof, although like all the others on our list the control panel is not to be submerged at all.
2 year warranty
Easy to use
Carry bag, shovel and headphones supplied
Remove battery for occasional use
Difficult to assemble
If you are looking to be a budding bounty hunter, or want to do a bit of treasure hunting with the kids, then the best metal detectors are those that are easy to use but still have the features of an ‘adult’ model. This is brilliant for kids and beginners at entry-level. It has easy to use buttons and an LCD display that shows a number of things that make detectors great fun, helping you find gold (hopefully) and other metals!
The VVinRC Metal Detector with Pinpointer Function is a great example of an affordable and efficient detector with a neat little feature that shows icons on the display instead of technical readings. This has a discrimination (elimination) setting so that you avoid certain types of metals that you don’t want to pick up on.
Fun to learn
Needs 6×1.5v batteries
Features To Consider With Metal Detectors
In general, the best metal detector either for kids or for adults is that with a simple, sturdy, and robust design. Good design will lead to the least confusion when it comes to your treasure hunting adventures. Strong and durable design will amount to a lesser chance of bewilderment and damage to the unit.
Lightweight design is the obvious feature to look out for too, especially if children will be using the machine. The best metal detectors are often built to be lightweight anyway because they're carried often for a number of hours. By avoiding utter bargain-basement models you will likely end up with a great model that will last, offer endless hours of fun for a child, and will still have all the features to learn and it may even lead to you becoming an avid gold hunting hobbyist.
There are a number of features to consider when you're researching and want to find the best detector for your needs even if you are hunting only coins for a bit of outdoor entertainment. Things like ground conditions, the display, water resistance, pinpoint ability, and discrimination are all things to look out for. Most of these things we have included within our review list, but here are a few more things we have drilled down that we recommend you look out for when you're planning on the best relic hunting trips. If you're asking yourself 'what is the best metal detector?' then you'll need to know that there isn't just one thing to look out for. Here you go...
How accurate metal detectors are, depend on a number of things. The ground conditions can determine how accurate the general settings are. If the ground is mainly contained with minerals it can confuse a basic detector. There are features that allow you to set to find all metals that it is able to, usually:
Most modern detectors allow you to set them up to be able to find a particular metal or eliminate certain metals. This is the discrimination mode. If you want accuracy then a pinpoint feature, once an object has been detected, will allow you to then zone in on the object. Whether you are gold prospecting or simply enjoying a bit of fun to find stuff with the kids, a good LCD display will be able to tell you what type of metal it has found.
Search depth is how deep your detector can find items like coins and other similar-sized objects. In basic terms, mid-range metal detectors will be able to find metals of up to about a foot deep. Larger objects are clearly going to be easier for the device to pick up on. Generally speaking, you can detect metals as deep as the coil is wide in diameter. So, if you have a standard 8-inch coil then your detector should pick up on metals it's able to, up to 8" underground.
Good detectors with decent features will indicate the depth at which it has found an object. This is one of the exciting bits as the display will 'indicate' to you how deep it is. Great if you start digging and the ground is simply too hard to get all the way down, or you simply want to move on and find something a little more shallow in the ground. Another great invention if you have kids.
The best metal detectors have an LCD on which you can see certain readings. They'll show a variety of things including depth of the object you just found, digital target ID to find out what the object metal is, battery life, sensitivity signal, and discrimination.
The ability for metal detectors to determine between the type of metal an object has is the discrimination feature. As you know, there's likely to be just as many rusty nails in the ground as there are bits of aluminum soda cans and probably far less of the treasures that make people want to go treasure hunting. Discrimination isn't left only to the best metal detectors and is a feature on most. Discrimination will save you time on digging up simple garbage instead of valuable treasures. Some will automatically be preset, most have the ability for you to choose between certain metals although gold prospecting enthusiasts usually set the detector to find all metals - no point missing out!
Metal detectors that are water-resistant can sometimes be okay to be used under water to a certain level. A submersible detector that is used underwater will be for professional divers. However, if you have a water-resistant detector the likelihood is that the coil is waterproof so that it can be submerged to a certain level, usually to a shallow level and only as deep as the diameter of the coil.
Metal detectors designed for land with a waterproof coil can only be used in very shallow water and cannot be submerged. One example may be the Garrett ACE 300 or the 400 model we have on our review list.
A detector with a waterproof coil and waterproof control box can be submerged only in shallow waters. You can find a specific detector that can be fully submerged and is used for underwater detecting. You can hire these and it makes for a fantastic experience for enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Metal Detector FAQ
Q: Which metals can't be detected by a metal detector?
It's obvious to say that your detector won't pick up elements like pearls and diamonds, it's for metal, after all, it will pick up on the majority of metals precious or otherwise. It will, however, struggle to detect stainless steel. The easiest way to explain this is that a detector works with electric and magnetism and this type of metal has poor electrical conductivity and magnetic permeability.
Q: How deep can a metal detector target?
No matter how intelligent your detector is and whether you want to use it as a family, beginner, or professional it can only detect the depth that it has been designed for. The coil diameter usually measures how deep it will detect. So if the coil measures 8 inches then it should be able to detect light objects (coin-sized) to the same measurement.
Some detectors are made to detect at a low range which can be around 3 inches to 6 inches, with a medium-range being up to about 10 inches. Professional models have a much higher and deeper range.
Q: Can you get detectors that only detect certain metals like gold?
Metal detectors are designed to pick up on metals like gold, or metals that have gold inclusions but there are some specialist devices that are specifically called gold detectors for that reason. Those that find gold are designed with a very low frequency (kHz) and they have a higher operating frequency than a metal detector. In summary, your detector is designed to find metal compounds and its features are therefore optimized for such a metal, among others.