Metal detecting is a great way to start a new adventure as well as a new hobby. Every time you go out hunting you just never know what you’ll find.
And while you’d expect a metal detector to find more trash than treasure, good metal detectors these days are able to easily discriminate and notch out undesirable targets such as pull tabs and iron.
To that end, we set out to find the best metal detector for beginners and put together this handy guide, to help you choose the right one for you.
Reviews of Our Top Picks for the Best Metal Detector for Beginners
|Best All Round / Best Waterproof Option||Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil|
|Best Metal Detector Kit||Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil and Carry Bag|
|Best for Kids||TRACKLIFE MMD02 Metal Detector|
|Best Budget Option||RM RICOMAX GC1028 Metal Detector for Adults & Kids|
|Best Underwater Metal Detector||Wedigout MPI-King Metal Detector|
Click below to jump to each topic in this guide.
- Best All Round / Best Waterproof Option
- Best Metal Detector Kit
- Best for Kids
- Best Budget Option
- Best Underwater Metal Detector
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Metal Detectors We’ve Reviewed
Best All Round / Best Waterproof Option: Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil
Best All Round / Best Waterproof Option
The Fisher F22 is not only the best all round metal detector, but it’s also our top choice as the best waterproof metal detector.
While it’s not fully submersible, it is weatherproof so you don’t need to worry about a sudden rainstorm or other adverse weather conditions while you’re out detecting. You can even lightly wash it off with a garden hose if it gets muddy.
It’s as user-friendly as they come with a completely hassle-free setup, making it an ideal choice for beginners and hobbyists but it’s a sophisticated enough piece of equipment to be a favorite among more advanced metal detectorists too.
It comes with 3 preset modes, a jewelry mode, a coin mode and an artifact mode for relic hunting. It also features one custom mode that allows you to set your own discrimination settings. It’s so easy to use, you basically turn it on and you’re ready to go.
What we particularly like about this model is the 9-inch waterproof triangulated concentric elliptical search coil. This teardrop-shaped search coil design will help give you a more targeted result, especially if you find yourself in an area with many targets around you.
It also has a Fe-Tone feature which means it has adjustable iron audio. This allows you to set the volume of ferrous targets lower (quieter) so the sound is there but only just, and the volume of non-ferrous targets like silver, for example, to higher (louder). This helps you distinguish between the two more easily than with other detectors.
Additionally to its 9 target categories from iron through gold and then silver, and its numbered 0-99 target-ID, it also has notch discrimination, to eliminate undesirable targets such as foil and pull tabs. It has a sensitivity feature from 1 to 10, which is handy in areas that have higher levels of ground mineralization or overhead electrical interference, and it has a pinpoint feature that you hold down to find and pinpoint the depth and precise location of your buried treasure.
It’s height-adjustable and comfortable to hold. You may notice from the photo that the armrest doesn’t have an arm strap. It doesn’t come with one, but the counterweight of the coil means you wouldn’t need one.
Lastly, this one runs for 25-30 on just 2 AA batteries and the metal detector is backed up by a 5-year warranty.
What We Like:
- Rubber Stop for the Earphone Socket | To keep the console from getting water inside.
- 7.69 kHz Operating Frequency | A higher frequency provides better sensitivity for low and medium-conductivity targets such as gold or lead.
- Pinpoint Button | Helps to pinpoint a target accurately.
- 5-year warranty | A long warranty like this one has is a good indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their own product.
Buying Factors to Consider:
The Fisher F22 is our top choice for good reason. It’s super easy to use, weatherproof and comes with a 5-year warranty. It doesn’t come with any accessories, however, so if you prefer a kit you might like to take a look at our kit option next.
Check the latest price for the Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil on Amazon.
Best Metal Detector Kit: Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil and Carry Bag
Best Metal Detector Kit
This is basically the Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector that we will be looking at, but it comes with a few different kit options.
These kits are excellent value for money and saves you from future accessory purchases.
The GAR1141150 is the basic kit. It comes with headphones, a coil cover and an environmental cover-up for the control. The GAR1141155 55-year anniversary special is the largest kit. It comes with extra accessories to the basic kit including a waterproof Pro-Pointer AT (pinpointer) with holster, a treasure keeper box, and a book.
The kit that we have featured here, however, is the more mid-priced option and comes with headphones, a coil cover that will protect your coil from scratches during use, and a control box cover-up for wet conditions. It also features a handy carry bag for easy transportation and protection for your detector.
The Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector features digital target ID from ferrous metals like iron and pull tabs, through to non-ferrous items with higher conductivity, including gold, and silver. This, coupled with three different sound tones, low, mid, and high, help you to identify your target, and a depth reading provides you with an accurate location for your coin, jewelry or artifact.
It features 5 modes of operation, zero disk, which is ideal for when you aren’t looking for anything in particular, jewelry mode, custom mode, relics mode for lower conductivity items such as lead, and brass, and bronze, and coins mode which detects US coins but eliminates trash like iron, foil and pull tabs.
Like our top choice, it comes with notch discrimination, 8 sensitivity settings, and a press and hold, pinpoint button for easier detection of the item location.
The Garret has a 7″ by 10″ submersible concentric circular search coil. It runs on 4 AA batteries and comes with a 2-year warranty.
What We Like:
- High frequency (8 kHz) | A higher frequency provides better sensitivity for low and medium-conductivity targets such as gold or lead.
- Good Value for Money Kit | The included accessories give you good bang for your buck, whichever of these kits you go for.
- Pinpoint Button | To help give you a precise location for your target.
Buying Factors to Consider:
Check the latest price of Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector on Amazon.
Best for Kids: TRACKLIFE MMD02 Metal Detector
Best for Kids
The MMD02 isn’t a cheap kid’s toy that doesn’t work very well. It’s a real metal detector with all the features essential for finding coins, jewelry, and artifacts, but it has a large, kid-friendly, backlit LCD display with fun icons and an adjustable stem from 16″ to 23″. It’s also lightweight and comes at a bargain-basement price too.
It’s a great choice for adults and kids alike so you can join in with your kids (if they let you). That’s why it’s our top choice for the best metal detector for kids.
The MMD02 emits three different audio tones, low, for ferrous metals, such as nails, and screws, etc medium for medium conductivity metals and high for copper, and silver, etc.
A 3-segment graphic depth indicator calibrated to cion sized objects indicates the location of your buried treasures up to a depth of 7″.
This one comes with just 2 modes of operation, DISC mode to help you eliminate target categories and all metal mode.
The feature that makes this particularly great for kids is the overload warning indicator. This will set off in highly magnetic areas of ground, prompting your child to raise the coil in order for the detector to work properly.
Though the control box isn’t waterproof the 7.8’’ search coil can safely be used in water, making this detector a great choice for beach or stream hunting.
The detector comes complete with a well-made carry bag, headphone jack, and 2x 9V carbon batteries.
What We Like:
- Large Fun LCD Display | The kid-friendly, backlit LCD display with fun icons means it’s easy to learn how to be a good detectorist.
- Handy Overload Warning Indicator | It sets off in highly magnetic areas, prompting you to raise the coil to allow the detector to work properly.
Buying Factors to Consider:
While it does lack some of the features that you get in the more high-end ones we have looked at so far, this is a great entry-level metal detector that would make a great gift idea for kids and beginners.
Check the latest price of the TRACKLIFE MMD02 Metal Detector on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: RM RICOMAX GC1028 Metal Detector for Adults & Kids
It has an intuitive LCD control box, featuring 3 discrimination modes to eliminate unwanted targets, 3 audio sounds to identify metals such as iron, aluminum, gold, bronze, silver and a sensitivity button, handy for highly mineralized ground areas.
The metal detector can be set to a target range of up to 7.1 inches deep and it also features a pinpoint button to accurately locate your treasure. The 10″ search coil and stem are fully waterproof.
What We Like:
- Good Bang for Your Buck | It has features including pinpoint that make this one a great budget option.
- Comes with a Shovel and Manual | Extras are always handy.
Best Underwater Metal Detector: Wedigout MPI-King Metal Detector
Best Underwater Metal Detector
This is our top pick for the best underwater metal detector. It’s waterproof to a depth of 100 feet so it’s a great option for snorkeling, scuba diving, and underwater fun, though it works just as well on land or any kind of soil, including black sand.
In or out of the water, it’s very easy to use so it’s an ideal choice for beginners.
It works differently from our other choices. it communicates by pulse vibration and flashes of bright, white light that become more intense and frequent as the detector’s coil gets nearer its target.
In fact, there’s nothing to set on this detector at all, it features automatic tuning, so you don’t have to make any manual adjustments. You simply turn it upright and hold, to switch it on, and do the same when you’re ready to turn it off.
Although obviously there’s no discrimination mode on this detector, its high sensitivity means detects metals of all sizes even down to the size of a pin.
It’s corrosion-resistant and comes with a handy belt ring and wrist strap.
What We Like:
- Fully Waterproof | Great for vacations, snorkeling, scuba diving, and underwater treasure hunting adventures.
- Simple Communication | Via increasing pulse vibration and flashes of bright, white light.
- True Underwater Metal Detector | It’s fully submersible and waterproof to a depth of 100 feet, great for snorkeling, scuba diving, and underwater fun.
- Automatic Tuning Feature | So you don’t have to adjust it manually.
- Affordable Option | Underwater metal detectors can be very costly. This is a great low priced alternative.
Buying Factors to Consider:
You will just need to buy a 9V battery as this one doesn’t come with one.
Check the latest price of the Wedigout MPI-King Metal Detector on Amazon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do metal detectors work on wet ground?
Metal detectors work well on wet ground. Wet ground actually helps with conductivity and indeed the best time to go hunting is just after rain when the ground is still wet. It’s also easier to dig your target in wet ground than it would be in hard dry ground that’s been baked in the hot sun.
Where is the best place to metal detect?
If you are a beginner the best place to start, is in your own back yard. It’s the easiest and best way to practice. Once you’ve got the feel for metal detecting you can go further afield. Beaches, parks, woods, fields, footpaths, and streams, are all good places to go hunting.
Will a metal detector pick up keys?
If your keys are made from any type of conductive metal then your metal detector will be able to find them for you if you lose them.
What metals are not detected by metal detectors?
A metal detector will pick up both ferrous (magnetic) and non-ferrous targets that have electrical conductivity including iron, nickel, copper, brass, aluminum, tin, lead, alloys, bronze, gold, and silver. They won’t however, pick in non-conductive targets such as gemstones, pearls, diamonds, ceramics or bones.
Other Metal Detectors We’ve Reviewed:
These are the products that didn’t quite make our top picks, but they’re still pretty good so you might like to take a look:
Great Budget Option
This is another good budget metal detector.
- Accessories included are a folding shovel, a dust-free cover and a carry bag.
- It has a backlit LCD control and pinpoint feature.
- Able to detect metals as deep as 8 inches
Includes a Memory Mode Function
This one has 5 modes including pinpoint, all metal, discrimination, memory, and jewelry.
- It displays a digital image and has sound with multiple settings for customization.
- It can locate a quarter up to a depth of 10″.
- It also comes with a 2-year warranty
This one features a double D coil to provide a more targetted search than a concentric coil.
- Weatherproof Control Box.
- Super Light-weight with weight distribution design.
- USB Rechargeable to save on batteries.
High-End Option that’s Easy to Use
If you have a few extra bucks to spend you could treat your self and go straight for a professional model that’s easy enough for any beginner or hobbyist to use.
- 8.5″ x 11″ PROformance DD waterproof search coil.
- Pinpointing and notch discrimination features along with adjustable frequency.
- Includes search coil cover, headphones, environmental cover for control, and a carry bag.
If you like the idea of twiddling with dials, this is the one for you.
- Dial – The more the pointer goes to the right the closer you are to the target.
- Three modes, discrimination, pinpoint and all metal. Includes sensitivity.
- Comes with a handy carry bag.