The Complete Guide to the Best Metal Detectors of 2019

Introduction

Being one of the oldest and largest metal detector retailers in the world, and serving as many customers as we do means we get a lot of questions. A lot!

The question we get asked more often than any other is, “What is the best metal detector on the market today?”

Unfortunately, there’s not a simple answer to that question. There are many “best detectors” because there are so many different types of metal detecting.

We’ve created this buying guide to answer the question as completely as we can. Along the way, we will tell you about some of the various criteria you should consider when buying a metal detector, and we’ll give you some of the main factors to consider, depending on the type of metal detecting you plan to do.

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
Wrap up

Buyer’s Guide Terminology & Definitions

Like every great hobby, metal detecting is an activity that is filled with special words that outsiders may have a hard time understanding. Here we will define some of the words you may not be very familiar with.

Metal detecting experts, feel free to skip ahead to the next section.

Ferrous: Metals that contain iron. Non-ferrous metals are metals that are not magnetic, like brass, gold, silver, nickel, tin and lead.
Frequency: Frequencies vary on metal detectors and the different frequencies are used for different types of detecting. The frequencies are measured in Kilohertz and measure the number of magnetic fields sent to the ground. Different metals react to different frequencies based on the characteristics and conductivity of that metal.
Mineralization: The amount of iron and salt in the ground. Examples of mineralized ground include black sand on beaches (from iron), redness in dirt (iron), and the salt in the sand on saltwater beaches.
Interference: Anything with an electromagnetic field, like cell phones or power lines, can interfere with the detector’s signal.
Control box: Contains the controls, speaker, batteries and processor of a metal detector.
Search coil: This is what “sees” the metal in the ground. Different search coil sizes and shapes perform differently. Generally speaking, smaller coils are most sensitive while larger coils can penetrate deeper underground.
Discrimination: You can filter out different types of metal or objects by adjusting your settings.
Ground balance: Adjustments made to the detector for different types of soil and mineralization.
Target separation: How well a detector identifies targets that are close to one another.

Evaluation criteria for this buyer’s guide

There isn’t one metal detector that’s better than all the rest, although there are a few stand-out detectors in multiple categories. This buyers guide will examine the specific features that make for a good detector in a number of those categories. We will make recommendations based on many category specific criteria, as well as some criteria that is common between several categories.

We will examine factors like:

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

For each category we evaluate, we will recommend three different detectors:

  • Best of the best
  • Best for beginners
  • Best value

In addition to sharing our expertise about each of these categories, we asked our customers to share their opinions as well. We surveyed our customers to find out which detector they consider the best in each category. You can see their responses at the end of each category. Some categories had a clear-cut favorite among our customers, but some categories were not so cut and dry. Presenting this data alongside our opinion gives you yet another way to evaluate machines in each category.

Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned professional, this guide will help you make an informed decision on which metal detector is the best fit to become your next detector. After all, once you’ve been bitten by the metal detecting bug, there is no such thing as owning just one metal detector.

Best metal detector for coins, rings and jewelry

Using a metal detector to search for coins has a fun name: coin shooting. Whether you’re coin shooting or looking for rings or other types of jewelry, search areas where lots of people visit on foot. Parks, beaches, schools, churches, even sports complexes and bleachers are great places to look for these items.

Some of the very best locations for coin shooters are places that are abandoned today, but were very busy in the past.

When you shop for a metal detector for coins, rings or jewelry, choose one that’s easy to use and has good target separation or discrimination. That allows you to filter out what you don’t want. Parks mean you have a high chance for finding coins and jewelry, but these areas also have a lot of “junk” like foil and pull tabs.

Some machines include a feature called notch discrimination, which is very useful for this kind of hunting. That allows you to pick a target and filter out everything else that is outside that target’s feedback range.

Choose a machine with a frequency of 10-15 kHz and a depth range of 6-8 inches.

Best of the Best

Minelab CTX-3030

This is Minelab’s highest performing all-around metal detector. It can find objects in every type of soil, including mineralized ground where gold is found. This machine has five preset search modes and is also fully customizable for more advanced detectorists. This detector works in any terrain, including the ocean and wet beach sand.

Our customers say that this detector is heavy but well-balanced. If you plan on using this for an extended period of time, a harness is available to help relieve some of the strain.

  • Weight: 5.20 pounds
  • Frequency: 1.5 kHz – 100 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Three-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Programmable to fit your needs
  • Most accurate target identification on the market
  • GPS to track your finds
Cons
  • It is heavy — over 5 pounds
  • Higher price point
  • Slower processor than newer detectors on the market
What Our Customers Say
  • “I had the pleasure of calling and talking to Kellyco … looking to upgrade... I was looking for the best land and best water machine. Your rep explained all of the differences and highly recommended the CTX-3030. One machine for both. Why buy two different machines when one detector does both? It has been the best buy I have ever made. It took a little bit to get used to the sounds but I have absolutely no regrets. Great for the days that I want to hunt both land and water. Thank you very much for the recommendation.” - Paul
Learn More

Best Value

Garrett AT Pro

Like the more expensive CTX 3030, the Garrett AT Pro is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It’s an all-terrain detector that has 40 different discrimination settings to notch out various types of ferrous metals, including iron. Customers say this is one of the most versatile metal detectors out there. In the past, separate headphones were recommended, but with the upgraded MS-2 headphones you have all you need to get out detecting!

The Pro audio mode setting allows users to “hear” the properties of the target they have detected. It will emit a different tone depending on how deep an object is buried.

A digital target ID on the screen also allows users to quickly identify what the machine is detecting. The most ferrous targets are labeled between 1 and 40, with the most conductive targets — like thick silver — registering closer to 99.

Sometimes, when detecting, a larger ferrous target can be interpreted as non-ferrous (and therefore valuable). The AT Pro contains a feature called Iron Audio which, with the press of a button, can correctly identify the target.

  • Weight: 3.03 pounds
  • Frequency: 15 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet
  • Easy to use
  • Can be upgraded via Z-Lynk (Garrett’s proprietary wireless technology) for use with wireless headphones
Cons
  • Limited depth and less than accurate reading in saltwater
  • The Zero mode is not a true all-metal mode
  • No backlight
What Our Customers Say
  • “I am a new first time user of a metal detector and after shopping around I decided on buying a Garrett AT Pro because of its versatility and easy to understand display. I like that it can be used in the water and is light enough to be used for hours at a time. After opening the box and getting right to detecting, I haven't been disappointed. The accessories that came with the AT Pro helped me in the field and the Relic Quest book was a very nice read. Thanks to Garrett for making such a quality machine.” - Christopher C.
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Best for Beginners

Garrett ACE 400

The Garrett ACE 400 differs from the AT Pro in that it can’t be used near any body of water because the machine is not waterproof. However, it’s a very easy to use machine and you can be detecting in mere minutes.

The digital target ID helps you correctly identify which targets are made of what metal. The numbers are labeled 0-99, and they correspond with a list provided by Garrett that can be easily referenced to determine the metallic content of the target. It’s very versatile and can be used in many different terrains.

Like the AT Pro, the Ace 400 also includes Iron Audio mode, to help correctly identify larger ferrous targets.

  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Frequency: 10 kHz
  • Waterproof: No
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Very easy to use, with an easy transition to upgrade to another Garrett
  • It has the iron audio feature like the AT Pro and AT Max
  • Can be upgraded via Z-Lynk (Garrett’s proprietary wireless technology) for use with wireless headphones
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Not an effective finder of smaller jewelry, due to lower operating frequency
  • The headphones are basic. Consider an upgraded headphone package.
What Our Customers Say
  • “I've had my Ace 400 for about a year and would not trade it, Even if I ever buy another Garrett, I would always keep the Ace 400. I've had lots of luck and good finds with the 400. It's not complicated to operate. Coins, jewelry, relics etc. If it's in the ground, and with a little patience, the Ace 400 will find it.” - William
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Customer Favorites

Best metal detector for relic hunting

Relics are a big draw for metal detecting enthusiasts. There are relics scattered across the world from past wars and other historical events, and it can be very exciting to uncover a colonial buckle or part of a musket. This is where metal detecting meets archaeology and true history buffs thrive!

The best places to search for relics include churches, old homesites and areas where people used to congregate in the past. Think about abandoned train depots, large trees in the middle of town square — commonly referred to in the hobby as a money tree — and old steamboat landings.

To be an effective relic hunter, you’ll want a tough, rugged machine, because you can wind up pretty far off the beaten path for long periods of time. |

The main features prized by relic hunters include good target separation. This is important because coins can be masked by old construction materials like nails or railroad spikes. Highly effective discrimination is important because you need to kill the audio for iron targets and focus on what’s valuable.

A good relic machine should have a depth range of 12-14 inches and use a frequency between 12-15 kHz. To be effective, you’ll probably want more than one coil. Coils that are a minimum of 12 inches wide allow you to detect at deeper depths, which is important when hunting for relics. Waterproof coils are an important feature to look for as well, because you never know what terrain you’ll encounter when you’re out looking for historical locations deep in the woods.

A machine that has a true all-metal mode or zero discrimination is useful if you’re not on an old homesite, because many Civil War relics tend to ring up as iron. Horseshoes, railroad spikes and shell fragments would be not be heard, for example, if your discrimination settings are too high.

Many top performing relic machines are fairly heavy, so consider a harness or guide to help you distribute the weight.

Best of the Best

Minelab GPX 4500

This detector features SETA technology and is immune to interference. SETA stands for “Smart Electronic Timing Alignment.” Noises that are caused by magnetic interference are minimized in each of the six timing options, and each timing option can be independently adjusted and operated for greater efficiency.

This detector has many special features. It has a backlight on the screen so you can detect at night or in dark areas. The stabilizer provides you with a smoother threshold to pick up the faintest of signals, and the “iron reject” option lets you filter out junk metal.

  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Frequency: Bi-Level, Advanced Pulse Induction
  • Waterproof: No
  • Warranty: Three-year limited
Pros
  • Workhorse: Best general-purpose gold & relic machine
  • Excels in highly mineralized ground (pulse induction)
  • Full range of coils for finds buried deep
Cons
  • Heavy weight
  • It is not waterproof
  • Battery life tends to decline over time
Learn More

Best Value

Garrett AT Max

The AT Max features Z-Lynk, Garrett’s proprietary wireless technology. It can be used on land or in freshwater and is waterproof up to 10 feet. The high-resolution iron discrimination feature will help you filter out junk like bottle caps and other trash.

The AT Max also has four search modes: all metal, custom, coins, and zero discrimination. The all-metal mode provides the best depth and sensitivity. One of the great features about this detector is that it has a battery life between 15-20 hours.

  • Weight: 3.4 lbs
  • Frequency: 13.6 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Wireless headphones
  • True all-metal mode
  • You can pair your headphones to a Z-Lynk pinpointer
Cons
  • It does not perform as well as other machines in saltwater
  • It can be chattery and has a learning curve
  • Constant ground balancing is needed
What Our Customers Say
  • This machine has some amazing improvements on my previous machines. I love the backlight, wireless headphones, and the grip, the rubber grip.. thank the Lord for the rubber grip. The new grip is so much easier to clean and keep clean. Plus, all the electronic upgrades make this an amazing machine. I highly recommend this machine. - SilverSearcherWV
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Best for Beginners

Garrett ACE 400

The Garrett ACE 400 differs from the AT Pro in that it can’t be used near any body of water because the machine is not waterproof. However, it’s a very easy to use machine and you can be detecting in mere minutes.

The digital target ID helps you correctly identify which targets are made of what metal. The numbers are labeled 0-99, and they correspond with a list provided by Garrett that can be easily referenced to determine the metallic content of the target. It’s very versatile and can be used in many different terrains.

Like the AT Pro, the Ace 400 also includes Iron Audio mode, to help correctly identify larger ferrous targets.

  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Frequency: 10 kHz
  • Waterproof: No
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Very easy to use, with an easy transition to upgrade to another Garrett
  • It has the iron audio feature like the AT Pro and AT Max
  • Can be upgraded via Z-Lynk (Garrett’s proprietary wireless technology) for use with wireless headphones
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Not an effective finder of smaller jewelry, due to lower operating frequency
  • The headphones are basic. Consider an upgraded headphone package.
What Our Customers Say
  • “I've had my Ace 400 for about a year and would not trade it, Even if I ever buy another Garrett, I would always keep the Ace 400. I've had lots of luck and good finds with the 400. It's not complicated to operate. Coins, jewelry, relics etc. If it's in the ground, and with a little patience, the Ace 400 will find it.” - William
Learn More

Customer Favorites

Best metal detector for gold

Panning for gold or using a pickaxe for hours on end isn’t necessary anymore if you use a metal detector. Detectors made specifically for gold hunting make the hobby a whole lot easier. Visit mountains or areas like rivers, streams and exposed rock bed to increase your chances of finding gold, especially in the western U.S.

Look for a metal detector that works well in highly mineralized soil. A frequency of 20 kHz or higher is great for gold. You’ll also want a waterproof coil, but the machine itself doesn’t need to be waterproof. As with relic hunting, a harness or guide will be helpful to distribute the weight of heavier machines, since finding gold can take a long time.

One of the most important features in a detector used for gold hunting is that it is stable — meaning less noisy — in mineralized ground. Soil out west has a lot of iron ore that will interfere, so having a detector that can find a gold nugget that’s surrounded by iron ore is really important.

Best of the Best

Minelab GPZ 7000

With the Minelab GPZ 7000, you’ll find even the smallest gold nuggets you might miss with other detectors. The Super-D Smart Coil consists of a central transmit winding and two outer receive windings, which greatly decreases interference from magnetic and/or mineralized soils. This detector finds nuggets that are up to 40 percent deeper than previous Minelab GPZ models.

This is the most expensive metal detector in our guide, but we think that the payoff is worth it for this pulse induction machine.

  • Weight: 7.32 pounds
  • Frequency: PI
  • Waterproof: No. Certain coils are waterproof.
  • Warranty: Three-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Deepest detection depth on all types gold
  • Electronically updateable via Minelab’s website
  • Full range of gold timing for all situations
Cons
  • Very heavy
  • Only 2 coils offered, incompatible with 3rd party coil manufacturers
  • Not waterproof
Learn More

Best Value

Minelab Gold Monster 1000

Minelab’s Gold Monster 1000 has a gold chance indicator, so you can know the likelihood of whether there is gold before you start digging.

The controls are easy to use, the coil is waterproof up to 3-feet, and the control box is rain proof. It also comes with your choice of coils, battery options, and shaft configurations.

The intermediate 45 kHz frequency and high-speed signal processor boosts sensitivity to gold, no matter the size of the nugget. 

Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Great at picking up fine gold
  • Light weight
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Does not handle mineralization well
  • Not as deep as pulse induction machines
Learn More

Best for Beginners

Nokta Makro AU Gold Finder

The Gold Finder is designed to find gold nuggets in any terrain, at multiple depths.

Users can set the detector to “fast” mode for gold hunting in fields with high mineralization or significant quantities of conductive rocks. This mode improves target detection and recovery speeds in areas where there is a lot of trash.

“Deep” mode gives the user a two-tone discrimination setting designed for gold fields with less mineralization or magnetic rocks. It provides an increase in depth performance while still able to pinpoint large and small gold nuggets.

  • Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Frequency: 56 kHz
  • Waterproof: Search coils are waterproof
  • Warranty: 2 year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Super hot on tiny gold nuggets!
  • Best of class mineralization handling for VLF.
  • Iron discrimination & deep all metal mode for maximum depth.
Cons
  • Ground balance always in tracking, no fixed setting.
  • No target ID numbers, only iron reject and “gold chance” meter.
  • Dedicated gold detector, not multi-purpose.
What Our Customers Say
  • Nokta did it right, they listened to the detectorist and built into one detector what we have been looking for. High frequency response with the ability for hitting small (sub-gram) gold nuggets, auto and manual ground balance, precise sensitivity adjustment capabilities, reliable and clear threshold and the sheer ability to handle iron ground minerals were the requirement. The fact that the Gold Finder is lightweight, hip-mountable, has long battery life and a decent price tag, well that’s just more gold in the poke. - Kevin H.
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Customer Favorites

Best metal detector for saltwater and beaches

Beaches are one of the best places to metal detect because of their popularity over the years. People lose all kinds of things at the beach, and, of course, things wash up on the shore, too. Beaches are especially known for “fresh drops.” Imagine a beach filled with hundreds of people each day being tossed around by waves and slathering their bodies in sunscreen. It’s a perfect storm for finding gold rings and chains.

Being able to manually adjust ground balance is important when you’re detecting at the beach. Saltwater affects metal detectors in the same way highly mineralized soil does. It becomes difficult to focus on valuable items when those items are surrounded by so much potential noise. A multi-frequency detector will be very useful because the ground is continuously changing at the beach, from dry sand to wet sand to surf. Ground tracking is another important feature, so that the machine itself can detect what kind of soil or sand conditions you’re on as you hunt.

Beach detectors need to be waterproof. A wave could knock you down while detecting and ruin any machine that is not waterproof.

Best of the Best

Minelab Excalibur II

Do you want to go metal detecting and scuba diving? The Minelab Excalibur II is for you. This detector is waterproof up to 200 feet, but it’s also effective on land. It features 17 different frequencies to help you find more coins, rings and relics buried deep down.

One of the nifty features is that this detector emits a different tone for every frequency. The tone for gold, for example, will sound different than the tone for silver.

  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Frequency: 17 frequencies from 1.5 kHz – 25.5 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet
  • Warranty: One year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Waterproof to 200 feet
  • Uses Broad Band Spectrum (BBS) multi-frequency technology
  • Different tone for each frequency
Cons
  • Headphones are hardwired to the machine
  • Without proper care, the seals can wear down
  • A little heavy at over 5 pounds (but not too bad if used underwater)
What Our Customers Say
  • I have to say that it is truly a perfect machine for the beach and water hunting that I do. It took me about a week to begin to distinguish the different signature tones for the Excalibur, but in about two and a half weeks I have already found a nice gold ring and an assortment of .925% silver jewelry. I really like the ease of the turn on and go nature of the Excalibur. I simply tune the threshold and leave my other dials set from my last successful hunt and I'm off. - Robert
Learn More

Best Value

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

Garrett’s Sea Hunter Mark II has been one of the best underwater detectors for over 25 years. It can ignore most trash, including pull tabs and foil, without degrading the sensitivity of rings and coins in Discrete Elimination mode. It includes underwater headphones and an electronic housing that can be mounted at different locations (including on your hip). This detector cancels salt and ground mineralization with pulse induction circuitry.

  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Frequency: PI — 750 pulses per second
  • Waterproof: Submersible up to 200 feet
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Affordable pulse induction machine (one of the least expensive PI machines on the market)
  • Waterproof to 200 feet
  • Non-motion deep-seeking mode for diving
Cons
  • The discrete Elimination mode is not as advanced as some other machines
  • A little heavy at over 5 pounds (but not too bad if used underwater)
  • There is no coil cover for the 8” coil
What Our Customers Say
  • Waterproof. Easy to use? Gold and silver rings jump out at you. Dry sand. Or chest deep water. Great machine. Oh by the way. Coin shooters and relic hunters if you are a beep and dig guy as I am. This is your machine as well. Gold prospector? This is it. I've found pickers with this on my land in the north Georgia mountains. I live a block from the beach in Panama City Beach Florida. I have land in the mountains. This is a go anywhere, do anything machine. - James Z.
Learn More

Best for Beginners

Minelab Equinox 600

This detector is multi-frequency, and also has a wide range of single frequencies. These frequencies have a high level of accuracy. One customer reported that he was detecting at the beach and fine-tuned his frequency settings. It beeped in the dime range, and sure enough, he found a dime. It’s good at filtering out the junk and does well in freshwater or saltwater.

  • Weight: 2.96 pounds
  • Frequency: 5, 10 and 15 kHz; multi
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: Three-year limited detector; one-year battery
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet
Cons
  • Does not come with wireless headphones, but you can use bluetooth
  • It does not have the ability to switch to single frequency for gold modes
  • It does not have a backlight
What Our Customers Say
  • I am a newbie to metal detecting and bought this detector. Out of the box, it was super simple to use since it has presets of beach, beach water, park and field. I have used it about seven times on the beach and have found two necklace pendants and lots of quarters and dimes. I have nothing to compare it with, but feel it is very good and solid as I rarely get alerted to junk metal and it gives you a minus number when it is garbage. The coil is large, perfect for trying to detect in large areas like a beach. I am hooked and my young adult daughter and I have had a blast. I can totally recommend the Equinox 600. - Avana
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Customer Favorites

Best metal detector for freshwater

Many beaches are hunted with metal detectors every day, but the shoreline of freshwater areas is not. Because of that, you may have more luck at a lake, creek, stream or river than you would at a beach. You can find a lot of jewelry and coins in freshwater areas.

Since freshwater won’t have the interference from salt that beaches do, you have greater flexibility in picking a freshwater machine. You do, however, want to make sure it’s waterproof and sturdy. If you only plan to go ankle deep in water, a waterproof coil may be enough, but going this route always comes with risks. A dropped machine that us not waterproof can result in a dead machine and a lost investment. Because of this risk, we never recommend using a machine that is not waterproof anywhere near water.

You may also want to consider a coil cover, since you may be scraping your detector along rocks and more rugged terrain.

Best of the Best

Minelab Excalibur II

Do you want to go metal detecting and scuba diving? The Minelab Excalibur II is for you. This detector is waterproof up to 200 feet, but it’s also effective on land. It features 17 different frequencies to help you find more coins, rings and relics buried deep down.

One of the nifty features is that this detector emits a different tone for every frequency. The tone for gold, for example, will sound different than the tone for silver.

  • Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Frequency: 17 frequencies from 1.5 kHz – 25.5 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet
  • Warranty: One year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Waterproof to 200 feet
  • Uses Broad Band Spectrum (BBS) multi-frequency technology
  • Different tone for each frequency
Cons
  • Headphones are hardwired to the machine
  • Without proper care, the seals can wear down
  • A little heavy at over 5 pounds (but not too bad if used underwater)
What Our Customers Say
  • I have to say that it is truly a perfect machine for the beach and water hunting that I do. It took me about a week to begin to distinguish the different signature tones for the Excalibur, but in about two and a half weeks I have already found a nice gold ring and an assortment of .925% silver jewelry. I really like the ease of the turn on and go nature of the Excalibur. I simply tune the threshold and leave my other dials set from my last successful hunt and I'm off. - Robert
Learn More

Best Value

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi

The Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi is waterproof up to 16 feet. It’s rugged, durable and reliable and the menu features a simple design that is very easy to use. Multiple search tones make this great for finding a wide variety of objects. It’s very stable on dry or wet sand, meaning it isn’t picking up signals for “junk.”

The Anfibio includes a vibration mode, which is specific to this manufacturer for the hearing impaired. This machine offers nine search modes, including a deep mode and a cache mode. It also features an adjustable armrest, which most other machines don’t have.

  • Weight: 3.7 pounds
  • Frequency: Three Frequencies: 5kHz / 14kHz / 20kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 16.4 feet
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Vibration mode for hearing impaired
  • Waterproof up to 16 feet
  • Deep mode provides ultimate depth
Cons
  • Depth meter is not always accurate
  • Not true multi frequency machine — frequencies have to be adjusted
  • Does not include a USB charging block
What Our Customers Say
  • This is the first multi frequency machine I have owned. I went back to multiple sites I had hunted with a single frequency machine and found double the relics with the Anfibio. What's really cool about this machine is the ability to control the volume of your iron signals, This is really a bonus when hunting old homestead and iron-infested ground. The unit has an internal battery in the rear of the handle, that balances the machine nicely. I would definitely recommend this unit if your thinking about upgrading your single frequency detector. - Mark
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Best for Beginners

Minelab Equinox 800

The Minelab Equinox 800 can be used on every type of ground, and is great for coins, relics and gold. The gold mode is great for gold nuggets. This detector has eight custom search profiles, and is fully submersible up to 10-feet. It’s lightweight, and holds up well in any environment, including around salt water. The LCD screen features target numbers that allow you to know your target ID at a glance.

This machine set the metal detecting world on its ear when it was introduced to the public. The only machine with true simultaneous frequency technology that Minelab refers to as Multi IQ, this machine is revolutionary and is changing the game in metal detecting. It has the fastest recovery speed and target separation of any machine on the market today. It has been a perennial bestseller since its introduction, and created massive waiting lists and production backlogs when initially introduced.

Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Fast recovery speed and target separation for trashy areas
  • Multi IQ technology (the newest technology on the market)
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Does not come with a manual
  • The charging block is sold separately
  • It has a learning curve if you’re not familiar with Minelab detectors
What Our Customers Say
  • I am new to detecting but have been amazed with the Equinox 800. It is easy to use right out of the box, but also has a lot of functionality and adjustments that you can make once you get used to the detector. It is amazing just how small of an object it will detect at a fairly deep depth. I recommend downloading the manual and reading through it. Very extensive. Easy to see why Minelab is on top of their game with this machine! I know that there has been bad press regarding the detector's shaft being too flexible but mine is pretty solid once tightened down. - Joe D.
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Customer Favorites

Best all-purpose metal detectors

All-purpose metal detectors can be used pretty much anywhere and in most conditions. These machines are often the choice made by detectorists who are looking for a workhorse to do more than one job.

These machines can be outperformed by the best-in-class machines described in the various categories above. However, because they are highly capable machines that have a “do-anything” attitude, they are often the first purchase (and sometimes only purchase) by thousands and thousands of metal detectorists across the country.

This category of metal detector represents many of our best sellers. Think of these as go anywhere, do anything machines. They are the utility infielder of the metal detecting world. They are the Magic Johnsons of the metal detecting world. If Chevrolet made a Corvette SUV it would fall into this category.

Best of the Best

Minelab Equinox 800

The Minelab Equinox 800 can be used on every type of ground, and is great for coins, relics and gold. The gold mode is great for gold nuggets. This detector has eight custom search profiles, and is fully submersible up to 10-feet. It’s lightweight, and holds up well in any environment, including around salt water. The LCD screen features target numbers that allow you to know your target ID at a glance.

This machine set the metal detecting world on its ear when it was introduced to the public. The only machine with true simultaneous frequency technology that Minelab refers to as Multi IQ, this machine is revolutionary and is changing the game in metal detecting. It has the fastest recovery speed and target separation of any machine on the market today. It has been a perennial bestseller since its introduction, and created massive waiting lists and production backlogs when initially introduced.

Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Fast recovery speed and target separation for trashy areas
  • Multi IQ technology (the newest technology on the market)
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Does not come with a manual
  • The charging block is sold separately
  • It has a learning curve if you’re not familiar with Minelab detectors
What Our Customers Say
  • I am new to detecting but have been amazed with the Equinox 800. It is easy to use right out of the box, but also has a lot of functionality and adjustments that you can make once you get used to the detector. It is amazing just how small of an object it will detect at a fairly deep depth. I recommend downloading the manual and reading through it. Very extensive. Easy to see why Minelab is on top of their game with this machine! I know that there has been bad press regarding the detector's shaft being too flexible but mine is pretty solid once tightened down. - Joe D.
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Best Value

Garrett AT Pro

Like the more expensive CTX 3030, the Garrett AT Pro is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It’s an all-terrain detector that has 40 different discrimination settings to notch out various types of ferrous metals, including iron. Customers say this is one of the most versatile metal detectors out there. In the past, separate headphones were recommended, but with the upgraded MS-2 headphones you have all you need to get out detecting!

The Pro audio mode setting allows users to “hear” the properties of the target they have detected. It will emit a different tone depending on how deep an object is buried.

A digital target ID on the screen also allows users to quickly identify what the machine is detecting. The most ferrous targets are labeled between 1 and 40, with the most conductive targets — like thick silver — registering closer to 99.

Sometimes, when detecting, a larger ferrous target can be interpreted as non-ferrous (and therefore valuable). The AT Pro contains a feature called Iron Audio which, with the press of a button, can correctly identify the target.

  • Weight: 3.03 pounds
  • Frequency: 15 kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
  • Warranty: 2-year limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet
  • Easy to use
  • Can be upgraded via Z-Lynk (Garrett’s proprietary wireless technology) for use with wireless headphones
Cons
  • Limited depth and less than accurate reading in saltwater
  • The Zero mode is not a true all-metal mode
  • No backlight
What Our Customers Say
  • “I am a new first time user of a metal detector and after shopping around I decided on buying a Garrett AT Pro because of its versatility and easy to understand display. I like that it can be used in the water and is light enough to be used for hours at a time. After opening the box and getting right to detecting, I haven't been disappointed. The accessories that came with the AT Pro helped me in the field and the Relic Quest book was a very nice read. Thanks to Garrett for making such a quality machine.” - Christopher C.
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Best for Beginners

Nokta Makro Kruzer Multi

The Nokta Makro Kruzer Multi is a do-anything workhorse that is capable of finding relics, coins, jewelry and gold whether on the beach or in the field. With selectable frequencies of 5, 15 and 19 Khz, the Kruzer Multi can find most anything of value. Its updatable program is a welcome feature, and it’s also lightweight.

The advanced beach mode on this model makes it stable on dry and wet sand as well as in the water. It is waterproof up to 16 feet. The Lithium Polymer battery offers up to 19 hours of use and this machines comes with a high quality, lightweight, incredibly comfortable set of wireless headphones, which can be paired to other Nokta Makro machines.

  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Frequency: Three frequencies: 5kHz / 14kHz / 19kHz
  • Waterproof: Up to 16.4 feet
  • Warranty: 2 Year Limited
Our Rating
Ease of Use
Features
Durability
Weight and Balance
Pros
  • Vibration mode
  • Wireless headphones
  • Waterproof to 16 ft
Cons
  • Not a true multi frequency machine
  • Does not include the USB charging block
  • Does not perform as well as some other detectors in saltwater
What Our Customers Say
  • I've had my M Kruzer for 8 months and have nearly paid it off with clad coins. I've also found dozens of silver coins and rings. I love the practicality and value of the machine, and look forward to new products from Nokta Makro. -
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Customer Favorite

Wrap Up

We hope this guide helps you decide which metal detector is best for you. There are many things to take into consideration, including where you will use your metal detector and what all you’re looking for.

In our experience, once you start metal detecting, you never want to stop. There are so many different adventures you can experience with a metal detector. Visit our Treasure Finds page to read about all the different items our customers have found over the years.

If you have more questions after reading this guide, please feel free to give us a call or pop open the chat window on our website.