9 Best Metal Detectors for Beginners

9 Best Metal Detectors for Beginners

Metal Detectors for Beginners

Starting a new hobby is exciting, especially when it involves finding precious metals buried under the ground. Metal detectors work by transmitting an electromagnetic field from its search coil to the ground. When you come across a metal, it will retransmit its own electromagnetic field which triggers the detector alerting you to the presence of metals.

If you’re looking to get involved in this fun and sometimes lucrative pastime, you want to find a metal detector that is a solid introduction to the fundamentals of metal detection, easy to operate, and a good price. As a beginner, it can be helpful to purchase a metal detector that comes with all the accessories you’ll need along the way – Kellyco Metal Detectors actually provide many of these as part of metal-detecotr purchase so be sure to check them out if they are the same price as Amazon.

Before you venture out, it’s best to check the rules and regulations for the area you intend to hunt as some National Parks have different rules which may see you losing your treasure. Check these links to see which rules apply to you:

Canada: https://detectingschool.com/metal-detecting-in-canada/

US: http://www.mdhtalk.org/maps/fp-map-regulations.htm

To help you find the best metal detector to fit your needs, we looked for products that come highly recommended by beginners to cover a variety of needs and wants that we think are important when investing in a new hobby.

We looked for:

  • Different budget requirements
  • Level of knowledge needed
  • Usability 
  • Extra features
  • Accessories included

As buying online is a risky business these days, we made sure to filter out any products which used fake or stolen reviews to boost their ratings.

What Are The Best Metal Detectors for Beginners?

9 Best Metal Detectors for Beginners: In-depth Review

  1. Garrett ACE 400
Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories

Garrett is a well-respected name in metal detection with a wide range of products suited for different needs. For beginners, we’ve gone for the ACE 400. This flagship model from their ACE range comes with headphones, an interface cover, and a search coil cover so you can hunt in any weather.

The ACE 400 is lightweight and comfortable to hold for long periods of time whilst you’re out searching for treasure. Its interface is informative and easy to understand. It will show you an approximate depth of the metal and give you an indication of what metal you’ve found. Its mode selector will let you choose your preferred target using the 5 different presets until you get used to making your own adjustments. 

There’s a button in the middle of the interface which activates the electronic pinpointing feature. This function will give you a more precise location of your target eliminating other frequencies from other objects nearby.

The PROformance search coil that comes with the ACE 400 is oval, making it easy to use when faced with weaving between rocks, cracks, and narrow spots. But don’t stop there. This device is just as powerful when used on the beach, in fields, and in wooded areas.  

If you think that you will be mainly using your metal detector on the beach, then be sure to check out our recently published guide to the best units available in 2021.

Features:

  • 10 kHz adjustable frequency
  • Digital target ID gives you a numerical identification
  • Enhanced iron check for when your target is hidden by iron trash
  • 3 audio tone ID levels to distinguish between targets
  • Comes with 8.5” x 11” search coil

What we love:

  • The digital display contains all the info you need when hunting.
  • It weighs 2.9 lbs
  • The coil is waterproof

We don’t like this as much:

  •  Doesn’t include any digging tools
Sale
Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories
  • Extra Accessories: Garrett 8.5" x 11" Search Coil Cover, ClearSound Headphones, Garrett ACE Rain Cover
  • Also Includes: Garrett 8.5" x 11" PROformance DD Waterproof Search Coil, Adjustable Arm Strap, Garrett ACE 400 Instruction Manual, Garrett Search Coil Hardware Kit, 4 "AA" Batteries Included, FREE Garrett Catalog, FREE Garrett Searcher Magazine, Exclusive 2 Year Warranty
  • Includes Electronic Pinpointing: precisely locates targets and speeds recovery Notch Discrimination: Modify discrimination patterns based on what you are seeking.
  • New Adjustable Frequency, New More Stable Camlocks, Enhanced Iron Resolution
  • 2 year Warranty, 5 Search Modes, New Higher Frequency 10 kHz, Digital Target ID

2. Fisher F75

Fisher F75 Metal Detector

Another solid name in the world of metal detection is Fisher, these robust devices are ideal for a range of areas and weather conditions. There are a few models in Fishers’ F range, two of which made our selection. The first is the F75 for its all-rounder capabilities and in-depth information display.

The F75 boasts new features that make this device more versatile and can detect metals at a greater depth making it ideal for detecting coins, relics, gold, and great for hunting on the beach. Don’t be put off by the amount of information displayed on the interface, once you’ve learned what everything means, you’ll appreciate the data it’s telling you in one place. The interface also has a backlight for those who want to hunt in low light or even through the night.

If you’re wanting to search around areas that contain a lot of trash, the F75 has double-filter discrimination modes so your only targeting metals you want and not stopping all the time for junk. 

Its Double-D search coil is waterproof so you can continue your search into shallow water where gold nuggets may be hiding previously undetected. Just don’t fully submerge this device as the interface will not survive.

Features:

  • Powerful trigger actuated target pinpointing
  • Numeric target identification from 0-99.
  • Automatic ground balancing
  • 11” search coil
  • Super lightweight

What we love:

  • Power can last over 40 hours.
  • Only has 1 button and one dial for ease of use.
  • Also used by pros.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  Doesn’t come with any accessories e.g headphones.
Fisher F75 Metal Detector
  • Lightest weight / best ergonomics in the industry - powerful performance trigger-actuated target pinpointing with variable audio pitch - large lcd screen with 0-99 numeric target identification display
  • Double-filter discrimination modes for searching in trashy areas - magnetic mineralization bar graph and readout - trigger-actuated fastgrab ground balance
  • Non-volatile memory saves settings - backlight – for low light hunting conditions - low operating cost – typically 40+ hours with 4-aa alkaline batteries
  • Double-D Waterproof Search Coil - Rain Cover for Control Housing & Battery Housing Available
  • Recommended for: coin shooting, relic hunting, beach hunting, gold prospecting. Operating humidity range: 0-90% non-condensing

3. Bounty Hunter TK4

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

If you’re looking for a budget metal detector to get started, we recommend this beginner TK4 detector from Bounty Hunter. These guys have a large range of metal detectors to choose from for all abilities and the TK4 is an ideal jumping-off point for a solid introduction to the art of metal detection.

There are no fancy digital screens or pre-sets, just a simple sensitivity meter and two dials to control level and its trash eliminator which is their name for a discrimination eliminator. It has an automatic ground balance so you don’t need to overcomplicate your hunt. The sensitivity control allows you to dial into particular metals so you can choose your targets. 

The trash eliminator allows you to not waste any time digging up worthless junk and leave you searching for relics, gold, silver, and other precious metals. 

This device is lightweight and adjustable making it easy to transport if you’re taking it out into the wilderness. It has a speaker built into the interface to hear when you find a target. A downside is it doesn’t have headphones so you may not be able to hear the weaker frequencies.

Features:

  • Auto ground balance.
  • Control power and sensitivity dial
  • Control discrimination to eliminate unwanted items

What we love:

  • Easy to use straight out the box.
  • No need to learn difficult modes and functions.
  • Adjustable pole for different heights. 

We don’t like this as much:

  •  No headphones make it difficult to hunt in loud areas.
Sale
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
  • Rugged metal detector ideal for detecting treasure in extreme ground conditions
  • Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode
  • Preset ground balance neutralizes response to mineral content in the ground
  • Disc/notch control distinguishes between targets and unwanted metals
  • Rugged metal detector ideal for detecting treasure in extreme ground conditions

4. Minelab X-TERRA 305

Minelab X-TERRA 305 Metal Detector

Minelab metal detectors cater to everyone, from beginners to professionals, they cover all the bases without compromising on quality. For this list, we’ve chosen the X-TERRA 305 as an entry-level, all rounder device. It comes with pre-sets ready to take straight out into the field, on the beach, and out in the wilderness.

The X-TERRA 305 uses a special VFLEX chip that uses state of the art digital electronics which enhances single frequency detection that standard metal detectors use. This allows the Minelab to automatically change its operating frequency to suit different conditions.

There are a few different buttons on its smart LED interface but each has a diagram explaining exactly what it does. It does help to know a little about how metal detectors work to get the maximum out of this device. Once you’ve found a setting that works for you, there’s an option to save it in the 305s internal memory.

You have a choice of 1, 2, or 3 tone IDs to give you greater flexibility in deciding how you hear the signals from a target which can come from either the internal speaker or through headphones which unfortunately don’t come with the detector as standard.

Features:

  • 2 preset patterns and an All-Metal mode
  • Ground balance can be manually adjusted from 0-20
  • Pinpoint mode and depth indicator
  • Threshold adjustment to target metals
  • Noise cancellation settings 

What we love:

  • Search coil can be easily changed for versatility.
  • It’s lightweight at 2.9 lbs.
  • Comes with a 9” search coil.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  You’ll need to learn about ground balancing and discrimination.
Minelab X-TERRA 305 Metal Detector
  • Minelab's proprietary True Digital VFLEX technology the new class of single frequency detectors change the frequency easily by changing coils
  • Compatible with Medium Frequency 7kHz and High Frequency 18.75kHz coils 6 accessory coil options offer increased versatility
  • Accurate Ground Balance capability with manual adjustment of 0-20 allows the user to easily adjust mineralization easily
  • Noise Cancel function with 3 manual settings allowing the user to pick the quietest channel for detecting
  • Choice of up to 3 tone IDs plus multi-tone Target ID which allows greater flexibility in deciding how targets are represented

5. Nokta Makro Simplex

Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP Waterproof Detector with 11' Coil & Wireless Headphones

On to a solid mid-range contender in the beginner market is the Simplex + from Nokta Makro. We’ve chosen this device for its ease of use for both out of the box novices and hunters who know a little bit more about metal detection. The Simplex + is also fully submersible up to 10ft so if you’re thinking of underwater treasure hunting, this is the metal detector for you.

The interface on this device is designed to be simplistic and easy to understand. It uses thumbnails to display modes, numeric and meter digital target identification, and a battery meter. The whole idea is to make this device as easy to use as possible. It has auto ground balancing and pre-set search modes for different areas including field, park, beach, and all-metal.

Leading the way in new technology, this device matches with its headphones using a built-in wireless module. If that’s not cool enough, this metal detector doesn’t only make a sound but also vibrates when a target is detected. This is ideal for when hunting underwater or if the user is hearing impaired.

Another way the Simplex + is advanced is its battery. Instead of having to change 4+ AA batteries every time, this has a built-in Lipo battery that you can charge through a USB charger. So it’s both cheaper to run and better for the environment.

Features:

  • Waterproof rating of IP68
  • Iron volume adjustment for low iron tone
  • Notch discrimination to identify targets
  • Interface backlight for low light detection
  • Attaching to a computer for firmware updates

What we love:

  • It has a retractable shaft for easy transportation.
  • Use the presets for different areas.
  • You get a free hat.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  The headphones are not waterproof.
Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP Waterproof Detector with 11" Coil & Wireless Headphones
  • IP68 - Fully submersible up to 3 meters (10 ft) and protected from total dust ingress.
  • Iron Volume - Turns off or adjusts the volume of the low iron tone.
  • Notch Discrimination - Discriminates Target IDs of unwanted metals.
  • Search Modes - All Metal / Field / Park / Beach
  • Fabulous Lighting for Night & Underwater Use - SIMPLEX+ has it all - LCD Backlight, Keypad Backlight and LED Flashlight.

6. Teknetics Delta 4000

Teknetics Delta 4000 Metal Detector

The Teknetics Delta 4000 classes itself as a metal detector ideal for beginners. This model is an all-rounder detector that is simple to use straight out the box, will take you through your learning curve, and will stay with you as you advance and become more skilled at detection. 

There‘s nothing out of the ordinary with this device, it does exactly what you need it to do. Its 8” open-face search coil is waterproof with the option of changing it out for their 11” version. All the information you need is displayed on its digital interface. It has a numeric target ID, a bar graph depth indicator, as well as, pinpoint, all metals, and discriminate modes.

The 3-pole system on the Delta 4000 means you can adjust it to multiple sizes and is easy to pack away. At 2.6 lbs, it’s on the lighter side. Combine that with its foam handgrip and you won’t have any issues using this device all day.

With 3-tone audio, sensitivity adjustments, and headphone input, this all-rounder device is a great introduction and won’t break the bank costing under $200.

Features:

  • Multiple Notch system
  • Overload alert for large target detection
  • Pre-set ground balance to get straight into the action
  • Target category icons identify type of metal 
  • Operates on a 7.69 kHz frequency

What we love:

  • Only needs one 9v battery.
  • The interface is packed with information.
  • The search coil is waterproof.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  The battery will only last 20-25 hours
Sale
Teknetics Delta 4000 Metal Detector
  • User-friendly metal detector ideal for coin shooting, relic hunting, and gold prospecting
  • Large, easy-to-read LCD display with 2-digit numerical target ID system
  • Running depth indicator identifies target depths from 0 to 8 inches
  • Discrimination and All Metals modes; 3-tone audio discrimination
  • Runs for up to 25 hours on single 9-volt battery; 7.8 kHz operating frequency

7. Tacklife MMD02

The Tacklife MMD02 has a different approach to metal detection. One look at the digital screen on the interface and you’ll see why. Instead of filling the screen with numbers and text, they’ve opted for a more fun way to display information. There are three adorable characters to show you which of the three targeting modes you’re using. 

Don’t be fooled by the jovial nature of the display, this metal detector comes with a 7.8” waterproof search coil for underwater hunting, three different discrimination modes, and an easy to read target depth graph.

The targeting modes are selected using one button which toggles between settings by pressing it multiple times. The Low Tone mode is used to find ferrous metals, nails, and screws, Medium Tone is ideal for medium conductivity metals, and High Tone can be used for finding high conductivity metals, copper, and silver.

The MMD02 comes with a carry bag and spare batteries but no headphones. It operates using a 9V carbon battery which means it’s life will be a lot shorter than those with Alkaline batteries or rechargeable power packs.

Features:

  • Interfacet backlight for low-light detection
  • Three discrimination modes
  • IP68 rated waterproof search coil
  • Overload warning

What we love:

  • The fun design makes it ideal for young detectorists.
  • The interface is not overloaded with information.
  • Can be adjusted to fit children and adults.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  It weighs 4 lbs

8. DR.ÖTEK MT-XR

DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector for Adults & Kids,Waterproof Professional Metal Detector Gold and Silver,Higher Accuracy, Bigger LCD Display,Strong Memory Mode,10' IP68 Coil,Upgrade DSP Chip

Another big name in metal detectors is Dr.Ötek. We’ve chosen the MT-XR for this list because, at under $200, this device will take you from beginner to intermediate without needing to upgrade. Not only is it effective in finding targets across a range of different areas, but it also looks great and is fairly simple to use.

There are 5 operation modes to choose from which are great for getting straight to work out the box. When you become more experienced with the controls, you can save your settings so you don’t have to re-program if you’re hitting the same spots.

The interface on the MT-XR has a mixture of icons, text, and numbers so you can see all the right information without it being jumbled and incohesive. The buttons let you scroll through the modes, adjust the volume, and jump to pinpoint function.

Its 9.8” search coil may only be waterproof in shallow depths, but it can locate a quarter coin up to 10” under the ground. Combine that with its high-performance frequency and you have a solid device for those beginners who want to learn more about the science as well as finding precious metals.

Features:

  • 5 different modes including pinpoint, all-metal, and discrimination
  • Large backlit LCD display
  • Adjustable depth and sensitivity to specialize your search
  • Numerical target identifier from 10-88

What we love:

  • It’s very comfortable to hold.
  • The icons are easy to read.
  • Highly versatile in different areas.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  Only has a 3.5mm headphone input.
DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector for Adults & Kids,Waterproof Professional Metal Detector Gold and Silver,Higher Accuracy, Bigger LCD Display,Strong Memory Mode,10" IP68 Coil,Upgrade DSP Chip
  • TOP METAL DETECTOR FOR ADULTS and the finest of the deluxe DR.ÖTEK line. The MT-XR is an exciting new addition for both professionals and enthusiasts. Offers 5 upgraded modes including Pinpoint Mode, All metal, Discrimination, Memory, and Jewelry. Innovative Memory Mode remembers one kind of metal and only detects that specific type. Locate exactly what you want in far less time.
  • LARGE LCD DISPLAY has a big clear 3" x 2.2" screen that is easy to read. Backlight lets you work in the dark for a great deal more flexibility. 3 display modes to easily identify the type of metals you are detecting. Displays digital image and sound with multiple settings for customization.
  • 9.8" WIDE SEARCH COIL is so powerful it can locate a quarter coin up to 10" underground. It can find larger objects at even greater depths. The coil is waterproof and works well in shallow water.
  • DEPTH & SENSITIVITY ADJUSTABLE. Adjust the depth indication for objects 2", 4", 6", 8" with plus or minus. Easily fine tune for objects and conditions with the 5 grade sensitivity control. This gives you a lot of control over accuracy not found in lesser designs. Spend far less time digging while finding more exciting precious metals and antique artifacts.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & EASY TO CARRY this is an excellent choice for travel, vacations, camping trips, and outings. It's a great birthday gift, holiday present, anniversary gift or give for Father's Day and Mother's Day. Buy yours now while we have this very popular new model in plentiful supply.

9. Fisher F22

Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil , Black

Fisher has been making metal detectors since 1931. They’ve proven time and again that they can lead the market in high-quality devices for beginners up to a professional level. The second Fisher model in our picks for beginners is the F22. We chose this for its versatility, ease of use, and the fact it will get better the more you learn about its functions.

Built-in are four operational modes, jewelry, coin, artifact, and custom. This makes it a perfect turn on and go device with enough settings to tailor your detecting. Its interface is easy to use and changes between functions fast if the area your searching changes suddenly. The F22 makes easy work of identifying targets giving you a numeric ID between 0-99 as well as an enhanced 4-tone audio-ID system. It has a dedicated iron identifier icon and a depth indicator to show how buried the target is.

A stand out feature on the F22 is its 9” elliptical search coil. This will aid you in getting into all sorts of cracks in rocks that round search coils cannot fit into as well as being waterproof. You can take this metal detector into any environment, wet or dry, and have a great time finding treasure.

Features:

  • 10 levels of adjustable sensitivity
  • 4-modes of operation including a custom mode
  • Interface displays a 9 segment visual target ID
  • Dedicated button to activate pinpoint function
  • 7.69 kHz operating frequency

What we love:

  • It’s lightweight at 2.3 lbs
  • It’s ready to go straight out the box.
  • Ideal for beach hunting.

We don’t like this as much:

  •  Battery life is 25-30 hrs
Sale
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil , Black
  • Weatherproof all-purpose metal detector
  • Visual target-id by category
  • Weatherproof
  • Operates on 2 aa batteries (25-30 hours)
  • Fe-tone (adjustable iron audio)

FAQs about Metal Detectors for Beginners

What metal detector is the easiest to use?

What is considered the easiest metal detector to use is a personal preference. You‘ll have to decide whether you’re more comfortable with an analog or a digital display. You should also consider your current level of knowledge and if you want to use the device for its basic functions or want to learn more about its advanced features.

Can you find gold with a cheap metal detector?

To find small gold nuggets or flakes, a metal detector needs to have a high operating frequency. These usually cost more money and are geared towards advanced and pro detectorists. There are some crossover models to choose from. Check out our article on the best metal detectors for gold.

What metals can not be found with a metal detector?

Some metal detectors are classed as all-rounders and some are made to find specific metals, such as gold. The metal detectors in our list are all-rounders so beginners can get a full experience before they delve further into their hobby. All of our picks are great for finding coins, relics, and silver.

How much do you need to spend to get a decent metal detector?

Don’t be pressured to spend a large amount of money on an all-singing, all-dancing device. The most expensive may not be the right metal detector for you. Stick to your budget and look for a device that suits your needs and experience.

What do you pay for when getting a more expensive metal detector? 

High budget metal detectors are usually priced that way due to either their technology, functionality or high operating frequency. 

To Conclude:

The best piece of advice we can give when searching for a metal detector as a beginner is to make a list of what you want to get out of it, how interested you are in learning with the device, your budget, and whether you want one for a bit of weekend fun or a full-on hobby. Once you know what you need, finding the right metal detector will be a lot easier.

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