8 Best Metal Detectors for Relic Hunting

8 Best Metal Detectors for Relic Hunting

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

Best Metal Detectors for Relic Hunting

Finding a historical relic can be a groundbreaking archeological discovery. Something that has been buried and forgotten for years and years comes to reappear in all its glory. Whether it be a piece of ancient Egyptian treasure, the Ark of the Covenant or a Coke can from 1999, there’s surely nothing more exciting than hunting for than the oldest pieces of our world. So if you fancy yourself as the next Kathleen Kenyon or Howard Carter, then look no further.

When searching for these lost items you’ll want to be prepared for all types of scenarios. We have chosen the best metal detectors covering a range of features that are paramount when hunting for relics, for example:

  • Ground balance
  • Discrimination 
  • Sleek & Lightweight 
  • Waterproof search coil 
  • Multiple operation frequencies

If you’re venturing out of the backyard, you may find that there are some areas in which you will need a permit. So make sure you check the rules in your area to avoid any trespassing.

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

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

To find the best metal detectors for relics, we read through customer reports and took recommendations from real detectorists who have experience hunting for this particular type of treasure. We then used fakespot to eliminate any false reviews allowing us to provide you with the best possible options.

1. SAKOBS GC1070

The SAKOBS metal detector was designed as a metal detector that caters to beginners just looking to get a start at relic hunting. This metal detector has two different modes that will allow you to accurately detect the objects that you want to find, and it is capable of detecting the following types of metals: bronze, gold, silver, iron, and aluminum. The LCD screen display is meant to be intuitive, which makes it easier for relic hunters to find items and detect which items they have found.

They can see the volume level of the metal detected, check the sensitivity level, and the battery condition. It comes equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack that will allow you to detect things regardless of the noise level in the local environment. The search coil is 8.6 inches, and it is waterproof, which will enable you to relic hunt at the beach or near streams without worrying about the metal detector getting damaged from the moisture. Finally, it has an upgraded armrest that will allow you to use the metal detector for longer with it being less stressful to handle.


  • Waterproof search coil
  • All Metal & DISC Modes
  • Intuitive LCD display & LED light
  • User-friendly design
  • Audio alert detection
  • Headphone jack

What We Love:

  • This metal detector is easy to use for beginners
  • It only weighs approximately 2.5 pounds
  • It has a clear indication of metals found

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • It isn’t designed for high-level relic hunters

2. Fisher Research Labs F11

Fisher Research Labs F11 All Purpose Lightweight Durable Metal Detector, Black

The Fisher Research Labs F11 A11 was designed to be a durable metal detector that makes it excellent for relic hunting in different environments. The display screen of the metal detector is easy to read and it has simple controls that will allow you to set different parameters for the relics that you wish to find and what sort of material they are constructed from.

It is designed to make it easy to filter through different relics and objects that are detected, and you can adjust the sensitivity of the metal detector to ensure the best results possible with your hunting. Finally, this metal detector is capable of detecting coin-sized objects up to 8-inches deep into most types of natural ground and it can be used in most environments, like beaches, forests, or backyards.


  • 3 modes of operation
  • 4 tone audio ID
  • 7.69 kHz operating frequency
  • 9 segment visual target id
  • 6 levels of adjustable sensitivity
  • 6 levels of adjustable volume

What We Love:

  • This metal detector is also suitable for children
  • It has a clear LCD screen
  • Volume can be adjusted for weaker signals

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • This metal detector doesn’t find smaller items easily

Fisher Research Labs F11 All Purpose Lightweight Durable Metal Detector, Black
  • Perfect tool for relic hunting, gold prospecting, coin shooting, or just take it to the beach and see what you can find
  • Simple operation with 3 modes: Jewelry, coin, and artifact
  • Visual display features 9-segment target ID so you can easily filter through objects
  • Excellent volume and sensitivity control with 6-level adjust to find the right quality
  • Detects coin-sized objects up to 8 inches deep

3. Garrett ACE 300 

Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories

The Garrett ACE 300 metal detector has a lot of potential for those that are just getting started with relic hunting. The LCD screen is designed to be easy to read, and it will allow you to easily switch between different modes to ensure you are detecting what you want to find. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the metal detector to grow more sensitive to different types of material in different ground depths, which makes it extremely useful.

The search coil has a quality cover that helps to keep it safe from getting knocked around on various obstacles on top of the ground. This metal detector comes with a set of wireless headphones, which means that you will not have to worry about extra cords getting in your way when you are relic hunting. Plus, they will provide you with an excellent way of staying on task and not being distracted by the world around you allowing you to focus on the different tones coming from the metal detector.


  • Submersible search coil
  • Includes 3 free metal detector accessories
  • Volume control
  • Garrett ClearSound Easy Stow headphones
  • ACE environmental coverup
  • 7″ x 10″ search coil cover

What We Love:

  • It runs off of four regular AA batteries
  • It features electronic pinpointing
  • It has a submersible search coil

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • It uses a lot of power

Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories
  • Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with submersible Searchcoil
  • Includes 3 FREE Accessories:
  • Volume control Garrett ClearSound Easy Stow headphones
  • ACE Environmental Coverup
  • 7" x 10" Searchcoil Cover

4. Minelab Equinox 600 

Minelab Equinox 600 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil

The Minelab Equinox 600 has a lot of features that help to make it an excellent metal detector for relic hunting. The armrest on the detector has a convenient velcro strap that will help to keep the metal detector stationary on your arm, and it will allow for different abilities to use as it can be adjusted to fit comfortably. This metal detector has six different search profiles, and two of those profiles can be customized to your specific parameters.

This model is compatible with ultra-fast wireless audio devices, and it provides a low latency connection that can be connected to Bluetooth headphones. Finally, this metal detector is made from high-quality materials that make it a durable choice, but the materials are also meant to make the detector lightweight, which means it can be used for longer periods of time without it becoming uncomfortable or too heavy to use.


  • Simultaneous multi-frequency
  • Waterproof design
  • Sleek & lightweight
  • Wireless audio compatible
  • 6 custom search profiles

What We Love:

  • Has a large LCD display
  • It has a double D smart coil for better detection
  • It can be used in water up to 10 feet

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • The multi-frequency feature can interfere with some readings

Minelab Equinox 600 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
  • MULTI-IQ TECHNOLOGY: Minelab’s revolutionary technology combines the power of multiple detectors into one, allowing you to effectively search all metals, all soils, all the time.
  • FULLY WATERPROOF: Don’t stop at the beach or the bank, this fully submersible model allows you to detect under the surface of oceans, rivers, streams and lakes up to 3m (10 ft).
  • 3 DETECT MODES: Easily select from Park, Field or Beach modes to focus on target types or ground conditions.
  • ACCURATE TARGET ID: Identify your targets quickly and confidently to efficiently sort between trash and treasure.
  • CUSTOM SEARCH PROFILES: Enjoy 6 custom Search Profiles and save your favorite 2 settings in each mode.

5. Garrett AT MAX

Garrett AT MAX Waterproof Metal Detector, MS-3 Wireless Headphones and Pro-Pointer AT Z-Lynk Pinpointer

The Garrett AT Max metal detector was designed for the more advanced relic hunter to help them find objects underground to their heart’s content. This metal detector comes with Garrett’s popular Pro-pointer AT Z-Lynk pinpointer that has a lot of excellent features on its own to help the ideal relic hunter. However, the metal detector itself has an adjustable ground balance that makes it easier to control. This metal detector also comes with a pair of high-quality MS-3 wireless headphones that can make any environment ideal for relic hunting, regardless of the surrounding noise.

Compared to other metal detectors, this one has an extensive LCD screen and control system that will allow experienced relic hunters to choose between various settings to help navigate through the different settings. It will allow them to adjust the threshold, sensitivity, and notch disc to help improve the chances of them finding different types of relics. Finally, these metal detectors use a DD PROformance coil that can be used underwater or on and to provide excellent results.


  • Enhanced Z-Lynk pinpointer
  • Wireless Z-Lynk MS-3 headphones
  • LED-backlit screen
  • Threshold adjustment
  • Electronic pinpointing
  • Waterproof to 10 feet

What We Love:

  • It has a convenient backlit screen for searching in different lighting situations
  • You get a hat to show off
  • It is designed to be waterproof up to 10 feet

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • It’s not suitable for beginners

Garrett AT MAX Waterproof Metal Detector, MS-3 Wireless Headphones and Pro-Pointer AT Z-Lynk Pinpointer
  • Enhanced Z-Lynk Pinpointer: Pro-Pointer All Terrain Z-Lynk Pinpointer integrates with the included MS-3 Headphones to hear sounds directly through your headphones
  • Wireless Z-Lynk MS-3 Headphones Included, Enhanced Detection Depth, True All-Metal Mode
  • LED Backlit Screen, Frequency 13.6 kHz, adjustable Ground Balance, Auto/Manual: High Resolution 175 pts Auto Ground Balance, Iron Audio, Iron Discrimination Segments: 44
  • Threshold Adjustment, Electronic Pinpointing, Waterproof to 10 feet (3m), Freshwater / Saltwater Search Modes, Digital Target ID, Audio Tone ID
  • Notch Discrimination, 8 Sensitivity Adjustments, Fast Recovery Speed, Target Depth ID, 8.5x 11" DD PROformance Coil

6. Nokta Makro Anfibio

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi Detector Bundle w/ KR24 Search Coil, Waterproof AA Battery Case, Digger, and Cap

The Nokta Makro Anfibio Multidetector has a lot of excellent features that can be appreciated by relic hunters of all skill levels. It comes with easy-to-follow instructions that are self-explanatory and can assist with anything that you might want or need to know. This metal detector comes with an exclusive 2-year warranty, and it comes with a pair of 2.4 GHz wireless headphones that will allow you to hear the tone from the detector with ease.

This metal detector uses a built-in Lipo battery, and the battery case is waterproof, along with the used coil, which will allow you to search on land and in water for the best relic hunting experiences. This model also has a retractable shaft that will allow users of different heights to use it with a simple adjustment. Finally, the keypad on the metal detector has a backlit keypad that makes it easy to see, regardless of the time of day or night you are relic hunting.


  • New 28cm coil
  • Vibration
  • Fast recovery speed
  • Multiple operating frequencies
  • New E.U.D. function

What We Love:

  • It’s fully submersible up to 16.4 feet
  • Can detect targets masked by ground conditions
  • Its discrimination features will distinguish trash from treasure

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • This metal detector is a little heavier than some models

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi Detector Bundle w/ KR24 Search Coil, Waterproof AA Battery Case, Digger, and Cap
  • 2.4 GHz Wireless Headphones
  • Vibration
  • Keypad Backlight
  • Retractable Shaft
  • Built-in Lipo Battery

7. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector

The Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector has an excellent LCD screen that is designed to make it easy to use, even for beginner relic hunters. The arm support is padded to make longer relic hunting trips more comfortable, and it has an adjustable shaft that makes this metal detector compatible with most heights. It uses an 11″ DD elliptical waterproof search coil that will help to minimize ground mineralization, increasing the odds of finding more relics. It has seven different modes of operation, and it operates on a 7.69 kHz frequency.

Bounty Hunter has included a 5-year warranty with this metal detector that will cover any defects in workmanship and materials, which will increase your peace of mind on purchasing this model. This metal detector was designed with a ground grab feature that helps to computerize ground balancing, and it has a pinpoint mode with a depth indicator that will help to reduce the amount of time you have to dig to find your desired relics. It operates using a single 9V battery, and it comes equipped with a variable tone breakpoint. Finally, this metal detector is designed to be fully programmable, which means you can set your own parameters so that you only find the types of relics you desire.


  • V-break – Variable tone breakpoint
  • FeTone
  • Pinpoint mode with depth indicator
  • Adjustable iron audio
  • Menu system with variable notching
  • Computerized ground balancing

What We Love:

  • Has 7 operating modes
  • Weighs around 2.4 lbs
  • Can be broken down into three pieces for easy transport and storage

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • Sometimes the buttons can be a little sticky

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector
  • V-Break, Variable Tone Breakpoint
  • Pinpoint Mode with Depth Indicator
  • FeTone, Adjustable Iron Audio
  • Menu System with Variable Notching
  • Ground Grab, Computerized Ground Balancing

8. Minelab Equinox 800 

Minelab Equinox 800 Multi-IQ Underwater Metal Detector & Pro-Find 15 Pinpointer

The Minelab Equinox 800 Multi-IQ metal detector is one of the best higher-end metal detectors for relic hunting. It comes with a PRO-FIND 15 pinpointer that is designed to help you ensure you are digging in the correct location, and it has an adjustable armrest that makes it suitable for different people to use with the simple adjustment of the velcro armband. The metal detector has four different detect modes that you can set to help increase your chances of detecting things in different environments, including parks, fields, and beaches. Plus, it has its own mode that specifically searches for gold.

Unlike other metal detectors that have a headphone jack, this one is designed with wireless technology that will allow you to connect to a pair of wireless headphones, which reduces the hassle of dealing with endless wires when you are in the middle of relic hunting. This model is also capable of being used in shallow waters, which makes it convenient for places like the beach or at a lake.


  • PRO-FIND 15 pinpointer
  • EQX 11″ Double-D smart coil with skidplate
  • WM 08 wireless audio module
  • 4 detect modes
  • 6 frequency options
  • Adjustable armrest

What We Love:

  • It uses a USB charging cable with a magnetic connector
  • All the information you need is found on the easy to read display
  • The standard features are easy to follow for beginners

We Don’t Like This As Much:

  • The more advanced features on this metal detector have a slight learning curve making them a little difficult to follow

Minelab Equinox 800 Multi-IQ Underwater Metal Detector & Pro-Find 15 Pinpointer
  • Includes: PRO-FIND 15 pinpointer, EQX 11" Double-D Smart Coil with Skidplate, Wireless Bluetooth / apt-X Low Latency Headphones, WM 08 Wireless Audio Module
  • Multi-Language Screen Protectors, Adjustable Armrest, USB Charging Cable with Magnetic Connector,
  • Features: 4 Detect Modes (Park, Field, Beach, Gold)
  • 6 Frequency Options (Multi, 5kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 40kHz)
  • Bluetooth Headphones and WM 08 Wireless Module Supplied


FAQs about Metal Detectors for Relic Hunting


Q: What is the best frequency to find relics?

A: The frequency of a metal detector will help determine the depth in the ground that it will be able to detect. When hunting for relics, you will find that they can be buried deeper in the ground, unlike common metal items. The best metal detectors on the market will have a frequency range from 10-20 kHz. This frequency range is a good “all-around” range that will allow you to find more relics. We also recommend that you consider getting a second coil, and it should be a minimum of 12-inches wide to allow you to detect at deeper depths within the frequency range.


Q: Where can I detect Civil War relics?

A: The Civil War was a fascinating time in our nation’s history, and like with most relic hunting endeavors, the best place you can go to find Civil War relics is to visit the places where the soldiers went. There are thousands of places where you can find these types of relics, but to find the prime areas, you will need to do some research.

You don’t have to visit the sites of famous battles to find these relics. As a matter of fact, you can sometimes find better relics at the smaller battlefield sites. Plus, you can research and find out where the soldiers set up their camps and the roads that they took to travel on. These are some of the other places that you can go when hunting for Civil War relics.


Q: Where are the best places to go metal detecting?

A: There are several places that are excellent locations for metal detecting. For beginners, the beach on dry sand is one of the best places. The sand is easy to dig in, and it will be easy to clean off the things that you find. However, creeks, lakes, and rivers also make excellent search areas. Rivers and creeks can carry and bury different natural metals, but you can also find things that were dropped by swimmers and visitors, like at lakes. Finally, ghost towns that have been deserted for years can provide an interesting site for relic hunting and detecting metal.

To Conclude

Hunting for relics can be an exciting pastime for yourself and the entire family, but you will need to consider the type of metal detector that will work best. Depending on your budget, there are all kinds of nifty features that you can purchase with your metal detector and there is a wide range of quality specifications that will allow you to do different things. If you want to find basic relics around your backyard, you could get away with a cheaper metal detector, but if you plan on taking the metal detector with you on vacations and trips, you will need to prepare for other conditions.


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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.