Are you thinking about taking up metal detecting as a hobby? Are you into treasure hunting? If the answer is yes, you need the best metal detector for beginners. As a beginner, you need something simple yet functional enough for you to enjoy this new hobby.
Once you understand all the jargon and what features to look out for, you can pick the one that’s the best value for your money. Once you master this skill, you can then easily move to more advanced or specific metal detectors like
Before you know, it will become your favorite pass time which can be quite rewarding as you stumble upon some really cool stuff.
Best Metal Detector for Beginners: Brief Reviews
1. Sakobs Metal Detector
It features a true discrimination mode, which allows it to accurately detect most commonly found metals like gold, silver, aluminum, brass, and iron. sakobs Metal Detector also offers a 20% higher depth than most average metal detectors. You can find metals up to 8.7 inches deep in the ground, which is impressive.
The search coil on this metal detector is waterproof, making it perfect for use at the beach. The sensitivity is higher, thanks to the large-sized search coil, specifically 10-inch. The screen displays all the information you need and makes detection seamless. You can make all the adjustments for your search right from this LCD panel with controls.
What We Like
The best thing about this detector is its stem adjustability. You can adjust its length from 41.3 inches to 47.6 inches. This makes it user-friendly regardless of what your height is. It is easy to carry, weighing only six pounds.
What We Don’t Like
The control box of the detector is not waterproof. If it were, this metal detector would be completely indestructible in wet conditions. Anyway, you must not use it in the rain.
2. Canway Metal Detector
The next product on our list comes from Canway Equipment Manufacturing Inc., a Canadian manufacturer known for its high-quality industrial and commercial handling products, including metal detectors. Canway Metal Detector is a complete metal detecting solution for any beginner.
With its ease of use and distinct target identification, the detector would pay for itself in no time. The accuracy of this detector is what makes it worth its price.
This detector offers a depth of up to 7.1 inches, and the stem can be adjusted between 33 inches and 40.6 inches, making it easy to use. You can use it on the beach as the search coil is waterproof. As a beginner, you can consult its user manual to master the device quickly.
The highlight of this metal detector is its super intuitive LCD control screen. The back-lit screen displays information even when it is super bright outside. You have all the specs at your disposal like battery condition, volume level, operating mode, and sensitivity level.
What We Like
This metal detector has seven target categories, which means you can easily detect and distinguish seven different metals easily. The target identification is pretty accurate, which ensures that you do not end up detecting garbage. You can use the pinpoint (P/P) function to detect a specific target at a particular location.
What We Don’t Like
For a metal detector that is so easy to use, it does not offer a considerable depth. The depth could certainly be improved in the future.
3. Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 Metal Detector
If you are looking for a metal detector with manual ground balance, the Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 is the answer. Its many features make it a truly rewarding metal detector that can help you find valuable stuff underground.
The metal detector features five different modes of operation. You can just turn it on, choose the operating mode, and start searching. The target identification is also great with four tone audio ID. You know you have found what you are looking for without much guesswork.
The operating frequency is 6.6 kHz, while the length of the stem is adjustable. The search coil has an eight-inch diameter, but the corresponding search depth is way higher.
There are seven-segment target elimination indicators. You have numeric target values ranging from 0 to 199. You can opt for automatic or manual ground balancing, whichever suits your needs.
What We Like
It offers very deep detection. You can search for smaller objects buried up to 11 inches deep, whereas larger objects can be detected at up to four feet deep. With the no-motion in-depth seeking pinpoint feature, this is by far the deepest detecting metal detector.
What We Don’t Like
There is somewhat of a learning curve as to using the detector and understanding the signals. This makes the detector less ideal for a beginner who is just starting metal detection and needs something simpler.
4. MARNUR Metal Detector
This is not just a metal detector; it is a complete metal detecting kit for beginners. The MARNUR metal detector comes with a bunch of accessories. With this metal detector, you pretty much have everything you need to start detecting metals.
MARNUR Metal Detector can detect and identify different metals easily. The stem can be adjusted between 24 inches and 34 inches, making it suitable for kids as well.
It features a large diameter of the search coil measuring 9.84 inches. This essentially increases its search depth. The coil is waterproof, so you can also use it in shallow water.
Powered by two 9V batteries, this metal detector features an easily legible LCD. You have all the information at hand.
It's also incredibly comfortable to use with the padded ultra-light armrests. You can use it for hours without getting exhausted.
What We Like
The best thing about this metal detector is that it comes with the accessories that ultimately make the metal detecting experience so much better. You get carrying case, compass, and shovel that has multiple purposes like a hook, pick, and saw.
What We Don’t Like
Its discrimination range is from 0 to 80. Also, its target identification could improve. It does, however, offer six different target identifications for metals, including iron, gold, silver, and bronze.
5. Fisher F22 Metal Detector
The Fisher F22 Metal Detector is a sturdy and weatherproof metal detector that is suitable for use under any weather conditions. It's also one of the most customizable metal detectors that users can set up according to their needs.
It can detect metals with a search depth of up to nine inches. The target ID numeric values on this metal detector are from 0 to 99. The four-tone audio system also makes target identification effortless. You can customize the tones to your preference.
It features a seven-inch elliptical search coil. There are four modes of operation: coin, jewelry, artifact, and manual.
The settings can be saved in memory, so you do not have to make adjustments every time you use it. With two AA batteries, the detector can run for 25 to 30 hours.
What We Like
The best thing about this particular model is that it is quite versatile and gives the control in the user’s hand. Whether you are using it for fun or are officially looking for artifacts and valuable, you can tune it to your needs.
What We Don’t Like
Since there a lot is going on in terms of features, it may be a bit difficult for a beginner to get the hang of it the first few times. You will need to use it multiple times in different settings to truly benefit from its many features and settings.
Reading product descriptions and reviews is useless if you do not understand the features a product has. Once you know what features to look out for in general, especially in the case of metal detectors, it can be pretty simple to pick out the best one.
Remember, finding the best metal detector for beginners is the first step in your metal detecting hobby. Even kids can take up this hobby using kid-friendly metal detectors.
Here is what you need to know:
Discrimination is pretty self-explanatory; it describes the metal detector’s ability to pick up the target from the ground. Since there are all kinds of stuff in the sand or ground, a metal detector’s discrimination needs to be accurate. You do not want to dig for a soda can or bottle cap.
Some models allow a user to adjust the discrimination, either manually or automatically. This improves their detection and avoids any dig ups that are a bust. That said, those used for detecting gold may have very low discrimination as they want to investigate everything in the ground.
2. Ground Balance
This is similar to discrimination. Instead of other metals buried under the ground, this feature deals with the metals or minerals found in the ground. The ground you are walking on may contain several metals, for example, iron, that can interfere with metal detectors’ detection capabilities.
Ground balance can be automatic or manual. Manufacturers provide presets for this purpose that automatically makes adjustments for the metals found naturally in the ground. More advanced models have multiple ground balance settings, but you probably do not need that as a beginner.
3. Target Identification
Target identification helps determine what the target is worth. Is it valuable, like gold or jewelry? Is it a nickel? Or is it just junk?
That is done through the pitch of the sound the detector makes. High-pitch indicates valuables, whereas low-pitch indicates low-value things.
The target identification is usually represented by a VDI number displayed on the screen of the metal detector. This essentially makes things super easy. You know what the item underground is most likely to be.
4. Operating Frequency
The operating frequency of a metal detector is simply the rate at which the detector sends or receives signals in a second. Most metal detectors have fairly low frequencies. The low frequency goes deeper and is generally better with sizeable objects.
For small objects, you will need a metal detector with a higher operating frequency. They are not able to detect very deep, though.
For a newbie, a low-frequency metal detector is, by default, the best option. Not just because it detects deep in the ground, but also because you will not be digging up for every small piece of metal. You will dig when something substantial hidden in the ground.
Sensitivity in a metal detector refers to its ability to detect metal from a distance. While it is a great feature in general, it can be intrusive and misleading in some situations. For instance, if you’re near power lines or somewhere there is a lot of naturally found minerals, the metal detector might start beeping a lot.
You can find the appropriate setting for sensitivity for your particular model of metal detector. In most cases, you would want the sensitivity to be at this level only.
6. Search Depth
This is probably the one key feature people are most interested in and for a good reason. The search depth indicates how deep in the ground, a metal detector can detect a metallic object. As mentioned, those detectors with low frequency tend to have more considerable search depth.
The search coil directly affects the search depth. The bigger the search coil, the deeper the metal detector can detect.
Generally, the depth is one and a half times that of the diameter of the search coil. Soil, depending on its composition, can also impact the search depth.
1. How Deep Do Most Metal Detectors Go?
There is no absolute search depth, as it depends on several factors. That said, most basic metal detectors can detect at least six inches under the ground. Usually, you can find out the depth of the metal detector by the size of the search coil. The depth is at least a half size larger than the coil’s diameter.
The conductive properties of the soil can also affect the depth a metal detector can detect. If the soil has a lot of minerals, the detector has to do some ground balancing to be able to detect the actual target objects.
Other factors are at play too such as the size of the object, how long it has been in the ground, and the metal composition. Usually, the larger the object, the deeper it can be detected even.
Chemicals in the soil can erode and rust the metals, which can decrease their detectability for the metal detector. Similarly, some metals are easier to detect deeper because of their high conductivity. Those that are not highly conductive, for example, steel, may not be detected very deep in the ground.
2. Do You Need a Permit to Use a Metal Detector?
It is important to go hunting with a metal detector responsibly. That is why ensuring you are following the rules of the county and state you are living in is important. There are two situations here.
If detecting on private land, get written permission from the owner beforehand. If detecting on public land like a park or beach, check what rules apply and follow those.
The requirement of getting a permit to use a metal detector in public spaces varies by state. In most states, you do require a permit, which is often issued by a park manager or office. The states where you do not need a permit for using metal detectors in parks include Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
3. Where Is the Best Place to Detect Metal?
If you own a metal detector, there a lot of places you can use it for hunting. Your yard can be a good place to start, but beaches remain the most popular place to use metal detectors.
The reason for this is that a lot of people lose their stuff on the beach. Also, valuable things can wash off on the shore and get buried in the sand.
On beaches, the place to scan for objects is where people lie down. The towel line would have so many objects buried that you would expect.
Of course, not all of it would be worth searching for. That said, with a good metal detector and some luck, you might come across something valuable like jewelry or coins.
Whether it is a private beach or a public one, make sure to get permission beforehand to avoid any problems. You can get a fine if you get caught detecting without a permit.
4. Can You Make Money Metal Detecting?
You should not quit your day job if you are taking up metal detecting. The odds of getting rich just by metal detecting are very low. That said, you can make some decent money if you give some time and do some research.
The most common items worth something are coins and jewelry. People often lose these things in public spaces like a beach or a park.
You will not make a fortune selling those, but for a hobby, it can end up paying good money. The key is to find areas with a high probability of finding things. For instance, you may not find a lot of stuff on a secluded beach with no swimmers and sunbathers.
You can make good money with rare and historical coins. That can be very hard to detect. A good place to start would be the one with some history. Towns that have been inhabited for centuries could potentially have ancient coins buried in its grounds.
There have been cases in history where people have gotten pretty rich through metal detecting. There is a reason it is often called treasure hunting.
In the summer of 2018, a resident of Derbyville, England, unearthed a rare gold coin from the days of King Henry VII. It was worth over 4000 GBP.
5. Can I Metal Detect on Public Land?
You can detect on public land with a permit from the right authorities like the parks department of the state. However, in some states, you do not need a permit at all. On federal lands, you most certainly need a permit.
Getting a permit is not that difficult in most states. You usually have to go to the parks department. Many offer this service online as well, which makes things hassle-free.
Any land that not owned privately is considered public. Make sure you have a permit before you start detecting.
It's an ethical responsibility for treasure hunters with metal detectors to declare any archeological or historical find to the right authorities. On federal lands, laws are regulating archeological sites. Make sure you understand what its implications are even if you have a permit.
For a beginner, the metal detector can make all the difference. If it is not accurate and easy to use, you would probably not want to go metal detecting again. Keeping this in mind, the sakobs Metal Detector is the best metal detector for beginners. It has all the right features at the right price point that a newbie can learn easily.
At Treasure Hunting, it is all about learning and getting the best out of the metal detectors. You can learn a great deal about this unique hobby and, of course, the metal detectors before you get one for yourself.