Metal detecting is now not only a game for kids but also gradually becoming an intriguing hobby for adults to take up. This activity will cost you effort, patience, and even lots of money to follow, but once you’ve tried it and hunted down a “big catch”, you will surely be convinced by the feeling of big accomplishment that it brings to you.
So, let’s go and discover with us some of the best metal detectors for the money, which will be your closest partner in this hunting game. Here they are:
Here are the best metal detectors for the money you can buy in 2021:
- Best Overall: Fisher F22
- Best For Extreme Ground Condition: Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
- Best For Coins: Garrett ACE 400
- Best For Deep Seeking: Nokta Makro Simplex+
- Best For Gold & Silver: Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
- Best For Pro Users: Garrett ACE 300
|6 Best Metal Detectors For The Money|
Best For Extreme Ground Condition
|Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV|
Best For Coins
|Garrett ACE 400|
Best For Deep Seeking
|Nokta Makro Simplex+|
Best For Gold & Silver
|Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro|
Best For Pro Users
|Garrett ACE 300|
Best Overall: Fisher F22
- Easy to use even with beginners
- High level of discrimination
- Fast processing speed
- No ground balance adjustment
Fisher F22 is the model that we would consider as the best overall metal detector, especially for entry-level users. If we put its LCD screen on the top 2, then hardly any can stand at the top one if they’re not some high-end products.
This large screen clearly shows you every indicator that you want to know during your searching process, from the depth, the battery, the sensitivity level, etc to the suggestion what the found item is. Beginners should really buy themselves a tool with an easy-to-learn screen like this one as it will support you and fill up your lack of experience.
The interesting in this machine are that it rarely guesses the wrong object’s material and has an excellent discrimination features. These help you to save up a considerable amount of time on digging some piece of junk or unwanted things.
This tool does not come with a ground balance adjustment. Still, this is a common flaw that most metal detectors at this price range will come across. Moreover, as you’re a newbie, this feature is not so crucial as you can use the preset mode.
|Fisher F22 Specifications|
22 x 8 x 5 inches
9-segment digital Target ID; 9’’ triangulated, elliptical concentric coil; 4 search modes; LCD screen with many indicators; 4 tones; iron audio; 2 AA batteries; 10 adjustable sensitivity levels
If you want to find the best metal detector for the entry-level, look no further than the Fisher F22.
Best For Extreme Ground Condition: Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
- Budget price
- Simple control panel
- Straightforward to use
- Waterproof coil
- No detailed visual display
- Low discrimination
- No ground balance adjustment
Bounty Hunter is not a popular brand in the metal detector manufacturing field, but it does have some big names and one of them is this model, the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV.
This model has all the most basic features that a standard metal detector requires, and is sold at an extremely affordable price, just a bit more than $100. So, if you just want to start out with a low budget, this one's for you.
The most distinctive thing that makes this tool different from other ones on our list is its simple control panel. No LCD display with tons of numbers and indicators. It is amazingly easy to use by adjusting a few knobs. This can be a plus with some who’re into simple designs and have already had some experience, but if you’re amarteur, this feature can be a hindrance as it’s harder to control.
Another problem showing up in this product is its low discrimination. That’s why its users often choose to hunt in the All-metal mode, and luckily, this mode works greatly. It’s sensitive enough to not miss out on any metal items even on some extreme ground conditions. With its waterproof coil, it’s able to work around the coast and wet ground.
|Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Specifications|
28.25 x 10 x 6.25 inches
7 - 8 inches
¼” headphone-jack; 3 search modes; 8” coil; sensitivity adjustment; two 9V batteries
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is a cost-effective choice for extreme-ground hunting.
Best For Coins: Garrett ACE 400
- Waterproof, large DD search coil
- Easy to use
- Long battery
- High accuracy
- No ground balance adjustment
- Quite heavy
In our opinion, Garrett ACE 400 is the most suitable metal detector for especially coin searching. The large DD search coil enables this tool to have a superior targeting, precision and deep searching even in the mineralization compared to the concentric coil. As you see, coins are small, so a detector for coin hunting needs a high level of accuracy.
Running on four AA batteries, this machine can work up to 25 to 30 hours constantly, allowing you to keep searching all day long without interruption. Compared to the Garrett ACE 350, this 400 model is like a totally high-level upgraded version as it includes a wide range of new features such as iron audio and frequency adjustment.
In short, the Garrett ACE 400 has not let us down with the reputable quality from Garrett, excluding a few small flaws. This product is pretty heavy so we will suggest it for men only.
|Garrett ACE 400 Specifications|
21.4 x 14.6 x 5.7
10 - 11 inches
Three-tone audio system; iron audio; digital target ID scale; 5 pre-search modes; 8.5 x 11” coil; 8 sensitivity adjustments; four AA batteries; cam locks
Garrett ACE 400 is a great tool for men to hunt down coins.
Best For Deep Seeking: Nokta Makro Simplex+
- Waterproof DD search coil
- Able to use up to 10 ft underwater
- Automatic ground balance adjustments included
- Not for deep diving
- Single tone
The Nokta Makro Simplex+ is a great piece for deep seeking. The most outstanding feature that we are into this model is that not only its search coil is waterproof, but also its whole body! It’s able to run effectively up to 10 ft underwater. Moreover, the maximum depth that it can reach is 10 to 11 inches, which is truly impressive for a metal detector at this price!
Unusually, the Simplex+ includes automatic ground balance settings, which can only be found in some high-end and pricey products. We can’t believe that a metal detector with the price around $200 can offer this cool feature. There is a beach mode, which makes it perfect for undersea or beach hunting projects.
Still, remember that the maximum water depth that this can carry on is 10 ft, if you intend to dive deeper, this one is not for you. The next thing that we want to remind you is this product only has a single tone, which will cause you a bit of annoyance when trying to identify the sound of metal items to check whether it’s precious or just junk.
|Nokta Makro Simplex+ Specifications|
22 x 11.5 x 5.5 inches
10 - 11 inches
4 search modes; 11” coil; 20 notch discrimination segments; target ID scale; 6 sensitivity levels; 1 Lithium Polymer battery
Nokta Makro Simplex+ is what you need for a beach or saltwater hunting.
Best For Gold & Silver: Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
- Easy to use
- Waterproof DD coil
- Ground balancing included
- Flawed pinpoint button
Bounty Hunter has produced another high-quality and renowned name in this field. Let us introduce you to the Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro.
This also comes with a ground balancing adjustment. If the Makro Simplex+ is for beach hunting, then this Bounty Hunter is designed for gold and silver. Instead of being equipped with the waterproof body like its competitor, this has four tones, which is more effective in the ground environment that is full of minerals and iron for gold.
The overall built-quality is excellent but one thing that sets it apart is the flawed pinpoint button. It is hard to use and not solid at all.
|Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Specifications|
45 x 8 x 14 inches
Visual LCD display; 9V alkaline battery; 6 discrimination modes; 4 tones; 11” coil
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro is a great buy suggested for gold and silver searching.
Best For Pro Users: Garrett ACE 300
- Waterproof, large Proformance coil
- Easy to target
- Enhanced iron resolution (compared to previous models from Garrett)
- No adjustable ground balance
- Lack of iron audio (compared to the Garrett 400)
If you've fallen in love with Garrett’s product, Garrett ACE is another great option that you should grab when you have already had some experience. This is the previous model compared to the ACE 400, but that does not mean that it cannot live up to your expectations. It is a lighter and more economical choice.
Besides, the machine still has numerous standard features that a pro user needs and can get most of the hunting job on the ground done greatly. The large coil and the enhanced iron resolution enable it to search better in mineralization. Despite being released before the ACE 350 version, this one keeps earning more trust and compliments than its brother.
Although the iron resolution has been improved, it still stay no chance to win over the iron audio of the Garrett ACE 400, so if this is a crucial feature for you, this might let you down.
|Garrett ACE 300 Specifications|
22 x 11 x 6 inches
8 - 10 inches
7” x 10” coil; digital target ID; 5 pre-search modes; adjustable frequency; electronic pinpointer
Garrett ACE 300 can meet the needs of a pro detector with a tight budget.
How To Choose The Best Metal Detector For The Money?
In this buyers’ guide, we’re not going deep into the product features, technology or information’s explanation. Instead, we will help you to find out your ideal metal detector through steps that you must go through before making your last decision.
Determine your purposes
Let’s get started with determining your intended purpose. Frankly to say, choosing the best one for the money here is not about choosing the most expensive one or the most modern one. It is about selecting one that meets your needs and purposes most. That’s why what you plan on doing will have a great impact and change on what type of metal detector that you need to purchase.
For example, if you are just going to search on the ground like parks or forests, you will not need to waste tons of money on a specialty tool for saltwater beach hunting and vice versa, a non-waterproof, non-submersible metal detector or one that lacks pulse induction will become ineffective and useless for searching metal around saltwater and wet sand.
Determine your level
Many of you, who have just made the first step to take up this metal detecting hobby are so excited that you can’t hardly wait to dig into some advanced detector machine right away. Still, trust us, do not insist on getting something that is out of your reach or level.
We know that a lot of pro metal detectors offer you with a wide range of appealing features, and they are maybe truly awesome like that, but trust us, if you’re just at an entry level, you don’t need that much and those “excellent” features can even be an obstacle because they are too complicated for you to make use of and expensive as well.
Otherwise, if you have a bit of experience following this field, it’s not a big deal when you want to challenge yourself with a mid-level detector. And, for those who have been a big fan of metal detecting for a long time, and even consider it more serious than just a hobby, welcome you to invest in some high-end model to fulfill your desire!
You see, this might seem to be a down-the-drain step but in fact, it’s totally essential to choose the best metal detector for your money!
Consider important features
There are three major kinds of technology that you should be familiar with to choose your detector, which are very low frequency (VLF), pulse induction (PI), and multiple frequency (MF). Simply put, the VLF is the most widely-used. It’s affordable, easy to use, and suitable for most hunting purposes, from relic to coin, and gold hunting on the ground. So, if you begin from scratch, this is the type for you.
About the PI, nothing can beat this metal detector in searching high-mineral-level areas such as beaches and gold country. With its modern technology, it is specifically made to go through every kind of extreme ground like iron or salt to notice all metal objects that it identifies without hardly discriminating what they are.
That is also the reason why although it has a great searching ability, not many detectors prefer it as they often waste time on digging trashes like old cans. Still, after all, we can’t deny that if you want to hunt gold, this is the better choice.
The last type is the MF one. This is the greatest technology that you can get in a metal detector, but it does come with a price (can be thousands of dollars). You can consider that this is the final combination between the two upper types. So, just get it when you’re ready for a long-term detecting journey.
The first thing about search coils that you should care about is their size. It is the fact that the larger the coil is, the better depth you get, but the largest is not always the best! The small coil, instead, has its own benefits. It is more sensitive, so it can work better in the mineralization, and has lower false-rate and better target ID.
So lastly, which one would you choose? Large or small coil? These days this question is no longer hard to answer as you can buy additional coils.
Next, let’s have a look at the stock coil type. Two main types of stock coil are the concentric and the DD aka the double D. The DD one has a better overall quality than the concentric, but the concentric is a more economical choice.
Screen or No Screen
There are both screen and no screen metal detectors and picking up which one is all based on your preference. Still, in our opinion, the screen version is better and more convenient as it shows you many information at the same time such as kinds of found items, the depth, battery, etc, meanwhile the no screen one can only announce you by the “Beep” sound and no any further details.
We always advise our readers to pick a lightweight detector. Just think about it! It will take you at least several hours holding this tool to find a thing. If your detector is heavy as a brick, to be honest, it is no different than torturing your arms.
A good manufacturer often comes with reliable warranties. And normally, the warranties for a metal detector should be at least 1 year as this is the minimum time to check the durability as well as ability of a machine.
Please keep in mind this, especially that you are a new player of this hobby, do not misunderstand and foolishly daydream that you will soon become a millionaire after being a metal detector. Perhaps, some can hunt some precious, valuable items but they are rare.
So, just take it easy that this is just a fun and interesting hobby to spend your free time on and satisfy your curiosity. Moreover, this hunting game might make you excited at first but who can assure that you will never be fed up with it? That’s why if you are a beginner, don’t crazily throw your money away by purchasing a $1000 metal detector, buy one that suits your budget and demands.
Read and watch Review
We have provided you with honest reviews about all of our recommended products above but if you are still wondering or confused about them, it’s common to check more feedback or see how they actually work on YouTube (if any).
Which Brands Make The Best Metal Detector For The Money?
To us, these are top three metal detector brands that you can rely on because of their quality reputation:
Which circuit type is the best?
The best circuit type for a metal detector to run is the LC circuit, also called tank circuit.
How deep do most metal detectors go?
Most metal detectors can deeply search coin-sized objects from 6 to 10 inches underground.
How can you tell if metal is underground?
If it is the screen metal detector, then when it comes across an underground metal item, it will display every information that it has found on the screen. With the no screen one, the “Beep” sound will be the signal.
Can metal detectors go through concrete?
Yes, they can. Concrete is not a problem that prevents a metal detector from doing its job.
Can a normal metal detector find gold?
Yes, it does. All of the three VLF, PI, and MF technologies can enable you to find gold. However, some detectors are specifically designed for this purpose, so their features will be adjusted in order to maximize your hunting chance. That’s why if your sole intention is to find gold, you should invest in a tool like that.
Frankly, this article is not written down to scare you that most metal detectors are a piece of junk or you’re easily to go wrong if you’re not careful! Contrarily, picking up an ideal detector is not hard as you think. Just read our buying guide first, then compare it with the review part and you will clearly see the most suitable one for you. Good luck!