Welcome to this review of the best metal detectors ratings. This guide will help you make a choice among what is available while considering your level of interest or need for such a piece of equipment.
Below this guide you will find a number of metal detectors carefully selected among the best on the market at the time of writing. I hope that you will find it useful. If you have any questions, there is a comments box at the bottom of this page. Please make sure to use it so that we can all benefit from the answers.
Also, I would appreciate it very much if you would share your experience in metal detecting in the comment box at the bottom of this review.
At this stage you will be one of the two types of person; either you are a beginner in metal detecting; or a detectorist with some experience who wants to know more about this hobby; or sport, whichever way you want to call it. This guide will first take care of the beginner detectorist by answering a few basic questions; then we will enter a more technical phase.
So, let’s get going…
How to choose your metal detector?
First of all I will explain briefly how a metal detector works. The device is composed of a balanced electromagnetic system, which sends a wave flow perpendicular to the detection pallet. This flow crosses all materials, but when it encounters a metal, it generates by induction a “Foucault Current”, also called “Eddy Current”, i.e. a kind of radiation, which unbalances the system and emits a sound signal.
Metal detectors can locate any object from the moment it totally or partially contains metal.
This metal presence may be iron, or any other non-ferrous metal: gold, silver, platinum, copper, bronze, lead, aluminum etc. in any form, sheets, grids, tubes, coins or others. Even when covered with a protective layer or an insulator, detection can be done through any material.
Current detectors, however, are not so simple to handle. Many settings are now available on the devices to achieve optimal performance but they cause difficulties in use. That’s why you need to choose the right detector so that your passion for detection doesn’t become a nightmare.
Here are the important points that you will need to list before you decide for the most suitable device to purchase:
Your level of experience in detection?
You will fit in one of the three following categories:
1) You just want to have fun with your family or friends from time to time and find some objects. In this case you can definitely go for the Garrett ACE 250, its price and usability will allow you to prospect without constraint (be careful not to fall into the “toys” devices of less than $200), the Garrett ACE 250 is known to be the best detector to start with.
2) Second possibility, you aim to seriously explore and progress in the future, so go for a detector of the type Garrett ACE 400 and you will then be ready to become a seasoned detectorist. Indeed this kind of device has all the assets to perform sharp research but their settings are simple and the budget is reasonable.
3) If that motivates you and it’s been a dream for you for a long time then you can start with the higher levels in the Garrett Ace family. But I would like to recommend one in particular that has my eye on and is in my bucket list. It is the Whites Spectra V3i which has performance of a high-end but remains very easy to use. It will allow you to get going like a pro but will remain with you for many years to come.
As in all hobbies or sports you will have to go through various level. The more you go up the range the more the detectors will be powerful and accurate. If you have already tested a few metal detectors, and your heart feels that it could become a passion, I would suggest that you invest in a good brand in the higher levels straightaway.
The type of research and the nature of the land on which you will prospect
Indeed, it is essential to choose your detector depending on the type of research you will undertake. The nature of the terrain on which you will be prospecting is also important.
The type of research (as a hobby, for antiques, coins) shows you the level of technicality of the detector you will need as well as the budget that you will be allocate to it. The wide range of devices will allow both amateurs and professionals to find the ideal detector.
The nature of the terrain must be a paramount consideration in your decision. If, for example, you are going to prospect essentially at the edge of the beaches, rivers or on wet sands, lookout for a waterproof detector or on a very powerful detector for wet soils. Some devices even have a function to explore on wet sands or black sands.
You will also be able to choose your detector so that it is as versatile as possible, functions like the “change of frequency” allowing you to detect on all types of ground without loss of performance.
The last important criterion is soil pollution (ferrous waste present in the ground on which you are prospecting). This scrap metal will be your worst enemy. If your device does not have a function “discrimination” or if it is incorrectly set your detector will ring constantly and you may dig all day for nothing but nails, mattress springs (yes, it was me when I started). Discrimination is a very useful feature. You will need to choose your detector based on this criterion and your requirements.
Your level, your research ambitions, your budget: in summary
Think carefully before buying a device and do not charge on either the cheaper or the better. Determine your level in the field of detection and your research ambitions. Look at the time you are going to prospect and what you are going to look for.
It should result from this reflection a logical decision, the more motivated you are the more you will have to climb the range to be satisfied and keep your detector for a long time.
A tip: I often receive calls from beginners who bought really cheap devices (from $60 to $150). They wonder why they never found anything. For that reason I strongly advise you to avoid these low prices on the internet, buy the brand!
And, before we get on with our reviews, here is a video that you might find very interesting as it cover just about everything that you will need to know as a detectorist. Enjoy it:
So, what are the best metal detectors ratings for this year?
I have made a selection for you a few metal detectors among the various brands, highlighting the major features. With that you will be able to purchase the machine that suits best your conditions as we have seen above. So I wish all the best in your treasure hunt, and here we go:
The Garrett Ace 250 Discover Package
As we have seen earlier on this page, this is the best detector to start with. I highly recommend this product if what you are after is just to have fun with your family or friends on weekends and find some interesting objects.
It is certainly the most sold detector in the world. It offers several interesting options that allow a simple metal search for beginners.
With extra power, versatility and exceptional stability, the GARRETT ACE 250 offers the best value for money. By expanding the two-position notch, you end up with a sharp view-meter where the alliance of the display. The multi-tone allows to limit the maximum uncertainty during your detection.
This easy-to-use detector has a large screen for easy reading, 5 programs to set according to your desire.
The kit comes complete with a detection coil cover, the manual, a training DVD, a stereo headphone, and more. The adjustable telescopic rod can reach from 42 inches to 51 inches. Its light weight of only 2.7 pounds makes it comfortable to use by every members of your family.
For complete description and to order your kit, click on the button below:
The Garrett ACE 400 Metal Detector
The next level up, still in the Garrett family, as we briefly discussed at the start of this article is the Garrett ACE 400 Metal Detector with DD Waterproof Search Coil and Pro-Pointer II.
This amazing metal detector will give years of pleasure as an amateur and and a semi-pro detectorist alike. Like just about all metal detectors of the Garrett brand, its operation remains simple and yet very affordable.
It comes with a waterproof search coil which gives you a wider choice of terrain for you to prospect on. It also comes with a high quality headset. This little beauty is fitted with a 8.5 inch x 11 inch PROformance DD waterproof submersible search coil, and its cover.
And of course, the operator’s manual is included as well as a 2 year warranty with some extra years of protection offered on option.
If you feel that you have reached this level of interest for this most pleasurable activity, this it the right tool for you.
Want to find out more about it and ready to order now? Click on the button below and enjoy:
As we are going one more step up, I have to show you one of my favorites. It is still in the Garrett’s range and it is one with the best metal detectors ratings I have researched. It is…
The Garrett AT PRO Metal Detector
You have guessed it, we are now talking about the PRO level; if this if your degree of interest, or you intend to become a professional treasure hunter, don’t hesitate a second. This one is definitely for you.
Apart from all the qualities that the Garrett’s range can offer, equally from the spare time detectorist all the way to the full time professional treasure hunter, this is the one I can really back.
Briefly, this awesome kit includes the famous 8.5″ x 11″ PROformance™ DD submersible search coil; the premium volume-control land headphones (batteries included); and it is completely waterproof to a depth of 10 feet (3 metres).
2 years warranty!
And as usual it is backed by a 2 year warranty policy which can be extended to 2 or 3 years if you wish. I also includes the user manual and a training video.
I am sure that your heart is beating for this one, and for good reasons. Investing in it will create envy among your fellow detectorists, and you will never want to try another model. You will never need to do so as it will procure you years of immense pleasure and excitement as you discover hidden treasures, perhaps, right in your back garden.
To order your Garrett AT PRO Metal Detector now, just click on the button below and it will be with you in no time:
Then again, at pro level, but this time out of the Garrett Ace brand, there is one that has gained a lot of 5 star reviews, it is the White’s Spectra V3i HP Metal Detector – 800-0329-HP
I thought it wise to present it to you as it definitely fits in my selection as one of the best metal detectors ratings. It has its own particular qualities.
It is very sensitive to very small masses of metal like small nuggets of native gold or various bonze objects such as jewellery, coins etc.
Its large color control screen allows:
- A visual analysis of the target according to the different frequencies selected: the icon displayed as well as the numbers and curves allow a very fine analysis.
- A very practical access to the most advanced settings.
This brand new LCD color display confirms the high degree of technology used that will delight the most demanding prospectors.
In addition, the Spectra V3i is equipped with a wireless headset, a 10 inch (27 cm) DD standard coil, a rechargeable battery pack and a standard battery pack.
Its area of use is very vast, the meadows, the plowed fields, the forest and the beach are no problems for this magnificent kit, it is at home everywhere!
To sum up, a powerful and versatile detector born of the latest technologies to satisfy the beginner or confirmed prospector.
The choice of the language is done by the interface: German Spanish English and French, which is a serious bonus.
For complete description and to order your dream kit, click on the button below:
At this level of professional metal detectors, I couldn’t miss to introduce to you one of my favorites which is of the Fisher brand.
The Californian firm Fisher has a solid reputation in terms of robustness of its equipment, as well as a good in-depth performance. Although we could regret its slightly poor discrimination against today’s competition, I have to admit that it has some unbeatable qualities that are worth highlighting here:
The Fisher Research Labs CZ21-8 CZ-21 Quick Silver Underwater Metal Detector
The “Z” series has the opportunity to prospect honorably on wet sand. It is really an all terrain detector operating on land, on beaches, in fresh or salt water up to 200 feet!
This will fill the searchers with the most demanding treasures. Where traditional VLF detectors are struggling to get close to salt water, the CZ-21 continuously analyzes the ground effect and compensates for it very effectively.
Moreover its discrimination which rejects the ferrous as well as on seaside as in terrestrial and its identification multi-tones of the targets make it particularly comfortable to use, you will not dig for nothing, promised!
Its use is simplified for beginner prospectors. The pre-settings indicated on the front of the housing correspond to the ideal setting according to the type of medium.
The possibility to wear the case on the belt can significantly lighten the cane. It gives you the pleasure to prospect for hours.
You can order this excellent metal detector from Amazon right now by clicking the button below:
And as we are in the Fisher brand, there is one that I’d like to introduce to you. It is…
The Fisher CZ3D Metal Detector
The CZ3D metal detector is the culmination of Fisher’s previous Z series, which were the best seaside detectors of the last decade.
Its multi tone is very precise: deep sound on the small ferrous finds; medium on the aluminum foil; low on the red coins and an acute tone for jewels and all other types of metal and coins. With its two working modes that make it very versatile: beach and land for inland sites.
It is optimized for finding coins of older generations on ancient sites and delivers outstanding performance on old coins. It is also particularly intended to detect better metals. For bronze, copper, brass and silver, it reports as a high tone, rather than a mid tone object.
A very good value for its very affordable piece of equipment which will give you years of pleasure and perhaps a fortune.
To find out more about it, and to order it now, click on the button below:
Now you might prefer to specialise in finding only one particular of metal: Gold for example. Why not? Then I’ve got something for you…
The Fisher Gold Bug DP Metal Detector
This little beauty incorporates new capabilities on small target like native gold. Ideal device for finding native gold (nugget) in the ground. Its very simple use allows it to be appreciated by beginners in the best possible settings to find gold.
It is ideally suited for areas where the rate of mineralization is so great that most devices cannot detect in good conditions.
The Gold Bug can!
Simply turn the left knob (gain) to the number 70 (standard measurement) which appears in the middle of the screen then put the right knob (threshold) on the position all metals at the audible limit (+3 or 4) and finally you keep your finger pressed on the GG button (ground grab) and move the disc closer to a few centimeters from the ground by making a pumping motion.
The device will automatically display the ground effect on the screen and take into account this ground effect immediately in the correction that appears at the bottom right of the screen which is the ground balance.
Of course the ground effect can vary from one place to another, so check if the floor effect displayed in the center of the screen is always close enough to the floor balance displayed to have the best possible setting on mineralized ground.
The Fe3O4 bar graph has seven segments and indicates the amount of soil mineralization expressed as magnetite equivalence. This remains a valid indication for recognizing and identifying potential bearing lands of native gold.
This is the ideal setting for the natural gold search on mineralized ground.
So here you are. You want to strike gold? Then, get yourself a Gold Bug, and impress your friends!..
As more and more of my readers are asking me to advise them for the purchase of a good underwater metal detector, I decided to post a full on review of the another of my favorites. It is also a best seller…
The Fisher 1280X-8 Underwater All-Purpose Metal Detector
Although this unit is designed for underwater use, it works equally well in the ground. Its weight, quite heavy on the ground is compensated by a wearing belt which lightens it considerably: 2.5 lbs (1,150 gr) for the whole cane and search coil.
The great advantage of this device is its versatility and especially its ease of use. Turn on the button and set the power, select your discrimination and sound volume of the buried targets and let the detector do its job, it self regulates according to the soil where you are prospecting, the effect of soil is no longer a problem for it, that does not exist anymore!
The depth of detection of targets would make any other detector user turn pale!
It is a detector in slow dynamic mode which does not require the addition of a pinpoint. It can operate to a depth of about 250 feet and uses an 8″ or 10″ search coil. Its battery life time of over 75 hours. Color is available in black only.
This little beauty is available on Amazon at a very affordable price. Click on the button below for more details and to order while stocks last as it is a fast moving article:
And, if you still think that finding anything interesting with a metal detector is not a reality, or for others, watch what this guy discovered at the back of an old house:
However, before you get yourself too involved in this very rewarding activity, there are a few basic rules that a good detectorist should know and abide to. They make common sense and are respectful of the people involved, and of the environment.
Although, every country, state, and even city and town has its own sets of regulations. I am listing here below a few common ones and I suggest that you contact your nearest police station, town hall, club, etc. to find out more.
The Prospector’s Golden Rules:
Total prohibition of touching archaeological sites as well as historical monuments, and prospecting around them.
- Do not enter private properties; always ask local permission to the City Council and the owner of the land, preferably in writing.
- Respect the environment in which you find yourself by not unnecessarily digging the grounds, and by leaving the place as you found it.
- Systematically declare to the Town Hall any object having an archaeological or historical interest.
- Collect metal objects lying around, that could be dangerous to people or animals. They are in any case polluting the environment.
- If in contact with mines, ammunition, etc …, immediately alert the nearest police station.
- Familiarize yourself with the Rural Code.
- Keep informed of existing texts governing detection. There are magazines that you can subscribe to. Forums, clubs, etc.. that you can join. Keep yourself up to date with new rules and regulations. You can also ask your questions in the comments block below and you will certainly have a rapid answer.
Brittany: He unearths an exceptional treasure buried for 1,700 years in a field
The discovery, exceptional, was kept secret for five years not to attract the curious …
The incredible discovery remained secret for nearly five years. In 2012, a 78-year-old Breton made an exceptional archaeological discovery in a field of Plouagat (Côtes-d’Armor), using his metal detector.
This archeology enthusiast accidentally dug out Roman coins in a farmer’s field.
Owner of part of the treasure, the Breton recently decided to auction some of his pieces.
A hidden treasure for nearly 1,700 years
The happy pensioner had discovered on April 2, 2012, in the middle of a field, hundreds of Roman coins dating from the third century. A real treasure, which had been hidden under the farmland for more than 1,700 years.
“I have been doing detection for 30 years, I have never seen that before. It’s a real stroke of luck, “he told Ouest-France. He immediately realized the importance of his discovery: on the coins of bronze, we can still distinguish faces and silhouettes. “They are rare pieces, and yet it’s as if they were minted yesterday.”
With the permission of the farmer owning the land
The agricultural lands in question had never been the subject of archaeological excavations. The retiree had therefore asked the owner of the field for authorization to survey his soils, an authorization granted by the latter.
The farmer was notified of the discovery, as well as the “Direction Des Affaires Culturelles (DRAC)” and a team of archaeologists, who landed the next day with the mayor of the town.
A discovery kept secret so as not to attract the curious
For three years, all the coins were analyzed in the laboratory. This discovery remained secret for five years, in order to preserve the nature and place of the find and not attract the curious.
The pensioner, who wishes to remain anonymous, became the owner of part of this Roman treasure. The owner of the field has retained another part, as well as the cultural affairs department.
An “exceptional” auction
Part of the coins kept by the retiree were the subject of an auction on July 11 of last year (2017). At the auction house of Saint-Brieuc (Côtes-d’Armor).
The coins were divided into lots according to the types of money. Those of the reigns of the emperor Gallien (253-268) and Claude II (268-270); or those of Victorian (269-271) and Marius (268-269). Lots at today’s estimation are worth from 80 Euros to 400 Euros (US$100 to US$500 / British £70 to British £350).
A numismatic sale that looks “exceptional”, to believe the auctioneer Master Jean-Michel Juillan.
Thanks for your visit
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this page and found this website useful for selecting the right metal detector for your pleasure or profession. My readers and I would love to hear from you and if you have anything to share, or have any questions, just use the box below and someone will respond as soon as possible. If you found this guide helpful make sure to share it socially and write a comment below, I will be most grateful!
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