When you were a kid, did you dream of finding buried treasure? Sure, the days of swashbuckling on the high seas may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still treasure to be found. In fact, experts believe there are billions of dollars of lost gold, silver and platinum buried in the seven seas. Whether it’s old coins, lost jewelry, relics from historic battles, or maybe a cursed amulet, you never know what kind of loot is out there. Best of all, no pillaging is necessary. We’re of course referring to metal detectors, which can be used to scour for weird and wonderful metal items in beaches, parks, and nearly any public space (just make sure to check local laws and rules).
Many people love long walks on the beach. Why not enjoy a leisurely stroll while also making a little money on the side?
What To Look For In A Metal Detector
Coil size is important. Large coils help to cover larger areas in one sweep, while smaller coils will pinpoint items in smaller areas. You’ll likely want a metal detector that has a mix of both sizes.
Look for metal detectors with various sensitivity levels. It may be exciting to hear the first beep from your metal detector, but after you’ve uncovered your 17th empty beer can, the excitement dwindles. The detectors on our list have sensitivity levels to help you find only worthwhile items.
Keep the level of usage in mind. If you’re looking for a metal detector to support a new hobby, opting for a more professional unit will be worth the cost. If you just want to find the odd lost item in your yard, a less expensive option may suit your needs.
How We Chose The Best Metal Detectors
All the metal detectors on our list are made by well-respected companies that have a long history of quality craftsmanship. We’ve included longer models for land and shorter, waterproof wands to help find items you may have lost in the water.
1. Garrett Metal Detectors ACE 300
If you’ve ever walked through a security screening at a concert, you’ve probably seen the Garrett logo. The brand also produces consumer metal detectors, and this option has a range of settings so you don’t waste your time digging up stuff you’re not interested in. There are five search settings and eight sensitivity settings. In addition, the coil is submersible, so you can search for items in shallow water, perfect for treasure hunting at the beach.
Pros: Submersible coil for searching for items in shallow water, eight sensitivity settings. The display also includes a target depth indicator. Includes various accessories like headphones, batteries, and covers.
Cons: Detector uses various tones to indicate the type of metal that has been found, which is helpful, but has a learning curve.
2. National Geographic Pro Series Metal Detector
National Geographic is not only beloved for documenting the natural world, but they also supply toys, tools and gear. Their metal detector comes in an affordable “Junior” variety, as well as a reasonably priced version for adults. With both, a convenient wrist strap prevents wrist fatigue. The professional version has a digital display screen so you can choose between three detection modes for searching for different kinds of metal, as well as four sensitivity levels. If you want to enjoy this hobby with a child or grandchild, this is an excellent product.
Pros: Large waterproof coil covers ground more quickly, has settings for different kinds of metal as well as four sensitivity levels. Foldable for conveniently taking on the go.
Cons: Construction is not as durable as other brands.
3. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
A more affordable but nonetheless effective option is this treasure hunter from Bounty Hunter. It has an analog display and two dials, one for sensitivity and one for filtering out unwanted objects. There’s also a headphone jack, a blinking indicator, and a target dial. For comfort in the field, this treasure detector has a padded armrest. The coil is waterproof up to eight inches.
Pros: No-frills metal detector. Intuitive knob controls for easy adjustments.
Cons: Analog display provides less information than digital options.
4. DR.OTEK Lightweight Metal Detector
This metal detector is an affordable option with a variety of top features. There are five different modes, making it easier to find the kind of metal you’re looking for. Included modes are: No Filter, Discrimination and Jewelry Mode. Pinpoint mode helps you zero in on the target, and memory mode allows you to search for a specific kind of metal. The large graphic display is designed to be easy to read and intuitive to use. Finally, like the best metal detectors for treasure hunting, this product features an armrest that prevents fatigue, letting you use the device for longer.
Pros: Unique modes like memory mode, which will cause the detector to only alert for a specific kind of metal. 10-inch search depth. Waterproof coil.
Cons: May have something of a learning curve.
5. Garrett Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof Pinpointing Metal Detector
If you’ve ever lost something metal in the water, you know that a lightweight and waterproof metal detector like the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof Pinpointing Metal Detector is worth having on hand. The pinpoint metal detector can be submerged up to 10 feet, making it a great item to take on vacation in case the dreaded ‘I-dropped-my-phone/camera/watch/keys’ situation takes place at the beach. Three sensitivity levels help users choose the best setting for their situation. With the touch of a button, the Garrett can tune out environmental factors and narrow the detection field to precisely pinpoint even targets.
Pros: Waterproof up to 10 feet, made with a bright orange finish for easy visibility, three sensitivity levels and a detection field to help quickly find objects.
Cons: Customers will have to read the manual to understand how to shuffle through the settings.
6. Canway Metal Detector
This metal detector is a great option for beginners, and it would also make a good gift. In addition to the detector, a shovel and convenient carrying bag are included. It has a backlit LCD display that indicates important information like depth and the type of metal. The coil is waterproof, allowing you to search through shallow bodies of water. Plus, the pinpoint function makes it easier to find exactly where you need to dig.
Pros: Comes with handy accessories like a carrying bag and shovel. Discrimination mode allows you to filter out unwanted metals. Depth gauge.
Cons: Can occasionally be inaccurate when deciphering certain kinds of metal.
7. DR.ÖTEK IP68 Waterproof Metal Detector
This metal detector can be used in conjunction with a full-size metal detector or on its own. It’s about the size of a flashlight, making it easy to take on the go. Whereas a full-size metal detector will give you a somewhat wide search area, this option is designed to pinpoint a specific target. This saves you time when it comes to digging. This option is fully waterproof, allowing it to be submerged in a river or coast.
Pros: Compact design. Designed to pinpoint a target, saving you digging time. Waterproof.
Cons: Since it’s a pin-pointer, it doesn’t have the widest range.