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.
After all, many people love long walks on the beach. Why not enjoy a leisurely stroll while also making a little money on the side?
The kind of metal detectors the average person interacts with are most likely the security kind. Either they’re walk-through gates or short wands used to search for potential weapons. But the kind you’d want for treasure hunting have long arms with a typically circular coil that is held close to the ground. The top portion has a handle, often with some kind of digital or analog interface for adjusting sensitivity and alerting the user that something has been detected. Garrett, which is arguably the top name in security screening metal detectors, also makes some of the best treasure-hunting metal detectors.
To satisfy your inner adventurer, we went looking for the best metal detectors. In addition to Garrett, we’ve included options from brands like National Geographic and Bounty Hunter.
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 5 search settings and 8 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, 8 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 to get children and hobbyists alike invested in it. 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 the digital options.
4. 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.
5. TACKLIFE Metal Detector
Tacklife makes a range of affordable electronics and power tools, including metal detectors. This option has a comfortable handle and large, backlit LCD display. It also has a feature that distinguishes between different kinds of metals, and the clever animated display makes it more fun to use. While this is a great feature for kids and beginners, it may annoy more experienced hobbyists. The length of the arm can be adjusted to suit different heights.
Pros: Affordable entry-level metal detector. Distinguishes between different kinds of metals. Adjustable arms for different heights.
Cons: Not as precise as some of the more expensive models.
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 Lightweight Metal Detector
This metal detector from Dr. Otek 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.