Metal Detectors

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Here it is, the most important tool for metal detecting. Get the best you can afford, you’ll appreciate what a quality detector can do.

Myself and many seasoned detectorists will say, start out right with at least a Fisher F2, Ace 250, or Tesoro Compadre. But, this section is for gifts for kids & truly low end detectors.

metal detecting gear

Bounty Hunter BHJS $40

The Bounty Hunter BHJS is sized for kids and claims to “detects coin-sized objects up to 5 inches deep and larger objects up to 3 feet deep.” The 2nd part of that makes me lol because a $2500 metal detector can’t go 3 feet. This is what you buy for a young child to get them interested or “pretend she’s hunting with daddy.” Or if you need to find something near surface.

metal detecting gear

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger $54

The Bounty Hunter Gold Digger looks like it was made in the late 70’s. However it is easy to assemble, has a headphone jack, and a discrimination knob.

This metal detector is, well, just ok…we’ve since discovered that if this is going to be a new hobby for someone…A LOT of time and energy can be saved by moving up to the next price point ($200 or so). What I mean is some of the units in that higher price point have a little basic monitor on the front that can tell you what it is you’ve found…before you spend 15-30 minutes DIGGING – J.E.

metal detecting gear

Bounty Hunter Quick Silver $98

The Bounty Hunter Quick Silver Metal Detector is a decent starter machine.

Unless you’re a professional sleuth requiring a $1,000+ metal detector for a tax deduction, the Quick Silver is a bargain you can’t pass up. The first day, we found an 1888 dime in fairly good condition. That was enough to sell me on the hobby and the tool. This one is very light and not at all complex like the one we bought about 10 years ago for more than 5 times the price. – Truthpeeler

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Minelab GO-FIND 20 $103

The Minelab GO-FIND20 Metal Detector is one of three new detectors by Minelab. I’m putting this model in the low-end section for now until more reviews come in on it. It’s nice that it folds down small but the coil can not be removed.

I want to stress that if you are serious about getting into Metal Detecting, try and come up with the cash to start with the following detectors. You will get what you pay for – better depth & better features.

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Minelab Go-Find 40 $155

The Minelab Go-Find 40 is one of three new detectors recently released. Not a lot of reviews in yet, but these seem light and compact and they carry tech from a very respected detector company.

Been out with this a few times now. It’s nice and light, easy to set up for tecting. I have just one real problem though. Although I have found some interesting stuff and at reasonable depth too, the machine often tells you the target is iron. It happened so often that I dug a few of these targets. To my annoyance, a lot of them were not iron. And some were decent finds. So, I am afraid that you are going to miss things with this machine unless you are prepared to dig nearly every target!! – Mrs. T Tack

metal detecting gear

Tesoro Compadre $160

The Tesoro Compadre is the simplest of the three, in that it has no ID screen, just sound alerts. And it comes with the longest warranty of the three – lifetime. Target ID on even the most expensive machines isn’t always accurate. The Compadre teaches you how to know the good targets by sound only.

Works great. This is my first metal detector. I originall bought it because my son lost my wedding ring in the lawn. Days of searching didn’t turn it up. But a few passes with the Compadre revealed the ring. I’ve brought it to the beach and it works well. I haven’t found any “treasure” yet, but I’ll keep trying. I appreciate how easy it is to use. One dial and you’re ready to go. Easy assembly too. – Anthony Smith

metal detecting gear

Bounty Hunter Lone Star Pro $162

The Bounty Hunter Loan Star Pro Metal Detector is high end for Bounty Hunters offering a more graphical interface.

Review

So far I have used this detector once in my back yard near a really old house foundation and found some little pieces of foil buried from when the garbage was actually burried in those days. This detector is designed not to detect any minerals in rocks so it doesn’t interfere with your search. unfortunately New Jersey has pretty strict laws about this hobby and I was denied permission in all the Morris county parks so unfortunately that narrows my search area to almost nothing but hopefully I’ll find some pieces back in the woods. This picture is what I found on my second dig by learning how to use the detector . I also used the bounty hunter pin pointer which is very very good and highly recommended . – Christing

metal detecting gear garrett ace 150

Garrett Ace 150 $175

The Garrett Ace 150 is Garrett’s entry into metal detectors and a great starter detector.

I purchased this metal detector for my dad for Christmas and so far he has been pleased with it. It comes with everything you need including headphones, batteries, instructions, DVD and other accessories. This is a great metal detector for both beginners and hobbyists. RECOMMENDED! – Stephanie

Review

So far I have used this detector once in my back yard near a really old house foundation and found some little pieces of foil buried from when the garbage was actually burried in those days. This detector is designed not to detect any minerals in rocks so it doesn’t interfere with your search. unfortunately New Jersey has pretty strict laws about this hobby and I was denied permission in all the Morris county parks so unfortunately that narrows my search area to almost nothing but hopefully I’ll find some pieces back in the woods. This picture is what I found on my second dig by learning how to use the detector . I also used the bounty hunter pin pointer which is very very good and highly recommended . – Christing

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Garrett Ace 200 $170

The Garrett Ace 200 Metal Detector is for beginners to find coins and jewelry.

Perfect for the cost! I bought this as my first metal detector and I couldn’t be happier. If there is a learning curve it’s a quick one. I’ve never had an expensive detector so I can’t compare to anything but on my first day out I found some silver coins among other cool trinkets! – Rick

Review

So far I have used this detector once in my back yard near a really old house foundation and found some little pieces of foil buried from when the garbage was actually burried in those days. This detector is designed not to detect any minerals in rocks so it doesn’t interfere with your search. unfortunately New Jersey has pretty strict laws about this hobby and I was denied permission in all the Morris county parks so unfortunately that narrows my search area to almost nothing but hopefully I’ll find some pieces back in the woods. This picture is what I found on my second dig by learning how to use the detector . I also used the bounty hunter pin pointer which is very very good and highly recommended . – Christing

metal detecting gear

Bounty Hunter Time Ranger $192

The Bounty Hunter Time Ranger Metal Detector is stepping up your game a bit and competing with other starting detectors like Fisher and Garrett.

Tested it on non-buried coins and objects and it works great discriminating the types of materials the objects are made from. Only thing it’s missing is volume controls. Took it out for the first time today for a bit and found a big, old, bent and rusted bolt 7 inches under the ground from construction in the area from back in the 1920s. – M.M.

Fisher F2 $215

The Fisher F2 is less expensive than the Ace 250 and is also a great starter detector. Of the three, I actually recommend this detector based on videos I’ve seen and the fact that it comes with a pinpointer and sniper coil. The F2 has a greater range of sounds than does the Ace 250, which bings and bongs over targets. The broader range of sounds helps the F2 “tell” you what’s in the ground.

Technology keeps advancing and prices keep coming down. This is an easy to use turn-on-and-go machine that even this experienced detectorist enjoys using. It’ll find 95% percent of what the top of the line f75 will for $1000 less. – Rhody Joe

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Fisher F22 $229

The Fisher F22 is great for water or wet weather detecting. Fisher is one of the oldest detector brands and a solid performer.

This is a great intermediate detector, I found stuff my bounty hunter didn’t catch, which is amazing! I love the features this F22 has, Depth (dont really use it but good to have). the number read out is a cool feature too, plus the batterys arent the square ones, uses aa i think, so that’s great. – by Zach

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Garrett Ace 250 $234

The Ace 250 is the best-selling metal detector in the world and for good reason. It’s easy to use, it’s from a company with a long tradition in detecting, and it’s the one I started with. (Review video soon).

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Minelab Go-Find 60 $270

The Minelab Go-Find 60 is the top of the recently released compact detectors from Minelab. The advantages are they are light and fold up small. The disadvantage is you cannot change coils to match the conditions you’re hunting in. We’ll see how the reviews look in the coming months.

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Whites Treasuremaster $279

The Whites Treasuremaster is one of White’s newer and simpler machines. It has “turn-on-and-go” simplicity and auto ground balancing.

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Garrett Ace 400 $340

The Garrett Ace 400 is Garrett’s latest above-entry-level detectors for those wanting more than the Ace 250 but aren’t ready to get the AT Pro.

Review

I absolutely love this detector and would give it 10 stars if possible. I’ve been a dirt fisher for about 5 years now so I thought I would upgrade from my Bounty Hunter Time Ranger(a decent detector in it’s own right) to a Garrett. I was saving up for an AT Pro but then this gem became available and boy howdy am I glad. I was literally waiting on my front porch for the UPS dude to deliver it, I’m in my mid 40’s and I felt like I was 10 years old again waiting for Christmas morning. I had been watching the 3 very informative and in depth manufacturer videos on Youtube over and over so when I received the 400 I had it assembled and was at an old local park that has been there since the 20’s swinging away 30 mins after opening the box. I had been to this particular park several times before but not with the Ace 400 and I was blown away with it’s capabilities. I was hitting coins at 8-9 inches through trash and junk that myself and many others had missed and I’m not talking crappy ass modern clad either. I recovered everything from Indian Heads to Walking Liberties and had no idea that these older coins were even there this whole time. I’m now systematically going to all the places I had previously visited and my results thus far have been more than pleasing. The 400 is very easy to learn how to use and beyond accurate, the headphones that come with it are very nice, small and comfortable, not big and bulky like the rapper headphones in a studio pair, plus the volume control is a nice touch. My one and only complaint is that the “included” coil cover was not included in my order, but I procured one for $15 because a coil cover is a must in my opinion. So, in conclusion, the Ace 400 is a superb mid-level machine, accurate, easy to use and if an object is there it will find it up to roughly 10″ depending on size and conditions. Oh, watch the Youtube manufacturer videos before you use it, they are a great learning resource. – Geebs

Whites Coinmaster, GT, & Pro $179, $281, $362

The White’s Coinmaster GT is a affordable metal detector with mid-level features. It has features that make it an easy detector to use for those new to metal detecting, as well as those that are looking to step up from entry level detector. It offers straight-forward operation for those that don’t understand or want to deal with issues such as ground balance, sensitivity, and notch discrimination of a multitude of numbers. The GT has automatic ground tracking for ground balance, sensitivity has a default level, and there are 9 areas of discrimination.

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Tesoro Vaquero $446

On the Tesoro Vaquero:

Don’t let it’s looks fool you, this is a great machine. No bells and whistles here just simple and outstanding electronics.

Pros:
-Lifetime warranty and first class customer service from Tesoro
-Light weight ( just over 2 pounds)
-Manual ground balance to suit every soil type
-Changeable coils available
-Deep hitting machine (get a good shovel)

Cons:
-I can’t treasure hunt 24 hours a day

by Petaloka

Minelab X-Terra 505 $435

Review of the Minelab X-Terra 505 Review coming soon.

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Whites MX5 $560

The Whites MX5 and it’s bigger brother, the M6 Review coming soon.

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Tesoro Tejon $594

The Tesoro Tejon is:

A very stable and capable detector with a dedicated discrimination circuit. Unlike some of the other brand ultra-deep detectors on the market which only provide up to a minimum of pull tab disc. or sometimes, no discrimination at all, this one gives you the addition and convenience of full-range audio discrimination. Very sensitive to small ‘high conductor’ targets such as deep half dimes, small buttons, deep dimes, pennies, quarters, and other interesting targets. Will very effectively eliminate trash signals such as foil, nails, aluminum and steel tabs (hard for some detectors to eliminate), ring tabs, screw caps, wire, etc. A five-star detector in every category one can think of. Very stable in high minerals and is very easy to ground balance. This is Tesoro’s deepest MD and in my opinion, their flagship detector only a few companies have MD models that can go as deep as this model from Tesoro. Great job Tesoro! – B’Man

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metal detecting gear accessories

Garrett AT Pro $595

I highly recommend the Garrett AT Pro. It has a Basic mode that is very much like using the Ace 250. Then when you’re ready you can switch to the Pro mode, which has a much broader range of sounds. While the most detectors are waterproof up to the control box, the ATP is fully submersible to 10 feet and has manual ground balancing, which will teach a detector what type of soil you’re detecting on for better performance. It’s a lot for a first detector, but you will grow into it and possibly keep on using it for life. The addition of Garrett’s 5×8 coil really makes this detector shine in trashy areas, as well as lighter, and easier to operate in the water. I haven’t taken my 5×8 off my ATP since buying it.

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Fisher F75 $599

The Fisher F75 is a top performer by a pioneer in the industry.

Detector works great. There are much possibilities to search, gives exact information on LCD, has long battery life, very light detector – Weygsen

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Minelab X-Terra 705 $729

The Minelab X-Terra 705 is:

I really like this metal detector and have nothing but positive experiences so far. The target IDs has been dead on with identifying what is being located. With a quick Google search you can locate the list of Target IDs. I also took it to a place that was heavy with foil and junk and it was able to distinguish between the hits pretty well. Well worth the money! – TJK

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Macro Racer 2 $749

The Makro Racer is a relatively new detector to the market but already it’s gotten some very good reviews.

The Makro Racer 2 is well built, sturdy and comfortable to swing general purpose metal detector. The control layout is simple and easy to program. It has tons of power and is sensitive to small targets. It has awesome target separation which make it perfect on iron infested ground ( the best I’ve ever seen). I would recommend this to someone who has prior metal detecting experience. It can be tuned down for a newbie but it might still be to noisy for a first timer. Be prepared to dig deep! – By Joe

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Fisher Gold Bug 2 $765

The Makro Racer is a detector specifically made for gold fields.

This is my 2nd Gold Bug-2. These are amazing pieces of technology. Near Nome AK where we use ours we have found enough gold nuggets to pay for ours in just 2 months. – A Steam Engineer

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XP Deus Lite $799

Future review of the XP Deus Lite Review coming soon.

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metal detecting gear accessories

White's Surfmaster Dual Field $800

The White’s Surfmaster Dual Field is a terrific PI machine waterproof to 100 ft. and sensitive to gold. This is a great mid-priced beach machine from a great company. If I did salt beaches more often this is the detector I’d get.

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White's MXT $800

The White’s MXT is a top detector with several hunting modes and a back-lit screen.

Review

If you are looking at this detector as your next detector then you already know White’s reputation for building good detectors, and this is another one. But there are a few shortcomings that potential buyers should know about. First and foremost is that this detector is not weatherproof at all. There have been many days I’ve had to leave it at home because of possible rain in the forecast even thought it would have been my preferred detector to use. The detector does not come with headphones but those are easily obtained. But when you plug them in, you will find you need to unplug them every time you need to get into the battery compartment. Another problem area is the control knobs. Once you buy your headphones you will soon discover that when you bend over to recover a target, the cord for the headphones will brush the control knobs, sometimes moving them off of the settings you have selected. And the cord will sometimes even move the two toggle switches. These are shortcomings that could have easily been foreseen and prevented by the White’s engineers. It is very irritating to have to be constantly monitoring your control settings instead of focusing on what the detector is telling you. When it gives you silence, you should start looking around for a bad setting. On the flip side, this detector has an easy learning curve which is a real plus. I think I probably would have been just as happy with a MXT from this manufacturer. – S. Nelson

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metal detecting gear accessories

Garrett Infinium $1062

Garrett’s Infinium is a PI machine waterproof to 200 feet.

I bought this machine a little over 8 months ago replacing my eureka gold….I am extremely happy with the result too… I like the fact that I can use it under water as well as on ground..that to me is a major plus. I am a nugget hunter and working in the water is where I’m at most of the time so its great. I have been fortunate to find 3/4 ounce of gold nugeets with this unit to date and I am extremely pleased that I bought it.. Recommend it totally. – Joe

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White's Spectra V3i $1348

The White’s Spectra V3i is White’s top detector and packs a lot of programmable features including a color screen.

The more I use it and learn what it can do, the more positively it impresses me. – Denver Henry

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Minelab E-Trac $1549

The Minelab E-Trac was the most-preferred dirt detector until the CTX3030 came out. But if you don’t need the GPS and color screen, it’s still a great machine.

Review

The Minelab E-trac is in the top tier of hobby level detectors. This is a hobby with a heavy dose of brand loyalty and Minelab has many loyal fans. This is not to say that one brand is better than the other because each brand has it’s own approach and presentation for different personalities. I do feel however that when it comes to technology Minelab is out in front with no exceptions. The E-trac was the flagship until Minelab came out with the CTX 3030 but the capabilities are about the same as far as detecting and discrimination. The CTX has features in addition that you can read about.

Having said that, I do have one word of caution to new detectorists. The E-trac will require a significant learning curve to master and I would never recommend one as a first detector. The interface and operation is for more seasoned detectorists and it is not a ‘switch on and go’ detector as some might think. For the E-trac to perform to its potential it takes a LOT of time in the field and you have to learn to listen to what it says. Some detectors (most in fact) rely heavily on the screen read-out but the E-trac is more of an audio device when it comes to the way it communicates. Many people get frustrated with it and confused but once you have it down it is a bit like having a sixth sense telling you what is under the surface…but you have to listen to it and learn through experience. To me, what sets the E-trac well ahead of the pack is the discrimination capability. It reads both target conductivity and ferrous content with scaled numbers instead of the standard VDI readings of most detectors. This adds the huge advantage to identify and discriminate with much more selectivity. Granted this needs to be done with understanding and caution but you can chose an object (like a zinc penny) and accept that and only that and then reject everything else. Unless something comes in at exactly the same Co and Fe readings as that penny it will be rejected in this scenario. With both readings being on an x/y graph for discrimination it allows a single point of discrimination instead of a range. If you are looking for a very select set of objects you can tighten up the discrimination around them and your success rate will be high. Again, this needs to be done with caution as to not overlook targets but it can do it. Also the FBS technology from Minelab is second to none…you need not worry about ground balancing or EMI with this one because Minelab did their homework. You get what you pay for with this detector. – Jmoonx14

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XP Deus with Remote $1550

The XP Deus is a pretty revolutionary detector. And very very good at separation of objects in trashy ground. Completely wireless: the coil talks to the remote and headphones wirelessly. Super light and telescopes small enough to fit in a backpack. The remote version is worth getting for all the adjustments you can make. The WS4 headphones fold up and are nice and light for hot summers. The WS5 headphones are nice over-the-ear headphones too block out noise and keep your ears warm. Or you can pop off the control module of the WS4s and attach them to 3rd party headphones.

You do have to charge the three parts, but the charge lasts for at least 2 full day hunts. Take along a USB charger to juice up in the field. You can get a 9 inch11inch, and 13 inch coil for the Deus for hunting trashy areas, all areas, and fields.

Negatives? The remote ID could be more accurate. You get a ballpark. Pennies, dimes and quarters ring up from 75-92. ID on the AT Pro is a tad better. This is a sound machine, and it will take a few seasons to learn the nuances of the sounds. Great machine though. Great.

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metal detecting gear accessories

Garrett ATX $2120

The Garrett ATX is a waterproof Pulse Induction machine, meaning it is ideal for beach hunting, where you don’t need much trash separation. Some do use it for land for deep relic hunting.

Though you won’t find any fancy LCD screen with dubious graphic indicators on this unit, this bad boy will definitely find stuff …. and find it deep! At $2000+ I cannot recommend this unit for the Newbie detectorist. Other than an LED scale and audio, this unit has no other GUI indicators. Therefore, though it is not absolutely required, a bit of metal detecting experience goes a long way with this unit. It is my opinion that you need some experience to help you determine what the combined LED and audio indications are telling you. – Patrick Lanclos

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metal detecting gear accessories

Minelab CTX 3030 $2499

The Minelab CTX 3030 is a very popular high-priced detector with many great features. It’s only negatives are that it’s a bit heavy and some units have leaked. Target  ID seems spot-on.

By Farmers Knightmare on October 21, 2013
I have been out with my new CTX 3030 from minelab about 8 times and have found around 100 coins and a silver saint christopher. The feel of the ctx 3030 detector when swinging is very comfortable , it reminds me a lot of my old whites dfx that i used to metal detect with. I was an explorer SE user for 7 years and moving to the ctx 3030 is proving more than a little frustrating. The ctx 3030 sounds off much differently than the explorers do and i miss those flutey type sounds that my explorer had. The price of a new ctx seems way too expensive for what it is , i honestly think it is way over priced.
The ctx looks very nice and sleek , on looks alone it scores ten out of ten. The ctx is a great detector , any one detecting behind you looking for what you missed with your ctx is going to be dissapointed , the ctx misses very little if anything!.
I recommend the ctx for what it is , it’s a super detector but takes hard work to master. The little 6 inch coil is a must have coil if you buy a ctx 3030 , it sniffs coins and rings out from the trash very well indeed , well worth purchasing.
The 17 inch coil is another “must have” coil for your ctx , i found coins were been dug a couple of inches deeper with the 17 inch coil . Larger targets can be found at incredible depth with the 17 inch coil so a bigger spade is a good investment.
The rating i give for this great detector is 9 out of ten.