If you are a beginner at metal detecting, it’s important to learn the basics first.
Metal detectors can find coins, jewelry, and other items of value buried at beaches, parks, and other places. To detect the treasure you hope to find, you want to find the best metal detector for beginners.
Metal detecting is not only a hobby, but it’s also easy to get hooked on the experience of hunting for treasure and many people take it very seriously and even become full-time treasure hunters. As a beginner, you will need patience, research, and good equipment that is easy to use.
Most metal detectors look about the same in shape and size, but the ability of each product depends on its coil size, technology, features, and the control box that helps treasure hunters identify their targets before taking time to dig. It’s important to know if you are digging for gold, silver, or an old tin can to help save time during your prospecting.
Top 8 Best Beginner Metal Detectors
When it comes to choosing the best metal detector for beginners, there are so many metal detectors for beginners available that it can be hard to choose the right one. Below we have a list of the best beginner metal detectors to help you choose the best one for your treasure hunting.
We have tried to include the most information possible in each of the beginner metal detector reviews below. Each metal detector was chosen for this list because it offers unique advantages for a beginner, and is at a reasonable price point for someone just starting to experience the thrill of metal detecting.
1. Garrett Ace 300 Metal Detector
Garrett makes the sensational Ace 300 metal detector, which has exceptional features for a beginner. The Garrett Ace 300 is a powerful, solidly built, lightweight, easy to learn, entry-level metal detector that is among the best models available for a beginner.
It is the combination of quality, accuracy, simplicity, and a reasonable price that makes it the best metal detector for a beginner.
The most notable feature of this detector is the interface, which is sophisticated enough to engage the more serious hobbyist yet simple for the beginners to learn.
This unit is designed for finding jewelry, coins, silver, and gold. The Garrett Ace 300 is the next level up from the Ace 200 with digital target ID to correctly identify the class of target found, and 5 search mode to pinpoint the exact location of a target.
- Enhanced iron resolution
- Better search coil for great performance
- User-friendly and economical
- Electronic pinpointing mode to accurately locate the target
- 8 adjustments to control the depth without giving false readings
- Depth indicator to give you an idea of how far to dig to find your treasure.
- No adjustable ground balance
- No iron audio
- Not for wet conditions
The primary limitation of the Garrett Ace 300 is that uses a single frequency, and that makes it not suitable for metal detecting in wet conditions. With the ground balance sensitivity set permanently, it will work poorly over very moist ground, wet sand, or in water.
If this isn’t an issue for you, this metal detector is great on dry sand and for use in normal metal detecting conditions.
It should also be noted that the coil is waterproof so it can be submerged and used for detecting metal in shallow water, just not through wet soil. It is essentially the sudden change in the density of the medium it is scanning that makes this more difficult.
This is an exceptional machine with a weight of only 2.8 lbs, which makes it quite light and easy to maneuver.
The Ace 300 is an amazing metal detector that lives up to the reputation of Garrett in providing some of the best metal detectors for both beginners and professionals.
2. Fisher F22 Metal Detector
The Fisher F22 was almost the best metal detector for beginners on this list. It is a “turn on and go” detector that is best suited for entry-level users and is recommended for kids that should not be bogged down trying to understand technical settings.
It is a strong and reasonably well-rounded machine for coin, jewelry, and relic hunting.
There are 10 different sensitivity levels available to control this metal detector.
I love this unit because of its lightweight, simple design, and energy efficiency. It can be powered with only 2 AA batteries. The high-quality VDI readout helps you easily determine what you have found, before digging.
The pinpointer works well on this metal detector, however, it only works when the pointer button is held down. That’s not really a big complaint, but you notice these details when compared to more full-featured (and more expensive) products like the #1 choice on this list.
The Fisher F22’s smaller and more slender coil is great for isolating targets that are in close proximity to iron and trash. The submersible coil is fine for use in shallow water. Do bear in mind that, although this product is weatherproof, the control box is not submersible.
The LCD screen of the F22 features Target Category ID Numbers that tell you what kind of metal you have found. This detector also has different audio tones to signal what you may have found. The F22 iron audio feature permits you to exaggerate iron signals so you will be able to save your time by not digging up unwanted targets.
- Best Weather Resistance
- Pinpoint mode feature
- Adjustable sensitivity levels
- Detects metals up to 9 inches deep
- New Coil Design
- Fast Recovery speed
- No Backlight
- No manual ground balance
The Fisher F22 has upgraded electronic equipment that allows for quicker processing and recovery speed. It also lets you customize your settings and save the configuration, so you don’t need to worry about losing your settings when you turn off the metal detector.
Overall the Fisher F22 is a great metal detector and offers the best value for the money. Whether you’re starting out as a beginner, or need a backup detector, the Fisher F22 would be a superb choice.
3. Tesoro Compadre Metal Detector
The Tesoro Compadre metal detector is one of the toughest models available at an affordable price. This device is perfect if you are buying for kids that will want a quality metal detector at a reasonable price.
Although the focus is on simplicity, the Tesoro Compadre is not only for kids. Anyone that values simplicity, especially beginners, will be comfortable with this unit.
There are not really any metal detectors for beginners that offer greater simplicity.
The Compadre has lifetime warranty proving its tank-like build and it has superior recovery speed for accurate results without missing anything.
- The choice between an 8 inch or 5.75 inch coil for the same price
- Its 2 lbs weight allows you to spend hours searching
- Superior build quality
- Lack of a screen
- Not for wet conditions or underwater use
The most impressive feature of this device lies in its simplicity, while it does not sacrifice power or detection ability. The Tesoro Compadre is one of the easiest metal detectors to use. Anyone who is overwhelmed by the number of features and fancy user interfaces in more expensive models will be likely to find that this is the perfect choice for them.
Although simple to use, and a great first metal detector to use to start treasure hunting, the internal circuitry is sophisticated, efficient, and powerful.
The Tesoro Compadre has a 12 kHz operating frequency which makes it a great choice for the detection of coins, jewelry, small metals, and relics. Tesoro has a reputation for providing excellent machines with high-quality hardware and the Compadre stands up to that reputation.
4. Teknetics EuroTek PRO
The Teknetics Eurotek Pro is a very full-featured metal detecting device at a very decent price.
It has a 8″ concentric waterproof search coil that can detect objects up to 9.5″ deep when set to the highest sensitivity setting. The Teknetics Eurotek Pro has ten sensitivity levels as well as variable iron discrimination so you will know if an object is likely to be valuable before digging.
Once you have started digging, it features a pinpoint mode to accurately locate the position of the object you are searching for.
The Eurotek Pro runs on a 9-volt battery which will give you 20 to 25 hours of metal detecting before you have to change the battery.
The Eurotek Pro has a 5-step depth indicator that covers 2.5 inches to its maximum detectable depth. We also found it to be fairly accurate even when approaching maximum depth.
With superior iron separation, it is easy to tell the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous targets that are close together. With an adjustable iron audio feature, combined with the displayed target ID, it is easier for the user to not get distracted with targets that are not likely to be valuable.
- Iron Target Indicator
- Audio alert that is specific to iron
- Fast recovery speed
- Well balanced
- Motion Discrimination Mode
- FeTone Variable Iron discrimination
- Great Target Separation
- The display is uncluttered and very easy to interpret
- 25% heavier than other top detectors in this list
- It doesn’t estimate depths very accurately
- No digital target ID
- No adjustable ground balance
As always, remember that the right detector to buy for a beginner will match their skill, budget, location, and type of use.
5. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
The Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro has an 11″ DD waterproof search coil, adjustable sensitivity, discrimination, and variable tone breakpoint as well as a 1 button ground balance and 7 searching modes.
The Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro also has a large backlit display and fully programmable touchpad controls. While still great for beginners, it provides a lot more control and features than some of the options above.
There are 43 Target ID icons, 3 for iron alone, and 100 numerical target ID’s. For those of us that would rather have more information before we start digging, this can be great!
Speaking of digging, there is a 5 level depth indicator as well as a pinpoint mode that will display estimated depth in inches.
These features make it suitable for a range of users who are still becoming acquainted with metal detecting, and it is one of the best metal detectors for the money.
The Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro metal detector comes with an interchangeable search coil system and a 5 year warranty.
6. Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector
This is a simple old-style bare-bones metal detector like we had in the 1980s. It has 2 knobs (power and sensitivity) and an analog needle on the sensitivity meter.
The bottom line is, it just works. It’s simple, cheap, and effective. You won’t get lost in the controls, or have something set wrong and walk right over a gold nugget.
If can detect coins up to 6 inches deep and bigger targets up to 24 inches deep.
For this simplicity and a really reasonable price point, you will have to sacrifice a lot of features that do really help in the identification of targets. You will detect them with this, just like you would a high-end metal detector, but you will have no indication of whether you have found gold, silver, a quarter, or an old beer can.
If those limitations don’t bother you, this is an easy and straightforward metal detector at a great price point. In addition, it’s made in the USA.
7. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
Much like the previous detector on our list, the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV has a 8 inch waterproof coil that can detect coin sized objects up to 8 inches deep and large metal objects up to 2 feet deep.
The Bounty Hunter TK4 is another bare-bones detector that is easy to get the hang of, with a discrimination knob and another for sensitivity. Add an analog target indicator and it’s pretty much a classic metal detector, except for the addition of a toggle switch to change between All Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode.
The All Metal mode will alert you to all metals with the same tone. Discrimination mode will not alert you to objects that are high in iron content or likely to be trash. 2-Tone audio mode will alert you to all types of metal, but use two different sounds to signal the presence of likely junk from possible treasure.
That is not to say that the TK4 circuitry is not robust. This is one of those cases where the interface is designed to be as user-friendly as possible, while the manufacturer tried not to skimp on power.
The TK4 can operate well with poor ground conditions, including wet beach sand, without losing accuracy or sensitivity. This is largely due to having a built-in automatic ground balancing feature, which adjusts for varying ground conditions while you are sweeping an area.
8. Bounty Hunter Junior (BHJS)
As the name suggests, this is one of the best lightweight metal detectors for kids that are just beginning to have an interest in metal detecting.
It is super light (1.5 lbs) so it can be used for a considerable amount of time and its pole is adjustable (from 20.5 to 31.5 inches) for comfort.
It has a single tone and the volume gets louder as the user gets closer to the target and the signal gets stronger. Headphones should be used to pick up subtle differences.
The Bounty Hunter Junior (BHJS) has good sensitivity and discrimination, though it is locked in all-metal mode which identifies all types of metal inside the detectable range with no way to discriminate between them.
The model is well worth the cost and is among the best starter detectors for kids.
Tips for Buying a Beginners Metal Detector in 2019
To get the most out of your metal detector and ensure that you won’t be disappointed in the experience, it’s important to consider these tips before metal detecting for the first time.
Where To Use Your Metal Detector
It seems obvious, but consider where you are more likely to find objects of value with your new metal detector.
Good places to start are busy beach areas, beside well-traveled paths, under and around elevated walkways, and desolate beach areas after heavy storms.
Treasure or Trash
Even as a beginning, it can be worth buying a more expensive metal detector with good target identification features. Spending just a little extra money to start can save hours of digging up bottle caps and tin cans. More importantly, it
This is why the Garrett Ace 300 is #1 on our list of the best beginner metal detectors, above. Garrett makes good detectors that can tell the difference between gold and tin, and they can help you find what you are looking for.
Dig Up Everything
Until you learn enough about your machine to feel certain than a beep is a bottle cap instead of gold, it’s best to dig up every target you detect.
This is safe for not missing what you are looking for, but this practice also helps you learn how your machine reacts to different targets. Low cost machines can also have a great deal of difficulty discriminating between pull tabs and gold. It’s an unfortunate reality that few reasonably priced machines can overcome.
Avoid High Trash Zones
While it is true that high traffic areas like busy sections of a beach can result in getting a lot of hits, 95% of these hits will be junk. So many new users jump in to hunting in these areas and then get discouraged after getting one bad reading after another.
Remember, you are looking for where high-value items or relics may have been lost. Focus on that and you will find real success much more quickly.
Fill in After Digging
Always fill in your holes! Even at the beach, where the water washes away everything, always fill in any holes you dig. At the beach, someone could trip, but on dry ground an un-filled hole could cause someone to break an ankle.
You want to dig treasures from the ground, not leave new hazards.
Come After Storms
Metal detecting after a storm is popular with professional treasure seekers because the wet ground has better conductivity, resulting in a higher chance of finding what you are looking for.
Along the coast, storms can take layers off of the beach sand or throw long-lost objects from far offshore onto the beach. In either case, this is one of our favorite times to metal detect.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of metal detectors that are made for beginners. Too many of these products are also targeted toward the uneducated.
With a basic knowledge of the correct terminology and any of the metal detectors on the list above, you’ll enjoy a fun and productive search.