A metal detector is a tool that detects the presence of metal in a given area. Because these instruments are sensitive to the presence of all metal, they can be useful to detect metal-containing objects that are either imbedded within some other material or underground. You have probably seen someone waving one over the sand at a beach and undoubtedly, you’ve had to pass through a metal detector at the airport, courthouse, or sports arena.
Overview Of The Best 10 Metal Detectors On The Market In 2017
The 10 Best Metal Detectors On The Market Reviewed
The Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detectoris a highly-rated metal detector that effortlessly blends value and performance. The refined LCD screen makes identification intuitive. It has full range notch discrimination, superior pinpointing, graphic identification of the target object, 8-setting depth variation, and five pre-configured hunting modes. The large-sized coil utilised is known for superior performance. It is lightweight at just 2kg, keeping treasure hunting from becoming a burdensome task. It runs on four AA batteries.
- It has a useful LCD screen.
- You can use various hunting modes.
- It makes for an excellent beginner’s detector.
- This is quite expensive as an occasional hobby item.
The Visua Lightweight Metal Detectoris an entry-level machine, but is still able to offer several useful features. It has a LED light that flashes when metal is detected. It is able to work at a depth between 16cm and 20cm. Auto ground balance, adjustable discrimination, variable sensitivity, and an audible tone indicator with volume control helps make your searching accurate and effective. By adjusting the discrimination and sensitivity, you can differentiate between types of metal. It uses an extra-large 19cm, waterproof search coil to achieve better coverage and detection. The manufacturer recommends doing a test run with any metal detector outside, away from sources of metal. This metal detector runs on one 9V battery and weighs only 1kg. The purchase options give you the ability to order the metal detector with a battery and other accessories.
- The Visua Metal Detector is affordable.
- It is lightweight.
- The arm is adjustable.
- It has a comfort grip.
- The arm may be too short for taller people.
- It can feel flimsy.
The ReaseJoy 3005II Waterproof Gold Digger Tracker is just one of several metal detectors made by ReaseJoy. The 3005II model makes metal detecting easy, without a large learning curve required to operate it. The waterproof search coil can be used in shallow water, extending the area that you can search within. You can adjust the stem to whatever length is comfortable so that the activity is not physically taxing. The metal detector is able to predict the type of metal found, keeping you from having to invest effort for useless material. You can adjust the sensitivity. The usage of this metal detector feels simple and unintimidating for beginners. It runs on a 9V battery and weights 1.6kg. Batteries and headphones are not included with the purchase.
- Waterproof coil
- This is one of the more affordable models.
- Adjust available parameters to narrow search.
- There is a headphone jack.
- Housing of coil is not waterproof
- It is not built for heavy use.
The X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector is one of the more sophisticated models of metal detectors, which is reflected in its higher price and high rating. It is best used to find gold, but can work for coins and other metal valuables. The Prospecting Mode is highly sensitive but can still be used in areas with a lot of mineralisation. It comes with a high-frequency coil, but this model is compatible with all XTerra accessory coils. These coils can be switched out depending on need (low, mid, and high frequency). There are different settings for ground balance adjustment, depending on location and objective. The unit weight is approximately 1kg. It comes with a control box, coil, three-part stem, and an assembly kit. The four AA batteries required for operation are not included.
- Objects have been found at or around 8 inches.
- It has a warranty.
- It has a mode specifically designed for finding gold.
- The coils are interchangeable.
- There’s a headphone jack.
- It is an expensive model.
- There are no included accessories.
Amzdeal’s Lightweight Metal Detector is a best seller in its category on Amazon. It comes with a multifunction folding ladder, eliminating the need for carrying an additional implement. The cost is low, making it a good choice for beginner metal detection. When metal is found, there is audio and visual indication. The search coil is large- 18.5cm diameter and is waterproof (safe for working in shallow water). The stem is adjustable and can be easily moved up and down to accommodate adults and children. The two operative modes allow you to either search for all metals or to search by metal. It weighs 1.9kg and requires a 9V battery.
- This is an affordable metal detector.
- It is fully adjustable.
- The two modes are useful in operation.
- Includes a foldable shovel.
- Has a headphone jack for private use.
- Accessory headphones are not included.
- Housing is not waterproof.
- This metal detector is not designed for heavy use.
The Pyle Adjustable Sensitivity Metal Detector is a new, competitively priced model available on Amazon. It has a variety of easy-to-use features. This highly sensitive metal detector can differentiate between metals and non-metal objects. It has adjustable sensitivity and discrimination. The lightweight aluminium arm is adjustable making it easy to use for all users. It can be submerged up to 6.7 inches. There is a headphone jack. It requires six AA batteries.
- The price is competitive and low.
- An aluminium arm keeps the unit light.
- It is partially submergible.
- It requires extra batteries.
- It is a newer item with limited customer feedback.
The Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector is a powerful, highly-rated tool for finding underground or hidden metal. It is on the upper end of the price spectrum, but it is treasured by enthusiasts for its performance. The high frequency capability is able to pick up small signals, as long as they’re metal-containing. It is a precise machine, and a user can fine-tune the iron discrimination. When metal is found, the tone accurately notifies you. This model uses a large, powerful Double-D coil. Unlike many of its competitors, the Garrett EuroACE includes quality Garrett ClearSound Easy Stow headphones. It weighs 1.9kg and runs on four AA batteries.
- This is a highly-rated model.
- It includes Easy Stow headphones, box and coil cover, and a backpack (for most UK sellers).
- It utilizes a powerful coil for maximum sensitivity.
- It functions poorly in highly mineralised environments.
- It is one of the more expensive metal detectors listed.
The Garrett ACE 150 Metal Detector is another heavy-hitting metal detector from Garrett. The cost of this metal detector is lower than the previous Garrett on the list. It has sensitivity adjustment and various levels of Tone ID. A depth indicator gives you an idea of how deep an object is underground; this prevents you from over-digging or under-digging. There are three pre-configured hunting modes. The controls are intuitive and operation is easy. You can change out and use different coils from the ACE line. It is 1.9kg in weight and runs on four AA batteries.
- It can be disassembled.
- Pre-configured hunting modes can be helpful for beginners.
- It is a basic model. If you want more features, you may want to go for a more sophisticated Garrett metal detector.
- It is relatively expensive.
The Beginners Discriminating Metal Detector is a low-cost detector that is perfect for people who are just getting into the hobby of treasure hunting. It does a good job of distinguishing between metallic and non-metallic objects. You can adjust the sensitivity. The large-sized coil is waterproof, allowing you to use this metal detector in shallow water. The control housing, however, is not waterproof. It is a low-weight model, coming in at just 1.1kg. The arm is adjustable. You get a visual and audible indication when there is metal nearby and what type of metal it is. The metal detector has a 3.5mm headphone socket.
- This is an affordable, yet well-performing, metal detector.
- It is lightweight.
- The telescopic design allows you to stow it easily.
- It may be a little difficult to calibrate for beginners.
- Not always sensitive enough.
The Bounty Hunter Metal Detector is a new metal detector available on Amazon. It is reasonably priced, somewhere in the middle amidst inexpensive beginner models and the higher-end options. It has a trash-eliminator control to weed out extraneous, unwanted objects from sending out a signal. It has a headphone jack and includes headphones. It has automatic tuning, sensitivity honing, and ground balance. You are able to ascertain the strength of an incoming signal. Small objects, like coins, are detectable up to six inches. Larger objects are detectable at deeper depths. The seven-inch coil is water resistant. This metal detector utilises two 9V batteries.
- It is fully adjustable.
- The trash-eliminator control reduces unwanted noise from junk items.
- It uses more batteries than competitors, over time this may be a hassle.
- Its coil is smaller some of the other reviewed metal detectors.
Choosing a metal detector can be a daunting task. There are innumerable options. Unfortunately, the specifications that aren’t always readily interpretable for the novice user, thus making shopping a more complicated task. Fortunately, the reviewed metal detectors offer a good range of options: beginner, learner, and expert. If you’re serious about treasure hunting, or just finding interesting items, our recommendation would be to try either the X-Terra 705 Metal Detector or the Garrett ACE 150. The X-Terra has a coil that can be changed as your treasure hunting becomes more refined. It has a prospecting mode, specific for looking for gold. The metal detector is covered by a warranty, as well. The Garrett metal detector also allows you to switch out the coil. Its design is easy to understand and adjust to for new users. There are a few pre-configured modes that allow you to get started right away. A depth indicator saves you from wasted effort chasing after junk.
A Mini Guide To Metal Detectors and Their Uses
As the scientific community studied and explored electricity and its manipulation, it became feasible to use predictable electrical activity to detect the presence of ore. This was useful in various settings—from the mining industry to the medical detection of bullets lodged within a body. Modern metal detection has varied applications for personal and commercial/industrial use. New metal detectors can even detect bombs, a widely sought after application in travel and security.
The basic mechanism by which metal detectors work is simple. An alternating magnetic field is created by passing an alternating current through a coil. If conductive metal is nearby, it produces eddy currents, and a resulting magnetic field, in the metal. A second coil measures this change in the magnetic field caused by the metal object can be detected and measured. Numerous refinements to the metal detector have been made over time. An alternate design employed two coils in electrical balance. When there was imbalance between the two, it was caused by the presence of metal nearby. It was possible to even differentiate between types of metals as each specific metal had a unique response to the current, however this assessment was difficult to make and sometimes lacked in sensitivity. Another method momentarily magnetised the ground with a powerful, quick current. The surrounding area would return to zero voltage at a given rate. However, if metal was present, a small current would form in the metal and the time to return to zero voltage would be increased. This method overcame several issues with earlier models. Today, there are a variety of different metal detection methods that can optimize the search for metal in a number of different scenarios.
Metal detectors are used in various settings. For example, industrial food manufacturers may use some sort of metal detection to prevent metal pieces from machines to be passed through in food to the consumer. In fact, this precaution is taken by many industries, including textiles, plastics, packaging, and lumber sectors. Metal detectors are also widely in the practice and field of archaeology. They can give researchers valuable clues and markers about what exists below ground. However, archaeologists underscore the need for preserving and surveying the area when trying to unearth a found object. A popular use for metal detectors is to provide security screening, usually in a place of gathering. The ubiquitous use of metal detectors in airports began after a series of hijackings in the 70’s. Today’s models are able to determine the approximate height or relative positon of the metal object to aid in surveillance. Lastly, people purchase metal detectors as a hobby tool. Some aim to find gold and other valuable metals, others seek coins and other discarded or lost valuables or relics.
Different Types of Metal Detectors
As mentioned earlier, the original metal detector had a simple configuration. From there, the machine has taken on various methods of action, forms, and applications. The beat frequency oscillation detector runs on the basic principle of the first metal detector, where the change in magnetic field caused by the effect of an induced magnetic field on a metal is measured. This is a common type, but also considered to be the weakest. They are able to detect metal up to two feet away, as indicated by a change in audible tone.
Very low-frequency detectors are popular because they are accurate and sensitive. There are two coils: a transmitter coil that emits current and a second receiving and amplifying coil. The first creates a well-defined magnetic field. A nearby metal disrupts this magnetic field and creates interference, which is detected and amplified by the second coil. This type of metal detector is useful in differentiating metals, which can signal the difference between treasure and junk.
A pulse induction metal detector is commonly used in security wands and at checkpoints. It is an expensive method, so there is some limitation to its prevalence. It works by creating a short, powerful pulse of current. The current, through a process similar to echolocation, passes through an area and is able to capture the relative feedback of materials nearby. This type of metal detector is not good at differentiating between types of metal.
Industrial metal detectors are usually built in a door-frame shape. They create an electromagnetic field and study the disruption to it as a person walks through. Because they are highly sensitive to metals, it is routinely required that one removes all metal on their body before passing through the detector to avoid nonsense false positives.
What to Consider Before Buying
Today’s metal detectors are designed for specific tasks, therefore it is important to ascertain what the metal detector would be used for and in what setting, before selecting a model. While there are many available brands and models available on the market today, some types of metal detectors may not be practical. There are metal detectors that are used commercially (with no real means of personal use) or others that are prohibitively expensive. You must be able to strike a balance between cost and quality; a poorly functioning metal detector can miss valuable material or give off false positives that create unnecessary work.
Further, it is important to find a model that you are comfortable holding for long stretches at a time. Even light objects can feel burdensome after hours holding them outside. Look for one that is lightweight and comes with a shoulder strap or armband. Lastly, the operation of the machine should be simple (or at your comfort level), without lengthy calibration that may inadvertently compromise the quality of the search.