Using a metal detector whilst beachcombing can be really helpful in finding cool and unique items that you might not necessarily find with the naked eye. Sometimes, you might need to dig beneath the surface to find the interesting bits that hide there. 

There are metal detectors for beginners who are just starting a new hobby, and there are also ones for professionals that really know exactly what they are doing. The metal detector that you need will depend on a variety of different factors that will be explained here so that you can have all the correct knowledge to help guide you into purchasing the right product. 

The beach is a constantly changing landscape due to wind and tides, and so more often than not, treasures are buried beneath the surface of the sand and require some digging to retrieve. You would never know where to look without the help of a metal detector, which can save you lots of time and energy. Read on to find out which are the best metal detectors for beachcombing.

What is a Metal Detector?

Before we show you some of the best metal detectors on the market, it might be helpful to find out a bit more about metal detectors and how they work. A metal detector is an electronic device that can detect the presence of nearby metal. The distance that these are able to detect from varies with each device. 

Metal detectors are really useful for finding metal materials that are hidden or buried underground. They often consist of a handheld unit and a sensor probe so that you can sweep them over the ground in order to find those hidden treasures. 

If the sensor is near a metal object, it will make a noise to notify you that it has detected something. The device will give you an indication of how close you are to the object through differing noise levels or sounds.

They work by transmitting an electromagnetic field from the search probe and into the ground. Any metal object will retransmit an electromagnetic field of its own and the detector will then alert the user. 

At the beach, you can hover and move the metal detector over the sand to find out where the secret treasures are hidden.

Minelab Vanquish 440

Minelab is a company that specialises in metal detectors and they sell both entry level, and professional metal detectors. Their motto, however, is ‘now entry level, is next level’. One of the best things about this company is that they sell stock all over the world and they have multiple places in the UK that you can purchase their stock from, including Amazon.

One of the best Minelab metal detectors is the Vanquish 440, which is highly recommended. This metal detector has Multi IQ technology, which means that it has the combined power of multiple detectors all built into one device. It works on all different types of metal, including silver, gold, and jewellery, and it also works on all terrains.

The Vanquish 440 works on all terrains and most importantly, will work perfectly at the beach. It has pre-programmed modes that are optimised to perform depending on your needs. You can also save your preferred settings to custom mode, making it more easily accessible. It works on the beach in dry sand, wet sand, and even in the salt water. 

It also has specific settings that are designed to accept or reject different types of metals, depending on what you’re searching for. 

This metal detector is relatively lightweight, weighing in at 1.2kg and has a collapsible snap-lock system that makes it much easier to pack away and take with you on the go. 

It has automatic noise cancelling and lag free audio response with three volume settings. You can set your audio preferences easily. 

This device is also waterproof and the coils are waterproof up to one metre. It also features a water resistant control pod that comes with a rain cover. 

It also features a pin point mode that will help you to locate your finds with more precision. 

Minelab Equinox 600

The Minelab Equinox 600 is a more expensive metal detector than the previous model mentioned, but with a higher price comes better features. It does sport the same Multi-IQ technology for enhanced performance, but it does also have some different features.

The first noticeable feature is that it has different settings for different locations . It claims to be equally adaptable for all target types and all ground conditions. Its location settings include the park, beach, and a field, so it is definitely perfect for beachcombing. 

This metal detector also has a fast recovery speed with accurate target identification, which ensures that you won’t miss out on any treasures during your trip. 

Each detect mode features two custom search profiles, so you can set your favourite settings into both custom modes for easier access. It is also compatible with wireless headphones with its ultra-fast wireless audio. 

This device is also fully submersible and is very ideal for detecting at the beach. It can even be submerged up to three metres underwater. It is also relatively lightweight and weighs in at 1.34kg. 

Garrett Ace Apex

This product has multi-flex technology and has six different frequency settings that include:

  • 5 kHz
  • 10 kHz
  • 15 kHz
  • 20 kHz
  • Multi-frequence
  • Multi-salt

The multi-flex technology is powered by a broad bandwidth digital platform that gives you more versatility than some other metal detectors. You can choose single frequencies to narrow down your search on specific targets, or you can use the multi frequency modes to target everything at once. 

This metal detector also sports an adjustable arm and cuff, and has a fully waterproof grip for you to hold on to. It also has built in Z-lynk wireless capability and a control box with an intuitive memory system.

It also features iron volume, which allows the user to reduce the volume for iron targets, and keep other targets at a normal volume level. This way, you can decrease the volume for things that you aren’t really looking for, but you can still be notified. There are eight volume settings for flexibility. 

This device also has a high detection depth on a wide variety of materials and it is highly versatile, making it ideal for beachcombing as it also works in saltwater. It is fully waterproof and is also lightweight, weight only 1.1kg and has an estimated battery life of 12 hours. 

What You Need to Know Before You Purchase a Metal Detector

Beaches are one of the best places to take a metal detector due to their popularity. People are constantly losing their things all the time at the beach and items also get washed up with the tides daily. This means that there is always treasure at the beach that is waiting to be found. 

Whilst all metal detectors search for metal objects and materials, not all metal detectors will work on the beach. The three that are mentioned in this list are suitable for all terrains and will work on dry sand, wet sand, and even in the saltwater sea. You need to make sure that the detector that you choose can handle being used in wet environments. It will need some degree of waterproofing, and if you intend to use it in the water, be sure to check how far you can submerge it into the water.

Saltwater will affect metal detectors in the same way that highly mineralised soil would. It can become difficult to focus on valuable items when there is so much interference. Metal detecting in or around saltwater will require a metal detector that has multiple frequencies. Single frequencies cannot provide accurate target IDs in water. This is not the case if you only intend to work on dry sand. In this case, single frequencies should suffice, as long as the device can be used on sand. 

Multi frequency metal detectors are likely to be more expensive than single frequency ones, but they are going to provide you with what you need. 

Ground tracking is another important feature to consider as it will allow your metal detector to detect what type of sand or soil conditions you are searching in. 

Another thing to note is that most metal detectors will have waterproof and submersible coils, but the rest of the detector is not waterproof and cannot be used underwater. It is important to check this before you purchase. All it takes is one strong wave and your detector is fully underwater. If it isn’t fully waterproof, then it will break.

You should also consider the weight of the metal detector. If it is too heavy for you to use easily on your own, then it isn’t going to be suitable for a long day beachcombing. You can get a detector that is designed to be lightweight, which will enable you to use it for longer without getting tired.