Starting a new hobby can be expensive, especially if you want to start something like metal detecting, as you will need to purchase specialist equipment to be able to take part.
We have done all the leg work for you, finding the best metal detectors to help you choose and buy the best detector for the job you want it to do.
If you want to find hidden treasures from the past, you will not be able to find them without a metal detector as they are usually buried in the ground.
To start metal detecting, you will need to put together a kit of sorts to help you find those treasures hidden beneath the surface and at the top of the list is a metal detector.
Our best pick
Garrett Euro Ace
The Garrett Ace range comes in only one colour, which is black and yellow. The Euro Ace is lightweight and easy to use with great sensitivity which means more chances of finding treasure.
Garrett Euro Ace
Garrett is an American brand; they have been producing commercial and hobby metal detectors for many years. The first Garrett metal detector was released in 1964 and Garrett still makes the same great quality detectors with significant modern-day upgrades.
The EuroAce is also known as the Ace 350, the only difference between the two is the Ace 350 has the American denominations on the display panel and it shows the depth in cm’s and not inches.
Unlike the other detectors in this line, the Europe Ace gives the user more control to fine-tune the Iron discrimination levels, giving you more control over distinguishing the good stuff from the rubbish.
It also incorporates a new Double-D PRO formance search coil, which is reported to provide further depth and overall performance, making it a welcomed addition among beginner and well-seasoned detectorists.
The Euro Ace has an improved higher frequency of 8.25Khz, which helps to locate smaller items, including gold.
The Euro Ace was built with the intention of using it on European soil, so it performs quite well on most terrains and is reported to be far more superior than its counterparts by many detectorists.
Garrett Euro ACE Metal Detector
- Advanced LCD graphic screen
- Five preset hunting modes
- Improved Audio
- Coin depth indicator
- Pinpoint feature
- Eight sensitivity settings
- Enhanced Iron Resolution
- Higher Frequency—New 8.25 kHz
- large Double-D coil 28 x 22 cm
- Full range notch discrimination
- Graphic target ID
- Touch & go technology
Nokta Makro simplex +
Nokta Makro is based in Turkey and has been producing metal detectors since 2003. Like Garrett, Nokta Makro has become a reputable, trusted manufacturer of metal detectors.
The simplex+ is the first waterproof detector to come on the market featuring high end capabilities at entry-level prices. It is so simple to use, making it suitable for beginners as well as experts.
The simplex + is literally a turn on and go metal detector with super easy to use settings. If you cannot afford a detector at the higher end of the scale, but you want all of its capabilities, then this is the detector for you.
Nokta Makro Simplex+
- Fully submersible up to 3 meters frequency shift
- Turn off/adjust low iron tone
- Notch Discrimination
- Discriminates Target IDs of unwanted metals
- Online Firmware Updates
- Built-in Wireless Module
- Vibrate mode
- Underwater detection
- Search Modes
- Lighting for Night & Underwater Use.
- Retractable Shaft
- Lightweight (1.3kg / 2.9Ibs)
Minelab started its journey in Dubai in 2015 even though it hasn’t been around for as long as Garrett or Nokta Makro. They are a well-established manufacturer of metal detectors and can easily hold their own against the other two.
The reason that the safari comes in third in our list is that this detector can take some getting used to, which can make it a little difficult for beginners. Still, this article is based on the best metal detectors and not beginner metal detectors, and for that reason, it makes the top three.
What we like most about the Safari is the preset modes which you can set and go, but it does also have settings that you can personalise to your own preferences. It has an 11-inch screen, and a Double-D waterproof coil; however, this particular metal detector is not fully waterproof.
The safari incorporates FBS (full band spectrum) and simultaneously transmits, receives and analyses a full band of 28 frequencies providing the Safari with lots of information about the object and the surrounding environment. You can adjust the sensitivity, threshold, target volume, discrimination which will give better accuracy.
The safari also has a pinpoint function which can hone-in on the exact location of an object, which will increase your finds capability.
Minelab Safari Pro
- 11″ Double D waterproof coil
- Four pre-programmed detection modes
- Four programmable user modes
- 10 to +40 discrimination scale.
- Fully automatic and manual sensitivity
- New VCO pinpoint with audio and visual indicators
- Improved ground filtering and discrimination
- Threshold adjustment level on a 0-40 scale
- Target volume adjust
- Noise Cancel
- A long lower shaft allowing extra extension for user comfort
- Ergonomic design
Best metal detectors – buyers guide
You can find metal detectors pretty much everywhere these days. The problem with this is that many of them are just toys labelled as metal detectors, and once bought you realise that they are not worth the money that was paid for them. That or you don’t find anything and lose interest thinking there was nothing to find when there was it was just the metal detector wasn’t powerful enough to be able to find it.
We have listed three well established and highly trusted metal detector manufacturers in this guide. Even if you don’t purchase one the detectors listed here at least you know that they are brands you can trust for function and reliability and can take the next step to research the one that you do want.
Choosing a metal detector
When choosing a metal detector, it is important to factor in a few things, where will you be detecting? What will you be detecting? And what do you want to find?
All of the models listed will pretty much find anything you want, and they can be used on a mixture of different terrains, including the beach. As you don’t need permission to detect on most beaches that’s probably where you will end up.
As stated the first two detectors are waterproof so you can use them in streams, rivers but caution should be taken in saltwater.
Even though these are best all-round metal detectors and not entry-level detectors they can be great for beginners, buying one of these rather than a cheaper model will also save you the hassle of needing to upgrade when you outgrow the entry-level machine.
It is also worth bearing in mind that cheaper models from these ranges do tend to hold their value, so even if you do buy a more affordable model you can get almost all of your money back on resale.
Entry-level models tend to struggle with high mineralised areas; most only have pre-set settings which can’t always be adjusted. But you shouldn’t have any issues with the ones we have listed.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need any technical knowledge to buy a metal detector?
You don’t need to have any knowledge to buy a metal detector; you will learn lots as you become more accustomed to the hobby, but If you do want to gain some more in-depth knowledge then joining some support groups dedicated to metal detecting should be your first port of call.
How deep will a metal detector go?
This will depend on the type of detector you buy as well as the terrain, each detector will have a specific depth, but I’ve heard of detectors detecting way deeper than it was said to be capable of.
Why do metal detectorists wear headphones?
They wear headphones to reduce outside noise when detecting and to better hear the signals from the metal detector.
What is the sensitivity control?
The sensitivity on a metal detector is usually set to it’s max and ignored, but sometimes turning the sensitivity down can lead to a reduction in false targets and an increase in positive ones.