9 Best Metal Detectors for 2020 | Ultimate Guide & Reviews

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  • Post last modified:August 14, 2020

Metal detecting is a fun hobby that people have enjoyed for many years. It’s a great way to explore historic sites while searching for your own treasure to unearth. Since, the technology of detectors is always advancing, it, may be difficult to find the right one.

In this article, we will go over all the best metal detectors for 2020 to help you find the perfect one. We have also put together the Ultimate Guide to help you with your buying choice.

Overall, people think of someone older and possibly bored who has nothing to do but wander around looking for bottle caps. Those people could not be more wrong and should really try it out for themselves, or at least read this explanation for why it’s so much fun!

There is treasure everywhere if people are willing to look for it. As much as you are guaranteed to come across those pesky bottle caps or useless soda can remnants from time to time, you will also come across old coins from countries you’ve never heard of or always dreamed to visit. You can find antique items from someone’s home or metal buttons from a vintage item that matches your favorite jacket.

It’s worth the effort, giving it a try is the first step and the rest speaks for itself!


Comparison Chart of the Best Metal Detectors for 2020

Below you will find our easy-to-read comparison chart of the Best Selling Metal Detectors on Amazon. Here you can compare all the latest features of each model to help you find the perfect detector for any situation.

Bounty Hunter
Land Ranger Pro
  • Best Overall!
  • 7 Operation Modes
  • 5 Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA
Jump to detailsCheck Price
Garrett Ace 300
Metal Detector
  • Highest Rated!
  • Upgraded Model
  • Includes Free Accessories
  • Made in the USA
Jump to detailsCheck Price
Teknetics Delta 4000
Metal Detector
  • Amazon’s Choice!
  • Large Digital Display
  • Waterproof Coil
  • All-Metal Mode
Jump to detailsCheck Price

Our Expert Metal Detector Reviews

In this section, you will find comprehensive reviews for the best metal detectors for 2020. We also included a list of each of their Pros & Cons along with all their features and benefits.

1. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro “Best Overall”

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Review
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The Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector is the result of 9 years of research and development by the US manufacturer, Bounty Hunter.

One of the first things that stood out to me about this product is the fact that it comes out with a waterproof coil, whilst most manufacturers are still releasing their devices with entry-level concentric coils. Sure, the concentric coils have been around since the early days of metal detectors and might still be a winner in polluted terrain, nevertheless, I think the fact that it is waterproof makes it much more versatile and durable.

The Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector has a “V-Break” function, which allows the user to change the audio response to certain targets, whilst this does not change the detectors performance at all, it allows the user to customize the metal detector in terms of having control over the targeted treasure. It is also Multi Toned, meaning it produces different sounds, depending on what type of metal is detected, which obviously helps to provide valuable and more specific information about the detected object.

The product is available on Amazon and can qualify for Free Prime Shipping, which makes it very affordable compared to other products in the same range. With the bounty hunter there is no need for second thoughts as you can rest assured that you will be receiving a complete device.

Highlighted Features and Specs:

  • Large LCD Screen
  • Ground Grab/Ground effect settings
  • Multi-tone (4Tones)
  • Conductivity Reader
  • Variable Notching
  • V-Break System
  • Indication of the depth of the target
  • Weighs only 2.4 pounds
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Ease of Use
  • Waterproof Double-D Coil
  • More aesthetically pleasing than most metal detectors
Cons
  • Unstable in highly mineralized soil

To summarize, this product is without a doubt the best metal detector presented by Bounty Hunter. It has a 5 year warranty, is sold at an affordable price and with all the essential settings for a fun and effective detecting experience. Versatile, compact.


2. Garrett Ace 300 Metal Detector “Highest Rated”

Garrett Ace 300 with Accessories
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Quality built and easy to operate, an excellent companion for the novice to mid-level treasure hunter! The simplified interface is informative, yet not so much that it becomes overwhelming or intimidating for beginners. This is the upgraded version of the discontinued ACE 250.

The ACE 300 features a digital target ID, which is a numerical scale from 0-99 which indicates the conductivity of the targeted object. It also has adjustable frequency, which, whilst not being something that will be used very often, is convenient to have, search modes are also helpful if you would like to specify the types of targets you are looking for, for example, coins or jewelry)

The ACE 300 also has enhanced iron resolution, meaning more segments of iron detection than previous models, making the model more adept at screening out junk items. Offering 5 search modes: Zero- no discrimination, Jewelry, Custom, Relics and Coins

Other features include:

  • 3 Audio tone ID levels for addition target ID
  • 8 Sensitivity adjustments to control depth
  • Electronic pinpointing to make the target easier to find
  • Depth indicator, which lets you know how deep you need to dig
Pros
  • Enhanced Iron resolution (easier to separate trash targets from adjacent “good” targets
  • Large PRO search Coil
  • User Friendly
  • Waterproof Coil
  • Made in the USA
  • Economical
Cons
  • No Adjustable Ground balance

The ACE 300 is an entry level metal detector, but make no mistake, it has some pretty convenient features that will definitely make you metal detecting much more exciting and worthwhile! Quality built and easy to operate, the ace three hundred is the perfect machine for someone looking for something that’s dependable, yet affordable.


3. Teknetics Delta 4000 “Amazon’s Choice”

Teknetics Delta 4000 Metal Detector
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If you want to make those treasure hunting trips a success, then you will need a functional metal detector. Read on to find out if this one suits your needs!

Designed with both enthusiasts of an advanced level, as well as beginners in mind. Whilst the build might seem pretty ordinary and minimal for some, the teknetics 4000 has many unique and key features that might make this the best metal detector on Amazon.

These features include a perceptive and user friendly menu system, different tones, discrimination between items by categories, and ground balance! It also features BOTH numerical and visual ID, which has allowed the company to present you with a unique product. Making it perfect for beginners who do not know how to read the numerical scale yet and for more advanced treasure junkies.

Pros
  • Superb Battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Combined visual and numerical target identification
  • Can scan for object nearly a foot underground
  • Product comes with a warranty of 5 years
Cons
  • Lacks ground balancing

Overview: The Teknetics Delta 4000 is perfect for advanced users and beginners that want all the bells and whistles. It’s ideal for coin shooting and relic hunting and has a battery life of around 25 hours. You can find it on Amazon at an affordable price. At 3.5 pounds it’s also considered to be lightweight and will not be tiring you out too fast!


4. National Geographic Pro series metal detector

National Geographic Junior Metal Detector
Click to See on Amazon

Light enough for kids, build with the tech for pros. Easy to use and fully adjustable, with high quality performance and simple operation.  This product features a 10″ waterproof detection coil as well as 4 sensitivity modes to detect treasure as deep as 12 inches underground (sounds about perfect for beach treasure hunting)

This product is especially easy to use, just unfold and go, easy to travel with as it is both compact and lightweight. Whilst this product is designed by National Geographic Toys, and seems like a perfect gift for boys and girls, providing years of excitement, it’s also packed with PRO features, such as 3 detection Nodes, 4 sensitivity levels and pinpoint location to help you distinguish between trash and treasure. Feeling self-conscious about the audio, lucky for you, this model also has an audio port which is compatible with headphones.

Product has a two-year warranty and is a quality and well-rounded device suitable for the entire family to use.

Pros
  • Wand is adjustable to arm length and height
  • Waterproof coil, meaning it’s great for a variety of environmental conditions.
  • Portable, lightweight and collapsing to just 22”- Making it perfect to fit into you backpack for easy detecting on the go
  • Affordable family fun
  • Built for both kids (14 years or older recommended) as well as adults, for whom it has powerful searching features experienced treasure hunters love
Cons
  • Only features a two-year warranty, where most has a five year to lifetime warranty

5. Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal detector

Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector
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This metal detector has a 9-inch triangular concentric coil, which can find objects as deep as 9 inches underground, about average compared to other metal detectors in our lineup. However, it features 10 levels of sensitivity which you can adjust if you are experiencing a lot of feedback or not picking up anything at all. It also has a notch feature which allows you to exclude metals of your choosing in your search for treasure!

This Metal detector would be great for someone new to the hobby, and you can select between different modes for your hunt, choosing between jewelry, coins, artifacts or even a custom setting that you can set to your own liking. While some metal detectors might distinguish for you between trash and treasure, this one rather notes whether an object is near the conductivity range of gold, silver or iron.

Another unique thing about this metal detector is the fact that it runs on two AA batteries, whilst most run on 9 Volt batteries, however, the difference does not appear to affect the battery life at all!

Has a 5-year warranty

Pros
  • Relatively easy to assemble
  • Does not require a hood for the display if you are out in the rain (weather proof)
  • Volume adjustment
  • Additional Search modes
  • Weighs Only 2.3 Pounds
Cons
  • Relies on numerical target ID, meaning you have a learning curve to overcome before you can know what the numbers mean.
  • The Coil is not waterproof and may not be submerged
  • No Ground balance

Final Thoughts: An easy to assemble, pick up and go for just about anyone, the hood display being weatherproof also makes it much more versatile, however, the coil is not waterproof and should not be submerged in water.


6. RM Ricomax Metal Detector

RM Ricomax Metal Detector for Adults and Kids
Click to See on Amazon

This Metal detector comes with a lifetime warranty, which goes to show just how confident RM Ricomax is in their product! The manufacturer further offers a replacement plan at no additional cost to you (If you buy via Amazon)

The RM Ricomax metal detector features a modern, LCD screen and comes with 3 search modes as well as a pinpoint mode. It can detect up to eight inches and displays how deep the object detected is. It also features a headphone jack

Whilst the RM Ricomax features a waterproof coil, the control box is not, but this will still allow for use at the beach and in shallow water.

I think this metal detector is best suited for beginners who are looking for something that is both affordable (at under $150) and easy to use.

Some key features include:

True discrimination mode, which means you can eliminate any metals you don’t want.

Bigger coil, which means it’s much more efficient as you can now find objects deeper underground.

The P/P function and distinctive audio prompt- what this means is that there are distinctive audio tones for different types of metal, so after some time of using this product, you will be able to tell exactly what metal you’ve come across. The P/P function allows you to pinpoint your target accurately

Pros
  • Lightweight (2.31 pounds)
  • Waterproof search coil, so you are able to detect items on the beach or in streams
  • Has and audio jack
  • Discrimination mode to allow for filtering of metals you don’t want
Cons
  • Not weather proof
  • Does not come with batteries included

7. Canway Metal detector

Canway High Accuracy Metal Detector
Click to See on Amazon

This product can detect 7 kinds of metal, including iron, old and silver, with its adjustable height it means it is not only suitable for adults, but also for kids. Also features a waterproof coil which means it is perfect for detecting on the beach or in streams. With distinctive audio tones you can tell what type of metal you detected and pinpoint the target location.

It can also pinpoint your treasure find and tell you exactly how deep below ground it is, perfect for

This product also includes a shovel and a large carrying bag!

Pros
  • Waterproof Coil
  • Has a headphone jack
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Adjustable
  • Backlit LCD screen
Cons
  • Compared to other metal detectors, this is one is quite heavy, at 6.05 pounds

Our Verdict? With a lifetime warranty, it goes to show that the manufacturer is not only confident in their product, but that they believe that their product is superior and durable. Suitable for both adults and kids as its height is adjustable, ensuring fun treasure hunting for the entire family- however, the weight of this one might get in the way just a bit


8. URCERI GC1028 Metal detector

Urceri Metal Detector for Adults
Click to See on Amazon

Other than being able to detect up to seven types of metal, this product is also constructed with an 8.7 diameter waterproof search coil for extreme ground conditions and shallow water detection. The angle of the coil as well as the length of the rod is fully adjustable, and it also features P/P Searching mode, meaning you can pinpoint the exact location of your target.

Discrimination/Notch control lets you distinguish between your targets and unwanted trash.

A large Color LCD screen displays the depth, discrimination, operating mode, sensitivity and battery level, and the product also allows for a headphone jack. It offers an extraordinary tour of finding metal deposits and has an easy to use interface, ideal for bot pros and beginners.

Pros
  • Waterproof search coil
  • Includes a foldable shovel and carrying bag
  • Sturdy construction
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Under $100
  • Automatic Ground Balance
Cons
  • Weighs 6.6 lbs

This product is extremely versatile, will work just fine in shallow water such as streams or at the beach, the rod being fully adjustable also ensures that the products can be used by all shapes and sizes- However, the product is on the heavier side compared to others and if you are looking to buy this product for kids then it might not be for you.


9. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker Metal detector

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker 4
Click to See on Amazon

Another one from Bounty Hunter, with this sleek and modern design, you can detect objects up to 8 inches deep, if the objects are larger however, the product is able to detect up to 2 feet. What’s more, it only weighs around 4.2 lbs. and the length is fully adjustable. The search coil is waterproof and the product includes features like discrimination mode, to eliminate unwanted metals, Automatic Ground Balance, sensitivity control, and whilst it has a built in speaker it also features a headphone jack.

The user interface looks sleek and modern, with an easy to use knob for maximum depth of detection or sensitivity control. You can easily flick between discrimination, all metal and tone modes simply by flicking the toggle.

With just two knobs and dual audio tones, it has a quick learning curve but can still handle most hunting conditions.

Pros
  • Most difficult aspect of metal detector operation has been eliminated as it has ground balancing
  • Will detect in extreme ground conditions and mineralized sites with no adjustment to sensitivity
  • Lightweight at only 3.7 pounds
  • Adjustable Stem
  • Able to detect larger objects up to two feet deep
  • 5 years’ warranty
Cons
  • Motion metal detector, meaning it must be moving in order to detect anything and won’t give any signals if it’s just being held over an item

With a budget Price, simple control panel, and lightweight design, this seems to be the ultimate beginners metal detector. Build ruggedly to ensure that it can be used often and in less than desirable conditions.


Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

Still not sure which metal detector will be best for you? In the section below, our team of experts put together the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide which includes everything you need to know about metal detecting.

History | How Did Metal Detecting Start?

In the 1800’s, the invention of electricity made people realize that the technology could be used to detect metals. Gold miners in particular started to make attempts to develop the technology to support their work. Interestingly, the first public record of a metal detector being used was developed for a very different reason.

President James Garfield was shot in the back during July of 1881 and the doctors who were trying to save him struggled to find the bullet. They thought that a metal detector could assist in the process, so they enlisted the help of Alexander Graham Bell who had been developing such a machine. Unfortunately, the metal in the bed threw the machine off course and the efforts to find the bullet were not successful and President Garfield later died from a wound infection.

Bell did not stop his efforts to perfect his machine, however. He called it the “induction balance” and patented the machine that he made in September of 1881. The detector that Bell developed became the prototype for all of the more perfected machines that came after it, so it can truly be considered the beginning of the phenomenon.

Years later, Gerhard Fisher noticed an issue with how his radio picked up signal and when he was trying to work out the issue, he discovered how to make metal detection technology smaller. This resulted in the first portable metal detector and Fisher was granted a patent in 1925. His machines were open for commercial sale and available to the public by 1931.

More technology came about in the subsequent decades, transistors and discrimination technology became the new advancements that took the science of metal detecting to a new level. In the 1960’s, the electrical engineer, Charles Garrett, developed new search coil technology that truly revolutionized the science and brought the machines into the modern era that we see today.

As the years went by, my lightweight plastics and portable machines that were easier to use were developed. When wireless technology became easily utilized, that added a new dimension of innovation to the field that many can appreciate today.

Metal Detecting Tips & Tricks

There are a lot of tips and tricks to metal detection that people should know before going out on their first excursions.

  • Take Your Time: You are guaranteed to find more junk than rare finds, so it is wise to be mentally prepared for that. Go slow, take your time and be patient while you search. Always take a decently sized bag with you so that you can stash the treasure when you do find it, but another so that you can toss the trash and help clean the neighborhood as you go!
  • Don’t Skimp but Don’t Break the Bank: When starting out, you need to make sure that you get a detector that is going to function well and not disappoint. However, before you know how much you love the thrill of the chase then you may not want to spend too much. Do your research and get the best machine within reason for your budget.
  • Start at Home: We really mean it! Start in your own backyard or neighborhood, go to the local park down the street or along the local creek. You should begin this adventure in a place that is familiar to you so that you get the hang of the process.
  • Keep Moving Forward: Try to move to a new area each time that you go out searching for treasure. You can return to the same location, but if you went to a park today and came up empty then you should probably wait for some time before returning to the same park. Of course, if it was a treasure trove then it won’t hurt to sweep it one more time and make sure that you didn’t miss anything!
  • Go When the Getting’s Good: Avoid high traffic times when you can, too much foot traffic means people are trampling the area, possibly carrying metals and doing other things to disrupt your search. Try to do your metal detecting in the early morning or evenings while people are having dinner. You have a better chance of not being distracted or bothered if you choose the best hour.
  • Don’t Ignore the Signs: You will quickly realize that there are often faint sounds through your machine that you are tempted to ignore. Instead, sweep the surface and check again and sweep areas a second or third time to be sure you picked up every signal. If you hear it, dig for it because it could be that life-changing piece of treasure that you had hoped for!
  • Timing is Everything: Metal detecting after it rains actually makes the ground more conductive and can give you a better signal. Also, think about scheduling more time for detecting in the spring. After the winter cold has thawed away, it opens up a lot of area for detecting that may have been overlooked during the colder months.
  • Use the Right Coils, and Use Them Well: Keep the coils parallel to the ground while you search the area to get the best possible signal. You also should pay attention to the size of your coil and its effectiveness for your search. If the area has a lot of trash that could confuse the machine, for example, use a smaller coil to ensure more targeted signals are being picked up.

What Tools Do You Need?

Metal detectors are just one part of what you need to get the most out of your treasure hunt experience. If that is all that you can afford, then there is nothing wrong with getting started there. If you are able to get some additional items, here are a few recommendations.

  1. Digging: When your signal picks something up, you can definitely start the search with your hands. However, if the item is far enough below ground or if the dirt is particularly wet or packed then you may need something to dig with. A hand digger or trowel of some kind would definitely come in handy.
  2. Collecting: As mentioned, you want to be sure to have something to collect things in like a bag. However, you also want to bring a towel or something to wipe things off with to analyze more closely. You want to be sure of what it is before you decide if it goes in the bag with the keepers or with the trash!
  3. Honing In: Your detector is great and will normally pick up the signals that you need. Sometimes, though, you may find that you need a more exact location on what it is the machine is picking up. A pinpointer is a great tool for figuring out exactly where the buried treasure is before you start digging.

Best Places to Go Metal Detecting

You can go to the standard park or beach and find some great items, but metal detecting can be more fun when some creative thought is put into where to search. Campground or underneath bleachers at schools or stadiums can provide for some really unique searches, but the hunt gets even more fun when you look into the history of where you want to search.

After harvesting is completed, some farmers will let people do some metal detecting on their property. Make sure to get permission and be respectful of how you leave the land, but it could be worth a good sweep. Construction sites are harder to get permission for, and you definitely need to be cautious of the many hazards that could be on site but they are often a great place to uncover things before the new project is completed.

Almost every area has old railroad tracks or abandoned industrial parks that are sitting there, waiting to be searched by metal detecting enthusiasts! Places like this may be challenging to find, so here are some suggestions for how to hunt them down.

  1. Check out your local library. Libraries have treasures of their own in the way of old city records and plans that can tell you where good metal detecting locations used to be.
  2. Local museums can help. Take a walk through the tour and ask a lot of questions about what is in place of the buildings they teach about today. You never know what information local historians may have about what is currently standing in your town.
  3. Search old newspapers. If your town has any folklore or history that you know of or learn of through the library and museum, the local newspaper may have more information about the context of what can be found there.
  4. Check emergency services records. Your local police or fire department may have information just waiting to be discovered about what happened to old churches, schools or other buildings in the area before your time. This could give you a really good lead on an area that you would never hear about otherwise!
  5. Local colleges have it all. Not only do local schools have their own libraries with records of the history in the area, but they tend to have a lot of history of their own through museums and emergency service records. Try to ask some questions there and see if you can go through some of their libraries, too.

Conclusion

It may sound like a lot of work, but metal detecting is absolutely worth the effort. It is addictive and somewhat contagious once you start finding things that are worth finding, and for more reasons than one!

Discovering treasure in your neighborhood makes you feel connected to the history of the place where you live. You have no idea who that item belonged to or why it was left there, but the fact that you now possess it makes you a part of the history of that item. It can be a really cool feeling when that knowledge drives you to hunt down the fuller history of what the story of that item is and it may be a story that surprises you.

Of course, there could be some monetary value in the items that you find but there could be something sentimental there too. You may find someone’s wedding ring and be able to get it back to them or find an antique votive that was part of someone’s estate who missed it. You could end up finding a piece of treasure that could really make an impact in someone else’s life, let alone what it could do for yours!

The process of metal detecting is good for your health as well. It keeps the mind sharp because it takes strategy and planning but it also forces you to keep your blood pumping. Walking consistently, waving the detector consistently, digging, bending, squatting down to the ground are all movements that, when done regularly, can help keep you healthy.

There are so many reasons to try metal detecting and so many adventures to be had along the way. The amount of treasure in the world is endless and it could be lying literally anywhere, so don’t wait another second to get started.