What are the Best Beginners Metal Detectors?

By Daniel Bernzweig

Treasure hunting for a beginner with a metal detector can be exciting for all ages: kids, teenagers and adults alike! There is so much recoverable treasure in or near your own neighborhood; you really don’t have to go far. Even in the city, you can find hidden money caches, buried antique bottles, lost coins and jewelry, historical relics and other valuables. Using a metal detector to locate and dig up these items is becoming a popular hobby and it’s easy for beginners to get started. A handful of basic accessories like a carry bag, digger headphones, and a sand scoop and you are ready to go. The good news is that with just a cost-effective metal detector and a natural sense of curiosity, you will be ready get your treasure hunt on.

Best Metal Detectors for Beginners

We show our top two picks in the beginners section of our article on the best metal detectors and the full list below. In that article we noted that "When you first start out, you'll want a machine that matches your skill level. Getting a complex machine can be overwhelming for beginners, and might actually deter you from maintaining the hobby. The last thing anyone wants is for you to spend money on a machine that is ultimately not a good fit. No matter what kind of items you're interested in searching for when you get started, getting a detector that's suited for beginners can help keep you remain engaged, find your comfort zone, and grow your skill organically." 

Our Top 12 Picks

In our comprehensive list below we have included metal detector reviews from real detectorists that have purchased and used the models below. You can find feed back from users in all types of ground conditions. Many of these units feature a preset or automatic ground balance to filter out minerals. Learn the unbiased truth of their experiences from metal detecting on the beach to use in shallow water and even in the salt water. 

1. Garrett Ace 400

Price: $339.96 Reviews

As the top model in the Garrett ACE metal detector line, the Garrett ACE 400 offers advanced features like Iron Audio, digital target ID, and frequency adjustment to help you dig more treasures and less trash. Includes headphones, a cover for the coil, and an environmental cover.


  • Search Coil: 8.5" x 11" DD PROformance™ search coil.  
  • Iron Audio™ Discriminate iron targets and alter your mid-tone signal range to cancel out trash targets
  • Frequency: 10 kHz adjustable frequency for more target options and better accuracy
  • Pinpoint Feature: Built-in pinpoint mode to zoom in on target
  • Search Modes: Five search modes (Jewelry, Coins, Relics, Custom, Zero Discrimination) + Pinpointing
  • Included Accessories: Garrett ClearSound headphones, Ace environmental cover, search coil cover
  • Extra Iron Discrimination: Best iron identification in iron or trash-laden sites

2. Bounty Hunter Titanium

Price: $229.95 Reviews

With the Bounty Hunter Titanium, you will discover the oldest and oldest coins, rings, jewelry, and relics. This detector is Bounty Hunters' middle-range premium metal detector. The model has both audio and visual target identification, 2 preset modes, expanded depth reading, and a jumbo LCD display.  


  • Search Coil - Waterproof search coil 8" Concentric
  • 7.8 kHz Frequency - Perfect for an all-purpose detector.
  • 2 Preset Modes
  • Expanded Depth Reading
  • Pinpoint Mode
  • Preset Ground Balance
  • Audio ID Tones - 3 Tones

3. Bounty Hunter Platinum 

Price: $299.95 Reviews

With its easy-to-use custom programs, ground balance control, expanded depth reading, and jumbo LCD display, this metal detector is at the top of its class. This lightweight, modern metal detector from Bounty Hunter weighs just over two pounds.


  • Search Coil - Waterproof 8" Concentric
  • 7.81 kHz Frequency - Perfect for an all-purpose detector.
  • Enhanced Target Identification - With custom programs
  • 2 Preset Modes
  • Expanded Depth Reading
  • Pinpoint Mode
  • Manual or Auto Ground Balance
  • Audio ID Tones - 4 Tones

4. Garrett Ace 300

Price: $254.96 Reviews

For a price that is not to be beat, Garrett has included great features into the ACE 300, including digital target ID, a better audio system, and more. Includes headphones and an environmental cover. Additionally, this model comes with a 7" x 10" concentric PROformance search coil for enhanced coverage and detection depth. ACE 300 features a higher frequency of 8 kHz for better sensitivity to both low and medium conductivity targets.


  • Search Coil: 7" x 10" Concentric PROformance Search Coil for additional coverage and detection depth
  • Pinpoint Feature: Built-in pinpoint mode to zoom in on target
  • Search Modes: Five search modes (Jewelry, Coins, Relics, Custom, Zero Discrimination) + Pinpointing
  • Included Accessories: Garrett ClearSound headphones, Ace environmental cover, search coil cover
  • Frequency: 8 kHz, adjustable, best for most targets
  • Extra Iron Discrimination: Best iron identification in iron or trash-laden sites

5. Fisher F22

Price: $229.00 Reviews

Fisher Research Labs' F22 is the second model in the latest F series. It features a professional weatherproof design. It is designed for tough hunting environments. Take advantage of the most cost-effective weatherproof machine available today with the F22. With its advanced features and ease of use, the Fisher F22 metal detector is a great option.


  • Target ID VDI: This is among the BEST features of this detector! Numbers are extremely accurate! Numbers 1-99 will tell you if you have located iron, foil, U.S. nickels, gold, zinc coins, copper, and silver
  • Search Coil: 9” Concentric coil for finding all common metal targets
  • Weatherproof: A unique feature for entry-level models, use the F22 in inclement (rainy) weather
  • 4 Search Modes: Includes: Jewelry, Coin, Artifact and Custom. Custom mode allows you to select a tone for your desired category
  • Notch Mode: This allows you to accept or reject different types of metal within each target category group
  • 5-Star Reviews: Great for parks and trashy areas

6. Garrett Ace Apex Wireless

Price: $492.96 Reviews

Multi-Flex technology from Garrett, fueled by a cutting edge, high-bandwidth digital platform, gives the Apex far greater versatility than any detector in its price range! Options include 5 kHz, 10 kHz, 15 kHz, 20 kHz, Multi-Frequency mode and Multi-Salt mode. Select from powerful single frequencies if you want to enhance detection on a specific target, or select one of Apex's simultaneous multifrequency modes to achieve excellent detection on every target in any soil.


  • 6"x11" DD Viper Searchcoil
  • Multi-Flex Technology
  • Fully Waterproof Grip
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Camlocks for additional ergonomic stem stability
  • Iron Volume
  • Six Detection Modes
  • Hi-Resolution Ground Balance
  • 5-Tone Audible Target ID
  • Lithium-Ion Battery
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • MS-3 Wireless Headphones

7. Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP

Price: $339.15 Reviews

Need an easy to use detector if you're new to metal detecting? What if you can't afford a high-end detector, but you just want the basic features of a high-end device? How about an affordable waterproof detector? It's SIMPLEX+ that covers it all if you said yes to any of the above. We are proud to offer the SIMPLEX+ as our first entry level detector, making quality metal detecting accessible and affordable to all. Turn-on & go detector with auto ground balancing! There are preset search modes, including beach mode, and a single menu for ease of use.


  • Search Coil: 11" DD
  • IP68 Waterproof control box up to 10ft (3m)
  • Built-in Rechargeable Lipo Battery
  • Vibration Alerts - Perfect for Underwater Use
  • Iron Audio with Volume Control
  • 4 Search Modes - All-Metal mode, Field, Park, and Beach.
  • LCD Backlight, Keypad Backlight, LED Flashlight
  • Auto and Manual Ground Balance
  • Frequency Shift
  • Notch Discrimination
  • Online Firmware Update - Get the latest from your detector with the latest software.
  • Wireless Audio with included 2.4 GHz Nokta Makro Wireless Headphones.

8. Fisher F5

Price: $299.95 Reviews

The Fisher F5 is the ideal metal detector for finding coins, jewelry, and relics. Ground tracking and an advanced display make it the ideal metal detector. If you're searching for coins, relics, or on the beach, then the Fisher F5 is a great choice. Digital and analog technologies are combined in this detector. This model features a high resolution manual ground balance adjustment for beach and relic hunters. With accurate ground balance settings, you can tailor this model precisely to your specific terrain.


  • Search Coil: Waterproof 10" elliptical concentric open center.
  • 7.8 kHz Frequency - perfect for coins, relics, and casual gold prospecting.
  • Frequency Shift - For eliminating electrical interference and cross-talk.
  • Audio ID Tones - 4 Tones
  • Advanced Software-Based Motion Discrimination - For searching in trashy areas.
  • Target ID Confidence Bar Graph
  • Discrimination Variability Control - Adjustable from 0-65
  • Adjustable Audio Pitch - Perfect for those with hearing loss at specific frequencies.
  • Ground Balance - Computer assisted ground balance.

9. Garrett AT Pro

Price: $552.46 Reviews

The Garrett AT Pro, the perfect metal detector for land and underwater detection, offers extreme depth and performance in all terrains. With the Garrett AT Pro metal detector, you can find treasure on your favorite terrain. Discover the Garrett AT Pro all-terrain metal detector - ideal for finding coins, jewelry, and relics on land, on beaches, and even underwater! To make pinpointing in the field faster, use the optional Garrett Pro-pointer pinpointer along with this model. 


  • Ease of Use: Can be used by beginners as well as seasoned detectorists with Standard and Professional Modes.
  • 15 kHz frequency for detection of small targets, nuggets and jewelry
  • Search Coil: 8.5” x 11” DD PROformance Search Coil
  • 6 Search Modes: (3 Standard/3 Pro). Standard includes Zero, Coins or Custom) Pro Mode provides more target information

10. Fisher F70

Price: $449.95 Reviews

One of the few metal detectors made to handle all aspects of treasure hunting is the Fisher F70. Suitable as a gold detector for gold prospecting, coin, relic, and jewelry hunting. Fisher's double-filter discrimination mode makes this metal detector worth its weight in gold. This distinguishes between unwanted metal objects, like aluminum and nails, and the more desirable metals. The Fisher F70 displays a two-digit setting number on its LCD monitor that indicates the type of ground mineralization, from wet salt to magnetite and other black iron minerals.


  • Standard Search Coil Package Option 1: Waterproof 10" elliptical concentric open center.
  • Optional Upgraded Search Coil Package Option 2: Waterproof 11” DD and 5” DD coils
  • 13kHz Frequency - For coin shooting, relic hunting, Jewelry hunting and gold prospecting.
  • Continuous Display of Ground Mineral Concentration
  • Audio ID Tones - From 1 to 99
  • Discrimination Variability Control - Adjustable from 0-65
  • Speed Selection - Slow setting is perfect for deep coins in non-trashy areas.
  • Ground Balance - Computer assisted ground balance.

11. Teknetics Omega 8500

Price: $389.00 Reviews

Teknetics Omega 8500 metal detector is a full-featured, easy-to-use coin, relic and jewelry detector. Beginners and experts alike will appreciate its intuitive user interface. Omega's 8500 is a top of the line machine with plenty of features to grow into. In the Teknetics line-up, the Omega 8500 is the latest high-end model. A fully featured coin, relic, and jewelry hunter that is easy to use. If you're looking for an easy-to-use, full-featured, top of the line machine, look no further than the Teknetics Omega 800. It features the largest DD coil for maximum depth and pinpointing.


  • Search Coil: 11" Waterproof
  • Ground Grab® Computerized Ground Balancing
  • Selectable All Metal Tones
  • Expanded Iron Range
  • Phase Error Readout
  • Analog Controls
  • Superior Pinpointing & Wide Sweep
  • Backlight
  • Notching Controls – Discrimination & Variable Volume by Category
  • Independent Gain and Threshold Control
  • Ground Mineralization Readout
  • Ground Phase Error Readout
  • Choice of 3 Tones plus V.C.O
  • Frequency Shift to Eliminate Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
  • Visual Background Iron-ID
  • Enhanced Multi-Level Depth Boost
  • Static Pinpoint

12. Garrett Ace 200

Price: $169.96 Reviews

Ace 200 is the first metal detector in the series. Garrett Ace 200 features an enhanced audio package, a large digital target identification system, and camlocks on the poles for increased stability. ACE 200 ships with a 6.5"x9" concentric PROformance coil that operates at 6.5 Khz.


  • 5-Star Reviews: Users find it easy to use, accurate with target ID and finds coins like a champion!
  • Search Coil: 6.5" x 9" Concentric Search Coil for coins, jewelry and basic metals
  • Frequency: 6.5 kHz frequency
  • Search Modes: Three easy to use search modes: Coins, Jewelry and Zero Discrimination or All Metals

Older and discontinued models

The Garrett Ace 250 was one of the most popular metal detectors in the Garret line. While the Ace 250 has been discontinued, the Garrett Ace 200, 300 and 400 metal detectors have replaced this model. A detailed comparison of how these detectors work is shown in our Ace series comparison guide. The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV has been replaced by the Bounty Hunter Legacy 2500. Unlike the older intensity needle meter on the Bounty Hunter TK4, the updated model features a digital LCD display and state of the art digital electronics.

Why do People Love the Hobby of Metal Detecting?

Being a treasure hunter is an inspiring alternative to doing the same old thing every day. Finding coins, valuable artifacts and jewelry is both lucrative and adventurous. It brings families together with a hobby that all will enjoy, while teaching important lessons about history and science. Many beginners really enjoy coin hunting with their metal detector. It’s not only fun and easy to do, but it can pay dividends. Finding even a few small gold nuggets, a gold coin or any rare coin can easily pay for the cost of the metal detector.

Metal detectors for beginners today can typically locate all metallic objects. This includes gold, silver, iron, nickel, copper, brass, aluminum, tin, lead and bronze. Metal detectors with a target identification display recognize common items such as iron, foil, soda can pull tabs, screw caps, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Some detectors also provide a target identification number to more precisely identify what type of metal you have located.

Parks are great places to start searching. They are readily available no matter where you live and have undoubtedly hosted plenty of activities over time where treasure has been lost or hidden. Successful places to search are areas where crowds have spent a great deal of time, such as open fields, picnic areas, hiking trails, ponds, lakes and streams.

Kids Metal Detecting: For the Fun of it!

For kids, there’s no greater excitement than finding buried treasure! There are specially designed metal detectors for kids- many are turn on and go, lightweight and simple to operate. Quality detectors for children still offer professional features, even without complex controls. Among the best features to look for in a kids’ detector include target identification, a large easy-to-read LCD display, visual depth indicator, and a waterproof search coil. Be sure to read our article on selecting the best kids metal detectors.

Teens: a Better Way to Earn Some Money

Let’s face it, older kids are harder to captivate and they become bored easily. Metal detecting is the perfect solution; it requires problem-solving skills and offers a potential cash reward! What teen wouldn’t like that idea? There are more coins buried in the soil then there are in circulation, so let the hunt begin! You can find inexpensive, mid-range and high-end detectors for slightly older children. While these detectors are also suitable for adults, they are designed to be simple to operate. 

Parents: Quality Time, Alone or with the Family

Time away from work is a hot commodity. Metal detecting is a great way to refresh and clear your mind. You can enjoy alone time while detecting or engage in a fun family treasure hunt. When shopping for a beginner’s metal detector, you should consider comfort, price and the type of terrain you will be searching. There are five common features on most metal detectors. Discrimination is the ability of your detector to ignore certain objects. An adjustable sensitivity enables you to set the depth of your search. Ground balance allows you to ignore signals from minerals in the soil, such as iron. The target ID function indicates your target depth and size. Volume control is an important function. A quality metal detecting headphone like the Audiophone II will include dual volume adjustments.

Retirees: A New, Exciting Hobby

Metal detecting offers what your mind needs to stay active and alert-- not to mention it’s good exercise! What could more fulfilling than carrying out a successful treasure recovery project in which you reap the rewards of hidden valuables? You can leisurely search local parks and beaches for interesting items. And with a little luck and experience, you can often find very valuable treasures, such as coins and antiques from the past. If you spend a little time researching your area (in the town room of your local library) you may be surprised at the hidden valuables and treasure caches that may be waiting nearby.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Metal Detector is the Easiest to Use?

When it comes to selecting an easy to use metal detector, you have lots of choices. In fact, most of the models we offer are designed with ease of use in mind. A model that is preset and features turn-on-and-go functionality will be your best bet.  The most popular easy-to-use metal detector series are the Nokta Makro SimplexGarrett Ace, and Fisher F series. With that said, do not let an adjustable ground balance or some advanced features worry you. Models with these advanced features will allow you to grow in to the hobby. You will quickly master these more advanced models after a few times using them.  

Which Brand of Metal Detector is the Best?

When search for the best metal detector, there are quite a few brands to choose from. Simply stated, each brand offers different features for the money. All of the brands we represent offer top quality detectors. So that better question is which brand offers the most for you? We have taken the time to review all of the metal detectors from the best brands in our best metal detector guide. We have organized a comprehensive guide to show the best brands of metal detectors within each type of metal detector. You can see the best metal detectors for each category of metal detecting here: goldsilvercoinsjewelryrelic huntingbeginnersexpertskidsbeach and for deep treasures.

What is the Best Metal Detector for a Beginner?

Not all beginner metal detectors are created equal. The inexpensive models that are available at toy stores and major retailers tend to be either older, outdated models or inexpensive imported toy quality units. Luckily, a professional quality metal detector for beginners fits easily within most hobbyists budgets. You can find a wide array of entry-level detectors that turn on and go. Basically, they offer just as many features as more expensive models, but they aren’t as advanced. It is best to choose a model made by a major manufacturer that has been supplying quality products to treasure hunters for years. They will be around to service your needs in the future.

If you want to invest a bit more, there are several high-quality models with deluxe features such as LCD target identification displays, visual depth indicators and multi-tone audio discrimination. These models will locate the oldest, deepest targets. In fact, many can actually operate under water.

When searching for relics, a relic hunting detector with a lower frequency will better target old artifacts than a detector with a higher one. This is because iron, brass and steel have a lower conductivity; therefore, a lower frequency model will best locate these items. Among the popular relics to search for in the U.S. include Civil War pieces such as colonial buckles, buttons, swords, and musket balls—as well as arrowheads, jewelry and medallions.

What is the Best Metal Detector for Your Money?

When investing your hard earned money in a new hobby, we all want to get the most for our dollar. Our team has taken the time to sift through the hype to find you the best for your money. In our best metal detector guide we have identified the Best Metal Detector for the Money. We have also taken the time to find the best metal detectors based on your budget. We have broken our research out in to categories: best under $200under $300under $500 and finally the best under $1000.

What is the Most Reliable Metal Detector?

Choosing a reliable metal detector is just as important as selecting the right type of metal detector. If you will be spending hours in the field, a reliable metal detector will hold up to hours of continued used. All of the brands on our site are produced by top tier manufacturers. Based on the volume of shipments, we have seen the highest reliability from the following three models: 

Garrett AT Max

Price: $722.45 Reviews


  • Built-in Z-Lynk Wireless Technology: Automatically transmits audio to your wireless headphones. Also transmits audio from the Z-Lynk Wireless Pinpointer
  • MS-3 Wireless Headphones Included: High fidelity audio
  • Maximum Detection Depth: Enhanced electronics provide significant depth increase
  • 13.6 kHz frequency: Provides excellent detection on a wide range of targets
  • 4 Search Modes: All Metal, Custom, Coins and Zero
  • Backlight: Illuminates LCD screen for low-light conditions
  • Optimized for for use in saltwater conditions

Bounty Hunter Platinum Pro

Price: $399.95 Reviews


  • 7.81 kHz Frequency - Perfect for an all-purpose detector.
  • Enhanced Target Identification - With custom programs
  • 2 Preset Modes
  • Expanded Depth Reading
  • Pinpoint Mode
  • Manual or Auto Ground Balance
  • Audio ID Tones - 4 Tones
  • Search Coil: Waterproof 11" Elliptical Double D


Price: $699.00 Reviews


  • Wired Backphone Headphones + 11" X35 Search Coil
  • Search Coil: 11" X35 DD Search Coil with 35 Frequencies (3.7 kHz to 27.7 kHz)
  • FX-02 Wired Backphone Headphones
  • Top choice for coin, jewelry and relic hunting

What is the Best Mid Level Metal Detector?

A mid level metal detector may not mean the same thing to two people. For some a mid level metal detector is something just above an entry level detector and one that they hope to grow in to over the years. It can vary depending on your budget and level of experience. For this reason we have organized our guidance by price. In our guide we show you the best  mid level metal detectors under $200under $300under $500. Within each grouping our field testers have provided you with their expert opinion on each model. You can also read metal detector reviews from real users that have purchased and used the product. 

What Metal Detector Can You Use in the Water?

Metal detecting in the water can be lots of fun. From snorkeling and diving with submersible models, we cover all the options in our guide underwater metal detectors – reviewing the best options. From VLF metal detectors to Pulse induction models, we cover everything you will need to know to pick out the best model for use in the water.

© 2012 Detector Electronics Corp. - Revised October 11, 2021