It’s true that you can buy a specialized metal detector for specific situations. Perhaps you want one to find coins instead of jewelry, or maybe you want to use it in freshwater lakes instead of the beach. But If you wish to use it just about everywhere to find a wide range of different interesting objects, you need the best all around metal detector you use whenever you want to.
Best All Round Metal Detector Comparisons:
What is the Best All Round Metal Detector?
Keep in mind that this type of metal detector won’t be as good as the specialized detectors for particular situations. But for fun, this is great to use. So, if you want to have that kind of fun and discover just about anything, check out our recommendations.
- Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
- ToolGuards Metal Detector Easy to Use Carry Bag & Shovel
- Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector
- ACE 400 Pro-Pointer II Special
- Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO Series Metal Detector
- XP DEUS Metal Detector
- Minelab equinox 800 Metal Detector
- Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector
- Garrett ace 250 Metal Detector
More Detailed All Round Metal Detector Reviews
Here’s a closer look at what you should be looking for when you’re trying to find the best all round metal detector. These are all good-quality models that can be used for a variety of situations. We also focused on a wide price range, and we especially liked those that are easy enough to use even for newbies.
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
This is widely considered the most popular metal detector right now, and you have good reasons for this. Perhaps the most notable is its ability to discriminate regarding what it detects. It can sense the more commonly wanted metals like gold and silver, along with aluminum, steel, iron, and brass. But you can set it up to ignore the metals you don’t want to bother with.
Bounty Hunter is also easy enough to use even for newbies. It doesn’t weigh much at 4.2 pounds and its length can be adjusted. You can put the entire coil under the water, and you only need a couple of (V alkaline batteries for it. A mode toggle lets you switch between the various modes.
You can adjust its sensitivity, but you can set it to detect metal objects such as coins that are buried 8 inches. If they’re larger, this range can go down to 2 feet.
This is quite affordable (it’s in fact the most affordable on this list), which helps explain its popularity. But you can’t call it a cheap-quality metal detector, as it offers great features and durability. This is made in the US.
ToolGuards Metal Detector Easy to Use Carry Bag & Shovel
Here’s another affordable option, yet it gives you a kit (including a shovel and a pouch) and a waterproof bag to carry everything.
To call this metal detector an all-around gadget seems like an understatement. You can use it for different types of terrain, and even on shallow water. Kids and newbies can easily use it too, and its height can be adjusted.
It also offers several operating modes to keep it from detecting objects you have no interest in. this can detect objects up to 4 inches underground. It even looks nice, with the bright yellow color making sure you won’t lose track of it easily.
This is solidly made, and it ought to last a long while. You do have to assemble it, but that’s easy too. It’s surprisingly effective as well, especially given its price range. It doesn’t come with headphones, but you can use one with it.
The combination of simplicity and effectiveness is terrific, and can really be fun for everyone. Add the low price and it really is for everyone.
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector
Now we’re on to the midrange price bracket, where things start to get really interesting. This one can help identify the buried treasure under the ground, before you waste your time digging. Each specific tone tells you what you might find. You can actually set this metal detector up to focus on coins, jewelry, or artifacts. There are custom settings you can try as well. It can save settings too.
This thing is hardy enough for any sort of terrain, so don’t worry if you get it wet. It’s weather-proof. Have fun this with for the whole day, since with just 2 AA batteries this can last for at least 25 hours.
It’s very comfy to use, especially for teens and adults. The lowest height for this is 40 inches, and there’s a nice handgrip and armrest attached as well. Even the overall weight isn’t much at just 2.3 pounds.
Just take note that its operating frequency is 7.69kHz. That may limit the kind of metals you can find. But that’s good enough for coins and other interesting finds. At this price range, it’ll be difficult to find something better.
ACE 400 Pro-Pointer II Special
This is even more expensive, but at least you get a bagful of accessories including headphones. This can identify the type of metals you may find. It offers 5 search modes, 8 adjustments for sensitivity, and an adjustable frequency up to 10kHz. This can even tell you how deep underground a coin may be.
All these features will help eliminate and reduce the rather annoying aspects of your new hobby. Namely, you’ll know what you’re detecting so you can judge for yourself if it’s worth the effort of digging up. In addition, you can adjust the frequency so the metal detector only tells you about the presence of certain kinds of metal. This means if you’re looking for gold watch on the beach, you can set this to look for gold and to avoid other metals. No more junk finds, or at least you can reduce these issues significantly.
It can be very sensitive if you want this to be. Even a small coin can be detected a foot under the ground. It also has a pinpointing feature to tell you exactly where something is located underground. Practice with it, and you can get better at using it. Its many features should be tried out often so you can master it.
Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
Yep, this is even more expensive than the last one on this list. This is another tough metal detector, with protection against water, humidity, and dust. You can use it down to 10 feet of water and it won’t mind at all.
This contains several accessories, including a set of headphones. These headphones though are meant for use on land. But if you can get a submersible headphone, you can use it with this when you go scuba diving for sunken treasure.
This lets you discriminate iron content into 40 levels, and it also offers a 0-99 ID scale. The different tones can tell you about what you’re likely to find. You’ll have different tones for coins and bottle caps so you don’t waste your time digging.
It’s true that this model came out in 2010, but even now its features are still terrific. It’s not obsolete at all. It remains popular, especially with its great combo of detection strength and ease of use. You can use it to find gold as well.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO Series Metal Detector
The Pro series is 4 times as expensive as its “Junior” counterpart, which should tell you something. Still, it’s actually one of the more affordable ones on this list. It’s easy to use for kids, and you don’t even need to assemble it. Its telescoping design lets you adjust its length to what’s comfy for you.
This lets you use several detection modes, so you can look for iron, aluminum, rings, and coins. You can filter out materials you don’t care about. The sensitivity can also be adjusted, with a maximum strength capable of detecting up to a foot underground. The detection coil is large at 10-inches so you can cover more ground quickly, and it’s waterproof too.
This sounds a tone to tell you it’s found something, and you can adjust its volume. If you don’t want to bother anyone else, you can also use a headphone with it. This is great at finding lost rings, and even 5-year-old kids can use it with no trouble. The customer service is terrific as well.
XP DEUS Metal Detector
This works with wireless headphones that come with the package, along with a large 11-inch coil for detection. It uses a lithium battery, which you can recharge. The charger is also included, and there’s even a headband replacement and a nice transport case. It’s still fairly expensive and it covers parts and labor.
You do get your money’s worth, starting with up to 35 frequencies you can use. This lets you focus on which materials you want the detector to detect. It also has 9 programs already installed, along with too many advanced features. You can boost its sensitivity as well, though you can cut down the operating time from about 20 hours to 6 hours.
Minelab Equinox 800
Now we come to the pricier models (which is fair to say when the price including delivery exceeds 4 figures). But then again it comes with accessories including a headphone, along with a screen that gives you plenty of detailed info.
This lets you several Detect Modes with 2 custom search profiles for each mode. The frequency can also be adjusted, and it can even reach 40kHz for gold hunting. Its various features can keep you focused on the type of materials you’re specifically looking for. It is optimized for jewelry and rings, and gold rings and coins can be detected 16 inches below the ground.
This is tough as well, with a waterproof design that makes it fully submersible down to 10 feet of water. Many consider this the best metal detector they’ve ever used, and that shouldn’t be surprising given how expensive it is.
Minelab CTX 3030 Metal Detector
Now if you really want a large coil for an easier time, this offers a 17-inch version. It comes in a package with plenty of accessories, including a charger and wireless headphones.
This allows for target discrimination and it even gives you GPS locating. With its 5 preset search modes, you can immediately get started. Its advanced software can really help.
This is a dream machine, and just about everyone loves it. It really is that good. It’ll find things the other detectors may miss.
Garrett Ace 250
This mid-range model has quite a few fans, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding customer reviews. Most of them praise it, which indicates how good it is.
This lets you discriminate for certain types of metals, and it can tell you how deep an object is. It also lets you pick from 8 different sensitivity levels so that you can find something without finding too much junk along the way. The coil is submersible too.
This works great, and in fact you can find plenty of more expensive models that aren’t as good as this one. It can last a long while, with some people boasting that they’ve been using this metal detector for 5 years. It’s great for newbies, yet it can be considered professional-grade.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best All Round Metal Detector
Before you buy any metal detector, you should read product descriptions and customer reviews. Here are some factors on which you should pay some extra attention:
Obviously, all responsible consumers need to take price into account. With these metal detectors, the prices can range widely. Some cost less than a hundred bucks while others can reach past a thousand. In general, these prices are affected by special features such as much greater sensitivity, use in more types of situations, and durability. The prices also go up when your purchase includes accessories and travel bags.
The purpose of all-around metal detectors is basically to be useful in just about any situation. But some of these may be better in specific cases. It may be better at detecting gold or silver, or perhaps it can do much better at underwater detecting than other models.
It stands to reason that if a metal detector has more advanced technologies, it’s better (and probably more expensive). That’s especially true if the gadget possesses unique advanced technologies. Some of these technologies may be able to offer more accurate readings or perhaps detect metal objects deeper underground.
However, do bear in mind that some of these advanced technologies may be more fragile. That means such an advanced metal detector may break down or get damaged more easily.
Types of Detectors
In general, metal detectors are categorized according to how they detect the metals. There are several ways they can do this.
Beat Frequency Oscillation
This type generally features a steel or iron ring with twisted copper rolled around it. It has an oscillator producing a frequency and it results in a characteristic constant hum. That hum is interrupted once the base coil goes over a metal object.
The metal detectors you can buy in electronic stores are mostly of this type. These can be used to detect metal objects as deep as 2 feet underground.
Very Low Frequency
The VLF metal detector uses 2 spherical wire coils. One of these coils is the transmitter, which releases a magnetic field with low frequency. The other coil is the receiver, which then picks up the magnetic signals from a metallic object underground. These magnetic signals result in a sound that will alert you.
Most of the time, this type also has a tuner component that lets you filter signals to the receiver. If you’re looking for your steel watch, for example, then you can set the detector to ignore signals sent by gold, silver, or aluminum objects.
PI metal detectors are generally more expensive, as it can distinguish between accidental environmental signals and sent signals. This type of metal detector is often used for treasure hunting for gold.
You can also get a larger model and use it for security purposes. It’s not really very good at differentiating between different types of metal, though it is quite sensitive and accurate when detecting any kind of metal.
At this point, we’re no longer talking about metal detectors that the general public can use (or afford). The most common example of this type is the doorframe metal detector used in schools, malls, and public buildings to detect armed persons trying to come in.
Types of Users
As we’ve mentioned, in general, these all-around metal detectors are meant for use in general situations. It can be good for just about anything, though some may be better at particular situations.
However, some of these all-rounder metal detectors can be excellent for specific cases. One common example is the best all-round metal detector that works particularly well with relic-hunting. These metal detectors are more especially sensitive to the presence of buried gold.
Durability and Warranty
An affordable metal detector isn’t actually all that cheap if it breaks down very quickly and you have to buy a new one often. On the other hand, an expensive metal detector that can last you the rest of your life may actually turn out cheaper in the end.
So, pay attention to how often customers complain in their reviews about how quickly their metal detector breaks down. Be wary when you read too many of these complaints. Sometimes even the packaging is at fault when the metal detector arrives damaged after delivery.
You can get a fair sense of how durable a metal detector is by the length of the warranty. 5-year coverage is excellent. Just keep in mind that this should also come with an actually helpful customer service department. A long warranty period doesn’t mean anything if the customer service invents new alibis to refuse replacement or refund. The best customer service departments make it easy for you to get a refund or a replacement, so be on the lookout for these types of “no-hassle” warranty.
Who Makes Good Metal Detectors?
Here are some of the better-known brands:
- Fisher. Fisher Labs is a Texan brand that’s been around for 85 years. They’ve kept their standing in the industry with their advanced and innovative technologies.
- Whites. Whites Electronics is also a long-standing industry brand, as it was founded way back in 1950. It has a manufacturing base in Oregon, along with another facility in Scotland to meet the demand in Europe and Asia.
- Minelab.Based in Illinois, it’s one of the giants in the industry. In the last 3 decades, they’ve probably produced more metal detector models and more innovative technologies than any other brand. They have a wide range of specialized models for any kind of metal detecting task.
- Garrett. This is another famous brand in the industry, and it was started way back in 1964. They’re known to satisfy the needs for any kind of price range (from the most affordable to the wickedly expensive) and they’re known for their all-purpose metal detectors.
FAQs About Best All Round Treasure Hunters
What is the most accurate metal detector?
There’s no single answer to this, as it depends on particular situations. Are you looking for stuff in the beach, on a lake, or in a park? What type of metal are you focusing on?
You do want to look for a metal detector with a large range of at least 6 to 8 inches. You may not want to bother with a deeper range since it can be annoying digging 2 feet down the ground only to find a metal pull tab from a soda can. Also, try to find a metal detector that allows you to ignore certain types of metals.
Do you need a permit for a metal detector?
This depends on which country you are, and some beaches may also require a permit or license. In the US, there’s generally no need for this for public lands like parks and beaches. However, you do need to ask permission from the landowner first if you’re going to use this on private land.
Other countries (especially in Europe) may require licenses because what you find may turn into a serious archeological dig. In these countries, the local government or museums may have first dibs on anything old you find.
What kind of metal sets off metal detectors?
Here’s a basic list:
How far can a metal detector detect gold?
The very best gold detector such as the Minelab GPX5000 can detect a nice-sized gold nugget down to 1.5 meters.
What is the best frequency for my type of hunting?
The frequency of metal detectors can go from 1.5kHz to 100kHz. If you’re looking for a highly conductive metal, you’ll want a lower frequency. The smaller the target is, the higher frequency you need. The deeper you want to go, the lower frequency will be better.
- Here’s a rough estimate of your ideal metal detector frequency, depending on what you’re hunting:
- Gold. Small gold nuggets require high frequency. You’ll want it higher than 14kHz.
- Silver. This time you need lower frequency, with 7.5kHZ or lower. Even 3kHz may be better.
- Copper and brass. You need something low at around 3kHz.
- Stainless steel, tin, platinum, cobalt, and zinc. At least 9 or 10kHz.
- Nickel, aluminum, and lead. The mid-frequencies will do, at around 6kHz.
Where is the Best Place to Metal Detect?
Try these places:
- Your own backyard, or your friends’ places
- Farmer’s fields
- Woods and footpaths
- Deserted towns
- Battle sites
- Gym bleachers and stadiums
Can you make money with a metal detector?
It’s always possible, and that’s part of the thrill. You can find rare coins or even a Rolex. Try the beaches and parks where rich people hang out.
But if you want to make real money (enough to make a living out of it), you’re going to need to invest in a few things. You’ll need to pay for a professional metal detector, and you’ll have to do a lot of research.
After all that’s said and done, the key idea about using a metal detector for most people is to have fun. It’s not about security against weapons or for seriously making money.
Instead, every beep and signal that tells you there’s something metallic hidden under the ground feels like a Xmas or birthday present waiting for you to open it. Sure, you can find a lot of junk. But every now and then, you may find something interesting.
It’s that possibility of finding a fascinating object that makes it worthwhile to get the best all round metal detector you can buy. Low-quality metal detectors can be frustrating, with too many breakdowns and false positives. The good ones can turn a lazy stroll on the beach into an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones!