Best Metal Detector for Beginners   

There are so many reviews regarding the best metal detector. It can be hard to choose the best one for the novice treasure hunter. Beginner metal detectors come at a wide price range. There are several models to choose from, and stores to buy from. It can be overwhelming.  

How much do you spend on a metal detector?  

How do you know it’s a good metal detector and not a kid’s toy?  

Is a budget metal detector any good?  

What are the legal considerations in being a novice treasure hunter?  

We review the best beginner metal detectors in the market. Plus, we’ll give you top tips on how to choose one for the novice treasure hunter. We have some tips and tricks to speed along the learning process.  

Here’s Our List of the Best Choices for the Novice Treasure Hunter

High-End
Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP Waterproof Detector with 11" Coil & Wireless Headphones
Best for Beginners
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with 9 Inch Weatherproof Coil, All-Purpose, High-Sensitivity, Deep Seeking Metal Detector, Pinpoint, Easy to Use
Budget Option
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector, 8-inch Waterproof Coil Detects, Black
Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP Waterproof Detector with 11" Coil & Wireless Headphones
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with 9 Inch Weatherproof Coil, All-Purpose, High-Sensitivity, Deep Seeking Metal Detector, Pinpoint, Easy to Use
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector, 8-inch Waterproof Coil Detects, Black
High-End
Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP Waterproof Detector with 11" Coil & Wireless Headphones
Nokta Makro Simplex+ WHP Waterproof Detector with 11" Coil & Wireless Headphones
Best for Beginners
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with 9 Inch Weatherproof Coil, All-Purpose, High-Sensitivity, Deep Seeking Metal Detector, Pinpoint, Easy to Use
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with 9 Inch Weatherproof Coil, All-Purpose, High-Sensitivity, Deep Seeking Metal Detector, Pinpoint, Easy to Use
Budget Option
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector, 8-inch Waterproof Coil Detects, Black
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector, 8-inch Waterproof Coil Detects, Black

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links.

1. Nokta Makro Simplex+

   Best for exploring everything metal detecting has to offer.
Coils: 11″ DD + 9.5″ DD
Frequency: 14 kHz
Max Depth: 8 inch / 20 cm
Weight: 2.9 lbs / 1.3 kg
Length: 25″- 52″ (63.5-132 cm) + extensions available – good for heights up to 6′ / 1.80 m
Batteries: Lithium in-built
Battery life: 12 hours

The Simplex+ is our top choice for exploring everything metal detecting has to offer. Beginner or veteran, you’ll love this metal detector. It is the most high-end within our cheap beginner range but the Simplex+ is good enough for the intermediate and expert user, too.

Why choose the Simple+ or Simplex+ WHP: Full ground balance and discrimination is easy. It is waterproof until 10ft so it’s great for rivers, lakes and beaches. It comes with a torch for night metal detecting and optional wireless headphones.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Beach-ready: Auto + Manual Ground Balance for adapting to all types of mineralization terrains (including beach)

✔️ Diving-ready: fully submergible (10ft / 3m) + vibrational signals – Shallow rivers, lakes and seashore at your reach!

✔️ Night-ready: flashlight shining to the coil + backlit screen

✔️ Notch Discrimination (20 groups) to tune out all types of junk separately without missing your target

✔️ Swipe and Discriminate function to avoid digging twice for the same type of trash

❌ 16% heavier than other models

Simplex+ only comes with 12 hours of battery life but that’s enough for plenty of treasure hunting.

As a submersible detector, it can be used underwater to a max of 10 feet (3 meters). The Simplex metal detector has a LED flashlight as a visual aid, a backlit graphic display, and a vibration feature which is helpful while being underwater or for the hearing impaired.

Simplex+ has four pre-loaded search modes: All Metal, Field, Park, and Beach. Three audio tones help to distinguish between metals; and with Iron Audio, you can turn down the signal volume on iron targets without having to notch them out. Speaking of discrimination, you have 20 notch segments within the Target ID scale that allows you to customize your hunt.

All search modes except for Beach allow for automatic ground balance. Beach mode puts you into manual ground balance, so you have full detecting confidence in wet sand and conductive mineralized soils.

The Simplex+ has a very versatile platform with an adjustable length of 25-52”. It’s very lightweight at 2.9 lbs. With additional features such as adjustable sensitivity, pinpoint, and frequency shift, there’s a lot that can be done. It also comes with two search coils 11” DD and 9.5″ DD, wireless headphones, and a 2-year warranty.

Pro Tip: If the price puts you off. You can get it for $100 less without the wireless headphones. Just know that by buying them together you get about a 20% discount!

2. Fisher F22

   For the best beginner experience: simplicity and efficiency.
Coils: 11″ DD
Frequency: 7.69 kHz
Max Depth: 9 inch / 23 cm
Weight: 2.3 lbs / 1 kg
Length: 42″-51″
Batteries: 2AA
Battery life: 25-30 hours / 15 hours rechargable

The Fisher F22 is the ideal detector for getting out and on the go the minute you turn it on. With preset features, this beginner detector is ready to get detecting without having to deal with the hard stuff.

Why choose the Fisher F22: This is the lightest metal detector on our list and the one that has the longest battery life. It also has the most tones and VCO.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Ultra-lightweight: Cover more ground with the same effort. Ideal for beginners!

✔️ Long battery life: More metal detecting less recharging interruptions.

✔️ 4 different tones so that you can HEAR what you are swinging over. Deciding when to dig made easy.

✔️ VCO: Hear how close you are getting to your target.

✔️ Weatherproof: Continue metal detecting even after it starts to rain. No need to retreat!

✔️ Top quality: backed by a 5-year guarantee

❌ Preset Ground Balance: Less control in more difficult terrain but as a beginner, it won’t limit you much.

The F22 is the new and improved version of the very popular F2. If you’re looking for high-performance without the high price, this may be what you need.

The F22 has a numeric Target ID scale that provides the user with an idea of the detected target’s conductivity and what it might be. With a frequency of 7.69 kHz, it’s an exceptional coin shooter and its Target ID scale also indicates the type of coin found.

With its Iron Audio, you can adjust the volume of the signal for iron targets without having to notch them out. This ensures the detector is constantly working at maximum performance and speed without the delay of discrimination at work.

The F22 detector comes with a new triangular design. Its narrow shape helps with target separation and for getting into tight spaces especially in rocky terrain. The 9” searchcoil is also waterproof so it can be used in shallow water.

With only preset ground balance, the challenge of having to do it yourself is taken out of the equation. This should be fine for most cases, but there is no ability to adjust it when ground conditions become noisy with concentrated quantities of minerals.

One of its best features is its super-light weight. It’s ideal for all ages and if you’re planning on multiple detecting sessions. There is no strain and fatigue. Save your strength for the digging part!

3. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

   Best on a budget; great low investment option
Coils: 8″ concentric
Frequency: 6.8 kHz
Max Depth: 8 inch / 20 cm
Weight: 2.8 lbs / 1.27 kg
Length: 5’ / 1.52 m
Batteries: 9-volt
Battery life: 20-25 hours / 8 hours (recharge)

The Tracker 4 is about as cheap as it gets before you enter the “toy” category. It’s extremely popular and its reputation is held in high regard today as it was when it first hit the market.

Why choose the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV: It is the cheapest in our beginner detector range. And, even without a pinpointer and depth indicator, a beginner can enjoy this and discover the fun in metal detecting.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Low price

✔️ Made in the USA

✔️ 5-year guarantee

❌ You don’t get a depth indicator and built-in pinpointer

❌ Analog ID: Swinging needle instead of digital screen to tell you what metal it is.

❌ Preset ground balance only

The Tracker 4 uses an analog system but it is by no means outdated. This system comes with the advantages of a target strength meter. And while it’s not 100% accurate, you get a visual indication that the detector has hit metal.

This metal detector gives you two audio tones in Tone mode. Iron is automatically discriminated; low tones indicate small items; and high tones may indicate large or highly conductive targets. A broken tone sounds off for trash items.

As an all-purpose detector, you have three search modes: All Metal, Tone, and Discrimination. It’s extremely easy to use with two knobs and a switch. You don’t have to use headphones as it has a built-in speaker. While the control box isn’t waterproof, the shaft and search coil are.

For the price, it has all the basics a beginner needs to get detecting immediately. If you anticipate buying a higher-end detector down the road after you’ve developed some understanding of detecting, keep the budget low for a first-time buy – it can be handed down to the kids when you’re ready to upgrade.

4. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

Coils: 11″ DD
Frequency: 7.69 kHz
Max Depth: 10 inch / 25cm
Weight: 2.5 lbs / 1.13 kg
Length: 5’ / 1.52 m
Batteries: 9-volt
Battery life: 20-25 hours / 8 hours (recharge)

First Texas Products is the parent company of Bounty Hunter, and they have a concrete reputation in the metal detecting industry. The Land Ranger Pro is a flagship model for the brand, and its price point puts it at the top of its class.

Why choose the Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro: It’s lightweight and has an adjustable length. Plus, you get the longest product guarantee.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Deepest in our list

✔️ Comfortable, lightweight and adjustable

✔️ Easier pinpoint mode (no swinging)

✔️ Auto Ground Balance so you don’t have to worry about settings (but can switch to manual as you become more confident).

❌ Not waterproof

❌ Knob Discrimination: limited ability to filter only certain types of trash

❌ Headphones not included

The Land Ranger Pro sets the bar high for entry-level detectors. It has multiple features that you just won’t find on many budget detectors. At its price, it’s more value for you. The Land Ranger Pro is great for beginners, intermediate and expert bounty hunters!

With Target ID, you can quickly determine what type of metal is detected, and it’s rated for positive detection to a depth of at least 10”. The enhanced V-Break takes audio response capabilities a step further in providing tones according to the setting along the Target ID scale that you set it for. This allows you to further customize the signals you hear with certain tones when you’re homing in on specific targets.

The seven detection modes consist of three discriminate programs and an all metal mode; while the remaining three are audio tone modes. You also have adjustable user settings that includes sensitivity and auto and manual ground balance.

It’s a coin-shooting metal detector, but it has exceptional specs and features that make it effective for finding all types of targets. As a beginner, you’ll grow with the Land Ranger Pro; and as a pro, you’ll find it’s a lightweight, affordable, and high-performing detector that’s sure to please.

5. Garrett ACE 300

Coils: 10″ concentric
Frequency: 8 kHz
Max Depth: 8 inch / 20 cm
Weight: 2.8 lbs / 1.27 kg
Length: 5’ 6’’/ 1.68 m
Batteries: 4AA
Battery life: 20-40 hours

Garrett is a brand that many look to for ultimate performance and competitive prices. The ACE 300 is set at an affordable price point that has more than enough for the beginner while also keeping the mid-level user happily engaged.

Why choose the Garrett ACE 300: Garrett is a reliable metal detector brand. Its ACE 300 is perfect for beginners because of its 12 groups of discrimination. This way, you can easily tune out junk separately.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Auto Discrimination: Easily tune out junk types by just passing the coil over a sample

✔️ 12 groups of Discrimination to tune out all types of junk separately

✔️ Waterproof (search coil and shaft only)

✔️ Headphones (corded) included

✔️ Built-in pinpointer

❌ Preset ground balance only

The ACE 300 has some upgrades that its predecessors do not offer. It now has a frequency shift that is helpful for competitions and/or reducing EMI interference. Another upgrade is enhanced iron resolution. With a numerical 2-digit Target ID scale and even more iron segments to provide identification and notching, it’s more efficient at filtering out junk items.

There are five preset search modes. The Zero-Disc is an all metal mode with zero discrimination. Custom allows you to tailor your own program and save changes. Then, you have Jewelry, Coins, and Relics with preset parameters to make detection easier for the beginner.

The ACE 300 is not submersible but the search coil and shaft are waterproof. You can search in shallow water – just don’t get the control box and its connections wet. There is no adjustable ground balance as it has been factory-set by the manufacturer for average conditions around the country. This means that you won’t be able to efficiently use it on hot rocks, black sand, and saltwater.

6. RM Rico Max GC-1037

Sale
RM RICOMAX Metal Detectors for Adults - Professional Gold Detector for Treasure Hunt, IP68 Waterproof 10' Search Coil, Higher Accuracy with Stong Modes, Adjustable LCD Display with Headphones
2,963 Reviews
RM RICOMAX Metal Detectors for Adults - Professional Gold Detector for Treasure Hunt, IP68 Waterproof 10" Search Coil, Higher Accuracy with Stong Modes, Adjustable LCD Display with Headphones
  • 💰Convenient to Use - RM RICOMAX metal detector weighs only 2.31 pounds, is really lighter than others. The ergonomic handle design makes it perfect for all-day use, and the adjustable height(41.3” to 47.6”) makes it suitable for both adults&child. INTUITIVE LCD DISPLAY makes you can see the detection mode, sensitivity level, battery condition, and volume level conveniently, and you can also light up the screen if you want to detect metal in the darkness.

Coils: 10″ concentric
Frequency: 6 – 8 kHz
Max Depth: 8.7 inch / 22 cm
Weight: 2.3 lbs / 1 kg
Batteries: 2x 9-volt

The Rico Max is designed with the basics plus some. It has digital tech, adjustable settings, and all the hard stuff has been taken care of.

Why choose the Rico Max: It’s currently on sale!

✔️ Digital Target ID

✔️ Adjustable settings

✔️ Built-in pinpointer

✔️ Waterproof (search coil and shaft only)

✔️ Backlight

❌ No depth indicator

❌ No adjustable Ground Balance

The Rico Max GC-1037 model is an entry-level detector made for all-round metal detecting. It’s strength lie with coins. It has a Target ID display labeled for coins and reflects segments for Iron, 5c, P-Tabs, 1c, 10c, and 25c. The Target ID scale has a range from 0 to 99. You’ll be able to detect metals of all types and will quickly learn how it works.

It has All Metal, Discrimination, and Pinpoint as its search modes, so beginners will be able to save a few bucks from having to purchase a separate pinpointer. The display is easy to read because of its adjustable backlight and large print.

Like most other search coils these days, it’s completely waterproof so it can be used in shallow waters, creeks and washes. However, it will struggle to perform where there are high quantities of minerals in the ground. With no adjustable ground balance in play, you’ll either have to turn down sensitivity or move to quieter ground.

The Rico Max is a beginner model and will help you get up to speed with finding the good stuff. There isn’t a huge learning process required with this model, so you can get out the door as soon as you get your hands on it.

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Last update on 2022-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API