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This is a price range where both professionals and amateurs share common ground.
At this level, metal detectors are much higher in quality, they can have almost every feature available, and you can find the three, common types of metal detector technology in this price range.
The market is truly yours.
From a $600 coin-shooter to a $1000 gold machine, this budget has everything.
Best Metal Detector Under $1000 In 2020
Metal detectors are not cheap. High-end models can run over $2000 and higher. But, you can spend more than half the amount and land a metal detector that can very well be your last purchase.
This is the golden budget range. With this kind of money, you can buy a very good, mid-range metal detector and it will satisfy you for many years to come.
From $500 to $1000, the differences between metal detectors can be significant. To prove this point, this lineup has machines that vary in price within this budget.
Check them out and see if you can determine how much you need to spend to acquire the features you both want and need.
Best Metal Detector Under $1000 Reviews
1. Garrett GTI 2500
The GTI 2500 is an excellent example of what all the cheaper VLF machines want to be. Here’s why.
Pros & Cons
✔️ Graphic target display
✔️ Adjustable threshold
✔️ Last mode switching
✔️ Ground balance
✔️ Eagle Eye compatible
The GTI 2500 is a single frequency VLF 7.2 kHz metal detector on steroids. It’s jam-packed with features that improves its ability to be a treasure-finding beast.
Its most notable feature is its Graphic Target Imaging Display. A graph presents information analyzed from the signal to determine target size and depth. This is fed to you over the large digital screen in a way that may take some practice to interpret.
You also have adjustable threshold to help tune in to all those targets including very deep and low conductive ones. Switch to your last discriminate mode to double-check the target with All-Metal without losing your settings.
Perform auto ground balance or use Ground Track to keep on top of the changes in mineralized soils. Adjust the volume independently of threshold. Get the Eagle Eye searchcoil to detect even deeper.
This is no ordinary VLF metal detector. It’s souped-up to be one of the best on the market. It is heavy weighing in at 4.8 lbs, but at least its weight is justified.
2. Minelab Gold Monster 1000
It’s not a multi-frequency metal detector like you would expect from Minelab, but it does have extra sensitive technology that makes it one of the best gold machines to this day.
Pros & Cons
✔️ Gold metal detector
✔️ Monster tech
✔️ High frequency
✔️ Collapsible assembly
✔️ 2x searchcoils include
❌ No threshold
The GM 1000 is an extra sensitive VLF metal detector operating at a high 45 kHz frequency with a high-speed signal processor – what many have termed “Monster Technology.” There’s no doubt that it’s made to detect gold nuggets of all sizes and depths.
It’s also made to be used in multiple terrains around the globe. It’s easily collapsible and packable. Unconventional parts can be used to get you out of the woods if the need arises, and it even comes with the capability of using both the lithium battery and then AA batteries if it dies while you’re hunting.
You have Gold and Deep All-Metal modes. A Gold Chance Indicator gives you an idea of target type before you dig, and fully automatic ground tracking lets you search around hot rocks and minerals.
What the Monster doesn’t have is threshold. But, there is a way around this and that’s by using sensitivity to setup a pseudo threshold.
If it’s gold you’re after, it’s a gold metal detector you need. Don’t bother with a low frequency machine. This is how you will reap in the yellow stuff.
3. White’s MX Sport
Looking for a metal detector that can be taken into any terrain including water? The White’s MX Sport is up to the challenge.
Pros & Cons
✔️ Ground balance
✔️ Selectable Tone-ID
✔️ Rejection volume
✔️ Long battery life
❌ Single frequency
The MX Sport is a coin and relic hunting metal detector. As such, it has a single frequency of 13 kHz. What really makes this metal detector better than its cheaper alternatives is its long list of adjustable features.
It has seven search modes where Hi-Trash and Beach offer specialized performance. You also have a Salt Track program that can be added to any search mode to compensate for salt-laden soils. Even with fully automatic ground balancing, you can also lock it in to maintain stable performance across the terrain.
Although you have adjustable threshold, you also have Rejection Volume which is the ability to crank down the volume of rejected metals independent of the volume on accepted metals.
The Sport lasts for a long time on a single cycle of batteries – 40 hours. That’s plenty of time to spread your hunt over fields and then head into 10 feet of water to find lost jewelry of unaware beachgoers.
The MX Sport is designed for all-terrain use. Do it justice by heading off the beaten path.
4. Garrett AT Max
The AT Max is a superb metal detector for a wide range of targets and wide range of terrains. It can easily be said that the AT Max is the best in its series.
Pros & Cons
✔️ Max depth
✔️ Ground balance
❌ Learning curve
Its price point may deceive you into thinking it’s a cut and dry metal detector – it’s not. It’s feature-packed to the max and if there are any complaints about, it’s user error. The AT Max has everything you could want on an all-purpose metal detector.
It has manual and auto ground balance, and if that isn’t enough, it also has an automatic ground balance window that smoothens the audio so you can hear those faint targets. If having a waterproof searchcoil isn’t enough for you, the Max can be submerged into water to a depth of 10 feet.
If having a 13 kHz operating frequency isn’t enough for you, you should know it’s been optimized to transmit maximum power to push for significant depth detection. If included headphones isn’t enough, it comes with Garrett’s wireless Z-Lynk MS-3 headphones.
The AT Max has it all. If this isn’t enough for you, there isn’t a metal detector in the world for you.
5. Minelab Equinox 600
The Equinox 800 is every bit deserving to be in this spot. But, for the sake of proving a point that you can spend closer to $600 and still land a fantastic metal detector, the Equinox 600 has earned its place in this lineup.
Pros & Cons
✔️ Customizable profiles
✔️ Wireless compatibility
✔️ Built-in battery
❌ 12-hour battery life
The Equinox 800 and 600 metal detectors are high-achievers and high-performers. The 800 is better suited to you if you’re specifically looking to advance your gold prospecting skills, otherwise, the 600 will do everything else rather well.
It has Multi-IQ technology that incorporates four frequencies simultaneously: 5, 10, 15, 20, and 40 kHz. Additionally, you can use the 5, 10, and 15 kHz frequencies singly – there may be some soils when it’s better to kick into single frequency mode, and you can do this with the Equinox.
The Equinox is also an all-terrain monster. It has multiple user adjustments that allows you to cancel out those pesky minerals that prevent you from digging deep and finding hidden treasures. Expand your hunting sites to include the beach. Take it for a dip since it can easily be used to check out the seabed up to 10 feet deep.
While the 600 comes standard with wired headphones, you can use Minelab’s wireless headphones to ditch the cable and make detecting a little more convenient.
The only downer is you’ll need to recharge the metal detector after each use because it only has a battery life of 12 hours. Can you blame it though? It’s doing a lot – simultaneously.
6. Fisher F75
The F75 has solid performance because of its foundational quality. It has all the fixings plus some, and an 11” searchcoil will cover more ground as you hunt for relics.
Pros & Cons
✔️ FA search mode
✔️ Long battery life
✔️ 5-year warranty
❌ Learning curve
The F75 is a 13 kHz VLF metal detector that is optimized for coin-shooting and treasure hunting. Some of its new features worth highlighting is its Digital Shielding Technology (DST) that suppresses EMI interference so you can work that ground with maximum sensitivity.
FeTone Volume is a great addition to a metal detector that costs this much. It gives you the ability to choose between three ferrous ID volume settings. You won’t need to discriminate them, just tone down their signal volume so you don’t compromise performance.
The FA search mode will be utilized by relic hunters hunting in trash-laden fields with multiple targets. You can also use auto or manual ground balance, pinpoint, and get detecting right away since the Fisher remembers your last saved user settings.
There’s a lot to get up-to-date with on the F75, so there will be a learning curve required. Once you get it down, you may never put the metal detector down.
What to Look for in a Metal Detector Under $1000
You don’t need a lot of schooling if you’re spending up to a grand on a metal detector. You should already know what your area of interest is, what type of metal detector you need, and what features you need most to get maximum performance.
Even so, here are a few things to be reminded of.
Best Metal Detector Brands Under $1000
You will have a good variety of brands to shop from in this price range. Some of the more prominent ones you will come across are Garrett, Minelab, Fisher, White’s, Nokta Makro, and Teknetics.
Metal Detector Types Under $2000
Many metal detectors will be VLF machines. However, they may have optimized and improved searchcoil technology and signal processors that allows for enhanced frequency performance. They will also have more in the form of adjustable features to allow a hobbyist to fine-tune their detecting parameters.
There will also be multi-frequency metal detectors in this price range. True multi-frequency machines will offer simultaneous use of multiple frequencies. You may also see selective frequency metal detectors that offer multiple frequencies but can only be used one at a time.
It will be a rare occurrence to find a pulse induction metal detector for $1000. But, there are some entry-level model ones that are in the market for a low price.
Audio Quality & Tone Selections
These metal detectors can sport very detailed and complicated audio options that allow seasoned users to work solely off information gathered through the audio. Some may not even give their screens a second look except maybe to confirm a suspected target.
Ensure the metal detector of choice has audio options that you can understand and use practically. Quality headphones are essential, and at this price point, wireless is a very common feature. You may want to be brand specific by purchasing the wireless tech that matches the brand of metal detector you have bought.
We don’t need to go into every aspect of metal detecting fields and styles, because at this point, you should know what it is you’re interested in and where you want to go.
If you’re wanting to get into the prospecting field, a gold metal detector is best suited to the job. If you’re a fish that wants to scour the ocean floor, an underwater, diving metal detector it is.
Get the drift? Choose a metal detector with the parameters that is most appropriate for your intended use.
Read the Manual
A user manual will be your best friend in helping you learn the language of the machine and all its features. Every metal detector can be slightly or vastly different in this price range, so don’t assume that you know it all.
It goes without saying, don’t throw the manual out. You’ll need it.
Register the Metal Detector
All the good metal detectors worth buying will come with a warranty. How long the metal detector is covered will vary between manufacturers.
Whichever brand you choose, don’t get slack about registering your metal detector as soon as possible after purchasing it. After all, your metal detector is an outside scientific tool, and it sees some hard action out in the field – they are not indestructible.
Most of the time, registration can easily be done online, otherwise you can fill out and send in the warranty card that should be in the box. This ensures you can make claims under the warranty in the future.
What are the Best Metal Detectors for the Money?
Many of the best metal detectors for the money will have high-quality features for the best price even if this means spending between $500 to $1000.
The best detectors with the most value should offer performance and technology that will remain relevant for years to come since they’re high-investment products intended for long ownership. They will provide the hobbyist with the ability to fine-tune adjustments to improve performance in mineralized soils for maximum detection. They will come with the accessories most appropriate for the type of metal detector.
Spending a decent chunk of change from the get-go will buy you quality that you can’t find in cheaper alternatives.
What is the Best Saltwater Metal Detector Under $1000?
The best saltwater metal detectors should have user adjustable settings. The most important ones are discrimination, sensitivity, and ground balancing. Being able to compensate for minerals in wet sand and in saltwater is what proves its performance as a beach detector.
The best beach metal detectors will be multi-frequency and pulse induction. However, for under $1000, you’ll find more multi-frequency machines than pulse induction.
What is the Best Pulse Metal Detector Under $1000?
It’s not too often that you will find a pulse induction metal detector under $1000. It’s a very advanced technology that offers maximum depth detection but compromises with poor discrimination.
To find a PI metal detector in this price range, your best bet is to look to Garrett. There will be some affordable PIs in the $1000-$2000 price range, although most PIs often cost upwards of $2000.
What’s on the Menu?
You have a long menu of metal detectors to choose from and each with their own perks, quirks, and drawbacks.
By this point, you should already know what you want to get out of your metal detector and that knowledge is what will help you narrow things down.
While it can get overwhelming to sift through the many, awesome options, you can’t help but feel giddy that you have the market at your feet.
User preference will go a long way in deciding which one is right for the job, right for your budget, and right for you. Satisfy your treasure craving with the right option on the right menu and it’ll pay for itself after some avid hunts.