Canway GC-1028 Metal Detector Review

Canway is a brand that is not as commonly known as its giant competitors like Garrett, Fisher, and Minelab, to name a few.  However, their low prices and dependable detectors have earned them some praise amongst a small following of fans. 

So, what can you expect to see on a metal detector that’s under $100?  We’ll delve into what it can do and what it can’t.  After this review, you’ll have a better idea if a starter detector is for you or your older child. 

At a Glance…

✔️ Best Feature: Multiple Audio Tones

Worst Feature: Battery Hog

👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Coins, Relics, Jewelry, Beginners, Older Kids

  • Multiple Audio Tones
  • All Metal Mode
  • Discrimination Mode
  • Pinpoint Function
  • Backlight LCD Screen

Our Verdict: The Canway GC-1028 is a great example of what budget looks like on a metal detector that’s worth it.  This is about as low in price as you want to go before you compromise on quality and features.  As a starter detector for a starter detectorist, the Canway is your best option when looking to spend as minimal as possible. 

Who is the Canway GC-1028 Best Suited to?

The Canway metal detector is a very basic unit that has an adjustable length from 33-40.6” and is suitable for both adults and older children.  It’s relatively light in weight, so kids and older users will find it comfortable to use without strain and fatigue for long hunting sessions.  It’s definitely a metal detector designed for beginners who only want the basics to get started.  Intermediate and expert users will not be satisfied with the Canway and will desire more.  But, to get into the ins and outs of detecting while sticking with a tight budget, it’ll more than do for the newb. 

How Does the Canway GC-1028 Perform?

The Canway is a VLF single frequency metal detector that operates at 6.5 kHz.  For the price, it performs extremely well if you’re a recreational hobbyist.  Finding things in the backyard, some coins and lost jewelry at the beach, or even some random relics will make for an afternoon of delight and fun.  It’s not the most advanced detector in the market as it’s a surface exploration unit that works best up to 7” deep.  Larger objects may be found deeper, but many factors will play into its ability to be detected.  For under 100 bucks, the Canway offers simplicity and performance that beginners can rely on, and most importantly, have fun with. 

Features & Benefits

Multiple Audio Tones

This is an exceptional feature that will take some getting used to.  Many basic and entry-level metal detectors will only provide maybe 1-2 tones, but the Canway has three distinctive tones for various types of metal.  The advertising states that it has different tones for different metals, but they really only fall between three audio tones: low, medium, and high.  Iron and steel will beep at a low tone, aluminum, gold, and nickel will beep at a medium tone, and silver and copper will beep at a high tone.  The tones are continuous. 

All Metal Mode

This is one of the main search modes of the detector.  All Metal mode functions with zero discrimination and alerts the user to all types of metals detected.  This feature offers the most depth detection with the highest sensitivity.  You’ll have to rely on the audio tones to determine what type of metal is detected. 

Discrimination Mode

This is the DISC/Notch mode is the second search mode of the detector.  It allows you to notch out certain types of metals from relaying a signal, so you can ignore common junk items and focus on digging up coins and other items.  Since there are seven target categories, you can discriminate iron and pull tabs to find more coins.  To access this mode, you must press the Set button twice and then Enter to confirm.  The directional buttons will allow you to choose what you will discriminate from detection. 

Pinpoint Function

It’s nice to have a pinpoint feature on such a cheap detector.  It has its own dedicated PP button to activate it once you’ve successfully located a target in All Metal or Disc modes.  In PP mode, the detector increases sensitivity to provide precise data.  You’ll have to listen carefully to the tone for signal strength to mark its location and look for an estimate on how deep it’s buried via the depth indicator.  Few users have said this function works about half the time, and Canway has been extremely responsive on replacing the detector with a fully functional one at no additional cost. 

Backlight LCD Screen

The LCD display functions with a backlight that doesn’t seem to be adjustable in brightness.  Regardless, it’ll provide plenty of visibility when detecting in the dark.  Even though the display and information provided is quite minimal, it should be noted that a backlit LCD screen is not always seen on more expensive units. 

Limitations

Battery Hog

The Canway takes 2x 9V batteries to operate and will provide up to a maximum of five hours of use.  This can be very costly, so it’s best to remove the batteries when it’s not in use to prevent the machine from accidentally turning on. 

Preset Ground Balance

This is not an inherently bad feature as many detectors of this type do not need anything more than preset ground balancing.  However, when some users have expressed concern over false readings or inaccuracy, it could be due to the soil conditions or the lag between discrimination performance.  What does this mean? 

Ground balancing allows you to match the detector to the phase of the ground so that you can eliminate false readings that are actually signals from minerals in the soil.  When in environments with high salt and iron oxide content, you’ll hear chatter and/or false readings, this is due to the detector detecting these minerals and it overloads the system. 

Some users have said the machine will beep when passing over an object and then it will “disappear” when they pass over the same area again.  This is common in some entry-level models as the detector may initially relay a signal on an object and when passed over it again, it will remain silenced.  This is mostly due to the fact that it takes a second for the system to realize you may have notched out or discriminated this type of metal from detection.  It’s not a fault of the detector or that it’s broken, it’s just the nature of some entry-level detectors. 

Popular Questions

Can the Canway Metal Detector be Used at the Beach?

Simply put, no.  It should not be used in saltwater or wet sand.  However, you will be able to use the detector on dry sand, so don’t go beyond the towel-line or else you’ll experience a lot of chatter.  The detector has preset ground balance, so you won’t be able to adjust it to dial out the minerals causing the noise.  Some may try to decrease sensitivity, but it will likely cause it to bottom out to where you won’t find anything at all. 

What Accessories are Included with the GC-1028?

The basics are provided with the Canway GC-1028.  You can expect the detector with its 8” concentric searchcoil, a digging shovel, large carry bag, and user manual.  You will have to purchase headphones separately if you want to use them and connect them to the 3.5 audio jack on the control box. 

Is the Searchcoil Waterproof? 

The 8” concentric searchcoil is completely waterproof and can be submerged under water.  However, the control box is not, so the detector is not recommended for submersion.  While the searchcoil is waterproof, it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for use in the surf.  If the coil does get saltwater on it, be sure to rinse it off with tap water to remove minerals that may cause erratic signals and buildup. 

Does the Canway GC-1028 Come with a Warranty?

The Canway metal detector is protected with a manufacturer 2-year warranty.  It appears that Canway has extremely responsive customer service, and they are quick to address any issue and provide a replacement.  It’s likely that part of Canway’s popularity may be due to its approachable and dependable customer relations department. 

Conclusion

The Canway is a simple metal detector, but it provides exactly what some beginners want.  It’s easy to use, it detects metals, and it’s lightweight.  While there may be several limitations that experts and intermediate users will not be able to get past, the low price is a major factor that beginners will appreciate when they’re just starting out with the hobby.  With the basics squared away, the rest is up to you to learn.

Sale
Canway Metal Detector High Accuracy Adjustable Waterproof Metal Finder, LCD Display with Light, Carrying Bag and Shovel Included, 7 Target Categories, Depth Indication, Audio Prompt, with P/P Function
685 Reviews
Canway Metal Detector High Accuracy Adjustable Waterproof Metal Finder, LCD Display with Light, Carrying Bag and Shovel Included, 7 Target Categories, Depth Indication, Audio Prompt, with P/P Function
  • ▲ADJUSTABLE HUMANITY DESIGN▲: the metal detector from 33" To 40. 6" Adjustable stem applicable to kids and adults. The arm rest design saves more effort, which gives you a comfortable state.

Further Reading:

Last update on 2020-06-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Simon Owen

I’m Simon and I love finding things. From a young age I always had the knack to find coins, notes, wallets and more. All of that was without the use of technology. I look forward to sharing with you some amazing tech that will make your treasure hunt a lot easier.