Metal Detector Reviews and Ratings by FCR

Metal detector reviews and ratingsChoosing the ideal metal detector can be hard for any treasure hunter. It is especially the case for those who are new to the hobby; there are lots of good detector models on the market, and each of these models cater to different needs. Some are better in coin shooting, some are designed specifically for gold prospecting, while others are waterproof for treasure hunting on beaches or underwater. You need to get your hands on a unit that is tailored to fulfill your needs, and that is what we try to help you with through our detailed detector reviews. You can use the menu on the right to get directly to the best models that suit your needs, read our short reviews on the highest rated detectors, or use the main menu to look at what each brand has to offer.


General List of the Top Metal Detector Models


Model Overall Rating Performance Features Usability Design Review and Price

Whites Treasure Pro

Whites Treasure Pro

93 95 95 90 90

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Garrett Ace 350

Garrett Ace 350

91 95 90 90 90

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Fisher F4

Fisher F4

86 85 90 85 85

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Garrett Ace 250

Garrett Ace 250

86 85 85 90 85

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Fisher F2

Fisher F2

85 85 85 85 85

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Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II

Bounty Hunter Quick Draw II

83 80 85 85 80

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Looking for something specific? We got you covered!


Highest Rated Detector (Overall)

Best Overall Detector

The highest rated metal detector at the moment is White’s Treasure Pro. It offers a lot of features that we normally do not expect from a detector sold for about $400. In addition to that, it’s easy and intuitive to use. Treasure Pro got 93 out of 100 points in our review and it’s got similarly high ratings in most other sites (likewise, it is highly regarded by users).

At a close second, comes the Garrett Ace 350, which scored 91 points out of 100 with a plethora of advanced features including impeccable performance and ease of use.

Recommended model: Whites Treasure Pro


Best Detector for Coin Shooting

Best Detector for Coin Shooting

If you will be coin shooting mostly, there are three options that we can recommend based on your experience level and the available budget. You will definitely want a detector that offers decent target identification (so that you can tell coins from unwanted junk like bottle caps and such), a suitable search coil depending on how deep you want to go (use larger coils if you want to dig deeper or smaller coils if you think your targets will be close to the surface).

If you are looking for an entry level detector that does a good job in finding all kinds of coins, you may want to check out White’s Coinmaster or the Garrett Ace 250. Both models are reasonably priced and are very user friendly, so they both will be suitable for beginner/intermediate level coin shooters. The only problem with the Coinmaster is that it has a rather high recovery time which may cause you to miss some coins that are close to other coins or junk. Ace 250 doesn’t have such a problem, so it’s the recommended model between the two.

If you have a higher budget and want an overall better unit that you can use for a couple of years before upgrading, then Garrett Ace 350 is a very good alternative.

Recommended model: Garrett Ace 350


Best Underwater Metal Detector

Best Underwater Detector

If you are looking for underwater treasure, you would definitely need a detector capable of performing flawlessly underwater. There is one very good candidate here: Garrett’s best-seller AT Pro. AT Pro performs equally well on land and underwater and can be used in depths up to 10 feet (3 meters). It is also one of the best detector models for beaches, since it shines on salty sand where there are a lot of valuable targets to find but the conditions are very challenging for many detector models due to salt.

It is safe to say that if you are serious about treasure hunting and have the budget for AT Pro, you will end up having a very good detector that can accompany you on many hunting trips throughout the years.

 

Recommended model: Garrett AT Pro


Best Gold Detector

Best Gold Detector

Gold prospecting is a very enjoyable and at the same time very profitable hobby. However, finding the gold nuggets (even if you happen to know a perfect spot with lots of potential) is not an easy task. The sites with any respectable concentration of gold nuggets are also known to be highly mineralized, which makes it very hard for most detectors to discriminate junk from gold.

Fortunately, there are a few models that are specifically designed with gold prospecting in mind, and these models offer successful discrimination of iron and steel junk from gold nuggets, considerably increasing your chances of success and reducing the amount of effort required.

If you are on a budget or need a starter level gold detector, you can go with Fisher Gold Bug. With advanced features like threshold and gain adjustment, all metal and discrimination modes, 19 kHz frequency and computer assisted ground balancing, the Gold Bug is designed to find many gold nuggets missed by other models. You can learn more about Gold Bug here.

If you have a slightly larger budget, you may also go for Garret AT Gold which offers impressive performance with a double D search coil and 18 kHz operation frequency. It can be used with equal success for jewelry, relic and coin hunting in addition to gold prospecting. You can find out more about AT Gold here.

Recommended model: Garrett AT Gold


Brief Reviews for the Highest Rated Metal Detector Models


Whites Treasure Pro

Whites Treasure Pro

The Treasure Pro is as close you can get to a professional metal detector as you can with a mid-segment unit. This detector offers a lot more than the price warrants, and can help you make the leap from a beginner/intermediate treasure hunter to a seasoned pro with lots of valuable finds under their belt in no time.

Features

  • Automatic ground balancing
  • 8 audio tones
  • 8 target IDs
  • 10 inch DD waterproof search coil
  • 5 search modes (preset programs that you can also modify to your liking)

 

 


Garrett Ace 350

Garrett Ace 350

Right up there with the Treasure Pro in terms of performance and reliability and with a more affordable price tag, Garrett ACE 350 is one of the best models you can get your hands at this price. It offers almost everything you would expect from a high-end model including 5 search modes, easy discrimination, and waterproof (and interchangeable) DD search coil. No matter if you’ll be shooting for coins, relics or even gold, Garrett Ace 350 is highly recommended.

Features

  • Waterproof 8.5×11 DD search coil
  • Electronic pinpointing
  • Five search modes
  • Enhanced iron resolution
  • Headphones included

 

 


Fisher F4

 

Fisher F4

Fisher F4 is a powerful detector that offers convenience and performance in an easy to use, compact package. Features like category ID, numeric ID readout and 4 audio tones make it very easy to determine whether or not the target is valuable or not. It can be used for coin shooting or beach combing with its waterproof search coil.

Features

  • Manual ground balance
  • Threshold setting
  • Visual category target id
  • Numeric 0-99 readout
  • 4 tone audio id
  • One touch notch
  • One touch pinpoint
  • 11″ Bi-Axial Waterproof Search Coil

 


Garrett ACE 250

Garrett Ace 250

 

Although considered a beginner level model, Garrett Ace 250 actually has quite a few features that were previously exclusive to pro models like GTI and GTAx like custom notch discrimination, pinpointing, adjustable sensitivity and depth settings and the Performance coils series. We believe that for the price it is sold for, ACE 250 is a very decent alternative and can serve any beginner/intermediate treasure hunter for years before they need to upgrade to a more advanced detector.

Features

  • Electronic pinpoint with coin depth gauge
  • Custom notch discrimination with 12 settings
  • Graphic Target ID
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Special Performance series search coil (6.5×9”)

 


Fisher F2

Fisher F2

 

Fisher F2 is one of the brand’s entry level detectors, and offers impressive features for beginner hobbyists. With its lightweight and balanced build, it can be used easily by both youngsters and elderly treasure hunters. F2 packs quite a few impressive features for an entry level model including 4 audio tones, 8 segment visual target IDs, one touch pinpoint and numeric target values that make finding coins, jewelry and relics easy for the complete novice.

Features

  • 8-Segment visual target identification
  • 4-tone audio I.D.
  • Sensitive target response
  • Numeric target IDs
  • One-touch pinpoint
  • Numeric depth readout
  • Pinpointer included
  • 4″ Search Coil

 


Metal Detector Buying Guide


Best Metal Detector Models for 2015 and 2016The idea of finding gold or any precious metal would prompt most people to buy a metal detector. Imagine digging up a whole lot of interesting objects; old coins your great grandfather buried and forgot to tell you, wrist watch you thought you’d lost but turned out it got buried in your backyard, gold trinkets and a whole lot more. Purchasing a metal detector is a serious matter that needs careful planning and meticulous thinking. The type of metal detector that should work best for you relies on a lot of important factors that you should first consider.

Type of Metal Detector – the type of metal detector that would suit depends on what kind of metal detecting you plan to do. Each type of metal detector is designed for a specific kind of metal detecting. If you are a beginner and is planning on doing simple metal detecting once or twice a month for coins or gold nuggets, there is no need to buy a specialty metal detector. However, if you intend to do some serious gold nugget hunting, go for the metal detector with an accurate gold hunting capability. You also need to assess the environmental conditions of your “hunting place” whether it is dry or humid. If you will do your hunting in salt water beaches, you would need a metal detector specifically built for that.

Price – getting a bargain does not necessarily mean paying for a cheap metal detector that cannot perform its job. The best buy is purchasing a metal detector that does what you expect it to do and not spending a whole lot of money; it is getting something good enough to get the job done. Never splurge on your first metal detector; you can always upgrade to a pricier metal detector once you the get the hang of the whole “hunting” thing.

Weight – metal detectors used to be bulky and cumbersome to carry. These days, manufacturers designed metal detectors that are easier to carry and maneuver. Remember, you will spend a lot of time swinging your metal detector.

Warranty – this is one of the most important things to consider when buying a metal detector. Manufacturers’ warranties vary in policies. Some have warranties that expire in one year while some offer a lifetime warranty. You may need to come in for repairs so it is very important that you know what is and what is not covered in the warranty

Features – different types, brands and models of metal detectors come with different features. There are very easy and simple to operate metal detectors, and there are some really advanced and a bit complicated especially to beginners or new users. The more advanced metal detectors usually have built in programs and settings that make operating them really easy and convenient.

RF Two-box Metal Detectors– they are specialty detectors that react to large metallic objects at great depths. Used frequently by cache hunters and in detecting massive mineral deposits. They are not suited to hunt for very small objects

Pulse Induction – these metal detectors are used solely for detecting metals. It is very popular for use in black sand beaches and in areas with less trash. This is the type of metal detector used by treasure hunters. Using these types of metal detectors, it is possible to detect fine gold jewelry and gold nuggets in alkali and very hot areas. These detectors work great and get excellent depth on sandy and wet beaches but lose depth on dry, hard ground. PI detectors are usually not used as the primary detector.

TR (Transmitter-Receiver) – they are commonly used on non-mineralized salt water beaches and for salt water diving.

VLF/TR Detectors – they are usually used by experienced detectorists as their primary machine. They are equipped with discriminators that are capable of sorting trash from minerals. They have much greater depths of detection when mineralization is present.

VLF (Very Low Frequency) – these metal detectors are the most popular metal detectors because of their excellent ability in detecting a wide variety of metals. It operates using two round coils of wire. The outside coil on is the transmitter. This part gives off a low-frequency magnetic field onto the ground. The coil inside is the receiver, it intensifies any magnetic reflection caused by the hidden metal, and when there are signal reflections, an audio tone will sound off. These metal detectors have electronic circuits that filter the signal from the receiver. This circuit is a tuner that makes the detectorist maintain focus on the chosen range and ignore other levels of signal.

BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillation) – these metal detectors are typically used by beginners. This is the simplest and easiest to operate. As with the VLF metal detector, BFOs have two separate coils and emits signals at a given frequency via an oscillator which then is emitted by one of the coils. The BFO though doesn’t have the filtering and fine tuning capability of the VLF.

TONE ID/ Tone Discriminate Mode – a tone discriminator emits different audio sounds to allow the user to identify the buried metals according to the tones. Some metal detectors emit different audio tones depending on the conductivity of the object detected. Tone discrimination mode is perfect for detecting valuable metals such as coins and jewelry in areas with too much debris. For instance, objects made of iron, foil, or nickel may produce a low-pitched tone, while pull tabs or screw caps may yield a medium-pitched tone and high-pitched tone for valuable metals.

Target ID – identifies the detected metal object to give the user the option whether to dig it up or not. This feature is present in most detectors. It enables the detector to identify dimes, quarters, or half-dollars; copper pennies; pull tabs; iron, foil, or nickel. This is excellent for detecting coins in areas where the amount of trash exceeds the amount of treasure. Target ID can sometimes be programmed to search for or disregard specific types of objects or metal content.

Coils – larger the coils produce larger fields of detection. The sizes of the coils vary for each specific purpose. Smaller coils are fit for searching in areas with small debris or small fractions of gold. Medium coils are ideal for all types of hunting, while the large coils are perfect for searching large objects or for deeper probing.

Multiple Modes – it allows the metal detector to operate in different modes. The most common modes are all-metal detection, full-discriminate mode, tone discriminate mode, and pinpoint mode.

Stabilizers – keep the unit steady and convenient to operate while sweeping it back and forth. They keep the unit from coiling and twisting. While stabilizers are optional on some units, all of the top manufacturers include them as standard equipment.

Low Battery Indicator – alerts the user when the battery gets low. A flashing indicator light means it is time to replace the batteries.

Headphones – Another vital thing about employing the use of headphones is you increase battery life; headphones use considerable lesser current to perform therefore increasing the operating time notably.

All-metal Mode – allows the user to detect all different types of metal are detected, including iron, steel, aluminum, brass, silver, copper, and gold. Perfect for hunting relics, gold, caches, and other general detecting.

Full-Discriminate Mode – lets you automatically reject most trash.

Calibration – this calibration feature is called ground balance. It lets the metal detector emit a positive signal iron or other metallic is not detected in the area. All soils contain some iron or other metallic minerals.

Pinpoint Mode – it lets you locate the target accurately and recover it easily. This feature is great to use in areas with many debris. Detectors without this feature may be upgraded by buying this separately.

Radars – these radars give true pictures of objects underground. It works by shooting an electromagnetic wave into the ground, this reflects back any anomalies.

White’s Electronics is a family owned company that began in 1950. It designs and builds metal detectors in Sweet Home, Oregon. And has a second in Inverness, Scotland, serves Europe and Asia. The company is led by Ken and Mary White.

Garrett Charles and Eleanor Garrett started selling and marketing metal detectors in 1964. Charles Garrett is the first manufacturer to eliminate oscillator drift. He also designs and patents his revolutionary, independently-operated search coils. It is headquartered at 1881 W. State St. Garland, TX 75042.

Minelab originated in 1985. In 2008 Minelab became a member of the dynamic Codan Group of Companies. The parent company, Codan Limited, is an international leader in high frequency radio and satellite communications markets with customers in over 150 countries. In 2009, Codan celebrates its commemorative year, marking 50 years of Codan communication equipment.

JW Fishers are specialists in the design and manufacture of underwater search systems. Their product line includes hand held and boat towed metal detectors, marine magnetometers, video systems, side scan sonars, and scanning sonar.   An extensive line of underwater cameras is offered that includes ROVs, towed video, drop video, diver-held camera, and a mini camera.