There are TONS of articles about which metal detector is the best, as well as how to select the right model for you. But, not everyone has time to spend hours researching manufacturers and models. People often come to us for quick selection advice. It’s sort of like Cliffs Notes (a brief explanation of long text). Reasons you may need to pick out a metal detector quickly are:
- Want to try out the hobby before spending a lot of money
- It’s a gift for a quickly approaching birthday
- Want a beginner’s detector for upcoming vacation
- Need a simple kid’s detector
- Time-crunched and want to make a quick decision
If this describes one of the reasons you’re in a hurry, and need a metal detector fast—here are some basic guidelines to follow.
Price Categories at a Glance
Here are our Top Picks for Metal Detectors in the $100 – $200 Price Range:
Fisher F11 Metal Detector
If you are curious about metal detecting, but don’t want to spend much at first, this may be a good category to start with. Also, if this is a detector that your kids will use or it’s a gift for a child—this price range is right on. You will find coins even with inexpensive detectors; and well-known manufacturers certainly make decent detectors in the entry-level price range. These models work well for beginners, but they generally don’t get high marks for discrimination ability and durability. Bounty Hunter is a manufacturer that is known for low, affordable prices. MetalDetector.com carries 7 quality Bounty Hunter models that are under $200! Their claim to fame: “Bounty Hunter gives you top quality metal detectors at the best price! Affordable and easy to use, Bounty Hunter brand metal detectors are your perfect choice for beginners, kids and anyone who simply enjoys the hobby. You’ll be uncovering gold and other precious metals in no time!”
Here are our Top Picks for Metal Detectors Under $200:
$200 – $399 Price Range- Top Detector Choices
If you are serious about detecting, get a metal detector in this price range. Better quality models will start around $200. In the $200 to $399 price range, you can count on excellent iron discrimination, accurate target ID and rugged design for longer hours of detecting. Many of these detectors feature water-resistant search coils for hunting along the shoreline. This doesn’t mean the rest of the detector is fully submersible, so we suggest as a general rule, that you go up to your ankles in the water. Just released is the new Garrett Ace 300 which replaces one the most popular model’s for serious beginner metal detectorists, the Garrett Ace 250. Owners give it good reviews; and at under $255, you can’t go wrong! For a bit more money, the Garrett Ace 400 delivers more amenities, with a higher operating frequency, new salt water capabilities and the deepest seeking Garrett Ace search coil ever.
The Fisher F22 and Fisher F44 models are budget friendly, yet sophisticated with weatherproof design. The big benefit here is the 2-digit Target Identification number you will find on higher-priced models. This adds a lot to the ability to discriminate trash from treasure. The Fisher F22 features 4 modes of operation, while the Fisher F44 features 5 modes of operation—plus they both have a pinpoint mode. The Tesoro Silver Umax is a very popular model in the Tesoro line up that gets high ratings at a price range of around $250. This is a favorite for relic hunting and coin hunting. It is light weight at 2.2 pounds, so it’s easy on the arms for hours of treasure hunting.
The Bounty Hunter Platinum Metal Detector
Rounding out this top-of-entry level category are two units with features you would expect to pay more for. Check out the Bounty Hunter Platinum and the Platinum Pro unit. The Platinum Pro sports a larger, more powerful 11″ DD search coil.
In a nutshell: if you are going to buy quickly, don’t go crazy and overspend on your first detector. If you want to upgrade at a later point, you can always sell the lower-grade detector and move up. If you decide you DO want to do a little research before purchasing a metal detector, be sure to read the articles below:
“How to Select a Metal Detector”
“What is the Best Metal Detector?”
“Which Metal Detector is Best for You?”