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How to Choose a Metal Detector

So you want to purchase a metal detector but can’t decide which one is best? Whether you’re shopping for your first metal detector or looking for a replacement for your outdated one, we’re here to help. Let’s first consider the three main types of metal detectors available in the market today.

Land metal detectors

Land metal detectors are the most basic types of detectors. This is designed to use only on land and is not waterproof. Some models may have splashproof qualities but still, should never be immersed in water.

Land metal detectors can detect all kinds of metals including gold, silver, platinum, aluminum, lead, copper, and many more. This type of detector has basic functions including different modes, object depth, pinpointer, discrimination, and notch.

This type of metal detector is the most affordable and has basic functions and parts. This is the  best metal detector for you if:

  • If you want a level-entry metal detector
  • If you’re just starting to appreciate the hobby
  • If you want a metal detector that’s easy to use
  • If you are going to look for treasure or relics on land only
  • If you have a tight budget

Beach and underwater metal detectors

Beach and underwater detectors are exactly what the name suggests. These detectors can handle water and may even be submerged in water only for a brief period. This kind of water detector has waterproof engines, coils, and stems plus is easy to use even when you’re underwater.

Beach and underwater metal detectors may look the same as land metal detectors. The only difference is that the latter only works on land while the underwater detector will work even in water or submerged in water. Also, most underwater and beach detectors come with arm holders with strap. This way, you won’t let go of the metal detector even when you’re several feet underwater.  A beach or underwater metal detector is for you if

  • If you want to look for treasure, coins, or relics underwater.
  • If there’s a chance you’ll be looking for treasure in a place where there are land and water
  • If you won’t mind paying more for an underwater metal detector model
  • If you want to search for treasure deep underwater for longer hours

Gold detectors

Gold detectors are the most highly specialized of the three metal detector types. This is the most accurate when it comes to searching for gold and will also search for other metals. Gold detectors are very sensitive, are very efficient plus, have intricate controls.

It’s best to leave gold prospecting equipment to professionals. Also, most equipment retailers will only sell their equipment to professionals as well. This is the most expensive of all metal detectors and it is yours if

  • If you’re a professional treasure hunter/relic hunter
  • If you are skilled in operating gold prospecting equipment.
  • If budget is not an issue for you

Using different metal detectors

Metal detectors vary in design, size, shape, and form. Most metal detectors are very easy to use and have very straightforward designs. But, it’s always best to check the manufacturer’s manual to guide you on how to use the piece of equipment.

We also recommend you get to know the different parts of a metal detector to properly use it. You can adjust the metal detector’s stem or handle to fit your arm size. In some versatile metal detectors, the stem may be adjusted depending on the user. Kids need a shorter stem while adjust may use a longer stem.

Consider a metal detector set if you’re new to the hobby. A set will come with all the accessories you need including an arm strap, a coil cover, headphones, a hand shovel, and many more. A set will also give you more value for your purchase than buying each accessory individually.

If you’re new to metal detecting, we recommend checking out good places to hunt in your area. Look for interesting facts about the area as these will help you decide which type of metal detector to buy.

Do you use a second-hand metal detector or settle for a new one? This is entirely up to you. If you’re still trying things out, we suggest a second-hand model but make sure that this device works accurately with minimal to no damage to the search coil.

But if are dead set to pursue metal detecting, then we recommend using a new one. You may go for a level-entry land metal detector instead of an expensive, updated model. Consider the different accessories and a warranty, as much as possible.


Metal detecting is fun and rewarding but you can only succeed if you use the best quality, accurate, high-performance metal detectors money can buy.  Read reviews of these products online to help you with your choice. Never overlook quality from the price.

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