There is a vast range of detectors on the market, from expensive, complicated professional detectors to detectors for kids. It can be hard to know where to start if you are looking for your first beginner model.
As a beginner, you really should be looking for a high end affordable and easy to use model, with all the features necessary to target with such as; audio, sensitivity and digital target id modes. Some more middle-priced brands like the Bounty Hunter, Garrett ace 250 and the Fisher f22 also offer higher-end models that include features like ground balance.
However, as we said, finding these beginner metal detectors is by no means an easy job. That’s why we have decided to help you out and round up the best detectors on the market for beginners and compare them to find the right entry-level model for you.
Our Top Beginners Metal Detector (2020 Updated)
- 1 Our Top Beginners Metal Detector (2020 Updated)
- 2 The MARNUR Metal Detector (Editor’s Choice)
- 3 Our Final Judgement – Which Is The Best Beginner Metal Detector
- 4 What To Look For In a Beginner Metal Detector (Buying Guide)
- 5 What Features Should You Look For In Metal Detectors
- 6 How To Use Metal Detectors
- 7 Tips For Using a Metal Detector
- 8 Benefits Of Metal Detecting As a Hobby
- 9 FAQs
- 10 Our #1 Metal Detector
The Marnur detector is one of the most highly rated detectors on our list and features a detection level as deep as 8 inches with a waterproof searching coil in case you want to go searching in shallow waters or light rain.
The MARNUR Metal Detector (Editor’s Choice)
Design-wise the detector has an adjustable stem meaning the device can be used by any users, paired with its sponge pad for a comfortable grip when searching. Seven variable sensitivity level comes with this beginner metal detector allowing you to detect metal on a variety of ground conditions, making it similar to the highly-rated Bounty hunter models.
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This device also comes with a multi-purpose shovel that can be used for many different tasks and even has a compass on end, along with a carrying bag and two stabilisation rings for a smooth detection.
One of the best entry-level detectors on our list in terms of metal detecting features; such as adjustable sensitivity and a variety of other modes to improve your accuracy when searching for metal. Its stabilisation rings are also beneficial in an uneven ground balance situation.
However, negatives of this best metal detectors model are its detection quality which may be suitable for hobby users but not advanced detectors.
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- Adjustable sensitivity with DISC mode.
- Stabilization rings.
- Adjustable stem.
- The detection level of 8 inches.
- Multi-purpose shovel included.
- Waterproof coil.
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- May not be able to find metals that well, not suitable for advanced detectors.
Our Runner Up! – DR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal Detector
The DR.ÖTEK model comes at a very affordable price and can enable you to locate gold rings, coins and silver items quickly. This model also allows you to adjust its sensitivity depending on the target you are looking for.
Notable features of this beginner detector are its pinpoint control system which allows you to pinpoint your target and drill down with no other distractions. The design of this model has a maximum depth detection of 18cm and can be used on water due to its 21cm waterproof search coil.
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Extra specifications of this model are its adjustable length and ergonomic design for comfort when detecting. It also comes with a bonus shovel to help with digging part of finding your gold nuggets.
This entry-level model by DR ÔTEK truly is great for metal detecting beginners due to its friendly design and easy to use features. The model is also great for various ground conditions and beginner treasure hunting, not to mention it is very affordable too.
Downfalls of this model have to be its build-quality, due to this model’s lower price it has been reported to have a cheap quality feel and becomes faulty when detecting items. This model has also been said to beep when there is no target.
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- Very affordable with entry-level features.
- Ergonomic design.
- Sensitivity adjustability.
- Waterproof coil.
- Pinpoint function.
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- Cheap build quality.
- Reported to be faulty when detecting.
SUNPOW High Accuracy Metal Detector
The SUNPOW mid-priced model features three different modes to choose from; the all-metal mode, which can detect metals such as iron and gold, the disc mode that stops unwanted targeting and the P/P mode that can improve accuracy when detecting.
Significant features of this device are its LCD control box which shows your mode, battery level, sensitivity level, volume and target depth. It can detect the depth of up to 7.1 inches and has a waterproof coil of ten inches that can help detect underwater too.
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Better accuracy comes with this model due to its P/P mode that shows you the volume level and depth of your target. It also comes with a shovel and carrying bag for your finds.
Extra features of this device are its LED light that helps improve vision at night and unique audio which sounds to according to various metals.
This SUNPOW model is one of the best entry-level detectors on our list thanks to its’s three different modes and high accuracy P/P feature that makes searching with this device more advanced. Its light is also great for better viewing in dark conditions.
Some downfalls of this model would be it detection level which wouldn’t be able to pick up any metal that is deep in the ground, the build quality is also a little cheap, probably due to its lower price.
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- Affordable with three different modes.
- LED light and control box.
- A waterproof coil of 10 inches.
- Can eliminate unwanted targeting.
- Unique audio.
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- Low build quality.
- Shallow detection level.
INTEY Pinpoint Detector
If you are looking for a very affordable beginner entry-level detector that’s highly rated, this INTEY model might be worth considering. The model comes with personalised detecting options due to its adjustable accuracy and high sensitivity.
Notable features of this detector are its pinpoint function which allows you to zone in on your target id and find any metal; from gold nuggets to are coins. Its also made of lightweight ABS material and has an arced shape arm support for more comfort when hunting.
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This INTEY detector comes with a waterproof coil for detecting when near water and has an adjustable stem. There is also an ear jack to keep audio private.
Extras of this model are its carrying bag and shovel for helping dig up your target once detected.
A very affordable first buy model which is a perfect detector for beginners due to its simple design and lightweight material. This model can also detect 1-2 feet down, which is more than other same-priced metal detectors on our list.
However, this device does lack some quality features and is reported to be designed for children more than adults. This model may not be great at detecting as a higher-priced one would be.
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- Easy to use design with deep level detection.
- Pinpoint function.
- Lightweight ABS material.
- Adjustable stem and sensitivity.
- Ear Jack.
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- More designed for children than adults.
- Cheap quality.
SAKOBS Metal Detector
This sakobs branded detector is priced very affordably and boasts two modes to choose from when metal detecting; the all-metal mode which can detect coins, aluminium, silver and a disc mode, that eliminates other distractions that aren’t your target id.
Feature-wise this metal detectors model can detect within a 6.3-inch depth, followed by its waterproof coil which allows you to carry on detecting in wet ground conditions. The sensitivity of this detector can be adjusted, along with it stem for different user use.
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There is an LCD screen included which allows you to see different statistics such as battery level, paired with light for helping you use your model at night. This model also has an ergonomic padded armrest and features a headphone jack for private detecting.
Overall, this sakobs detector is suitable for first-time detector buyers who need a basic metal detectors model with robust features for finding treasure. It has a very affordable price and is also very adjustable.
Downfalls of this model are its detection level which is very shallow compared to other metal detectors on our list. This device also lacks a pinpoint mode for improving accuracy when using your detector. The model again does not come with a shovel like most other models on our list.
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- Great for a beginner metal detective.
- Adjustable features.
- LCD screen.
- Waterproof coil.
- LED light.
- DISC mode.
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- No shovel included.
- No pinpoint function for accuracy.
- Shallow detection level.
Viewee Lightweight Metal Detector
The Vieww entry-level detector is one of the most highly rated best metal detector models on our list. This device comes with a high sensitivity function for finding all kinds of metals such as coins and gold. It also features a waterproof coil for searching in wet conditions.
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Other features of this detector are its adjustable stem which makes it great to use with kids or adults. It also comes with its carry bag for storage. There is an LCD and an audio function to keep you alert while metal detecting.
This highly rated best detector by Viewee is perfect for beginner detectors and kids due to its adjustable and straightforward design. The entry-level model also has all the features you need to target metal, even in water due to its waterproof coil.
Some downfalls of this device are its lack of adjustable settings such as sensitivity. Its build has also been reported to be of low quality.
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- LCD with audio features.
- Great for kids due to adjustable stem.
- Waterproof coil.
- Carry bag included.
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- Cant detect near wet sand.
- No light function.
- No adjustable sensitivity levels and DISC mode.
- Cheap build.
Our Final Judgement – Which Is The Best Beginner Metal Detector
Overall, the best beginner detector model on our list had to be the MARNUR model due to its adjustable sensitivity features and deep detection levels. These features make metal detecting more fun and rewarding to do if you are a first time user of detectors.
For an alternative recommendation, we would suggest the DR.ÖTEK best metal detector due to its affordable price and ergonomic design.
What To Look For In a Beginner Metal Detector (Buying Guide)
By now you would have seen there is a vast range of affordable detectors for beginners on the market such as the Bounty hunter range and the Garrett ace models.
Most of these detectors, however, differ in features and price, you must buy your first detector with all the specifications you need.
So we have put together a small buying guide to help you out with everything you need to know about buying your first detector.
What Features Should You Look For In Metal Detectors
Beginner metal detectors don’t have as many features as advanced models do like the Garret Ace 250, but there are still some features that are worth looking out for so as you can be buying the best one for your money’s worth.
- Detection depth – Now, for a beginner metal detectors model you should understand it is unlikely you will find a device with a depth detection level that goes past 18cm, anything less you will not be able to target deeply buried metals easily. Ground balance is also a feature that can help with depth but isn’t included with alot of beginner models.
- Adjustability – Your detectors stem length should be adjustable so as a variety of people can use it, this also useful for comfort purposes as the last thing you want is to be metal detecting with a hunched over back.
- Sensitivity – Your metal detecting device should come with adjustable sensitivity so as you can decide how precise you want your detection to be for particular kinds of metals.
- Pinpoint function – Having a pinpoint function on your detectors model will help you zone in on your target and bring it to the surface quickly.
- DISC function – A DISC function on your beginner detectors model will allow you to ignore any other metals around and help you focus on one in particular.
- High-quality material – One problem of entry-level detectors are there cheap plastic build which can be prone to breaking easily and have a toy-like feel. Try and look for a beginner model that has a strong body.
- Waterproof coil – A waterproof coil is a necessary feature if you want to be able to use your device in shallow water or light rain; most detectors for beginners will come with one.
- Extras – Most detectors should come with a shovel and a carrying bag as extra accessories so this is something to look out for.
- LCD screen – This feature is a standard on most devices. It is essential as it allows you to view statistics such as; depth level, sensitivity and battery life when searching.
How To Use Metal Detectors
Now, some first-time users may find using metal detectors a little daunting at first. However, the metal detectors for beginners are very simple to use and will have you feeling like a detecting pro in no time.
We’ve put together a little step by step guide to help you use your entry-level model for the first time –
Check your device
Before you being using your detector its an excellent idea to get to know it first, for example, make sure you understand all of its settings and functions.
This is so you can be comfortable using your detector and focus on finding metals rather than messing around with the settings, some useful functions to check on your detector for beginners are –
- Sensitivity levels.
- Metal modes.
- Battery level.
- Discrimination or DISC.
- Ground balance (If your model has).
Test your detectors function
Now you understand your detector and how its works, you should make sure it’s working correctly before you take it out on any hunting trips.
Try burying some old jewellery or coins and test your detector out on different settings so as you can figure out what works the best for each kind of material, this way you can also make sure your device is working and get a real feel for what kind of depth it can pick up.
Choose where you want to search
The fun part – where are you going to start using your first best detector? Great places to begin with your detector are parks, beaches, abandoned land and anywhere else you can think of, make sure you have permission to do this though.
Best locations to choose tend to be places of high activity like beaches (avoid wet sand mixes as it may cause a false signal) and parks as there more chances of being able to find something with your detector. Old places are always right too as you have more chance of finding some old relic metals.
When you start to hunt with your detector make sure it is placed close to the ground but not touching the floor, sweep your detector in a semi-circle like motion around two feet ahead of you and walk in a straight line.
Most importantly, don’t rush!
Be systematic and patient
If you want to be successful at finding gold, be patient and remember where you have already searched, you will likely dig up alot of things you don’t wish to, but hey, ones man’s trash is another mans treasure right?
Tips For Using a Metal Detector
Using detectors to hunt can be alot of fun and very addicting once you start this best hobby, the most experienced metal detectors, however, know the best ways to hunt treasure.
We’ve put together some valuable tips and expertise to help you out when using your best metal detector –
- Don’t give up and expect trash – It is unavoidable and disheartening, but rubbish will appear alot when you hunt in different ground conditions but don’t give up as you might be one find away from a better target id win.
- Spend as much time as you can – The longer the time you spend with your detectors device in one place, the more likely it will be that you will find something.
- Visit old places – Older areas are more likely to have older valuables, you could find some great relics by looking in those kinds of locations.
- Buy the best detector you can afford – If you can stretch your budget higher, you will get a higher-quality device, and more reliable detectors will often find your more things deeper under the ground.
- Dig everything – Don’t discard beeps and move on, you never know when you might find your next treasure, and the one beep you skip could be it.
- Bring a bag – If you find some bits and bobs you think are valuable, you’ll need to carry a bag so as you can store what you discover.
- Use comfortable headphones – If you are hunting for a long time, you will want to wear comfortable headphones so as you can be alerted when you find a valuable target id.
- Hunt after rain – Rain can make detectors perform better due to the better conductivity, it also much more comfortable to dig after its been raining as the soil is looser.
- Carry extra batteries – You never know when your batteries might run out, and the last thing you need is to be stuck in the middle of a hunt with no batteries, so simple solution – bring extra.
- Don’t hunt when it’s busy – Not only is searching when it’s busy annoying, but also it attracts attention.
- Bring your tools – Make sure you have your shovel and a bag to carry anything you find, for first time hunting you will be surprised at how many objects you might find.
Benefits Of Metal Detecting As a Hobby
If you are not convinced you need a detector yet, and you are still sitting on the edge wondering if you truly need one, we’ve listed out a small list of benefits below that can help change your mind –
- Fresh air & exercise – Owning a detector can get you outside for hours after hours, not only is fresh air said to make you significantly happier, it can also help your get your daily steps and exercise in.
- You can find historical objects – You might be surprised at some relics you can discover in the ground, primarily if you hunt around old parks and land that’s been abandoned but once highly populated.
- You learn more about where you are – You will find many new places with your detector that you might not have known about before.
- You can find some valuable things – If you are persistent in hunting, there’s no doubt you will find some pretty amazing things to either sell or keep.
What features should the best metal detectors for beginners have?
The best detectors should have a pinpointing function for better detecting like the Garrett ace 300 models.
They should also be lightweight and come with a good range of depth for sensing materials.
Ground balance is also an excellent feature to look for as it allows you to have better depth in mineralised ground. However, this is mostly found on higher priced models.
Some other specifications to look for are LCD screens, DISC functions to avoid distracting materials and a waterproof coil.
What’s the best technique for detecting?
The best way to go hunting has to be slow and steady, with a semi-circle sweeping motion while rotating. This will ensure you cover all ground area and don’t miss anything valuable.
Is it worth buying a detector?
Yes, as a hobby it is very time-consuming but worth it due to the potential of being able to find something precious.
However, you have to have patience when using these devices; they give great exercise too.
How deep underground can they detect?
This depends on the price and kind of model you buy.
Advanced models can go as low as 30cm while beginner models tend to be around 15cm, however just because a model can detect a different range of depth doesn’t mean they are any better at sensing.
What metals can be found by detectors?
Silver, bronze, aluminium, nickel and tin, only some models can detect gold.
How do detectors work?
Detectors work by sending an electromagnetic signal into the ground via a coil, once the device detects anything, it will then send a signal back up, and you will be alerted.
Can these devices find gold?
Yes, any detector can find gold depending on the size of it; however, for small pieces of gold, a higher quality model will be needed to pick up a signal.
Where are the best places to go searching?
The best places to go hunting are; parks, beaches, old locations, gardens and abandoned land. When hunting beaches try to set a ground balance as this will avoid false signals from wet sand.
Make sure you get permission if you start searching on private land.
What are false signals?
False signals tend to happen when your device detects that there is metal in the ground when there isn’t. This can often occur in places with mineralised soil like wet sand. Ground balance is a feature that can solve this.
Why is it better to hunt after rain?
This is because the ground is much more conductive, wet soil is also beneficial as you can dig easier and faster.
Can they work in water?
Yes if it has a waterproof coil, however, only very shallow waters. There are some more expensive models on the market that are fully waterproof though.
What are the best beginner brands to buy on the market?
Apart from our top-rated detectors above, the Ace 300, Fisher f22 and the Garrett ace 250 models are some well known highly rated beginner brands on the market. Bounty hunter also has reliable beginner models at an affordable price.
Do I need a license to use one?
In the UK no, however, some places might want special permits like beaches, it’s a good idea to do your research and check with the crown estate website just in case.
For private lands, it is best to ask the landowner directly to avoid any inconvenience happening.
Our #1 Metal Detector
Metal detectors best benefits has to be finding unexpected gold or relic, so for a beginner model to help you gain experience in this hobby, we would recommend the MARNUR model due to its simple design, sensitivity features and affordable price.
As a beginner, you need a detector that will be easy to function but still not a toy, so we feel as if this model meets the middle ground.
For an alternative, we suggest the DR.ÖTEK detector mainly because of its comfortable design and useful sensitivity features.