How Much Is A Decent Metal Detector

How Much Is A Decent Metal Detector? Find Out Here!

Are Metal Detectors Expensive?

There is a huge range of metal detectors on the market to choose from, making the choice between the wide range difficult. 

High-quality metal detectors can, unfortunately, come with quite a big price tag and are best suited to an experienced hunter, but for hobby entry-level hunters, you will probably want to start with a more basic cheap metal detector, but not a toy.

So, the average basic metal detector on the market can be within a price range of £150-£300 and even more if you are looking for special detectors such as waterproof models or a multi-frequency detector.

If you spend any less than this you will likely end up with a detector for kids, so to help you understand how much you will be spending on your detector for a decent model, as well as what you need to be looking for in your detector, we have put together our best guide below which will give you everything you need to know.

Is a Metal Detector Worth The Money?

As you start looking into metal detectors, you may realise they do cost a small investment, and unless your a treasure fanatic, your probably wondering are these devices worth it? 

Well whether or not you find these machines worth it ultimately comes down to you and what you are looking to get out of the hobby, for example, if you love collecting objects, you like history and you have patience, then metal detecting and hunting is probably something worthwhile for you that you will enjoy. 

However, if you are looking to make fast cash and earn a living from these machines, then you will probably find that these detectors are not so much of an excellent choice, this is because although metal detecting is an addictive hobby, it also requires you to love it and be okay with not finding hidden treasure all the time. 

Gold hunting and relic hunting can be fun as a hobby, but it is not to be relied on for an income, you will quickly grow tired of this hobby if that is your only aim. 

You should not invest in a real metal detector if – 

  • You’re looking for quick cash. 
  • You hate walking. 
  • You give up easily. 
  • You only have the budget for a cheap metal detector. 

What Are The Benefits Of a Metal Detector?

If you are still on the edge about whether or not to invest in an all-purpose detector, then we have listed out some advantages below that you can get from detectors to see if we can change your mind.

  • They are excellent for kids – Nowadays, too much technology can keep children inside, metal detecting is a great bonding activity for you and your kids and will help them get outside more with the exciting prospect of finding a treasure!
  • Great exercise when treasure hunting – Squatting down, walking long distance and getting some sunshine can do wonders for your health and help you get those daily steps in on the fields without you even realising. 
  • Perfect for lovers of history – If you love history, you will find metal detecting machines very beneficial to you, scouting out historic places and going relic hunting can be an addictive hobby for history lovers and an excellent choice if you are looking to collect historically valuable items.
  • You could earn yourself some money – Even affordable metal detectors can help you earn some income here and there, most commonly this can be done by finding old and lost jewellery, however, if your lucky when gold hunting you might land yourself a small nugget.
  • Great for building friendships – Metal detecting has a big community and can be a great type of hunting to do with friends and family which allows you to spend quality time together. 

Are There Any Drawbacks Of These Metal Detector Machines?

Even though metal detecting has a wide range of benefits for its customers, there are some cons to a metal type of hunting that you may not have considered. 

  • You will mostly find rubbish – Let’s face it, any metal detector user will tell you that what you find the most of in the ground will probably be rubbish such as tin cans, but this is all part of the fun and shouldn’t deter you from relic hunting or choosing targets in the ground. Just make sure to carry a rubbish bag and recycle!
  • It can get tiring – Being on your feet all day in all kinds of weather is not for the faint-hearted, you should seriously love these machines if you are going to be spending a lot of time with them, if not you will probably give up very easily!
  • They can be expensive – Expensive price models can cost a lot due to the different feature options they include within an advanced metal detector. Although there are mid-range detector options too, these come with a smaller range of features so may not be desired by a lot of people who want to take the hobby seriously. 
  • You need to have patience – As we mentioned above, these machines are not a get rich quick scheme and you will likely find few precious metals in the ground that you can make an income of, so you will need to have patience for this hobby as it is very time-consuming.

How Much Do Different Metal Detector Options Cost?

Whether you are looking for a kids metal detector, a beginner detector or a waterproof metal detector, you are going to want to know how much all these different detectors will cost you. 

For example, an advanced detector for the beach would cost you more than cheap metal detectors for beginners due to the waterproof coils and frequency they come with. 

We have listed out the common metal detector machines below and their average price so as you can get an idea of what you might spend on your model when the time comes.

How Much Will I Spend For An Gold Metal Detector?

Everyone wants to find gold treasure when metal detecting and it’s pretty much the dream of any hunting enthusiast when your out on the fields. 

Gold metal detectors will often be a little expensive and come with fancy discrimination settings, adjustable ground balance and frequency tailored specifically to finding gold in all ground conditions. 

They will often be in a price range of £300-£500, but some high-quality models may even go up to £1000. 

Some general features that are included in gold detectors are – 

  • 3D imaging. 
  • Best discrimination. 
  • PI technology. 
  • Adjustable ground balance settings. 

Professional Brands 

  • Minelab. 
  • Tesoro Lobo. 
  • Garrett. 
  • Fisher.

How Much Will I Spend For An Advanced Real Metal Detector?

For the extreme depth, high signal strength and great battery life, you probably want to know how much a high-quality advanced metal detector is going to cost you with all its advanced features included. 

If we are talking about a professional metal detector then you should know, on average you are looking to spend a price range of £500-£1000 and above, the higher the price meaning the more advanced features it will come with. 

The reason these detectors cost so much is that they are equipped for giving you a better chance at finding real treasure in the ground.

They typically use PI technology which is one of the best on the market and have high-resolution ground balance, extreme depth capabilities and waterproof coils which is perfect for searching on beach soil.

We have listed out the most common advanced features and brands you will be likely to find for this £1000 price so as you can see if these machines will be worth it for you. 

Common Features 

  • Waterproof coils allow you to use the detector in freshwater hunting. 
  • PI technology with multi-frequency range. 
  • Superior discrimination settings for treasure hunters looking for better target separation. 
  • High depth range. 
  • Enhanced sensitivity settings and lightweight. 
  • Range of features & accessories such as waterproof headphones, back-lit display, arm strap and more.

Professional Brands 

  • Garrett. 
  • Bounty Hunter. 
  • Minelab. 
  • Makro. 
  • Nokta. 

How Much Will I Spend For A Waterproof Metal Detector?

If you are looking to go on a beach hunt with wet sand or even take your metal detector diving, you need to make sure it’s either waterproof or if it can be submerged into deep water depth. 

This detector for the beach will cost much more than all-purpose detector models due to their need for waterproof search coils, and great manual ground balance so as it can detect with high accuracy despite ground minerals in the dry sand or wet sand being present. 

On average, you can expect to spend between a price range of £500-£1500 on a waterproof metal detector as they are considered a speciality machine for beach hunting.

The cheaper detectors for underwater will have a water depth of around 10-16 feet while the higher priced model will be able to be submerged for diving up to 20 feet or more, this means all the parts of the detector such as the control box and digital display will be waterproof. 

Do remember that there is a difference between beach hunting detectors and deep-diving detectors, never try to use a beach model underwater unless it says can be used for deep diving.

With a high priced underwater detector, it will typically have PI technology and a high signal strength due to the minerals present when beach hunting. We have listed some typical features you will find in these speciality machine types below. 

Common Features 

  • PI technology. 
  • Waterproof sealed parts. 
  • Extreme depth detection.
  • Great ground balance adjustment. 
  • Waterproof accessories.
  • Adjustable notch discrimination. 
  • Great battery life. 
  • Ability to be used scuba diving.
  • Multi-frequency machine.

Professional Brands 

  • XP Deus. 
  • Garrett Sea Hunter. 
  • Nokta. 
  • Nalanda.

How Much Will I Spend For a Kids Metal Detector?

Luckily, compared to waterproof and advanced metal detectors, kids models tend to be a cheaper all-purpose detector and great for younger ones who are looking to get into the hobby of metal detecting. 

Kids metal detectors will often have very lightweight and easy to use features such as a backlit display, pre-set modes and basic target ID detections to practice with as a beginner.

There is a common misconception that kids metal detectors will give false signals and can’t be used to detect all types of metal, but this is not true, if you get a high-quality model they often have reasonable depth and can be used to find treasures like an expensive detector would be able to.

You can generally expect to spend anything from £100-£200 on a model depending on how basic it is, most of the modes will be automated too such as automatic ground balance and a fixed notch system. 

We have listed the common features you are likely to find in a cheap detector type like this below.

Common Features 

  • Auto ground balance. 
  • Lightweight. 
  • Fixed notches and pre-set modes. 
  • Audio tones. 
  • One-touch controls. 
  • VLF technology.
  • Target ID. 
  • LCD display.

Professional Brands 

  • Dr Otek. 
  • Minelab. 
  • National geographic. 
  • Fisher. 
  • Garrett. 

How Much Will I Spend For An Beginner Metal Detector

As a beginner to this hobby, you are probably looking for the best cheap metal detectors on the market to learn with that can be used for all-purpose hunting. 

Beginner model detectors will have an affordable price range of £300-£500 for a decent quality model, these detector electronics will often have auto ground balance, target ID for treasure hunters and basic search modes, making them a high-value choice for beginners.

We’ve listed the common features your likely to see in a beginner model below. 

Common Features 

  • VLF technology. 
  • Manual ground balance and auto ground balance. 
  • Discrimination settings. 
  • Search modes & pinpoint modes. 
  • Depth indicator. 
  • Easy to use LCD feature and controls. 

Professional Brands 

  • Fisher. 
  • Bounty Hunter. 
  • Nokta. 
  • Garrett. 
  • Teknetics. 

How Much Will I Spend For a Cheap Price Metal Detector

So, if you have the lowest of the lowest budget, but you are still determined to get yourself an all-purpose metal detector for finding treasure, then you are most likely wondering how much cheap detectors will cost you. 

Cheap metal detectors can come in a price range of around £150, obviously, the cheaper you go the lower quality and more limited feature choice you will have, and the higher you go the better your detector will be, so the features included with your model is down to just how cheap you go. 

We have listed the typical features include in these cheap detectors below. 

Common Features

  • Depth indicator. 
  • Discrimination settings. 
  • Target ID.
  • Adjustable sensitivity. 

Professional Brands 

  • Bounty Hunter. 
  • Garrett. 
  • Nokta. 
  • National Geographic. 

Other Prices To Consider With An All-Purpose Metal Detector

Not only should you consider the price of the metal detector itself when looking to invest, but you should also consider the accessories you might need with your machine too. 

We have listed some additional price factors to include when budgeting for your best model. 

  • Headphones
  • Sand scoop. 
  • Pinpointer. 
  • Battery. 
  • Carrying bag. 
  • Interchangeable coils. 

Some of these accessories could potentially be included with your detector, but cheaper models will often need you to buy them separately which means you should factor the essential ones into your budget.

Essential Features To Consider In Your Metal Detector

Choosing what features you do or don’t need in a metal detector can be frustrating, making it hard to understand what a decent metal detector should include for it to be worth your money. 

So to help you out, we have listed the basic yet important features to consider in your budget metal detector below that will ensure your model is still of high quality, even for a smaller price. 

  • Coil size – The coil size that your detector comes with is one of the most important factors to consider in your basic model, even if it’s a cheap model. Larger coils will often give you more coverage and smaller ones less but they both differ in depth. You will be faced with the decision of choosing between; concentric coil, elliptical and spider. 
  • Technology – There are three main types of technology to choose from in your detector; pulse induction (PI), (BFO) and very low frequency (VLF). VLF tends to be the best and affordable technology to look for in your model, BFO is better for children and PI is the best for professionals. 
  • Discrimination – Having discrimination settings on your model will allow you to differentiate between different types of metals no matter the type of soil or tough ground conditions, if you can afford it, look for a model with excellent discrimination as this will make your life easier when hunting on the mineralised ground.
  • Sensitivity – Adjustable sensitivity is essential, this will allow you to pick and choose when you need high sensitivity or lower sensitivity depending on the type of target of detection depth, this can stop you from getting too many false signals too.
  • Waterproofing – For beach metal detectors your model must have sealed waterproof parts and a waterproof coil if you want to detect treasure in and out of saltwater.
  • Weight – If your budget can allow, look for a lightweight ergonomic design on your detector for a more pleasurable experience. 
  • Calibration – This also refers to ground balance, your model will likely come with either manual or auto ground balance. Both are great for controlling what metals your model does not alert you to according to the types of soil.
  • Accessories – Even if you are buying a basic model, it should come with some standard accessories such as headphones and a pinpointer, along with an LCD display for easy control.
  • Warranty – No matter whether you choose the most expensive or least expensive detector, it should have a one-year warranty included for buyers protection.

Which Types Of Metal Detectors Are The Most Expensive?

The most expensive types of metal detectors tend to be PI models as they use advanced professional and highly accurate technology for detecting. 

Expensive detector types are also waterproof and have high depth detection abilities in comparison to regular detectors on the market. 

So out of our list above, we would say that; PI detectors, waterproof and gold models tend to be the of the highest price on the market. 

How Much Money Can I Make From Metal Detecting?

Now, if you have your money budgeted aside for your best metal detector and you’ve decided it’s worth the investment, you are probably wondering just how much money you can make from one of these machines by selling valuable target metals. 

And the answer to that is, it’s dependable and not reliable, you can’t make a living off a metal detecting unless you do it for some kind of job, but you might score a few treasures when you are out and about which are worth selling. 

Although there’s not a fixed price on the amount that you can make from metal detecting, we do have some tips on how to hunt so you can have the best chance of finding valuables that can make you money. 

  • Go to places after events – After a large event or concert you might find this is the best time to make money detecting, you will often find a lot of loose change dropped and maybe if your lucky some jewellery, just make sure you have permission to detect on this land and don’t give up, the pennies can add up after a couple of hours of searching, and you don’t even have to dig as they will be right on the surface!
  • Look out for rare coins – Valuable coins are a great type of metal to find and can give you a fair amount of money if they are rare ones too, it’s best to look in historic places for these so do a little British history research before you head out so as you can keep an eye for these rare coins.
  • Visit a beach after good weather – If your British you will know that with any good weather, we Brits will take the opportunity and flock to the beach. This is a great time to metal detect, as you can find all kinds of valuables dropped and even treasures washed up on the shore.
  • Look for gold nuggets – We know, easier said than done, but if you manage to find a gold nugget you really could make a small fortune, however, these have to be of considerable size for your powerful metal detector to be able to pick it up. 
  • Hunt for relics – Old bullets or civil war relics is some great finds that can make you some extra cash, even if you don’t consider a relic important, a collector might so you should keep every relic you come across when detecting. 
  • Try underwater detecting – Lost jewellery, coins and even shipwrecks can be among the things you find if you combine metal detecting with diving, this is not as popular as normal metal detecting so there’s likely to be more hidden valuables to find.
  • Work for a museum – Some museums will employ you to metal detect for them so as they can add rare artefacts to their displays, just ensure you have a detector that is equipped enough to do this kind of professional work.

What Is The Treasure Trove Law?

If you have been researching about how to make money from being relic hunters using your detector for coins then you might have come across the treasure trove law. 

This is a law that means anything you find in the ground that contains 10% silver or gold must be reported to the authorities within two weeks, otherwise, you could be fined up to £5000, this is known as the treasure act in the UK and treasure trove lawn in Scotland. 

The law came from 1996 where it is claimed any treasures found are owned by the crown, however, this doesn’t mean you won’t get paid for it, often this treasure will be sold off to a museum, meaning whatever the museum pays you will get a share of!

Tips On How To Use An All-Purpose Detector

After knowing you can make some cash back with your metal detector, it’s a good idea to learn how to use these machines in the best way possible when you are out on the field to find that treasure.

So to help you out, we have composed our best tips below for using your model.

  • Search with a pattern – Always search methodically so as you can not get confused about where you have and have not searched, try going front to back the side to side to zone in on areas and establish a border working from left to right on pieces of land.
  • Practice makes perfect – Practice makes a difference on how well you can use your device, you should train your ears to listen for certain beeps when you metal detect so as you can stay alert and not miss any valuables.
  • Wear wireless headphones – Headphones not only give you privacy when searching but allow you to block unwanted noise and zone in on listening to the noises your model is making.
  • Understand the location – For highly mineralised soil you will have to adjust the sensitivity settings of your detector so as it can not give you too many false signals, this will however mean you lose out on some depth. 
  • Don’t clean relics – If you do manage to find an artefact from the ground do not be tempted to clean it! Just use a soft brush so as you can identify what it is then take it to a professional.
  • Use the all-metal mode – All-metal mode is often turned off by a lot of people who want to find specific metal types, but by not utilising this mode you could be potentially missing out on items that have low conductivity like gold.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much a Decent Metal Detector Is

Is pulse induction technology better than a very low-frequency technology?

This depends on whether you do metal detecting for hobby reasons or professional reasons, VLF is often cheaper than PI and the machines will be lighter with this kind of technology, they are also great for freshwater hunting and have great discrimination settings. 

PI detectors on the other hand are the best for professional use and excel when it comes to saltwater hunts as well as having a great depth.

What are some valuable objects I can find metal detecting? 

Gold nuggets, old relics, rare coins and lost jewellery are some highly regarded valuables you can come across when metal detecting and even make some money from if you sell them onwards to a collector. 

How much would an average quality metal detector cost? 

For an average metal detector that still has decent feature options to hunt with, you should expect to budget anything from £300-£500.

Are these detectors suitable for kids?

Metal detectors are perfectly fine for kids to use and are a great hobby to get them out of the house, you can buy special kid metal detectors on the market that are light in weight and have a simple operation so they are suitable for kids.

What is discrimination? 

Discrimination in metal detector terms refers to the amount of noise that you block out, for example, if your detector is set to low discrimination then you will probably have a lot of signals, but when your discrimination is set too high you will have fewer signals, this can be important if you working on a soil which is high in minerals as they give a lot of interference.

Are waterproof metal detectors expensive? 

Yes, waterproof metal detectors tend to be quite expensive, especially if the model can be submerged to a certain depth in water too, this is because they have to be water sealed fully and operate with the best sensitivity and discrimination settings due to them functioning underwater.

They will also need waterproof coils for this job.

Final Words 

To conclude, a decent metal detector will set you back around £300-£500, a higher quality more professional model could cost you up to £1000, and for the cheapest yet still ‘functioning’ model, you would be looking at spending around £150-£200. 

The higher your budget, the better the features you will get with your detector, you should also plan to budget any accessories you might want to use with your model to avoid any surprise costs, some models have wireless headphones and pinpointers included, so make sure your model does too if you want to get the best value for money.

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