Best Metal Detector for Finding Gold

Quick Answer – Best Metal Detectors For Gold

  • Bounty Hunter Time Ranger
  • Garret Ace 250
  • Fisher F75 Metal Detector
  • Minelab Equinox 600
  • White’s Spectra V3i HP
White's Spectra V3i HP
– Top Pick –
White's Spectra V3i HP
Price:$$$
Minelab Equinox 600
– Best Value – 
Minelab Equinox 600
Price:$$$
Time Ranger
– Most Affordable – 
Bounty Hunter Time Ranger
Price:$$$

Introduction

The beauty of becoming a detectorist is that anyone can do it.

It’s open to people from all walks of life, regardless of age, location or social status. You get to benefit from enjoying a brand new hobby that’s entirely affordable, and also to take part in the adventure of unearthing exciting finds. Your body will even thank you for doing this because of all the extra, but gentle, exercise you’ll get.

Even better the hobby can pay for itself with one tiny find of a coin, relic or even a nugget of precious metal. Right now there’s millions of dollars in unclaimed riches hidden underneath beaches, fields and parks, just waiting to be found.

All you need is a metal detector that’s up to the task of locating these precious items – especially anything made from gold.

But there are so many different types of metal detectors available today, coming in all shapes, sizes and specifications.

How can you possibly choose the best metal detector for finding gold?

That’s why we put this guide together – to help you find the best gold metal detector for your budget, your skill level, and for what you want to achieve.

There’s no “one size fits all” metal detector available on the market today – each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses.

So, we’ve reviewed our top 5 metal detectors for a variety of budgets, a buyer’s guide, and as much information as you need to make an informed choice when purchasing a metal detector.

Gold Hunting Metal Detector Reviews

Bounty Hunter Time Ranger – Perfect For Beginners

Bounty Hunter Time Ranger(https://www.amazon.com/Bounty-Hunter-TIMERANGER-Ranger-Detector/dp/B00005A3L6)

First on the list is the Time Ranger from Bounty Hunter. This detector meets our first requirement for selection, which is that it costs around $150. Yes, you can find metal detectors online for $50, but they’re effectively nothing more than toys for kids to play with.

If that’s your goal then fine, but if you want to introduce your kids to an exciting and educational pastime then you’ll need to invest somewhere around $150+ for a good, basic metal detector.

The 8-inch search coil can be fully submerged in water, so this is a detector ideal for use at the beach. It’s also equally at home on land. The large LCD screen allows you to monitor ground balance, adjust sensitivity and check the battery level, as well as keeping an eye on what targets the Time Ranger has found nearby.

It has a built in speaker and headphone jack, but the jack socket is the larger type, so check that you have an adaptor for your preferred set of headphones.

All in all this is a great metal detector for the price.

Pros
  • An ideal gold metal detector for a newbie – you can be up and running in minutes
  • It’s very lightweight (4lbs), so you can spend hours scanning your local beaches and parks for buried treasure
  • Great accuracy
  • The Time Ranger performs as well as models that cost 4x as much
  • The 8″ concentric detection coil is fully submersible, so you can use it at the beach without stressing about damaging it
  • 5 year limited warranty
Cons
  • This model doesn’t feature audio controls, so that can be annoying
  • It can struggle a little when trying to detect precious metals in trashy areas

Garret Ace 250 – Feature Rich at an Affordable Price

Garrett Ace 250(https://www.amazon.com/Garrett-Metal-Detector-Submersible-Search/dp/B00095ODBI)

If you’ve been on the detectorist scene for a while, then Garrett is a brand name you’re very familiar with. And for good reason – they manufacture an excellent range of metal detectors, and the Ace 250 is no different in that regard.

You’re taking a small step up here in budget, but you do get a unit that’s as suited to beginners as it is to seasoned treasure hunters. With that being said it is aimed more at the hobbyist, but it’s an ideal model for anyone just wanting to find their feet…and some lost gold at the same time.

The controls are very easy to use, and the Ace 250 has 8 sensitivity levels for different conditions. A neat feature is that it can accurately detect not just coins, but the actual value of that coin, as well as what depth to dig to.

The detection coil is waterproof, but the rest of the electronics are not, so you have to be careful around water.

Pros
  • The Garret Ace 250 offers a lot of features for very little money
  • Weighing in at under 5 pounds you won’t find yourself straining to carry it
  • It features a waterproof coil
  • Assembling the Ace 250 is very straightforward – literally anyone can do it
  • The pinpoint feature is very, very precise for a metal detector in this price range
  • 2 year warranty
Cons
  • Only the coil is waterproof – getting water anywhere else will fry the unit
  • There’s no volume control, and the detector noises can be very loud
  • It can throw out a lot of false positives in certain mineral dense areas

Fisher F75 Metal Detector – The Gold Specialist

Fisher F75 Metal Detector(https://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Labs-F75-Metal-Detector/dp/B000W3T5QK/)

Fisher is one of the oldest names in the game, and the F75 is a great example of one of their multipurpose metal detectors. This model is as happy detecting gold as it is silver, or other precious metals.

Yes, this detector does cost almost $600, but it’s not designed for novices, although newbies won’t have any real trouble operating it. Instead this is for the more serious treasure hunter – specifically one who doesn’t mind digging deep to find lost coins.

And we don’t mean that as some kind of metaphor – the F75 can detect coins buried more than a foot underground thanks to its low operating frequency and double-D search coil.

It’s also suitable for use at the beach, and it even comes with a waterproof hood for the control unit in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. Other things we like about this model include that it’s lightweight, features a comfortable armrest, and the headphone jack socket is conveniently located on the armrest itself.

You’ll spend a little bit more money when you buy the Fisher F75, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. This model usually retails for over $1,200 but you can get it for half that price right now.

This unit stands as one of the best metal detectors for both gold and silver.

Pros
  • You can save your preferred settings with the F75 – no need to set it up from scratch every time
  • The large LCD screen makes feature navigation a breeze
  • The detection coil is fully waterproofed, so you don’t need to worry about working in or near water
  • It works particularly well in trashy areas, filtering out the false positives
  • This is a detector specifically designed with gold prospecting in mind
  • 5 year warranty
Cons
  • The price is one downside – it’s a little pricy for beginners
  • It also might not suit beginners or new hobbyists

Minelab Equinox 600 – Fully Waterproof

Minelab Equinox 600(https://www.amazon.com/Minelab-EQUINOX-Multi-IQ-Detector-Double/dp/B079SFT36S/)

The Equinox 600 is manufactured by Minelab – a company with 30 years of metal detection experience, including creating products for the military application of demining war zones. So they know what they’re doing when it comes to making a metal detector for civilian treasure hunters.

The Equinox 600 is one of the more sleek models we’ve features in this roundup – it’s about as minimalist as modern detectors come. The LCD screen is beautifully designed, and also offers a real point-and-shoot experience. It’s as simple as simply selecting the type of area you’re scanning and getting to work.

It’s the first model we’ve featured that supports wireless headphones via Bluetooth, which is something you’d fully expect to find on a metal detector in this price range.

This mightn’t seem like a big deal, but ask any experienced detectorist about the nightmare of getting your headphone cable tangled in branches.

You do still have the option of using wired headphones though if you prefer.

What true detectorist enthusiasts will love about the Equinox 600 is that it not only scans deep, but it provides extremely accurate results every time. Most metal detectors struggle to provide accurate targets if there’s a lot of iron trash in the ground, but that doesn’t happen with the 600 – it pinpoints your targets despite all the challenges.

This isn’t the cheapest metal detector you’ll find online, but it is one of the very best out there.

Pros
  • This detector is fully waterproof, so you can submerge it to depths of up to 3 meters
  • 11″ Double-D detection coil for accurate, deep scanning
  • Point-and-shoot setup – no time wasted fiddling with controls
  • People who use the Equinox 600 usually wind up selling their other detectors because they pale in comparison
  • 3 year warranty
Cons
  • The built in armrest isn’t very robust
  • They could have spent a few bucks more on providing comfortable headphones

White’s Spectra V3i HP – Choice of Pro Gold Hunters

White's Spectra V3i HP(https://www.amazon.com/Whites-Spectra-Detector-Padded-Baseball/dp/B013V9A236)

One of the questions we get asked most often is, “What type of metal detector should I buy?”, and the answer we usually give is “Buy from a brand name you can trust.”

This is to help our visitors avoid the cheap, knock-off detectors you’ll find on certain auction sites. They might look the part, but they invariably fall apart after a few weeks, and you have no way of getting your money back.

That’s why we love recommending White’s metal detectors – these guys have been in business since the 1950s, so know a thing or two about making metal detectors that actually work.

We wanted to include at least one “package” deal in our roundup, and we figured what better manufacturer to feature than White’s?

In this bundle you get a Whites V3i with headphones, a carry bag, batteries, charger, and even a baseball cap. And it’s not just about including frills around a product that doesn’t meet expectations.

The V3i is a formidable metal detector, featuring a 10″ Double-D coil, a color LCD display, and another menu options to keep even the most ardent detectorist busy for hours.

This isn’t a metal detector for a novice, or hobbyist – this is a serious piece of digital wizardry designed for real enthusiasts. And real enthusiasts won’t be even remotely disappointed with the results it delivers.

The V3i bundle isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a metal detector that can also help you make some money, then you’ve found it. Remember, you only need to find one or two gold coins or a ring to have this detector pay for itself.

Pros
  • The high-definition display is usable even in bright sunlight – this is a real novelty
  • If you’re looking for a detector to scan deep for coins and relics then the V3i is perfect
  • The V3i has a rechargeable battery, with an 8-10 hour range
  • It’s still remarkably easy to use despite the powerful features
  • You won’t be disappointed in the results this model delivers, every single time
  • 2 year warranty
Cons
  • It’s the heaviest detector featured here, weighing in at over 12 lbs
  • It’s expensive at over $1,500, so not a purchasing decision you’ll make lightly

Comparison Table – The Best Gold Metal Detectors

PictureDetectorLevelWeightSearch CoilTech
PictureDetectorLevelWeightSearch CoilTech
Bounty Hunter Time Ranger
Garret Ace 250
Fisher F75 Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 600
White's Spectra V3i HP

How We Made Our Selection

To make sure that you get the best possible value for money our first selection criteria was to avoid any unknown brand names.

There’s probably nothing wrong with them but we much prefer to feature products from companies we know and trust. So, that’s why our reviews are made up of products from Garrett, Fisher, White’s, Minelab, and Bounty Hunter.

There are lots of companies selling “white label” metal detectors through Amazon and other stores, but we simply don’t know enough about them to recommend them to our visitors. The irony is that people said the same thing many years ago about a company called “Lucky Goldstar”…until they rebranded themselves as LG Electronics.

We also wanted to present you with a range of pricing options, so that nobody who wants to get involved in the fun hobby of treasure hunting feels like they’re priced out of the market.

A lower price limit of $160 on the products we reviewed was also mandatory, simply because we’ve found through experience that spending less than that can lead to questionable product quality.

Another focus was on reviewing models that were as multipurpose as possible, so most of the detectors in this roundup are either partially or fully waterproof. This might not seem like a big deal, but unless you only ever want to scan in fields or on dry beaches, then waterproofing is a feature you need to consider.

Basically, we wanted to strike a balance of price and features in each product we reviewed.

Gold Metal Detector Buying Guide

We put a lot of work into our reviews, but we understand they don’t always answer your most pressing questions about investing in a metal detector.

So, we decided to also put together a ‘Buyer’s Guide’ for you to help you avoid any cases of buyer’s remorse.

But please do let us know if you have any other questions you need us to provide answers to.

How often will you use it?

We understand that this is a difficult question for you to answer, but it’s an important one because it can save you a lot of money.

The reality is that if you’re just starting out in the realm of coin, relic and buried treasure hunting, then you probably don’t need to spend $1,000 on a metal detector.

The issue though is that this is a really addictive hobby, so you also don’t want to buy an entry-level model and then realize that you needed more power and features than you have.

So, if you’re 100% certain that you’ll only use your detector every other weekend, then a basic model will probably suit you.

If, however, you think you’ll use it more often than that then it makes more sense to invest in something more mid-range.

Should you buy second hand?

There’s no issue with you buying a second-user metal detector, as long as you know what to look for. If you’re inexperienced in the world of buying used detectors then you stand a very good chance of getting ripped off.

Worse again, even if you do know quite a bit about detectors, you still have to be able to tell a clone or fake from the real thing. The secondhand market is flooded with cheap imitations of brand name models, with deals that sound almost too good to be true.

Because they are too good to be true.

Basically, you’re better off with a brand new detector that costs $300 than hoping you’ll get a good deal on a secondhand model. Plus, you also get a warranty with a new metal detector – something you won’t ever get with a used model.

Where will you use it?

Not every detector is suited to every environment, so you need to buy accordingly. If you’ve read through our reviews you’ll notice that certain models are waterproof, which makes them ideal for use at the beach or in a stream.

Other models aren’t even remotely waterproof, and exposure to moisture can ruin them. So, what we’re saying here is that if you live near a beach then please do invest in a detector designed for that type of landscape.

The same advice applies to anyone living in a more urban area, in that you’ll need a detector that is capable of filtering out underground power lines, and also “metal trash” like bottle caps and other items.

Obviously your physical location might change from time to time, but you still need to make your purchasing decision with that in mind.

Will it be used by adults, or kids?

The metal detectors we listed above shouldn’t be treated as toys, except in the hands of a very capable and mature teenager. There are metal detectors made specifically for kids, but besides that any of the models reviewed above should only be used by adults. (https://www.amazon.com/National-Geographic-PRO-Metal-Detector/dp/B01BP1E2WE)

Double-D or Concentric Coils?

Which of these is better?

Most people will tell you to get a metal detector with a Double-D coil, no matter what.

The problem with that advice is that although Double-D are generally better across the board in terms of detection, they’re also guilty of generating more false targets in the shape of bottle caps and other trash.

The reason a concentric/monoloop coil doesn’t have this problem is because it has a far narrower detection “beam” than a Double-D coil has.

What you will find is that most of the more expensive or advanced metal detectors feature DD coils, so it’s usually not a choice you’ll have to worry about making.

How important is an armrest?

If your metal detector weighs 4 lbs, then you can probably manage it for a few hours without causing yourself any injury. If, on the other hand, you’re using something like the White’s V3i, you absolutely need a comfortable and supporting armrest.

So, there you have it – 5 of the best gold metal detectors on the market today, and you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a lot of power and features from a trusted brand name.

Which metal detector would you choose as a gift for yourself?