When you’re learning to drive, your first car shouldn’t be a Lamborghini. You won’t be ready for the power and the luxury while you’re still learning to master the basics. Likewise, when you are a beginning detectorist, you don’t want to plunk down $2,000 on a high-end machine you won’t understand. Your best bet is to start with one of the lower-end beginner metal detectors that won’t drain your bank account but will last for a long time.
As you become more familiar with metal detecting, you’ll get a better idea of what features are important to you. That way when you’re ready to purchase a serious detector, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.
The key to metal detecting is learning everything you can about your detector. It’s okay to run outside and start hunting immediately, but once the excitement has died down a little, spend some time reading your unit’s manual and learn about its features.
Here is a list of five affordable metal detectors we’d most recommend for beginners. These detectors give you the basic features and functions you’ll need for your treasure hunt, and they all cost between $200 to $300.
That price tag will get you a surprisingly good metal detector, and since it’s not too expensive, when you decide to upgrade your machine, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted any money. You’ll likely have paid for your starter machine within the first few months of hunting.
Top 5 Hall of Fame Beginner Metal Detectors and Beyond!
Garrett’s Ace 250: Garrett is a trusted brand among metal detecting enthusiasts. Even though this machine is low-end, it will help you find first-rate treasure.
You can adjust the sensitivity level on this unit, which will help you avoid some of the more undesirable targets like nails and pop tops. Although this unit isn’t fully waterproof, the coil is, which means you can use this detector to hunt in very shallow water, like streams. The Garrett Ace 250 is one the best beginner metal detectors on the market period.
White’s Coinmaster: The Coinmaster comes with a waterproof 9-inch coil, and has a 5-range discrimination with adjustable sensitivity. Since this unit only weighs 2.5 pounds, it’s lightweight enough to carry around on all-day hunts without experiencing fatigue or discomfort.
One of my favorite things about White’s Electronics is that if you have a problem with your machine, they have an outstanding customer service department.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro: For the money, this is a great starter machine. I have one myself. It has an 11-inch elliptical coil that’s waterproof and a 2-digit target identification system.
Unlike some of the other units on this list that only go to 8 inches on depth readouts, the Land Ranger Pro can find targets up to 10 inches in the ground.
This metal detector has advanced features that compare to the higher end machines. It offers six discrimination modes – three of them are pre-set and the other three are manual. It has four different tones for targets, which is better than the three tones a lot of low-end machines use. This machine also has manual ground balancing which lets you hunt in highly mineralized soil with better accuracy and less false positives.
This is an easy-to-operate machine aimed at beginners. It also has a pinpoint mode to help you zero in on your target.
Teknetics Delta 4000: This detector has a large display screen with a 2-digit target identification system that gives you a good idea about what type of find you’ve made before you spend your time digging it.
This is a good, multi-purpose detector that can find targets up to 8 inches deep. You can use it to find coins and jewelry, and it can even be used for gold prospecting.