October 2021

Metal Detectors: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Metal Detector rankings posted by key online experts, as of October 2021.

At a glance - October 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Metal Detector
The Strategist
Kellyco Detectors
money.com
Metal Detecting in the USA
Task and Purpose
Your Best Digs
Bob Vila
Tech Metals Research
BestReviews
Lifewire
1
- $100
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
-
-
-
-
-
2
2
-
3
1
2
- $552
Garrett AT Pro
-
2
1
4
-
-
-
-
-
2
3
- $949
Minelab Equinox 800
3
14
-
5
-
-
-
-
1
-
4
- $2898
Minelab CTX 3030
5
1
3
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
- $254
Nokta Makro Simplex
-
3
-
1
5
-
-
4
-
-
6
- $365
Garrett Ace 400
-
-
2
-
1
-
-
5
-
-
7
- Check price
Garrett Ace 250
1
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
8
- $834
Garrett AT Max
-
5
-
12
-
-
-
-
5
-
9
- $1499
Minelab Excalibur II
-
10
4
11
-
-
-
-
-
-
10
- $425
Garrett ACE Apex
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
11
- $219
Fisher F22
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
-
3
12
- $63
Bounty Hunter Gold Digger
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
-
2
-
13
- $255
Garrett Ace 300
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
6
14
- $499
Teknetics T2 Classic
-
-
-
8
-
-
-
2
-
-
15
- $285
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
3
-
-
16
- $1139
XP invents Deus
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
17
- $748
Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II
-
11
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
18
- Check price
Fisher F75
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
5
19
- $127
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
9
20
- $549
Fisher Gold Bug Pro
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
6
-
-

We ranked Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV #1 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Your Best Digs

Also great

Go to ranking

Bob Vila

Best Entry Level

Pros
Budget-friendly price
Can adjust signal sensitivity
Preset ground balance

Cons
Does not have pinpoint function

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BestReviews

Pros
Good discriminator
Lightweight yet durable build with different detection modes.
Decent price point, yet can handle searches in different types of ground.
It’s great for beginners, although kids may need some adult help.

Cons
Learning curve for younger users is steep but not impossible.
Practice with coins is encouraged. False alarms do occur.

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Lifewire

Best Overall

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We ranked Garrett AT Pro #2 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Garrett AT Pro as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Kellyco Detectors

Best Value

Pros
Waterproof up to 10 feet
Easy to use
Can be upgraded via Z-Lynk (Garrett’s proprietary wireless technology) for use with wireless headphones

Cons
Limited depth and less than accurate reading in saltwater
The Zero mode is not a true all-metal mode
No backlight

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money.com

Editor's Pick

Pros
Works in all terrains and has modest gold detecting capacity

Cons
Lack of backlit display makes night usage difficult.

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Best of the best

Pros
Fully waterproof and submersible to 10 ft
Manual and auto ground balance
Proportional audio
Iron audio

Cons
Waterproof headphones sold separately

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Lifewire

Runner-Up, Best Overall

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Metal Detectors.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Metal Detectors, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for October 2021 ranking

We ranked Minelab Equinox 800 #3 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Minelab Equinox 800 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Best metal detector for intermediate and expert level hunters

Go to ranking

Kellyco Detectors

Best for Beginners

Pros
Fast recovery speed and target separation for trashy areas
Multi IQ technology (the newest technology on the market)
Lightweight

Cons
Does not come with a manual
The charging block is sold separately
It has a learning curve if you’re not familiar with Minelab detectors

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Best value

Pros
Fully submersible up to 10ft (or 3 meters)
Multi-frequency for better target ID
Wireless headphone capability
Switch between frequencies based on your needs
Weighs under 3lbs
Value for money

Cons
Included headphones aren’t waterproof

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BestReviews

Best of the Best

Pros
Multi-IQ technology allows the detector to scan multiple frequencies simultaneously, leaving nothing uncovered.
Features four modes — Park, Field, Beach, and Gold — to dial in sensitivity and strength.
Waterproof up to 10 feet.

Cons
Very expensive.
Fairly bulky.
Battery life could be improved.

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We ranked Minelab CTX 3030 #4 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Minelab CTX 3030 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Go to ranking

Kellyco Detectors

Best of the Best

Pros
Programmable to fit your needs
Most accurate target identification on the market
GPS to track your finds

Cons
It is heavy — over 5 pounds
Higher price point
Slower processor than newer detectors on the market

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money.com

Best All-Terrain Detector

Pros
Technology to detect several materials at once with higher precision.

Cons
One of the more expensive detectors available.

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Best of the best

Pros
Superior discrimination and target ID
Don’t need to buy separate land machine
Lots of coils available
LCD display
Digital Target ID

Cons
Price
Can’t be used for diving

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We ranked Nokta Makro Simplex #5 in October 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Nokta Makro Simplex as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Kellyco Detectors

Best for Beginners

Pros
Turn on and go
No false signals
Lightweight and well-balanced

Cons
Very basic (no bells or whistles)
Large coil
Tones can seem amateur

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Best performance

Pros
Mid-level detector performance for entry-level price
Powerful DD coil
Fully submersible to 10 ft
Built-in rechargeable battery
Wireless audio when used with compatible headphones

Cons
Controls not as basic as other entry-level detectors

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Task and Purpose

Go to ranking

Tech Metals Research

Pros
Digital display
Submersible
Wireless compatible
Iron volume
Notch

Cons
Not for diving

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We ranked Garrett Ace 400 #6 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Garrett Ace 400 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
money.com

Best for Low Prices

Pros
Digital target ID feature helps to easily identify different materials.

Cons
Control box lacks weatherproofing.

Go to ranking

Task and Purpose

Best Overall

Pros
A clear display indicates what type of metal is being detected
The waterproof coil allows you to search in shallow water

Cons
This metal detector certainly isn’t overpriced, but the cost might deter some new enthusiasts on a tight budget

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Tech Metals Research

Best for Beginners

Pros
5 search modes
Target ID
Digital display
Iron audio
Accessories included

Cons
Preset ground balance

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We ranked Garrett Ace 250 #7 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Garrett Ace 250 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Go to ranking

Your Best Digs

Best overall

Go to ranking

We ranked Garrett AT Max #8 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Kellyco Detectors

Best Value

Pros
Wireless headphones
True all-metal mode
You can pair your headphones to a Z-Lynk pinpointer

Cons
It does not perform as well as other machines in saltwater
It can be chattery and has a learning curve
Constant ground balancing is needed

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Most versatile

Pros
Can also be used for gold prospecting
Better ground balance options than AT Pro
“True All Metal” mode
Wireless headphones included

Cons
Waterproof headphones sold separately
Single-frequency

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BestReviews

Pros
Waterproof up to 10 feet. Includes wireless headphones.
Extra-deep detection capabilities.
Backlit display.
Senses a wide range of metal types.
Easy to adjust.

Cons
The ability to hunt for metal anywhere makes it a pricey model.

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We ranked Minelab Excalibur II #9 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Kellyco Detectors

Best of the Best

Pros
Waterproof to 200 feet
Uses Broad Band Spectrum (BBS) multi-frequency technology
Different tone for each frequency

Cons
Headphones are hardwired to the machine
Without proper care, the seals can wear down
A little heavy at over 5 pounds (but not too bad if used underwater)

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money.com

Best for Underwater

Pros
Fully submersible up to 200 feet, outstanding detection accuracy.

Cons
Not suited for gold detecting, despite its hefty price tag.

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Saltwater

Pros
Excellent iron discrimination
Multi-frequency machine that can also be used for diving
Very accurate tone ID
Submersible to 200 ft

Cons
Iron null delay can make you miss good targets
Hardwired headphones
Requires additional kit to hip mount
No tone on deep, faint signals. Just threshold change.

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We ranked Garrett ACE Apex #10 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Garrett ACE Apex as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Kellyco Detectors

Best for Beginners

Pros
Can be used in various mineralization conditions
High-resolution ground balance
Multi-Frequency Technology
Adjustable armrest

Cons
Control box is not waterproof
Does not come with an armrest strap
No adjustable shaft

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Tech Metals Research

Best Overall

Pros
Price
Multi-frequency
6 frequencies
Audible target ID
Z-Lynk compatible

Cons
Special searchcoil

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We ranked Fisher F22 #11 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Metal Detecting in the USA

Best value

Pros
Weatherproof
Iron Audio
Fast Recovery (Processing) Speed
Digital Target ID
Lighter, easier to use
5 Year Warranty

Cons
No adjustable ground balance

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Lifewire

Most Popular

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We ranked Bounty Hunter Gold Digger #12 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Your Best Digs

Budget pick

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BestReviews

Best Bang for the Buck

Pros
Easy to assemble
easy to use.
This model is suitable for beaches, fields, and parks. "Trash Eliminator" settings ignores most unwanted items while the "Power Level" sets the depth of your search.

Cons
For smaller objects, such as coins, this unit can only go about 6 inches deep under optimum conditions.

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We ranked Garrett Ace 300 #13 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Metal Detecting in the USA

Beginner

Pros
Easy to use
Digital Target ID
Adjustable Frequency
Enhanced Iron Resolution

Cons
No adjustable ground balance
No Iron Audio

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Lifewire

Best Features

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We ranked Teknetics T2 Classic #14 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Metal Detecting in the USA

Lowest price

Pros
Low price for such a powerful detector
Large LCD screen
Expanded iron range
Can also be used for basic gold prospecting

Cons
No backlight
DD coils only
Does not save settings when turned off

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Tech Metals Research

Best for Coins

Pros
User adjustments
Easy to use
Ground balance
Max depth
Battery life

Cons
Exposed electronic compartment

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We ranked Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro #15 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Task and Purpose

Go to ranking

Tech Metals Research

Pros
19 kHz frequency
FeTone
Enhanced V-Break
Notch
Ground Grab

Cons
Similar to Fisher F19

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We ranked XP invents Deus #16 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Strategist

Best metal detector for finding small items

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Lifewire

Best Splurge

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We ranked Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II #17 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Kellyco Detectors

Best Value

Pros
Affordable pulse induction machine (one of the least expensive PI machines on the market)
Waterproof to 200 feet
Non-motion deep-seeking mode for diving

Cons
The discrete Elimination mode is not as advanced as some other machines
A little heavy at over 5 pounds (but not too bad if used underwater)
There is no coil cover for the 8” coil

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Metal Detecting in the USA

Best value

Pros
Interchangeable coils and headphones
Has large 10×14 accessory coil
Independently sealed battery compartment
Pulse Delay for heavy iron beaches

Cons
No volume control

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We ranked Fisher F75 #18 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Metal Detecting in the USA

Advanced users

Pros
More search coil options
65 tone ID’s vs the T2’s 6
Static all-metal mode
Boost mode for enhanced sensitivity and depth
Cache mode for deep, large objects

Cons
Price

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Lifewire

Best for the Beach

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We ranked Garrett Pro Pointer AT #19 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

Best Waterproof

Pros
Fully waterproof to 10 feet
Weighs 6.9 ounces
Has locator alarm
Three sensitivity settings

Cons
Might have accuracy issues

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Lifewire

Best Waterproof

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We ranked Fisher Gold Bug Pro #20 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

Best for Gold

Pros
Continuous ground-condition sensor system
Weighs 2.5 pounds
Has discrimination, all-metal, and pinpoint modes
Dual headphone jacks

Cons
Audio tones may be difficult to decipher

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Tech Metals Research

Pros
High frequency
Ground Grab
Target ID
Motion all-metal
VCO audio

Cons
No volume control

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