May 2022

Metal Detectors: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Metal Detector rankings posted by key online experts, as of May 2022.

At a glance - May 2022 Ranking

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Rank Change Price Metal Detector
Metal Detecting in the USA
money.com
Task and Purpose
The Strategist
Tech Metals Research
Bob Vila
Lifewire
Kellyco Detectors
Your Best Digs
BestReviews
1
- $583
Garrett AT Pro
1
1
-
-
-
7
2
2
-
-
2
+1 $999
Minelab Equinox 800
4
-
-
3
-
-
-
14
-
1
3
+1 $2500
Minelab CTX 3030
6
3
-
5
-
-
-
1
-
-
4
+1 $254
Nokta Makro Simplex
2
-
5
-
4
-
-
3
-
-
5
-3 $117
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
2
3
6
- $383
Garrett Ace 400
-
2
1
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
7
- Check price
Garrett Ace 250
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
1
-
8
- $1599
Minelab Excalibur II
5
4
-
-
-
-
-
10
-
-
9
- $430
Garrett ACE Apex
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
6
-
-
10
New * $295
Garrett Ace 300
-
-
-
-
-
1
6
-
-
-
11
-1 $219
Fisher F22
3
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
-
-
12
-1 $62
Bounty Hunter Gold Digger
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
2
13
-1 $349
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
-
-
4
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
14
-1 Check price
XP Invents Deus
-
-
-
4
-
-
8
-
-
-
15
-1 $549
Fisher Gold Bug Pro
-
-
-
-
6
6
-
-
-
-
16
-1 $127
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
-
-
-
-
-
4
9
-
-
-
17
New * $748
Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II
-
-
-
-
-
8
-
11
-
-

We ranked Garrett AT Pro #1 in May 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Garrett AT Pro as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Metal Detecting in the USA

our top pick overall

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

Cons
Underwater headphones sold separately

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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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Bob Vila

Best for Freshwater

Pros
Waterproof down to 10 feet
Adjustable handle
Discrimination mode
Automatic and manual ground-balance settings

Cons
Limited maximum search depth

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Lifewire

Runner-Up, Best Overall

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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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We ranked Minelab Equinox 800 #2 in May 2022 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:
Metal Detecting in the USA

our pick for relic hunting

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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The Strategist

Best metal detector for intermediate and expert level hunters

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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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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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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 May 2022 ranking

We ranked Minelab CTX 3030 #3 in May 2022 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:
Metal Detecting in the USA

our pick for high-end features

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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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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The Strategist

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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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We ranked Nokta Makro Simplex #4 in May 2022 because:

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

our pick for entry-level users

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

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Tech Metals Research

Pros
Digital display
Submersible
Wireless compatible
Iron volume
Notch

Cons
Not for diving

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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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We ranked Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV #5 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 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:
Lifewire

Best Overall

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Your Best Digs

Also great

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BestReviews

Simple Yet Solid

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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We ranked Garrett Ace 400 #6 in May 2022 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.

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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 May 2022 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

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Your Best Digs

Best overall

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We ranked Minelab Excalibur II #8 in May 2022 because:

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

our pick for saltwater beach hunting

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

Cons
Iron signals 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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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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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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We ranked Garrett ACE Apex #9 in May 2022 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:
Tech Metals Research

Best Overall

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

Cons
Special searchcoil

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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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We ranked Garrett Ace 300 #10 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Metal Detectors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Garrett Ace 300 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

Best Overall

Pros
Frequency adjustment dial
Adjustable discrimination sensitivity
Pinpointing mode and target depth indicator
Padded, ergonomic grip
Includes a set of headphones

Cons
Some reports of manufacturing defects

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Lifewire

Best Features

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We ranked Fisher F22 #11 in May 2022 because:

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

runner-up for entry-level users

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 May 2022 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 Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro #13 in May 2022 because:

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

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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 #14 in May 2022 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 Fisher Gold Bug Pro #15 in May 2022 because:

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

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

Cons
No volume control

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Bob Vila

Best for Gold

Pros
Continuous ground-condition sensor system
Detects gold and small materials
Discrimination, all-metal, and pinpoint modes
Depth indicator
Visual and audio alerts

Cons
Limited search depth

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We ranked Garrett Pro Pointer AT #16 in May 2022 because:

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

Best Waterproof

Pros
Waterproof down to 10 feet
Locator alarm
3 sensitivity settings
LED light for locating objects

Cons
Limited search depth

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Lifewire

Best Waterproof

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We ranked Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II #17 in May 2022 because:

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

Best for Salt Water

Pros
Submersible down to 200 feet
All-metal and discrimination modes
Adjustable elimination threshold
Comes with fully submersible headphones

Cons
May be challenging for beginners to use

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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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