metal-detector

10 Best Metal Detectors For The UK Market (2021 Review)

The market for metal detectors in the UK is wide ranging to say the least! From simple budget models to high-end professional kit. Having been involved in the hobby for several years, I know what to look for, and what to avoid. After many hours of significant research and testing, I’ve compared the best metal detectors, offering you my top recommendations for different detecting scenarios.

What is the Best Metal Detector For You?

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Comparing The Best Metal Detectors

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Depth
  • Frequency
  • Weight
  • No. of Search Modes
  • Water Resistance
  • Search Coil
  • Length
  • Battery
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  
  • Minelab Equinox 800 Metal DetectorMinelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector
    Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector
    • Best high end metal detector
    • Depth38cm
    • Frequency20/40 kHz
    • Weight1.34kg
    • No. of Search Modes4
    • Water Resistance3m
    • Search Coil11"
    • Length144cm
    • BatteryLithium-Ion (12hrs)
    • 4.4285714285714
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • Garrett AT Pro Metal DetectorGarrett AT Pro Metal Detector
    Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
    • Best for gold & the beach
    • Depth25cm
    • Frequency15kHz
    • Weight1.37kg
    • No. of Search Modes7
    • Water Resistance3m
    • Search Coil8.5" x 11"
    • Length106cm to 130cm
    • Battery4 x AA (20-40hrs)
    • 4.4714285714286
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • Garrett EuroACE Metal DetectorGarrett EuroACE Metal Detector
    Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector
    • Best lightweight budget option
    • Depth25cm
    • Frequency8.25kHz
    • Weight1.2kg
    • No. of Search Modes5
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil8.5" x 11"
    • Length113cm
    • Battery4 x AA (20-40hrs)
    • 4.2714285714286
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • DR.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal DetectorDR.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal Detector
    DR.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal Detector
    • Best all-rounder for beginners
    • Depth25cm
    • Frequency6.4-6.8kHz
    • Weight1.8kg
    • No. of Search Modes5
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil9.8"
    • Length141cm
    • Battery9V Alkaline
    • 4.2
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • Hoomya TX850 Metal DetectorHoomya TX850 Metal Detector
    Hoomya TX850 Metal Detector
    • Best budget professional model
    • Depth25cm
    • Frequency19kHz
    • Weight2.6kg
    • No. of Search Modes2
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil11"
    • Length106cm to 137cm
    • Battery9V Alkaline
    • 4.2857142857143
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  • Garrett Ace 250 Metal DetectorGarrett Ace 250 Metal Detector
    Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector
    • Best mid-range for coins & jewellery
    • Depth25cm
    • Frequency6.5kHz
    • Weight1.2kg
    • No. of Search Modes5
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil6.5" x 9"
    • Length106cm to 130cm
    • Battery4 x AA (20-40hrs)
    • 4.1
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • Sakobs GC1032 Metal DetectorSakobs GC1032 Metal Detector
    Sakobs GC1032 Metal Detector
    • Best value for money
    • Depth22cm
    • Frequency6.4-6.8kHz
    • Weight2.kg
    • No. of Search Modes3
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil10"
    • Length105cm to 121cm
    • Batteryx2 9V Alkaline
    • 4.3428571428571
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • DR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal DetectorDR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal Detector
    DR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal Detector
    • Best for easy of use & assembly
    • Depth18cm
    • FrequencyNot listed
    • Weight1.9kg
    • No. of Search Modes3
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil8"
    • Length93cm to 120cm
    • Battery6 x AA
    • 4.2142857142857
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • Meterk Metal DetectorMeterk Metal Detector
    Meterk Metal Detector
    • Best for beginners on a budget
    • Depth22cm
    • Frequency6.5kHz
    • Weight1.8kg
    • No. of Search Modes4
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil8"
    • Length105cm to 121cm
    • Batteryx2 9V Alkaline
    • 4.1285714285714
    • CHECK PRICE →
  • Amzdeal Metal DetectorAmzdeal Metal Detector
    Amzdeal Metal Detector
    • Best for kids
    • Depth20cm
    • FrequencyNot listed
    • Weight1.7kg
    • No. of Search Modes2
    • Water ResistanceCoil only
    • Search Coil7.5"
    • Length89cm to 114cm
    • Battery9V Alkaline
    • 4.1
    • CHECK PRICE →

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Metal Detectors

Minelab Equinox 800 Metal DetectorMinelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector

Best high end metal detector

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.4285714285714
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Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 38cm
  • Frequency: 20/40 kHz
  • Weight: 1.34kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 4
  • Water Resistance: 3m
  • Search Coil: 11"
  • Length: 144cm
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion (12hrs)

For detecting objects with a surprising degree of accuracy at impressive depths, the Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector is a popular model amongst amateurs and experts alike.

Able to work across multiple frequencies, this detector has many more adjustable settings to choose from than a single-frequency metal detector. However, if that’s all starting to sound a bit complicated, you can be safe in the knowledge that the default pre-sets also work well right out the box.

Using the different ID profiles provided, this metal detector can be optimized to search for specific items on various terrain; for example, it has a beach mode and can be tasked to find objects of high or mid conductivity as well as gold.

With a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, money doesn’t get wasted on buying spares. Plus, there’s no need to carry batteries around with you. The Equinox 800’s battery can last for around 12 hours and is recharged using a USB.

Suitable for use in the rain, the Equinox 800 is waterproof up to 3 m. It can also be used to search in shallow fresh or salt water, with the possibility of working marginally better than the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector around salt water thanks to the multi-frequency technology.

Weighing 1.34 kg, with a screen that is backlit and can be read even in the dark, the Equinox 800 remains comfortable and user friendly. Its biggest shortcoming is its non-retractable shaft which can make transportation more difficult. This can be taken apart into three pieces, or replaced by separately purchasing an additional telescopic shaft.

Pros

  • Rechargeable batteries save money and can also be charged by portable USB charger.
  • Included wireless headphones are comfortable and stop extra wire getting in the way.
  • Very lightweight means you can use for slightly longer without getting tired.
  • Accuracy is good even on wet sand at the beach.
  • Good depth detection - picks up things which are buried deep with surprising accuracy. Good depth detection - picks up things which are buried deep with surprising accuracy.

Cons

  • The shaft is too long for standard backpack storage, needs to be disassembled or a telescopic shaft can be bought separately.
  • Quite a steep learning curve if you are used to other detectors - but some easier pre-sets can be used.
  • Does not automatically come with instruction manual - has to be downloaded or specifically requested.
  • The shaft joins can be a little unstable and need to be tightened well.

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Garrett AT Pro Metal DetectorGarrett AT Pro Metal Detector

Best for gold & the beach

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.4714285714286
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Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 25cm
  • Frequency: 15kHz
  • Weight: 1.37kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 7
  • Water Resistance: 3m
  • Search Coil: 8.5" x 11"
  • Length: 106cm to 130cm
  • Battery: 4 x AA (20-40hrs)

No matter where you’re hoping to go searching, this Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector is one of the best metal detectors around. With ‘AT’ standing for ‘all terrain’, it can identify metal and assist in the discovery of great finds whether you’re in the garden, at the beach, or searching in shallow water.

Powerful enough to detect gold, the AT Pro Metal Detector uses Digital Target ID, ranging from 0 to 99, to estimate how potentially worthwhile an object is to dig up. When you locate an object, a number will be displayed on the screen. The higher the number, the more likely it is that an object is worth excavating. All this before even taking out your trowel!

With a standard mode for beginners, and a pro mode for when you become more experienced, you can head out as soon as you’ve inserted the batteries yet continue to improve your experience as you learn. It can take a little while to get used to the different sounds and what they mean, but many users find that after 10 – 50 hours they’ve got a much better understanding of how to get the most out of this detector.

Unlike some other models, this Garrett detector also has an iron mode; this is useful when working in areas with high quantities of iron because it helps discern between worthless iron (more likely to be nails and invaluable objects) and potentially-valuable finds.

All in all, this is a beginner-friendly metal detector which is also suitable for the avid-detectorist. Working well to limit the amount of ‘junk’ metal you dig up, it’s also waterproof up to 3 m and effective around fresh water.

One thing to be aware of: you may find that when using it at the beach, especially in the surf, it takes a bit more time to work out the best setting and discern between the different sounds because of the minerals in the water.

Pros

  • Effectively detects gold in the form of gold jewellery/coins etc.
  • Easy to use even for those new to metal detecting.
  • Discriminates well between 'junk' and worthwhile finds, saving you time.
  • Relatively quick to get used to despite being quite a technical machine: takes 10 - 50 hours to get the hang of.
  • Light enough to use comfortably - may have to switch arms every 30 minutes or so.

Cons

  • The screen may be a little small - if you wear reading glasses you may need them.
  • When detecting on the beach/around salt water it may be difficult to find the right settings.
  • The batteries are not rechargeable.
  • It may take some time to adapt and get used to the different tones.
  • The screen is not backlit which makes it harder to read when it starts getting dark.

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Garrett EuroACE Metal DetectorGarrett EuroACE Metal Detector

Best lightweight budget option

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.2714285714286
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Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 25cm
  • Frequency: 8.25kHz
  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 5
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 8.5" x 11"
  • Length: 113cm
  • Battery: 4 x AA (20-40hrs)

If you’re looking for a tool that will help you explore metal detecting as a new hobby without breaking the bank, this Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector is perfect for beginners. It also doesn’t have the steep price tag of more intricate models making it a perfect ‘first’ detector.

The Garrett EuroACE is simple to set up and use; you’ll be able to get started with your new hobby quickly, avoiding too much time-consuming research and preparation.

Operating at a frequency of 8.25 kHz, ideal for detecting small objects, this unit has been specifically designed for use in European conditions. Whereas some other detectors are designed with US terrain in mind, the EuroACE’s set up is better adapted to easy use in the UK.

With a weight of 1.2 kg, it’s not the lightest metal detector around, but it’s still suited to prolonged use, and can be taken apart to be carried in a rucksack. It comes with a rain cover, coil cover and headphones, meaning beginners don’t need to source kit from different places.

Whilst this may not have all the fancy settings of the Equinox 800 or Garrett AT Pro, it also doesn’t have such a steep learning curve. So, if you’re after something which still offers some scope for improving your skills, but don’t want to over-complicate matters, the EuroACE could be a good way to go.

Of course, it does have its limitations, and its more difficult to get an accurate reading on wet sand with this model, but it’s also several hundred pounds cheaper than detectors which do this more accurately. Plus, in terms of readings on dry land, the Garrett EuroACE has a lot to offer.

Pros

  • Can be taken apart easily to fit into a rucksack.
  • Well adapted to UK conditions whereas some other detectors are more focused towards US.
  • A decent budget option offering good value for the features included.
  • Achieves good depth in dry soil - up to 25 cm.

Cons

  • Does not always work very well on wet sand, especially if there is a lot of mineralisation.
  • The battery is not rechargeable - it requires 4 x AA
  • Does not discern well between junk metal and valuable finds.
  • On wet ground in general it may not always give reliable signals.
  • No Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones.

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DR.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal DetectorDR.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal Detector

Best all-rounder for beginners

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.2
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DR.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 25cm
  • Frequency: 6.4-6.8kHz
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 5
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 9.8"
  • Length: 141cm
  • Battery: 9V Alkaline

If you’re after a good-value purchase, this excellent find will help you in your search for buried treasure (at a reasonable price!). The Dr.ÖTEK MT-XR Metal Detector is one of the best value metal detectors out there. And, despite its lower price, it’s nice to see that the manufacturers haven’t scrimped on quality.

A particularly useful feature is the memory mode, where you can ‘show’ the MT-XR detector a certain type of metal, a silver ring, for example, and it will only search for that type of metal composition. This can help limit time wasted uncovering items that aren’t of interest to you.

With a 9.8” waterproof coil, this detector can be used in shallow water and is capable of locating coins up to 25 cm deep on dry land. Plus, the backlit LCD screen makes it easy to see what settings you’re using and use the detector after dusk; even some of the more expensive models don’t feature a backlit screen which can really hinder evening-time metal detecting.

At 1.8 kg the MT-XR doesn’t feel too heavy, and children can use it as well without difficulty. It’s a good choice for taking on camping trips and outdoor adventures because all the family can get enjoyment from this fun tool.

It’s also one of the best options for those wanting to get a feel for the hobby, and head out straight away to start finding different objects, without having to make a large investment.

Whilst it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, it is powered by a single 9 V battery and one comes included. This does reduce the number of spares you need to carry around if you’re planning to be using this detector across several days.

One more thing to bear in mind is that this is not on the same level as the more expensive, professional machines – it’s suitable for those who are interested in starting this fun hobby, but it can give false readings sometimes. The MT-XR is a mid-to-low range detector with better features than the very cheapest models available.

Pros

  • When disassembled can fit into a 40 L backpack.
  • Intuitive settings make it straight forward to set up.
  • Capable of detecting gold.
  • A good price for those who are just starting to explore the hobby.
  • 'Discriminate' function works well to avoid metals you don't want to find.

Cons

  • Does not support Bluetooth for wireless headphones.
  • No specific 'beach' settings so if beach detecting is your primary aim, this may not be the best.
  • Slow swings may be required so as not to miss items.
  • Can sometimes display false positives.

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Hoomya TX850 Metal DetectorHoomya TX850 Metal Detector

Best budget professional model

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.2857142857143
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Hoomya TX850 Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 25cm
  • Frequency: 19kHz
  • Weight: 2.6kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 2
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 11"
  • Length: 106cm to 137cm
  • Battery: 9V Alkaline

For a high-quality, entry-level detector, the HOOMYA TX850 Metal Detector is accurate and easy to use.

It can be used straight out the box (as long as you have a 9 V battery ready to go – the battery doesn’t come included), and by using intuition alone you’ll be able to work out how to locate metal like iron. If you want to search for more valuable objects, it takes a bit of getting used to, but the manual is clear and well structured, making the HOOMYA metal detector easy to understand.

It has an 11” coil which is waterproof, allowing detecting to take place in shallow water and damp undergrowth; however, the likelihood of getting some false readings does increase in these areas.

As with most other metal detectors, this model can intelligently distinguish between metal types, removing low-value metals from its search if calibrated to do so. This feature saves time when it comes to detecting and excavating because it becomes clear when something is worth digging up.

With a relatively accurate pinpoint feature, object location is also easy to specify. By pressing the ‘pinpoint’ button, you can narrow down the exact position of the find.

In terms of comfort and portability, this metal detector is easy to carry around, coming with its own carry bag to aid transportation. The shaft can be adjusted, not only to help with carrying but also to make it suitable for users of different heights.

It does weigh 2.6 kg, which is over 1 kg heavier than some other models featured on this list, but it’s still quite comfortable to use; there is an arm strap and padded handle to improve comfort and stability.

Pros

  • It is capable of detecting gold even at around 15 cm deep.
  • Finding iron is very simple from first use.
  • Easy to start using straight out of the box if hunting for all metals.
  • Can be made very compact and easy to carry in the bag provided.
  • Works relatively well even on wet sand.

Cons

  • Heavier than other models and can get uncomfortable after an hour of use.
  • Slightly more complicated to get used to than the very basic models, but instruction manual is thorough.
  • 9 V battery does not come included.
  • Can give false signals in wet grass/areas with high mineralisation.
  • The included headphones are not of great quality, but you can use your own.

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Garrett Ace 250 Metal DetectorGarrett Ace 250 Metal Detector

Best mid-range for coins & jewellery

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.1
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Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 25cm
  • Frequency: 6.5kHz
  • Weight: 1.2kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 5
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 6.5" x 9"
  • Length: 106cm to 130cm
  • Battery: 4 x AA (20-40hrs)

Garrett has a good reputation for creating quality metal detectors. This model, the Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector, is cheaper than the Garrett EuroACE, with some of the same features included. For beginners who are set on owning a Garrett model, this is a viable option which neither overcomplicates matters nor requires a large investment.

Whilst it may only have basic settings, with no specific terrain options, it’s still possible to select between 5 different pre-set ‘finding’ modes on this detector and they are easy to flick through on the LCD screen. There is also a depth scale, increasing by 2” increments, to show how deep the detected find is likely to be buried.

With its ‘discrimination’ feature, the Garrett Ace 250 can indicate whether it is considered worthwhile to dig up a particular find – this should limit time wasted excavating bottle caps! However, the display is targeted more towards a US market, which is worth knowing as a UK user – the item ID system is based on US coins, which may make it harder to know if what you’ve come across is of any value until you dig it up.

Fitted with a PROformance 6.5 x 9″ coil, this is a relatively sensitive machine. The coil is submersible, but the control box is not so it needs to be protected from rain. Users tend to have differing success with whether the Ace 250 works on wet sand – it likely depends on the mineral composition of the specific area.

Pros

  • Easy to understand for beginners.
  • Fits into an average rucksack.
  • One set of batteries last upwards of 20 hours.
  • Loud enough to hear without headphones even on a beach with waves.

Cons

  • If looking for coins, it's more suited to detecting US coins than UK coins due to metal composition.
  • Can't be connected to wireless headphones.
  • Doesn't have a standard headphone jack - if using your own headphones you'll need a converter.
  • No volume control so may be too loud for headphones without ability to adjust volume.
  • The pinpoint feature may not be as accurate as some other models.

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Sakobs GC1032 Metal DetectorSakobs GC1032 Metal Detector

Best value for money

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.3428571428571
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Sakobs GC1032 Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 22cm
  • Frequency: 6.4-6.8kHz
  • Weight: 2.kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 3
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 10"
  • Length: 105cm to 121cm
  • Battery: x2 9V Alkaline

A surprising amount of metal gets washed up onto the sea shore, or deposited around silty riverbanks, so having a metal detector that can search in water is always going to improve your find-potential. The Sakobs GC1032 Metal Detector is fitted with a waterproof 10” coil, which is bigger than some others featured here, improving its accuracy

This is still a budget option, so experienced metal detectorists will likely want something more advanced, but it’s perfect for those who are exploring metal detecting as a new hobby, or occasional pastime. Plus, the Sakobs detector can be used by children as well, so you can go as a family to search freshwater rivers, saltwater shorelines, or the local woods!

With a shaft that can be adjusted, from 105 – 121 cm, this model is comfortable for budding metal-detector enthusiasts from around 10 years +. Younger children can even join in the fun with the excavating and digging, using the collapsible trowel that comes included.

There are 3 operation modes to choose from: ‘all metals’, ‘metal discrimination and ‘notch’. Using these modes, you can select which metal this Sakobs model will detect.

The backlit LCD screen displays mode information as well as battery life and volume. Running off 2 x 9 V batteries, you can tell when they are low and when to carry spares. In general, the batteries last a decent time and you shouldn’t have to change them even after a day of extended use. Rechargeable batteries can also be used, protecting both the environment and your wallet!

Unlike many other models, this Sakobs detector does not have a ‘pinpoint’ function to help hone in on a find. This can make objects harder to uncover; however, it’s worth bearing in mind that pinpointers can be bought separately.

Pros

  • The waterproof coil is well suited to use on beaches and in damp grass/undergrowth.
  • Rechargeable 9V batteries can be used instead of just disposable ones.
  • The display can be read in the dark and is easy to interpret.
  • Arm belt helps keep device stable whilst sweeping across ground.

Cons

  • There is no 'pinpoint' function which other models have.
  • The control unit isn't waterproof and should be protected from water/rain.
  • The 9V batteries do not come included.

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DR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal DetectorDR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal Detector

Best for easy of use & assembly

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.2142857142857
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DR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 18cm
  • Frequency: Not listed
  • Weight: 1.9kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 3
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 8"
  • Length: 93cm to 120cm
  • Battery: 6 x AA

If you’re looking for an introductory metal detector which is suitable for children (of around 10 years +), this DR.ÖTEK Pinpoint Metal Detector is a great tool for igniting interest in the hobby.

Like a lot of metal detectors, this model is still able to discern between different types of metal, meaning you don’t need to waste as much time digging up iron nails or bottle caps (if you don’t want to!). You’ll be able to get used to the different pitch sounds that various metals make, to know which you’re picking up with the detector.

Coming with a free folding spade, this detector is splash-proof, making it suitable for use at the beach or by the river. Bear in mind that it’s not waterproof though, so the coil shouldn’t be submerged.

With just three buttons on its control unit, the Dr.OTEK Metal Detector keeps things pleasantly simple – there is a power button, sensitivity button, and pinpoint button. The pinpoint button hones in on the exact location of the find, making it easier to locate when digging.

It requires 6 x AA batteries which is more than other disposable-battery powered detectors featured on this list – they tend to only need 4 x AA. However, with only basic, occasional use, these batteries should last for a long time. They don’t come included, so if you want to use this detector straight away you should make sure to buy some separately.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and get going within minutes of arrival!
  • Indicates the area where metal has been detected with precision.
  • Just one button makes this very easy to operate.
  • Suitable for both children and adults at beginner level.
  • Suitably priced for the detector that you receive.

Cons

  • No strap on the handle like a lot of other models - tends to help with stability.
  • Not the most suitable for finding deeply buried items.
  • If you hit a branch or rock, the detector may get thrown off for a few minutes.
  • Batteries don't come included unlike other models.

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Meterk Metal DetectorMeterk Metal Detector

Best for beginners on a budget

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.1285714285714
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Meterk Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 22cm
  • Frequency: 6.5kHz
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 4
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 8"
  • Length: 105cm to 121cm
  • Battery: x2 9V Alkaline

If you’re after a detector that will be easy to take away on holiday, suitable for use on the beach without worrying too much about transporting around a very expensive machine, the Meterk Metal Detector is a good option. It can be easily taken apart or collapsed down for transportation, plus, it’s one of the cheapest detectors featured on this list.

Despite its reasonable cost, it still does a good job of searching for metals – it’s well up to the task of finding nails and coins on shores and forest floors, even able to search in shallow water thanks to its waterproof coil. It might not be well suited for finding relics buried deep in the ground, but for a bit of ‘beginner’ hobby searching at a reasonable cost, it’s quite ideal.

With intuitive usability, and an LCD display which is easy to understand, this isn’t a metal detector that requires intensive studying of the instructions before you can head out and use it. In fact, after spending a few minutes putting it together, and connecting the 2 x 9 V batteries (which come included) you’ll be ready to start searching.

There are four different modes, all pretty standard in the world of metal detecting: an ‘all metal’ mode and then several ‘discrimination’ modes so you can eliminate certain metals from your search. The detection depth is 22 cm, and this Meterk Metal Detector does come with a precision pointer that helps better locate the target so you can dig more accurately. The LCD display also shows the possible depth of the target to save you time.

Pros

  • Telescopic pole is easy to adjust making it suitable for both children and adults..
  • A great price for testing the hobby and seeing if you enjoy it.
  • Easy to assemble, arriving in 5 separate pieces.
  • Many people consider the price-to-quality ratio to be very reasonable.

Cons

  • Does not feel overly robust due to its lightweight construction.
  • Beginner/adolescent suitable only - not comparable with professional detectors.
  • The display unit isn't waterproof and must be protected from heavy rain.

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Amzdeal Metal DetectorAmzdeal Metal Detector

Best for kids

Design
Features
Ability
Assembly Ease
Ease of Use
Versatility
Value for Money
Overall
4.1
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Amzdeal Metal Detector review

Specifications

  • Depth: 20cm
  • Frequency: Not listed
  • Weight: 1.7kg
  • No. of Search Modes: 2
  • Water Resistance: Coil only
  • Search Coil: 7.5"
  • Length: 89cm to 114cm
  • Battery: 9V Alkaline

For those looking for a basic but functional detector, the Amzdeal Metal Detector works well for the price you pay. It’s the cheapest model featured on this list and it will allow you to look for pieces of metal buried just under the ground’s surface. It can sometimes detect items up to a depth of 20 cm, but this depends on the object, ground composition, and terrain.

Weighing 1.7 kg, the Amzdeal detector is easy to use – with a simple dial that indicates metal presence using a moving needle and flashing display. There are just three dials, and these allow you to adjust the volume, sensitivity and discrimination; a battery-indicator light completes the display unit, turning on when the battery is low.

Although the search coil is slightly smaller than others on this list, at 7.5”, it still works relatively well and can be used to search in shallow water.

This is an item that would make an ideal gift for someone who might want to start metal detecting, and is also suitable for use by both children and adults thanks to its adjustable stem.

In terms of comfort, there is no arm strap on the Amzdeal metal detector, although it does still have an arm rest and padded handle. The lack of an arm strap may make it less comfortable to keep stable during extended use.

Pros

  • Suitable for children to use - not too complicated and size adjustable.
  • Can be used with standard 3.5mm jack headphones - no adapter required.
  • Batteries can last for up to a month of regular use.
  • Volume control on the unit means sound levels can be adjusted.
  • Easy to assemble taking just a couple of minutes.

Cons

  • Batteries don't come included.
  • The coil works better in fresh water than salt water, but still manages ok in both.
  • Depth coverage is closer to surface level (around 20 cm max) which is less depth than more expensive models.
  • There is no Velcro arm strap included which would offer extra comfort and stability.

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Things to Know Before Buying a Metal Detector

Metal detectors have come a long way in recent years; now possessing improved features like increased sensitivity and the ability to discern between different types of metals.

With all these new functions in mind, it’s worth doing a bit of research before committing to a purchase – just to make sure you’re getting the most for your money!

Luckily, you don’t have to look too far for this information – the following tips will help you find the best metal detector on the UK market for you.

What Treasures are You Hunting?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that any metal detector will detect any type of metal. The clue’s in the name, right? Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple, but to make things clearer we’ll break down the different types of detectors here:

Searching for gold nuggets, gold flakes, coins and jewellery? In this case you’ll need to look for a more expensive unit, like the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector or the X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector. These detectors have gold-finding capabilities which not all possess. The reason that gold-detecting metal detectors are more expensive is because they require more power plus they need to work at a higher frequency. Gold is not a very conductive substance, and is generally only found in small amounts, requiring detectors to be powerful and suitably adapted. These units will also pick up on other metals.

The best metal detectors are able to determine how well the items conduct electrical current and this allows them to tell the difference between coins and foil.

Searching for more general items, coins, jewellery and relics? The entry-level metal detectors are built for all-purpose detecting. If you’re not planning on prospecting for gold then an all-purpose entry-level machine is all you need to get started. These detectors are powerful enough to pick up on a variety of more common metals and they’re much more conservatively priced.

Benefits of ‘Iron Content Analysis’

Many detectors will determine how much iron is present in a potential find, even whilst it’s still in the ground. This is a useful feature to look out for, since items with high iron content are more likely to be nails than ancient coins. It can save you a lot of time in your search if you don’t have to excavate every iron nail you find.

Some detectors also have settings which allow you to bypass being alerted to the presence of iron altogether. If you’re detecting in an area which has high-iron-content ground, you may wish to only be informed if a different type of metal shows up.

Checking it’s Waterproof

The UK isn’t best known for its temperate year-round climate. As a result, it’s a good idea to make sure that the metal detector your buying has some level of water-proofing. Let’s face it, you’ll likely be using it on a rainy day at some point, and it would be very frustrating if your machine wasn’t up to the task.

Look out for information about whether the coil of the detector is waterproof. If it’s not, you might be better off looking for a different model.

If you’re hoping to use your metal detector at the beach, or on river banks, an assurance of waterproofing is necessary. You never know when you might get caught out by the tide or splashed! Some units offer protection up to depths of 3 m, perfect for if you’re more serious about treasure-hunting and don’t want to be thwarted by terrain.

Working to Your Budget

Obviously, your choice will depend on how seriously you are taking metal detecting and your available budget. The more expensive detectors have more features to enable you to find more things, but they may be too costly for someone who is not sure how much they will use the machine.

A simpler machine may be more suitable if you just want to occasionally indulge in this fun hobby, are just starting out, or want a basic machine without all the bells and whistles.

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Metal Detector FAQs

Where and how can I use my metal detector?

 You should always have permission from the landowner before using your metal detector. You should also be careful not to damage archaeological sites. It is recommended that you acquire public liability insurance before you begin detecting.

Should I buy a standalone pin pointer to use with my detector?

Many metal detectors have a built-in pin pointer function. You can switch the unit to pinpoint mode to locate the exact location of the item. However, if yours doesn’t have this feature you might want to consider buying a separate one.

The pin pointer is a hand-held metal detector. You can use it to locate the exact location of a find by, for example, putting it into a dug hole to get a more accurate reading. This saves time and effort as you only dig in the precise location of the object.

Should I buy headphones to use with my metal detector?

Headphones are not entirely necessary because detectors do have built in speakers; however, using headphones can improve accuracy. Headphones help you to hear the different tones and improve your ability to notice a significant target. This is especially true in environments where there may be a lot of background noise, such as on the beach.

You can buy headphones from as little as £12, however, you might want to spend a little more for some quality, long-lasting headphones which will cancel out background noise.

What should I do if I find something old or valuable?

In the UK we have an excellent system whereby valuable finds are recorded so that they can be enjoyed by the general public. This is called the Portable Antiquities Scheme and is run by the British Museum. A local-finds liaison officer records information about the items, and then the details are put online for everyone to study and enjoy.

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