In this guide we’ll take a look at the best metal detectors for the UK market.
I’ve compared detecting ability, functionality, design and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

What Is The Best Metal Detector?

In a rush? Here’s my top choice…

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

Best metal detector on the market

The Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector has a range of excellent features including target identification to let you know if an item is worth digging up. It is also waterproof and can be used in depths of up to 3 m!

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Everything We Recommend

IMAGERECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Best metal detector
  • Gold-finding capabilities
  • Determines value of object
  • Excellent performance
  • Ability to detect small objects
  • Great for beginners
  • Excellent value for money
  • One of UK’s most popular
  • Great for beginners


  • Gold-finding capabilities
  • Extremely durable
  • Specialised Prospecting Mode
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Splash proof
  • Adjustable sensitivity levels

More Detailed Metal Detector Reviews

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Best metal detector
  • Gold-finding capabilities
  • Determines value of object
OUR RATING
100

PRICE

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Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector Review

This Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector is suitable for use in all terrains, including beaches and shallow water.

It’s waterproof and fully functioning in depths of up to 10 ft. It is also powerful enough to detect gold.

This metal detector features an AT Pro display and a Digital Target ID that goes from 0 to 99. When you locate an object, a number will be displayed. The higher the number the more likely it is that an object is worth digging up.

The machine has a standard mode for beginners and a pro mode for once you become more experienced. There is also an iron auto-mode; this is useful when working in areas with high quantities of iron because it helps discern between worthless iron and potentially-valuable objects.

This metal detector is excellent value for money. It comes with headphones, a coil cover, a “finds” pouch, a baseball cap, a manual, and an instructional DVD. Everything you need to get started!

The advanced technology, and clever features, makes this machine a great purchase. In my opinion this is the best metal detector for the UK market – perfect if you are serious about metal detecting and want to search for gold!

Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Excellent performance
  • Ability to detect small objects
  • Great for beginners
OUR RATING
95

PRICE

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Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector Review

This Garrett EuroACE Metal Detector is simple to set up and use. As a result, it’s perfect for beginners; you’ll be able to quickly get started with your new hobby, avoiding unnecessarily time-consuming research and preparation.

This detector comes with a powerful, large 28 x 22 cm PROformance Double-D search coil which is great for identifying metal. It operates at a frequency of 8.25 kHz, ideal for detecting small objects. This unit has been specifically designed for use in European conditions.

The machine is strong and light, weighing only 1.2 kg. It comes with a rain cover, coil cover and headphones. If you are looking for a great entry-level tool this is one of the best metal detectors on the UK market.

This is a brilliant, reasonably priced detector for beginners. It is easy to use and works well – a great choice if you are new to metal detecting and don’t want to splurge on more expensive machines just yet.

Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Excellent value for money
  • One of UK’s most popular
  • Great for beginners
OUR RATING
93

PRICE

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Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector Review

This Garrett Ace 250 Metal Detector has all the features a beginner will need.

It has an LCD graphic screen, 8 sensitivity settings and 5 pre-set modes – the pre-set modes make it easy for beginners to get started straight away!

This detector has a perceptive “accept” and “reject” feature; indicating whether it is considered worthwhile to dig up a particular find – no more time wasted excavating bottle caps! Another excellent function is its handy pinpoint ability. This makes it easier to locate finds accurately.

The metal detector is fitted with the new PROformance Rhino 6.5 x 9″ coil. This is a powerful, high-quality coil which will enhance the treasure-hunting process.

It is a detector that is suitable for use in a range of terrains including soil, and dry and wet sand, with only a little setting adjustment required.

This item requires 4 x AA batteries which are included.

This is one of the best metal detector models available for beginners. It offers all the features required to make a successful start to your hobby and will have you digging up fascinating items in no time!

X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Gold-finding capabilities
  • Extremely durable
  • Specialised Prospecting Mode
OUR RATING
91

PRICE

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X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector Review

This X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector is the most popular entry-level gold-finding detector on the market. It is designed to filter through even highly-mineralised soil in order to identify potentially valuable finds.

This is a serious piece of kit and it will take some time to learn how to use – but it’s worth the effort! Once you’ve got the hang of it, this excellent detector will have you making serious finds in no time. I recommend enlisting the help of a friend who has experience with metal detectors, or joining one of the many metal detecting clubs in the UK, to help you get the most out of this machine.

This detector comes with VFLEX technology for more accurate detecting. It comes installed with an 18.75 kHz Double-D Elliptical coil; you can easily alter the frequency by changing coils. It can be used with low, mid and high frequency coils and all 7 X-TERRA accessory coils are compatible.

The iron mask feature, enabled in Prospecting Mode, distinguishes between different types of metals. This means you can avoid wasting time digging for rubbish like iron nails. It also has a pin point function to help you locate targets more precisely.

This detector comes with built-in speakers and can also be used with headphones. It takes 4 x AA batteries which are included.

This is the best metal detector for entry-level gold hunting. It is suitable for both beginners and more experienced detectorists, and it is a powerful machine with plenty of intelligent features.

DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Splash proof
  • Adjustable sensitivity levels
OUR RATING
88

PRICE

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DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector Review

This DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector is a great introduction to metal detecting.

It is splash-proof, making it ideal for use at the beach or by the river which is great news – these locations are perfect for uncovering interesting finds!

This unit features 360-degree detection so you can be sure you’re covering the whole area, and has an LED light and alarm to alert you of potential finds. It can find items buried up to18 cm deep.

Another great function is that you can adjust the coil to discern between certain types of metal, thus stopping you from wasting time digging up old nails..

This detector is simple to set up and easy to use; just insert the battery and start detecting! It is powered by 6 x AA batteries which aren’t included.

It’s a great machine which offers an economical introduction to metal detecting for adults and (supervised!) children alike. It is also a useful additional tool to have in your kit alongside more advanced detectors.

Metal Detector FAQs

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.

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.

 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.

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.

Sources

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