How to Find Metal: The Hobby of Metal Detecting

Written by Nichole

Metal detecting is not only an exciting hobby, but it is one that brings you closer to history and can even put a little money in your pocket, if that’s what you want. This blog is to help you decide what metal detector is best for you, not just the best one on the market, the best one for you! This is a how to find metal blog!

Since all detectors detect metal, in order to pick the best metal detector for you, you have to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What am I interested in hunting? (coins, relics, gold, etc.)
  • Where do I want to hunt? (beach, forest, river, etc.)
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • Am I committed to this hobby?

Do you want to know the best metal detectors for land, water and gold? Below is a breakdown of different metal detectors depending on what you want to hunt, where you will be hunting and how much you want to spend. I suggest that you ask if this is a hobby you are committed to because it can get quite expensive with the metal detector and then all of the accessories you will probably end up purchasing. With that said though, it is a really fun hobby and if you get bored of it, you can just list your machine on eBay and get some of your money back or give it away as a gift.

What Are You Hunting For?

One thing you need to know is the best frequency for metal detecting. Items closer to the surface require a lower frequency, that’s why it is good for coins and jewelry. If you are looking for artifacts and relics, those will be deeper in the ground and will require a higher frequency.

Coins and jewelry– avoid high frequency detectors and pulse induction detectors. This will allow for the best results.

Relics– this is where a higher frequency will do you well. Also, look for large coil, iron audio and manual, and automatic ground balance.

Gold- for finding gold in small creeks, locating gold in streams, and finding gold in bedrock, you will need a special metal detector meant for gold. Not all machines are equal for this treasure–because you want to find real gold, not just fools gold!

Where Are You Hunting?

Metal detectors work differently depending on the terrain and environment in which you are hunting. Based on where you plan to do most of your metal detecting, you will need to make sure your metal detector will work for you. Here are the best ones for each terrain:

Beach: You can use pretty much any machine to hunt in the sand, but if you plan to hunt in the salt water, you should get a metal detector that allows for that and is completely waterproof. Multi-frequency and pulse indicator machines work best for hunting along the wet sand and salt water because it will help distinguish trash from treasure and works best for high mineralized areas. The fully submersible detector listed below is one of the best underwater detectors.

Fully Submersible
Fisher 1280X-8 Underwater All-Purpose Metal DetectorSee on Amazon
Waterproof Coil
Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil and Carry BagSee on Amazon

Fresh Water (Rivers, Lakes, Streams): you will need a machine that can be fully submerged in the water due to the varying levels of river and lake floors. The last thing you want to do is step into a hole and your expensive metal detector gets ruined!

Garrett AT Pro Metal DetectorSee on Amazon
Fisher 1280X-8 Underwater All-Purpose Metal DetectorSee on Amazon

Soil: any metal detector should work well with soil and bedrock. However, if you know that the area you want to search is high in minerals, you should look for a detector that is a multi-frequency or pulse indicator.  Other than that, you should be fine with the majority of metal detectors out there.

Best Metal Detectors for Beginners

Since you have decided to take on this fun and exciting new hobby, I have put together the best metal detectors for beginners to get you started. The last thing you want to do is buy a cheap metal detector and then get disappointed that it’s not working the way you want it to and give up on the hobby all together. It is best to find a machine that has the technology and purpose you are looking for, then look to your budget. Remember, the better the machine, the more treasure you may find, which could offset your costs if you decide to sell what you find. However, I bet you are getting into this hobby for the fun of finding stuff and not for the monetary gain so the treasures you find will all be worth the cost!

Without further delay, here are the top picks for the best metal detectors for beginners:

Fhisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search CoilSee on Amazon
Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil and Carry BagSee on Amazon
Teknetics Delta 4000 Metal DetectorSee on Amazon
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal DetectorSee on Amazon

Best Metal Detectors for Kids

There is nothing better than having a hobby that you can share with your kids! But, who wants to share their equipment? Nobody! Whether your kid is interested in this new hobby because of you or she has grown an interest on her own, below are some great choices for the best metal detectors for kids.

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal DetectorSee on Amazon
Minelab X-TERRA 305 Metal DetectorSee on Amazon
Tesoro Compadre Metal DetectorSee on Amazon


You shouldn’t run out and get a bunch of accessories at first, because you never know if you will like this hobby. But when you are ready, below are some of the best metal detecting accessories that you will want:

AccessoryProduct ImageProduct NameProduct Link
Kuman Pin Pointer Water Resistant Buzzer Vibration Automatic Tuning KW30See on Amazon
SE GP3-SS30DT Prospector’s Choice 12″ Serrated Edge DiggerSee on Amazon
Bounty Hunter HEAD-PL Metal Detector HeadphonesSee on Amazon
Treasure Pouch
Digger’s Pouch CamoSee on Amazon

There are some accessories that depend on your machine, so it’s best to either buy in a bundle or get separately afterwards if you enjoy the hobby.

Coil covers- these are nice when you use your machine a lot because it prevents scratches to the metal detector coils. You may even want to purchase an extra coil so you’ll have it in case you need to replace yours.

Carry Bag- this is a bag to carry your metal detector and all your accessories. This too will depend on your machine.


Now that you have an idea of what you will need for the treasures you will be hunting for and the terrain on which you will be hunting, you can now go out and enjoy this wonderful hobby. Good luck and have a great time. Happy Hunting!

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