For beginners in metal detecting, the general assumption is that you have to spend a fortune for an expensive detector before you can get excellent success when detecting for valuable metals.
In the current market, this is far from the case. There are so many options of metal detectors to pick from that offer you fantastic value for money; all you have to do is find them.
We’re introducing you to a healthy range of devices that cost less than $500 to ensure that you experience premium metal detecting without the high price.
So, whether you’re looking for a metal detector that gives you performance that exceeds your beginner’s detector or you want something that will provide you with a relatively safe entrance into a higher level of detecting, there are some fantastic devices that you do not have to break the bank for.
Most of the detectors in this price range are lightweight and compact, with many other exciting features that give it efficient operation.
Typically, you won’t find the high-grade performance here or lots of custom specialization that many expensive devices have. Still, if you’re in the hunt for a metal detector that will give you a satisfactory level in treasure hunting, with high quality for a low price, these detectors are your go-to guys.
Our pick: Garrett ACE 400
The ACE 400 will fit very nicely into your budget despite being an impressive device that detects on a wide range of treasure hunting.
For a price under $400, you can get this metal detector and still have some change for extra accessories.
Also dominant on this list are the Fisher F22 weatherproof detector, Whites Treasuremaster for underwater detecting, and the Garett ACE 300.
Take a look at all the detectors under $500 that we’ve curated below
Garrett ACE 400 metal detectors
Do you know how the ACE series from Garrett takes coin and relic hunting to a different level with top performance for low prices? The best of these low-price quality-performance devices is the ACE 400. Starting operating frequency at 10kHz, the ACE 400 is significantly higher than its counterparts and also working at a signal strength recommended for the best coin hunting. Like the rest of the metal detectors from the ACE series, 400 is very lightweight and has an adjustable stem that improves handling during coin hunting. Perhaps the best feature of this metal detector is the frequency adjustment option that allows you to control frequency signals to optimize your hunt. The Iron audio system lets you hear the sound of discriminated iron targets and control the signal only to pick valuable metals. What else is in the box? Easy stow headphones that are fully submersible and wireless for standard use, ACE cover-up coil protection, and some recovery tools for hunting across different terrains. The 4 AA batteries also power the device for 20 hours each.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
At the heart of underwater metal, detecting is an elementary and simple-to-use metal detector that is custom made for underwater treasure hunting and is very affordable under $500. Unlike the technical operation of some devices, the Land Ranger pro has the most straightforward process: only power on and you are good to go. This makes it a great entry level metal detector. It comes with 7 preset modes for different levels, terrains, and environment. They include coins, artifacts, jewelry, 2 tones, 3 tones, 4 tones and all metal modes. Ground cancellation adjustment makes it suitable for the location it has been set upon and the advanced notch discrimination ignores junks to find treasure. The land ranger pro has a 7.79kHz operating frequency that works with either an 11” DD search coil or 8” concentric coil to give it remarkable depth and sensitivity during hunting.
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal detector
A low-priced metal detector from Fisher, it is also one of the best metal detectors around for coin and relic hunting. Since coin hunting cuts across all age groups, you need a device that is easy to operate and understand—a detector like the F22. One unique feature of this metal detector is that it has four modes of operation for metal detecting. They include custom mode, jewelry mode, coin, and Artifact mode. The F22 also has a visual target identification system to separate junk metals from the valuable ones. While this metal detector is not entirely waterproof, it is weatherproof and, thus, can withstand weather conditions like rain, storms, fast winds, etc. Finally, and perfect for a coin hunter, the F22 has three search coils and sensitivity controls to adjust the level of control, and a 5-year warranty on the product to give customer satisfaction.
Garrett ACE 300 metal detectors
Popular for being a top-rated entry-level detector that gives users an excellent performance, the ACE 300 makes this list as an all-purpose metal detector under $500. For its price (just missing the $300 mark), you may not get a better deal with any other device. The ACE 300i has an adjustable operating frequency with a 7” x 10” concentric PROformance search coils to improve sensitivity and also reduce interference. The electronic pinpointing tells you the exact location of targets, depth levels, and how fast you can reach your treasure. Furthermore, the ACE300i uses an advanced and new pulse-width-modulation Audio to hear more precise and more authentic signals from metals. An advanced Iron detector with better visual resolution identifies unwanted metals and uses the discrimination system to discard them. What else is in the box? Easy stow headphones that are fully submersible and wireless for standard use, ACE cover-up coil protection, and some recovery tools for hunting across different terrains.
At the heart of saltwater and beach detecting is a cheap option detector that is highly efficient. The name ‘Whites’ on the label of any metal detector is a sure sign that you are getting the best quality, and White’s All-purpose Treasuremaster is a remarkable metal detector that the beginners and professionals all wax lyrical. Few detectors can claim to be truly all-purpose and the Treasuremaster is one of them—it will find anything from gold and silver coins to relic items to jewelry. All this is made possible by its 9.5” concentric search coil and 7.81kHz operating frequency. You can adjust the sensitivity to personalize your signals to fluid targets in deep parts of the ground or in highly mineralized grounds. The treasuremaster’s 8 modes of customized discrimination enables it to identify the majority of junk and thrash metals and to eliminate them from the way of finding valuable metals. The visual target ID is an efficient feature that indicates on a large LCD screen, the depth of metal targets in the ground and how long it will take to get there. Couple the visual target with 4-tone audio ID that uses unique sounds to alert you on finding several types of metals. The Treasuremaster’s is top-of-line performance enhanced and its lightweight feature makes it capable of gong long hours of hunting without having a physical toll on you.
Garrett ACE 250 metal detector
The Garrett 250 is made for all kinds of detecting but is tailor-made for relic hunting. The operating frequency of this detector stands at 6.5kHz, which is good for picking up coin signals. A necessary upgrade of this metal detector from the ACE 200 is it’s comes with adjustable sensitivity unlike the former. There are Five search modes for the ACE 250: All metals (this is suited, with a high sensitivity, to locate any kind of metal object), jewelry (objects like rings, earrings, wristwatches, etc, made from valuable metal), Custom (default mode), relics (for artifacts and old objects from a long time), and coins. The operating mode is of types: Full-range, multi-notch discrimination. 4 AA alkaline batteries each have 20 hours of life in each of them; so the ACE 250 is trusted to go the miles with the sufficient power it needs. For children and young beginners in coin hunting, the lightweight and adjustable length of this model in the Garrett GTI series makes it a perfect device to start your hunt, and carry around as you travel. One downside of this entry-level metal detector is that it is not waterproof. Although for $200, you can hardly expect the ACE 250 to have it all.
Teknetics T2 Metal detector
Teknetics T2 metal detector is a very competent device and one of the most suitable for all kinds of mid-range detecting—from coin hunting to relic hunting to gold prospecting; the T2 can do it all for a budget price. It features an 11” open-frame Bi-axial search coil that is waterproof and can withstand interference in high ground mineralization. The search coil is adequately sensitive, so trust it to pick up the scent of gold nuggets in the ground—the waterproof feature also gives it the ability to detect valuable metal on standard land terrains, and also underwater. The T2 has a double-filter Iron discrimination feature to curate junk metals from valuable details. Not to mention the Intuitive new-technology user interface that optimizes metal analysis display, and is pretty easy to operate. And, lastly, the Target identification comes in handy to identify and ignore trash metals disguised as valuable metal in the ground.
Minelab X-terra 305 metal detector
Minelab will continue producing excellent detectors that are available for a budget price but for now the X-terra 305 us still up there as one of the brand’s best deals. The X-terra 305 is a remarkable entry-level detector, ideally suited for young age groups with its easy to operate feature and it is one of Minelab’s in-actual operation VFLEX technology detector. The X-Terra 305 is the perfect tool for you to begin your coin, relic, and gold hunting; it is also used by professionals across the world. It has manual ground balance operation that enables it work in the most difficult of land terrains. The two-frequency operation is perfect to switch from coin to relic hunting. And of all Minelab’s metal detectors that use VFLEX technology, the X-Terra 305 is the cheapest and this makes it a very popular choice in detecting. The depth indicator feature is a useful tool that this metal detector uses to calculate how far it will take you to dig up prospective metals in the ground and display it on the screen.
Bounty Hunter Sharpshooter II
Whether you’re a newbie in metal detecting or a seasoned professional, the Sharpshooter II is an efficient (and affordable) device from one of the most accomplished metal detector brands on the planet. This detector is waterproof, so as well as being capable of all types of underwater detecting, including beach hunting, it will find treasure across every terrain on land. This makes it a fantastic all-round detector. It is also perfect for all types of detecting—to find coins, relics, and gold nuggets. The sharpshooter derives its name from the lightning-quick speed it uses to detect coins in the ground. It has an advanced target ID that can correctly identify the range of metals. The visual target ID also shows an accurate image on the LCD screen of nine segments of metals. The depth reach of up to 9” makes the sharpshooter II great for relic hunting, and it has an adjustable arm to make the hunting experience less stressful.
Nokta Makro Simplex
This is an entry-level metal detector that is simple & easy-to-use—just turn on and go—and it is available for a budget price of under $500. The simplex has an auto ground balancing and comes with built-in search modes which include All Metal, park, Field, and beach. It is waterproof-fully submersible up to 10ft underwater, and the operating frequency of 12kHz makes it a perfect device for treasure hunting. The vibration of the simplex is its own creative way of showing that it has detected a target in a particular area. It has a very simple, adapted for easy and less complicated handling. Not to mention that the simplex is very lightweight at merely 2.9 pounds and, consequently, can be used for extended periods without getting tired from the load. For all its admirable qualities, this metal detector is probably most popular for its lightning. So, when it comes to night-time coin, relic and gold hunting, you know who you’re banking on. LCD backlight, a very bright LED flashlight, and keypad backlight maintain top-quality lighting for this beauty.
Teknetics Delta 4000 metal detector
Teknetics are one of the leading brands in metal detecting, and the Delta 4000 is one of our top picks for its popular easy-to-use features that are convenient for beginners and, of course, available for under $500. It has adjustable discrimination and sensitivity that allows it to select the types of metals it wants to target in the ground and also to personality operations by going to considerable depth to find treasures. The one-touch pinpoint mode also determines the extent of valuable metals and how long it will take to dig. Target identification helps it recognize precise metal targets in the ground and a digital chart on the screen to display target features and category icons. The preset ground balance helps it maneuver fields of high mineralization, and it is straightforward to use with a simple switch to turn on, and then you’re ready. The operating frequency of the Delta 4000 is 7.69kHz with 8” concentric standard search coil for high sensitivity and efficiency in locating coins and valuable metals. This metal detector uses a 9V alkaline battery that gives it up to 25 hours of metal detecting. Lastly, the delta 4000 comes with adjustable length of 43”-53” and 5 discrimination modes adjustment.
Nokta Makro PulseDive Scuba detector
For this range of underwater metal detector on our list, we are witnessing remarkable efficiency for a low price. We’re putting our money on this Scuba detector—yep, suitable for Scuba diving—to blow your mind. This IP68-rated waterproof device is submersible up to 200ft; makes it one of the best underwater metal detectors in the world. Pulse induction technology enables this beauty to dispel electrons in saltwater and to ignore soil with high ground mineralization. When metal targets are located, the PulseDive uses four efficient means of indication and they are: Audio only, vibration only, audio and Vibration, and LED indicator. It also features a powerful LED flashlight for good vision at night during detecting. For the dive mode, the PulseDive locks the keys of operation and every other part that can be punctured by water pressure at massive depths.
Whites X-Venture Metal detector
Whites x-venture is a good option for kids and one of the easy operation metal detectors you can find around. And despite being a beginner and entry-level detector, the Xventure is an excellent device for all-round hunting. It comes with three search modes: pinpoint, coin, and jewelry. The pinpoint mode detects the precise location of metal targets in the ground and shows you how deep you must dig to access it. Coin mode is custom-made for finding coins of all kinds of metals and across different terrains. The jewelry mode will identify items like rings, earrings, necklaces, etc., that are made from valuable metals. The target identification system of the venture is in 5 segments: Iron, nickel, pull-tap, foil, and coin. The system uses simple icons to represent each of these metals, and a flashing LED light to indicate its presence nearby during hunting. It also comes with a waterproof standard and more depth capacity. Two-year product warranty means you have all the time to enjoy your entry into metal detecting wit this beauty before moving on to more advanced metal detectors.
Minelab Go-find 44 Metal detector
Out of all the Go-find series, the Go-find 44 is the best metal detector, and for a price of below $200, it is the absolute bargain. The treasure view on the smartphone feature instantly identifies treasure (valuable metals) from trash and indicates it with LED light. The Red LED light means you have found a nail or a key, which is a junk metal and useless find. The Green LED light shows for coins, jewelry, or other relic items, and you can start digging. The large 10” waterproof coil gives this detector a massive range of sensitivity and depth to locate items with remarkable skill. The pinpointing feature tells you exactly where valuable metal is and how far you need to dig to retrieve it. Like all Go-find series, the Go-find 44 also comes with a variety of camouflage skins to blend right in with the environment. The Go-find standard app is free for all Go-find 44 users, and the Pro version is available through an in-app purchase. Last, and indeed not the least feature of this bad boy, the Go-find 44 searches deeper than any other metal detector on this list. If you are looking for its superpower, you’ve got the exact one here.
White’s Coinmaster GT Metal detector
Coinmaster’s solid Target ID allows you to identify the metals you come across as you haunt for valuable coins. The audio mode, similarly, will enable you to hear the signal emitted by nearby artifacts. But hearing the signal of every metal you come across can be quite tiring and—in a way—anti-climactic, don’t you think? Not to worry, the coinmaster takes care of this with a five-range discrimination system. What this does is that it allows you to pick and curate the types of signals you want to hear. For example, if you’ve programmed your Coinmaster only to give you the feedback signal sound of bronze coins, this is what it will do.
This metal detector also comes with a 9” waterproof search coil and Beach mode system; that makes it work well underwater. The automatic ground balance of the coin master adjusts itself as you seek in coins in the ground.
Bounty Hunter Gold Digger
Who says gold prospecting cannot be done on a smaller scale for beginners and little kids? Not the gold digger. This detector is a budget gold finder with one of the most simple operations of any metal detector ever known. Just two knob controls and voila! You are on your way to finding some treasures. One of the knobs controls the detector’s sensitivity and power, while the other is for trash eliminator to get rid of junk metals like nails and screws. The Gold digger comes with a sensitivity meter that helps you monitor the signal strength of metals a 7” search coil, which is portable enough for handling by little children. The device is also notably ultra-lightweight—a required feature of every kid detector in the market. The three unique audio tones are custom-made to differentiate between the sounds that metal make and to decide which one is worth digging up. Furthermore, the Gold digger notably has an all-metal motion mode that helps you find all the different types of metal in the ground, from silver to gold to iron, etc. This little performer will do its job diligently and efficiently.
Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector
A little over $500 if you have a few more bucks to add, this device will give you high and specialized performance for gold prospecting. Despite having the highest price on this list, it is relatively low for a gold detector and thus an affordable choice for that type of hunting. Although the operating frequency is somewhat low (for a gold metal detector) at 18 kHz, the Fisher Gold bug pro is still one of the most popular metal detectors for gold on the planet. Despite its low operating frequency, however, it will still find small gold nuggets in highly mineralized terrains. And what it lacks in high operation frequency, the Fisher makes up for with technological innovations that few other metal detectors can boast. The V-break Tone discrimination feature—the first among metal detectors—uses an audio ID to detect gold instantly in the ground. The system also uses the same method of discriminate unwanted iron trash without having to dig. 40-point range Iron ID allows it to distinguish between sizes of iron metals; perhaps this is what makes the Fisher Gold bug pro a fantastic utility: adapted to locate almost all kinds of minerals with an accurate display of type and amount in the soil.
Given the type of hunting and budget you have, many discount metal detectors in the market are well under $500 range, and for that price, they still feature impressive performance—making them a very popular choice in the metal detecting industry.