Top 6 Best Cheap Metal Detectors That Don’t Compromise On Quality – 2020

Our guide will not point out any universal best cheap metal detector (as there’s nothing like that on Earth).

Instead, we are going to help you get an idea to pick the best one for YOU. The question you should find the answer is – What is the right unit for your budget, experience, living area, and type of hunting?

By breaking everything down in real terms, you’ll get a better idea of which option below is right for you:

  • Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV – Best all-round
  • RM RICOMAX Metal Detector – Best for beginners
  • Bounty Hunter Gold Digger – Best for newbie relic hunters
  • Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 – Best for deep seeking
  • ToolGuards Metal Detector 2019 Model – Best bang for the buck
  • Garrett ACE 200 – Best for beach hunting

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV – Best all-round

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

  • Made in the USA – ensure the quality
  • Can work in saltwater or ground with high mineral contents
  • Avoid collecting unwanted metals


  • Eat batteries a lot
  • The beeper sound is too quiet to hear outdoors

Many guys love starting their hunt at the beach, meaning that they need a metal detector designed with durability in mind.

And at around $100, we found this Bounty Hunter.

It highlights a preset ground balance that supposedly holds up well at any conditions, even in salt water with high mineral contents.

The wisest thing is Bounty Hunter combines it with a notch control to eliminate unwanted metals and as a result, just the valuable metals are collected.

Last up, the TK4 Tracker IV delivers 8 inch depth of coin detecting and up to 3 feet for larger objects. The targets are also various – steel, iron, aluminum, brass, silver, and gold – which won’t limit your hobby.

Product Specs

Operating Frequency6.7 kHz
Audio Frequencies2
Search Modes3 – Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode
Ground BalancePreset
Search Coil Size8 inches
Weight3.7 pounds
Highlight FeaturesEasy to use knob control interface, detects all kinds of metal, built-in Automatic Ground Trac

Bounty Hunter TK4 is a decent choice for budget-minded people who need a cheap metal detector but are afraid of the initial learning curve.

RM RICOMAX Metal Detector – Best for beginners

RM RICOMAX Metal Detector
RM RICOMAX Metal Detector for Adults & Kids - High-Accuracy Metal Detector Waterproof LCD Display [Pinpoint Function & Discrimination Mode & Distinctive Audio Prompt] 10 Inch Waterproof Search Coil

  • Lightweight and easy to use – suitable for both adults and kids
  • Give accurate identification and depth readings to find targets better
  • Decent quality and performance
  • Large coil


  • The control box isn’t waterproof
  • The LCD screen is a bit hard to see in bright light

We guess no detectorists love going for a hunt only to realize that their metal detector is out of juice.

That’s why we choose this – the RM RICOMAX – which is constructed with a visual LCD display screen. This is a multi-purpose feature where you can track the battery status and furthermore, are sensitivity and detection depth.

But worry-free, you don’t have to look at this screen all the time as there is a beeping sound program.

It will beep when detecting metals and you can also customize the sounds for different kinds of metals – such a wise way of discrimination.

If you are looking for an easy-to-use metal detector without breaking the bank, this RM RICOMAX is the most suitable.

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger – Best for newbie relic hunters

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger
Bounty Hunter Gold Digger Metal Detector

  • Simple construction and settings make it easy to use -> suitable for beginners
  • Lightweight and compact that keeps shoulders and warms less fatigue when detecting metals
  • Avoid junk signals efficiently


  • Can’t detect coins deeper than 6 inches
  • No pinpoint mode

There is no faster way to feel disappointed in the hobby than purchasing a too complicated metal detector that you don’t understand.

For newbie relics, hunters, a basic unit like this turns out a potential companion.

It is a lightweight and easy-to-use detector that features a two-knob design – one is for trash eliminating while the other controls the sensitivity and power level.

While the trash eliminator helps you zero-in on gems and avoid some junk signals, its user-friendly construction allows newbies to figure out quickly how it works.

The all-metal motion mode is also praised for its vast detection capability to find all types of targets because, at the end of the day, you still want to know the metal concentration level first before starting a specific search, don’t you?

Product Specs

Operating Frequency6.6 kHz
Audio Frequencies3
Search Modes2 – Motion all-metal mode & trash elimination control
Ground BalancePreset
Search Coil Size7 inches
Weight3 pounds
Highlight FeaturesMotion all-metal mode and trash elimination control identifies coin-size objects up to 6 inches deep, Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Built with user-friendly construction and efficient detection capability, the Bounty Hunter Gold Digger makes it the best choice for beginner relics hunters.

Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 – Best for deep seeking

Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300
Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 Metal Detector

  • Have pinpoint mode to give a precise location of buried treasures -> save time and effort to dig and find the targets
  • Various operating modes to allow you to use it in your way
  • Good discrimination to distinguish trash and targets -> only keep the valuable stuff
  • 4 audio tones to easily determine the kind of metal you’ve just found


  • Too complicated to suit beginners
  • The unit is made of plastic, which is vulnerable and weak

The Discovery 3300 features four operating modes that help you find more targets with good junk elimination. Therein, the All-metal mode and the Deep-seeking Pinpoint mode are two advanced options that other brands hardly provide.

The deep-seeking pinpoint mode is our most favorite.

It tells you the exact location of coins or other long-buried metals while these targets are normally the enemy of basic detectors because they can’t be easily isolated to find out.

Some other add-ons are the waterproof search coil, the tone audio feedback, and the digital segment target ID.

Product Specs

Operating Frequency6.6 kHz
Audio Frequencies4 tones
Search Modes4 – Motion All-Metal, Progressive Discrimination, Notch, and Pinpoint modes
Ground BalancePreset
Search Coil Size8 inches
Weight4.2 pounds
Highlight FeaturesManual ground balance for highest performance in more adverse conditions, Motion All-Metal, Progressive Discrimination, Notch, and Pinpoint modes

Emphasizing deep-seeking capability, Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 is an efficiently advanced metal detector that will make any gold-nugget detectorists satisfied.

ToolGuards Metal Detector 2019 Model – Best bang for the buck

ToolGuards Metal Detector 2019 Model
ToolGuards Metal Detector Easy to Use Carry Bag & Shovel (2019 Model High-Accuracy)

  • Include a carrying bag and shovel for extra convenience
  • Have comfy padded armrests to reduce fatigue on your arms and back after hours of metal detecting


  • Not for super deep depth

Built with knobs instead of LCD display screens, the ToolGuards 2019 model might seem minimal at first but don’t let that fool you. It packs a punch.

The all-inclusive – one carrying bag, one shovel, and one easily-assembled metal detector – makes it a wonderful package for adults to spend a day at the beach.

3 operating modes give you options for how you want to use the detector. They include All, Target, and Disc that are praised for efficiency and optimal accuracy when the treasure hunt is on.

At the unbeatable price point of a mere $70, the machine also gives you a waterproof coil, an incredibly comfy armrest and a 2-foot depth of detection. There is even a one-year warranty.

So, what else to ask?

Product Specs

Operating Frequency5.5 kHz
Audio FrequenciesN/A
Search Modes3 – All, Target, or Disc
Ground BalancePreset
Search Coil Size9.84 inches
Weight6 pounds
Highlight Features3 operating modes, includes accessories, easy to use

At the $70 price point for a metal detector with a full package, multi-mode settings, and a warranty, only the ToolGuards 2019 model is the one to afford it.

Garrett ACE 200 – Best for beach hunting

Garrett ACE 200
Garrett ACE 200 Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil and Treasure Sound Headphone

  • Have excellent search capacity and maximum functionality -> a universal device for various tasks
  • The LED display screen helps to monitor many indicators
  • The audio tones offer a sharper response


  • Don’t have the pinpoint mode
  • The coil isn’t large

At a (little bit) higher price point, Garrett ACE 200 comes with several high-end features that other options in this list can’t have.

They are the waterproof search coil, cam locks for superior stem stability, and sharp responsive pulse-width modulation audio. So, we find this unit is more optimal about search capacity and functionalities.

There is also an LED display screen where you can easily track and control many indicators. Such as battery status, coin depth, as well as adjust the operating modes or sensitivity level.

Product Specs

Operating Frequency6.5 kHz
Audio Frequencies3 tones
Search Modes3 – coins, jewelry, and zero-disc for all metals
Ground BalanceNo
Search Coil Size6.5 x 9 inches
Weight5 pounds
Highlight FeaturesNew Camlocks for increased stem stability, New Includes Pulse-Width Modulation audio, lightweight

In general, if you are a serious hunter, this metal detector is great for dry beach hunting or freshwater hunting.

How to choose the best cheap metal detector (buying guide)

Best Cheap Metal Detectors That Don't Compromise On Quality


When it comes to finding the best cheap metal detector, what we aim to is a product built for all-purpose detecting – relics, jewelry, and coins – not a toy for children.

So while considering the price, try not to stoop too low. Anything within $65 – $150 is good enough to start with.

Search Coin Size

There is no “best” metal detector for coins because all of them can do this. It is just the best performance for different price points, implying different coin sizes.

The higher the price, the more various sizes of coins the machine can detect. A metal detector under $100 can normally detect 8-inch coins.

Take note that small coils give greater maneuverability and better target separation while larger coils deliver bigger covering areas of ground and deeper depth. So, you should consider which features are the most important to you during the decision-making process.

Technology applications for coin detecting are also important. The latest one that we have known is the D-tech, you should keep this in mind when looking for the right one.

Operating Frequency

This term is simply the number of times that a metal detector oscillates to create a magnetic field and pump it into the ground searching for a target.

Cheap metal detectors are usually within 5 kHz to 10 kHz – adequate perfectly for general-purpose hunting.

Many people mislead that a 6-kHz metal detector would be better than a 5-kHz but in reality, the difference is hardly noticeable. And it’s not always better to go for a higher frequency unit.

While a higher-frequency metal detector gives higher sensitivity to small targets, the lower offers better performance in depth.

Who makes the best cheap metal detector?

Best Cheap Metal Detectors That Don't Compromise On Quality


On top of this list is Garrett – the OG in the market of metal detectors. It was founded in 1964, by Charles and Garrett. Aside from paying attention to deliver unmatched quality of products, it also gives unparalleled customer satisfaction, which might be the secrets for their current achievements.

Bounty Hunter

Bounty Hunter is a worldwide well-known brand that has been dominating the market of metal detectors. The market segment aims to hobbyists to intermediate detectorists. The brand is owned by First Texas Product – the company that is the owner of Teknetics and Fisher.


With over 5 years’ expertise in this industry, RM RICOMAX, despite a young brand, has been developing its market over 40 countries and regions. The secrets are while focusing on cost-effective products, it has formed a high-quality R&D team.


Best Cheap Metal Detectors That Don't Compromise On Quality

Do you need a permit to use a metal detector?

Though licenses have been scrapped by the Home Office since 1980, metal detecting activities are still restricted to open areas in designated beaches and parks.

Therefore, you should see whether the park or the beach (that you’re going to detect metals) is designated or not by taking a look at the Crown Estates website. Or, here.

Can you find gold with a cheap metal detector?

Yes, you can.

The popularity of technology application in nowadays metal detectors makes it easier to find hidden gold while the price isn’t so bank-breaking. The Bounty Hunter Discovery 3300 in this list is a shining example of that.

How deep do most metal detectors go?

For general metal-detecting tasks, the following table will show you the detection depth that can be utilized:

Metal-detecting taskDetection depth


Cannon shell24 – 35
Coffee can12 – 24
Bicycle license disc, jam jar lid9 – 16
Large coins6 – 12
Small coins4 – 6
Big jewelry6 – 12
Small jewelry3 – 6

What metals will set off a metal detector?

Universal metal detectors can help you find buried metallic objects, like coins and jewelry. The kinds of metal are normally vast, including bronze, silver, gold, lead, tin, aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, and iron.

Do batteries go off in metal detectors?

As batteries contain a certain amount of copper and aluminum which are two kinds of metals, they will go off in metal detectors.

Is it legal to metal detect on the beach?

The legality of metal detecting depends on several factors, mostly in where and when you use a metal detector.

As mentioned, some designated parks and beach asks for licenses/permission for metal detecting while the public ground doesn’t.

You should learn about it.

If somebody tries to dig on the property without permission, they could face some misdemeanors to stiff fines.


The feeling of excitement when you are the only one who detects buried treasures in the Earth is priceless. And any device that can assist this hobby is a welcome thing.

I hope the 6 best cheap metal detectors listed above have helped you get a better idea of which to go for. It’s your turns now, pick one and get hunting!

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