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
- Rugged metal detector ideal for detecting treasure in extreme ground conditions
- Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode.Larger objects up to 3 feet
- Preset ground balance neutralizes response to mineral content in the ground
- Disc/notch control distinguishes between targets and unwanted metals
- 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
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.
|Operating Frequency||6.7 kHz|
|Search Modes||3 – Motion All-Metal mode, Discrimination mode, and 2-Tone audio mode|
|Search Coil Size||8 inches|
|Highlight Features||Easy 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
- 💰【TRUE DISCRIMINATION MODE】- This metal detector can detect iron, zinc, aluminum, gold, copper, silver and more in all-metal mode. Press the 'MODE' button, you can switch to the DISC mode to eliminate the metals you don't want and focus on those to your liking. The crossed frame means item(s) that are eliminated. Two 9V alkaline batteries are required to run the metal detector.
- 💰【HIGHER SENSITIVE & WATERPROOF SEARCH COIL】- The bigger the search coil is, the higher the accuracy. The 10-inch big search coil can reach up to 8" depth underground, greatly conducive to detecting efficiency. The WATERPROOF stem and coil(*the control box is not waterproof) allow you to explore in the water or on the beach. Definitely a practical and exciting tool for outdoor activities.
- 💰【MORE INTUITIVE LCD CONTROL BOX】- A control box with LCD display will make reading much easier. You can clearly know the detection mode, depth of the target, sensitivity level, battery condition, and volume level at a glance. An arrow displayed below the target icon indicates which object is hunting for. Compared to the knob and dial, button and LCD are obviously more intuitive to use.
- 💰【PINPOINT FUNCTION & DISTINCTIVE AUDIO PROMPT】- When finding different types of metal, there are distinctive tones to prompt. A period of time later, you can tell what you found by simply hearing the sounds. The added P/P function help zero in on targets. Operating steps have been written in the manual. It's easy to assemble and fun to use.
- 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
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
- The Gold Digger can be used anywhere to search for all kinds of valuable metal from gold coins to iron relics
- Motion all-metal mode and trash elimination control help you find only the treasure you want
- Identifies coin-size objects up to 6 inches deep underground, and senses larger items up to 2 feet deep
- Includes headphones for private searches in crowded places
- 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
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?
|Operating Frequency||6.6 kHz|
|Search Modes||2 – Motion all-metal mode & trash elimination control|
|Search Coil Size||7 inches|
|Highlight Features||Motion 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
- Manual ground balance for highest performance in more adverse conditions
- Deepest seeking detector
- 3-Digit target ID
- Precise metal detector ideal for accurately detecting specific targets at depth
- 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 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.
|Operating Frequency||6.6 kHz|
|Audio Frequencies||4 tones|
|Search Modes||4 – Motion All-Metal, Progressive Discrimination, Notch, and Pinpoint modes|
|Search Coil Size||8 inches|
|Highlight Features||Manual 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
- ❗CAUTION: INSERT MICRO-PLUG ACCORDING TO THE ALIGNMENT! An incorrect connection can occur in very low or no signal❗💰LET YOUR TREASURE HUNTS BEGIN…. Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? Now you can start enjoying the thrill of finding artifacts like old coins, gold, tools, jewelry, and more with our premium ToolGuards Metal Detector!
- ✅ ENJOY SEARCHING ON LAND & WATER! Now you can enjoy your treasure hunting in the water too! We created our deluxe metal detector kit with a waterproof coil and carrying bag, so you can uncover the mysteries on all terrain!
- ✅ NEWEST 2019 MODEL - GREAT FOR ALL AGES: Metal detecting is a great hobby for men, women, and children of all ages! Our easy-to-use and extremely durable Metal Detector includes an adjustable knob to match your height and preference!
- ✅ FEEL CONNECTED TO THE PAST— Do you love finding buried treasures in the Earth and wondering about the stories of who left them behind? That feeling of excitement is priceless!
- 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
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?
|Operating Frequency||5.5 kHz|
|Search Modes||3 – All, Target, or Disc|
|Search Coil Size||9.84 inches|
|Highlight Features||3 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 Metal Detector with 6.5" x 9" Waterproof Coil, Garrett Treasure Sound Headphones, Instruction Manual, Batteries, and a Two-Year Warranty
- New Digital Target ID: 0 to 99 scale offers target information
- New Camlocks for increased stem stability
- New Includes Pulse-Width Modulation audio: sharper, more responsive audio
- 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
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.
|Operating Frequency||6.5 kHz|
|Audio Frequencies||3 tones|
|Search Modes||3 – coins, jewelry, and zero-disc for all metals|
|Search Coil Size||6.5 x 9 inches|
|Highlight Features||New 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)
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.
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?
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 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.
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 task||Detection depth|
|Cannon shell||24 – 35|
|Coffee can||12 – 24|
|Bicycle license disc, jam jar lid||9 – 16|
|Large coins||6 – 12|
|Small coins||4 – 6|
|Big jewelry||6 – 12|
|Small jewelry||3 – 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!