Top 6 Best Small Metal Detectors With High Quality – 2020 Update

Metal detecting is fun.

For beginners or hobbyists, it’s not a must to start with a too complicated metal detector. A smaller option is just enough for general-detecting tasks while giving better portability, lightness, and cost-efficiency.

Below are the top 6 best small metal detectors on the market:

  • Garrett 1140900 – Best overall
  • Kuman KW30 – Budget-friendly option
  • RM RICOMAX 2019 New Metal Detector – Best for light use
  • White’s TRX Bullseye 800-0343 – Deepest
  • Garrett Pro-Pointer II – Best for newbies
  • Garrett Ace 200 – Best for beach hunting

Garrett 1140900 – Best overall

Garrett 1140900
Garrett 1140900 Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof Pinpointing Metal Detector, Orange

  • Fully waterproof, easy to use, and audible
  • Use vibration to alert you when detecting targets -> more ear-friendly
  • Can ignore different interferences
  • The lanyard attach loop offers the hands-free capability


  • Changing settings isn’t intuitive

Garrett 1140900 is an all-in-one unit that’s packed in a handheld design with fully waterproof construction, ease of use, and audible features.

It has 3 additional sensitivity levels that, sure, make you overexcited than you should be because now, the time needed to find a hidden target will be reduced to 1/2.

The minimal settings, in addition, make this device easy to use and you can silence it by using the vibration mode.

One feature that we really like is its quick return option. Thanks to it, the pinpointer will pay no heed on multiple interferences.

Product Specs

Powered9-volt battery
Detecting distance(inch)5 – 6 inches
Operating frequency11.5 kHz
IP level68
Weight9 ounces
Highlight FeaturesFully waterproof to 10 feet with orange color, Maximum Sensitivity, Fast Retune

The Garrett 1140900 is the best-overall option for anyone looking for a reliable, durable, and functional handheld pinpointer metal detector.

Kuman KW30 – Budget-friendly

Kuman KW30
Kuman Pin pointer Water Resistant Metal Detectors with Holster Treasure Hunting Unearthing Tool Accessories Buzzer Vibration Automatic Tuning KW30

  • Super-affordable -> suit for anyone on a tight budget
  • Simple but effective construction for ease of use
  • Have a 360-degree side scanning feature to give more accurate results


  • Not virtually waterproof -> Can’t use it in deep puddles, rivers, and lakes

Designed with faster detection, Kuman KW30 gives better flexibility over the searching grounds for targets, no matter it’s the woods, the beach, or your backyard.

The unit highlights 3 sensitivity levels, pinpointing tip detection, and 360-degree side-scanning that allow you to find different kinds of metal with more precise results.

To speed up the process, there are some add-ons also come into place– such as audio alerts, vibration mode, and LED indicator lights.

Another big bonus is the single touch operational system. It is really user-friendly, convenient, and furthermore, giving no complex learning curve at all.

Product Specs

Powered9V battery
Detecting distance(inch)0 – 2
Operating frequency12 kHz
IP level65
Weight3.2 ounces
Highlight FeaturesHigh Sensitivity, One- One-touch operation, IP65 Water-Resistant

Featuring minimal settings, Kuman KW30 is best for beginners with little to no prior experience and furthermore, the low price brings it within easy reach of any budget-minded buyer.

RM RICOMAX 2019 New Metal Detector – Best for light use

RM RICOMAX 2019 New Metal Detector
RM RICOMAX Pinpointer Metal Detector - IP68 Waterproof Metal Detect Wand w/Belt Holster & 9V Battery Included, Treasure Hunting Probe for Kids & Adults, 2020 Upgraded Version

  • Lightweight, easy to store and portable
  • The bright LED flashlight is handy in darkness
  • The included belt holster has a Velcro strap -> not necessarily undone it every time


  • Pick up interference with other detectors
  • The belt strap isn’t sturdy

The RM RICOMAX is considered the best lightweight pinpoint metal detector on the market. It weighs just 5.9 ounces and with a handheld waterproof design, you can have it on the ready for any treasure hunt.

Like other pinpoint detectors in this list, the unit highlights a user-friendly, lightweight and portable construction that even kids can quickly learn how to use it by themselves.

Though small, it packs a bunch.

The device highlights the 3 sensitivity levels with different LED lights to save you from unnecessary digging or finding trash and thankfully, only valuable treasures are collected.

By using this, you don’t have to worry about the common loud noise as you might with other pin-pointers, because it is built with a buzzer vibration sound.

Product Specs

Powered9V battery
Detecting distance(inch)3.5
Operating frequency6.595 kHz
IP level66
Weight5.9 ounces
Highlight FeaturesLightweight and waterproof, 3 LED Range Indicators & Buzzer Vibration Sound

The RM RICOMAX 2019, featuring just 5.9 pounds of weight, has made it the most lightweight detector on the market.

White’s TRX Bullseye 800-0343 – Deepest

White's TRX Bullseye 800-0343
White's TRX Bullseye Pin-Pointer - 800-0343

  • Deliver surpassed pinpointing results to find targets with better accuracy
  • More powerful detection ranges -> find different kinds of metals at a deeper depth
  • Waterproof to 10 feet


  • Prone to be cakey with mud

Not the Bullseye II, the reasons why we picked this – the 800-0343 – are simple. Firstly, it’s built with a more powerful detecting range (1/4 to 4 inches’ depth vs. ¼ to 1 inches’ depth).

And secondly, the proximity sensing tone (that only this version has) centralizes the detection area around the tip. Then, through the vibration alerts, you can tell if the targets are far or close away from it to decide the digging.

Bullseye 800-0343, on the other hand, requires no tuning as it is virtually automatic.

Product Specs

Powered9-Volt battery
Detecting distance(inch)1/4 – 4 inches
Operating frequency12 kHz
IP level68
Weight6.5 ounces
Highlight FeaturesAutomatic Ground Balance with Tracking, tip pinpointing for total accuracy, IP68

The funny thing about pinpoint detectors is, the deeper the detection range, the less effective the pinpointing function. But with the Bullseye 800-0343, you can get the best of both worlds.

Garrett Pro-Pointer II – Best for newbies

Garrett Pro-Pointer II
Garrett Pro-Pointer II

  • Simple, easy-to-use design -> suit for newbies
  • Overcome the water damage issues of the original Pro-Pointer
  • Have lost alarm feature -> find the device easily if you lose it


  • Don’t have a ruler like the AT
  • Can’t detect small-sized shots

Though the Pro-Pointer II has a similar look to the original version, it has been upgraded a lot to subdue many issues, like the moisture damage.

In addition, there are many advanced features. Such as the better sensitivity levels, the quicker returning to ignore multiple interferences, the pinpoint tip detection for more accurate results and the 360-degree side scan.

Simplicity is also the Pro-Pointer II’s forte.

It’s operated by a single button. When detecting a target, the device will make audio and vibration alerts. The closer it is to the target, the quicker the pulsing.

Product Specs

Powered9-volt battery
Detecting distance(inch)1 – 3
Operating frequency12 kHz
IP level66
Weight< 1 pound
Highlight FeaturesPinpoint tip detection, Audio and vibration indicators, 360-degree side scan, scraping blade

Featuring more advanced features than the original Pro-Pointer while costing less than the AT, this Garrett Pro-Pointer II is the best bet for newbies to get into this interesting hobby.

Garrett Ace 200 – Best for beach hunting

Garrett Ace 200
Garrett Ace 200 Metal Detector

  • Ready to use right out of the box
  • Visual interface and simple settings – suit for detectorists at all ages
  • The stem is stabilized pretty well
  • Sharper audio tones to avoid dismissing the alerts in a noisy place


  • Don’t have a pinpoint mode
  • Limited sensitivity levels

The most worth-mentioning feature of Garrett Ace 200 is a sharper audio sound response and LED lights. They ensure you don’t dismiss the alerts when detecting metals on the beach.

The biggest selling point is, while ordinary beginner detectors impossibly tell you the exact location of the targets, this comes with a digital target ID to make “impossible thing” possible.

There are WATERPROOF transmitter coil and stem that you can feel rest assured to submerge it when finding targets in shallow water.

The Garrett Ace 200 also gives you the freedom to use it in the way you like, thanks to 4 sensitivity levels and 3 operating modes (in which there are the electric pinpoint mode and the Accept/Reject notch).

Product Specs

Powered4 x AA
Detecting distance(inch)8 inches
Operating frequency6.5 kHz
Search Coin Size6.5″ x 9″
IP levelOnly the stem and coil are waterproof
Weight2.75 pounds
Highlight FeaturesEasy to tune and easy to use, recommended for beginners as well as “old pro’s”, Accept/Reject notch, electronic pinpoint for easy target recovery

If you’re looking for the best entry-level metal detector for beach hunting, look no further than the Garrett Ace 200.

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

small metal detector

Detecting Distance

This is the maximum depth that a metal detector can search for targets.

The lower the operating frequency, the better the depth.

For small machines, the range is usually within 8 – 10 inches while pin-pointers will be 0 to 4 inches deep. But notice that it won’t perform the same on all terrains because the composition of the soil may impact on the unit’s search depth.

Search coil size is another feature influencing it – the larger the coil, the deeper the detector can find.

Weight & Portability

As you might walk 5 to 10 miles on each treasure-hunting trip, your detector should be lightweight and portable to reduce arms and shoulders’ fatigue as much as possible.

For pin-pointers, it’s best if there is also a belt holster or a lanyard attachment loop to provide hands-free capability when you want to dig and find a target. For metal detectors, a carry bag and a well-padded shoulder strap will help your arms less tired.

Weight is another feature to consider. It’s commonly around 2 to 5 pounds for a small metal detector and 3 to 9 ounces for a pin-pointer.


Simply put, discrimination is the capability of a metal detector to tell the difference between the valuable metals and the trash.

The valuable metals are, for example, coins, jewelry, artifacts, golds, and relics. Meanwhile, the trash is rusty nails, bottle caps, and soda tabs.

Discrimination saves your time and effort in digging only garbage.

Who makes the best small metal detector?

Best Small Metal Detectors

White’s Electronics

White’s is a family-owned metal detector company established in 1950. It’s one of the trusted (and also the oldest) brands in the detecting world for leading technology and the latest research.


Another OG in this industry is Garrett. It was founded in 1964 by Garrett and Charles, aiming to high-performance products with cost efficiency.


RM RICOMAX is the youngest brand in this list with only 5 years’ experience. However, thanks to a strong R&D team, it has now been distributing to over 40 countries.


small metal detector

Is metal detecting a good hobby?

Metal detecting is indeed a good hobby and below, we’ll tell you why:

There’s no age restriction to hobbyists so a big multi-generation family can take part in this activity and have fun altogether during their holidays, vacations or travels.

It’s an outdoor activity which allows you to enjoy every moment

Metal detecting gives you a chance to explore and learn more about the history of a specific land or ground, such as a civil war, field, and old trading side.

An average treasure hunt will make you walk around 5 – 10 miles, not to say that you have to dig and squat when detecting targets. Hence, it keeps your body fit and be healthier

Do you need a Pinpointer for metal detecting?

A pinpointer isn’t a must-have gear for the metal detecting process but it’s helpful to save you more time and effort to find more targets.

Instead of digging a hole the size of a small village to blindly locate a target, a pinpointer will help you find the accurate place it’s hidden. This device is for people who require more accurate searching results when detecting metals.

Can I metal detect on public land?

Yes, you can.

In general, public lands like the beach or parks don’t require licenses for metal detecting. It’s just the private grounds like civil wars or designated parks that will ask for it.

If you’re in a new land or state, it’s essential to learn about the local laws and rules before bringing your detector somewhere else.

What tools are needed for metal detecting?

For a successful metal detecting, you will need:

  • Suitable metal detector
  • Pin-pointer
  • Headphones
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Carry bag for your detector
  • Bag for your finds

It’s dependent on the terrains you’re going to find treasures, you will also need:

  • Shovel
  • Digger or trowel
  • Sand scoop

Can you metal detect in the rain?

You definitely can metal detect in the rain but there will be some additional gears and requirements to keep in mind for a successful hunting trip:

Your metal detector must be waterproof, rain-proofed, or weatherproof. In case that only several components are waterproof while the rest isn’t, you should use a rain cover or plastic bag for them.

A waterproof pinpointer

Raincoat to stay away from flu

Note: If there is thunder, you must go back home or find a good place to hide.


We think it’s enough for an excellent guide about how to choose the best small metal detector. It’s your turn now! Let carefully determine your detecting demands first before considering which is the right for you.

Apparently, this list will keep updated if we find any better options so don’t forget to follow our website regularly. Thanks for reading!

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