Before you know it, the summer season will be in full swing once again. One of the best parts about summer vacation is hitting the beach. A good way to add some excitement to your beach trips is to hunt for buried treasure.
Beach metal detecting is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy. Since many tourists frequent beaches, there are often treasures buried just beneath the sand. The constant waves also wash up treasures into the shallow waters of the beach. If you’re in the market for a new beach metal detector, then give this buyer’s guide a thorough read.
How Metal Detectors Work
The brilliant combination of electricity and magnetism helped create the technology that is metal detecting. Many beach metal detectors are waterproof or at least water-resistant, but otherwise, they work the same as other detectors.
They come with a transmitter coil that transmits an electrical current. Once the current is live, the metal detector will create a magnetic field. As you move the metal detector around from side to side, the magnetic field will be interrupted by any metal items beneath it.
5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Beach Metal Detector
Key Features of Quality Beach Metal Detectors
Target Identification Meters
This term refers to the number that shows up on your metal detector when it identifies a hidden object. This ID number can help you understand what type of metal you have found. It measures the amount of ferrous or conductive properties found in an item. For instance, silver is more conductive than gold, so it will produce a higher target ID number.
This is a feature that is often found on beach metal detectors to increase their accuracy. Once you get a hit, you place your detector into pinpoint mode. You can slowly sweep the area above the object to see where the greatest response is before digging.
This scale is used to determine the accepted and rejected items based on their conductivity. Accepted items will usually fall into a white category on the scale, while rejected items will fall into the black or shaded area. Depending on what you are hunting for, you can follow this discrimination scale before digging.
This term refers to the sound notifications that your beach metal detector will emit once it has found an item. All metal detectors are different, and you will learn what notifications yours will give you. The most important thing to note is to read the instructions and test out your device. Most will beep more rapidly once you hit an item. It provides somewhat of a hot and cold situation when you are searching.
Ground Balance Adjustment
To get accurate target IDs, you will need to make sure that your metal detector is only picking up the signals from actual items versus the ground mineralization. The ground balance adjustment features allow you to test out the area where you are searching and adjust the device accordingly.
Water Resistant and Waterproof
If you plan to do some serious beach metal detecting, then you will likely need a waterproof device. Most great treasure hunters know that the best items are found in the surf. Most beach metal detectors will have a waterproof coil that is submersible. The notification panel may not be, however, so check the specs before purchasing.
This can be a crucial feature for metal detecting enthusiasts. It will determine how deep the relic is under the earth. You don’t want to start digging only to find out it is much deeper than you thought. A good depth indicator can also give you clues to what the item might be.
Search Coil Type and Size
There are two main types of search coils; concentric and DD coils. The concentric coils emit an electromagnetic field that is conical.
While DD coils emit an electromagnetic field that is elliptical, both of these coil shapes have their advantages, but it will depend on your search methods for which one you should choose.
Most users want a beach metal detector that has high sensitivity. The more sensitive the detector, the more items you can find, right? While this is partly true, sometimes, if a device is too sensitive, it will pick up minerals in the earth. Make sure that you consider your primary hunting location when shopping.
5 Best Metal Detectors for the Beach Reviewed
1. MineLab 3720-0002 Equinox 800
Our Top Pick
1 - 25
4 modes with 2 profiles each
5, 10, 15, 20, 40 kHz
Yes, 3 years
Everyone wants to know right away what the best of the best beach metal detector is. For this category, we have chosen the MineLab Equinox 800 as our top pick for beach metal detecting enthusiasts. While this model may run a bit expensive for some users, most people find it well worth the investment.
The Equinox 800 features a fully submersible waterproof coil, which makes it perfect for taking to the beach. One added bonus is that this model comes with wireless headphones straight from the factory. You can keep a close listen to the sounds of treasures about to be unearthed. It boasts multi and single frequency modes. MineLab has dubbed this technology Multi-IQ. It can detect any treasure that is within your range.One feature that I really loved about this model was the added accessories. I was blown away that I received a pair of high-quality wireless headphones with my purchase. They were comfortable and easy to use. They came with a hardshell carrying case as well.
2. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
Best Beach Metal Detector Under $300
1 - 10
5 levels up to 10 inches
Yes, 5 years
Many users may be on the hunt for the absolute best model, but what about people who only plan to use their detectors occasionally? They may not need the most expensive model out there. If this sounds like you, then we have the Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro as the best beach metal detector under $300. This model packs a lot of bang for your buck.
The Land Ranger Pro comes with a great pinpoint mode for finding exactly where your next treasure is located. It has an incredible 7 modes of operation, so no matter where you're searching, you'll be able to find it. It has a wide range of target IDs from 0 - 99. This makes it easy to tell what metal you have found before you start digging.The first time I took this beach metal detector out, I was thoroughly impressed with the quality compared to my more expensive models. This was easy to use and perfect for beginners. I enjoyed using the multiple different modes of discovery. It made my day hunts simple and fun.
3. Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II
Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II
Best Metal Detector for Beach & Land
750 pulses per second with 22 kHz
Yes, 1 year
Many people may have the beach in mind as one of the top treasure hunting spots, but what about taking your adventure to the land? The Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II is the best metal detector for beach and land use. It excels at beach metal detecting, but will also allow you to take your hunting to the sand, clay, or forest floor.
This model comes packed with multi-functional features that will impress any metal detecting enthusiast. One factor that is truly remarkable about the Sea Hunter is that it is submersible up to 200 feet. This is perfect for people who snorkel and dive to great depths. You can hunt for buried treasure at shipwreck level depths. It features a large 8-inch coil for picking up a wide range of materials. It has a unique discrimination scale that will eliminate most trash materials such as foil or pull tabs.I took the Sea Hunter MK-II out with me on my latest snorkeling trip. I was excited to test it underwater and on the beach. It performed remarkably well on both terrains. I was amazed at the ability for it to pick up buried items on the sea bed around coral reefs.
“Easy to handle in the surf- slices through the waves. Very sensitive PI detector- deep!”
4. Fisher CZ21-8
Best Metal Detector for Saltwater
5 and 15 kHz
Yes, 5 years
If you're reading this buyer's guide, then it's highly likely that you want to search for items on the beach. Most people will be hunting on saltwater beaches, which can be corrosive to your electronic devices. The Fisher CZ21 is the best metal detector for saltwater beaches. It is designed to be durable enough to handle the harsh saltwater conditions.
The Fisher CZ-21 is one of the best machines for tackling the deep oceans of the world. This model is submersible up to 250 feet. This is the deepest model that we have reviewed in this buyer’s guide. If you are looking to take your detecting to the deep ocean, then this is a great model for you. This model has a multi-frequency, 8-inch coil for tackling large surface areas. It features unique discrimination scales to sort through ocean trash with ease.One feature that I liked about this model was the fact that it was able to distinguish between many different types of ocean trash and treasure. This device provided me with different tones to distinguish between iron and gold.
As one purchaser from eBay stated, “
"You can really filter out the iron garbage with this machine. I love it.”
5. Minelab Excalibur II 1000
Minelab Excalibur II 1000
Top of the Range
1.5 - 25.5 kHz
Yes, 3 years
If you are looking to seriously get into beach metal detecting, then you may want the best of the best model on the market. We chose the Minelab Excalibur II 1000 as the top of the range in its class. It is ideal for people who want the absolute best metal detector for the beach and deep-sea diving.
The Excalibur II is made for the ocean. It is submersible up to 200 feet, which is perfect for taking out to deep-sea shipwrecks. It comes in his visibility colors so your diving partners will be able to spot you in the deep ocean. It has a large 10-inch coil for picking up the hardest to find items. This model comes with BBS and RCD technology. Minelab has created this technology to enhance deep objects and target weak signals.I loved that this model came with a rechargeable battery pack that lasted up to 12 hours. This is plenty of battery life to last an entire diving trip. I also liked that it came with underwater headphones, so you could always hear your next treasure.
Metal Detecting Technology
These models only operate on a single frequency. It is emitted from the coil in a single continuous frequency. This type of technology is typically found in entry-level machines. It is not ideal for beach metal detecting since it often picks up the mineralization of salt and earth. The high salt content tends to confuse the frequency.
These models operate on multiple frequencies. This means that the coil emits numerous different types of currents to pick up even more types of metal in the earth. These machines are ideal for taking to the beach or saltwater since they do not generally receive interference with sodium or other materials found in seawater.
This technology is much less common than single and multi-frequency machines. It utilizes short bursts of currents shot into the ground. Every pulse emits a magnetic field that will pick up various types of metals. While these models are great at discovery, they are not as good at discrimination.
Tips For Using Metal Detectors At the Beach
Setting up your new device can feel like a daunting task once you unbox it and see all the buttons. To get started with set up, I recommend following a few basic rules of thumb. You should familiarize yourself with the preset programs. These were designed for beginners, and they are usually set up in modes that we already need. These modes include gold, coins, or jewelry.
This makes it simple to get started with your device. Now that you’ve decided on a new beach metal detector, you’re probably wondering how to use it. If you follow these tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to treasure hunting in no time.
Metal Detecting Code of Ethics
As a new treasure hunter, there are some rules that you should follow. These rules will help you stay honest, safe, and having fun.
Metal Detecting Accessories on the Beach
This item can be crucial for treasure hunting on the beach. It consists of a handle and a mesh scoop. It will sift out the sand while leaving your find in the scoop.
For underwater metal detecting, a set of headphones is essential. You won’t be able to hear any notifications in the deep ocean. You need to be able to hear when your device is picking up a precious metal. Headphones are also great for crowded and loud beaches.
These can be placed on your belt or slung over your shoulder. It is the perfect place to store your finds while water and other materials drop through the mesh.
These items allow you to carry your metal detector across your chest. This can increase your comfort if you are out hunting all day. They are also great for underwater hunting, so you can be hands-free if you need to.
This accessory allows you to hone in on the item you find. Many of the items that we have reviewed come with a pinpointing mode built-in. You can buy a separate one to help you figure out where the item is located.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need permission to metal detect on the beach?
Some beaches may require you to have a permit to metal detect. You should always check with your local beach before proceeding. Remember to always refer to the rules above to ensure that you are operating with integrity.
What should I wear when metal detecting on the beach?
Metal detecting should be fun and comfortable. Always wear comfortable shoes and attire. If you plan to wade into the sea to dig for items, then you may want to invest in a pair of waders.
Should I go for a fully submersible device or just a waterproof metal detector for beach metal detecting?
If you plan to go diving with your beach metal detector, then you need to purchase a fully submersible machine. Most of the computer electronics on metal detectors are not waterproof. If you plan to only venture slightly into the surf, then a device with a waterproof coil will work for you.
How can you make your metal detectors last a long time?
Every time you use your machine, you need to give it a thorough cleaning. This will ensure that it lasts a long time. You should also clean off all of the saltwater since it can erode materials. When not in use, store your metal detector in a cool and dry place.
What are some tips to successfully hunt and detect metal at the beach?
Follow the tips and guidelines above for successful metal detecting. In general, you should always set your device to your desired preferences, depending on what you are searching for. Many preset modes can be useful for finding specific metals.
Are you ready to get started on your next treasure hunting adventure? In this article, I have provided you with an in-depth buyer’s guide to all of the top models on the market. I have also included many tips and tricks to ensure that you are ready to go.
I am sure you are wondering what the best model to buy is. After careful review and consideration, the best model in this roundup is the MineLab 3720-0002 Equinox 800. It is the perfect combination of affordability and design. It comes with wireless headphones to keep your hands free. It also features single and multi-frequencies for any environment.
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