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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Metal Detectors For The Beach

These top-rated brands will help you find hidden treasures underneath the sand.

by JohnL

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Metal Detectors For The Beach

These top-rated brands will help you find hidden treasures underneath the sand.

by JohnL

by JohnL

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.

Image

Product

Search Modes

Frequency

Check Price

Minelab 3720-0002 Equinox 800 Metal Detector,...

MineLab 3720-0002 Equinox 800

4 modes with 2 profiles each

Multi, 5, 10, 15, 20, 40 kHz

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

7 different modes

7.69 kHz

Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II

Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II

3

750 pulses per second with 22 kHz

Fisher CZ21-8 Underwater Metal Detector

Fisher CZ21-8

1

5 and 15 kHz

Minelab Excalibur II 1000

Minelab Excalibur II 1000

2

1.5 - 25.5 kHz

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

  • How often will you be hunting?
    If you are planning to go out treasure hunting only occasionally, then you can opt to buy a smaller and less expensive model. If you are planning to use your beach metal detector often, then you will need to purchase one that is more durable to keep up with you. 
  • What will you be searching for?
    One important feature to note is what kind of treasure you will be searching for. If you are searching for relics that are buried deeper in the surf, then you will need a metal detector with a larger coil. If you are searching for shallow articles found in the sand, then you can opt for a smaller, single-frequency coil.
  • Which type of water surrounds your local beaches? Freshwater or saltwater?
    You need to consider the type of beach that you will be scouring for hidden gems. While most saltwater detectors will function fine in freshwater, the opposite is not true. If you plan to use it in mostly saltwater areas, then make sure you check the frequency specs for compatibility.
  • How much experience do you have?
    Some beach metal detectors are quite complicated for beginner users. The screen can be crowded with information that could be overwhelming for a beginner treasure hunter. If you are a more experienced user, then you can opt for a more advanced machine that will provide you with more info during your hunts.
  • How much do you want to spend?
    Everyone has a budget when shopping for a new product. Whether your budget is big or small, you should set your budget beforehand to ensure that you get exactly what you want. More expensive metal detectors are great, but they may be more than some customers need. It is essential to note the warranty that comes with your new product. This warranty can be a lifesaver if something happens to your new investment.

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.

Pinpoint Mode

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.

Discrimination Scale

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.

Sound Polyphony

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.

Depth Indicator

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.

Sensitivity

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

Sensitivity Levels

1 - 25

Depth

5 levels

Weight

2.96 lbs

Search Modes

4 modes with 2 profiles each

Frequency

Multi, 5, 10, 15, 20, 40 kHz

Warranty

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.

One satisfied customer John, noted, “Excellent machine! It’s lightweight plus balanced really well. I’ve already found stuff in trashy park that has been hunted hard.”

Pros

  • Comes with wireless headphones
  • Single and multi-frequency modes
  • Fully submersible

Cons

  • Some users experienced issues with target ID

2. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

Best Beach Metal Detector Under $300

Sensitivity Levels

1 - 10

Depth

5 levels up to 10 inches

Weight

2.4 lbs

Search Modes

7 different modes

Frequency

7.69 kHz

Warranty

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.

As one user Bobby stated, “This machine I purchased turns out to beat the 600 dollar competitors hands down. I tend to agree that it is a great starter and budget model.

Pros

  • 7 different discovery modes
  • Waterproof search coil
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Some users had issues with the buttons failing after time

3. Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II

Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II

Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II

Best Metal Detector for Beach & Land

Sensitivity Levels

PI technology

Depth

None

Weight

5.1 lbs

Search Modes

3

Frequency

750 pulses per second with 22 kHz

Warranty

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.

As one reviewer noted, “Easy to handle in the surf- slices through the waves. Very sensitive PI detector- deep!”

Pros

  • Submersible up to 200 feet
  • Large 8-inch coil
  • Comes with underwater headphones

Cons

  • Maybe a bit heavy for some users

4. Fisher CZ21-8

Best Metal Detector for Saltwater

Sensitivity Levels

10 levels

Depth

None

Weight

5.3 lbs

Search Modes

1

Frequency

5 and 15 kHz

Warranty

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.”

Pros

  • Submersible up to 250 feet
  • Easy to use discrimination scales
  • Multi-frequency modes

Cons

  • Does not have LED readout screen

5. Minelab Excalibur II 1000

Minelab Excalibur II 1000

Minelab Excalibur II 1000

Top of the Range

Sensitivity Levels

10 levels

Depth

None

Weight

5.3 lbs

Search Modes

2

Frequency

1.5 - 25.5 kHz

Warranty

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.

According to Jim, “This machine misses nothing; except iron when you want to. The Excalibur is an awesome machine on the beach.”

Pros

  • Submersible up to 200 feet
  • Comes with underwater headphones
  • High visibility colors for deep sea

Cons

  • Some users had issues with trying to repair the machine

Metal Detecting Technology

Single Frequency

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.

Multi-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.

Pulse Induction

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.

Pulse Induction

image source: i.pinimg.com


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.

  • Tip 1:
    Understand the tides before heading out to hunt. Keep in mind that high tide means more water closer to the beach. This is the time when precious items can be swept back into the surf.
  • Tip 2:
    Follow the towel line. This is a common saying in the metal detecting world. It means that the area where most people lay out their towels tends to stop at a certain point. Usually, this line is marked off by high tide with some seaweed.
  • Tip 3:
    Always check rock-filled areas. These areas tend to be hot spots for many items since they get swept up in the tides and stuck in the crevasses.

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.

  • Never hunt on private property. Stick to public areas with a lot of traffic.
  • Check with your local beach to see if you need a permit for metal detecting.
  • Respect the natural environment in which you are hunting. Never over disturb the earth, trees, or animals nearby.
  • If you find anything that may be of historical value, report it to the local museum or historian.
  • Always cover up the place where you were digging.

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.

Mesh Pouch

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.

Chest Harness

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.


Conclusion

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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