If you're a parent today, you know that getting your kids unplugged and away from their screens can be a challenge. It's important that your child gets the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity, which is why some parents are turning to a fun new activity: metal detecting.
Not only can the whole family join in, but your child will benefit from the fresh air and exploration. Parents are taking advantage of this new hobby to teach their kids about responsible recycling and how to care for the Earth.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide of the best metal detectors for kids. So, it’s time to get your kids off the couch, away from their devices, and out of the house for a fun outdoor adventure!
How Metal Detectors Work
Metal detectors use low-frequency pulses to indicate to the user that there is metal below the ground's surface.
Two coils in the battery pack of your child's detector create electromagnetic fields, and when that field comes in contact with an object that conducts electricity, you get a beep from the detector.
Most child metal detectors come with depth charts, so you know exactly how far down you'll need to dig.
Choosing The right Metal Detector for Kids
Age of Child – 4-9-year bracket and 10-year+
Your child's age will play a role in determining which detector to buy. There are many different toys and real models available, so you'll want to determine if your child is ready for a real detector. If you want to start your child out early, go with a lightweight model with an adjustable shaft that can grow with them.
Determining where you'll be using your detector is essential since some models are suited best for beaches or forests, while others are perfect for backyards and fields. If you plan on traveling and camping with your kids, then choose sturdy detectors that can be packed up with the rest of your camping gear.
Detector Weight & Height
Investing in a detector that’s right for their height and strength will determine how enjoyable this new family hobby is. Kid metal detectors can range in weight from less than a pound to more than seven or eight pounds. Keeps this in mind when choosing the right one for them.
Ease of Use
Comfort and ease of use are essential features of a metal detector. You'll want to find out how easy the functions are to use, if it comes with a headset, how big the display screen is, and if it comes with an easy-to-grip handle. Look for features that will make it easy to use for your little one, and they'll enjoy the activity that much more.
Some extra features you'll want to be aware of are if a model is waterproof, sensitivity, ground balance, and if the detector can tell you the type of metal located below the surface. These extra features can make the experience fun for your child when they know exactly what their finding before they dig it up.
Are you search for gold, copper, or other metals? Each kid metal detector can help your child filter out iron and trash while pinpointing precious and valuable metals. This aspect is vital to serious treasure hunters but can also be beneficial for your child when learning about the different minerals in the ground.
Price & Warranty
Warranties for kid metal detectors vary from brand to brand. If having your device covered for a lengthy period, then stick with detectors with more extended warranties. Always consult the brand guide and the owner's manual for warranty repair and claims.
6 Best Metal Detectors for Kids Reviewed
1. Bounty Hunter BHJS Junior
Bounty Hunter BHJS Junior
Our Top Pick
5 inches - 3 feet
5” W x 6” D x 22” L
Yes: 1-Year Limited Warranty
If you’re looking for the best metal detector for kids on the market, we’ve put it at the top of our list for you. The Bounty Hunter BHJS Junior is easy to use and lightweight, making it perfect for kids of any age.
This device can grow with your child, and as they get taller, so does this device. Simply adjust the shaft when you need to. It has the best one-tone indicator for kids, and the beeping will get louder as they approach their targets. This device is capable of finding coin-sized metal objects up to 5 inches deep and can detect larger artifacts as deep as 3 feet.
With the turn of a knob, your child will get the hang of adjusting the sensitivity, making it likely that they’ll find more metal. They can also adjust the trash elimination feature to eliminate iron and tin items that are likely pop cans. In the meantime, kids will enjoy finding gold, brass, steel, aluminum, and iron objects found in your local park or at the beach.
The BHJS Junior has an easy-to-grip handle designed with your child’s natural ergonomics in mind. It also powers up with the turn of a knob and has a 6.5-inch rust-resistant coil that makes it ideal for minimal rainy-day exploration.
2. Bounty Hunter TK4
8 inches - 3 feet
10” W x 6.2” D x 28.2” L
Yes: 5-Year Limited Warranty
Durable and designed to be easy to use, the Bounty Hunter TK4 is a straightforward device for adults and kids at entry-level positions and our runner up. It's also a rugged device and can be used over different types of mineralized soils because of its preset ground balance. The wrist grip and handle make using this detector easy to use, and because it's a motion detector, you'll need to teach your kids to keep it swaying from side to side to pick up metals below ground.
If you want to listen to the sound more closely, plug in your headphones using the headphone jack. Otherwise, you can expect to hear low beeps as you scan the ground for brass, gold, silver, aluminum, steel, and iron object. With the flip of a toggle, you can increase or decrease the sensitivity.
The 2-tone audio discrimination allows you to identify trash versus potential valuables. Your kids will get the hang of this device quickly and will get a thrill out of practicing their treasure hunting skills with three modes of operation: all-metal mode, discrimination, or Tracker IV.
Designed to be used over rugged terrains and different soil types, the Bounty Hunter TK4 is perfect for all types of outdoor adventures. The waterproof coil head allows this device to be used in shallow waters along shorelines or river rocks.
3. Fisher F22
Best Waterproof Metal Detector for Kids
5” W x 8” D x 22” L
Yes: 5-Year Warranty
The Fisher F22 is not only the best entry-level device, but it’s also the best waterproof metal detector for kids. You can take this detector to the beach, the lake, or on that annual fishing trip and not have to worry about it getting wet. You can even use this detector in the rain and find coins, jewelry, and other metal artifacts buried 10 to 12 inches below ground. With 10 sensitivity levels, you can discriminate between metals and use the Fe-Iron mode to find ferrous targets lower than the volume of non-ferrous targets.
Even with a nine-inch display screen, the Fisher F22 is exceptionally lightweight and is more accurate than other models on the market. You and your kids will spend countless hours scanning for treasures and then enjoy seeing them displayed on the screen before you dig them up.The display of the F22 allows you to see 9-Segment targets and even create or save new ones using the non-volatile memory save settings. With the static pinpoint accuracy feature, you can rest assured you’ll know exactly where you need to be digging for all of your treasures. The waterproof shell and coil allow you to use this detector in any weather and near bodies of water.
4. RM RICOMAX
Best Value for Money
10” W x 10” D x 48” L
The RM RICOMAX makes our list because it's simply the best value for the money. This metal detector is perfect for kids and adults, and it comes with a reasonable price tag for all of the features included.
If having a larger display with more control is what you’re after, then this model is right for you. You or your children over seven will be able to control the detection mode and discriminate against specific metal targets, set the sensitivity level and reach depths of seven inches, see just how far the target is below ground, and keep a watchful eye on the battery life.
Like other professional models, the RM RICOMAX can detect gold, bronze, iron, aluminum, and silver, giving you the best chance at finding a hidden treasure with your family. The RM RICOMAX is lightweight, making it easy to handle for both adults and kids. They can even grow into this device since the shaft is adjustable and ranges from 33 inches long to 40.6 inches.
The 10-inch coil head is waterproof, making perfect for scanning over wet sands and being submerged in water. The electronic box isn’t waterproof, however, so you’ll want to avoid getting this part of the device wet.
5. Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D.
Best Cheap Metal Detector for Kids
6.5” W x 9” D x 31” L
Yes: 1-Year Limited Warranty
If metal detecting is a new hobby for your family, and you want to gauge your child’s interest, the Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D. is on our list as the best cheap metal detector for kids. Not only does it come in a fun light blue color, but it’s lightweight at only 1.5 pounds. This is a hit with the younger children since it’s display is easy to read and comes with three different emoji indicators:
Parents love this device for ages 4-6, or for an aspiring treasure hunter in their family. Not only does it comes with pre-ground balance, so you search over different soils, but it also has a discrimination control so you can determine what’s trash and what’s not. The display also gives you a depth indicator so your child can see how far down their object is buried.
6. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRO
4” W x 7”D x 22”L
Yes: 2-year warranty
The National Geographic Pro series metal detector makes our list as the best rated option for kids. It’s lightweight and has a display that’s easy to read. With four different sensitivity modes, your child will be able to switch between all-metal mode, no iron mode, and an all-metal excluding iron and aluminum mode, so they know exactly what they're going to find when they start digging. This detector also has a mode that helps your child filter out the difference between metals so they can determine what's trash and what's treasure.
With an accurate target-depth reading, you can know exactly how far an object is in the ground. The arm strap is another nifty feature, giving your child more control and security as they sweep across the ground. The screen is easy to read, and with just the touch of a button, your child will be up and running. The easy-to-read backlit LCD screen makes it easy to see at dawn or dusk and is perfect for those with poor concentration. And when they're done, this device easily collapses so you can store it away quickly or pack it up for your next camping trip.
What makes this model stand out as the best rated option for kids is the fact that it comes with pinpoint accuracy, meaning it will make a louder noise the closer you get to a target. This indicates exactly where you need to dig. The display also provides a reading of battery life, so your little one knows how long they have until their adventure ends.
Teaching Kids to Metal Detect
Teaching your kids to metal detect can be just as fun as letting them explore out on their own. Educate your kids on how a detector operates and what kind of metals they can expect to find.
Get them familiar with the model you've purchased for them and show them all the cool functions that are included. Then, give them some practice in the backyard by burying coins throughout the yard just a few inches below the surface.
Once you think they have the hang of finding the coins in the backyard, help them find something more valuable or take them to the park and let them explore on their own. But remember:
Detector Care & Maintenance
When it comes to the care and maintenance for your metal detector, it's best to refer back to the owner’s manual.
One thing that stands true for all models is: Unless your kid’s new metal detector is labeled as waterproof, you should avoid using the detector in the rain or near bodies of water.
You should always store your detector in a dry closet or cabinet and in its carrier if it comes with one.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can a child expect to find with this list of metal detectors?
Your child can expect to find anything from coins, jewelry, bottle caps, and nails. Anything with iron or other metals can be found with any of the devices on our guide of the best metal detectors for kids.
How quickly will these metal detectors be outgrown?
Many of these models are adjustable, but some are outgrown by the time your child is a teenager. If you want your kids to get plenty of use, we suggest getting a detector that can grow with them.
Are metal detectors for kids waterproof? Do these work on the beach and water?
It depends on the model. Not all coils and electronic boxes are waterproof, so you'll want to refer to our reviews of each to determine which model is best. Most detectors, even professional ones, are challenging to use in saltwater and over wet sand. For best results, always scan over dry lands and sands.
How deep do most kid metal detectors go?
Most kid metal detectors can reach large objects as deep as five feet. Refer back to your owner’s guide for this kind of information if you go with a detector not on our list.
Can I metal detector on public land?
Find and dig laws vary from state to state, especially for public lands. Consult with your local parks department or authorities to find out where you can properly metal detect and what you’re allowed to keep.
What are the best brands for kid metal detectors?
The models listed on our review are made by some of the best manufactures in this market. Stick to one of these detectors, and you can't go wrong. That being said, we are partial to Bounty Hunter and Fisher brands.
What types of targets will these detectors find?
These detectors can pick up anything made from simple iron up to small gold pieces. Some can even help you filter out objects separate from trash.
Where is the best place to go metal detecting with kids?
You can try the beach, public parks, along riverbanks, or out in the woods on your annual family camping trip. These are all great places to find buried treasures with your family.
Overall, the Bounty Hunter BHJS Junior is our top pick, but all of these detectors on this guide of the best metal detectors for kids will be suitable for any age. Your child’s interest and how many features you want in a device will help guide you to the right device so you and your young ones can enjoy hours of fun and discovery outdoors.
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