Top 5 Best Metal Detectors for Kids
Metal detecting is a fantastic hobby for kids. It seems kind of unlikely since, up to now, we’ve discussed just everything that ‘adults’ ought to know about metal detectors, but don’t let that deceive you.
Most kids of four and above can easily work a metal detector, the right kinds of course, and use it to find all sorts of wonderful trinkets and Knick-knacks.
Kids inspired by treasure hunters and pirates would be especially enthusiastic about looking for captain hooks, treasure chests, lost gold, or even the odd penny.
So, don’t discourage the idea of metal detecting for your kid. Encourage their curiosity if you can afford to and allow us to help you find just the right metal detector for your child.
Just keep on reading.
Benefits of metal detecting for your kids
Glad you’re still with us. That means you’re taking your kids’ desires seriously. On the off chance, you need a little more convincing.
Let’s take a look at all the benefits kids can have from metal detecting.
Metal detecting is a great way to get kids out the door and under the sun in this internet-dependent era where children are more tech-savvy than their parents. We know all too well how hard it can be to encourage children to go out and find something to do.
With metal detecting, children can get a lot of exercise moving between locations and digging up finds. On top of that, it’s a hobby that requires a lot of focus. Kids are bound to stay on a hunt for at least a couple of hours.
Stimulation and Patience
The thing about metal detecting is that it needs a lot of concentration, which switches on automatically when you start your machine. You have to pay close attention to the display and the tones, so you don’t miss a find.
This is a great way to keep kids stimulated.
Children by nature are very high-energy. They need something to draw in their attention and help them understand how to concentrate. Metal detecting is a sure-fire way to help them sharpen their focus in a fun way.
Not only that, but it also teaches them patience. You can’t find the treasure the second you start up a detector and hold it over the ground. It takes some time and moving around. They might often find something that turns out to be junk, so they’ll have to start over or switch sites.
However, consistent practice and determination will lead them to a great find. And, the time they put into the hunt will pay off.
Of course, not every single park or plain field will be a gold mine for lost items, so kids will have to find out the best spots.
For that, they might have to do some research like reading up on history, looking at maps, and asking around for any bits of information they can find. This will help them later when they have to write a paper in class since they already have experience working for information.
A hobby opens the door to new possible friendships.
You could put your child in a metal detecting club for kids, where they work together to recover lost items and look for coins and relics. This can teach them a lot about teamwork, the importance of community, and most of all, it’ll help them make friends.
A summer spent with a group of friends all passionate about the same hobby, excitedly looking for treasure together in an old field? It couldn’t sound any better to me.
Now that you know all the wonderful things metal detecting has to offer let’s move on to what kind of detector you should look for.
What to look for in a kids’ metal detector
There are a couple of things you’ll have to consider when you go buying a detector. Below, we’ve covered the basic things to keep in mind before deciding on a model.
Real or Toy Detector
The most important thing to avoid is looking at the ‘toy detectors’ that usually cost under $100 because these are generally useless. They might find a penny or two if it’s just below the surface, but if it’s even a few inches deep, it won’t detect a thing.
Toy detectors aren’t worth the money, and what worse is they might kill your child’s curiosity of what could have been a long-time hobby. It’s very frustrating to spend all day hovering a metal detector over the ground to come back with nothing.
Therefore, it’s better to invest in a proper detector.
It might be a little costly, but it’ll be well worth it.
Height and Weight
Because kids aren’t as strong as adults and are much smaller in size, you’ll have to get a lightweight machine, around 2-4lbs, that isn’t too long, so they can easily move it around.
Measure your child’s height and look for either an appropriately sized detector or one with adjustable height.
Easy to Use
Generally, most detectors for beginners aren’t very complicated. However, some might have hard features for a child to understand/learn. Overall, it’s an easy-to-use model with multiple tones, and a large display is a good choice for kids.
With all of that out of the way, let’s look at some of the best quality metal detectors that are just right for kids.
Top 5 Best Metal Detectors for Kids
We’ve curated a list of the top five metal detectors for kids, considering their safety features, learning curve, and efficiency.
Fisher is by far one of the best brands out there for metal detectors. It’s right up there with Garrett in terms of quality and performance. The F series especially is great for beginners. Let’s look into some of the features of the F22.
- Ten sensitivity levels
- Three search modes
- 9-inch search coil
- Notch discrimination
The Fisher F22 has a 9-inch search coil so that it can search much deeper for relics.
Simultaneously, the sensitivity levels make it a good detector for smaller items as well. The VLF (very low frequency) does mean there will be more interference than PI (pulse induction), but it’s good enough for a beginner.
It’s also relatively lighter than other detectors, so your child won’t tire out. Furthermore, the notch discrimination will allow them to ignore scrap metal and iron nails easily.
Bounty Hunter Junior TID
The Bounty Hunter Junior TID is one of the most basic, child-friendly detectors in the market today. The controls include a screen and two Buttons. Here are its features.
- Adjustable discrimination
- 3 target ID categories
- Visual target depth indicator
- 1.1 lbs
- 2.25 feet
The bounty hunter uses knobs to control sensitivity and discrimination. The controls allow kids to tune out frequencies for low conductivity metals. So, even though it isn’t a notch, they’ll be able to avoid wasting time on bottle caps.
The model is extremely lightweight, weighing a little over one pound. It stands at 2.25 feet, so children can easily maneuver it.
Above everything else, the visual target ID will give them some idea of what they find and how deep it is. This makes the dig much easier.
Garrett Ace 200
Garrett and Fisher are two of the best brands for metal detectors, as we’ve already mentioned above. The Garrett Ace covers a variety of models for beginners and pros alike. We’ll be focusing on the Garrett Ace 200, which comes with these features.
- Digital target ID
- Three search modes
- Four sensitivity options
The Garrett Ace 200 comes with three search modes that kids can use to focus on specific items like coins or relics. The 6.5kHz frequency makes it especially suitable for coin shooting. Furthermore, the model also has a depth indicator that shows how deep down an item is.
The waterproof search coil makes this detector suitable for shallow water hunts. However, the control box isn’t waterproof, so be sure your child is careful during water hunts.
The Garrett Ace is similar to the Fisher F22 in many ways, except for its weaker sensitivity and discrimination. On the plus side, it’s much cheaper than Fisher.
Bounty Hunter Tracker IV
Our second Bounty Hunter is a step up from the Junior. The Tracker IV offers more features and may be considered a necessary upgrade from the Junior after a few years.
- Headphone input
- Three search modes
- Automatic ground balance
- Knob adjustment
The bounty hunter tracker IV also uses two knobs to adjust sensitivity and discrimination. It also has three search modes (discrimination, all-metal, and tone) that allow extra discrimination to avoid iron scraps and nails.
This model comes with automatic ground balance, so it can adjust to ground mineralization to reduce chatter. This will make it a lot easier for kids to find items.
This is a complicated choice for a children’s detector, but it still has enough good features that you can consider getting it for your child.
- Two search modes
- Built-in mineral rejection
- 8-inch/5.75-inch search coils
The Tesoro Compadre is one of the lightest models around. Just 2.2lbs, so it won’t tire your child out. The issue is, it doesn’t have a digital display screen. This can make this detector more complicated than it actually is. In reality, all it takes is getting used to.
The lack of a screen means the Tesoro comes with plenty of pre-set features. It has built-in mineral rejection making it great for highly mineralized grounds and beach hunts.
You also get a choice between two search coils (8-inch or 5.75-inch). The smaller is more sensitive while the 8-inch gives more depth. Most importantly, the Tesoro Compadre is one of the most durable machines around, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking too soon.
Metal Detecting Safety 101
Now that the list is taken care of, we want to highlight some basic tips and rules for when your kids are metal detecting. Here are some things you should consider.
- Pack a bag – it’s a good idea to prepare a bag for kids when they’re out hunting. Put in some snacks and water to enjoy their time out on a hunt and keep up the exercise because detecting can get a little hard. You’ll also want to pack in a first-aid kit if they trip or scrap a knee. Better safe than sorry.
- Check the weather – if the sky looks a little dark, you might consider keeping your kid indoors till the weather blows over. Metal detecting in bad weather could put them in danger. Besides, it’s not fun treasure hunting in the rain.
- Know the location – if you’re taking them on a hunt, choose a place they’re familiar with. With a detector in hand, curious kids would want to wander off every which way. With that in mind, it’s best to pick a place with no animals and poison ivy or other obstructions.
- Teach your kid about their detector – even if you aren’t a detectorist yourself, stay with your kid and help them understand how their detector works. This will help them understand where they can and can’t hunt and proceed with the digging.
Teaching them about the ethics code can help as well. Teach them what is and isn’t acceptable when hunting, so they don’t get in trouble.
- Avoid water – most beginner detectors only have waterproof search coils. The rest of the detector can be ruined if submerged. Try to keep your kids away from large bodies of water to avoid accidents and from wrecking their detectors.
Metal detecting is a great hobby for adults and children, and everyone in between. It can be a lot of fun for kids and can take them on some great adventures. But it all comes down to the right kind of detector.
Every detector we’ve mentioned in this list has some really great qualities. All you have to do is pick out the best one that suits your child.