Best Metal Detectors Under 100 Dollars
The world of metal detectors is a vast and confusing one if you are just starting. You can find detectors loaded with all kinds of features, and high-end ones can go all the way up to $9000. However, if you are looking to get into treasure hunting and have a small budget, you can find some excellent metal detectors under $100.
For an absolute beginner, spending a few hundred or thousands of dollars on a metal detector seems a bit too steep for a first investment. Fear not, because you can find a decent working metal detector that can help you find all manner of trinkets in the ground for a fraction of the price.
In this article, we’ll help you find the best metal detectors under $100.
How do Metal Detectors Work?
Let’s look into the working of a metal detector real quick. Beginner or not, it is crucial for you to understand the basic terms and features common to all metal detectors.
Every detector has one or more search coils, which send out and receive magnetic fields from the ground’s metal. This is how it detects a find. Most detectors create sound alarms for different metals to discriminate one from the other. That way, you can differentiate an actual relic or old coin from a less exciting bottle cap.
Something of note is that there is a trade-off between sensitivity and depth with metal detectors. You can use a larger coil to find items deeper in the ground. However, they’d have to be larger in size because the detector gives out a lower frequency and is less sensitive.
On the other hand, a smaller coil gives out a higher frequency, which is ideal for finding coins and other small items in the ground. However, they can’t penetrate too deep into the ground.
Types of Metal Detectors
There are three kinds of frequency categories a metal detector falls under. A very low-frequency detector (VLF) uses two coils; a transmitter and a receiver. Most kits use this technology to locate targets. However, dual transmitters can create a lot of chatter and interference.
On the flip side, a pulse induction detector (PI) is less noisy in this regard as it has only one coil that sends and receives transmissions.
There are also some multi-frequency detectors. True to the name, they allow you to hear more than one frequency at a time. Pulse induction, however, is still considered the best technology when it comes to metal detecting.
You’d generally want to choose a detector based on the kind of trinkets and metals you want to find. For a coin hunt, you want to use a smaller coil detector with a high frequency to penetrate approximately seven inches into the ground.
Furthermore, relic hunting would require a detector with a larger coil that can penetrate at least 15 inches. In contrast, gold hunting uses a detector with a frequency greater than 20 kHz to see deeper into the ground.
Now that we have established a basic understanding of how metal detectors work let’s talk about the general features a beginner should be looking for.
What Should Beginners Look for in a Metal Detector?
First things first, what are you looking for, and where can you find it? Popular options for many people are old coins, historical relics, and jewelry, and that’s probably what you’re hoping to find as a complete beginner.
For this kind of hunt, you’d need a metal detector with good target discrimination, so you don’t have to go around needlessly digging every time your kit beeps. Look for a metal detector with a frequency between 10-15kHz that can reach a depth of 6-15 inches, enough to cover both coins and relics.
You may also want to look for a lightweight detector that is waterproof as well. You can find adequate detectors within your budget with waterproof coils that are good enough for hunting on beaches and shallow waters.
The Best Metal Detectors of 2022 Under $100
Below we’ve recommended some of the best metal detectors that cost less than $100.
Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector
The Bounty Hunter TK4 is one of the best metal detectors available for beginners. It’s a lightweight detector capable of finding objects as far as 3 ft underground. It also works well in highly mineralized soil due to its pre-set ground balance and notch discrimination, allowing you to tune out the metals you don’t want to find.
Following are the attributes of the Bounty Hunter TK4 metal detector.
- 3.7 pounds
- 6.7kHz frequency
- Notch discrimination
- Pre-set ground balance
It is slightly over your $100 budget. Seventy-three cents over, to be exact. However, if you ask us, this Bounty Hunter’s worth every penny.
Bounty Hunter QSI Quicksilver Metal Detector
Another Bounty Hunter metal detector on our list is a more lightweight absolute beginner model. With its waterproof search coil and automatic ground balance, it is the perfect pick for a sandy beach hunt and highly mineralized soil.
Here are the primary features of this metal detector.
- touch discrimination
- automatic ground balance
- waterproof search coil
Its touch discrimination allows you to set a threshold of conductivity to cancel out metal below that conductivity level, so you can focus on coins and relics and ignore the old bottle caps.
TACKLIFE DSF Metal Detector
It’s lightweight with a waterproof search coil and body, all except the control box, which allows you to hunt with ease in shallow water. It entails three-tone target ID features and three separate tones for different metal conductivity levels, i.e., low, medium, and high.
Following are the main features of this model.
- 2 lbs
- 6.6kHz frequency
- waterproof search coil
- 3-tone target ID
It is so simple even a child could easily use it. However, it isn’t as accurate in its finds as the other models on this list. Still, it’s good enough for a $60 metal detector.
SAKOBS Metal Detector
The SKOBS metal detector allows you to find iron, silver, gold, copper, tin, and aluminum. Additionally, it comes with notch discrimination for easy target separation. It has waterproof search coils that make hunting convenient near and in rivers where gold nuggets are easier to find.
Following are the attributes of a SKOPS metal detector.
- 5.9 lbs
- waterproof search coils
- notch discrimination
- backlight LCD
Unfortunately, it is a heavier model, weighing around 6lbs, which could be a nuisance for some people.
All in all, it’s a great model for gold hunting.
Summing it Up
When pursuing a new hobby, it’s always necessary to ease into an activity rather than diving in headfirst, test the waters, so to speak. With metal detecting, you may lean towards the idea that successful hunts require an expensive metal detector. It’s a founded assumption, but fortunately for you, it’s not true.
The recommended models in this article are some of the best metal detectors for beginners. Start with these, and pretty soon, you’ll have your very own relic collection.