Best Metal Detectors Under $200
There’s no doubt that you can get a decent working metal detector under $100 for your absolute first hunt. However, after a while, you may find what your detector could do with a few upgrades. And looking at some of the best metal detectors under $200, is just the place to start.
You wouldn’t think it, but increasing your budget to $200 can significantly increase the quality and variety of features in a metal detector. Most beginners never feel the need to upgrade after investing in one of the detectors on this list.
Beginners aside, most experts would rather not spend thousands of dollars on a backup metal detector that they’d use only sparingly. In that case, a $200 detector is a decent enough amount to spend on a quality metal detector that can be safely stored and used occasionally.
A thing of note is that every metal detector works differently for different people. So, it is important to understand how to choose the right one.
How to Choose the Best Detector for Your Hunts
With all the variety present in metal detectors, it’s difficult to say why a Garrett might be better than a Fisher for your hunts.
To put it simply, your decision of choosing the right detector may be affected by some external and internal factors.
Let’s discuss these factors in detail.
A major external factor that you have to keep in mind is the hunting ground condition.
The land’s mineralization rate is the highest external factor that affects a metal detector’s working on the ground.
Highly mineralized lands contain a higher concentration of elements like zinc and iron. Both these metals cause interference due to an induced magnetic field, making it difficult for the detector to find other metals.
Interference is also a matter of foot traffic.
For example, if you’re coin shooting in crowded places like parks and beaches, chances are you’ll get many false leads because more people may leave behind pull-tabs and bottle caps.
On the other hand, lesser disturbed areas are comparatively a better location for metal detecting.
Lastly, there is the task of deciding what you’re hunting for. You can use any metal detector on this list for coin shooting and hunting relics, but gold prospecting is a whole other kind of hunt. You’ll need a specialty metal detector for finding precious metals.
It goes without saying that your detector’s properties or features will massively impact how successful your hunts are.
There are too many features of metal detectors worldwide,
Metal detectors come in different models, each with its unique set of features. Provided that, listing every feature here can be a real hassle. Therefore, let’s stick to the basic and essential parts, i.e., search coil, search modes, and discrimination.
For search coils, there are two kinds, concentric and DD. But, at the budget of $200, you’ll only find detectors with the concentric kind.
Keep in mind that larger search coils offer a greater depth on hunts.
Another feature to discuss here is frequency.
The higher the frequency, the higher the detector’s sensitivity.
Therefore, it’s necessary to consider ground conditions and your end goal before choosing a detector.
Another feature to consider is the detector’s search modes.
Almost every detector comes with three modes for hunting to discriminate metals from coins and relics. So, if you find a really cheap detector with only one or two modes, we really wouldn’t recommend it.
Lastly, the discrimination feature allows you to differentiate between the junk metal from the valuable ones by setting a threshold of conductivity. That way, the detector ignores any metal below the set conductivity level.
Other than that, you can find some kits with notch discrimination, which is infinitely better and helps make the hunt a lot easier.
For more information on a metal detector’s properties and operation, try reading our article on The Best Metal Detectors for Beginners.
With all that said, let’s dive into the list.
The Best Inexpensive Detectors of 2021
Metal detectors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are a steal, offering great features like waterproof coils, notch discrimination, and manual ground balance. At the same time, the others are just not worth the price.
To help you choose the right metal detector for your next hunt, we’ve prepared a list of some of the best ones.
Let’s take a look.
Garrett ACE 150
In terms of metal detectors, Garrett is probably one of the best brands out there. Their metal detectors are sturdy, durable, and have a lot of variety so that you can find a really great detector with all the necessary features needed for a successful hunt.
This one, in particular, features the following.
- 3 search modes
- Depth indicator
- 3-tone audio
- Waterproof coil
- 2.8 lbs.
The Garrett 150 is an all-around great beginner metal detector. Its 3-tone audio allows quick discrimination between different types of metals. Additionally, you can also discriminate between items according to the 3-search modes (high, medium, and low). This feature helps a lot in discriminating jewelry items from coins.
You can also adjust the sensitivity to zero to search for coins you want to collect. Other than that, the waterproof search coil allows you to hunt in shallow waters.
It’s a perfect metal detector suitable for beach hunts and gold mines for lost jewelry.
One of the best models of the Fisher F series, the Fisher F11 is a great option for any beginner because of its durability and lightweight.
The model offers many excellent features, including.
- Visual target ID
- 6 adjustable sensitivities
- 3 search modes
The Fisher F11 has three modes that allow discrimination between coins, relics, and jewelry that you can identify with its 4-tone audio easily. Additionally, it’s portable and extremely lightweight, so you can enjoy a long hunt without tiring out.
However, the problem is the search coils are a little small.
The 7-inch coils after a decent depth, but if they had been larger, you could search for items deeper in the ground.
Other than that, they also aren’t waterproof, so you can’t hunt in shallow waters. However, despite that, this metal detector is a pretty great deal.
National Geographic PRO Series
This metal detector is probably among the more professional ones on the list.
It will allow you to look for precious metals like gold and silver as deep as twelve feet. Other features are.
- 3 search modes
- 4 tone audio
- 2.3 lbs.
- Waterproof search coils
The Nat Geo Pro, with its 10-inch waterproof search coil, offers discrimination between coins, relics, and gold. This way, you can hunt for gold in rivers and shallow water, where gold nuggets are often found.
Additionally, this model comes with great Sensitivity settings.
These settings allow you to hone in on your target when you start digging and save a lot of your time. However, remember that the control box isn’t waterproof, so you can’t submerge the whole detector.
All in all, it’s a great pick if your focus is to find gold or silver within the depth of twelve feet.
Garrett ACE 200
As one of the best metal detector brands out there, we had to include another Garrett model in this list. The Garrett ACE 200 is an upgrade on the Garrett ACE 150.
- Digital target ID
- Depth indicator
- 4 adjustable sensitivities
- 3-tone audio
The Garrett ACE 200 is a top pick for many people, both as a starting-out metal detector and as a backup for seasoned experts.
The adjustable sensitivities allow you to discriminate between your chosen target and junk metal manually. This is especially useful in areas of high mineralization.
On top of that, the digital target ID, along with the 3-tone audio set for different metals, would prevent you from missing out on a target.
The one drawback is that it doesn’t have adjustable ground balance, so if you’re hunting in a highly mineralized area, you’ll have to deal with a lot of chatter.
Teknetics Delta 4000
The best thing about the Teknetics Delta 4000 is its 25 hours battery life that allows you a whole day’s worth of hunting before you have to recharge. This makes it the best option for serious hunters, although not the only noteworthy feature. The Delta 4000 has more up its sleeve.
- Notch discrimination
- 8 adjustable sensitivities
- Large LCD
- 3.5 lbs.
This metal detector comes with a day-long battery life that would allow you to worry a little less about packing spare batteries. The model features a large LCD and 3-tone audio to sound for different items like coins, relics, and precious metals up to 8 inches deep.
Bounty Hunter 3300
The bounty hunter is another great, lightweight model with plenty of great features that wouldn’t normally be present in a detector with its price. Some of the features included are.
- 4-tone audio target ID
- Manual ground balance
The manual ground balance adjustment sets the bounty hunter 3300 apart from other models because they usually come pre-set. With the manual option, you can adjust your detector according to how mineralized your hunting ground is.
This will improve your chances of finding your treasure with minimum interference. Apart from that, its 4-audio target ID makes it easy to discriminate between different types of metals, so you can ignore bottle caps and focus on the good stuff.
White’s Coin Master
The White’s Coin Master makes for a great beach detector with its waterproof coils and advanced discrimination settings. Other features are listed below.
- Waterproof search coils
- Notch discrimination
- Advanced target ID + depth indicator
The target ID helps illustrate your discovery and exhibit its exact depth, simplifying the tricky water hunts, especially on the beach.
The advanced ID, along with the notch discrimination, also helps you figure out if the find is worth the dig or not.
Albeit the discrimination isn’t as accurate as a fisher or a Garrett, it works well enough, allowing you to ignore the useless bits and spend more time and energy dealing with real finds.
The last detector on our list is something that most beginners might not gravitate towards. It’s a bit different than the rest, but we’ll get to that in a second. First, we’ll discuss its features.
- 6-inch depth
- 2 lbs.
- In-built mineral rejection
- Lifetime warranty
There’s a lot that makes the Tesoro compadre a great, desirable detector. It’s one of the lightest detectors out there, weighing a little over 2 pounds. However, the issue is that it doesn’t have a screen or a depth indicator, which makes things complicated for a user.
Other than that, it has only one tone. So, you can’t discriminate between your finds.
It produces a sound alarm when it finds anything metals within the depth of 6 inches (which is not very deep).
However, the good news is that it has built-in mineral rejection. The compadre uses Tesoro ED-180 discrimination to ignore junk signals, so whenever it gives an alert, you can be sure it’s metal and worthwhile.
Still, the lack of a display screen can seem intimidating to a lot of beginners. Therefore, we recommend this model for someone with a little more experience.
The metal detecting world is a lot bigger today than it once was.
Brands like Bounty Hunter, Garrett, and Fisher are doing a lot to change and improve their models to provide an optimum metal detecting experience. Therefore, the catalog is huge, making it difficult and confusing to figure out the best kit for you.
While choosing a detector, keep your end goal in mind and weigh out your priorities – whether you want to keep metal detecting as a hobby or take it up for a living.
If you’re just starting out, $200 can seem pretty steep. But, believe us when we say this will be a one-time investment for many people. Exactly why a lot of the old pros prefer one of the models above as a reliable backup.
Be sure to really think about what kind of features you think you’d need for your hunts. Try a few models out, see if you’re comfortable, and get to hunting.