Best Budget Metal Detector: Top Picks for Affordable Treasure Hunting

Updated on March 3, 2024

Metal detecting is an engaging hobby, letting you explore outdoors and uncover hidden treasures. The right metal detector can significantly enhance your experience, regardless of your skill level. This article discusses the top budget metal detectors available.

When choosing a budget metal detector, consider your hunting type, the detector’s build quality, and its price. The type of hunting influences the detector features you’ll need. Good build quality ensures durability and reliability. Prices for budget detectors vary from under $50 to a few hundred dollars. We’re focusing on detectors that are under $200 and offer the best value.

After extensive research and testing, we’ve identified the top budget metal detectors for their performance and value. Each detector will be discussed in detail in the following sections.

Best Budget Metal Detectors

We understand that metal detecting can be an expensive hobby, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to find hidden treasures. Our team has researched and tested various budget metal detectors to bring you a list of the best options that won’t hurt your wallet. These detectors may have a lower price point, but they still offer quality features and performance to enhance your metal detecting experience. Check out our top picks below.

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector with 8-inch Waterproof Coil

If you are looking for an affordable metal detector that works well, then the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is a great option.

Pros:
  • The 8-inch waterproof coil allows you to search in shallow water, making it perfect for beachcombing.
  • The dual-tone discriminate feature helps you distinguish between different types of metals, so you can search for specific items.
  • The sensitivity and discriminate adjustments allow you to customize the detector to your preferences and the terrain you are searching in.
Cons:
  • The battery life could be better, so make sure to bring extra batteries with you on long searches.
  • The headphones that come with the detector are not the best quality, so you may want to invest in a better pair for a better experience.
  • The instruction manual is not very clear, so it may take some trial and error to figure out how to use the detector properly.
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Overall, the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is a solid choice for those on a budget who want to try their hand at metal detecting. It is easy to use, lightweight, and has a good range of features for the price. While it may not be the most advanced detector out there, it gets the job done and is a fun hobby to try out.

PalliPartners Metal Detector for Adults Waterproof

Metal Detector for Adults Waterproof - Professional Higher Accuracy Gold Detector with LCD Display,5 Mode,Advanced DSP Chip 12" Coil Metal Detectors(970-Purple)

If you're looking for an affordable yet high-performing metal detector, the PalliPartners Metal Detector for Adults Waterproof might be the one for you.

Pros:
  • Ultra lightweight and easy to assemble
  • 5 modes of operation for efficient metal detection
  • 12-inch waterproof search coil for shallow water exploration
Cons:
  • Control box is not waterproof
  • Some parts may feel flimsy
  • Batteries may drain quickly
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We were impressed with how easy it was to assemble the detector, with even a 15-year-old being able to put it together in just 10 minutes. The backpack and two batteries included in the package make it easy to carry around for outdoor adventures with the family. The 5 modes of operation allow for efficient metal detection, and the intuitive LCD display makes it easy to get the detection dynamics at any time.

The 12-inch waterproof search coil is perfect for shallow water exploration, and the upgraded DSP chip improves search range and sensitivity, making it powerful enough to locate a quarter coin up to 12 inches underground. However, it’s important to note that the control box is not waterproof, so you’ll need to be careful when using it near water.

While some parts of the detector may feel flimsy, it’s still a great product for the price, and the multifunctional shovel and premium headphones included in the package make it a great gift for professionals, hobbyists, and beginners alike. However, the batteries may drain quickly, so it’s best to have spare ones on hand.

Overall, we would recommend the PalliPartners Metal Detector for Adults Waterproof for those looking for an affordable yet high-performing metal detector.

LOLARAN Metal Detector

Metal Detector for Adults Professional, Rechargeable Lithium Battery Powered,Wireless Adjustable Retractable Foldable Metal Detector Waterproof High Accuracy Gold Detector, Backlit LCD Display

If you are looking for a budget-friendly metal detector that is portable and easy to use, then LOLARAN Metal Detector is the way to go.

Pros:
  • With its 2000mAh lithium battery power supply, this metal detector charges faster and lasts longer. It can work continuously for more than 20 hours, and the universal Type-c interface charging is solid and durable.
  • The unique retractable foldable structure design makes it easy to store and carry. It is extremely convenient to carry around, and the lightweight design makes it comfortable to use for extended periods.
  • The five powerful modes and higher accuracy make it easy to detect metals underground. The metal detector's upgraded DSP chip ensures detection stability is stronger, and it can detect underground up to about 10 inches deep 25 cents coins.
Cons:
  • The LCD screen is not waterproof, so it is not recommended to test indoors.
  • The armrest is not adjustable, which can be a bit uncomfortable for some users.
  • While the shovel is included with purchase, it is not of the highest quality.
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We were impressed with the LOLARAN Metal Detector’s performance and ease of use. The metal detector’s compact, portable design makes it easy to carry around, and the retractable foldable structure design ensures that there are no cable tangles. The metal detector’s lightweight design makes it comfortable to use for extended periods, and the foam padded bottom bracket makes it more accurate, convenient, and easy when detecting gold metal.

The metal detector’s five powerful modes and higher accuracy make it easy to detect metals underground. The metal detector’s upgraded DSP chip ensures detection stability is stronger, and it can detect underground up to about 10 inches deep 25 cents coins. The metal detector’s waterproof search coil makes it suitable for different detection environments, including beaches, outdoor pits, grass, swamps, rocks, and other different environments for metal detection.

While the LCD screen is not waterproof, the metal detector’s backlit LCD display makes it easy to read in low light conditions. The metal detector’s armrest is not adjustable, which can be a bit uncomfortable for some users. While the shovel is included with purchase, it is not of the highest quality.

Overall, we highly recommend the LOLARAN Metal Detector for anyone looking for a budget-friendly metal detector that is portable and easy to use.

VVinRC 13″ Metal Detector

13" Metal Detector for Adults Professional, Double-D Waterproof Search Coil Gold Finder with Pinpoint, High Sensitivity DISC Mode, LCD Backlight Display Gold Detector

If you're looking for a budget-friendly metal detector that doesn't skimp on features, the VVinRC 13" Metal Detector is a solid choice.

Pros:
  • The 13" waterproof double-D coil allows for deeper penetration and faster coverage.
  • With three search modes (all metals, DISC, and pinpoint), you can easily customize your search and avoid wasting time on low-value metals.
  • The large LCD screen is easy to read and allows you to adjust sensitivity and view approximate target depth.
Cons:
  • The included headphones are wired, which may be less convenient for some users.
  • The stem is adjustable, but some users may find it a bit flimsy.
  • While the customer service is responsive, some users have reported issues with receiving faulty units.
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We took the VVinRC 13″ Metal Detector out for a spin and were impressed with its capabilities. The waterproof coil allowed us to search in shallow water without worrying about damaging the detector, and the three search modes made it easy to narrow down our search. We appreciated the large LCD screen, which made it easy to adjust settings and view target depth.

One minor drawback was the included wired headphones, which we found less convenient than wireless options. Additionally, while the adjustable stem was helpful for accommodating different users, it did feel a bit flimsy at times. Finally, while the customer service was responsive, we did encounter some issues with receiving faulty units.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable metal detector with a range of features, the VVinRC 13″ Metal Detector is definitely worth considering.

Kyltoor Metal Detector

2024 Updated Metal Detector for Adults, Professional Higher Accuracy Waterproof Metal Detector, 5 Mode Gold Detector with LCD Display, Advanced DSP Chip 10" Coil Metal Detectors

Looking for a budget-friendly metal detector that can still deliver accurate results? Look no further than the Kyltoor Metal Detector.

Pros:
  • The upgraded DSP chip increases detection speed, sensitivity, and accuracy by 25% compared to other detectors on the market.
  • The intuitive LCD display provides real-time detection dynamics, including metal type, depth, recognition, sensitivity level, and operating mode.
  • The 10-inch IP68 waterproof search coil allows for easy penetration of water layers, making it perfect for beach and river treasure hunts.
Cons:
  • The control box is not waterproof, so be careful when using it in wet conditions.
  • The included shovel is a bit too flexible for some users, making it difficult to dig through smaller gravel or pry at slightly larger rocks.
  • Some users have reported missing parts upon delivery, so be sure to check your package carefully.
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We recently had the chance to try out the Kyltoor Metal Detector, and we were impressed by its performance. The upgraded DSP chip really does make a difference in detection speed and accuracy, and the intuitive LCD display makes it easy to get real-time feedback on your treasure hunt.

One thing to note is that while the search coil is waterproof, the control box is not, so be careful when using it in wet conditions. We also found that the included shovel was a bit too flexible for our liking, making it difficult to dig through smaller gravel or pry at slightly larger rocks.

Overall, we think the Kyltoor Metal Detector is a great choice for budget-conscious treasure hunters who still want accurate results. Just be sure to double-check your package upon delivery to make sure all parts are included.

Buying Guide

When looking to buy a budget metal detector, there are a few key features to consider. We’ve compiled a list of important factors to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Metal Detectors

There are three primary types of metal detectors: VLF (very low frequency), PI (pulse induction), and multi-frequency. VLF detectors are the most common and work by emitting a low-frequency magnetic field and detecting changes in that field caused by metal objects. PI detectors are better suited for deeper searches and can detect metal through soil, sand, and other materials. Multi-frequency detectors can switch between frequencies, making them versatile and able to detect a variety of metals.

Frequency

The frequency of a metal detector affects its ability to detect certain types of metal. Lower frequencies are better for detecting larger objects at greater depths, while higher frequencies are better for smaller objects at shallower depths.

Coil Size

The size of the coil on a metal detector also affects its detection abilities. Larger coils can detect objects at greater depths and cover more ground, but may be less sensitive to smaller objects. Smaller coils are better for detecting smaller objects and in areas with high mineralization.

Discrimination

Discrimination is the ability of a metal detector to differentiate between types of metals. This feature is important if you want to avoid digging up unwanted items like bottle caps or nails. Look for a detector with adjustable discrimination settings.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is the ability of a metal detector to detect small or low-conductivity metals. Higher sensitivity means the detector can detect smaller objects or those buried at greater depths.

Display

The display on a metal detector can provide important information such as target depth, metal type, and battery life. Look for a detector with a clear and easy-to-read display.

By considering these factors, you can select a budget metal detector that meets your needs and helps you find hidden treasures.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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