We spent 30 hours of hands-on testing over an entire month with metal detectors to determine that the Garrett - Ace 250 is the best metal detector. We recommend it for its reliability, comfortable ergonomics, high quality LCD screen, and wide variety of modes. Here’s a list of the top three best metal detectors: #1 Garrett - Ace 250 #2 Bounty Hunter - Tracker IV #3 Bounty Hunter - Gold Digger So, how did we test? First and foremost, we scattered coins, jewelry and other metallic relics in the sand to see how well each detector could find them. Then, we recorded how well each detector could separate treasure from trash using soda tabs. We tested their ability to test depth – burying items four to six inches in the ground. Finally, we tested how well each detector found underwater items. Before going over our top picks, you can check out links in the description below for more detail on each metal detector.
There’s also a link there to the full review on our blog post. Scoring at the top of our charts in all of our tests, the Garrett - Ace 250 was an easy choice for best metal detector. Though it is the most expensive unit that we tested, it easily found all of the items we buried both at a max depth of six inches as well as underwater. Because we spent a lot of time walking around with the Garrett, we cannot overstate how wonderful its ergonomics were. Unlike some of the other machines we tested,the Garrett’s sturdy build, foam padding and Velcro strap made it a breeze to use. Plus, it has a features-packed LCD screen with components that stood out from other detectors. For example, it has a feature that tells you how far in the ground each item is buried. Another reason we loved the Garrett? It was the best at finding gold in our tests. If you plan to use a detector for more than the occasional coin shooting this may be the detector for you. The only tiny flaw we found with the Garrett? It missed one item during our discrimination tests. The Bounty Hunter - Tracker IV was a worthy competitor for our top pick. It actually tied with the Garrett in our general detection and depth tests, meaning it will reliably find gold and silver at all depths we tested at four to six inches. And while it doesn’t compete with the Garrett when it comes to ergonomics, the Bounty Hunter is about 50% cheaper. Also unlike the Garrett, the Bounty Hunter doesn’t have an LCD screen, which can make detecting in an underwater or trash-filled area more challenging. That being said, it still has four detection modes that are suitable for finding a lot of treasure. At about $50, the Bounty Hunter - Gold Digger is the best bang for your buck and the second cheapest model out of all the detectors wetested. It can reliably find most treasure, and it has power level, trash eliminator and sensitivity meter features that work very well together. Despite its low cost, it is also the only detector we tested to come with headphones. Of course, the Gold Digger didn’t perform as highly in our tests as some of the more expensive models: it received an overall third-place score in our tests. It was slightly less adept at finding silver than our first and second place detectors. But, for the occasional treasure hunter who doesn’t want to overspend this is a logical investment.