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FAQ: How much does a really good metal detector cost?

FAQ:  How much does a really good metal detector cost?

How much does a really good metal detector cost?  That is a common question we get here at High Plains Prospectors.  When someone comes into our shop and really has no real knowledge of metal detectors, it is our job to help educate them on the subject.  The first thing we try do do is determine in what capacity, and where are they metal detecting.  Then, we get a price range they are willing to spend on their total equipment package.  

For example.  If someone is typically hunting coins, relics, and jewelry in neutral soil (i.e. not heavily mineralized) and their budget it, say $500 total, there are quite a few metal detectors that will work for them.  One thing I always recommend is to figure in the cost of a pinpointer in the package.  Then, working backwards, we would be able to find them a detector that would fit within their budget and suit their needs.  So, in this situation, I might recommend a Garrett Pro Pointer II and a Garrett ACE 400 metal detector.  This would keep them under budget and provide them with all the equipment they need to get started metal detecting.

The Garrett ACE 400 is a good beginner to intermediate metal detector.

Garrett ACE 400 Metal Detector Discovery Bundle

Now, the question:  How much does a really good metal detector cost?  Is somewhat objective.  What do you consider "really good".  See, it is a moving target depending on your intended use and their are caveats to this question.  For instance, if you are metal detecting underwater you will need a detector that is waterproof.  This will increase the price a bit as most waterproof metal detectors are a little more expensive.  However, Nokta Makro recently released the Simplex Plus metal detector that retails for $254.  It has good technology and the reviews have been really good on it.  So, you could easily get this and the Pulse Dive pinpointer and still be under $500.  The only drawback with this company is their service and support in the U.S. is still getting its legs under it.  So, if you have any issues, be prepared for delayed service and support.

The Nokta Makro Simplex is a great water detector for the price.

Nokta Makro Simplex Plus Waterproof Metal detector, PulseDive Pin-Pointer, Finds Pouch, and Premium Digger

Additionally, if you are detecting somewhere with heavily mineralized soil (like a saltwater wet beach) you will want to make sure that your detector has a beach or salt mode.  Some lesser detectors do not handle mineralization well and will be erratic.

Thus far I have assumed that the person asking the question:  "How much does a really good metal detector cost?" is on a budget.  Such is not always the case.  Quite often we have people that are willing to pay up in order to get the latest and greatest metal detector on the market.  This being said, metal detector manufacturers release a new model ever few years.  So, keeping up on this is an ever-moving target.  Additionally the factor of what the machine is going to be used for is always a consideration.

Best Metal Detector For Relic and Jewelry Hunting

As I mentioned in a previous article, "What Metal Detectors Do They Use on The Curse of Oak Island?"  One of the most famous metal detectorist in the world, Gary Drayton, primarily uses the Minelab CTX 3030. He would know right? If you are willing to shell out about $2,500 on a metal detector this would be the one.  However, I will warn you, the learning curve is big and wide on this detector.  But, hey, practice make perfect right?

The Minelab CTX 3030 is the cream of the crop for metal detectors

Minelab CTX 3030 Waterproof Metal Detector

Best Metal Detector For Gold Prospecting

There is great debate as to which metal detector is the best gold prospecting metal detector.  In my previous article, "Will This Metal Detector Find Gold?"  I discuss what makes a gold prospecting metal detector good for that purpose.  For budget conscious people I would recommend the Fisher Gold Bug II or the Minelab Gold Monster.  However, if you have money to burn (or a really good gold nugget claim to hunt) you could always look at a GPZ 7000.  But you better be on the gold because with a price tag of $8K you will need to find several ounces of gold to make it pay for itself.  Or, if you want to save a little money and wait for what is expected to be an even better detector, the Minelab GPZ 6000 should be available at $6,000 later this year.

Bang for your buck it is hard to beat the Fisher Gold Bug II for prospecting.


Best Metal Detector For Underwater Metal Detecting (Dive Metal Detectors)

Dive detectors meet certain waterproofness standards that other detectors don't.  And, since most of them are pulse induction metal detectors so they handle the saltwater mineralization the best.  For the budget conscious, I recommend the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II at $637.46.  However, in terms of overall sales, I would say the Minelab Excalibur II is the most used detector for diving it runs about $1,500 new.

The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is a popular dive detector.

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II Metal Detector with Free Gear Beach Hunter Package.

Best Overall Metal Detector (and best bang for your buck)

Considering all the factors discussed in this article (usage, price, versatility, hunting conditions, etc.) I would consider the Minelab Equinox 800 to be the best all around metal detector.  It does excellent in saltwater and mineralized conditions.  It is waterproof up to 10', and it has a prospecting mode that has proven to be very effective finding sub-gram nuggets.  It is truly a "really good metal detector" and with the price tag of around $1,000, you get everything you need in one package without breaking the bank.

Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector, Free High Plains Gear
I hope this article helps answer the question:  How much does a really good metal detector cost.

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  • Joshua Turpin