is the BEST metal detector?" This is the most common question I get, (
followed by "What is the DEEPEST metal detector?")
. The answer is....
There is NO BEST metal detector.
That said, the best metal detector is the one you'll be able to use
properly. Although it doesn't take a rocket scientist to operate a metal
detector, in order to use one successfully, you should be absolutely
sure you are going to buy it from a reputable dealer, who has a showroom
to demontrate the products and does no shady deals in parking lots or
parks. This is the only way to make sure you get the right machine for
you and that you will have personal support whenever you need it.
So let Big Valley
Metal Detectors help you to choose the best metal detector to meet your personal
needs and budget.
After I got the above numerous times I decided to add a 'Best Detectors'
page as a guideline, which helps all who visit my site avoid mistakes
in choices brought on by the voluminous amount of information and opinion
on the internet. Yes, I have my opinions, but those are based on my
experience as a detectorist and a multi-line dealer.
Below are general
purpose metal detectors. There are many more, and if I have not mentioned
the one you are interested in, it is not necessarily because it is no
good. More than likely I just decided to keep this page from attaining
a daunting length. Also, this is one of the last pages to be updated
on a regular basis, as I spend more time with my customers in person,
and the web really does come last. Just give me a call and I'll give
you my honest assessment if you don't see what you are interested in.
NOTE: Primary line local
White's dealers are not allowed to show photos of Whites metal detectors,
please visit www.whiteselectronics.com to see photos and prices of models
listed below. Put in zip code for factory and enhanced specials.
the from XP Metal Detectors.
Usually the detectors on this page are listed in ascending order within
certain price ranges,
but this new metal detector deserves special placement, irregardless
Comments: For the first
time in a very long while, a truly innovative metal detector has come
along. Sure, there have been new bells and whistles and beatiful make-overs
on well established technology, but this is a detector that seems to
have a little more than the average great metal detector. After you
have gotten over the shock of how light the whole unit is, how easy
it was to charge the coil, control box and headphones simultaneously
with 1 usb charging unit, and appreciated the fact that the set-up,
including coil and headphones, is COMPLETELY WIRELESS, there is still
plenty more to get excited about. This unit is FAST! Very fast. And
the groundtracking is superior to groundtracking on other top detectors.
The Deus features a new way of filtering out the iron, which does not
involve discriminating out the things you do want to see. And that is
just for starters. Treat yourself and come check out this new metal
I actually have had
this machine out quite a bit since I got it in, and my review of it
it very favorable. You can read some of it on my Facebook
page (click on the icon at the top of the page). This
machine is real sweet, and it may just change my mind about there being
no best metal detector.... Here is the write-up that is on my "Great
XP Deus find.
is a 1944 British Half Crown I dug today. The yard from which I dug
this and other things (coins, tokens etc.) belongs to the neighbor of
a friend of mine who owns several of the top machines out there, and
he has hunted it for the last few decades. He has been on that nice
old property many times with his detectors, and was stunned when he
saw what I pulled out with the Deus.
yard was a perfect example of a considered-to-be-hunted-out area. I
have been to areas like this one many times myself, generally to test
new machines that make great claims, but the hunted out places have
remained hunted out. Until now. The XP Deus is delivering the speed
and performance that is needed to hunt tired old spots, for sure.
on this machine works beautifully compared to other top machines out
there. And........... the XP Deus metal detector has non-motion pinpointing
capabilities; it can track the ground in both pinpointing mode and
detecting mode, which is a GIANT leap!
It looks like the performance of the Deus is leaving the other big dogs
in the dust, too, as far as recovery speed is concerned. The speed on
the XP Deus is nothing short of phenomenal, which is something I do
not say lightly. This super fast recovery time is what makes such a
difference when you are dealing with old and trashy areas.
the testing I have done to date, my review has to be very favorable.
The performance has been very reliable and at no time over the last
week or so have I run into any situation where one of the other top-end
machines could have out-performed, or even kept up with this detector.
little thing I'd like to mention is that the whole unit, including the
supplied headphones and the coil, is wireless. Not only does that mean
that there are no wires to get hung up anywhere, but it also makes the
Deus incredibly light. And, if that is not enough, you can make it lighter
still by just leaving the control box off and running the XP Deus from
the controls on the headphones. Featherlight! It is really nice for
someone on the wrong side of 21...
back to our regular format....
Range: to $350.00
Released during the latter part of 2007, the Fisher F2 has a lot going
for it in terms of performance, selectivity and features. At this
price point, the F2 currently dominates the field.
in agreement with Ralph @ Sun Ray Products; the Fisher
F2 represents the BEST value in a metal detector under $300.00.
large digital numerical read out from 0 to 99 is unmatched in any metal
detector under $500.00. In addition, the F2 has an on the fly 3 segment
depth scale and a precise pinpoint depth reading. Even more impressive
is the speed of target sampling which matches the Tesoro line-up. The
ability of any metal detector to respond to targets as the search head
is kept in motion over the ground is important for seeing desirable
targets ‘hiding’ in the trash.
the Fisher F2 here
There is a good reason this is a popular seller at Big Valley. The
Compadre’s 12 kHz circuit will see the smallest fine jewelry
deeper than almost any other metal detector on the market. And...
it has the quickest target response on the market today thanks to
its two filter circuit and 5.75” loop size. You can even use
it for electronic prospecting since it’s sensitive to gold nuggets
from match head size on up. It boasts excellent audio characteristics.
While most other metal detectors play the guessing game as to trash
vs. good targets, the Compadre, like the rest of the Tesoro line,
has analog audio with lightning fast target sampling. A target response
that exhibits a smooth, continuous tone is one worth going after.
Choppy, sputter or harsh audio responses are almost always trash.
I am so confident in the Compadre’s ability to sniff out elusive
gold rings, it remains one of my preferred choices in a rental for
lost valuables. One knob operation and the industry’s strongest
warranty (lifetime) makes it a very strong detector presence in the
under $200.00 range. See
the Tesoro Compadre here
Coinmaster and Coinmaster Pro
Comments: great entry level machines. White
has nailed these machines, and they are a great for anyone exploring
metal detecting as a hobby, but who does not wish to commit more than
a few hundred dollars to start with.
Ace 150 and 250
Since 2004, the White’s Prizms were dominating the lower end
of the professional market. Garrett Electronics came out with the
Ace 250, which rivaled the White’s Prizm IV in terms of features
and performance. The Ace 250 offers more sensitivity and better visual
discrimination resolution than the $179.95 Ace 150. My only complaint
is the size of the screen… a bit TOO small and hard on the eyes
compared to the larger screens of the Coinmaster and Fisher series.
Garrett Ace 250 here and
Garrett Ace 150 here
new for 2011 in the Ace line-up is the Ace 350. It features their 11"
DD coil. The new higher frequency and improved iron discrimination make
this machine a real winner in the serious entry level class of machines.
Garrett Ace 350 here
Range: $400.00 to $900.00
Comments: finally!!!! A prizm with ground balance.
Along with the spider coil that comes stock with this nice machine,
it makes all the differece! This machine is smooth, deep and hard to
beat at this price point. The
Prizms also enjoy compatibility with the Jimmy Sierra Bigfoot. You
can purchase a Bigfoot loop through Big
Valley Metal Detectors.
Comments: The Prizm T6 with
advanced ground tracking, and so many features, you must see it to believe
it. Part of the secret to the Prizm's effectiveness is it's ultra-smooth
audio circuit and loud alert. And in March 2009 the new 4x6 shooter
search coil was introduced. Customer respone has been very favorable,
with reports of digging up dimes (smallest USA coin) at 9"! One
of my favorites with the highest fun factor in the metal detecting industry
in a detector under $700.00.
Fisher, acquired last year by First Texas, who during the previous year
hired one of the industry's BEST engineers, Dave Johnson, has hit yet
another homerun with the Fisher F4. Excellent visual discriminator,
easy to read and lightning fast target sampling. Seems to have the same
horsepower as the F2 but with more bells and whistles to supplement
an excellent circuit, including manual or auto position ground balance
and an all metal mode with auto tune position for prospecting. Visual
target ID scale adorns the top portion of the display with target pointer
and large digital numbers. Comes with the F75 10" wide scan loop AND
the 8" concentric for trashy areas. See
the Fisher F4 here
with this new introduction Fisher has hit a home run. This series
can be used for coin shooting, relic hunting or gold prospecting,
and is considered a crossover. Comes in various packages that include
different accessories. See
the Fisher Goldbug Pro here
Since 2004, the Garrett GTP 1350 came on the scene, replacing the
GTAx 1250 and adding a sizing feature callined target profiling, which
placed the target into one of three size categories; A, B, C. The
Garrett GTP 1350 has a well balanced feel and is light enough for
most folks. Digital tone, including Garrett's bell tone response.
Full featured. Depth is above average, as well as Garrett's visual
discrimination and electronic pinpointing. The rear battery compartment
can pull off and hip mount, decreasing the weight on your arm.
Garrett GTP 1350 here
this machine shows that Garrett is paying attention to customer demand.
This is a machine yousubmerse in water and the take it to hunt the
highest mountain peaks. The available search modes include both standard
and professional settings and the new 11"DD coil it ships with
make this machine a huge breakthrough for technology at this price
Garrett AT Pro here
Comments: Since 2005. The X-Terra series have an extremely
light feel and operate at a standard frequency of 7.5 kHz with an
ultra quiet digital circuit. My first time out with the X-Terra 50
and first target at Montara Beach was a white gold earring at about
7", easily heard with the X-Terra's loud alert target response and
wonderful tone ID. The digital number display is about as easy as
the Fisher F4's to read, although the X-Terras are not quite as quick
as the Tesoros or Fishers on target sampling, The X-Terra 50/505,
like the flagship X-Terra 70/705, can change frequency by changing
the loops. The X-Terra 50/505 can switch to 18+ kHz loop for superior
audio response on small gold targets and nuggets. X-Terra 50 has manual
ground balance control while the 30's ground balance point has been
preset by the factory to handle most conditions. The X-Terra 70 offers
sophisticated automatic ground tracking and additional programming
AND a 10" loop that changes the frequency to 3 kHz for outstanding
target response on high conductive silver targets. The updated 305,
505 and 705 do have updated software, and react a little faster, generally
the Minelab X-Terra 705 here,
the Minelab X-Terra 505 here
the Minelab X-Terra 305 here
Comments: Tesoro's Vaquero operates at just under 15 kHz
with a 3 position frequency shifter to further avoid noisy cross talk
from other detectorists or powerlines. These are Umax detectors, which
makes them about the lightest in their performance class. The Vaquero
has a manual 3 3/4 ground balance, which works the all metal and discrimination
mode. The Vaquero's circuit is also found in the Cibola, which has
its ground balance point set internally by Tesoro. See
the Tesoro Vaquero here
DeLeón, Cortés, & Tejón
Comments: All three share Tesoro's
lightning fast discriminator target sampling and lifetime warranty.
(top dog in Tesoro's line-up) have visual target ID, but the display
is very small compared to other visual discriminators. The Cortés
also has a feature similar to White's Signagraph system, but again,
the visual lacks resolution, so dimes, quarters, halves, and dollars
read as 'COINS'. Tesoro's real strong point as always been its analog
audio response. Smooth targets that are coin size are always worth digging
and broken and/or harsh sounding targets are worth avoiding.
The Tesoro Tejón is Tesoro's deepest detector, operating at a
17.5 kHz. This is a bit on the high side for silver hunting, but reports
from the field say that the Tejón
is bringing in a lot of silver normally masked by trash targets and
unseen by the competition. The Tejón
uses a twin level discriminator that can be set in a variety of ways.
I set the higher level to barely pop on a zinc penny so I don't have
to dig them. Last time out with the Tejón,
my associate dealer, Greg @ Trans Bay Metal Detectors, scored a beautiful
white gold wedding band in the bark and is one of my favorites. Because
of its higher frequency, the Tejón
is a bit more reactive over the small iron, but that can be a positive
as far as seeing through the nails etc. The all metal modes on both
the Vaquero and Tejón
have a preset gain level, so the sensitivity is really a stability gain
control in the discrimination mode. See
the Tesoro DeLeón here,
the Tesoro Cortés here
the Tesoro Tejón here
M6 and MXT
of my favorites with the highest fun factor in the metal detecting industry.
With its 14.7 kHz frequency, and sharing the same horsepower as MXT,
the M6 adds seven tones of target ID in addition to the highest visual
resolution you can find in a metal detector, 190 segments. The MXT (now
a Pro series model), considered by many as the BEST HYBRID
for serious electronic prospecting, relic hunting or coin and jewelry
hunting, offers additional features like separate programs that change
the visual display. Its ground tracking system has been considered by
many to be the best on the market. The 'Pro now has tone ID, a display
backlight and a 'ground grab'button, to make it even easier to operate.
My buddy Greg tested the prototype MXT with various prototype chips
in cooperation with White's technical engineering staff. This culminated
in a ground tracking system that set the standard from 2004 forward.
March 2009 the new 4x6 shooter search coil was introduced. Customer
respone has been very favorable, with reports of digging up dimes (smallest
USA coin) at 9"! White's MXT continues
to be one of the most popular sellers at Big Valley Metal Detectors
because of its ability to tackle virtually ever surf and turf situation.
The only drawback is that it isn't fully submersible, like some of the
Range from about $1000.00
Comments: the Fisher F75, like the
F4 and F2, has outstanding features and performance. Operating at over
13 kHz, and with oodles of sensitivity, it can deliver on both high
and low conductors (silver and gold). This detector is like a 327 Chevy
engine with a hot cam and just street legal due to its high gain circuit.
Its automatic back light system for night time hunting is the BEST I've
experienced. Its depth is exceptional, but requires proper tuning to
ensure stable hunting. Great light weight and well balanced feel in
its category. See
the Fisher F75 here
Safari and Explorer series
Comments: use FBS circuits or full
band frequencies (28 actually), Minelab's unique way to filter out negative
ground and magnetic interference. The active frequency may be about
3kHz and the other harmonics act in concert to sample and neutralize
ground noise and power lines. When the noise is neutralized, your ability
to hear the deeper targets is enhanced. The 3 kHz will double the signal
on deep silver vs other frequencies. The output is digital, and although
the Explorer makes it easier to hear that deep silver without having
to tweak, your lower conductors (gold, nickels and other jewelry) are
usually ignored by most of the Explorer users. Foil, shards of aluminum
and crown caps sound a little too good, where competitor's circuits
chop those targets up. The Explorer has great gain and a smart find
screen. The Explorer SE lacks a audio and visual pinpointing
system; it uses a more conventional VCO pinpoint. All in all,
these are nice, pretty deep metal detectors and are nicesilver shooters.
the Minelab Safari here
the Minelab Explorer SE here
E Series DFX
Comments: Although it is getting old now, when
it comes to a do it all detector, the DFX 300 is still one of the top
dogs. Not only is it a multi-frequency detector with 3 and 15 kHz, along
with 18 other harmonic frequencies, but you can select to operate in
3 kHz for silver or 15 kHz for gold. Along with 55 basic and pro options
you're in total control. The DFX, like the XLT, offers Signagraph technology
but in addition to that you can adjust the sweep speeds, filters etc.
The DFX 300 comes standard with the big 300mm coil, but my advice is
to buy the optional 6x10" Eclipse wide scan, which significantly improves
visual target ID in all ground conditions and gives improved target
Comments: Discontinued. The XLT operates at White's
traditional 6.59 kHz for very good response on silver conductive targets
and good response on most gold jewelry but it is not up to the performance
of the MXT on the lower conductors. The XLT shines in its Signagraph
technology and smooth operation as it is a full filtered detector. On
a dime at 8" the XLT can deliver a better target signal than the MXT
or M6, but it requires a faster sweep speed to do so. The Signagraph
technology will not only read out the target ID but it will deliver
1 bar up on round targets within 6" to surface. The XLT has been in
the White's line-up for over 10 years and was preceded by the Eagle
Spectrum and Eagle series (White's first digital detectors).No matter
what you own, the XLT can complement your collection.
Comments: Bells and whistles, good
depth but long in the tooth and on the heavy side. Garrett GTI 2500
offers a wide screen and although not as sophisticated as the other
big dog competition, it does offer sizing technology A through E. Most
coins and jewelry fall out in the B, with man hole covers in the E size
along with some caches, I guess. This detector actually can be programmed
to talk to you using a female voice. A poster on one of the the forums,
who is a single bachelor, actually put it on voice mode and slept with
his GTI 2500... now that's love. Depth is above average for a single
frequency detector at approximately 7 kHz and seems sensitive enough
for gold rings. Ground tracks in the all metal mode. I suspect that
the discrimination mode and ground balance point is automated in the
chip and cannot be manually manipulated. see
Garrett GTI 2500 here
this is the 'minesweeper'for silver coins in parks. Newer technology
allows you to hunt what you had to leave behind with the Explorer II.
With a much faster response time, this is not your father's Explorer....
the Minelab E-Trac here
new CTX3030, with its color screen and too many features to mention,
is clearly Minelab's new top-of-the-line coin/relic hunting machine.
the Minelab CTX3030 here
Comments: a game-changer. All that can be said
about this newest incarnation of White's best pulse machine.metal
detectors is WOW!!!! It is like the bionic version of the original TDI.
it is lighter, smarter and faster. And it is cheaper that the original
TDI, too! You are going to love it! This machine is a true crossover,
suitable for treasure hunting (coin, beach, relic) as well as gold prospecting.
It is extremely deep and smooth enough to bring tears to your eyes!
The original TDI was very popular with many serious detectorisits, and
this new incarnation is nice and and a little lighter.
Comments: An eye popping color display on a super
LARGE screen and too many
great features to mention make this machine 'the bomb'.
Amazing audio, visuals, brute power and selectivity, advanced
circuitry- and wireless headphone technology; over seven years of R&D
brings you this manufacturer's most advanced flagship!
White's LATEST Spectra VX3... straight forward,
no-nonsense machine. Just received White's brand new VX3 this week.
The name for the working project was EZV, which would have been a good
name for the final product, too...
White's engineers re-designed the user interface to be easier to access
than that of the V3i. After checking it out myself, I found it very
smooth and deep. Horsepower is the same as the Spectra V3i and uses
the same Spectra Graph Screen. When you pinpoint the screen displays
the strongest frequency with regards to the located target. The visual
display of the Spectra Graph is by far the most informative in the industry
and is very accurate where mineralization is involved. The live controls
have been redone and the filter choice is reduced to 5 and 12. In testing,
12 seems by far the smoothest and is recommended for moderate to severe
at (916) 225-9150
Angus McKirk Prospecting
Quality recovery tools, Lesche, Apex
to Site, Season to Season"
Valley never sleeps while its customers are awake!
in Citrus Heights, California,
we are an easy drive from Sacramento, Fair Oaks, Roseville, Rocklin,
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