Top 5 Metal Detector Brands: Sneak Peak from An Insider

  • By: Chris
  • Last updated on December 16, 2022
  • Time to read: 12 min.
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What’s in a name anyway?

Well, a lot actually.

Listen up, Diggers.

Ever find yourself arguing the merits of a particular metal detector brand over another?

Of course, you have. Who hasn’t?

But here’s the secret about this debate. If the brand is worthy of an argument, it’s likely a brand deserving of a top spot on a ‘best of list’.

It’s like arguing over the better pizza. Pepperoni or cheese?

pepperoni or cheese pizza
Your options may all be great, but everyone has a favorite.

While you might prefer one, you aren’t going to turn either down if it’s sitting in front of you.

By the way…the answer is cheese, obviously.

In this post, I’ll break down the top 5 metal detector brands from an insider’s perspective.

You’ll learn about the history of each brand and what makes them unique.

Along with some other interesting tidbits.

So, let’s dig in!

Best Metal Detector Brands: Top 5

There are a lot of metal detector manufacturer’s out there. Some good. Some bad. And some really great companies that surged ahead of others to earn their place in the discussion.

You’ll find some ‘no doubt about it’ brand names on this list and perhaps one or two that have you scratching your head.

While there are some metal detector brands with a long and successful history, it doesn’t guarantee their ranking.

But we’ll get more into that later.

best metal detector brands on all the best of lists
Each brand you’ll read about here will be displayed across the internet on any number of “best of” lists.

What you should know is that every one of these brands is a regular on “best of” lists.

Need a reliable metal detector for gold? Or a cheap detector for your young wannabe Digger?

Well, these are the metal detector brands you’ll find on that list.

I’ve scoured the reviews and breakdowns across the web. I’ve personally used or tested the more popular models these manufacturers have to offer.

And I promise you can’t go wrong with any of the brands I’m about to unveil.

So, without further ado…here are the top metal detector brands!

1. Minelab

Minelab metal detector brand
Because of their expertise in innovation and knowing what every detectorist wants, Minelab is the top metal detector brand out there.

No surprise here.

Minelab has been manufacturing top-of-the-line metal detectors since 1985, with the release of the Goldseekers 15000.

The metal detector brand originated in Adelaide, Australia. But with the growing trend of metal detecting and the need to provide a better product to detectorists around the glove, expansion was necessary.

This leader in the industry still calls Adelaide home. But their offices and distribution centers span the globe. From Ireland to Dubai. Asia to America. Their presence is felt among the metal detecting elite.

Minelab metal detectors are some of the most popular on the market and their products have a reputation for being durable, reliable, and packed with features.

While they might not be the cheapest option, you definitely get what you pay for with Minelab.

But don’t let that scare you off. Minelab has plenty of affordable metal detectors for the beginner or those looking for something more budget-friendly.

minelab engineers are almost amazing me
The Minelab engineers go above and beyond to give you and I a product we can be proud to support.

The Minelab engineers never cease to amaze.

If you aren’t impressed with the durability and performance of their military-grade design, check out this list of accomplishments.

  • Developed the first automatic ground-tracking metal detector in 1987
  • Launched the first-ever two-frequency detector in 1989
  • Received the AusIndustry Innovation Prize, Telstra and Australian Governments’ Small Business of the Year Award, and was National Winner of the IBM Business Owner Award in the same year (1998)
  • Won the City of West Torrens Business Award in 2000 for their economic contribution to the city
  • Finalist for innovator of the year by SA CIMB and a recognized supplier for the Australian Department of Defence in 2002
  • Received 7 additional awards and recognitions from 2005 to 2010

With the technological advances and regular firmware updates that Minelab offers, you shouldn’t doubt the company’s persistence in always moving the needle in this industry.

Here are the top five metal detectors that Garrett has to offer for each type of buyer:

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Entry-Level Metal Detector
Minelab Vanquish 440

Minelab Vanquish 440

  • Item Weight: 2.6 lbs. A lightweight beginner detector for any age
  • Search Modes: 4 (All-terrain) modes so you can find treasures in any location
  • Pinpoint: Yes, the Pinpoint mode helps you zero in on the target you're looking for
  • Technology: Multi-IQ will impress you even more considering this is an entry-level machine
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Best All-Purpose Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800

Minelab Equinox 800

  • Item Weight: 2.96 lbs is incredible. All this power is easily carried
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 ft. is another benefit for you if you're an avid beachcomber
  • Search Modes: 4 search modes are great. But with the custom settings, you end up with 8 in total
  • Technology: Multi-IQ gives this popular model some extra kick. No treasure will hide from you again
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Gold Nugget Metal Detector
Minelab GPZ 7000

Minelab GPZ 7000

  • Item Weight: 7.32 lbs is a bit heavier but a small price to pay for the power you get
  • Waterproof: Up to 3 feet for the search coil so creeks and shores won't stop you
  • Search Modes: Comes with Coins and Custom modes
  • Technology: ZVT (Zero Voltage Transmission) for a deeper detection of gold than other models
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Underwater Metal Detector
Minelab Excalibur II

Minelab Excalibur II

  • Item Weight: 5.1 lbs is a tad heavier than the Equinox but in the water, you'll hardly notice
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet deep you will be finding sunken pirate ships and gold doubloons
  • Search Modes: 3 search modes to help you find your sunken treasure. Includes all-metal, discrimination, and pinpoint
  • Technology: VLF with multiple frequencies that let you adjust to the salty conditions of the ocean
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Cheapest Metal Detector
Minelab GO-FIND 11

Minelab GO-FIND 11

  • Item Weight: 2.2 lbs is an easy device to maneuver for kids and adults
  • Waterproof: Comes with an 8-inch waterproof search coil. Pretty amazing for such a low cost
  • Search Modes: 2 search modes to keep your user experience simple and fun
  • Technology: VLFsingle frequency at 7.8 kHz to get your started in an exciting and addictive hobby
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco

2. Garrett

Founded by Charles and Eleanor Garrett, Garrett Metal Detectors is as trusted a brand as Minelab.

This metal detector company has been around since 1964 and is based in Garland, Texas.

Garrett metal detector brand
Garrett Metal Detectors is a household name in the industry and one of the oldest, brands still active.

Charles Garrett got his start by selling metal detectors out of his garage.

But with a strong work ethic, business savvy, and pure grit, they were able to parlay that into what is now one of the most successful metal detector brands in the world.

Before developing his first metal detector, Charles Garrett was a skilled and inventive engineer. He developed technology used by NASA to take seismology readings on the moon in 1969.

In 1963, after trying his hand at metal detecting with devices on the market at that time, he comes away disappointed.

From there, he sets out to develop a better ground metal detector than what is currently offered.

While his first metal detector comes out in 1964, it was not until 1968 that he changed the metal detecting world for the better.

Garrett changed the world in 1968
Charles Garrett was an innovator and invented metal detecting technology that changed the detecting world.

Garrett invents a particular coaxial search coil winding technology. This new tech is what eliminates oscillator drift.

Oscillator drift, also known as frequency drift, is a metal detector engineer’s worst nightmare. It results in false signals, lost targets, and general frustration among users.

Garrett’s new invention eliminated drift and allows detectorists to focus on the hunt and stop the need to constantly fiddle with the controls.

This technology is still used in metal detectors today and has become the industry standard. As a result, Garrett Metal Detectors have become the go-to metal detector brand for many people.

Garrett’s commitment to providing high-quality metal detectors at an affordable price is what has earned them a spot on this list.

Some currently popular models of Garrett metal detectors are found here:

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Entry-Level Metal Detector
Garrett ACE 400

Garrett ACE 400

  • Item Weight: 2.9 lbs. is the perfect weight for any detectorist. No matter the age or size
  • Search Modes: 6 modes for an all-around terrain capability, making your life easier
  • Target ID: A 0-99 Target ID scale is an advanced feature that this detector comes preloaded with
  • Technology: VLF single frequency of 10kHz, which is an upgrade to previous models in the ACE series
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Best All-Purpose Metal Detector
Garrett AT Pro

Garrett AT Pro

  • Item Weight: 3.03 lbs. Lightweight and powerful for the best Garrett has to offer
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 ft. so you truly are limitless in your treasure hunting
  • Search Modes: 7 search modes! Including pinpoint, custom, and zero discrimination
  • Technology: VLF single frequency at 15 kHz, a significant step above the ACE 400
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Gold Nugget Metal Detector
Garrett ATX Deepseeker

Garrett ATX Deepseeker

  • Item Weight: 6.9 lbs. A long hunt will wight on your shoulder, but the power is the payoff
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet. A submersible feature that few detectors can match
  • Search Modes: 3 search modes including motion, non-motion, and pinpoint
  • Technology: PI (Pulse Induction) is the ideal technology for your gold hunting ambitions
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Underwater Metal Detector
Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

  • Item Weight: 5.1 lbs will feel like a feather as you search the deep for long-lost treasures
  • Waterproof: Up to 200 feet of reliable detection. Nothing will ever be out of range
  • Search Modes: 3 search modes working off 22 different frequencies
  • Technology: PI (Pulse Induction) gives you the ultimate depth detection in these saltwater conditions
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco

3. Fisher

Fisher Labs is a metal detector company based in El Paso, Texas. It was founded in 1931 by Dr. Gerhard Fisher.

Dr. Fisher holds a special place in history because of his inventions. Patenting his creations like Geiger counters, voltage detectors, and radio communication systems.

He was a German immigrant, working in Los Angeles when he developed the aircraft radio direction finders.

Fisher Labs German immigrant working in LA
Dr. Fisher, a German immigrant in LA, patented a number of electronic devices still in use today.

Because of the interference pilots reported whenever passing a particular terrain, the idea and birth of the metallascope came to be.

By the mid to late 1930s metal detection was all the rage. Geologists, law enforcement, sawmills, and utility companies saw the benefit these handheld detectors provided.

I should mention that while Dr. Fisher held the first patented metal detector, the true inventor is up for debate.

Alexander Graham Bell invented a device in 1881 that many consider the first actual metal detector.

Alexander Graham Bell made the first metal detector
Alexander Graham Bell is reported to have created the first metal detector some 50 years prior to Fisher Labs.

Getting back to Fisher Labs, the company was acquired by First Texas Holdings Corporation in 2006, 32 years after Gerhard Fisher retired.

Fisher continues to manufacture some of the best metal detectors today. With a balance of affordability and advanced technology, you’d be hard pressed to find a metal detectorist that hasn’t at least tried a Fisher.

Some of the most popular models are:

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Entry-Level Metal Detector
Fisher F22

Fisher F22

  • Item Weight: 2.3 lbs. is one of the lightest metal detectors you will find
  • Search Modes: 4 search modes for giving you the most a beginner should need
  • Target ID: 9-Segment visual target ID lets you identify the targets you want
  • Technology: VLF single frequency of 7.69 kHz. Not the best but enough for most novice Diggers
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Best All-Purpose Metal Detector
Fisher F75

Fisher F75

  • Item Weight: 4.7 lbs is manageable for any serious detectorist
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking keeps you hunting at a fast pace
  • Search Modes: 5 search modes guaranteed to get you the most out of any situation
  • Technology: VLF single frequency at 13 kHz. Not as great as other all-around detectors, but no slouch either
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Gold Nugget Metal Detector
Fisher Gold Bug 2

Fisher Gold Bug 2

  • Item Weight: 2.9 lbs. is an easy and maneuverable machine that doesn't lack in power
  • Waterproof: Not waterproof, but the coil is submersible
  • Search Modes: 3 auto-tune modes with 2 re-tune speeds that uncover gold on the spot
  • Technology: VLF single frequency at a whopping 71 kHz!
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Underwater Metal Detector
Fisher 1280X Aquanaut

Fisher 1280X Aquanaut

  • Item Weight: 6.6 lbs is a tad heavier. But the depth allowed makes up for it
  • Waterproof: Up to 250 feet deep! By far the best depth of those we reviewed
  • Search Modes: 1 search mode (motion)
  • Technology: VLF single frequency at 2.4 kHz. Good enough for any terrain or environment
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco

4. Bounty Hunter

Bounty Hunter is a metal detector brand that is part of First Texas Products, like our number 3 brand, Fisher. As such, the company has a long and rich history behind them.

Unfortunately, there is little information publicly available about Bounty Hunter as a manufacturer. I’ve reached out to a number of different people and have combed through filed patents and the internet as a whole.

Bounty Hunter metal detector brand
Bounty Hunter metal detectors make detectors for primarily beginning Diggers.

While I found some general information about their beginnings, I was unable to verify their authenticity so I’ll keep those details off this article.

What I can tell you, is that Bounty Hunter is well-known for producing entry-level to medium-grade metal detectors that are consistently cheaper than other brands.

They are near infamous for their reliability despite not being jam-packed with all the bells and whistles.

Here are some of the more popular models that Bounty Hunter has to offer:

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Entry-Level Metal Detector
Bounty Hunter Tracker IV

Bounty Hunter Tracker IV

  • Item Weight: 2.3 lbs. is about average for most lightweight options you'll find
  • Search Modes: 2 search modes for all-metal and discrimination. Limited but all a beginner really needs
  • Target ID: This target indicator meter is analog but the younger Diggers may love that aspect of it
  • Technology: VLF single frequency of 6.8 kHz. One of the lower frequencies but for the price you pay, still a heck of a machine
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Best All-Purpose Metal Detector
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

  • Item Weight: 2.5 lbs will handle like a dream! No need to worry about aches and pains
  • Ground Balance: One button ground grab offers you extra convenience
  • Search Modes: 7 search modes that make this detector great for any skill level
  • Technology: VLF technology at a frequency of 7.69 kHz
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Gold Nugget Metal Detector
Bounty Hunter Gold Digger

Bounty Hunter Gold Digger

  • Item Weight: 2.6 lbs. of gold detecting wonder
  • Performance: Not just for gold. Detects large objects up to 2 feet
  • Search Modes: 2 search modes with adjustable discrimination for mineralized soil
  • Technology: VLF single frequency at 6.7 kHz for reliable gold hunting
Check at Amazon

5. Nokta Makro

Nokta Makro is a metal detector brand based in Turkey with US offices in Virginia. The company was founded in 2003 as Nokta Detectors.

It wasn’t until 2014 when Nokta Detectors acquired Makro Detectors and formed the manufacturer we know and love today.

Nokta Makro brand in Turkey advanced tech
Nokta Makro has quickly become one of the go-to metal detector brands across the globe.

Nokta Makro metal detectors are some of the most advanced in terms of technology.

Because of their affordable prices, outstanding performance, and desirable features of each model, it’s no wonder this brand has risen to the top.

Their most popular model, the Simplex+, is on par in every category with the universally loved Minelab Equinox 800.

With the amount of funding that Nokta Makro puts into research and development, it won’t be long until their push themselves higher than other long-standing brands.

For a closer look, here are some more revered metal detectors by Nokta Makro:

ImageProduct TitleFeaturesPrice
Entry-Level Metal Detector
Nokta Makro Simplex

Nokta Makro Simplex

  • Item Weight: 2.9 lbs. is a comfy weight for the littlest of novice detectorists
  • Search Modes: 4 search modes along with a pinpoint function for accuracy
  • Waterproof: Submersible up to 10 feet and in line with IP68 standards
  • Technology: VLF single frequency of 12 kHz and a 0-99 Target ID letting you dig for the only metals you really want
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Best All-Purpose Metal Detector
Nokta Makro Legend Pro Pack

Nokta Makro Legend Pro Pack

  • Item Weight: Only 3 lbs and a helpful collapsable shaft
  • Waterproof: Up to 3 feet so no terrain is off limits
  • Search Modes: 5 search modes designed for the beginner and advanced detectorist
  • Technology: Simultaneous Multi-Frequency tech with 5 operating frequencies to find you anything
Check at AmazonCheck at Kellyco
Gold Nugget Metal Detector
Nokta Makro Multi Kruzer

Nokta Makro Multi Kruzer

  • Item Weight: 3 lbs. isn't much compared to other top-notch gold detectors
  • Waterproof: Up to 16.4 feet underwater use. Don't limit yourself to the beach
  • Search Modes: 6 search modes, including an advanced option for salt and sand
  • Technology: VLF with 3 operating frequencies to choose from
Check at Amazon

To all those “experts” shouting at the screen for White’s, XP, or Teknetics, I hear you.

These brands have been around for a long time and have their own legion of metal detecting fans.

I get it, I really do.

But this article is about the top metal detector brands, and not every metal detector brand deserves a spot on this list.

criteria to make the top of the list
This list is not final and can change as each brand, listed or not develops new technology.

There are a number of criteria that a metal detector brand must meet in order to even be considered and, unfortunately, not every metal detector brand out there makes the cut.

I don’t just look over past products, pricing, and features. To give you the best list, I’m taking the averages of what is currently available by each brand.

Best Metal Detector Brands for Beginners

Since you’re asking about the top brands, let’s get into the specifics a bit.

What if you’re a beginner? Surely there are different options for you?

No, my friend. The best metal detector brands make quality equipment, no matter the experience level.

Best Metal Detector Brands for Beginners
The top 5 brands are the same brands best for a beginner detectorist. You just need to find a model that fits your needs and experience.

The best metal detector brands for beginners are the same 5 we’ve already discussed. These are Bounty Hunter, Fisher, Garrett, Nokta Makro, and Minelab.

The thing that sets these metal detector brands apart from the rest is that they offer a good balance of features and price.

You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a metal detector that will let you have years of fun. Or letting you down as you learn.

Most of their entry-level models are built to be useful even years down the road. When you’re expanding your hunts into new terrains, you’ll have a metal detector that will match your experience level.

What Is the Best Name Brand Metal Detector?

What Is the Best Name Brand Metal Detector
It’s a close call, but the Minelab Equinox 800 is the best brand name metal detector.

This is a tricky one.

There are so many features and needs that go into choosing a metal detector. However, if you and I were to take all the models from the top 5 brands.

Then weigh the values of features, price, and functionality.

The best name-brand metal detector is the Minelab Equinox 800. The Nokta Makro Simplex came up just short in second place.

The Equinox 800 is an all-purpose metal detector that does everything well. It’s great for finding coins, jewelry, and even gold nuggets.

It’s made by Minelab, the best brand out there. And there is no shortage of Diggers with this model. So it’s been tried and tested beyond the limits.

only downside is price
You won’t find much wrong with the Nox, but it may be a bit pricy for the beginner.

The only real downside is the price.

This is why the Simplex is more of a 1B to the Equinox.

Ask me tomorrow and I might say the Simplex is the best. That’s how much I respect and love this machine.

FAQ’s About Metal Detector Brands

Don’t go yet. There’s more to discover about your favorite brand of detector.

Or maybe, we’ve got an answer for a question you haven’t thought to ask.

Is Barska a Good Brand for Metal Detector?

Is Barska a Good Brand for Metal Detector
I guess you could say Barska is no worse or better than other brands that fit their makeup. And that’s a brand that isn’t focused on detectors.

Barska is not a metal detector brand.

They’re an optics company that dabbles in metal detectors. They make a few models but they’re not focused on the metal detecting market.

If you’re looking to get the kiddos started or interested in detecting, I suppose it’ll do in a pinch.

They’re cheap and lightweight. But the build isn’t as impressive as similar models by more well-known brands.

Overall, I would not recommend Barska if you’re looking for your first or only metal detector.

There are much better options out there.

What Is the Best Garrett Metal Detector?

What Is the Best Garrett Metal Detector
For an all-around good metal detector, the Garrett AT Pro is the best if it has to be a Garrett brand.

This is a difficult question to answer.

Garrett is such a popular metal detector brand that they have several models that are considered the best in their class.

The Garrett AT Pro is one of the best all-around metal detectors. It’s great for coins, jewelry, and even relics.

If you’re looking for a metal detector specifically for gold, the Garrett AT Gold is one of the best options.

It’s a bit more expensive but it’s worth it if you’re serious about finding gold.

pay more to find gold
The AT Gold is an excellent machine for finding gold. But if you’re willing to spend more, you can definitely upgrade your power.

Finally, if you’re on a budget, the Garrett ACE 400 is a great option. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive models.

But it’s a great metal detector for the price.

So, what is the best Garrett metal detector? It depends on what you’re looking for. But all of their models are great metal detectors.

What Brand Is the Best Gold Detector?

There are a few metal detector brands that make great gold detectors.

Minelab is one of the best with its GPZ 7000 metal detector. It’s a bit pricey but it’s the best gold detector on the market.

What Brand Is the Best Gold Detector
If you have the budget for it, the Minelab GPZ 7000 is a pros gold detector.

The GPZ 7000 can find small nuggets of gold that other metal detectors would miss.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Garrett AT Gold is a great choice.

It’s not as good as the GPZ 7000 but it’s still a great gold detector.

What Is Better Minelab or Garrett?

While you could argue for either brand, and it would be hard to outright prove you wrong, there is a definite answer.

Minelab is the better brand over Garrett.

Garrett has been around longer than Minelab, but with the innovation and performance you get with all the latest Minelab metal detector models, it’s hard to go against them.

Don’t believe me?

don't believe me
Don’t just take my word for it. Borrow a rival brand from a buddy. Come to your own conclusions.

Go look and compare some of their best metal detectors.

I think you’d agree that Minelab comes out on top.

The Minelab Vanquish series vs the Garrett ACE series. Both are solid entry-level metal detectors.

But Minelab wins.

The Minelab Equinox series vs the Garrett AT series. Can’t go wrong choosing either for a more experienced Digger.

Still, Minelab wins.

With Minelab’s offering of multi-frequency technology, you won’t be able to deny the sheer upgrade in power.


love the brand you use
No matter your feelings on the list, if you love your brand, that’s all that should matter. But be open to new experiences!

There you have it.

A metal detector brand guide that should help you make a decision on your next purchase.

Or, if you’re like me, help solidify the brand of metal detector you’ve already chosen.

Remember, when it comes to metal detecting, the brand does matter.

A top brand gives you the comfort of performance, reliability, and trust in the machine you are using.

That’s why these metal detector brands rank the best.

  1. Minelab
  2. Garrett
  3. Fisher
  4. Bounty Hunter
  5. Nokta Makro

I hope you don’t get me confused though. There are plenty of metal detectors out there that aren’t in the top 5 brands. And many of them hold up well against the best of the best.

This list isn’t the end all be all. You will find diamonds in the rough.

If you do go with a metal detector, not from these 5 brands, just do your research before making a selection. After these 5 reliable brands, you’re going to roll the dice in most cases.

Well Diggers, that’s it for me.

I hope you enjoyed the article.

Until next time!

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