Who says quality metal detectors have to be very expensive? If you’re starting a metal detecting hobby and you’re still unsure of the type of detector for your needs, consider buying cheap metal detectors. These metal detectors are just under $100 so these are very affordable even for someone new to the hobby. These cheap metal detectors come with basic features allowing you to start detecting metal or even buried coins and treasures in your backyard or at the beach.
What kind of metal detector is the best one for me?
Still unsure of what metal detector is best for you? Check out these three types of metal detectors available in the market today:
- All-purpose – land-based metal detectors – when you’re up for metal detecting on land or general coin hunting, relic hunting, or treasure hunting then all-purpose, land-based metal detectors are for you. These are the most affordable with tons of features, not just basic ones, and are very easy for beginners.
- Beach or underwater metal detectors – next in line are beach and underwater detectors These are the easiest to use underwater as the search coil and detector body are waterproof and therefore can stand many hours deep in water. The coil is also more stable and more powerful, capable of searching even in heavily mineralized soils. There are affordable beach or underwater metal detectors available for budget-conscious customers too.
- Gold prospecting metal detectors – the most sophisticated types of metal detectors are gold-prospecting metal detectors. These are heavy-duty, made for rugged use, and can withstand all weather and all kinds of climates. Gold-prospecting detectors are for professional use and in some places, you need a permit before you can use these devices.
How we selected these best metal detectors under $80 to $160
We have come up with five top metal detectors under $80 – $160. We selected these detectors through customer reviews from Amazon customers and worthwhile metal detector shopping sites. We rated these detectors according to the ease of use, accuracy, features, and of course, price. We hope you’ll find the best low-budget metal detector that’s right for your needs from our list.
Consumer Score: 95%, gave it a 4.4 out of 5
The affordable, good quality metal detector.
- With a rugged design ideal for extreme conditions
- With all-metal mode and discrimination modes
- Can detect larger objects even up to 3 feet away.
- With pre-set ground balance feature to work in heavily mineralized soils
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Is fully analog
- No LCD to check for status, you will rely on an analog meter.
- No volume controls
- No arm straps
The Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is a metal detector that’s ideal for finding treasure, especially in very littered and mineralized ground conditions. This is an analog metal detector with updated features like motion all-metal mode, disc mode, and two-tone audio mode; to help you to easily find targeted objects even to a depth of 3 feet.
This metal detector comes with a disc and notch control that will help you easily find targets and remove unwanted items nearby. Use the pre-set ground balance to neutralize the natural mineral content in the soil. This operates in 6.7 kHz frequency so you can easily use it for basic metal detecting, coin collecting, and artifacts finding.
It may be an all-analog metal detector but it’s easy to use even for a beginner user. It is easy to adjust with only a few controls too. The armrest is very comfortable while the handle is soft and comfortable. This is a good value cheap metal detector.
Consumer Score: 90%, gave it a 4.3 out of 5
A cheap metal detector with a large, easy to read LCD.
- Easy to adjust, very accurate
- With a large LCD display to easily check the frequency and modes. With backlight
- You can use this for deeper detection
- With complete accessories, great for beginners
- With notch and sensitivity controls and volume control
- With arm strap
- Non-adjustable length
The sakobs metal detector is very accurate and waterproof. It is a large search coil at 10 inches and the bigger the coil, the more sensitive it is. Because it’s waterproof, you can use this underwater, ideal for outdoor use like the beach, a shallow stream, and your backyard.
You can use 3 strong modes with discrimination modes. The disc mode discriminates your target metal from other metals. Meanwhile, the notch mode will select the material that needs to be eliminated or notched.
The LCD will easily show you the depth, discrimination levels, target levels, and the different types of metals that the metal detector has detected. The difference between this Sakobs metal detector is that it has an adjustable stem from 41.3 inches to 47.6 inches. This makes it easier for adults and kids to use. The armrest is convenient and comfortable and with the arm strap, you can wear this safely no matter where you use it, especially in strong winds, rain, and tide.
Your purchase of a Sakobs metal detector comes with a free shovel with a convenient serrated edge. This shovel is perfect for digging safely around your target even in not-so-soft soil or ground. Also, this metal detector comes with a convenient bag so you can carry your detector anywhere you want to go safely and securely.
Consumer Score: 96%, gave it 4.6 out of 5
The OMMO Metal Detector is a high accuracy adjustable waterproof metal detector that can be used for treasure hunting and gold detecting. The 10-inch search coil can be adjusted from 30 inches to 41-inch in height and comes with a pinpointer option for pinpointing the exact location of any metals found.
The OMMO metal detector kit includes three modes: All Metal Mode, Pinpoint Mode, and Disc Mode. The All Metal Mode is great for detecting large items such as coins or jewelry while the Disc Mode is perfect for finding small objects like rings or earrings. The Pinpoint Mode can be used to determine the exact location of objects with pinpoint accuracy so you don’t have to waste time digging through sand or dirt looking for what you’ve already found!
Consumer Score: 90%, gave it a 4.2 out of 5
A very accurate and adjustable waterproof metal detector.
- Very accurate and completely adjustable
- With large LCD display to easily check on settings and modes. LCD with convenient backlight.
- The large, waterproof coil
- With 7 categories and audio prompts
- With carrying case and mini shovel
- With comfortable, ergonomic arm area with safety strap
- With a non-adjustable length
- Does not come with a free headphone
The Dr. Otek is very accurate and adjustable with a large LCD display with a convenient light so you can easily check on your target even in nighttime or low light conditions. This is an all-around detector that has a convenient 10-inch waterproof coil so you can easily check on your target even to a very deep depth.
This detector has 7 target categories from 2″ to 8″ to easily reach your target. This is very sensitive and you can adjust its sensitivity to the T with just a touch of a button. This Dr. Otek Metal Detector also comes with a convenient armrest with a strap so this will stay put even when you use it in water. It also has a comfortable handle, easy to grip, and won’t let you strain your hands and arms even when you use it for a longer period.
Consumer Score: 92%, gave it a 4.2 out of 5
Upgraded metal detector with analog controls and meter.
- With discrimination functions
- With pinpoint functions to find your target easily
- With pointer indicator equipped with an LED
- The search coil is IP68 waterproof rated
- Comes with a free shovel and 9V battery
- With low battery indicator, pinpointer and volume controls
- Sensitivity may be adjusted.
- All analog controls and meter
- Does not come with a free headphone
The Rumia Professional metal detector is a metal detector with analog but easy to use controls. It has special features like pinpoint detection, LED lighting, sensitivity and volume controls plus volume controls for the earphones. It comes with a waterproof IP68 search coil with an adjustable stem ideal for adult and kids use. The armrest is padded and ergonomic with a safety strap so it will remain on your hands even when you’re in a busy, windy environment.
You can connect a headphone with this metal detector and use the controls to adjust the volume. With a headphone, you can listen to cues and check on the meter with ease. Another great thing about this headphone is that it comes as a set. You don’t have to spend money buying a shovel or battery as these already come with your purchase. As a set, you can save money and get good value out of your purchase.
Dnyker Metal Detector
Consumer Score: 88%, 3.9 out of 5
An adjustable, waterproof gold metal detector with improved sensitivity.
- Highly accurate
- Easily adjustable and waterproof
- The LCD is large with a backlight
- With pinpoint function and audio prompts available
- Ergonomic design
- Ideal for beginner users.
- Comes with a shovel and easy to carry bag
- With depth, volume, pinpoint, and sensitivity controls
- Does not come with a headphone
- Very small LCD fonts and symbols
The Dynker Metal Detector is very accurate with an adjustable and waterproof LCD. It is a waterproof, land, and gold detector that comes with a large and sensitive search coil. The LCD control box is efficient and can provide all the necessary information including depth, operating mode, discrimination, sensitivity levels, and your equipment’s battery levels. The LCD has a white and brighter backlight that makes it easier to see the details on the screen.
This is a gold detector with pinpointing features so you can easily zero in on your target no matter how deep or how far it is. It also comes with adjustable sensitivity levels so you can pinpoint your target better.
Finally, it is completely adjustable with an ergonomic handle (it is well-padded) and an armrest strap to keep this device close to you at all times. You are purchasing a set with a convenient shovel and carrying case.
Can cheap metal detectors detect gold?
Here are the most frequently asked questions about cheap metal detectors.
Yes, these can detect gold as well as other precious metals. Some users have reported using a cheap $100 metal detector on a treasure that’s millions of dollars in value!
Can you use any type of metal detector to detect any metal?
Metal detectors can be used to detect different types of metal like gold, silver, aluminum, iron, titanium, and platinum but it cannot detect stainless steel. This is because this metal is not conductive or does not have conductive properties. Therefore, it cannot be detected by the metal detector search coils.
What is the hardest to detect metal?
According to experts, it is very hard to detect stainless steel because of the nature of the metal. This metal does not have any conducting properties and therefore won’t be detected even by cheap and very expensive metal detectors.
What does it mean when you have a pinpoint feature?
A pinpoint feature will help you search for your target easily. You can zero in on the metal like a coin or a piece of metal jewelry and will never lose it as long as your pinpoint feature is activated.
Can you change the coils of a cheap metal detector?
Some cheap metal detectors come with detachable, replaceable search coils while some don’t. It would be better if you rely on a metal detector with a replaceable coil rather than a fixed one so you can replace it anytime you need to. Usually, a search coil may need replacement if it becomes scratched, dented, or chipped. A replacement coil is affordable and should match the metal detector you have.
The Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV is our best metal detector that’s under $100. You may have noticed that it is all-analog but it is well-known for finding treasure even in very littered and mineralized ground conditions. It is analog but has upgraded features like motion all-metal mode, disc mode, and two-tone audio mode to search for your target at a depth of 3 feet.
This metal detector comes also has a disc and notch control that will help you find targets and remove unwanted items near it. It also has a pre-set ground balance to neutralize the natural mineral content in the soil. This metal detector is for a beginner and also for seasoned users. This is a good value cheap metal detector that we recommend and you should consider if you’re looking for affordable metal detecting equipment.