When you think of treasure hunting, you think of finding gold. Many people are surprised to learn that the metal detector they’ve purchased is not suited for finding gold. This is because gold has some unique properties that not only make it valuable but also make it difficult for the average metal detector to pick up.
If you are looking at hunting for gold, then you need the best metal detector for gold. In this guide we are going to provide comprehensive gold detector reviews with the goal of helping you make a conscientious buying decision.
- Top 10 Best Gold Detector Reviews
- 1. Tesoro Vaquero Metal Detector
- 2. Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with Headphones
- 3. Fisher Gold Bug-2
- 4. Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
- 5. Fisher F75 Metal Detector
- 6. Minelab Gpx-4500 Gold Prospecting Metal Detector
- 7. White’s Goldmaster GMT Metal Detector
- 8. Minelab Eureka Gold Metal Detector
- 9. Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector
- 10. White’s TDI SL w/12 Metal Detector
- How to Find Gold with a Metal Detector?
- Types of Metal Detectors for Gold
- Best Places to Metal Detect for Gold
- We Also Recommend
- Making The Decision
Our Top Best Metal Detectors for Gold Comparison Chart
|Metal Detector Unit||Price Range||Review|
|Best Value||Our Review|
|Entry level||Our Review|
Top 10 Best Gold Detector Reviews
1. Tesoro Vaquero Metal Detector
- Great Depth Performance
- Speedy Recovery Time
- Easy to Operate
- No Outstanding Deficiencies
It is not an exaggeration to say that the Tesoro Vaquero is the best gold detector in this price range. It offers deep performance, and it is a very lightweight, coming in at just over two pounds.
The dials on the device are very simple. You will only spend a short amount of time tweaking them to adapt them to the location. Thanks to its fast recovery time targets that are just a few inches apart, it will provide separate signals.
- Lifetime warranty
- Made in the USA
- Ultralightweight Design
- VLF 14 kHz Frequency
- Turn External Ground Balance
This product is high-quality. At around $400, it has a simplistic appearance, lacking a lot of the bells and whistles that you would expect from a modern metal detector. However, it more than makes up for it with functionality, precision, and discrimination.
It is a solidly designed unit that can take on any kind of tough job. It is the best gold metal detector in this price range.
2. Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector with Headphones
- Completely Submersible
- Manual/Automatic Ground Balance
- Iron Audio
- Proportional Audio
- Two Year Warranty
- Single Frequency
- No Backlit Display
This is a completely submersible metal detector that is equipped with every single pro level feature you would want. It can be used on any terrain, and it can uncover targets ranging from a platinum necklace in the ocean to gold nuggets in a river.
The Garrett AT Gold metal detector is categorized as a mid-level detector. But it has a lot of features you would usually only find on a high-end machine without having the steep learning curve that more expensive machines have.
- Waterproof, All-Terrain Capabilities
- Iron Audio
- Coil Selection
- Single Frequency
This is one of the best metal detectors for gold combinations you’re going to find. At around $800, you are making quite an investment, but you are getting one of the best gold detectors as well as some of the best accessories needed to get the most out of your treasure hunt.
3. Fisher Gold Bug-2
- 71 KHz Operation Providing Extreme Sensitivity to Gold Nuggets
- Dust and Moisture Resistant
- Increases Audio Signal for Small and Deep Targets
- Knobs Are Cheaply Made
The Fisher Gold Bug-2 for many people is the answer to the question, what is the best way to find gold? It is specifically designed for gold nuggets, so it has extraordinary sensitivity and higher than average frequencies. In fact, at the time of writing it has the highest frequency on the market for a gold detector in this price range.
It is resistant to dust and moisture and is backed by a five year warranty.
- Five Year Warranty
- Uses Two Drop in 9 V Batteries
- Dual Knob Ground Control
- 10 Inch Search Coil
- Crystal Quartz Locked Electronics
Coming in at around $750, this is an accurate and easy to use metal detector. It’s going to find just about anything, including the smallest gold flakes if you put it on the correct settings. If you purchase the larger 14 inch coil, you’ll be able to find deeper targets and larger objects. The unit is a hefty investment, but it is worth it.
4. Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector
- Target Identification
- Iron Audio
- Easy to Use
- The Stock Headphones Are Not Good
- The Cuff Breaks Easily
This unit has a sleek black appearance with silver accents. It has a powerful double D coil and a large readout display. While it lacks an LED backlight, it is clear and easy to see during day hours.
The unit is easy to use and easy to learn. You will need some skill in order to get the best results, but it does not have as high of a learning curve as some of the other units we will review. An absolute beginner could use it after a few minutes of practice.
It performs well and can find even small amounts of silver and gold at deeper depths. It has good target separation, allowing you to differentiate between junk targets and what you are searching for.
- Target Identification
- Iron Audio
- Ground Balance
- Two year warranty
It’s clear to see why many people see this unit as the best way to find gold. It has multiple features and a mid price range of around $550. You will be surprised at the amount of gold and silver you will find with this unit.
It does not offer the best depth or the best saltwater detecting, but what it does it does very well.
5. Fisher F75 Metal Detector
- Stellar Depth Performance
- Easy to Use Menu Interface
- Fast Seeking
- Easy to Use Ground Balance Features
- Needs to Be Carefully Adjusted for Best Performance
- Can Be Negatively Affected by EMI or RFI
The Fisher F75 is a quality machine that offers up to 12 inches of depth performance. Something you’re going to notice as you use this product is its recovery speed. This helps guarantee that you do not overlook an important target.
This unit works well on difficult terrain thanks to the ground balance adjustments. Since the menu and interface is intuitive, it is easy for you to make the adjustments you need on the fly.
You will also enjoy the backlit LCD screen. It makes the display readable and makes the device usable at night.
- Double Filter Discrimination Modes
- 40 Hours Plus Battery Life
- Double D Waterproof Search Coil
- Large LCD Screen with Target Identification Display
- Two Year Warranty
This is a professional level device. When it was first released, it was sold for upward of $1,200. Now you can find it for somewhere around $600. It’s worth the money as it is one of the best gold metal detectors are going to find in this price range.
6. Minelab Gpx-4500 Gold Prospecting Metal Detector
- Detects Small Gold Nuggets
- Works in Areas with High EMI
- Has A Lot Of Features
- Intuitive Control System
- None that Are Outstanding
While this is not the best metal detector for gold, it definitely sits in the top 10. It has an advanced set of features that make it one of the more solid metal detectors in this review.
People love this device because it can find even the smallest pieces of gold. It’s super easy to use and very intuitive, allowing you to adjust settings as well as create presets easily.
- Seta Gold Nugget Hunting Technology
- Backlight Display
- Improved Discrimination
- Automatic Features and Preset Search Modes
This is a very expensive unit that is going to run you more than $2,600. Where this unit excels is helping you find gold in really hot or really mineralized areas. Its high mineral mode can be employed in hot areas to help you distinguish between valuable and less valuable minerals.
It has a high learning curve and may take some time to master. That being said, we feel it does not offer enough features to merit such a high price.
7. White’s Goldmaster GMT Metal Detector
- Uniquely Designed for Prospecting
- Ease-Of-Use for Beginners
- Lacks Ability to Pinpoint Objects
This unit is used in gold fields around the world. What makes it so great is that it is able to ignore the harsher climates you will find in areas that have gold bearing ground and directs you to gold nuggets as well as gold coins.
The unit operates at 48 kHz, which has been defined as the best frequency for finding gold. It’s 6 x 9 elliptical search coil is completely waterproof, and so you can use it in streams and in rivers.
- Auto Ground Balance
- Optional Auto
- Iron ID Bargraph
- Clearly Displays the Quantity of Magnetic Materials in the Area You Are Surveying
- Two Year Warranty
This unit is very easy to operate and has a reasonable price. It is a solid gold detector that is able to find even the smallest nuggets of gold in a harsh environment. It will take a little bit to get used to the controls, but the unit produces consistent results and is of good value for the money.
8. Minelab Eureka Gold Metal Detector
- A Good Universal Metal Detector
- Benefits from Multi-Frequency Technology
- A Good Automatic Ground Balance
- Can Be Challenging to Set up
- Does Not Find Gold As Easily As Competitors
When you look at gold detector reviews, most of them have favorable things to say about this unit. It’s a versatile and a multi-purpose metal detector. One thing that you’re going to like about the Minelab Eureka is that it has triple frequency technology, which provides improved sensitivity and allows you to prospect for different types of metals.
It has a stellar ground balancing feature that allows it to work well regardless of the ground conditions.
- VLF Technology Makes It Easy to Turn on the Unit and Go
- Variable Discrimination Controls Makes It Easy for You to Ignore Unwanted Iron
- Fast Microprocessor Takes the Guesswork Out Of Detecting
- Three Year Warranty
Coming in at just under $900, this unit has a middle-of-the-road price. It is extremely versatile and easy to use. It’s going to detect a lot of metals, but it is not as good at detecting gold as some of the other units we have reviewed. If you’re looking for something that’s going to find a wide variety of metals, this is perfect for you. But if you are specifically looking for gold, you might want to try different model.
9. Minelab GPZ 7000 Gold Nugget Metal Detector
- Easy to Use Straight Out Of the Box with Little Set up
- Extremely Sensitive to Small Amounts of Gold with Depth
- Steep Price Tag
- Very Heavy Unit
If you read gold metal detectors reviews by individuals who take detecting metal seriously, the Minelab GPZ 7000 will always be on the top of their list. This is a unit that was made for semi-professionals or professionals.
It allows you to detect small gold and larger gold nuggets that are deep in the ground. All you need to do is change the settings.
- Maximum Gold Sensitivity
- Precision Ground Balance
- Improved Noise Immunity
- Wireless Audio Freedom
- Three Year Warranty
This unit is priced at around $8,000. It is not for individuals who are looking to go out and prospect for gold one time. It is for individuals who are willing to learn how the vast array of settings work, dedicate time to prospecting, and really take it seriously. If this describes you, this is the right product for you.
10. White’s TDI SL w/12 Metal Detector
- Comfortable, Lightweight Design
- Ability to Find Gold in Difficult Ground Conditions
- Rechargeable Battery System
- Volume Control
- Pulsed Delay Control
- Waterproof Coil
- Steep Learning Curve
This device is designed to allow you to treasure hunt all day and not get tired. It provides unbeatable depth and sensitivity that is above and beyond what other units in this price range offer. It is lightweight at only 3.5 pounds and comes with a wide range of accessories.
Its rechargeable battery gives you up to six hours of life, and the backup AA battery will give you enough juice to keep you exploring all day. It has earned its place as the best metal detector for gold at this price point.
- Manual Ground Balance
- Three Year Warranty
- Uses Eight AA Batteries
- Six Hour Battery Life
- Standard 12 Inch Coil
At little over $1,100, this is a unit that gives you superb depth and sensitivity. It’s made for looking for gold. It is not a professional level gold detector, but it’s very close. If you’re looking for something that’s going to give you hours of enjoyment and provide results, this unit is of great value for you.
How to Find Gold with a Metal Detector?
- Coil control is key in proper gold detecting techniques.
Small items can only be found at a few inches or fractions of inches away. If you hover your coil too high off the ground, you’re going to miss gold nuggets. Remember, the detection field produced by your detector looks like an inverted cone that has the deepest detection at the center.
Maximum depth is only a small area seen by the detector. So it’s important to use overlapping sweeps when looking at a productive patch.
- You need to know your machine.
It is pointless to have the best gold metal detector and to have read the best gold metal detector reviews if you do not know how to operate your device. Ground balance your metal detector to the mineralization of the soil using the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
- Patience is important.
Even guys who have years of experience still dig up a lot of trash. It is just par for the course.
- Test your techniques.
Bring a test golden nugget with you, glue it to a large piece of plastic, and use it to tune your ear to the sound of gold so that you know what you should be looking for.
Once you find your first golden nugget, you’re going to be hooked for life.
Types of Metal Detectors for Gold
Over the past two years, the price of gold has reached numbers not seen in recent history. As a result, more and more people are interested in prospecting for gold and are looking to buy their first gold detector. A common question is, what is the best metal detector for finding gold?
There is no cut and dry answer to that question. The better question is, what is the best metal detector for gold for you?
As you have seen in our gold detector reviews, the best gold detector can range from $500 to thousands of dollars. Obviously, if you’re just looking at using it a couple times a year, a multi-thousand dollar unit is not what you need.
Another question to answer is, are you looking for gold coins or gold nuggets? There’s a difference. The best gold detector for gold coins is not going to be the best gold detector for gold nuggets.
There are two main types of gold detectors. The first is a very low frequency, or VLF, and the second type is a pulse induction, or PI. Each one has their advantages and disadvantages.
Understanding VLF Gold Detectors
VLF gold detectors operate at a high frequency and therefore are more sensitive to gold nuggets. They have a huge advantage over gold detectors that are simply for coins and relics.
The dream is to find large nuggets of one ounce or more. But the truth is that you’re likely going to find pieces of gold that are a lot smaller. A VLF detector with a small coil is your best bet for finding gold nuggets. The small coil is going to be sensitive to gold and is going to work great in highly mineralized ground.
The only downside with a small VLF coil is that you will have less soil penetration and will cover less ground.
Understanding Pulse Induction Detectors
Pulse induction detectors are relatively new technology. They’re not the best for finding small gold nuggets. In fact, they will pass right over smaller pieces of gold that a VLF coil could identify immediately.
Pulse induction detectors find it difficult to identify sponge gold, which is gold that is not as dense as a normal gold nugget. These units are heavier, expensive, and can be a challenge to swing.
Comparing PI and VLF
PI detectors, such as the White’s TDI gold detector, are great at finding large, deep buried nuggets.
VLF detectors, such as the Tesoro Vaquero Metal Detector, will find small nuggets and can sniff out nuggets in areas with a lot of trash.
Most prospectors will use both detectors with the goal of cleaning out an entire area.
Best Places to Metal Detect for Gold
Finding gold, like so many things in life, is about being at the right place at the right time. Identifying the right place to prospect for gold is just as important as determining what is the best gold detector.
A good rule of thumb is to think about those who traveled on the same land before you. If you visit an 18th-century war battlefield, you’re going to find things left behind by soldiers. If you visit a beach, you’re going to find things like coins, lost jewelry, etc.
Start at the Beginning
If you’re really serious about finding a good prospecting area, do a little research. Look at the history of the town. Were there annual celebrations held on a patch of land for many years and now the land is vacant? This may be a treasure trove for lost gold.
Is there a Depression era farm that is now abandoned? If you can get access to an abandoned homestead, these areas are great for metal detecting because during the Depression, people did not put their money in banks, but they hid it in the ground or hid it underneath the floorboards.
Pay Attention to Changes
Modern cities are constantly changing. There is constantly construction going on. The beauty of taking your metal detector out to a construction site is that ground that was once buried more than five feet is now the top layer. Sometimes this is the best place to find gold nuggets. You would be surprised at how many people have uncovered valuable gold coins and other gold pieces of art visiting construction sites.
Remember to always get permission before you visit an abandoned home or before you search a construction site. Don’t be afraid to try someplace new. You might be surprised at what you find.
We Also Recommend
Two items that might improve the quality of your treasure hunts include:
These headphones will work great with any Garrett metal detector. They have a coiled cord to prevent kinks. You have the ability to switch between mono and stereo sound as a standard feature. They have soft leather-like ear pads that make using this headphone set very comfortable. You’ll appreciate the fact that they have full-size ear cups. This blocks out any unwanted noise.
These headphones take away the frustration that comes from getting tied up between your metal detector and your headphones. They are wireless, so they allow you to bend over and dig a target without your headphone cords getting in the way of your digging. The digital audio processor allows your metal detector to transmit the clearest signal to your headphones. While these units are not waterproof, they are water resistant, and so you do not have to worry about getting them slightly damp.
Making The Decision
After looking at this guide full of gold detector reviews, you are likely eager to get out there and find some gold of your own.
What I have tried to do is give you a brief overview of some of the most popular gold detectors on the market. This guide will give you an unbiased look at the pros and cons of these units as well as some small factors to keep in mind.
You will have to decide for yourself what is the best metal detector for gold for you. Factors to consider will include the price of the unit, its weight, its power, as well as some of the features it offers.
Prospecting for gold with a metal detector is not only a fun hobby, but it provides exercise, and it can actually turn a profit for you.
There are some brick-and-mortar stores where you can buy your metal detector. However, I recommend that you buy online.
There are so many benefits to purchasing your metal detector from a place like Amazon.com.
First and foremost, you are able to read reviews from verified customers who are using the product you are looking at purchasing.
Second, you are able to learn about the product from the comfort of your home without having the pressure of a salesperson trying to get you to purchase a more expensive item that has features that you do not want or need.
Third, you get the item delivered to your door. What more could you want?
So it’s time to make a decision. Find the best metal detector for you and then purchase it.