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How to Find a Cheap Metal Detector: Buying Guide And comparison Chart


You’ve probably read a lot of articles saying that a certain metal detector brand is the one and only brand you’ll need, or that it will instantly turn you into a metal detecting veteran.

And you know what? Since every website you come across has “rave” reviews about this brand claiming it is the best.

Why should you trust them?

Because they’ve never even purchased the product and base their reviews on product descriptions?

Or should you try to change your approach when deciding?

When I started metal detecting, I had a small budget, so I was not able to buy a metal detector with all the bells and whistles. However, I knew I wanted a detector that had enough features to get me started.

After wasting money reading metal detecting reviews, I began to understand that a detector could work well for one person, but be a terrible match for me. Instead of buying a detector based on a review, I started to compare detectors based on features to see which one fits my metal detecting style and my budget.

Check one of the best metal detectors on Amazon

After researching and reading a lot of reviews, I was able to narrow down my choices to 3 underpriced metal detectors that offer true quality.

Top 3 Metal Detectors Comparison

If you want to make the best decision possible, then you’ll have to take a look at each detector’s pros and cons. Trust me, perfection comes in many different sizes, but I can tell you from experience that these 3 metal detectors gets pretty close.

So, I made it super easy for you to compare their technical specifications of each detector, as well as their amazon rating. For a more detailed commentary based on firsthand experience, read our reviews.

Detector NameAmazon RatingKey FeatureOur Review
Garrett Ace 250 (4 / 5)Electric Pin-Point FeatureRead Our Review
Fisher F2 (3.7 / 5)4 Tone Audio IDRead Our Review
Bounty Hunter TK4 (4.4 / 5)Preset Ground BalanceRead Our Review

Top 3 Metal Detectors Reviews

Here are our short reviews on the top 3 metal detectors:



Garrett ACE 250

This was the first metal detector I purchased and I’m going to personally recommend this to a rookie or a veteran treasure hunter. To be honest, it’s a bit higher on the price scale and if you don’t want to spend about $200, you can check out our other detector reviews.

This detector has about the same amount of features like higher priced detectors in the market:

  • 10 inch Scanning Area for a wider detecting range.
  • Great and easy to understand user manual.
  • Easy to use pinpoint feature that helps locate the find.
  • Huge screen that shows you what type of metal you found.

The price is very justifiable because this metal detector has a lot of features that simplify the metal detecting experience. The large scanning area picks up even the smallest trace of metal and with the electronic pinpoint feature, the Garrett ACE 250 tells you exactly where the metal is located.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Garrett ACE 250 metal detector was the fact that it used AA batteries. That meant that I had to shorten my metal detecting sessions or carry extra batteries if I planned on hunting for hours. I really wished the detector was set up out of the box, so I was disappointed when I had to read the manual. (The time spent learning definitely did save me time in the future)

Check out the Garrett Ace 250 at

Fisher F2

Fisher F2

Fisher F2

The second detector I did a lot of research on and recommend if you have a budget of $325 is the Fisher F2 detector. It is another entry level detector that has some features the Garrett 250 has. I was going to buy this one, but I wanted my detector to last, so I invested a couple extra dollars and picked up the Garrett ACE 250.

  • This is a good entry level detector.
  • It has a screen that tells you whether the thing you found is trash or treasure.
  • Each metal has its own different tone, so you know the type of metal you found right off the bat.
  • It’s waterproof, so if you want to hunt in the water, this is a MUST HAVE.

I’ve heard tons of horror stories of people ruining their detectors in the water. So if you plan on water detecting, then you should get this detector. One feature I most about this detector is the sound it makes when it finds certain types of metal. It makes it easier to sift through the good from the bad, and you can really fine tune your searches.

I’m even sure that you can search for gold with this. You would just have to ignore the other tones and dig up when you find gold. The price is really good for the amount of features it has. If you’re on the fence between this and another metal detector in this price range, definitely go with this. You could practice different types of hunting without spending a lot of money.

Check out the Fisher F2 Detector at

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

This is one of the cheapest metal detector I checked out. If you want something that works really well for $100 or less, then this is the right detector for you. It has some great starter features and the learning curve isn’t that large. As a matter of fact, I’m sure you can find a couple things in your backyard with a couple minutes of reading the detector manual.

It comes with a:

  • Strong frame, so it’s great for any ground condition.
  • It has a discrimination feature that tells you if a find is trash or something worthwhile (You’ll hear a different tone for each)
  • The control panel differentiates between metals as well, so if you missed the beep, you can always find out.

You can lower the sensitivity of the detector on the control panel. I’m not sure how well this works since I’ve never tried this detector out, but feel free to check out the reviews on The detector is really easy to use and setup is a breeze.

It’s not as powerful as the Garrett or the Fisher, but for a starter detector for a rookie/junior, this is a great investment. Although, I would recommend to either get the Fisher/Garrett because if you buy this detector, you’ll have to upgrade it when you start getting serious. One great plus about this detector is that the coil and the stem is waterproof, so you can use it in shallow water. Just make sure you don’t rest it down because you will destroy it.

Check out the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker at

How to Find The Cheapest Metal Detector

Cheap isn’t always the best choice, so don’t expect to get really good detector for less than $50. On that note, I recommended these top 3 metal detectors because they offer the best value for the money.

Scratch that.

I’m actually recommending underpriced metal detectors because they offer top notch features for a low price. Definitely read my reviews before you go ahead and purchase one. It will save you a lot of time in the future.

Now if you’re stubborn and still want to choose your own detector, get ready for a challenge. And because I’m such a nice guy, I thought I’d teach you how to make a good decision.

Like I said earlier, don’t look for the cheapest. Any brand that offers a detector lower than $50 is robbing you. It’s not going to last and you’ll probably have a hard time hunting for treasure. Instead, you’ll want to calculate the value of the detector using these:

  • Features
  • Durability
  • Warranty
  • And Real Life User Reviews

When choosing your metal detector, you want to make sure it can do what you want to do. You don’t want to purchase a detector for water hunting and then break it because you forgot to see if it was waterproof. So make sure you check out the product features first. If a detector has a lot of features and has a low price, then you can continue to the other step.

Checking for durability is hard because you haven’t purchased the detector yet. So this is where you’re going to use the real life user reviews to your advantage.

Most of the time, people report every pros and cons in their reviews, so you’re going to use their plunders to your advantage. In short, you’re going to learn from their mistakes. All you have to do is read the reviews and keep track of all the problems people report. You can check out the Durability and the user review step now.

If everything checks out well, you’ll need to see what type of warranty you’ll get from purchasing the metal detector. Usually, you’ll see this on the shopping page, but if you don’t, you’ll have a good chance of finding warranty information from the brand’s company website.


Personally, I think the Garrett ACE 250 is the best of both world in terms of price and amount of features it has. It’s a great detector with a lot of rave reviews (including myself) If you have a smaller budget, then you should definitely check out the other two detectors I mentioned.