Best Metal Detector Review (Under $250)

We spent 30 hours of hands-on testing over an entire month with metal detectors to determine that the Garrett – Ace 250 is the best metal detector.

We recommend it for its reliability, comfortable ergonomics, high quality LCD screen, and wide variety of modes.

Here’s a list of the top three best metal detectors:

#1 Garrett – Ace 250

#2 Bounty Hunter – Tracker IV

#3 Bounty Hunter – Gold Digger

So, how did we test?

First and foremost, we scattered coins, jewelry and other metallic relics in the sand to see how well each detector could find them.

Then, we recorded how well each detector could separate treasure from trash using soda tabs.

We tested their ability to test depth – burying items four to six inches in the ground.

Finally, we tested how well each detector found underwater items.

#1 Garrett - Ace 250

Scoring at the top of our charts in all of our tests, the Garrett – Ace 250 was an easy choice for best metal detector.

Though it is the most expensive unit that we tested, it easily found all of the items we buried both at a max depth of six inches as well as underwater.

Because we spent a lot of time walking around with the Garrett, we cannot overstate how wonderful its ergonomics were.

Unlike some of the other machines we tested, the Garrett’s sturdy build, foam padding and velcro strap made it a breeze to use.

Plus, it has a features-packed LCD screen with components that stood out from other detectors.

For example, it has a feature that tells you how far in the ground each item is buried.

Another reason we loved the Garrett?

It was the best at finding gold in our tests.

If you plan to use a detector for more than the occasional coin shooting this may be the detector for you.

The only tiny flaw we found with the Garrett?

#1 Garrett - Ace 250

It missed one item during our discrimination tests.

#2 Bounty Hunter - Tracker IV

The Bounty Hunter – Tracker IV was a worthy competitor for our top pick.

It actually tied with the Garrett in our general detection and depth tests, meaning it will reliably find gold and silver at all depths we tested at four to six inches.

And while it doesn’t compete with the Garrett when it comes to ergonomics, the Bounty Hunter is about 50% cheaper.

Also unlike the Garrett, the Bounty Hunter doesn’t have an LCD screen, which can make detecting in an underwater or trash-filled area more challenging.

#2 Bounty Hunter - Tracker IV

That being said, it still has four detection modes that are suitable for finding a lot of treasure.

Product information

Style:Metal Detector

Product Dimensions28.25 x 10 x 6.25 inches
Item Weight3.7 pounds
ManufacturerBounty Hunter
Item model number3410001
Batteries2 9V batteries required.
Customer Reviews4.4 out of 5 stars    4,035 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#931 in Patio, Lawn & Garden (See Top 100 in Patio, Lawn & Garden)
#2 in Metal Detector Parts & Accessories
#2 in Metal Detectors
Is Discontinued By ManufacturerNo
#3 Bounty Hunter - Gold Digger

At about $50, the Bounty Hunter – Gold Digger is the best bang for your buck and the second cheapest model out of all the detectors we tested.

It can reliably find most treasure, and it has power level, trash eliminator and sensitivity meter features that work very well together.

Despite its low cost, it is also the only detector we tested to come with headphones.

Of course, the Gold Digger didn’t perform as highly in our tests as some of the more expensive models: it received an overall third-place score in our tests.

It was slightly less adept at finding silver than our first and second place detectors.

#3 Bounty Hunter - Gold Digger keytakes

But, for the occasional treasure hunter who doesn’t want to overspend this is a logical investment.

Product information

Style:Metal Detector

Product Dimensions6 x 9 x 20.5 inches
Item Weight3 pounds
DepartmentPatio, Lawn & Garden
ManufacturerBounty Hunter
Domestic ShippingCurrently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International ShippingThis item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
Item model numberGOLD
Customer Reviews4.3 out of 5 stars    2,593 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank#14,049 in Patio, Lawn & Garden (See Top 100 in Patio, Lawn & Garden)
#24 in Metal Detectors
Is Discontinued By ManufacturerNo

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