The 21 Best Metal Detectors for Your Kid’s Fun New Hobby
Metal detecting is a fun and rewarding hobby for kids, teens, and adults alike. Many manufacturers make specific models of metal detectors aimed at kids and teens. Others make entry level metal detectors that are perfect for kids and teens, and even adults who are entering the wonderful world of metal detectors.
Below we will discuss my 21 top picks for metal detectors for kids, ending with the best metal detector for kids.
And before we get started, feel free to use the table below to view some of the more popular metal detectors on the market, and see how well they compare to the detectors we’ll talk in-depth about in this article:
|Garrett AT Max||$$$||Waterproof to 10 feet|
|Fisher F22||$$||9″ Triangulated Concentric Coil|
|Garrett Ace 400||$$$||8.5 x 11" DD coil|
|Minelab Vanquish 540||$||Search Modes: Coin, Relic, Jewelry, Custom, All Metal|
Selecting a Metal Detector for Kids or Teens
Before purchasing a metal detector for your kids, there are some things you need to decide so you can get them the best detector for their age and skill level. Some metal detectors are too heavy for a younger child to handle, so they would need a lighter weight model.
You need to tailor your metal detector purchase on the types of metals you will be searching for, the areas you will be searching in, and again, the age and skill of your child. Some models feature an LCD screen with all the pertinent information right on it. But this can be too advanced for some younger children.
There are also models that simply make sounds when a metal target is detected. These detectors will often have a gauge on them to show the potential metal found. Sometimes these are the best detectors to start kids off on.
Another thing to consider is the price point of a metal detector. Do you want to spend a whole lot of money on a detector for a young child? Or do you want them to test a less expensive detector to see if the hobby catches their attention. Many children’s models and entry level models are reasonably priced, so if your child decides they do not like metal detecting after all, or they damage or break the machine, you will not be out a whole lot of money.
Now, on to the list of the 21 best metal detectors for kids and teens.
Bounty Hunter Junior Metal Detector
Perfect for kids of all ages
Easy to use, lightweight model that is perfect for younger kids
The Bounty Hunter Junior is a great children’s metal detector. This detector was made specifically with children in mind but is much more than a toy. This is a single frequency VLF (very low frequency) metal detector operating at 6.6 kHz. This detector is perfect for finding coins, relics, silver, and other highly conductive metals. This is a lightweight model at just 1.1 pounds, so it is perfect for younger children.
The Bounty Hunter Junior features discrimination control to eliminate and tune out unwanted metals and junk targets. The detector is adjustable so it can be used by children of all sizes. It comes with a 6.5” search coil and the screen features a target indicator gauge so kids can learn which numbers on the gauge correspond to which types of metal. The controls are 2 knobs making it simple to children to operate. This model is not waterproof so be cautious when around water.
- Check out my Bounty Hunter Junior review!
National Geographic Junior
Perfect for young kids
Lightweight and minimalist design so it will not overwhelm little detectorists
The National Geographic Junior metal detector is super lightweight at 1 pound, so it is simple for young kids to use. The detector is extremely user friendly and is sometimes seen as more of a toy than an actual metal detector. It does not have any type of interface to tell kids what they have found but is simple to use.
It will pick up all types of metal but has no discrimination. This detector can find coins up to 6” deep and larger items can be found up to 12” deep.
Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D.
Perfect for young children under 10
Lightweight with plenty of features to get kids excited to detect
The Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D. is a great metal detector specifically tailored for kids. This detector is lightweight, at just 1.1 pounds, so it is perfect for even the youngest detectorist. It features easy operation with just 2 buttons so kids can master the detector quickly. The detector has an LCD screen with fun images showing kids fun emoji-like faces when they find a target.
There is a frowning face for poor targets, a questioning face for potential targets, and a smiley face for good targets. It also features a depth gauge and battery indicator. The T.I.D. features 3 target identification categories: iron, rings, and coins. It is ergonomic for even the smallest children and has good volume identification. It operates at a 6.6 kHz frequency and has 3-tone target identification. It also has a wing stand to protect it when your child puts it down quickly to dig a target.
The T.I.D. also features discrimination to kids can learn to filter out junk or unwanted targets. One thing to keep in mind with this detector is it is tailored to smaller children, so an older child will outgrow it quickly.
Best for tweens and teens
Has more advanced features than models specifically for children
The Teknetics EuroTek is the perfect detector for older kids and teenagers. This detector features a large LCD screen with numerical target ID, ferrous target ID, nonferrous target ID, 3-segment depth indicator, and 2-tone audio ID. It features discrimination mode, has adjustable sensitivity, and a large target overload warning.
The EuroTek was designed to handle tough soil conditions and is an all-purpose metal detector. This detector works well in iron-infested sites and the search coil can be swapped out with other coils for the perfect detector for your search area. The standard search coil is an 8” concentric waterproof coil, so it can be used in shallow waters (the control box is not waterproof, so care should always be taken near water sources).
The EuroTek operates at a frequency of 7.81, so it will be best for finding coins, relics, silver, and iron targets. It weighs 2.4 pounds, so small children will likely struggle with this detector. Because of the more advanced features on this detector, it is recommended for tweens, teens, and beginning adults.
Best for tweens, teens, and beginning adults
Recommended for coin shooting, jewelry hunting, and relic hunting
The Fisher F11 metal detector is great for tweens and teens. It is also a great entry level metal detector for adults. This detector features 3 operating modes: jewelry, coin, and artifact, and operates at 7.69 kHz. It is lightweight at just 2.3 pounds, so an older child or teenager will have no trouble swinging this machine.
Target identification is achieved with a 9-segment number system, where the numbers correspond to different metal types. It features a 4-tone audio identification and has 6 adjustable levels of sensitivity. The middle of the LCD screen has a depth gauge, so teens will know approximately how deep their target is.
The F11 comes standard with a 7” concentric elliptical waterproof search coil. Be aware, however, that the control box is not waterproof or weatherproof, so care needs to be taken around water or in inclement weather.
- Check out my Fisher F11 review here!
Bounty Hunter VLF Detector
Best for teenagers
Has plenty of features to keep teens interested in metal detecting
The Bounty Hunter VLF metal detector is almost fully automatic. This detector can adjust itself as necessary to different soil types. The VLF operates on frequencies from 3 to 30 kHz, so this detector will be great for finding everything from silver to gold. Lower frequencies are best for finding highly conductive metals like silver while higher frequencies are best for finding lower conductive metals like gold.
The VLF features 2 search modes: discrimination and all metal. It features trash elimination to help filter out undesirable targets and trash. It comes with automatic tuning and automatic ground balancing. The VLF features power and sensitivity controls and a 2-tone audio discrimination.
The VLF comes with a 7” D-Tech search coil. It does not have an LCD screen but does have a gauge on the front showing the sensitivity. This model is slightly heavier than others on this list at 3.7 pounds, so it is recommended more for teens and beginner adults.
Best for tweens and teens
Has a lot of features to get kids finding treasure
The Fisher F22 is a great beginning metal detector for older kids and teens. This detector features a large LCD screen with numerical target identification, 9-segment visual ID, Fe-Tone (adjustable iron audio), iron identifier icon, and 4 operating modes: jewelry, coin, artifact, and custom. The F22 features 10 adjustable sensitivity levels, 20 adjustable volume settings, and 4-tone audio ID.
It comes standard with a 9” concentric elliptical waterproof search coil. The control box is not weatherproof but not waterproof, so care should be taken near water. It operates on a frequency of 7.69 kHz, so it will be great for highly conductive metals. This model weighs 2.3 pounds, so it will be perfect for tweens and teens.
- Please check out my review of the Fisher F22 right here.
Garrett Ace 200
Great for older kids and teens
Tailored to find jewelry and coins; simple to use
The Garrett Ace 200 is a fantastic beginner model metal detector. It has sharp, responsive audio, 4 sensitivity and depth adjustments, and 3 audio adjustments. It can be taken down into 3 pieces for easy transport and storage. Operating the Ace 200 is simple. This detector can be turned on and used immediately.
There is no iron audio, but the Ace 200 has 1 iron discrimination segment, fixed notch, and 3 search modes: jewelry, coin, and zero discrimination. The LCD screen features numerical target ID, digital target ID, and depth indicator. The Ace 200 is lightweight at 2.75 pounds but may be too heavy for younger children.
There is no pinpoint mode on this model. It operates at 6.5 kHz and comes with a 6.5” by 9” concentric PROformance search coil.
Minelab Go Find 22
Perfect for kids and teenagers
Features automatic ground balancing to cancel ground noise and find more targets
The Minelab Go Find 22 is perfect for kids and teens. It is simple to use and folds nicely for easy portability and storage. This detector weighs just over 2 pounds, so kids and teens alike will love this machine. The Go Find 22 features preset find modes: nail, foil, ring, and coin, and icons on the screen tell you what you have found.
It features Easy-Trak which automatically reduces ground noise and maximizes target signals. This single frequency metal detector operates at 7.8 kHz and has adjustable discrimination, automatic ground tracking ground balance, and a good-sized LCD screen. Volume is adjustable and it can be used with wired headphones.
Bounty Hunter Gold Digger
Best for older kids and teenagers
Features trash elimination controls to filter out unwanted targets
The Bounty Hunter Gold Digger is an entry level metal detector designed for gold prospecting, relic hunting, coin shooting, and general treasure hunting. This is a single frequency metal detector operating at 6.7 kHz. This means this detector will struggle to find small gold nuggets and fine gold jewelry but will find larger nuggets easily.
The Gold Digger features automatic tracking ground balancing to adjust itself to compensate for soil conditions. It has 2 search modes: discrimination and all metal and is lightweight at just 2.6 pounds. The Gold Digger features trash eliminator controls which removes most undesirable metals from detection. It comes standard with an 8” search coil. This simple to use metal detector just needs to be unfolded and turned on and it is ready to search!
- Check out my Bounty Hunter Gold Digger review here!
Great for older kids and teenagers
Has excellent unmasking and target separation abilities
The Teknetics Minuteman metal detector is a simple to use, ergonomic machine. It features a large LCD screen with numerical target ID, 5 bar depth meter, battery indicator, and iron finder. The Minuteman features adjustable discrimination, adjustable sensitivity, adjustable iron audio, and adjustable volume.
It has a 3-tone audio identification and comes with a pinpoint mode to better home in on a target location. The Minuteman is great at unmasking and separating targets in trashy environments. It comes standard with an 8” concentric search coil and is lightweight at just 2.4 pounds.
Perfect for older kids and teenagers
Can find coins up to 8” deep and large targets up to 2’ deep
The Teknetics Digitek is a lightweight metal detector (2.3 pounds) and is great for hunting in areas with a lot of trash. This detector features discrimination mode to eliminate all trash and junk metals so more desired targets can be found. This is a single frequency metal detector operating at 7.69 kHz and is perfect for kids and teens. The Digitek is designed to hunt relics and for coin shooting.
It comes with a 7” waterproof concentric search coil but the control box is not waterproof. This model has a large LCD screen with numerical target ID, depth readout, sensitivity, volume, discrimination, and notch. It also has a graphical target ID along the top showing the potential metal found. It has been known to find a coin up to 8” deep and large objects up to 2’ deep!
Garrett Ace 300
Perfect for teenagers
Features adjustable frequency to compensate for interference
The Garrett Ace 300 is a slightly more advanced model from the Ace 200 and would be perfect for teenagers. It features a large LCD screen with numerical target ID, pinpoint mode, enhanced iron check, and graphic target analyzing. This model does not feature iron audio but does have 4 iron discrimination segments and adjustable notch.
It features 5 search modes, 8 sensitivity and depth adjustments, and 3-tone audio ID. It operates at 8 kHz, and this is adjustable. This means in areas with electromagnetic interference, high soil mineralization, black sand, hot rocks, or saltwater, the detector can slightly adjust its search frequency to compensate.
The Ace 300 weight 2.8 pounds, so it would be best for a teenager to handle. It comes standard with a 7” by 10” concentric PROformance search coil and can be used with headphones.
Teknetics Alpha 2000
Perfect for older children and teenagers
Features preset ground adjustments to make detection easier
The Teknetics Alpha 2000 is a great entry level metal detector for older children teens. This detector features a large LCD screen with sensitivity meter, discrimination meter, and depth readout. It also shows the most likely metal along the bottom of the screen. The Alpha 2000 include preset ground adjust for average conditions so it is best used on dry beaches, grassy areas, and parks.
The detector is lightweight at just 2.5 pounds and features audio ID. It has 2 operating modes: all metal and discriminate. This detector operates at 7.8 kHz and comes with an 8” round concentric waterproof search coil. The control box is not fully waterproof, however.
Minelab Go Find 44
Great for older kids and teens
Can be used with wireless headphones
The Minelab Go Find 44 is perfect for beach hunting, coin shooting, and relic hunting. This detector is very lightweight at just 2.3 pounds, so kids and teens will be able to handle this detector. It features 4 sensitivity levels and 5 discrimination find icons: nail, foil, ring, coin, and 5 treasure view.
This model also features Easy-Trak to reduce ground noise and strengthen target signals. This detector operates at 7.8 kHz and has adjustable volume and pinpoint mode. The LCD screen is backlit, and it is Bluetooth compatible for use with wireless headphones. The Go Find 44 comes with a 10” waterproof search coil, but the control box is not fully waterproof.
Nokta Makro Mini Hoard
Perfect for kids
Features a large LCD screen with fun faces and interactive icons to keep kids’ attention
The Nokta Makro Mini Hoard is one of my favorite metal detectors for kids. This is the world’s first waterproof kids’ detector series. The Mini Hoard features a large LCD screen with fun emoji-like icons showing good or bad targets. The screen also shows 2-tone discrimination, battery indicator, a lift coil icon (for if the read is inaccurate or the child has the coil too close to the ground), depth indicator, pinpoint button, LED indicator, and discrimination button.
This detector operates at 15 kHz and features an automatic shut off and alarm. This detector is lightweight at just 1.7 pounds, so it is perfect for kids to use! This detector is fully waterproof up to 3 feet so kiddos can get out there in shallow water and puddles to find more treasure.
Minelab Vanquish 340
Great for teenagers
Features multi-IQ technology to find more treasures
The Minelab Vanquish 340 is one of my favorite metal detectors for teenagers and entry level adults. This is the lowest priced in the new Vanquish series of detectors. The Vanquish 340 features Minelab’s Multi-IQ technology which allows the metal detector to operate on multiple frequencies simultaneously. It operates at frequencies from 5 to 40 kHz, so this detector is amazing at finding all metal types, from silver to gold.
There are not a whole lot of detectors on the market that feature this technology, and certainly none within this price point. The Vanquish 340 features an LCD screen with numerical target ID, visual target ID, and 5 segment discrimination. Ground balancing is fixed and the Vanquish 340 is built for all terrains and all treasure types.
This model weighs 2.6 pounds, so it will be perfect for teenagers. It comes with Minelab’s V10 10” by 7” Double-D waterproof search coil but can interchange with other Minelab search coils. The detector itself is not waterproof, so care should be taken around water.
- Check out my Minelab Vanquish 340 review here!
Bounty Hunter Tracker IV (TK4)
Great for kids and teens
Simple to use, straightforward design
The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is a fantastic entry level metal detector. It features an analog meter display, target strength meter, 2-tone audio, and 3 search modes. This detector is designed for coin shooting, jewelry hunting, relic hunting, and shallow water hunting. This detector comes with an 8” waterproof search coil and weighs 2.8 pounds (it may be too heavy for smaller kids).
The Tracker IV operates at 6.8 kHz and can find coins between 6” and 7” deep in good soil conditions. Ground balancing is preset so it may struggle in areas with high soil mineralization and saltwater. It is recommended to use this detector in shallow fresh water, as salt water is conductive and can interfere with the detector’s operation.
- Check out my review of the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV
Minelab X-Terra 305
Great for teenagers
Can use different search coils for different frequencies
The Minelab X-Terra 305 is a beginning metal detector that would be perfect for teenagers. This detector is all purpose and designed to find relics, jewelry, coins, and can even be used on beaches. The control box features a large LCD screen, 5 depth indicators, coin and treasure detection modes, 12 segment discrimination scale, and 2 factory discrimination patterns which can be customized. It all features all metal mode.
The X-Terra 305 features Minelab’s VFLEX technology which uses digital electronics to enhance single frequency metal detection. It provides dependable performance and enhanced immunity to outside interference and ground mineralization. This detector comes with a 9” concentric waterproof search coil that operates at 7.5 kHz.
The other search coil option allows the detector to operate at 18.75 kHz and would be best for finding gold. The X-Terra 305 features adjustable threshold, noise cancelling, pinpoint mode, and manual ground balancing. This detector weighs almost 3 pounds, so it may be too heavy and too advanced for young children.
Best Metal Detector for Teenagers
If you’re looking for a quality detector for a teenager, you should strongly consider the Garrett Ace 400.
Garrett Ace 400
Perfect for teenagers and young adults
More advanced features than the Ace 200 or Ace 300
The Garrett Ace 400 is the top tier in the Ace family of detectors and my top choice for a metal detector for teens. The Ace 400 is easy to operate but has more features than some other detectors on this list, so it is perfect for teenagers and young adults.
This detector has iron audio, adjustable notch discrimination, 5 search modes, pinpoint mode, adjustable sensitivity and depth, and digital target ID. The Ace 400 operates at 10 kHz and comes standard with an 8.5” by 11” Double-D PROformance search coil. The total weight is 2.9 pounds, so it is best for teenagers.
- Check out my Garrett Ace 400 review!
Metal Detector for Children
And if you have a young child, and you want to get him or her into metal detecting, you should consider getting them the Nokta Makro Midi Hoard.
Nokta Makro Midi Hoard
Best detector for young children
The Nokta Makro Midi Hoard features many of the same capabilities as the Nokta Makro Mini Hoard. It is lightweight, at just 1.9 pounds, and is perfectly set up for children. Rather than the emoji faces from the Mini Hoard, the Midi hoard shows the types of metal likely found in small boxes on the LCD screen. The Midi Hoard operates at 15 kHz and comes with a 7” search coil and retractable shaft.
The LCD screen shows 3-tone discrimination, sensitivity, battery indicator, volume levels, and depth indicator. The buttons allow kids to adjust sensitivity and volume, pinpoint targets, discriminate, and features an LED target indicator. The Midi Hoard also features an automatic shut off and alarm in case your kiddo forgets to shut the machine off or gets distracted digging.
This is my favorite pick for kids and is overall the best metal detector for kids.
Metal Detector Youth Movement
Metal detecting was once looked upon as an old person’s hobby. That way of thinking is changing. More and more younger people are getting involved in the sport, so it is only natural that more and more kids are taking advantage of this pleasurable past time. With the expansion of social media and video sharing sites like YouTube, metal detecting is no longer seen as a strange hobby only for oldsters. Metal detector manufacturers are making more models tailored to kids and teens, too.
One of the main advantages of metal detecting with kids is getting outside. This allows all of us, not just the kids, to unplug for a while and disconnect from the social media bubble. It is great to see your kids’ face light up when they find a target all on their own. When I started metal detecting with my kids, I was not sure they would enjoy it.
They were both lazy and tied to their Xboxes and cell phones. But once they got their own metal detectors, diggers, and finds pouches and we let them loose in the forest, they had a blast. My oldest boy even found a large piece of silver while detecting! They have had a blast in this hobby, and I would recommend it to any parent looking to get their kids outside and more active.
You’ve got questions…I’ve got answers!
Q: Do I have to buy a kid-specific metal detector for a child?
A: No. But if your child is small, it is recommended. Metal detectors made specifically for kids are easier to use and lighter than other detectors, so they are easier for smaller kids to use. However, if your kids are a little bit older, they can use any entry-level metal detector easily. It is important to find the best metal detector for kids.
Q: What are the perks of getting a child involved in metal detecting?
A: There are many perks. They are getting outside more, they are more active, they are away from their phones and gaming systems, and you are spending time together. Metal detecting has been a lot of fun for me and my family. We enjoy taking our detectors on camping trips and to the lakes to see if we can find any left behind treasure.
Q: What laws do kids need to know about to metal detect?
A: It is up to you as the parent to ensure your kids know and follow the laws surrounding metal detecting. There are many laws, from the city, county, state, and federal government on metal detecting. Always make sure you stay away from private property and know the laws before you go. Any historical artifacts should be left as they were found and reported. You can metal detect in a national forest but not in a national park. Study the laws to keep you and your kids out of trouble.
If you need more help, I’ve written a bit more in-depth about some metal detecting laws you should be aware of.
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