Metal detecting was once thought to be a hobby for retired people. That has changed significantly in the last couple of decades. Metal detecting is a great hobby for every age group. That’s why, in this article, I’m going to provide you with my list of the ten best metal detectors for teenagers. Hopefully, a young person will enjoy their new detector so much, they’ll become a metal detectorist for life!
Best Metal Detectors for Teenagers
Let’s begin with the Nokta Makro Simplex+.
The Nokta Makro Simplex + is one of my favorite metal detectors for teenagers and adults. I have used this metal detector for a couple of years now and have nothing but praise for it. This detect has a simple to use interface, and enough features to keep more advanced metal detectorists happy. This model is Nokta Makro’s first dive into the world of beginner metal detectors. It features automatic and manual ground balancing and comes with 5 search modes:
Park 1 – Best mode for coin shooting. This mode has 3 tones with low for ferrous, mid-tone for non-ferrous and gold, and higher tone for copper and silver. This mode searches deeper but slower than Park 2.
Park 2 – The same features as Park 1, but with faster speeds at a loss of depth.
Field – Best mode for relic hunting. This mode provides low tones for ferrous targets and higher tones for non-ferrous targets.
Beach – Best for use in highly conductive soils. I use this mode in northern Utah, where we have highly mineralized soil conditions. Works well for saltwater beach areas, too, due to the natural conductivity of saltwater. This mode has more ground balancing settings to achieve the best results.
All Metal – This mode must be ground balanced. It gives a threshold tone consistently in the background so you can hear even the faintest change in signal.
The Simplex + is fully submersible up to 10 feet, so it is great for use in and around shallow waters, and for shallow water diving or snorkeling. It comes with an 11” waterproof Double-D search coil. It operates at 12 kHz, so it is not the best detector for fine or small gold. It also features frequency shift, which allows you to shift the frequency slightly up or down to compensate for soil mineralization or electromagnetic interference.
One of my favorite features of the Simplex + is vibrate upon detection. When you find a target, you will get a sound, a screen readout, and a vibration. This is perfect for those who are hard of hearing or for those searching underwater. The Simplex + has large, easy to read LCD screen with adjustable backlight and built-in LED flashlight. It has a pinpoint mode and weighs just under 3 pounds. It operates on a rechargeable battery pack and has upgradeable software.
The Ace Apex is one of Garrett’s newest metal detectors. This model has some amazing features and is great for beginners or more advanced metal detectorists. This model features Garrett’s Multi-Flex technology, which is a multiple frequency operating mode. This detector can operate on multiple single frequencies or on all frequencies simultaneously. The perks to this are you can decide which frequency to search, or you can search them all for more targets (typically with a slight loss of speed due to the increase in data being retrieved). The Ace Apex’s operating frequencies are:
- 5 kHz
- 10 kHz
- 20 kHz
- Multiple Frequency
The lower end frequencies are best for highly conductive metals like silver, while the 20 kHz frequency is best for lower conductive metals like gold or hammered silver coins. The Ace Apex features iron volume which lets you decrease the volume of iron targets while keeping non-ferrous targets at a normal volume level. Some people like this feature because you can hear the iron targets and decide if you want to dig them or leave them. This model has 8 iron volume adjustments.
The Ace Apex has a large LCD screen with numerical target readout. It has 5-tone audio target identification, too. This model features a hybrid audio system that combines binary audio with proportional audio allowing you to hear faint targets more easily. This model has 6 detection modes: Zero, Coin, US Coin, Jewelry, Relics, and Custom. It has high resolution ground balancing giving you 175 points of ground balancing resolution. This is helpful in areas with saltwater and high soil mineralization.
This model has various search coil packages, so users can choose their best fit. It has adjustable sensitivity, adjustable depth, a headphone jack, Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones, iron audio, and rechargeable battery pack. It is lightweight at 2.5 pounds and has upgradeable software.
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One of the newest metal detectors from Minelab is the Vanquish 540. This is the most advanced model in their new Vanquish line of detectors. This metal detector is great for beginners or more advanced metal detectorists. This model features Minelab’s patented Multi-IQ technology, which allows the metal detector to operate on multiple frequencies simultaneously. This detector uses frequencies from 5 kHz to 40 kHz, making it great for finding small and fine gold.
Multi-IQ also helps you find more items in areas that have previously been searched. Multiple frequency scanning can hit on targets that were skipped over on single frequency metal detectors. This model has 5 search modes: Coin, Relic, Jewelry, Custom, and All Metal. This model also has a pinpoint mode to narrow down a target’s location. It has noise cancelling, Iron Bias, 5 target audio tones, adjustable volume, adjustable sensitivity, and large LCD screen with numerical target identification. The Vanquish 540 has 25 segment discrimination so you can filter in or out which ever metal targets you choose.
The Vanquish 540 is lightweight at just under 3 pounds and operates on rechargeable AA batteries. This model comes with a 12” by 9” waterproof Double-D search coil, but you can change this coil to any of the Vanquish search coils. The control box is not waterproof so this detector should never be fully submerged. This model has Bluetooth connectivity so you can use wireless headphones.
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Best Youth Metal Detectors
Younger kids need smaller and simpler metal detectors. Luckily, many manufacturers make models specifically for younger children. These are all easy to use, lightweight, and perfect for getting your smaller kids out metal detecting with you. Be aware that these detectors are tailored to younger children, so older tweens and teens will outgrow these very quickly.
Bounty Hunter Junior
The Bounty Hunter Junior is the perfect metal detector for children. This metal detector was specifically made with kids in mind, but it is more powerful than some others. This detector operates at 6.6 kHz, which is perfect for coins, silver, and relics, as well as other highly conductive metal targets. This model weighs just 1.1 pounds, so it is perfect for smaller children.
The Bounty Hunter Junior has discrimination control to eliminate and tune out unwanted junk targets. It is adjustable, so you can change the shaft size for any child. It comes with a 6.5” search coil. The screen has a target indicator gauge so kids can learn which numbers on the gauge correspond to the different metal target types. The controls are a simple, 2 knob design making it easy for kids to operate. Do not use around water as this detector is not waterproof.
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Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D.
The Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D. is another great metal detector tailored to kids. This detector is lightweight, at 1.1 pounds, so it is easy to hold and swing for most kids. It is a simple to operate metal detector with 2 buttons so kids can master the detector easily. This detector has an LCD screen with fun emoji-like images making it fun for kids when they find a target. The screen shows a frowning face for poor targets, a questioning face for potential targets, and a smiling face for good targets.
The Junior T.I.D. has a depth gauge and battery indicator. It features 3 target identification categories: rings, coins, and iron. This model has good volume identification and an adjustable shaft for all sizes. This model operates at 6.6 kHz, so it is perfect for highly conductive metals. This model has a wing stand, so it will be protected when kids set it down to dig a target. This model has discrimination, which is a good to teach kids, so they understand how to filter out junk and unwanted targets.
Nokta Makro Midi Hoard
The Nokta Makro Midi Hoard is the world’s first waterproof kids metal detector. This model has a retractable shaft so it can shrink for transport, or for small detectorists. It is lightweight, at just 1.9 pounds. This model has an LCD screen with 3 squares showing which potential target the kids have found. It has a ground balancing setting, depth readout, and battery life indicator.
This detector operates at 15 kHz, higher than the other children’s metal detectors on this list. This frequency is better for slightly lower conductive metals. Your child will be able to better find gold with this detector, but it will struggle to find small or fine gold. The Midi Hoard has adjustable discrimination, adjustable sensitivity, a pinpoint mode, and 3 tone audio. It operates on 2 AA batteries and comes with a 7” search coil. This model is aimed more at the 8 – 12-year age group, so it is not the best metal detector for teenagers, but rather for younger kids.
Best Metal Detectors for 12 Year Olds
Most tweens are between the children’s metal detector phase and the teenager or young adult metal detector phase. It can be difficult to find a detector that works well for a tween, but is not too advanced or too simple. Below, you’ll find two metal detectors that I think are fairly perfect for a 12-year-old—but can also be used by teenagers.
This detector is the younger brother to the Vanquish 540 we discussed earlier. This is the simplest to use model in the Vanquish lineup, but it still has plenty of features to keep your tween interested. This model features Minelab’s Multi-IQ technology, which again, lets the detector search on multiple frequencies simultaneously. This model has 3 search modes: Coin, Jewelry, and All Metal. The multiple frequency search will allow your tween to find all types of metal, even those targets that were missed by other detectorists.
The Vanquish 340 comes with a 10” by 7” Double-D search coil that is waterproof. The control box is not waterproof and should not be submerged. This model has automatic noise cancelling, 3 volume settings, lag-free audio response, and sensitivity adjustments. It does not feature adjustable iron bias. This model has an LCD screen with numerical target identification, discrimination settings, and 4 depth indicators. It weighs just 2.6 pounds and can be folded down for easy storage and transport.
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The Fisher F22 is a great entry level metal detector for tweens. This detector is part of Fisher’s well-known F-Series of metal detectors. It is simple to use and has easy to master features. It operates at 7.69 kHz. This is a good frequency to balance depth with sensitivity.
It features visual target identification, Fe-Tone audio, iron identifier icon, large numerical target identification, and adjustable sensitivity and volume. It has 4 detection modes: Coin, Artifact, Jewelry, and Custom. The F22 comes with a 9” concentric elliptical waterproof search coil, but the control box is not waterproof.
Fe-Tone is the F22’s version of iron audio. This is not a feature found on many entry level metal detectors. Iron audio allows the users to adjust the volume of ferrous target from silent to maximum, while keeping non-ferrous targets at max volume.
This allows you to hear iron targets and decide if you want to dig them or not, while still hearing other targets that the iron may have masked. One downside to this detector is does not have manual ground balancing. All ground balancing is preset. It will struggle in saltwater or other highly conductive soil conditions.
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Best Metal Detectors for 13 – 19 Year Olds
Teenagers need a metal detector that is not incredibly simple, like a children’s metal detector, but not overly complicated like some adult metal detectors. The next 2 detectors are prefect for teenagers and young adults.
The Garrett Ace 300 is made for beginning metal detectorists. It has more advanced settings that can grow with your teen’s understanding of metal detecting. This model features iron discrimination, adjustable notch discrimination, pinpoint mode, adjustable depth and sensitivity, and 5 search modes: Jewelry, Coin, Relic, Custom, Zero-Disc (All Metal). This model operates at 8 kHz, adjustable, meaning the frequency can be slightly shifted up or down to compensate for electromagnetic interference or highly mineralized soil conditions.
The Ace 300’s screen shows the conductivity of target on screen, from 0 to 99. It does not feature iron audio but does have iron masking, which can unmask objects found near iron targets. The 7” by 10” concentric search coil is waterproof, but the control box is not. Ground balancing is factory preset and cannot be adjusted, which can be difficult in areas with high soil mineralization. This model is lightweight at just 2.8 pounds, so your teenager should have little trouble swinging this detector.
The Fisher F44 is one of the best entry level models on the market. It features a large LCD screen with backlight, visual target identification, numerical target identification, depth indicator, FeTone iron audio, adjustable volume, sensitivity and notch. This model has 5 operating modes: Coin, Jewelry, Artifact, Custom, and All Metal. It comes with an 11” concentric elliptical waterproof search coil. The control box is not waterproof and should not be submerged.
This model operates on 2 AA batteries and operates at 7.69 kHz. It is lightweight at just 2.3 pounds. It will be great for finding highly conductive metals like silver or copper, but will struggle to find small or fine gold, along with other lower conductive metals. Areas with saltwater or high soil mineralization will prove difficult for the F44.
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There is no reason to exclude your children from your hobby of metal detecting when there are so many great models on the market for them! These detectors are all easy to use and many can grow with your child. So, get out there and try one of these best metal detectors for teenagers!
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