4 Best Metal Detectors for Trashy Areas You Will Love

Enjoy Our List of the Best Metal Detectors for Trashy Areas

If you’re someone that loves to go metal detecting, but hates having to wade through trash in order to find a buried gem, this article is for you.  Today, we’re going to present the best metal detectors for trashy areas in hopes that you’ll utilize these great machines to better decipher true trash from treasure!

Best Metal Detector for Trashy Areas

Let’s begin with a relatively new metal detector by Nokta Makro entitled “The Legend.”

Nokta Makro The Legend

Nokta was first established in Istanbul, Turkey in 2001. They purchased Makro Detectors in 2014 and combined the companies. They sell high quality, technologically advanced metal detectors in over 150 countries. The company has a wide range of metal detectors for all skill levels and all treasure types. 

One of their newer models is called The Legend. This model is Nokta Makro’s first multiple frequency metal detector. It has great depth and discrimination and can be purchased with an 11” search coil and a 6” search coil. The 6” search coil will be the best option for trashy areas. 

This model can operate in 2 multiple frequency modes, or at single frequencies of 4, 10, 15, 20, and 40 kHz. It has 4 search modes: Park, Field, Beach, and Gold Field. Ground balancing is automatic, manual, and tracking. It also has a pinpoint mode, adjustable threshold, notch filter, noise cancellation, and vibration upon detection. This detector is the perfect model for hunting in trashy areas. 

Minelab CTX 3030

Minelab is a worldwide industry leader in metal detector manufacturing. They have dealers in over 150 countries and have been making detectors for over 35 years. They have a 50-engineer team who constantly strive to produce metal detectors with the latest advances in technology. They are well-known for making metal detectors that work well in areas with high soil mineralization, such as gold fields. Their detectors are also great for hunting in areas with high trash.

If you are a fan of the History Channel series The Curse of Oak Island, you may well have heard of this Minelab model, the Minelab CTX 3030. This model is a multiple frequency detector that operates from 1.5 kHz all the way up to 100 kHz. The CTX 3030 has a lot of advanced technology built into it including:

FBS 2: This technology uses multiple frequency transmissions and coil-to-detector communication to find more targets.

Smartfind 2: This technology provides a digital signal processor and FeCo discrimination, with color target information to better identify targets.

GPSi: This is an extremely high sensitivity GPS system for more accurate geolocating.

Wi-Stream: This technology creates a fast wireless audio without compromising sound quality.

Fully Waterproof: The CTX 3030 is fully waterproof up to 10 feet for shallow water hunting.

FeCo, Ferrous and Conductivity, target resolution combines with adjustable tone identification profiles allowing users to detect desired targets while ignoring trashy targets. Target Trace and Target Separation allow the identification of multiple targets simultaneously for more accurate results.

The GPSi system allows you to see where you have hunted and where you headed using the map screen and navigation tool. GeoTrails shows areas you have covered, WayPoints marks any points of interest along the way, FindPoints marks your treasure locations, and GeoHunts records your entire detecting trip. This model comes with an 11” search coil, but you can purchase a smaller 6” search coil for use in trashy areas.

Garrett GTI 2500

Garrett metal detectors is the best-known manufacturers of metal detectors on the planet. It was started by Charles Garret and his wife, Eleanor, I n1964. Garrett’s incorporation of their Zero Drift technology sparked the modern-day metal detector manufacture. Garrett makes metal detectors for sport, security, and government use. Their detectors are innovative and top of the market, and for good reason. 

One of Garrett’s best and most advanced metal detectors is the GTI 2500. GTI stands for Graphic Target Imaging, which helps you spend less time digging up trash and more time digging up treasure! This model has Garrett’s true-size imaging which gives target sizes ranging from A for smaller than a coin to E, larger than a soda can.

This model has true all metal mode, which detects all metal types and gives users the greatest possible depth and sensitivity. It comes with fast-track automatic ground balancing to help in areas which high soil mineralization. 

The GTI 2500 has adjustable threshold, electronic pinpointing, automatic ground track, and Scantrack optimization, which optimizes analysis of target signals based on search coil swing speed. There are several search coil options for the GTI 2500, including a 4.5” Super Sniper GTI search coil, which is perfect for very trashy areas. The GTI 2500 is truly one of the best metal detectors for trashy areas. 

Fisher Gemini-3

Fisher Labs was founded by German immigrant Gerhard R. Fisher in 1931. Fisher was the first person to receive a patent for a metal detector, called the Metallascope. This company sparked the metal detecting industry as we know it today. Fisher retired in the 1960s, but Fisher Labs continues to build some of the best metal detectors on the planet. 

One of Fisher’s most advanced metal detectors is the Gemini-3. This model is called a 2-Box Metal and Mineral Detector. It is designed for deep searching and cache location. The Gemini-3 is known for deep location of objects, up to 10 – 15 feet! This model has 4 total modes within its Search and Trace. Search mode includes narrow scan and wide scan. Trace includes inductive and conductive. This model operates at 82 kHz and has voltage-controlled oscillator audio response. 

This deep seeking metal detector is great at separating trash from treasure. It is the perfect option for using in trashy areas to find the most treasure possible! 

Metal Detecting in Trashy Areas

Some areas are littered with trashy targets just below the surface. These trash targets can often mask a better target that is lying nearby. Areas like campsites, parks, homesteads, schools, and many others have had a lot of traffic through them.

Due to this, there will no doubt be a fair amount of trash just below the surface. Do not be afraid of these areas! There can be some amazing targets masked by trash and other debris. All you need to do is understand how to hunt these areas and you will be much more successful.

You will first want to filter out iron and other non-valuable metals on your metal detector. Some metal detectors have a custom search mode you can set up to search these areas. This mode can be saved so you can use it repeatedly. Filtering out unimportant or metals that hold absolutely no value is the first step to hunting a trashy area because many of the targets will ring out under iron or other lower end metals.

The second step is to turn down your sensitivity. Some metals, even though they are notched out of the search pattern, will still register as a target due to the varying composition of metal items. This is more common when the sensitivity is at its maximum level. A good example of this is a bottle caps. Bottle caps are nearly the same size and shape as a coin or ring, which most metal detectors are set to detect. 

This can lead to a false reading. Turning down the sensitivity will give you less false readings. Be aware, turning down the sensitivity will also decrease the depth of your detection. This is, however, necessary because trashy areas have so many poor-quality targets.

The third, and potentially most crucial step, is to install a smaller search coil, or sniper coil. These smaller search coils will focus better on smaller areas of soil beneath the search coil and give less false readings. A sniper coil, for example, can distinguish among a diamond ring, handful of bottle caps, and an old doorknob that are very close together. A larger search coil may not differentiate these items and ring through as iron or another non-precious metal. This can cause detectorists to miss targets because the detector has alerted to iron or aluminum. 

Best Places to Hunt with Metal Detectors

There are many fantastic locations to hunt with your metal detector. Many of these areas will have high quantities of trash, so you will want to bring along your favorite trash eliminating metal detector, and a trash bag to haul out any trash you dig up while finding treasures. 

Your Own Yard

I have found numerous items buried in my own yard. I recently took my detector into my new backyard and found a whole cache of old Hot Wheels cars, a Dutch oven, and some tools from the 1950s and 1960s. We have also found many coins scattered throughout the yard, all relatively new. Check your own yard to find treasures and to learn more about how your metal detector works. 

School Ground

School yards are wonderful places to search with a metal detector. You have a great chance at finding dropped coins and, depending on the age of the school grounds and the history of the land, you can find all manner of relics in these locations.

City Parks

City Parks are one of the best places close to home you can metal detect. People congregate and recreate in city parks, meaning they hold countless dropped items like jewelry or coins. 


Beaches are always a popular recreation destination. Any area with high traffic has a good potential to yield treasures. Beaches are often trashy, so you will want to adjust your metal detector to compensate. If you will be hunting on a saltwater beach, ensure your detector has a beach mode or the ability to compensate for saltwater’s natural conductivity. 

National Forests

National Forests are one of my favorite locations to metal detect. Although most campsites are trashy, you can still find some amazing items! While metal detecting in the Boise National Forest, my family and I found 2 railroad ties, some old, heavy chain, and other pieces of old metal. There was no railroad within 25 miles of this location, which makes it a more interesting find! While metal detecting in the Ashley National Forest in Utah, we have found coins and even a few pieces of silver!

Ghost Towns

Ghost towns are not only interesting to explore, but they are great areas to metal detect. You have a great chance of finding old relics while detecting in ghost towns. Ensure you have permission to metal detect in ghost towns. Some are privately owned, while others are state owned. 

Old Homestead

As with ghost towns, old homesteads are rife with relics from the past. If you have some old homesteads near you, check them out with your metal detector.


Metal detecting in a trashy area does not have to be a frustrating experience. Many metal detectors are great at compensating for the trash, while helping you find more treasure. Do some research on areas near you that have had a lot of traffic through them. They will have the most trash but may also hold the most treasure! Remember the metal detectors listed in this guide, as they are the best metal detectors for trashy areas!

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