Many great metal detectors are available, but not all of them are great – even exceptional – for gold nugget prospecting. Many things can interfere with searching, so you have to consider multiple factors when looking for the best metal detector for gold. Finding gold takes a lot of time, so why not find a gold metal detector which will save you time and energy?
In this guide, we will compare the most important factors when looking for the best gold metal detector. These include technology, operating frequency, ease of use, settings, and top pics for gold detecting. These are a bit more advanced metal detectors as they mostly focus on gold. If you need a beginner metal detector you can check out my detailed guide here.
What is the best metal detector for Gold Nugget Prospecting?
You can easily find dozens of gold metal detectors, but not all of them actually offer a great variety of settings. When looking for a metal detector, keep in mind in which areas you will be searching the most. Some metal detectors are waterproof, some are more complicated in usage, and some even block out the minerals in the soil.
When you are looking for gold metal detectors for sale, also consider for that price what are you getting. Some metal detectors offer a package where you get handy items such as headphones, battery chargers, small scoops, and more. However, not all gold detector packages are this big, so keep in mind what are you getting for your money. This list and guide should help you to choose the best gold metal detector for your needs.
- Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal Detector
- Garrett AT Gold Waterproof Metal Detector
- Fisher Gold Bug Metal Detector
- Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ
- Minelab Gold Monster 1000
More detailed gold metal detector reviews
To make the decisions easier for you we have picked the top 5 gold metal detectors. These gold detector machines work fantastically, have a great price, and their efficiency will save you a lot of energy and time.
The Gold Bug Pro is an amazing gold detector kit, and if we want to be really honest, it is probably the best metal detector for gold on the market.
The Gold Bug Pro gold detector features multiple settings and various adjustable operating modes to make your gold hunting easier and better. It takes the fun out of this great hobby when you are searching for long hours without any success or luck.
The Gold Bug Pro operates on a 19 kHz operating frequency. This means that the gold detector can detect both silver and gold above any other metal or junk, such as soda cans, coins or soil minerals. Moreover, you will only need to use one metal detector for all your needs and do not have to get separate detectors for gold and other valuables as well.
This gold detector is one of the best metal detector for gold because it has a simply amazing search coil. The Fisher brand is well known for great coils, but this one turned out to be exceptional. The Bug Pro features a fast re-tuning and biaxial coils so you can work faster and more accurately. The biaxial coil also works well with pinpointing, so you do not have to go back and forth multiple times above one point. This is an excellent feature for gold hunting. When you are looking for gold metal detectors for sale, keep in mind these functions for easier use.
The search coil is a standard 5″ DD closed round coil which is thankfully waterproof, which means you can search for valuables in shallow waters and in all weather conditions. This is something not all metal detector machines have. You can also use the Bug Pro gold detector for river prospecting. As we mentioned, it is best to keep in mind where will you use your gold detector the most often, and choose one which best suits the given place.
If you believe that the standard 5″ search coil is not the best for your needs, you can upgrade to 11″ with a waterproof attachment, but it is not part of the package.
The Gold Bug Pro has great audio settings, and it has a variable breakpoint discrimination system, or as it is called ‘V-Break‘. There are also options to control and adjust the computerized multi-tone audio which is pretty accurate. This precision comes handy when you are ready to dig. It takes some practice and you have to get to used to the various tones. The low audio tones show irons and other less-valuable and the high audio tones point to gold and other precious metals.
The visual ID system is also an excellent feature to have on a gold detector because it saves a lot of time and energy. The visual ID shows the outlines of items underneath, so there will be no chance of digging up coke cans.
The Gold Bug Pro is equipped with ground balancing, which is essential for gold prospecting, but not all gold detector machines have this great feature. The calibrated and fully computerized ground balancing system works on its own, which means you do not have to be a tech genius to set up complicated features. The ground balancing indicates what minerals are in the soil, so you can distinguish more easily between junk, minerals and that precious gold nugget.
The system also monitors the soil conditions, such as the black sand where gold is most often located. This feature is synchronized with the Fe304 meter indicator which shows the amount of mineralization to help you with the gold hunting. This way you can be aware of everything around you and you will not miss anything. This handy gold detector can also tell the difference between large iron objects and tiny pieces like earrings and nails, so you will know what is beneath the soil without digging everything up.
The Gold Bug Pro is not a simple gold metal detector, it is one of the best metal detector for gold, as it works both as a soil reading machine as well as a gold detector, thus it is an excellent choice for those who really want to go for gold hunting.
The Gold Bug Pro weighs 2.5 pounds which makes it super lightweight. It measures 10.2 x 6.2 x 28.5 inches and it will boot up with 1 9V battery.
This is a top choice gold detector, so no wonder it made it to the top of our list. It is used and loved by many detectorists. It definitely worths its money.
- Soil guidance for gold
- Easy to use
- Works well in highly mineralized soils
- Finds small gold nuggets easily
- Only the coil is waterproof
The Garrett AT Gold Detector is a high tech kit, and it is entirely waterproof. There are many things in this kit, such as headphones, batteries and searching supplies.
This gold detector was designed precisely for tiny and very small gold nuggets in all terrains, including fresh water. It is waterproof up to 10 feet, however, it is advised to use in freshwater and not in salt water. The waterproof addition is a great thing to have, as freshwater prospecting is an excellent way of discovering larger gold nuggets. Also, the full waterproofing prevents any disasters, thus no need to worry if you accidentally slip and get the gold metal detector all wet.
The AT Gold Detector has a standard 5×8 DD search coil, which is big enough to pick up signals. This way you do not have to waste time digging up undesired junk. This feature is common with gold metal detector machines, however, not all of them have it.
It runs on a higher kHz range which is perfect to pick up signals from gold and run on the All Metal Mode at the same time. This means that the AT Gold searches at the greatest depth but with also great sensitivity to show all available metals underneath. The gold metal detector will show as far down as possible with the highest gold possibilities.
With this machine, you have the option to adjust the ground balance manually or automatically. This feature optimizes search results and at the same time, you can set all your preferences. If you are a beginner gold hunter, or you simply want to have the settings already adjusted, this is a great function to have. The ground balance shows the highly mineralized areas which are the best ones for gold.
The AT Gold also features multiple discrimination modes, which is something only the best gold metal detector machines have. The DISC 1 and the DISC 2 modes can be selected for changeable tone ID. This is a great explanation article on tone ID. In a nutshell, tones help you to identify various objects without digging them out. If you listen close enough you can identify cans, junk, nails, and other stuff. Low pitch indicates less valuable items and high pitch sounds are showing precious metals. The audio tones run continuously so you can keep moving and listening. This way you can easily learn to read from the tones and noise and only stop when you found something valuable. The AT Gold metal detector features pinpointing, which allows you to find the exact location of your find without circling around multiple times.
The Garrett AT Gold detector weighs 6.7 pounds which is a bit heavier than the rest of the metal detectors. It measures 21.3 x 14.4 x 57 inches. You will need 4 AA batteries to power it up.
- Great ground balancing system
- Easily discriminated metals
- All metal mode
- Heavier than other machines
- Waterproof but not recommended for saltwater use
The Fisher Gold Bug metal detector is the little brother of the Gold Bug Pro, and it is considered to be the best cheaper metal detector for gold hunting. It is also the best metal detector for gold for beginners. So if you are looking for gold metal detectors for sale which won’t break the bank, this is a good option to consider. No huge investment is required, but you will still get a great gold detector.
As mentioned, this is the sibling of the Fisher Gold Bug Pro but this one has fewer features. However, it is still very comparable to the other machines on the market, and in some features easily beats those. Let’s take a look at what does this bad boy do.
The Gold Bug has a 5-inch search coil, which is a pretty neat size compared to the price. You can also upgrade to a bigger search coil to cover large areas more effectively. The smaller coil, however, is better regarding precision.
The gold metal detector works on a 19 kHz operating frequency and it actually has a very sensitive two-tone discrimination. A great feature to have because it helps to distinguish between various metals, such as junk iron like cans and more precious metals.
The Gold Bug can be used as a metal detector for gold, iron, jewelry, coins and much more. There are multiple discrimination settings so you can set your preference and easily switch between settings. It also has a good ground balance function, which is pretty common in the Fisher products, however, only the best metal detector for gold have this. The continuous ground mineralization readout is also helpful to determine what is ‘dig-worthy’.
The ground mineralization readout finds the black sand areas which are the best places to look for gold. The 0-99 numeric identification display shows how likely it is to find gold or other desired materials in that area.
The Gold Bug also has the handy pinpoint function which is more common on high-end gold detectors. This way you can simply hold over the detector to get a signal and pinpoint the target.
A large LCD screen also helps with all the search so you can not only hear but see the ground below.
The Gold Bug weighs 4.6 pounds and measures 28.3 x 6 x 10 inches. It is not super lightweight but it is on the lighter side. It will power up with 2 AA batteries.
- No-motion pinpoint
- Numeric target identification display
- Large LCD screen
- Easy to use
- Not waterproof
- Does not have multi-tone audio
The Tesoro Lobo SuperTRAQ is an excellent gold metal detector but it has multiple features which can be used for any type of detecting. If you are looking for a gold metal detector for sale which is not overly complicated but will get the job done very well, this is a great option.
The SuperTRAQ has a 10-inch wide standard elliptical search coil, which is great to look at larger places and work more efficiently.
The gold metal detector works on a 17.5 kHz frequency, which is pretty high, but there are models which are way higher, however, it is excellent for gold searching. It is great to find smaller and medium size gold nuggets in highly mineralized soil.
The ground balance is a bit different on the SuperTRAQ than on other devices. It does not have the regular automatic ground balancing, instead, you can choose between Alkaline, Normal or Black Sand to make the search better. After selecting the right mode the gold metal detector will self-regulate the modes.
Knowing your soil takes time, so this machine is often used by pros. If you are a newbie make sure to learn a bit about soils beforehand.
The SuperTRAQ is also equipped with a great discrimination feature so you can easily tell the difference between gold, silver, trash, coins and everything else under. This way you can use only one metal detector to look for multiple valuables.
The gold detector also has pinpointing properties, so you will know where exactly to dig. The sensitive discrimination mode will save you time and energy, so you do not spend all day digging up useless trash.
The SuperTRAQ weighs 3.5 pounds which makes it very lightweight and easy to carry, and it measures 21.5 x 8.7 x 4.8 inches. It will power up with 8 AA batteries, which will give you over 20 hours of search time.
- Large search coil
- Easy settings
- Works well in all soil conditions
- No protection for the coil
- The battery pack can rattle
The Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is an excellent and high-end gold metal detector. It runs on a 45 kHz frequency and it has an exceptional discrimination mode setting.
Since high frequencies are better for pinpointing the valuable metals, the 45 kHz is something amazing. There is also a 24-bit signal processor to make it even better. with these two the gold and other good things can be easily found between junk.
The package comes with a 10″ x 6″ DD search coil and a 5″ DD search coil. That is something not too many brands offer. If you are looking for a gold metal detector for sale which has a couple of search coils – and other good stuff in the price – this is a great gold detector to choose.
The Minelab Gold Monster has very high iron discrimination, and it works better with salt water than the rest of the gold metal detector models.
It also features automatic ground balancing, so you do not have to bother with the setup. The full digital electronic panels help with super easy signal reading as well. This way you will have all your settings correctly set to the soil type you are working on.
The Gold Monster is a great detector because it will figure out most of the stuff on its own, however, if you are dissatisfied with something, you can adjust and tune the settings.
The automatic noise cancel helps you to concentrate only on gold signals, even on the weak ones, so you will not get distracted by anything else.
This is a great and effective machine. Easy to use and even beginners can set it up right away. All the setups are straight forward.
The Gold Monster weighs 6.8 pounds which makes it on the heavy side. It measures 23.6 x 5.1 x 9.8 inches. A lithium-ion battery is included in the package.
- Extra sensitive frequency
- Two search coils
- Adjustable and automated settings
- Fewer features
- Automated setup is not loved by everyone
There are many good gold metal detectors on the market, but if you are really serious about it, try to choose from the great category. The above-mentioned gold detectors work very well, and you will be saving time and energy with the sensitive and adjustable features. Hope this guide will help you to choose the best gold metal detector for your needs.