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Best Underwater Metal Detectors of 2021

Best Overall Choice
Quest Scuba Tector- Overall

Quest Scuba Tector

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Best Budget Choice
DR.ÖTEK IP68 Metal Detector- Budget

DR.ÖTEK IP68 Metal Detector

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Best Premium Choice
Minelab CTX 3030- Premium

Minelab CTX 3030

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Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on February 25, 2021.

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An underwater treasure hunt can be fun if you have the correct hunting equipment. By that, we mean the best underwater metal detector. But with so many brands and models available, which should you pick for your scuba diving adventure?

We’ve done some hunting ourselves, but not for treasures! We searched for the best underwater metal detectors and found 10 worth your money, depending on what you are looking for and where you plan to use the detector.

Top Picks

All of the ten models listed in this guide are great, but here are five of our favorite underwater detectors.

Overview of the Best Underwater Metal Detectors

Best Overall Choice

1. Quest Scuba Tector

Quest Scuba Tector- Overall

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The handheld Tector device from Quest Scuba is an excellent underwater treasure hunting tool if you hope to reach farther into the bottom of the ocean. Equipped with a built-in Li-poly battery that can last for extended periods, the detector can be submerged up to 200 feet without affecting its normal function.

The ergonomic design fits nicely in your hand with a weight of less than a pound. Carrying it around for the entire underwater quest isn’t a trouble at all. Quest Scuba engineered this with simplicity in mind, as far as operating the device is concerned. You only need to control two easy-to-use control buttons and the device does all searching you want.

This model works really well in saltwater environments. Do not worry if the detector ever gets lost because you’ll be able to find it easily with the lost alarm technology and the LED mechanism that flashes in the dark.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 5 x 4″ (mono coil)
  • Operating frequency: 95 kHz
  • Weight: 0.73 lbs
  • Battery: Built-in Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) battery

Pros

  • Long-range detection (up to 197 feet)
  • Comes with a lanyard to keep the device with you always

Cons

  • Not as hard-wearing as other options

2. Wedigout Metal Detector

Wedigout Metal Detector

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Wedigout’s offering ranks among the top mid-budget pulse induction underwater metal detectors currently available in the market. The features and capabilities of this PI-type model is proof that you don’t really need to pay through the nose for a high-performing metal detector.

The fully-waterproof, low battery sensor comes in stainless steel construction and features an LED light that flashes and vibrates when it senses a target. You don’t have to bother about adjusting the device’s sensor, thanks to the automatic tuning feature.

You can use this model both under the water and on land. Plus, it can sense targets buried up to about 4 inches beneath the ground in just about any type of soil, including bland sand. It is waterproof up to 100 feet, so it’s a great choice whether you gear up for a scuba dive or you want to snorkel around in shallow waters.

Specs & Features

  • Type: Pulse Induction (PI)
  • Operating frequency: 28 kHz
  • Weight: 0.98 lbs
  • Battery: 9V (sold separately)

Pros

  • Excellent detection capabilities and depth stability
  • Detects all types of treasures, including jewelry, precious metals, relics, and coins

Cons

  • Battery tube is rather short, making it difficult to get the plug to fit properly
Best Budget Choice

3. DR.ÖTEK IP68 Metal Detector

DR.ÖTEK IP68 Metal Detector- Budget

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If you are looking for an underwater metal detector that is fun and easy to use, perhaps this model from Dr. ÖTEK will do the trick. The simple one-button operation makes the device suitable for treasure hunters of all ages.

Although it has a toy-like appearance, this detector is highly sensitive and can accurately and quickly pinpoint targets within a 360-degree detection area. There is no need to waste time digging; the four-level LED can pick up the presence of metal objects in any type of environment.

There are no beeps or annoying noises with this model. It uses LED flashing alarm and vibration to alert you of possible treasure without disturbing others or marine life. It comes at a great price and makes a perfect gift for kids and friends.

Specs & Features

  • Operating frequency: 12 kHz
  • Weight: 0.9 lbs
  • Battery: 9V

Pros

  • High water-resistant rating
  • Can detect metal up to 4 inches deep
  • Alarm mode includes LED and vibration
  • Affordable option

Cons

  • Not the most sensitive model

4. National Geographic Pro

National Geographic Pro

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The National Geographical Pro is a lightweight, collapsible underwater metal detector with three different detection modes to effectively distinguish between junk and valuable metals.

The 10-inch long coil is engineered to sense objects buried up to 12 inches inside the ground. There is a pinpoint feature in addition to four-level sensitivity to improve accuracy. The LCD doesn’t have too many complex details; it is pretty easy to read and understand, making the device suitable for every underwater treasure hunter, regardless of skill level.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 10″
  • Operating frequency: 8 kHz
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Battery: 4 double-A batteries

Pros

  • Lightweight design for ease of transporting
  • Three detection modes for searching a variety of metals
  • Four sensitivity level for increased detection

Cons

  • Very basic design and features
Best Premium Choice

5. Minelab CTX 3030

Minelab CTX 3030- Premium

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Arguably the best underwater metal detector money can buy, the CTX 3030 from Minelab is about the most complete and feature-rich model you can find on the market.

It comes fully “armed” to the teeth with everything you will need during your treasure hunt, including GPS, headphones, wireless audio, FBS-2 technology, and even the capability to upload your treasure locations and detector settings to your computer through the Exchange 2 app.

It is the most accurate metal detector we’ve come across, and it has one of the best full-color LCDs available. The device works great and can lead you to your target object with high precision, regardless of ground conditions.

As you may have guessed, this option is not anywhere near cheap. We recommend CTX 3030 for those looking to take metal hunting beyond a mere pastime.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 11″ (waterproof Double-D smart coil)
  • Operating frequency: Multiple frequencies (1.5 kHz – 100 kHz)
  • Weight: 4.19 lbs
  • Battery: Li-ion

Pros

  • Includes GPS
  • Very accurate detector
  • Feature-rich model

Cons

  • Very expensive

6. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV

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The TK4 Tracker IV is another mid-range metal detector deserving a spot on our list. Featuring an 8-inch waterproof coil, the device can do a pretty decent job of leading you to different metal types, including silver, steel, aluminum, iron, brass, and even gold.

The detector is rugged, making it a suitable option for hunting treasure in extreme ground conditions. There are three operating modes and a preset ground balance function to effectively neutralize mineral response.

It comes with a built-in speaker, a headphone jack, and a discrimination control feature that distinguishes valuable metals from undesirable trash.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 8″ (waterproof coil)
  • Operating frequency: 6.6 kHz
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
  • Battery: Two 9V alkaline batteries

Pros

  • Capable of detecting metal objects up to 6 inches deep
  • Detects a wide variety of metals, including steel, iron, gold, silver, and more
  • Operates in three modes (discrimination, motion all-metal, and 2-tone audio modes)

Cons

  • Not very accurate

7. KKmoon Handheld Pulse Induction Pinpointer

KKmoon Handheld Pulse Induction Pinpointer

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Dive down to 98 feet under the water with KKmoon’s PI metal detector and find all the treasures you want without slowing down or feeling fatigued in your hand, thanks to the incredibly lightweight handheld device.

There are no sounds or beeps with this one. Flashing LED lights and vibrations indicate the possible presence of metal objects. The closer you get to the target, the higher the vibration and light intensity. Unlike many other detectors that require adjustments or buttons, you only need to tilt this model to turn it on and off. That’s convenience at its best!

Specs & Features

  • Type: Pulse Induction (PI)
  • Operating frequency: 8 kHz
  • Weight: 0.77 lbs
  • Battery: One 6F22 9V battery (sold separately)

Pros

  • Suitable for use in fresh and saltwater
  • Lightweight design for effortless and convenient use

Cons

  • Small coil size might take longer to detect metal

8. Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector

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The Garrett AT Pro is the preferred model for many serious underwater treasure hunters. It is versatile in terms of where you can use it. It works excellently in freshwater and is engineered to do a great job of sensing targets in saltwater environments, thanks to its improved ground balance capability.

The lengthy search coil features an ergonomic design with a belt mount that wraps around your arms. That means you don’t have to do any serious lifting or carrying while under the water.

The model is a bit expensive compared to other options, but the accuracy is top-notch, making it worth every dime. It comes complete with MS-2 headphones that are gentle on the ears and is backed by the manufacturer’s solid 2-year warranty just in case something goes wrong.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 5″ x 11.5″
  • Operating frequency: 15 kHz
  • Weight: 3.03 lbs
  • Battery: Four Double-A batteries

Pros

  • Quick to ground balance the detector in mineralized soil
  • Headphones feature comfy ear cushioning

Cons

  • Possible issues with headset within a year
  • A bit pricey

9. Kuman Pin Pointer Metal Detectors

Kuman Pin Pointer Metal Detectors

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Check out Kuman’s offering if you are in the market for an inexpensive yet great underwater metal detector. The insanely affordable model features a 360-degree side-scan and pinpoint tip detection for sensing all types of metals under the water and on land. It also comes with a waterproof case for use underwater.

This option works great provided you don’t use it for extended periods under the water. It alerts you when it senses metals via audio, vibration, and LED indicator light. It is pretty simple to use with its one-touch operation, making it ideal for kids and adults alike.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 1″
  • Operating frequency: 12 kHz
  • Weight: 0.48 lbs
  • Battery: 9V battery

Pros

  • Great choice for and kids with simple features that allow children to easily use the device
  • Good water-resistant rating
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • Might develop problems if used continuously under the water

10. Minelab Equinox 600 Multi-IQ Metal Detector

Minelab Equinox 600 Multi-IQ Metal Detector

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Coming in last is one of our favorite models, featuring true intelligent simultaneous multi-frequency technology for the ultimate treasure hunting performance in small water bodies. You simply can’t go wrong snorkeling with the Minelab Equinox 600 up to 10-feet under a stream, lake, or river.

Six detection modes allow you to save your favorite search settings for each search profile and quickly switch between them. It is compatible with Bluetooth headphones and ultra-fast wireless audio, so you can effectively cancel out noise during your search.

Specs & Features

  • Coil size: 11″
  • Operating frequency: 5 – 40 kHz
  • Weight: 6.44 lbs
  • Battery: Built-in rechargeable Lithium-ion battery

Pros

  • Operates in multiple frequencies
  • Multiple custom search modes increase the likelihood of finding metals

Cons

  • A bit pricey

Best Underwater Metal Detector: Buying Guide

Using a metal detector under the ocean

There are a few things to consider when deciding on the best underwater metal detector that suits your purpose. These include:

Type

The first step in choosing the right underwater treasure hunting equipment is deciding your primary target area to search for metals.

The best underwater metal detector for saltwater beaches and diving uses Pulse Induction (PI) technology. This type of detector is highly sensitive to precious metals and is excellent for tough ground mineral conditions because of its deep seeking circuitry.

Although the quick series of electronic pulses from a PI detector is not affected by ground minerals and wet salt sand, you will need to dig plenty of trash items to find a fair number of treasures if you this type of underwater metal detector. That’s because the PI circuitry has limited discrimination capability.

The other type of underwater metal detector is the Very Low Frequency (VLF) metal detector. This option operates within different frequency ranges and is very sensitive to jewelry, relics, and coins. It has excellent discriminating capabilities, so it will ignore junk items and mostly detect treasures.

However, a VLF detector is affected by ground mineralization, so it is not the best option to use in saltwater. The device works exceptionally if you plan to hunt treasures in freshwater conditions.

Coil Size

Exploring the sandy bottom of the ocean with a larger search coil increases your chance of finding treasures. The coil’s bigger dimension means it can quickly cover a lot of ground, leading to less time spent hunting for treasure. This doesn’t mean smaller coils are not sensitive; it just means that choosing a detector with a small-sized coil will take a significantly longer time to find a good number of metals under the water.

Water Depth

Although underwater metal detectors are designed to operate under the water, they come with different depth capacities. Submerging them beyond the level they are built to go can compromise some or all of their functions.

You will be best served by models with higher depth rating if you plan to dive deep into the bottom of the ocean for your treasure hunt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do underwater metal detectors work on land?

Yes, these devices can work on land or sandy shores. However, they come with water-friendly features that make them heavier than detectors specifically designed for land use. It is better to use metal detectors for their specific purposes for the best results.

Can an underwater metal detector find diamonds?

No, metal detectors will not find non-metal items such as diamonds, pearls, and gemstones. But they can lead you to indicator minerals. Following the trail might bring you to a volcanic pipe that may contain diamonds and gold.

If you are interested in hunting diamonds, you should look out for some of the best indicator minerals for diamonds. These include magnetite, glassy green olivine, chromium garnets, and black picroilmenite.

What is the best all-around underwater metal detector?

There is hardly a one-size-fits-all underwater metal detector. Every explorer has what they set out to find, and different manufacturers churn out devices that can satisfy the various needs.

However, there are a few detectors that can work well in most conditions. Some of these include Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector, Minelab Equinox 600 Multi-IQ Metal Detector, and Quest Scuba Tector.

About Kyle

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1 Comment

  • Peter on June 30, 2021

    would metal detectors be of any use in water with a lot of plants growing? Our favourite dive water is frequently used for training but even experienced divers lost equipement such a lead belts/pockets.
    It is fresh water but with a thick growth of plants

    Reply

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