Metal detecting is not a skill relegated to adults only; kids can join in the fun. Nothing spikes up a child’s curiosity than uncovering buried treasure. Exploring lost relics is exciting. Instead of buying your kid a toy detector, maybe you should cast your nest wider to encompass some of the best kids’ metal detectors in the market.
Selecting the right device isn’t straightforward. For one, kids need something not complicated. Remember, they have a short attention span. They will abandon the device in search of more interesting pursuits the moment they discover the device takes ages to learn. Next, you need to identify something that is lightweight. We are dealing with kids. Their arms are short, and they are just getting started on treasure hunts.
Instead of going to the market and doing trial and error, we have done the research for you. This review examines some of the best metal detectors for kids.
Read on; it will save you time and money.
How to choose the Best Kids Metal Detector
Identifying the right metal detector for your kids is tricky. You do not want to get them a metal detector toy. They will soon realize that the device does not help them find serious treasure. Children grow fast, so you need to identify something that has adjustable shafts to accommodate any changes in height.
It is nice to teach children metal detecting at an early age as it is during this time that their curiosity levels are at their highest. Metal detecting is a good way to teach your kids geology, and they will find prospecting in the outdoors awesome.
Here are some factors you should consider when searching for the best kids’ metal detector.
Items to search for
Most of the high-quality metal detectors designed for kids will detect almost everything. You can prospect for relics, silver, coins, jewelry, and even gold items. You will need to factor in the location of your search and the mineralization of the soils. The first thing you will need to teach your child is how to interpret the readings on their device correctly. This helps them eliminate trash like nails or metal cans. Always remember to get permission for prospecting in certain areas. Most of the devices designed for kids will not come with manual ground balance. So you have to teach them how to use the device for discrimination.
This is an important factor as children grow fast. The reason some of the devices we have mentioned above are marketed to kids is that the shaft and control box are properly placed to accommodate the child’s height. Having adjustable shafts is a plus as it allows you to position the device properly as the child grows. You should also look for a device with serious metal detecting features as kids soon outgrow the basics.
Prospecting in beach/sandy waters
The beach offers you numerous opportunities for treasure hunts. You can imagine all the relics lost in the deep waters that get washed to ashore. The problem with most of the entry-level devices is that they lack a serious manual ground balance. This means you are going to get many frequencies searching in sandy waters. Most of the devices have waterproof coils making them suitable for searches in shallow fresh water. However, you will need to note that the control box is not waterproof. You will need to protect it from contact with water.
Short learning curve
One of the most important factors in getting a metal detector for your kids is that it should be simple to understand. Remember, kids have a short attention span and will easily be bored when they find highly complicated devices. This means your ideal metal detector should have a simple control box design and controls. For younger kids below the age of 8 years, you should get a device that capitalizes in using emojis for display. This piques the kids’ curiosity in the hobby.
The ideal metal detector for you kid should be lightweight. Children’s bodies are not designed for heavy lifting, and the moment they find metal prospecting burdensome, they will soon abandon it. You also need to identify a device that is sturdy enough to prevent breakages.
Once you have identified the right device for your kids for metal hunting, the next step is to direct their steps to areas where they can increase their chances of finding something serious. You can start training them by hiding some coins or metal objects in your backyard, then allowing them to detest their devices.
Remember to engage in other fun activities as kids have a short attention span. They will easily get bored if the only pieces of treasure they come across are old tin cans and nails. The beach offers some fertile ground for metal hunting. Picture all those metal objects being washed ashore. This necessitates finding a device that has a waterproof coil.
The 6 Best Metal Detectors for Kids of All Ages
Below 8 years old
1. Bounty Hunter Junior T.I.D. Metal Detector
The first thing you notice with this device is the simple design with bright colors. But, don’t be fooled by its simplicity, the Bounty hunter comes with awesome features common in high-end detectors. The large screen displays friendly icons for indication of battery life, three target ID categories, discrimination control, a graphic target depth indicator.
As we earlier stated, children have a high curiosity for almost anything. A butterfly landing on their head can send them spiraling in uncontrollable laughter. This is what the makers of the bounty hunter junior had in mind when they designed this metal detector. The screen uses emojis for communication.
Here is how it works.
When your kid is searching in areas loaded with trash, the screen will display a sad face to show that the metal detector has detected something worthless like bottle caps, trashcans, or nails. They will also hear a low audio tone with the find. When the device detects something, it cannot quite classify accurately like a ring, the LCD screen will have a question mark. The audio tone is medium at this moment. A smiley face fills up the screen whenever the detector comes across some valuable items like gold coins, silver jewelry, or relics. This is accompanied by a high-pitched tone.
The bounty hunter junior is lightweight at 1.5 pounds and has a length of 19 inches. It is the perfect metal detector for your kids below the age of 8 years. It comes to discrimination control that enables the kids to filter out unwanted items. This is done through a 6” concentric coil. However, it has some downsides like the lack of headphones, which makes listening to audio difficult.
What we liked:
- Large LCD screen with emojis
- Lightweight at 1.5 pounds
- Presence of discrimination feature
- Attractive design suited for young children
2. National Geographic PRO Series Metal Detector
Minelab manufactures this device. The company has built a reputation in the field of metal detecting, and this device is no exception. The national geographic is great for traveling due to its ergonomic design. It weighs a partly 2lbs, and you can collapse it to just 22 inches. To enhance your success rate in identifying lost coins, jewelry, and relics, the device comes with a large 10-inch coil.
The national geographic is not to be underestimated; it comes with three detection modes, pinpoint location feature, and four sensitivity levels. All these features help you identify items that are hidden up to 12 inches. The device is also telescopic from 22 to 51 inches, and this means your kid can grow with the device before they move to devices that are more complicated.
What stands out for the national geographic pro series is it’s easy to navigate buttons. This makes it easy for kids to find what they are looking for with the device. The LCD screen is backlight for easy viewing in areas with poor visibility. You also have fewer buttons, making the device less complicated for small hands.
The device comes with the find icon that lets your kids have a clue as to what they have found. It comes with a pinpointer that works wonders in preventing your kids from dead-end pursuits. The pinpointer emits a sound as you approach a valuable item. On the downside, the device is not waterproof, so you need to be careful prospecting in wet areas.
What we liked:
- Search modes and sensitivity levels
- Easy to understand and read backlit LCD screen
- Discrimination feature to eliminate trash
- Pinpointer helps find items easily
Metal Detectors for Kids 10 Years and Above
3. Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector
Kids above ten years will soon find the features in the bounty hunter junior or the national geographic Pro series a bit shallow in features. Such kids have gotten used to the thrill of hunting for relics and desire to take their prowess to another level. The Fisher F22 is an ideal metal detector for beginners or older kids who desire more from their device.
Firstly, the Fisher F22 comes with a submergible 9” coil that allows you to take your metal hunting into water bodies. It comes with ten adjustable sensitivity levels and has a pinpoint feature to narrow down your search. You can detect relics, coins, and other artifacts to a depth of 9 inches. The Fisher weighs a partly 2.3lbs hence making it lightweight for young kids to carry around.
The Fisher is a VLF detector, and you can view information like a 2-digit target ID, depth indicator, or iron identifier icon from the large LCD screen. You also get a four audio tone to improve your search. With pinpointing settings, your kid should soon become a pro in metal hunting before they can upgrade to more expert metal detectors.
While the Fisher is pricier than other models in the same category but it’s packed with some awesome features. However, you won’t find manual ground balancing, and kids may need some time to get used to the functions.
What we liked:
- Ten sensitivity levels
- Ability to set hunting modes
- Made from high-quality materials
- Can be used by kids and adult beginners
4. Minelab X-TERRA 305 Metal Detector
Once your kids have outgrown their fascination with the art of metal hunting, they may desire to search for valuable items like gold. This requires a serious piece of equipment. However, be prepared to spend more for it.
To start with, the Minelab X-Terra comes with a 10-inch concentric coil that is designed through a proprietary digital VFLEX technology. The coil is replaceable, so you can change it to suit your environment. This allows you to explore various frequencies. With up to six accessory options, you can operate with a variety of frequencies from 7 kHz to 18.75 kHz.
For the price range, you get the benefit of ground balance capability for highly mineralized soils. To enhance your sound experience while prospecting for relics, the Minelab comes with a three-manual sound setting that allows you to choose the quietest channel. In addition, you get three-tone IDs, and this offers you flexibility when finding targets.
The Minelab is lightweight and with an innovative design that allows the control box to be mounted on the grip. This is great for kids as it eliminates the pressure on their wrists. Due to the comfortable design, you can go on prospecting for hours without tiring.
For efficient targeting, the Minelab X-terra comes with a pinpoint mode. This allows you to discriminate against useless items like nails and trashcans. With a graphic ID system, you can easily identify the metals in the ground hence saving you time digging for worthless items. You also have the control box playing multiple tones hence allowing you to differentiate targets with ease.
The Minelab X-Terra 305 is a great addition for your teens who have outgrown the entry-level metal detectors in the market. The device allows them to take their skills a notch higher.
Check how metal detectors work.
What we liked:
- Proprietary True Digital VFLEX technology accommodates interchangeable coils
- Noise cancel function that allows up to 3 manual settings
- Innovative design that takes pressure from your wrists
- Accurate ground balance feature that makes it easy to adjust for mineralization
5. Teknetics Digitek Youth Metal Detector – Suitable For Teenagers
This device is solely marketed for teens. For its price range, the Teknetics Digitek comes loaded with advanced features. The device is a VLF with a waterproof concentric coil that can identify objects hidden to a depth of up to 2 feet and old coins at a depth of 8 inches. It operates at a frequency of 7.69 kHz, which is okay for finding some old relics.
The device allows you to adjust the sensitivity and speed. These customizable features allow you to narrow your search when you are searching for relics, jewelry, or old coins. When your teens start finding valuable items, it piques their interest in the hobby. The Teknetics has a straightforward control panel that is easy to understand. While you do not get the benefit of manual ground balance, you still can find some valuable items with the device.
Your teen will find the 0-99 target ID numbers, nine target-ID categories, and a depth indicator useful in their search for hidden treasure. The shaft is adjustable, which comes in handy for teens of all sizes. Due to the lack of a manual ground setting, you may want to avoid prospecting in wet salty areas. The discrimination features work well to separate the trash from real treasure. You do not have to waste your time prospecting for trash cans and old nails. You also have three different tones to identify your targets – low, mid-tone, and high. The device is heavier at 3.9 pounds than other devices in its category.
What we liked:
- Adjustable shaft to accommodate various teen sizes
- Comes with 0-99 target numbers and useful depth indicator
- Allows prospecting to a depth of 2 feet
- Three audio tones for target identification
6. Garrett ACE 200 Metal Detector
This is an ideal device for teens who have outgrown the kids’ metal detectors. The Garrett Ace comes with a 6.5” x 9” concentric coil that operates on a 6.5 kHz frequency. This does a decent job of finding some old relics and occasional gold coins. It is lightweight at 2.75lbs, and this makes it good for carrying around without tiring your wrist and back. Since the coil is waterproof, you do not have to worry about prospecting in shallow waters.
The screen is large and gives you access to information like a target ID with a 0-99 scale. You also get to choose from three audio tones that work wonders in detecting various metal types. Due to its ergonomic design, you should be able to prospect in various terrains. You can narrow your search through three search modes, and with four sensitivity levels, you should increase your odds of finding something valuable.
The Garrett Ace 200 comes with cam locks for enhanced adjustability and stability of the device. It comes with a coin depth indicator that allows you to know the depth of the object. You can also check out your battery level through an indicator on the screen. Overall, this is a decent entry-level device for your teens who are looking for something serious to take their treasure hunts to the next level. Like most budget-friendly metal detectors, the Garrett does not come with a pinpointer. However, the target ID works wonders in detecting various metal types.
What we liked:
- Waterproof 6.5” X 9” concentric coil
- Four sensitivity levels with three search modes
- Coin depth indicator
- Easy to understand and use
Concluding our Best Kids Metal Detectors Guide
Metal hunting is a skill you can introduce to your kids at an early age. It offers them an opportunity to learn and find some buried treasure. In this review for the best metal detector for kids, we have concluded that the National Geographic PRO Series is the best detector for kids under the age of 8 years while the Minelab X-Terra 305 is best for kids above the age of 10 years. The later comes with interchangeable coils that you can use to find a variety of metals. It also comes loaded with features that you often see in high-end models.