Looking for metal detector recommendations

Erik H

Tenderfoot
May 17, 2022
8
14
Durango Colorado
Detector(s) used
Fisher Gold Bug 2
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
Hello all! I am fairly new to prospecting and am interested in getting a metal detector. I would mainly be using it to search for nuggets and specimens in old hardrock mine dumps. Does anybody have any recommendations for good lower priced detectors that would work well for my purposes?
Thanks, -Erik :)
 
Upvote 2

pepperj

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2009
29,679
99,933
Detector(s) used
Deus, Deus 2, Minelab 3030, E-Trac,
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
Hello all! I am fairly new to prospecting and am interested in getting a metal detector. I would mainly be using it to search for nuggets and specimens in old hardrock mine dumps. Does anybody have any recommendations for good lower priced detectors that would work well for my purposes?
Thanks, -Erik :)
Have looked at the possibility of buying a mid/higher used machine?
Don't know the budget so it's kind of hard to recommend something.
 
OP
Erik H

Erik H

Tenderfoot
May 17, 2022
8
14
Durango Colorado
Detector(s) used
Fisher Gold Bug 2
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
I'm thinking I probably want something under $400. I'm not opposed to getting a used detector
 

hound

Jr. Member
Sep 19, 2018
98
159
KY
Detector(s) used
XP Deus,
Equinox 800
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
A budget VLF gold machine.
Fisher Gold Bug Pro ~ $600 USD is a good entry and has a good value for your money.
Fisher Gold Bug 2 ~$800 USD
ORX ~$600 USD. The HF coil is the key piece but works with the Deus as well.
Minelab Equinox 800 with 6" coil ~$900 + $179 for the coil
Minelab Gold Monster 1000 ~$1000 USD

Haven't used one but
Nokta Gold Finder 2000 ~$600 USD
Garret AT Gold ~$640

The Nokta Legend has a gold mode and small coil but I don't know of anyone who has used it nugget hunting or seen any videos.

Most important is learning to use the machine. Get some birdshot, if you can find #10 lead birdshot then you can find nuggets the same size.

If you want to go deeper in hot ground then you'll need a PI machine that is quite a bit more money.
 
Last edited:

Jim in Idaho

Silver Member
Jul 21, 2012
3,162
4,367
Blackfoot, Idaho
Detector(s) used
White's GM2, GM3, DFX, Coinmaster, TDI-SL, GM24K, Falcon MD20, old Garrett Masterhunter BFO
'Way Too Cool' dual 18 Watt UV light
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
I'd look for a used White's Goldmaster. Like a GM3 or V-SAT. Manual ground balance, but once you learn to use them, great machines. Usually available around $250-$300.
Jim
 

Jim in Idaho

Silver Member
Jul 21, 2012
3,162
4,367
Blackfoot, Idaho
Detector(s) used
White's GM2, GM3, DFX, Coinmaster, TDI-SL, GM24K, Falcon MD20, old Garrett Masterhunter BFO
'Way Too Cool' dual 18 Watt UV light
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
should be great. Surprised you found one that cheap.
Jim
 

ZombieKnot

Jr. Member
Dec 25, 2022
39
36
If you ever want to upgrade to a pulse type that searches twice as deep... i recommend a Garret Seamaster. Got one from craigslist for $500 and used by truck driver on beaches. Cheapest PI detector i have found cause everyone thinks it is only for water. Added longer rod and works nice. Got some smiles using it in New Mexico drywashes! Good starter box and you never know when a friend might ask you to find his $15,000 ROLEX in the golf pond after a bad swing.:laughing7: Cheap skate bought me a beer, just one.:occasion14:
 

ZombieKnot

Jr. Member
Dec 25, 2022
39
36
Has anyone noticed i transposed the garret sea hunter name with the white's surf master name. getting old sux. garret is a cheaper water proof PI machine i can not recommend enough. Surf master is twice the price and twice the features whose coil options are job specific.
For an inexpensive beginner non water proof powerhouse i recommend the nokta simplex at about $250. As you progress the nokta legend worked the same for me as the deux but so much lower in cost i giggle finding gold rings at 13 inches that pay for it and then shrug my shoulders with the deus ll cause it was expensive for retired dude.
minelab has always been out of my price range when they are twice the cost of a DMX that introduced dual frequency. A sly thing to wait for the patents to expire then adopt the competitions technology, like how apple phones introduce samsung features 2 years later and declare it as "new".
 

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