Today you’re going to learn what are the best gold panning kits, so you don’t waste time and money on the crappy ones. These recommendations are based on researching, testing gold pans and reviews from real users.
While gold panning has been popular since ancient civilizations ruled, it remains a popular hobby today. People have used gold pans for hundreds of years to recover gold and minerals from sediment deposits. The gold rush may be over, but there are still many great places to hunt for gold – all you need is a gold panning kit and some determination!
Best Kits For Gold Panning
1. Garrett Metal Detectors Kit (Best Value For Money)
This gold panning kit from Garrett isn’t just one of the most popular options; it’s also a very affordable panning kit! This kit features Garrett’s revolutionary new pan design and all the tools you’ll need to get started – it also comes with a “How To Find Gold” field guide written by Roy Lagal and Charles Garrett!
This kit comes with a versatile 14-inch gold trap pan, which is larger than common sizes but smaller than those used by experienced gold panners. The pan also comes with an accompanying 14-inch classifier and a smaller 10-inch backpacker pan.
The pans are colored green to enhance the visibility of gold nuggets and flakes. This gold pan series from Garrett also includes the world’s first 90-degree riffle design patent. Essentially, this design ensures you can quickly extract gold from sediment in wet and dry conditions, making gold prospecting easier.
The kit also has two 1.5-inch tall plastic vials to store gold flecks. A tweezer and magnifier combo is also included for use with the vials, but these are not great for precision work. While a snuffer bottle is included to suck up gold, it doesn’t have the best design, so you might need to buy a replacement eventually.
The main benefit of this gold panning kit is the unique rifled design, which makes these durable tools easy to use. The robust design also ensures that this set is indestructible and will last for many years. The lightweight nature of the tools in this kit also means the set is easy to transport and carry with other equipment when panning for gold.
While this set contains most of the necessary tools you’ll need, a few items are low-quality or not included. You’ll likely want to replace the included snuffer bottle and tweezer/magnifier with this one. Although it’s not the best gold panning kit out there, it’s our recommended one as a value pick.
- Super affordable
- The rifled design makes it easy to pan for gold
- Pans are highly durable
- The lightweight kit is easy to transport
- The sniffer bottle and tweezer must be replaced
- Does not include a sediment scoop, sand magnet, or bucket
2. SE 7-Piece Kit (Best For Experts)
This gold panning kit from SE is slightly more expensive than similar kits but is designed to help you take your gold panning to the next level! SE’s seven-piece kit has everything panning enthusiasts require to capture gold flakes and other precious minerals making it one of the best panning kits for gold. This gold mining kit contains two different pan sizes: a 10-inch and a 14-inch pan.
The lightweight design of these green gold pans allows you to use them for prolonged periods without strain, while the green color lets you spot gold quickly. A gold sifting sieve also uses half-inch mesh wires to help you easily classify different materials. This kit also includes a nifty sand magnet that can be used to separate any iron-based black sand from any gold flecks you discover.
SE also provides buyers with magnified tweezers that help you spot and capture gold flecks while using your gold panning set. You also get a handy snuffer bottle to suck up any gold! Finally, you get two airtight glass vials that can securely store any gold you uncover.
The robust design of these tools is one of the main advances of this mining kit. After all, you need strong and sturdy tools when panning for gold! Another benefit is the included classifier, which can handle rocks as large as softballs without issue. This kit is ideal if you’re looking for a mining kit the whole family can use, regardless of their expertise. Experienced and amateur gold panners will be delighted!
One downside of this kit is that you’ll need to buy an additional sieve to handle finer materials due to the larger hole sizes in the included sieve. The included tweezers are also not great for picking up fine pieces of gold, so you’ll need to purchase your pair.
You can purchase a bag of gold paydirt to practice using this gold panning kit before mining for the real thing!
- Robust design and build.
- The classifier helps remove large rocks while panning
- The included sand magnet makes cleanup easy
- You’ll need to buy an additional sieve
- The tweezers aren’t high-quality
3. Morocca Panning Kit (Best For Travelling)
This 11-piece deluxe gold panning kit from Morocca is perfect for those who love to travel, regardless of their gold panning expertise. This kit only weighs 0.25 pounds and includes everything you need! The lightweight design means you can easily fit your kit into your suitcase, which allows you to pan for gold wherever you are.
Morocca’s set includes three gold pans (8-inch, 10-inch, and 14-inch), which are all green and have dual riffles. You’ll receive two sifting pans with varying mesh sizes and wire thicknesses, stackable on 5-gallon buckets! One sifting pan has a ½-inch mesh size with 0.06-inch-thick wire, while the other has a 1/8-inch mesh with a 0.02-inch-thick wire.
The stainless steel tweezer with magnifying lens works well to help you identify gold, while the magnet separator with quick release helps clean gold flecks quickly. You also get two glass storage vials and a 5-inch plastic snuffer bottle. The 12-inch heavy-duty sand scoop will come in handy while collecting sediment, arguably the most important part of panning for gold.
The main advantage of this all-in-one kit is that it includes everything you need to get started panning for gold, and all the tools work correctly. Durability may be a concern for experts since the three gold pans are not heavy-duty enough for long-term panning. The pans are thinner than those made by Garrett. The lightweight design makes this set ideal if you’re looking for an affordable gold panning set suitable for travel.
- Multiple pan sizes are included for versatility
- The lightweight kit is easy to travel with
- All pans feature the dual riffle design
- The tweezers and sand magnet help clean and store gold
- The gold pans are thinner than competitors
- The pans may not be durable enough for long-term panning
4. Stansport Mining Kit (Best For Gifts)
If you want to gift someone the experience of reliving the old west’s gold rush, Stansport’s mining kit is the perfect fun and educational gift. This kit contains the essential items to start profiting from this fun hobby. Two separate gold pans are included (10.5-inch and 14-inch), allowing two people to pan for gold together.
While the pans are robust, they are colored black instead of green. There are two gold vials (1 oz and half oz) for storing gold. The snuffer bottle makes cleanup quick and easy. The precision tweezer with magnifier will help you easily identify gold dust and flakes. Another benefit is the included book, a handy guide for beginners gifted with this mining set.
A hand trowel and steel rock hammer are included, which ensures that you’re not limited in your options for sourcing sediment. While the trowel is suitable for beginners, adults need a stronger trowel. However, the rock hammer is solid and works well to break up rocks. Unfortunately, this kit only includes one 3/8-inch mesh classifier.
While this kit is pricier than competitors, it includes everything needed to get started, regardless of age. Children and experienced prospectors alike will enjoy what this set has to offer! However, gold panners with more experience will want to upgrade some of the tools, especially the trowel. Giving someone the gift of gold is as easy as purchasing this Stansport mining kit!
- The included rock hammer makes collecting sediment easier
- Educational material is provided with this set
- This kit is the ideal gold panning gift
- The trowel will need to be upgraded for expert panners
- Only one classifier is included in the set
5. Gold Rush Nugget Bucket (Best Compact Kit)
The GPAA, the Gold Prospectors Association of America, recommended the Gold Rush Nugget Bucket kit. It’s the only kit featured on the hit show Shark Tank, with Robert Herjavec making a deal to produce this product! This kit is ideal if you’re looking for a compact all-in-one set.
This gold panning kit weighs just over five pounds, with a design that allows all your tools to stack inside the kit. This design makes the kit easy to carry while panning for gold while keeping your tools lightweight. The filtration system works well, using two screen sizes to pan different material sizes. This kit also contains a snuffer bottle, gold vials, tweezers, and a scoop.
Overall, this gold panning set works well for panning gold. While it can’t capture as much gold as a sluice box, it’s lighter and more compact than bulky sluice boxes. With this gold pan, you can simply scoop in sediment, pour in some water, and let gravity do the hard work. This design makes the Gold Rush set ideal for those looking to pan for fun without investing in professional gear.
To get the most out of this easy-to-carry Gold Rush Nugget Bucket, you should purchase an additional Garret 14-inch classifier. This classifier fits perfectly on the study GPAA-endorsed Nugget Bucket and speeds up the classification process, which allows you to pan your way through more sediment!
- The Nugget Bucket is easy to use
- The GPAA endorses this kit
- The tools are lightweight and easy to transport
- This set works differently from other gold panning kits
- You might need to purchase an additional classifier
6. Minelab PRO Kit (Best For Beginners)
The Minelab PRO Gold Panning Kit is a premium starter gold panning kit for those serious about developing and improving their gold panning skills. This great set includes two gold pans (15-inch and 10-inch), allowing you to use the best pan size for your needs. The 10-inch pan is ideal for cleanup, while the 15-inch pan makes it easy to pan anywhere in creeks and bodies of water.
The tools in this set are constructed from durable and lightweight polypropylene with UV-resistant properties. The 14-inch classifier works well with the pan and can be stacked on 5-gallon buckets. While these pans are blue instead of the standard green, gold flakes still stand out well! Many colorblind buyers have also reported finding it easier to spot gold against the blue pans.
The suction bottle and pipette syringes work perfectly to collect gold, which can be stored in the included vials. However, the suction bottle is on the small side. There’s also a great bag to store and carry all your gold panning equipment. While it takes some time to get used to these pans, the unique riffle design makes panning for gold easy for everyone, making it the best gold panning kit for beginners.
Unfortunately, the included sand magnet can be hard to handle – especially if you’re panning around water. We recommend purchasing a stronger sand magnet and a larger suction bottle. Overall, this set is built to last.
- The carry bag makes it easy to store and transport your gear
- The suction bottle and syringes make it easy to trap gold
- Colorblind users will find it easier to spot gold against the blue pans
- The sniffer bottle may be too small for your needs
- The sand magnet is hard to handle
7. Garrett Deluxe Kit (Best For Durability)
The Garret Deluxe Gold Pan Kit is another fantastic panning set from the acclaimed manufacturer. This mining set includes a 15-inch gold pan and a 14-inch prospector pan, which are durable and almost indestructible. The durability and larger pan size allow you to pan with higher volumes of sediment.
The 14-inch Garrett classifier works perfectly due to its lightweight design. The 10-inch backpacker pan rounds out the set, ensuring you have all the pans needed to find gold. The pans are green like other Garrett models, making it easy to spot gold in daylight. You also get a high-quality snuffer bottle, precision tweezers, and two vials!
One downside of this Garrett set is that it costs twice the amount of the other Garrett set. However, you are paying for some of the sturdiest pans available on the market, which makes this set ideal for anyone who wants to avoid purchasing flimsy pans that don’t last long. The stellar pans are the pain selling point of this deluxe Garrett set.
Unfortunately, the set doesn’t include a scoop or bucket. What’s great about this deluxe kit is that it includes a helpful “How To Find Gold: Metal Detecting And Panning” book. You’ll also get the book ”Find An Ounce Of Gold A Day” and a DVD that guides you through the gold panning process. These materials are ideal for beginners with only entry-level gold panning experience.
- The pans are highly durable
- The larger pans can handle more sediment than competitors
- The lightweight kit is easy to carry with other tools, like metal detectors
- Materials for beginners are included
- More expensive than other gold panning kits
- You will need to purchase a sediment scoop and bucket
Tips To Get Start Panning For Gold With Your New Kit
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best gold panning kits available today, let’s discuss some helpful tips to get you started with your new kit!
Practice Your Gold Panning Techniques
Beginners should practice their techniques! All you need to practice is some chopped-up copper wire, sediment, a bucket of water, and your panning kit. You can mix the copper wire into the sediment and use your new mining kit to extract the copper.
Since copper has a higher density than gold, it will be more challenging to remove from the sediment. If you don’t have copper wire lying around, you can purchase bags of gold paydirt to practice your skills before heading out to the river.
Look Out For Geological Indicators Of Gold
While there are plenty of gold panning hotspots across America, you can pan for gold virtually anywhere! Knowing which geological indicators to look out for will help you successfully pan for gold. Pay special attention to rocks that are lighter than the surrounding rocks since this can indicate gold is present.
Gold and other gemstones are often found in rock contact zones, where different rock types come together. When panning for gold near rivers, you should go farther upstream since this is where coarse gold is commonly found. You should stick to moderate or flat slopes while gold panning in desert regions.
Add More Tools To Your Gold Panning Kit
While a gold panning kit includes most of the tools you need to get started, you can always add more tools to your kit over time. From our reviews, it’s clear that some kits are missing items like sediment scoops or snuffer bottles, so you’ll need to purchase these items separately.
Your preferred gold panning kit also may not have an included magnet that can be used to sort black sand from gold flecks. Magnets are great for carefully cleaning your gold. Gold panners with more experience also use metal detectors to aid their gold panning since the device helps you avoid areas with no metal. Metal detectors are a must when panning for gold in places like Northern Nevada!
➜ New to gold panning? Check the full guide for beginners
If you want to start hunting for gold, one of the stellar mining sets we reviewed is sure to suit your needs, expertise, and budget. We also outlined some handy tips to ensure you get the most out of your new tools. Your gold-seeking adventure starts now!