Most kids love hunting for treasures – it’s exciting, romantic, and rewarding. This is a fascinating activity inspired by books and Indiana Jones movies. Whether you plan a family retreat, a “Treasure Island” party for your child’s birthday, or just would like to keep your kid busy outdoors for a long time, metal detecting sounds like a great idea.
In this article, you will find how to choose the best metal detector for kids.
You will find reviews of the top 5 detectors on the market suitable for children of different ages and levels of interest, a guide to assist you in the selection of proper metal detector and answers to some common questions.
Below is a list of the best kids metal detectors.
Top 5 Metal Detectors for kids 2023
- Fisher F22 – Best Metal Detector for kids Overall
- Bounty Hunter Tracker IV – Best Metal Detector for kids for the Money
- National Geographic PRO – Best Metal Detector for kids for Simplicity
- RM RICOMAX GC-1003 – Newest Detector for kids
- DR.ÖTEK Junior – Most Affordable Metal Detector for Children
5 Best Metal Detectors for Kids
1. Fisher F22 – Best Metal Detector for kids Overall
Fisher F22 is a superb metal detector both for a teenager and for a novice adult. If metal detecting is your hobby, Fisher F22 may probably be everything you will ever need.
This metal detector is very easy to operate, as it has several search modes that are pre-configured by the manufacturer. You just need to turn it on and start searching right from the box, making it the best metal detector for children.
The 9-inch search coil and an option to adjust sensitivity allow to detect items up to 8-10 inches under the ground. A digital display provides a lot of visual information about targets found and is supported by a 4-tone audio signal.
➜ Check the full review of Fisher F22 kids metal detector
This kids metal detector is declared to be weatherproof and can be used during most nasty weather conditions if your kid cares to be outside. The search coil can be submerged in water.
Fisher F22 is pricier than most other metal detectors for younger children and beginners, but it has more features and therefore, will serve its purpose even when your kid grows up.
- Digital LCD screen
- Fast reactivity
- Pinpoint mode
- Preset ground balance
- Waterproof search coil
- Lightweight at 3 lbs
- Works well in wet sand
- Quite expensive
2. Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV – Best Metal Detector for kids for the Money
Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is a fantastic entry level metal detector that is pretty reasonably priced. It is straightforward as it only has two knobs. One of which controls the sensitivity and the other – the level of discrimination and one switch to select a mode. Even a kid and a complete beginner can operate it without any problems.
The Bounty Hunter metal detector weights somewhat more than the previous model but is still quite light at slightly over 4 lbs. The shaft of the instrument is telescopic and can fit for kids of almost any age.
As simple as it may seem, the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV still provides some control with the selection of sensitivity level so that a detectorist will not have to dig for every old nail.
At the same time, the metal detector has an “All metals” mode, which will be more suitable for a younger kid. This option will also be preferable if you are looking for archeological artifacts that can be of any metal.
The analog meter in the middle of the panel shows the strength of the signal when a target is found. This gives an understanding of how deep or how large the found item is.
- Easy to operate
- Automatic adjustment of ground balance
- Relatively low price
- No target indication on the control panel
- Heavier than other models for kids
- No volume adjustment
3. National Geographic PRO Series Metal Detector – Best Metal Detector for kids for Simplicity
National Geographic company also manufactures professional metal detectors highly valued by serious treasure hunters, so these guys know what they are after.
The National Geographic PRO Series detector is geared to the youngest generation and is very lightweight, weighing only 2.3 lbs. It has a telescopic handle adjustable from 22 to 51 inches. Consequently, the metal detector will grow with your child. At the same time, the coil is quite large and can find staff up to 12 inches deep. The metal detector is collapsible and can be carried in a backpack.
The Pro Series detector for kids has straightforward controls as there are only 3 preset search modes with 4 sensitivity levels for each of the modes.
A great feature for kids is a “Find” option, which is the device’s best guess on what has most likely been found, so the kid can decide whether to bother digging or not.
It doesn’t have a numeric Target ID, but it does have four target category icons: iron, aluminum, ring, and coin.
- LCD display with easily readable icons
- Low weight and collapsible
- Pinpoint feature
- Reasonable price
- Not completely waterproof
- Too simple for older kids
4. RM RICOMAX GC-1003 – Newest Metal Detector For Kids
RM RICOMAX GC-1003 detector is designed specifically with children’s requirements in mind and will ensure that your kid fully enjoys treasure hunting experience.
This kids metal detector is extremely simple with no settings whatsoever, which is exactly what a 5-6-year-old needs. It just beeps, and the light comes on when whatever metal is detected.
The detector is capable of finding things at 3-5 inches depth, depending on the item’s size. The closer the machine gets to the treasure, the louder the sound volume gets, so your child will not have a chance to miss it.
An LCD display is pretty informative and provides a lot of visual aids. The RM RICOMAX is completely wireless, so there is no wiring around the rack, which can get in the way or become damaged. The stem is telescopic, so there is no need to assemble it – just unfold and go.
This kids metal detector is complemented with a little rack, a little shovel, and a rucksack to carry it around.
The search coil is waterproof, but the panel can be easily damaged, so be careful around water.
Overall, the RM RICOMAX GC-1003 is a great start for any beginning detectorist, both kids and adults. It will also work great if you just need to find a lost metal item in your garden. It is very simple and might need to be replaced with a more sophisticated model once the user acquires the taste of treasure hunting.
- Extremely simple
- Foldable and portable
- Wireless design
- Waterproof coil
- Vital accessories included
- Decent pricing
- A little heavy for the youngest hunters at 3.15 lbs
- No discrimination between different types of metals
- Not completely waterproof
5. DR.ÖTEK Junior Metal Detector – Most Affordable Metal Detector for Children
With the bargain pricing of DR.ÖTEK Junior metal detector, nothing will stop you from buying it just to see whether your kid likes hunting for treasures or not. It can also make a great gift for any child whose birthday you happen to be invited to.
This very easy to use metal detector will be ideal for children of 4-9 years old or for anyone who does not care about reading instructions. It is also very durable and safe without any wiring around the stem or coil.
The coil is waterproof and can be used in shallow water. The control box must be kept dry.
The display is very child-friendly with clear icons and controls. This metal detector for kids has some discrimination. The light in the middle of the display flashes in different colors, depending on what is found. It also beeps in different tones to help separate trash from treasure. There are two modes of operation: disc and pinpoint.
The detector is extremely lightweight – just a little over 2 lbs, which makes it ideal for the youngest hunters. The reviews say that it is also pretty durable and withstands quite some smacking, dropping and smashing.
This kids metal detector is quite simple to operate even for small kids, especially if you walk them through the first few findings. The tool’s ability to discriminate between types of metals is a perfect reason to explain the basics of conductivity of different metals to a young inquisitive mind.
- Attractive, easy to read display
- Some discrimination and sensitivity levels available
- Automatic ground balancing
- Reasonably priced
- Not as accurate as professional models
- Finds coins at only up to the 2-inch depth
Best Metal Detector For Kids – Buyer’s Guide
When buying a metal detector for a kid, you should take into account some important factors to make sure that searching for things will be fun and exciting. A correctly chosen device may set the stage for a life-long hobby while a wrong choice will only bring frustration and boredom to the metal detecting experience.
Here are the most important criteria to consider when looking for the best metal detector for kids:
1. Ease of use
A metal detector should have just enough sophistication so that a youngster can operate it without a lot of help from adults. Very young children of 4-5 years old are often happy to find just about anything.
While discrimination between different metals is a vital feature for a professional device, a detector for the little hunters should not have a lot of it. Otherwise, it may only confuse a kid. Hearing a loud tone when a metal object is detected might be well enough for the youngest hunters.
Older children will appreciate visual and audio aids that will help to understand the type of target detected, target’s depth, shape, size, etc.
Ideally, kids metal detectors should have a factory set mode of operation so that you can take them out of the box, switch them on, and go searching. At the same time, options to change some settings will allow older children to start learning basic concepts of metal hunting.
Since the device is made for kids or toddlers, it just has to be anti-vandal and to withstand some harsh treatment including but not limited to smashing, dropping on a hard surface, and dragging around.
Young kids do not always hold to the idea of using things for their direct purposes only. Try to avoid cheap plastic and loose parts and stick to waterproof models just in case your offspring decides to look for treasures in your swimming pool.
It should be easy for a child to hold the device for a decent period without feeling fatigued. Most metal detectors for kids from 4 to 9 years old weigh about 2 lbs while a teenager can well handle a device weighing 3 – 4 lbs.
You don’t have to blow a hole in your budget for your kid’s first metal detector and pay for many sophisticated features a child will not appreciate yet.
If your youngsters display a genuine interest for digging in the ground and finding things, you can pay a little more so that they keep being interested and will not outgrow the machine too quickly.
But if you buy a device just to see whether your kid finds it fascinating or not, you can always find a cheaper and simpler model just to give it a try. Thus you will not be overly disappointed when the detector is left to rest in peace somewhere in the far corner of your attic a month later.
5. Actual ability to detect metals
Last but not least, the device should be really helpful in finding things, like jewelry or coins. There are a lot of cheap toys that are not able to find anything even on the ground, saying nothing about detecting objects under the ground. Don’t be driven by the simplicity of buying one in the nearest Walmart – such a toy is not what you are after.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can kids find with the help of these instruments?
There is no difference with more sophisticated models for adults. In essence, any metal detector is capable of finding something that is made of metal, including iron, non-ferrous metals, and even silver and gold items.
You can set up most detectors to discriminate between different metals so that you don’t waste your time digging out rusty nails or aluminum cans. It takes some practice to interpret the signals and learn to separate trash from treasures, even with the most sensitive metal detector.
2. Do all metal detectors find gold?
Gold is also a metal, so the good news is yes, all metal detectors can find objects that are made of gold. The only exception would be gold nuggets – because of the high content of minerals in the soil in the areas where gold is mined, a special detector is required.
3. Do these devices emit substances that may be harmful for kids?
No, metal detectors are absolutely safe to use and are not known to cause any health problems.
4. Do kids need headphones to use with metal detectors?
Headphones are usually used when you do not want to disturb people around with the beeps and other sounds made by the device while metal detecting. Therefore depending on the size of the crowd, it might be a good idea to use headphones or earbuds. Usually, they don’t go with the purchase, but most models have a special jack for them.
5. Can I find anything on the beach or underwater?
All metal detectors work fine on dry sand. And most models have waterproof coils that can be used underwater. Note, however, that displays and control panels are usually not waterproof, so if you want to dip your tool in the water completely, you should look for specific models that are totally submersible. Also, note that not all detectors will be able to find something under salty seawater as it has a different mineral balance, so ground balance settings of your detector will have to be changed.
6. Can these devices help find the bones of fossil animals?
No, metal detectors can only detect metals. They cannot detect an organic substance even if it’s calcified.
7. What batteries are required, and how long do they last?
Different devices require different batteries. The most common is one 9V battery, but some can also work off a few AA batteries. In any case, the batteries last for quite some time, so you don’t have to carry a box of new ones with you every time you use your detector. Most detectors will show how much battery life is left on an LCD screen, so you will be in the know when to replace.
Treasure hunting is an exciting adventure suitable for the whole family during weekends and holidays. Introducing your offsprings to this activity will allow them to feel engaged in family endeavors and motivated to help.
A kids metal detector is an excellent device to introduce a youngster to some basic concepts of physics, learn history, and spend a lot of time being outdoors instead of sitting in front of a computer.
After hours of research, we have placed Fisher F22 to the top of our list of the best metal detectors for kids. Fisher F22 is an excellent option that will give a good start and teach your kid a lot. This device will be a particularly good choice than others if you plan to turn metal detecting into the whole family adventure.