There are so many metal detectors out there, so much that it can be hard to separate the gold from the dross, relatively speaking.
However, Minelab is one company that consistently churns out excellent metal detectors and accessories, such as headphones, search coils, pinpointers, carry bags, and in our experience, they can be trusted to deliver ultimate quality every single time. It has a solid reputation in the metal detecting community for making metal detectors that are both reliable and powerful.
We’ve created this guide to help you find the best Minelab metal detector.
Here are our 5 favorite Minelab metal detectors:
Top 5 Minelab Metal Detectors 2023
- Minelab Equinox 800 – Best Metal Detector
- Minelab Equinox 600 – Value For Money
- Minelab Excalibur II – Best Waterproof Metal Detector
- Minelab Gold Monster 1000 – Most Sensitive Detector
- Minelab CTX 3030 – Best Comfort features
Below is a list of the best Minelab detectors.
1. Minelab Equinox 800 – Best Metal Detector
Minelab is one of the most reputable companies in this niche, and with products such as the Equinox 800, one of the best Minelab metal detectors, it’s hard to argue that their reputation is not well earned. The Minelab Equinox 800 metal detector is versatile and adaptable and places complete control in your hands. For these reasons and several others besides, it tops our list.
The Minelab Equinox 800 is designed to be accessible to everyone, and this fact is reflected in its lightweight design. For seasoned campaigners, you can get a more fine-tuned performance with the advanced settings. Minelab’s flagship Multi-IQ feature coupled with its crystal clear user interface makes it a breeze to operate for both beginners and experts.
A pet peeve with this detector is that its batteries are built-in. This may pose a slight difficulty when they eventually wear out and need to be changed.
Although it’s not the cheapest Minelab metal detector, its many excellent features make it well worth its price.
➜ Check our detailed review here
- Fully submersible, making it perfect for detecting in small bodies of water
- Sleek and lightweight design
- Simultaneous multi-frequency and single frequencies
- 2 custom search profiles enable you to save your favorite settings
- Advanced settings support complete customization
- Simple user interface
- Small VDI spacing
- The shaft does not lock in
2. Minelab Equinox 600 – Value For Money
The consensus among users of this one is that it offers immense bang for your buck. As a matter of fact, there are several higher-priced metal detectors that don’t offer the same level of quality as the Equinox 600.
It has all the bells and whistles you’d normally expect from a top-level metal detector, including waterproofing, custom search profiles, and Minelab’s trademark Multi-IQ feature. Arguably, this detector’s standout quality is the fact that it works perfectly with the default settings, negating the need for any complicated tweaking.
On the flip side, though, the Equinox 600 is not very lightweight, and it tends to malfunction when used close to power lines. Further, the instruction manual isn’t very comprehensive, and beginners might have a hard time setting it up.
However, it does offer great depth, and as we said earlier, the price is more than right.
➜ Read our detailed review here
➜ 600 or 800? Ultimate comparison
- Does not require any pronounced tweaking
- Offers pretty good depth
- Waterproof design
- 6 Custom Search Profiles
- Simultaneous multi-frequency
- May be difficult for beginners to come to terms with
- User’s manual is not very detailed
- Not super lightweight
- Comes with uncomfortable headphones
3. Minelab Excalibur II – Best Waterproof Metal Detector
One of Minelab’s metal detectors that will work perfectly when submerged up to 60 meters in water is the Excalibur II.
The Excalibur II packs most of the features that Minelab has made its name for. This metal detector offers impressive depth and can detect specific targets, significantly reducing noise in the process. In addition to this, the Excalibur II sports a fluorescent High Visibility design. This makes hunting in low-light conditions entirely possible.
However, we’re not too enthused with rechargeable batteries. They take ages to recharge, and there’s no way to tell if they’re fully charged. Further, Minelab seems to promise extra batteries but only delivers an empty battery pack.
All things considered, Excalibur II does what it’s supposed to do pretty well, which is all that counts, mostly.
- It’s completely waterproof
- Offers amazing depth
- Simultaneous multi-frequency
- Very versatile and durable
- High Visibility design for low light situations
- Not very lightweight
- Rechargeable batteries take too long to charge
- No feedback when the batteries are fully charged
4. Minelab Gold Monster 1000 – Most Sensitive Detector
Minelab Gold Monster 1000 is equally adept at locating big gold nuggets as well as finer ones, irrespective of depth. This one is worth its weight in gold for the sheer quality of its build and performance when metal detecting.
Speaking of which, the Gold Monster 1000 has been specially adapted, better than most others, to detect gold with better accuracy. It also boasts the ability to differentiate between ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Its noise cancellation and greater ground balance are pretty handy features every hunter will appreciate. Its lightweight build is a definite advantage as it supports greater search hours without user fatigue.
In terms of performance, this gold detector does not have any real flaws. However, its price may place it out of reach for several detectorists. Nevertheless, if you can afford it, then, by all means, go for it.
Still not convinced? Read our in-depth review of the Minelab Gold Monster 1000 to learn more.
- Lightweight and compact design reduces user fatigue
- Ultra sensitive
- Fast ground balance
- Very powerful batteries
- Very easy to operate
- Not budget-friendly
5. Minelab CTX 3030 – Best Comfort Features
Last but definitely not least on our list of the best Minelab metal detectors is the CTX 3030. The Minelab CTX 3030 boasts all the great features that distinguish Minelab from other makers. In addition, it has several features that help establish its uniqueness.
It might be the right choice for you if you crave simplicity. With 5 search modes already preset, all you need to do is turn on this metal detector and start your search, no need for any advanced setting.
The Minelab CTX is ultra-sensitive and uber adaptable, with features that stand it out of others within its price range. It comes with two search coil options and both are waterproof.
It also offers great depth and scores top marks for convenience. In fact if it was more affordable, it would have been on top of our list of the best Minelab detectors.
➜ Read our detailed review of Minelab CTX 3030 here.
Apart from its price, which is a bit on the high side, and the rechargeable batteries that may not be to some people’s liking, it’s difficult to locate any real weaknesses with this metal detector.
This metal detector completely oozes class and quality. That’s why we’re not hesitating to recommend it.
- Quite sensitive
- Wireless audio
- GPS Mapping
- Completely waterproof
- Multi frequency technology
- A bit on the expensive side
- Overwhelming for beginners
What To Look Out For When Purchasing A Metal Detector
Are you in the market for a metal detector? This is a good place to start. Before you proceed on your search, bear in mind that it’s difficult to find a detector that’s equally comfortable on all terrain. In that case, you may have to look higher up the price spectrum.
The trick, then, is to instead search for a metal detector that suits your needs or gets as close as possible to suiting them. It’ll be very easy to find the perfect one if you’re only planning to use it for a single purpose. However, most users look out for adaptability and variety the most, so you need to be a bit more careful with your choice.
Here are a few considerations you should consider making, to help you streamline your search:
When it comes to metal detectors, it’s true that you get what you pay for. It may seem disingenuous to place price at the top of your priorities but having an idea of how much you’re willing to spend, and if that estimate includes accessories, will probably give you a solid base which you can work with.
2. Your Environment
Unless you’re going to be hiking great distances to use your new metal detector, your immediate environment is likely to be your target terrain. You should consider purchasing one most suited to that terrain and always exercise caution.
For instance, if you live close to a beach, and you’re probably going to be spending most of your time metal detecting there, it makes sense to opt for a machine that’s comfortable with that particular terrain. It also saves you from paying for features that you won’t be needing.
3. The Weight
You’re probably going to be spending hours on end with a metal detector strapped to your arm. It’ll just not do for your arm to start protesting a few hours into the hunting expedition simply because of the metal detector’s bulky weight.
You should be on the lookout for lightweight and compact options that you can fit easily in a backpack, and that won’t put too much strain on your hand. Also, look out for padded and adjustable armrests and examine the length of the stick.
4. The Size
Is the metal detector going to be used by another person, particularly a small child? If you answered in the affirmative, it’s necessary to consider what size of metal detector to go for. Look for shorter poles, or alternatively, locate metal detectors that can be manually adjusted to fit the metal detectorist.
5. Is it Waterproof
Basically, waterproof metal detectors are more durable. Even if you’re unable to purchase a completely submersible one, consider purchasing a metal detector that offers at least a degree of water resistance.
Metal detectors that are not waterproof can get damaged by exposure to water or fluids of any kind. Since you will use yours in the outdoors, where rain is inevitable, consider purchasing one that won’t get damaged by exposure to water for your peace of mind.
Accessories will contribute massively to the success of your hunt. That’s why it may be necessary to purchase a few accessories along with your metal detector.
What you Need to know About Minelab
In 1985, Minelab sparked a revolution by launching its first metal detector in the city of Adelaide, Australia. This is after the trend of treasure hunting reached its peak in Australia in the middle of the 80s.
At the time, metal detectors were only available in the US, and so it was expensive for treasure hunters and gold prospectors to import them.
Those who imported the equipment discovered that the tools could not cope with the local soil. Also, the seekers were looking for nuggets, but the equipment was not well designed for gold-seeking.
Enter Minelab Electronics.
One of the best handheld metal detection brands in the world, Minelab released its first machine – Minelab GS 15000 Goldseeker in 1985.
Fast forward 38 years and, Minelab is making machines with groundbreaking designs and features. Today, you can find multi-frequency metal detectors that look for relics, coins, gold, and other treasures.
Every product with the Minelab badge is built to military-grade standards. That is why military forces worldwide trust Minelab’s metal detectors to locate landmines. Besides landmines, treasure hunters use Minelab’s detectors to find ancient coin hoards, nuggets, rare relics, and much more.
The company is based in Australia, but also boasts regional offices in several world cities, including Chicago, UAE, Brazil, Dubai, and Cork, Ireland.
Among the company’s hallmarks are an unrelenting commitment to research and passion for innovative design, qualities that have established Minelab at the pinnacle of their industry and cemented their reputation as the foremost company in their niche.
Since it came into existence over three decades ago, this company has been credited with developing and introducing more innovative and practical technology than any other name in its field. The company places a high premium on quality, outstanding customer service and warranty, that’s why their products are so highly regarded in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a Minelab metal detector find gold?
Absolutely. Minelab’s Gold Monster 1000 model has been built specifically with gold detection in mind. Its ultra-wide dynamic range of 45kHz VLF is perfect for finding small nuggets easily.
2. Are Minelab Detectors Waterproof?
The short answer to this is yes. All metal detectors produced by Minelab are waterproof.
3. Where are Minelab Metal Detectors made?
Minelab is a truly cosmopolitan company. The company is American-owned, and parts are sourced from all over the world. Some metal detectors are made in Australia, while some are made in Malaysia.
4. How deep does a Minelab metal detector go?
On average, most Minelab detectors can offer depths of 30-45 cm. However, this can be higher or lower, depending on the model and the conditions of the environment.
5. What’s better Garret or Minelab?
Garrett is great for beginners and hobbyists because of its affordability and ease of use, while Minelab is popular with serious treasure hunters for its advanced features and performance. Both brands have great technologies, but Minelab is typically considered more advanced. Ultimately, you have to make a decision based on personal preferences and individual needs.
Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned detectorist, metal detectors are great tools that can help you pursue and enjoy your passion to the fullest.
Nevertheless, the market is saturated with so many options that it’s challenging to locate the perfect one for you. Because purchasing a metal detector requires a significant outlay, the margin for error cannot be smaller.
That’s why we’ve carefully examined five of the best options from one of the biggest brands in the market to help you decide on which one works best for you.
Nevertheless, if you do not have the time to read through our list, perhaps you can check out our top choice. The Equinox 800 is a particular favorite of ours because it packs loads of unique features and is versatile and adaptable. This makes it the complete package.