The Best Kids Metal Detector


Entertaining your kids and keeping them occupied is a neverending battle, especially during school breaks. So when microscopes and your kids’ hoverboards won’t do anymore, what will fill the void of the next adventure?

Why not try searching for buried treasure? If you want your family to get outside and do some exploring, a kids metal detector can be a fun and educational way to do that. In the field or on the beach, search for everything from coins to bottlecaps to historical artifacts. 

How do you use a metal detector? What kinds of things can you detect? What’s the battery life like? If you’ve got questions, read on for our best metal detector tips, reviews of top products, and our choices for the best metal detector for kids!

Minelab Go-Find 44 kids metal detector

Minelab Go-Find 44

Lightweight at just over two pounds and with an extendable stem that goes from 21.9 inches to 51.4 inches fully extended, it can be used by everyone in the family from kids to adults. Multiple sensitivity levels and find modes help the 10-inch waterproof coil to search for metal objects buried underground. It also comes with an app to enhance your treasure hunting experience. 

How Do You Use a Metal Detector?

Not all kids detectors work in exactly the same way, so if you want to be sure you are getting the most out of yours, become familiar with all of its functions and how metal detectors work. It can be a good idea to try your metal detector for kids at home first, using objects of a variety of metal – for example, a piece of gold jewelry, a copper coin, a piece of aluminum foil – to get a feel for the way the machine reacts to different metals. 

First, set your device to the lowest sensitivity level with zero discrimination. Move your metal objects in front of the coil about four to six inches away while you keep an eye on the display and make note of the tone the metal detector uses for the different materials. The higher the tone, the more likely you are to find objects made of silver, copper, or brass; a lower tone means a small find of gold or nickel. Medium tones generally mean common finds such as pull tabs from aluminum cans. Try out a variety of objects of different materials, changing the sensitivity level to see what different results you get. This will get you comfortable using all the functions of your metal detector. 

Practice scanning with your metal detector before you bring it out. Keep the detector level, sweeping it slowly from side to side close to the ground while you take slow steps forward.  Once you’re out in the field, establish a boundary of the area you’re going to search. There are a few different approaches you can take to searching to make sure you don’t keep checking the same area over and over.

You can search your whole area at once by traveling the length of the field, then when you reach the end, move a few feet up the side of the field before traveling back the other direction, parallel to the way you just came. You can also divide a larger search area into several smaller sectors, and then check each area, in turn, using a shortened version of the method above. As you get better, you want to bring some ground markers, such as pegs covered in brightly colored tape, to mark the areas you’ve checked. 

When your metal detector indicates it’s found something, don’t drop it right away and start digging – you might make a lot of work for yourself! Instead, try moving the coil of the detector in the shape of an X and mark the spot where you hear the loudest sound, then rotate your X ninety degrees and repeat the process. Move the metal detector around until all the loudest sounds are combined at one point. This is where you’ll start to dig. Remember – a good treasure hunter always fills holes back in after they have found something!

What Can You Detect With a Kids Metal Detector?

This will depend on where you live, and which areas you’ll be searching! It’s safe to say that some of the most common objects found with kids’ metal detectors are items like bottle caps and pull tabs from aluminum cans. While these items are essentially garbage, unearthing them with the metal detector will undoubtedly be thrilling to kids. 

Keep searching, though – there are lots of treasures to be found! While it’s unlikely you’ll unearth a horde of pirate treasure, coins, jewelry, toys (such as old toy metal cars), keys, and nails are all common finds. The more you use your metal detector, the better you’ll get at identifying the different noises it makes to identify different types of metal, and you might even be able to guess what you’ve discovered before you dig it up. 

Metal Detector Safety Tips

Most of the potential dangers you may encounter when using a metal detector are related to the environment you are searching in. It’s important to dress appropriately for both the weather and the terrain you will be exploring. You’ll be spending time kneeling and digging in the dirt, so make sure you wear clothing that can withstand such activities.

Good footwear is also a must. Keep in mind that wet feet are one of the easiest ways to make an outing unpleasant and that even if it’s sunny out, if you’re going out early in the morning the grass can still be very wet with dew. Make sure your footwear suits the terrain you are searching in – for example, hiking boots in a wooded area, sturdy sandals or waterproof shoes if you are searching in or near water, or tall rubber boots if in a swampy or marshy area. 

When it comes to clothing, check the weather closely and keep in mind what time of day you’ll be going out. In some places, morning, afternoon, and evening can have drastic shifts in temperature. Dress to protect yourself from both rain and sun as well as the physical environment – for example, if you’re in a wooded area, even if it’s a hot day you might want to wear long sleeves and pants to protect your arms and legs from prickly branches. If you’re searching in a field with tall grass, consider tucking pants into socks or boots to protect yourself from ticks. 

Be aware of your surroundings when you’re searching. If your eyes are focused on the ground, you might lose sight of local landmarks or wander further away than you planned. If you’re not familiar with the area, consider bringing a map with you. If you’re searching a remote area that doesn’t have a reliable phone signal, you might want to bring a paper map and compass as a backup just in case. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the depth and range of the detection?

This will vary from model to model, so check the description of the models you’re considering. Generally, higher-priced models often offer a greater variety of detection modes and ranges, while lower-priced models may only have one detection mode. Consider the purpose of your purchase when deciding what kind of depth and range you are looking for.

If you’re purchasing for a younger child who is eager to explore, a basic model will probably be sufficient. If you’re looking for an older child or teen with an interest in pursuing metal detecting as a hobby, you want a model with more features. 

Are Metal Detectors Collapsible?

It depends on the model you purchase, but many handheld metal detectors will collapse for storage and transportation. Read the description of the model you’re interested in carefully to see whether or not it will fold into a compact size.  Some handheld metal detectors also come with storage bags for convenience, so again, read the item description carefully.

Do Metal Detectors Have Good Battery Life?

The battery life of a metal detector will depend on a few different factors. The type of battery it takes, the quality of the detector, the location where you are looking, and even the volume of your headphones can all affect how long the battery will last.

If you are looking in a location with a lot of built-up garbage in the ground, the batteries could wear down after giving lots of signals for objects like bottlecaps or tabs from pop cans. If you’re using a good quality set of headphones with your metal detector, it can cut down on interference from background noise, meaning that you can keep the volume of the speakers on your metal detector down, which in turn will use less power and make your batteries last longer. As you increase the level of sensitivity on your metal detector, that will also draw more power from the battery. 

In general, you should be able to use your metal detector for kids for at least twelve hours before the batteries need to be changed. With kids, you probably won’t be out there searching for longer than a couple of hours at a time, so this should be plenty of time for several detecting sessions. It’s a good idea, however, to keep track of how many hours each set of batteries has been used so as you get close to the end, you’ll know to bring a set of backup batteries with you in case the machine conks out just when you think you’ve found something exciting. 

Minelab Go-Find 44 kids metal detector

Minelab Go-Find 44

Lightweight at just over two pounds and with an extendable stem that goes from 21.9 inches to 51.4 inches fully extended, it can be used by everyone in the family from kids to adults. Multiple sensitivity levels and find modes help the 10-inch waterproof coil to search for metal objects buried underground. It also comes with an app to enhance your treasure hunting experience. 

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