Underwater metal detectors are designed for immersion in water at great depths. Using features such as complete sealing, simplified handling, and shortened dimensions, the equipment provides increased sensitivity to small targets such as chains, rings, and small nuggets. Created for use in both salt and fresh water, underwater metal detectors are a must-have for the water explorer.
Reviews: Top 5 Underwater Metal Detectors
We’ve collected our top picks for underwater metal detectors to help you decide which equipment best meets your specifications and budget. Ranked beginning with our favorite overall picked, the machines below offer a variety of features and prices for every pocketbook.
- Fisher CZ21-8 Underwater Metal Detector
Dual-frequency waterproof metal detector for professionals. Through the use of special signal processing, it filters salty water well and is suitable for working in seawater. The lower frequency of 5 kHz detects a large spectrum of objects, and the upper 15 kHz increases the sensitivity to non-ferrous metals, especially those small in size.
Rated 3.8 out of 5 by 8 reviewers on Amazon.com
- Dual frequency (5 kHz and 15 kHz)
- VLF circuit with proprietary saltwater Fourier Domain signal processing technology
- Dive up to 75 meters
- High resistance to mineralization
- Manual balancing
- Work Modes: Discrimination and Autotune All Metal
- Target designation
- 3-tone identification of the type of target
- Possibility of mounting the control panel of the metal detector on the belt
- Includes 10.5 ″ mono coil
- KKmoon Metal Detector
This metal detector has good sensitivity and great functionality. With it, you can find items at depths of 50 cm. The waterproof coil makes it possible to search for metal in small streams and on riverbanks as well as in the surf. The control unit is not waterproof. Avoid exposing the control unit to water.
This model is constructed of ABS plastic, but the components are of great quality.
The telescopic straight bar is a tube made of aluminum. It is well attached to the coil and the control unit with special screws. You can easily adjust the length of the rod from 78 cm to 107 cm. Its lightweight design reduces hand fatigue, and the plastic handle is designed for optimum grip to improve aim precision.
The KKmoon has two modes:
- Metals: iron, gold, silver
Rated 3.9 out of 5 by 75 reviewers on Amazon.com
- Arrow indicator
- Discrimination adjustment knobs
- Sensitivity adjustment knobs
- Volume control
- 3.5 headphone jack
- Minelab Excalibur II 1000 Underwater Metal Detector
The Minelab submersible metal detector is the underwater search engine leader, touting some of the best discrimination in the most difficult underwater search conditions. Searches can be conducted at depths of up to 60 meters in both fresh and saltwater. Minelab Excalibur II has proven itself to search not only underwater but also on land.
28 working frequencies (1.5 kHz-200 kHz) allow Excalibur II to function stably in saltwater and highly mineralized soil with accurate discrimination. At low frequencies, large objects are well detected at a considerable depth; at high frequencies, small parts are searched. The addition of a targeting mode makes this a well-rounded machine.
- Technology BBS – Broad Band Spectrum (wide frequency spectrum)
- The detector works simultaneously on 17 frequencies 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6,7.5, 9, … 25.5 kHz – DISC
- DISC – discrimination – allows you to separate from unwanted items
- PINPOINT – direction-finding – facilitates the extraction of detected objects
- All metals are detected
- Regulator THRESHOLD
- Setting the background signal level
- VOLUME control
- Setting the target signal volume
- SENSITIVITY regulator
- Two sensitivity tinctures
- Automatic and manual, allowing you to adjust the sensitivity in a wide range
- Disc knob
- Setting the level of discrimination
- Coil 25 cm type dd
- Ability to immerse the metal detector up to 65 m
- Nicad batteries – Weight: 2.36 kg
- Garrett Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof
Yes, the tried and true Garrett metal detectors are still worth the price. From their selection, the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT fits the bill for underwater searches. An ergonomically shaped metal detector, this model has excellent functionality to enhance the detection of the small, medium, and large items from coins to non-ferrous metals.
Noteworthy functions include quick processing of the find signal and a convenient LCD display interface showing discrimination, not only on a graphic scale, but in the digital VDI number values from 0 to 99. These enhancements facilitate the process of identifying the target with speed and accuracy.
The sensor perfectly copes with the search task, even in difficult conditions. Another pleasure is the presence of a waterproof coil, which allows you to perform search work in shallow water or at a depth of 5 m. The Garrett Pro-Pointer AT has the ability to adjust frequencies from 5 kHz to 20 kHz, eliminating difficulty finding items of small sizes.
**To work in noisy places, the use of headphones is recommended.
Rated 4.8 out of 5 by 1901 reviewers on Amazon.com
- Fully waterproof to 10 feet with orange color for added visibility underwater
- Maximum sensitivity for improved detection of nuggets and other small targets
- Choose from three Sensitivity levels
- Fast Retune: Quick button press instantly tunes out environment or narrows detection field for precise pinpointing of larger targets
- Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II Metal Detector
As the most affordable underwater metal detector on our list, the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II searches at a depth of 60 meters. DTE technology allows you to avoid various debris including bottle caps and cans, as well as foil wrappers from sweets and cigarettes. Garrett Sea Hunter MK-II Metal Detector has a long rod for use near the water‘s surface and a short one for underwater searches. Discrimination mode makes it possible to accurately identify objects without first unloading them from the ground.
- Built on the pulse-induction circuit (PI) and microprocessor control
- Reliably eliminates bottle caps and foil without losing sensitivity to coins and rings
- Sea Hunter ignores saltwater and most minerals.
- Standard and discrete garbage collection mode
- Immersion depth up to 65m
- 4 bars in a set for various situations
- Regulators: Mode selection (standard deviation, discrete deviation), Threshold, Deviation depth
Choosing the Right Underwater Metal Detector
The materials used in some metal detectors are not intended for diving to a considerable depth. Underwaters searches require suitable equipment for your best search experience. Many devices tout themselves as waterproof when their functionality is realistically only semi-waterproof. Partially sealed products made from low-quality materials are positioned as top sellers for underwater searches, but buyer beware. These devices are often suitable for shallow water such as coastal zones of beaches and lakes or even in marshes with shallow depths. They should not be used for scuba diving as the design and materials simply will not withstand the pressure of the water, causing the metal detector to leak.
Pay attention to the detection technology the device uses. While almost all professional underwater metal detectors are pulsed, semi-waterproof detectors use VLF—very low frequencies. The exception to this general standard is the Excalibur which uses BBS technology, operating at 17 frequencies simultaneously. The fact is VLF is well suited for searches on land, but underwater, such devices are very inferior to pulsed ones, significantly losing depth of detection and performance.
When performing an underwater search using VLF instead of a pulse metal detector, you greatly reduce your chances of scoring valuable, worthwhile finds. A pulsed metal detector scans the seabed to a considerable depth, finding targets under large tracts of sand deposited with time. VLF technology scans only the surface of the bottom soil, garnering less significant results. These features are worth noting when choosing the best metal detector.
Know the manufacturer and their range of products and features. Most of the major manufacturers, as a rule, have in their model range one or two metal detectors intended for serious deep-sea searches. Every device has individual strengths, so you have to choose carefully. Pay attention to the availability of replacement parts, warrantees and other product protections. Identify which models contain easy-to-read screens specific to underwater visibility. They will often have an LED display as reading information about the underwater find is much more difficult.
As soon as you take the underwater search seriously, you will realize that working with the device at great depth is far different from walking with a dirt detector on the beach or in a park.
Consider the additional features. If you have a waterproof pulse metal detector, it will come in handy in more than just water. On land, its performance and depth of detection will pleasantly surprise you. Most manufacturers design the device to function like an amphibian—both in water and on land. The construct also changes depending on the search conditions.
Underwater, the control unit is removed and mounted on the arm or the belt. On land, it is mounted on the rod. This is important because it expands the versatility of the detector and makes it universal. A narrow-profile detector limits profitability. When considering the discovery alert, ask yourself how the detector will react to the target.
Will it be a vibration or an audio signal? If audio, will it be heard well enough underwater? If not, will the headphones work underwater? Do these headphones come with the device?
By asking yourself these questions, you will make the right choice and select the best underwater metal detector for your needs.
Understand the difference between pulse inductions and very low frequency (VLF). There are two known types of metal detectors operating according to a “transmit-receive” (TR) scheme. They’re classified by the type of magnetic field generated by the transmitting coil. Pulsed induction detectors (PI) typically generate a transmitter current that turns on for a while and then abruptly turns off. The coil field generates pulsed eddy currents in the object, which are detected by analyzing the attenuation of the pulse induced in the receiver coil.
Inductive balance detectors with a sinusoidal (harmonic) VLF—very-low-frequency waveform (below 30 kHz) generate a current in the transmitting coil that is constant in frequency and amplitude.
Small changes in the phase and amplitude of the voltage at the receiver indicate the presence of metallic objects. VLF metal detectors (TR / VLF) have been produced for more than ten years, and improvements in selectivity, as well as productivity, occur constantly.
They are most suitable for searching for coins and rarities in urban environments since they have no equal among other types of metal detectors in the ability to filter iron and Ferro-containing garbage.
There are more and more “smart” and easy to use devices. You can be sure that, as long as there are unrevealed treasures, the development of new and improved instruments will be carried out, how perfect would be the existing ones.
Detectors with pulse induction are specialized tools. They are not suitable for searching in urban environments for treasure such as coins since they cannot filter iron and Ferro-containing garbage.
They can be used for archaeological searches in rural areas, where there is no iron debris in large quantities, to search for gold nuggets, and to search at maximum depth in extreme conditions, such as the coast of the seas or a place where the land is heavily mineralized.
These metal detectors show excellent results in similar conditions and are generally comparable to VLF instruments, especially in their ability to build up from such soils and “punch” them to the maximum depth.
When Can I Go Metal Detecting Under Water?
Searching for coins, jewelry, and artifacts under water is an effective way to increase your chances of finding more targets. Expanding the search on land and in water is especially nice in the summer when you have the opportunity to combine your favorite hobby with a swim.
An underwater search is different from regular digging and may be more difficult than you thought. In addition, you need to buy a waterproof pinpointer metal detector. When you have a suitable detector, and you follow the guidelines below, interesting findings abound.
Plan ahead. It is very important to properly plan your departure to search in order to save time and preserve energy. Consider the time of year and what tools and provisions you’ll need.
It is logical that you would look for water finds when the water is warm enough to swim in. Of course, if you have a reliable wetsuit, you can search in the cold season. Remember to watch the weather reports. Underwater search is unsafe in rain, storm or hurricane.
Choose you search location. To increase your chances of good finds, you need to determine what areas are most frequented by beachgoers and swimmers.
Usually, most of the finds are where people “walk on water,” that is, the depth where they are not yet swimming. The marinas of pleasure boats, catamarans, and the like are promising places to search as well.
If the beach is for tourists, it is worth checking the area around the water rides or places equipped for water sports, such as jumping towers.
Learn the techniques of underwater search. When you are just starting out, you need to familiarize yourself with the methods and techniques of instrumental searching.
You can, for example, follow the line along the coast, moving at one-meter intervals. Check out the natural grooves and pits at the bottom as there may be something valuable there.
Even underwater search experts sometimes use special scoops. When searching shallowly, narrow scoops limit turbidity. A scuba diver—or sieve on a stick—can help separate targets from the dirt as can floating rafts with improvised sieves.
Look for daytime. Instrumental search in the water is quite difficult. At night, everything becomes much more complicated. Since visibility underwater is much less than in the air, even strong lights may not be helpful.
So, if you are aiming for an underwater search, then start in the early morning or when the day is already in full swing.
It is not necessary to engage in underwater swimming. Before you begin a treasure hunt, some experts recommend taking several scuba diving lessons. For this, you must have special equipment, and that’s not always a viable financial option.
Judging by the experience of many search professionals, it is not necessary to take diving lessons. Much of the treasure is hidden at a depth of 1-1.5 meters, and in order to find it, you do not need to buy scuba gear.
Know your own swimming limitations and seek professional counsel before engaging in underwater activities that could pose a risk or harm to your person.
Choose the right accessories. Make sure that your headphones are waterproof, and your pinpointer can work in water without problems. Some models, like the XP MI-6, are fashioned to specifically withstand saltwater. You will need a bag for transporting the metal detector and a rag or special towel for the detector.
Most likely, you will need a special scoop like the BlackAda SandScoop. You will save a lot of time when utilizing the proper scoop while working in the sand. If you want to search in all seasons and temperatures, then you certainly need a wetsuit.
Use the correct settings. Adjust the metal detector for each specific underwater hunting location. Select the category of goals you are going to dig and adjust the settings for it.
To check if the settings are correct, you can conduct tests on the type of products you are looking for. Put jewels in a plastic bag before installation on the bottom, and tie them with a cord—just in case—to avoid leaving them to more successful treasure hunters.
Use the correct search technique. It is also important to understand underwater metal detecting methodology. When on land, it is possible to wave the coil of the device rather quickly, while underwater, such movements will only lift dregs from the bottom.
Work slowly, consistently closing the intended area. Do not start feverishly digging up the target if it sounded under the coil. Your movements should be calm and measured. Prepare for the eventuality of sand and silt rising from the bottom.
Sometimes you have to search for a goal solely by touch.
The most popular manufacturers today are Garrett, Minelab, Fisher, Whites, Tesoro, and XP. These are world-class manufacturers with a long history of quality metal detecting equipment.
While a Bounty Hunter metal detector is often a good choice, when we talk about underwater metal detecting, they don’t make the mark.
Garrett, based in the USA since 1964, maintains a reputation for producing high-quality equipment. The most popular device from Garrett is the Garrett Ace 250, which won fame as a device for beginners around the world.
Rival manufacturers keep pace with Garret and produce their own quality tools. The X-Terra 705, from the Australian manufacturer Minelab, is the favorite device of most experienced treasure hunters.
The brand choice should be made having defined where you’ll conduct your searches—in salty seawater or the freshwater of the nearby rivers and lakes. If you are going to go to fresh waters from time to time, we recommend a VLF-device which acts as a good submariner. The Tesoro Tiger Shark or Minelab Excalibur II will do the trick.
You can dive up to 3 meters deep with both the Minelab CTX 3030 and the new Minelab EQUINOX 800. These metal detectors detect even small targets, such as rings or bracelets.
To search in seawater, you will need a pulse metal detector (PI). It behaves better on the salty sands and in the water, easily rebuffing interference. However, they are not as sensitive as VLF, and there is a loss of depth.
The most affordable underwater PI-metal detectors include the Tesoro Sand Shark as well as the Minelab SDC2300, which shows itself well on land.
From our list, you’ll find a veritable treasure trove of equipment to use in underwater metal detecting. Consider your options and strive for informed choices as you make the most of your underwater treasure hunting experience.