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Offline KellycoDetectorsTopic starter
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« on: October 06, 2021, 06:34:44 pm »
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Nothing gets the heart pumping like the sight of gold! When you are trying to find the rare yellow metal, it takes a metal detector with excellent sensitivity and ground balancing features to find it! If you are using a metal detector without these key performance features, you could be missing out on gold right below your feet.

Depending on your situation and budget, there are several excellent gold detectors to choose from. Among the favorites are the Minelab CTX-3030, Garrett AT Gold, the Fisher Gold Bug, and many other detectors covering all price ranges and features offered.

Continue reading this guide from the experts at Kellyco to find out how you can pick out the best metal detector for gold for your situation!

Our Gold Metal Detector Reviews

Minelab CTX 3030
Best Overall Metal Detector for Gold
Weight: 5.2 lbs.
Frequency: 1.5 kHz Ė 100 kHz
Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
Warranty: 3 Year Limited

The best overall gold metal detector on the market today is the Minelab CTX-3030. This detector is loaded with all of the features that are important for finding gold. The CTX can run in virtually any ground mineralization environment, thanks to its excellent ground balancing features. Picking out only gold targets to dig can save you valuable time from digging up old iron and other metals, and Minelabís FeCo Discrimination is a powerful tool to use for this task. When you are hunting for gold, you want a metal detector with high sensitivity, as gold nuggets can get pretty small. Deeper detection depth is also an excellent feature to have in a gold detector.

One of the best parts about the CTX-3030 is that not only can you use it with great effectiveness for gold, but it also excels at all other types of metal detecting as well! Many preset search modes and the ability to switch search coils for your needs give this metal detector excellent versatility, putting it ahead of many other gold metal detectors on the market today. When gold prospecting, we detectorists often have to get into the water. The CTX-3030 is set apart from other gold detectors in that it is waterproof to up to 10 feet. I find it very comforting to know that my detector will run rain or shine.

I have found that one of the most difficult aspects of gold hunting is staying out all day, but the ergonomic, fatigue-saving design of the Minelab CTX-3030 prevents this from being an issue. In terms of ergonomics, Minelab developed a metal detector that will help keep you out in the field longer, with less fatigue.

As an added bonus, the wireless headphones offered are a great addition. In my opinion, there is nothing more irritating than getting tangled up in corded headphones while detecting.

For such a powerful and versatile machine, the weight is really quite excellent for the average detectorist. With that being said, the one ďconĒ I might say here is that the weight might not be suitable for some detectorists of smaller stature. Some women, children, and elderly detectorists might consider other, lighter options such as the Fisher Gold Bug or Garrett AT Gold (more on those below).

To learn more about this detector, read our Minelab CTX-3030 Field Test.

Fisher Gold Bug
Best Budget Gold Detector
Weight: 2.5 lbs.
Frequency: 19 kHz
Waterproof: No
Warranty: 5 Year Limited

The Fisher Gold Bug is one of the powerful and effective gold metal detectors, yet it sports a modest price. If you are looking for an entry-level metal detector for gold prospecting, or you donít want to make a large initial investment, the Gold Bug will be the perfect metal detector for you.

This Fisher Gold Bug comes with a 5″ DD search coil that can sniff out the smallest of gold nuggets. Compared to some competing metal detectors, this search coil choice can be good or bad for each detectorist, depending on their hunting environment.

Luckily, there are other search coil options should you opt for a larger coil. Side note: in areas where I typically metal detect for gold, I often use the largest search coil I can find, as there is minimal trash.

The sensitivity on this gold detector is best-in-class and when paired with the large LCD screen and lightweight design, it really is a joy to use. In fact, the one-touch hunting that is made possible with this detector might be one of its most user-friendly features! This is a perfect feature for those of us who do not like to play around with many buttons.

As is common with metal detectors meant for gold prospecting, the Fisher Gold Bug features a variety of ground balancing options, giving you ultimate control over your detector no matter what the ground mineralization is like. Depending on the area Iím in, sometimes I prefer making manual adjustments to ground balance. In terms of competition from other similarly priced gold detectors, the ground mineralization performance of the Fisher Gold Bug is the middle of the road. There is no better value for the ground balance features you receive!

In addition to manual ground balance adjustments, you can utilize the Computerized Ground Grab feature, which is an automatic ground balancing ability the Gold Bug possesses. It is easily one of the nicest features on the detector, setting it apart from similarly priced competitors. In my eyes, the Ground Grab feature is absolutely vital when Iím trying to cover lots of ground quickly.

Weighing in at 2.5 pounds, this gold metal detector is one of the lightest on the market while retaining all of the important features hobbyists need. This feature-to-weight ratio is something I put great value into, particularly for gold prospecting. It is not an exaggeration to say that the 2.5-pound weight of this machine is best-in-class for gold detectors!

Garrett AT Gold
Best Mid-Level Gold Detector
Weight: 2.8 lbs.
Frequency: 18 kHz
Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
Warranty: 2 Year Limited

The Garrett AT Gold is built to be one of the most effective metal detectors for gold while remaining within the price range of most hobbyists. One of the AT Goldís most venerable features is the high operating frequency it runs at, picking up even the smallest gold nuggets you may stumble across. This feature alone puts the Garrett AT Gold a cut above other mid-level metal detectors designed for gold prospecting.

Side note: I value high operating frequencies when hunting for gold so that I can find the smallest gold nuggets.

In addition, the AT Gold has an All Metal Mode which gives the detector its incredible search depth and sensitivity. A downside to All Metal Mode is that there will be a learning curve to understanding the various tones of different metals. Luckily, the learning curve isnít too steep and it even gives us an excuse to go detecting more.

The Garrett AT Gold is fully submersible up to 10 feet in depth and can withstand a beating. This is a favorite aspect of the AT Gold, as many metal detectorists, myself included, can be quite rough on their equipment. It also relaxes me knowing that should I accidentally dip my detector in water, it will be just fine.

When running this Garrett metal detector in highly mineralized soils, you can let the machine perform automatic ground balancing, or you can take control and manually adjust your settings. This ultimate ground balance control requires practice and experience, but it is a nice feature once you have it mastered.

Tone Roll Audio, Iron Audio, and easy-to-use target ID features have evolved from years of previous Garrett metal detector designs, and have been perfected in the AT Gold. Many fans of Garrett metal detectors cannot get enough of these user-friendly features.

The AT Gold comes stocked with a 5″ x 8″ search coil, but you can get a variety of other search coils for your various treasure hunting needs. I like the middle of the road 5″ x 8″ for many scenarios I encounter.

Finally, the lack of weight of this gold detector is one of its strongest selling points, as it packs a ton of gold-finding performance into a lightweight, compact machine. Again, the weight to features ratio of this detector is astounding!

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