By Michael Moore
Being a parent myself and also having spent many hours analyzing metal detectors, I can understand the headache all parents have when trying to choose kids metal detectors.
Below are my recommendations on three best devices fit for kids, and in this overview, I provide advice on tech specs and key criteria in more detail.
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Keeping our kids entertained longer a while is not an easy task nowadays, but some kids actually grow interested in metal detecting, so parents start looking for the best kids metal detector and wonder which one to choose. I’ve created this overview to cover all the crucial tech specs and key recommendations considering detectors for children. The overview goes as follows:
Choosing a junior metal detector is a challenging task considering how many factors should be kept in mind, but this task becomes even more complicated because there are real metal detectors and toys. Some toys look like real detectors and even have certain “tech specs” but their functionality – and quality! – is not equal to the real ones’.
The next aspect to consider is the price; affordable metal detector is not always a bad one, expensive detector is not always the best option; it all depends. A toy metal detector may be really expensive and may look cool, but it will still be inferior in its functions and durability compared to cheaper but more efficient devices by already trusted and reliable manufacturers.
When choosing, the first aspect to pay attention to is whether the kid is really interested in metal detecting, or is it just a temporary wish. You as a parent know your child as no one else, so you can make an informed guess on whether a more expensive real detector should be bought, or it is better to at least start with a toy and see how long the passion (or the toy!) lasts.
If you choose between a toy and a real thing, please also remember that toys dofind stuff, but mostly in a very pimitive way. If your kid was serious about the hobby, a cheap and useless toy can make them really disappointed. Toys break easily, don’t stand wet weather or complicated soils, and cannot be tuned well. If you get a toy metal detector and then will have to buy a real detector, better start with an affordable but real one in the first place, to avoid paying twice. Just saying.
Top metal detectors for kids:
Besides the tech specs and the price, there are other important criteria, including, but not limited to:
In the reviews offered below, I provide a more detailed explanation of the tech specs, features, and pros and cons of the metal detectors fit for kids and teenagers. The criteria in the list above highlight some other important aspects to pay attention to.
Eventually, you as a parent should consider such things as whether your kid can try to break or disassemble the device, whether they can swallow any small parts to play with the batteries, etc. The older the child the more complicated device can be offered to them, but younger kids should probably start with the safest device rather than the most effective.
I think I also don’t have to remind you that you should be nearby your child when metal detecting at all times.
The age of the child obviously defines the necessary length, weight, and the set of features in a metal detector to a certain extent, but there are no strict boundaries in a correlation between specific metal detector models and the child’s age. So it makes sense to check out the best-recommended children’s metal detector options and then choose individually.
This is a VLF metal detector with one operating frequency. It has a mono search coil and is waterproof up to 3 feet. The software for this detector is not updatable online, and the tech specs are pretty simple and comprehensive. There are three search modes and a pinpoint mode, a fixed ground balance, and three audio tones. The metal detector is adjustable and weighs only 1.9 lbs which is definitely an advantage for a child.
Nokta Makro makes high-quality detectors, so even this simple one will demonstrate seamless performance. It fits children of a wide range of ages perfectly and is convenient in usage. The whole thing is powered with two AA batteries and has 2 years warranty. Overall, this metal detector can be used by children starting from 6-8 years old.
Mini Hoard is basically almost the same as the Midi Hoard model, but even a little smaller and a little bit simpler; it is safe to say that it has been created for younger children than the previously discussed model. The Mini Hoard weighs only 1,7 lbs which is super lightweight and convenient. Its maximum length is 10 inches shorter than the Midi model.
There are no sensitivity settings and no volume control for this model. Moreover, the search coil is one inch smaller in diameter than the one for the Midi Hoard. It seems that Mini Hoard was literally created for 4-year-old children who are interested in metal detecting.
Despite the fact that this metal detector is very simple in its tech specs, it still has all the quality that Nokta Makro puts into each of its machines.
Released in 2018, this is the cheapest model in the Go-Find series. One of its most important advantages is its unbelievably convenient and user-friendly design. The disadvantage is weak discrimination, but the device will still bring some finds. Settings are preset and limited which is a positive thing for small searchers.
The technical specs are as follows: weight is 2,2 lbs, and length can be adjusted because the metal detector is foldable. It is powered by four AA batteries. Two search modes, three levels of sensitivity, and three levels of signal volume. The icons on the control panel will flash to indicate the type of potential find. Minelab is a reliable brand, so the item is worth your money. This is probably one of the best detectors for a child of any age.
This is a starter kit style metal detector powered by batteries. It can be used by children starting from 8 years of age and older. Its weight is 2.3 lbs, and the length of the shaft is 17 inches, with a 7.5 inches search coil. The shaft is telescopic and it can be folded for more comfortable transportation and storing.
This metal detector follows the switch-on-and-go concept; it can be used in the parks, on the beach, or in other similar places where the location is not specifically complicated, trashy, or mineralized. The search coil is waterproof and the depth of reach is said to be up to 7 inches.
It must be said right away that this metal detector is a toy, but a decent-quality toy. The kit also includes 5 toy coins that can be buried for testing the metal detector.
This is a nice metal detector for younger kids, with a safe design and without the necessity to assemble and reassemble it. It is powered by one 9V battery, weighs 2.00 pounds, and the length of the shaft is 29 inches.
The search coil diameter is 7.4 inches, and the coil is waterproof making it fit for wet weather, and even shallow water detecting. However, the display is not waterproof. The coil is large enough to work with objects of different types and even reaches some decent depth, depending on the type of soil under the coil.
The LCD display is cool for kids because it helps them to identify the targets and the settings in a visual manner, without the need to learn any complicated indications. RM RICOMAX metal detector has many additional accessories that kids would need for comfortable and stylish metal detecting.
This is a more complicated metal detector compared to some of the discussed here. It is powered by two 9V batteries, weighs 1.5 pounds, and has a 20 to 30 inches length of the shaft. Being so lightweight, it has a smaller than average search coil that is only 6.5 inches in diameter, but it is weatherproof.
The maximum depth of reach for the search coil is 5 inches and up to 2 feet for large items. The sensitivity of the machine is adjustable, there is a discrimination feature and a present ground balance feature. The machine has a primitive display that enables depth and sensitivity control via indications and knobs. There are two search modes, and one audio tone for the signal.
This metal detector for kids has one operating frequency of 6.6 kHz which is not universal at all but it will bring some finds in clean locations. The warranty is 1 year.
This metal detector is clearly more of a toy than a serious machine for serious targets. However, this characteristic doesn’t mean that Little Experimenter won’t bring finds, because it will. This device has a weight of 1.3 pounds, powered by one 9V battery, and its shaft’s maximum length is 15.7 inches.
The device is equipped with an LCD screen for a more informative search. The stated depth of reach is up to 6 inches but it is said that this detector works equally well on sand, dirt, and grass. One of the interesting features is the ability to change the angle of the search coil to search behind or under the complicated objects. The machine is not waterproof though.
To make the learning curve and metal detecting easier for the child, the manufacturers included a guide for kids that explains everything to the young detectorist.
This metal detector will serve well to older kids and teenagers because its tech specs are richer in comparison to other machines discussed on this page. Powered by two 9V batteries, it weighs 2.4 pounds and has an LCD screen for more informative searching. The shaft length for this detector is from 29 to 40 inches.
The whole kit includes a metal detector, headphones set, a shovel, a carrying bag, a user manual, and two 9V batteries. The search coil is waterproof here, making the detector fit for wet environments and even shallow water searches. There is a discrimination feature, sensitivity tuning, and pinpoint mode. All this makes KENTOKTOOL a more complicated and efficient tool for treasure hunting, and perhaps better for kids who are seriously into this hobby and want to learn more and develop better skills.
There are two search modes in addition to Pinpoint, and the stated depth of reach is up to 10 inches. The kit, besides the metal detector and the headset, includes a shovel and a case.
This metal detector has everything it takes for successful and effective searches, even if the detectorist is a kid. Ergonomic and comfortable to handle due to its modern design, this metal detector is easy to carry even for long hours, and its weight is 2.72 pounds. The shaft length is adjustable and can be set from 30 to 42 inches, making it fir for kids and teenagers alike.
The important tech specs that indicate the potential efficiency of the metal detector include the facts that there is sensitivity control, three types of discrimination to tell the difference between three types of targets, and preset automatic ground balance for better search.
The search coil for this detector is 8 inches in diameter which is pretty cool for different target types, and the coil is waterproof so it can be used in wet weather and even in shallow water. The stated depth of reach is up to 6 inches which is a pretty average indicator for simple and versatile metal detectors for kids.
Not very rich in tech specs, features, and tuning, this metal detector however offers nice conditions for an effective and fun search. According to the manufacturer, it can detect various metals – iron, nickel, aluminum, copper, silver, zinc, and even gold. Of course, a lot depends on the type of soil and the location, but the very opportunity of spotting objects made of these metals is exciting.
This metal detector is comparatively lightweight, weighing only 2.83 pounds, and has an adjustable stem with a length that varies from 25 to 32 inches. The coil is waterproof but not the whole metal detector that has an LCD screen, so this is something to keep in mind. The stated depth of reach is 7.5 inches.
The kit for this detector includes accessories – batteries, bag, sand sifter, shovel – and yet it is still very affordable.
Looking for the best metal detectors for kids online or offline, every parent puts their children’s safety first, which is a correct thing to do. However, this may be a bit complicated and confusing because the range of features and prices is wide, and parents may feel lost in this abundance.
Safety is the first criteria in any case, and having said that, I have to immeditely bring forward the fact that in the world of kids metal detector products, there are real detectors and toys. The real ones are more expensive and are more complicated to understand and handle, but they are also safer because of the quality guaranteed by a reputable manufacturer.
On the other hand, there are toys which are affordable (or even cheap), have humble functionality (if any except beeping over bottle caps), and do few things for the child. Toys may be more or less fun, may be completely useless, but most importantly, low-quality toys may also be not completely safe.
This is why I would like to walk you through the most important aspects of real detectors for younger users, so that you as a parent could control the safety and quality of the device used by your kid outdoors.
Metal detectors for kids may be differentiated by the kid’s age, among other factors. Age is not only about height or physical development, but also about learning abilities, interests, and mental skills. Younger children may be content with a primitive toy that beeps over bottle caps, but older children may want real results and need a real detector.
To be honest, a small weight is an advantage for adult metal detectors as well. But in kid’s detectors, a small weight is crucial to enable the child to treasure hunt long enough to find something. At the same time, a lightweight detector helps prevent muscle deformation and fatigue in the child when used on a regular basis.
The adjustable length of a metal detector stem allows choosing the optimal length depending on the height of the kid and their manner of searching, too. Moreover, if the kid uses the same detector for more than a year, the stem can be adjusted as the kid grows.
A user-friendly interface is always an advantage because the faster the user learns the indicators, the better their search will be. However, a friendly interface is especially important in a childrens metal detector for several reasons. Firstly, visuals are easier to understand and learn; secondly, kids can easily get bored if they don’t understand the indicators; thirdly, poor interface reveals poor general quality.
Any metal detector must be durable, full stop. Regardless of whether it was created for kids or for adults, if this is not a toy, a metal detector must be sturdy enough to serve long hours per session, and preferably long years, under allowed conditions. It should also be able to withstand occasional kicks and drops that can happen even in the hands of a very careful user.
A waterproof metal detector is better than a weatherproof detector, and a weatherproof detector is better than a non-weatherproof one. The point is not only that a detector protected from water can be used more efficiently and in more complicated locations, leading to more finds. Another point is that kids may drop the detectors in the water when searching on the beach, or find only one single puddle in the middle of the forest and drop the detector there. So, waterproofness is efficiency and protection.
Warranty is an important aspect to double-check because this is the very first and transparent indicator of how long the metal detector is likely to serve, and how much faith the manufacturer puts in it. Most quality detectors have 2 years warranty, some have 5 years. For kids’ detectors, the typical warranty is 1-2 years, mostly because kids tend to break stuff easily. Overall, 2 years warranty is a good sign.
In this overview, I have tried to discuss all the key criteria to assess and choose the best metal detector for kids. I am aware that choosing any such device is a hard task due to the wide range of options, different concerns and considerations, budget, etc.
However, I am also aware that choosing a device for a kid is even harder in certain terms.
In this overview, you can find reviews of the best and most recommended youth metal detector machines, both toys and real ones, that demonstrate decent quality and functionality.
Next, we discuss important aspects to evaluate, including age, weight, and height of the child, weight and length of the device, its durability, waterproofness, and warranty.
And eventually, I answer the popular questions about kids detectors.
Hopefully, this overview will be helpful and useful, and the device you choose will keep your kid happy and entertained for a long while.
Disclaimer: DetectHistory only provides recommendations and reviews of metal detectors that are considered fit for children or are marketed by the manufacturers as detectors for children. Any purchase and usage of a metal detector by parents and their kids is at their own risk and peril. DetectHistory is not responsible for and cannot influence price, quality, or warranties for metal detectors described and reviewed on this page. Please contact manufacturers or distributors if you have any questions or concerns.
There is no such thing as a universally best metal detector that fits all children. The best metal detector for your child is the one that fits the child’s height and weight and has an ergonomic stem and design that doesn’t harm the child. The metal detector should be easy enough to understand and learn, but it should not be primitive, and eventually, it must bring some finds.
It is generally believed that metal detecting is really educational for kids. This is a new, unusual activity. It requires some learning, development of new skills, and some background knowledge. Children may want to learn more about the technologies used in metal detecting, metals, soils, electricity, etc. Some kids may be fascinated with history and historical objects they are able to find.
Metal detecting activities must be conducted around parents, and this is especially true for younger kids. Overall, metal detecting is a calm and peaceful activity. The risks do exist but are easy to prevent, for example, by making sure that the child does not metal detect for several hours in a row to prevent fatigue and muscle deformation. Another risk may be in digging out sharp metal objects, which can be prevented if the parents are around. So, like any activity, metal detecting may have its risks, but it is not dangerous.
Children can find all kinds of objects, but considering that kid’s detectors are usually simple ones and do not reach very deep, the most widespread finds are likely to be coins, modern jewelry, and of course all kinds of trash like nails or bottle caps.
The easiest way to tell a real metal detector from a toy is by looking at its manufacturer and its tech specs. Well-known brands make high-quality detectors even if those are meant for kids. Toys, on the other hand, often have very limited features and poor tech specs.
Buying a cheap metal detector can be good or bad. If the child quickly gets bored, or breaks the detector, and will not express any interest in the hobby, buying a cheap device is a blessing. However, if the child is sincerely interested in mastering the hobby, and dreams of finding treasures, a cheap detector will most probably leave them disappointed, and you will have to buy another one.
If your child already has some experience in hobby detecting and they want a better device, it totally makes sense to get a more expensive one. On the other hand, expensive does not equal great finds right away, because skills also matter. It is better to find a compromise between expensive and what your child will really be able to use.
The child may need a sand scoop, a shovel, a bag for finds, a bag for carrying the metal detector, a headset, and in some cases, an additional search coil. You may also want to get a pair of quality gloves, a cap, and probably rubber boots.
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