Treasure hunting is a fun activity, and beaches can be a rewarding hunting ground. Metal detectors are your tool for that. However, saltwater beaches can present challenges to your detector, as most can’t handle the mineralization of saltwater. An average metal detector can handle dry sand, but serious beach hunters know that most great finds can either be in the surf or the water itself.
The best metal detectors are able to handle all parts of the beach, not just the towel line. Here are some of the best you can find:
The Garret ATX comes in two versions: Standard and the Deepseeker. If you’re serious about hunting at the beach, then the Garrett ATX Deepseeker is a better choice. It offers maximum detection on all targets at one time, and it can find tiny gold nuggets or jewelry in extreme conditions. With the Deepseeker, you can get a huge 20” search coil for increased depth. It can detect targets for up to 18” deep in the right conditions – a range a lot deeper and close to double to the capacity of many entry-level or mid-range detectors. You can control its sensitivity to metal, as you can adjust the response of large signals. It has LED indicators that show signal strength and current settings. The speaker is waterproof, plus you can go for the option to search without headphones.
This metal detector is fully submersible to water up to 10 feet, so you can hunt in shallow surf without worrying about unexpected waves, but don’t use it while you’re diving. It also comes with a quick iron check and advanced ground balance. It’s highly durable because of its military-build quality, making it heavy. It’s also expensive, making it a high-end option.
- Sensitivity control
- Can handle extreme mineralization
- Can search up to 18” deep
- Fully submersible up to 10 feet
- Can be used without headphones
- Military grade quality
The Tesoro Sand Shark is a great submersible detector with an excellent detection performance. It can ignore highly conductive saltwater, while including a pulse width control feature. It also allows you to tune the detector in case you want to maximize depth or sensitivity. Speaking of depth, this detector works up to 20 to 25 feet while ignoring highly conductive saltwater.
This detector features a Normal and VCO operating modes. The Normal mode is great for beach combing and prolonged searches, while the VCO makes the threshold generate a louder, higher pitched tone great for pinpointing an accurate target area. It’s a true saltwater pulse induction detector you can get at an affordable price.
- Submersible pulse induction detector
- Great for beach combing
- Lifetime warranty
- Superior battery life
- Affordable beach detector
- Can’t change headphones or coil, unless sent to the factory
If you want a metal detector that can handle saltwater diving, the Sea Hunter Mark II from Garett is the best choice. It’s a pulse induction detector that can go up to depths of 200 feet, and comes with a submersible headphone that provides sensitivity while hunting. But it doesn’t mean that it’s only or diving. Its adjustable stem means it can be suitable for use in beach combing too. The heavy 5.75 lbs. weight can be very tiring for long hunting sessions, though.
The great feature of this metal detector is the discrete trash elimination mode. This makes the Sea Hunter MKII great because most pulse induction detectors can’t discriminate trash, so you can save time from digging in unwanted items. It also comes with a dial for adjusting elimination threshold.
- Submersible pulse induction detector
- Large accessory coil
- Interchangeable coils and headphones
- Adjustable stem
- Discrete trash elimination mode
- No volume control
The Garrett AT (all-terrain) Pro is great for use in most environments, including wet sand. It’s a VLF detector and has a relatively high 15 kHz operating frequency, making it sensitive to small targets. It’s useful in ground balancing, whether in automatic or manual setting. Its continuous coin depth indicator can tell you how far to dig, and its DD search coil is fully waterproof. You can choose between tone roll audio or proportional, then combine it with the 0-99 target scale ID to identify what’s beneath the surface without having to dig.
It has a high-resolution iron detector that filters out trash which can be set from 1-40 on the meter. Other features include audio mode, notch discrimination and pinpointer mode. The bright orange waterproof pin-pointer allows you to determine the exact location of your find. This pinpointer is a useful piece in this kit, which is often purchased separately when you buy other kits. You can use it to search in waters down to a depth of 10 feet, but it’s not suitable for diving. Also, the headphones are not waterproof; you need to buy submersible headphones separately.
- Submersible detector
- Superb adjustable ground balancing
- Pinpointer mode
- Continuous coin depth indicator
- Filters out trash
- Screen difficult to read in bright sun
If you want a fully submersible metal detector for deep sea diving, the Fisher 1280X-8 is a solid choice. This beach metal detector is rugged, and can be taken down into the waters up to 250 feet down with no worries at all. It’s highly reliable, too. While it’s primarily designed for divers, this detector is also great for wet sand, freshwater rivers and towel line. It’s available with an 8-inch or 10-inch search coil with concentric round open coils to cover a decent width without compromising search functions.
It’s very easy to use – just turn it on and it will automatically tune itself to the surrounding environment. If you want, you can set it on to manual mode so you can control the settings. The control box allows you to easily adjust sensitivity, volume and discrimination. It’s also easily removable, so you can attach it to your chest or hip for hand’s free searching. This kit uses 8 AA batteries, and can last you up to 75 hours or more.
- Simple to use
- Submersible up to 250 feet
- Offers manual and automatic tuning
- Easily removable control box
- Doesn’t come with a lot of extras