Metal detecting on the beach

When you go metal detecting on the beach, you can make unique finds in a limited area without much digging—rings, Coins, Chains, Watches, Etc. The beach is one of the absolute best places to use a metal detector. Not only is it easy to dig there, but many exciting things disappear every season on the beach.

Beach metal detecting

One might think that it is mostly newer things, such as coins and jewellery, to be found on the beaches, but most often, the same beaches have been popular for hundreds of years. So finding coins or jewellery that is a hundred years or more is not uncommon.

Tips for metal detecting on the beach 

There are some differences when exploring saltwater beaches and freshwater beaches—especially where the sand is wet. The wet sand has a different conductivity in and near saltwater because of minerals in the sand, affecting the detector’s response. However, the dry sand does not have as much conductivity as the wet one, so it is generally easier to get good signals on dry sand.

Detecting by lake or sea

If you are only going to search freshwater beaches, you can use any metal detector. Conductivity and “ground balance” will play a minor role and any basic metal detector will do.

Garrett ACE 300

Minelab GO-FIND 66

Fisher F44

Nokta Makro Simplex+

By the sea

On the other hand, if you are going to search on seashores, it is best with a detector that can adjust for the minerals in the sand. You can do this with, e.g. automatic or manual “ground balance”. This adjustment allows you to correct the detector for the amount of minerals in the sand.

Best budget metal detector for the beach

An alternative detector to use for mineralized beaches (saltwater beaches) is a multifrequency detector. Such a detector has several frequencies that work simultaneously. This technique allows you to detect several types of targets at different depths and will enable it to penetrate mineralized soil more efficiently.


It gives you better depth and a more accurate target ID. Slightly more expensive than regular VLF detectors. Suitable if you want a metal detector that you can use for all types of explorations – not just on the beach.

PI Detector – best beach metal detector

The absolute best detector for saltwater beaches is the PI (Pulse Induction) detector. The technology in a PI metal detector means that it eliminates the mineralization of the soil and only picks up clean signals. The PI detector is the same type of detector used when searching for Gold. Gold-bearing areas are usually very mineralized, and therefore a PI metal detector is the best choice there.

Waterproof and Sandproof

When you search the beach with the detector, it is good to go out a bit in the water and hunt. It is often there that most things have disappeared and been lost.

Most common detectors, not intended for search in water or scuba diving, have a waterproof search coil that can be immersed in water. So searching at 10, 20 may be up to 50 cm ( 4 to 20 inch) deep is usually not a problem. But check your manual carefully before dipping it in the water.

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