So you’re interested in striking gold, and you are wondering what the best metal detector is for gold. There are a number of different contenders. Here we will look at some of the best and best rated. In particular we will talk about the Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV, the Garrett AT Pro, The Garrett AT Gold, The Minelab GPX 5000 and the Garrett ATX.
So which is the best metal detector for finding gold? The answer is, as with all things in life, it depends. In this case the answer depends on where you are going searching, whether you think you will find large or small pieces of gold, the depth at which you think you will find the gold and, above all else, how much you are willing to pay for your metal detector. You should bear in mind the other truism of life when making your decision about gold hunting metal detectors, you get what you pay for.
There are two types of metal detectors, Very Low Frequency (VLF) and Pulse Induction (PI).
The VLF detector works by sending a very low frequency signal into the ground, usually between 6 – 71 Kilohertz. Gold “resides” within the frequency range and if it is there to be found, the detector should signal you as such. There are trade-offs. The higher the frequency of your VLF machine, the greater the depth it will penetrate, but the lower will be your sensitivity to tiny pieces of gold.
The Pulse Induction detector shots pulses of energy into the ground and then times their return to interpret what lies beneath. The more pulses of energy that your machine puts out, the more sensitive is your machine and the better will be the quality of your return. PI detectors are not bothered by highly mineralized soil and are used mostly for hunting gold nuggets.
The Bounty Hunter, Garrett AT Pro and the Garrett AT Gold are all VLF detectors. The VLF Devices are all less expensive than their PI counterparts.
The Bounty Hunter is not really designed specifically for gold. It is included here so that you can have a low price option. These devices typically sell for less than $100. You do get a lot for your money at this price.
The Garrett AT Pro and AT Gold are very similar in many ways. Both are excellent machines. Both will find you gold. And as we shall see, both are priced much lower than their PI competitors.
The AT Gold operates at a frequency of 18 kHz while the AT Pro operates at 15 kHz. Both machines are in the same ball park price wise. Both are waterproof to ten feet, but the AT Gold is not recommended for usage in salt water. If you plan any ocean gold hunting at all, you are better off with the AT Pro.
The PI devices, the Garrett ATX and the Minelab 5000 are in different quality and price ranges all together. Both are excellent, even exceptional metal detectors and both will find you gold. Both have a host of features designed to help in your search for that yellow metal. Neither device is cheap. But ultimately, you have to want the Garrett ATX for the simple fact that it is less half the price of the Minelab 5000. It should also be noted that the Minelab 5000 is not suitable for salt water use.
So which detector should you buy? It depends. Primarily, it depends on how much you have to spend – the Garrett AT Gold is excellent, as is the AT Pro. If you have the money, you will be better off with the Garrett ATX or the Minelab GPX 5000. Although the GPX 5000 is probably the better all round detector, the ATX is 95% as good as the GPX 5000, but only half the price, so for my money I will go with the ATX every day of the week.