5 Best Underwater Metal Detectors (Apr 2024 Review)

In this guide we’ll take a look at the best underwater metal detectors.
We’ve compared water resistance, performance in salt water, pulse induction and operating frequency to give you our top recommendations.

What Is The Best Underwater Metal Detector?

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Best underwater metal detector
  • Goes down to 250 feet!
  • Pulse induction detector
  • Best detector for land & sea
  • Garrett ProPointer Technology
  • Super fast recovery time
  • Easiest detector to use
  • Massive 11 x 13inch coil
  • Highly sensitive pulse induction
  • Best underwater metal detector for diving
  • Waterproof to 100 meters!
  • Excellent value for money
  • Powerful 2-in-1 Scuba Detector and Pinpointer
  • Waterproof to 60 meters
  • Best for cost

More Detailed Underwater Metal Detector Reviews

Fisher CZ21-8 Underwater Metal Detector

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  • Best underwater metal detector
  • Goes down to 250 feet!
  • Pulse induction detector
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Fisher CZ21-8 Underwater Metal Detector Review

In our opinion, the Fisher CZ21-8 is the best underwater metal detector on the market.

It’s a submersible pulse induction metal detector that goes a whopping 250 feet deep.

If you’re a scuba diver this underwater metal detector is a great choice for hunting out the tiniest targets in saltwater.

The control box is easy to use. It has a volume control that can be used to boost audio on weaker signals from potential deep targets.

This is the best underwater metal detector that also has a discrimination mode with seven-settings to filter out your metal choices, although many users tend to pick auto-tune which turns it into an all metal mode with deeper penetration but no discrimination.

It also has adjustable sensitivity – the higher the sensitivity the more signals you’ll get, and adjustable the ground balance.

With waterproof headphones, there are three tones that beep low for iron, a medium tone for foil and small gold, and a high tone for coins and jewellery.

The Fisher CZ21-8 is 12 x 6 x 21 inches and weighs 5.3 lbs. Like most PI machines it’s heavier than a VLF detector, but it’ll get deeper into the seabed and ignore all the minerals for you.

If you’re looking for the best underwater metal detector on the market – the Fisher CZ21-8 is the ultimate must have!

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Submersible up to 250 feet
  • Pulse Induction
  • Adjustable ground balance if you want it

Cons

  • It’s pretty heavy
  • Not so great on land because of the PI reduced discrimination

Garrett AT PRO with Underwater Pinpointer

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  • Best detector for land & sea
  • Garrett ProPointer Technology
  • Super fast recovery time
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Garrett AT PRO with Underwater Pinpointer Review

If you want a metal detector that searches both land and sea the Garrett AT Pro is the best underwater metal detector for you!

The Garrett AT Pro (that’s AT for all-terrain) has a large search coil and the detector is entirely waterproof to ten feet. It’s a great size that covers plenty of terrains but still catches the small targets.

The AT Pro has superb automatic or manual ground balancing which is essential in VLF machine that can handle saltwater and high mineralization, plus the super fast recovery time means you aren’t standing around bored whilst someone else finds the gold.

This waterproof metal detector works on a 15kHz frequency to find the small stuff with the 0-99 target scale ID to indicate what’s beneath. Then the continuous coin depth indicator tells you how far to dig.

If it’s iron trash the high-res iron will tell you so. Basically, the Garrett AT does the job for you!

The AT Pro is sold with ProPointer AT which is better known as the Garrett Carrot.

It’s a bright orange waterproof pinpointer that’s also waterproof to ten feet locates the exact position of your find. It’s invaluable underwater or in moving tidal sands and only weighs 6.5 oz.

The Garrett AT Pro measures 21.3 x 14.4 x 8.7 inches and weighs only 3.03lbs. You’ll need 4 AA batteries to light her up.

This submersible metal detector has loads of features.  The Garrett AT Pro is one of the best underwater metal detectors that works brilliantly on land also.

Pros

  • Large search coil
  • Waterproof to ten feet
  • The Garrett Carrot is invaluable
  • All-terrain so you only need one detector

Cons

  • Better suited to experienced metal detectorists

Garrett ATX Deepseeker Metal Detector

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  • Easiest detector to use
  • Massive 11 x 13inch coil
  • Highly sensitive pulse induction
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Garrett ATX Deepseeker Metal Detector Review

The Garrett ATX is another one of the best underwater metal detectors in Garrett’s arsenal. It’s their pulse induction machine whereas the AT PRO above is VLF. This means it fares much better in salt water.

The ATX has a large 11 x 13-inch search coil that picks up tiny finds without slowing you down.

The large LED screen is basic with no frills. The indicators simply show the signal strength of your target and your current settings.

I like it that way – especially the raised buttons you can feel in water with frozen fingers – simple is what you need when you’re in the water.

You can adjust the ATX discrimination to target a variety of metal on all terrains and you can fiddle with the four settings as much as you want to get it just right.

If you’re more of a get up and go person, then leave the default setting and it’ll adjust itself to target the treasure.

It has a quick iron check feature and an auto function that minimizes interference, and if you want to you can adjust the volume control so that large signals don’t drown out the small ones that might indicate something buried deep.

The ATX is adjustable from 20 inches to 68 inches and it weighs 5lbs. You’ll need 8 AA rechargeable batteries to power it up.

If you’re looking for a no frills metal detector that looks great and is perfect for underwater use – look no further than the Garrett ATX. It’s the best underwater metal detector that’s incredibly easy to use!

Pros

  • Looks awesome
  • Fantastic sensitivity settings
  • Provides simultaneous detection on numerous targets
  • Waterproof up to 10 feet

Cons

  • It is expensive
  • It’s quite heavy

Aquascan Aquapulse AQ1B Diver Metal Detector

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  • Best underwater metal detector for diving
  • Waterproof to 100 meters!
  • Excellent value for money
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Aquascan Aquapulse AQ1B Diver Metal Detector Review

The Aquascan Aquapulse is a great piece of kit and many consider it the best underwater metal detector on the market.

This is a pulse induction machine so it’s best used in salt water rather than land detecting unless it’s wet sand you’re searching.

It has a coil on a telescopic arm and can find metal buried up to three meters. Aquascan says it’s the most powerful currently on the market.

The search coil measures eight inches and is more than good enough to jump straight in, but you can buy extra coils to help locate exactly the metal you’re looking for.

The sensitivity threshold helps reject ring pulls and other trash buried in the sand and mud which is good news as the ocean tends to collect up our trash.

It has rechargeable NiMH batteries with 8-10 hours of use and an adjustable shaft for easier dive searches.

This diver’s metal detector is submersible up to 100 meters and has been used by professionals to track underwater cables, pipes, and recover lost anchors. It’s utilized by archaeologists and the police – the Aquapulse has great credentials. If you’re a diver, this is the best saltwater metal detector for you!

Pros

  • Great depth and sensitivity
  • Waterproof to 200 feet
  • Great price
  • Pulse induction

Cons

  • Not great for discrimination on land

Nokta Makro PulseDive Metal Detector

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  • Powerful 2-in-1 Scuba Detector and Pinpointer
  • Waterproof to 60 meters
  • Best for cost
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Nokta Makro PulseDive Metal Detector Review

A popular brand, Nokta has one of the best underwater metal detectors on its books – the Nokta Makro Pulsedive.

The Pulsedive is a pulse induction metal detector that’s been specifically made for water and gold-hunting. It quickly transforms between a mini waterproof pulse induction metal detector and a waterproof pinpointer. The search coil can be swiftly swapped out for the pinpointer head using its quick fit bayonet fittings.

Top-class technology means the Pulsedive is very stable in salt water or on highly mineralized grounds. It has five levels of sensitivity to suit the conditions and a frequency shift option if you’re near other detectorists or a source of power.

The Pulsedive uses audio, vibration, audio plus vibration, or an LED indicator to highlight finds so you don’t need to use headphones – just look at the flashing (or not) LED.

That said it has a built-in wireless module for headphones should you want them and a diving mode that locks the keys against water pressure from deep dives.

This 28 cm little guy is waterproof to 60 meters and has a hard coil cover for its 5.5-inch coil (plus one for the pinpointer). It’s certainly rugged and small enough to push between rocks and weeds for fallen treasure.

The Pulsedive uses a 1650mAh Lithium polymer battery that takes two hours to charge and lasts the whole day. It’s perfect for diving, snorkeling, or rock pooling with its handy size and two-in-one pulse induction functions. If you’re a diver looking to hunt for spoils, this is the best pulse induction metal detector for you!

Pros

  • 200 feet depth
  • Commercial grade
  • Sensitivity setting to help ignore the trash

Cons

  • Costly!
  • It’s a PI machine so not so great for land detection

Advice for Choosing the Right Underwater Metal Detector

We know there’s lots of options out there – but don’t worry, we’re here to help you find the best underwater metal detector for you!

Hunting for treasure beneath the water is exciting. When the beaches and lakes are crowded with detectorists heading into the water to clean up after the summertime tourists is an attractive and often lucrative option.

But wait…

Is your metal detector up to the job?

To hunt for underwater treasures your machine needs to be waterproof and if you’re heading to the ocean it must be able to handle highly mineralized saltwater conditions.

You’ll need the best underwater metal detector if you want to scan the seabed for coins, jewellery and sunken galleons.

Pulse Inductions vs Very Low Frequency

There are two types of metal detectors that suit underwater salty conditions.

  • Pulse Induction (PI)
  • Very Low Frequency (VLF)

Here’s the difference:

Pulse induction (PI) works by shooting frequent bursts of electronic pulses into the ground and receiving back a signal if they hit something metal.

They are better for saltwater as they can deal with high mineralization, but they can’t discriminate as well as VLF machines.

This means you’ll pick up everything including iron and trash unless you buy a pricey top of the range machine with sensitivity.

Very Low-Frequency machines work by detecting on a low frequency, and their technology means you have a better ability to discriminate.

A good ground balancing VLF machine will ignore mineralized soil and you’ll be able to pick out the treasure rather than a rusty nail.

So which do you want?

In the blue corner: VLF machines are more versatile for sure. They can be used on land, saltwater and freshwater with good discrimination on mineralized ground. They are often lighter than pulse machines too.

In the red corner: A pulse induction machine finds deeper, smaller objects than VLF detectors and they’re programmed to ignore ground minerals. There’s no adjustment -just grab and go.

If you want to primarily hunt underwater in salty conditions I’d recommend a PI machine. If it’s freshwater you want then feel free to choose whichever you like the most.

Is Your Metal Detector Entirely Waterproof?

Double-check before you commit the cash because some machines have a waterproof coil but the control box is not watertight.

Dropping it in water or getting caught out by a rogue wave can destroy your hard-earned machine in seconds.

If you’re hunting in water its best to have the best underwater metal detector which is entirely waterproof.

When To Go Metal Detecting Under Water

Scuba divers head out all year round but if you are planning to snorkel with your underwater metal detector or splash in the surf then the best time to find something exciting is during summer.

This is when tourists and beachgoers enter the water – and lose their jewelry.

Summer waters are also warmer than winter ones so you can hunt for a longer period of time.

Of course, you can metal detect in the winter, but you’ll probably need a wetsuit and a very close eye on the weather. Don’t head out in stormy conditions.

Daylight hours are the best time to metal detect underwater because you can see what you’re doing and its generally safer all round.

Know Your Current From Your Raisin

If you’re getting into the water ensure you know exactly when and where the tide is heading.

Understanding the tide is an essential requirement if you’ll be spending time on the beach. Too many people have got into difficulties when the tide has caught them out – please be careful.

Knowing the tide brings another benefit too – you can find targets quickly and more easily.

This is because sand moves in the tide’s direction and this gives you the opportunity to see more of the seabed. Fighting the tide is exhausting and you’ll miss targets. Go with the flow.

Underwater Accessories

Accessories are not essential, but they certainly make a more pleasant experience.  Here are a few suggestions to put on your Christmas list.

Waterproof headphones

Waves are noisy and the wind can drown out faint target signals. If you’re heading beneath the surface then waterproof headphones are essential.

A long steel trowel

These help you dig at the rocky ocean floor and move sand faster than scrambling with your hands. If you’re snorkelling or walking along the surf you can stay standing while you uncover a target.

Chest harness

Some of these underwater metal detectors are heavy. You might not think that 5 pounds are a lot but after you’ve been swaying them side-to-side for a few hours they’ll feel like a mountain.

Wave action will grab at the detector and drag it around too. A chest harness takes the weight from your arms and makes water exploration safer because you can steady yourself and maintain balance.

Mesh Pouch

A mesh pouch is important if you are snorkelling or scuba diving. You’ll need some to put all those finds!

The Ocean Is Calling

If you enjoy metal detecting it’s more than likely you’ll end up in the surf, if not deeper.

Most detectorists start on the beach or lakeside and end up drawn to the wet sand, and then the water itself. There are plenty of finds there and if you have the right equipment plus some patience you‘ll uncover them.

I’d really recommend getting yourself the best underwater metal detector you can afford if you are spending lots of time in or near the water. Even if you don’t want to submerge the whole machine accidents happen and these detectors are not cheap.

Happy Hunting fellow detectorists – and good gold to you.

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