Underwater metal detectors: Which One is for You?

Have you been thinking of buying an underwater metal detector? In this article you will learn to see between the underwater metal detector and a waterproof metal detector. You will understand how they differ from each other and what they can and can’t do. What is the difference between Pulse Induction and VLF. There is a separate section containing rating of the best metal detectors for both beach and underwater hunting.

Do you know?

Underwater metal detector and metal detector for beach hunting isn’t it one and the same thing.

First of all, you have to understand that all metal detectors are conventionally divided into underwater ones (those that you can completely drown into the water up to 70 meters deep and the ones that can function in a brackish water) and waterproof metal detectors that are used for coastal and beach treasure hunting (such detectors can be put up to 5 meters deep into water and they demonstrate poorer productivity in brackish water).

Waterproof metal detectors vs underwater metal detectors

You should make this decision after making your mind as for where you are going to go treasure hunting – on the beach and around coastal area or deep under water.

Most of treasure hunters dive not that deep, since all gold and silver jewelry that people loose in water is usually located in a coastal area.

If your task is to go around the beach, search not far from it and you will maximum get waist-deep under water, you should get a metal detector for beach hunting.

But if you’ve decided to become a professional underwater treasure hunter, you should turn your attention to a professional underwater metal detectors.

For underwater treasure hunting you will need a PI metal detector. It performs better on a sandy beach and brackish water, easily tunes out of noise. However, these detectors aren’t as sensitive as VLF detectors and they don’t search that deep.

Best waterproof metal detectors

Minelab Equinox 800

Minelab Equinox 800 review

Minelab Equinox 800 is a multi-purpose metal detector meant for various types of treasure hunting. The device is equipped with three manufacturer’s programs for beach hunting as well as for working in fields and parks. It is aimed for treasure hunting both on the ground and under water (waterproof up to 3 meters deep).

Equinox 800 has more operation frequencies, it can work at 5\10\15\20\40 kHz frequencies and Multi-IQ (using several frequencies at the same time).

Beach mode is used for underwater treasure hunting. It has two sub-modes – wet/dry sand and under water/shallow water.

Minelab Equinox 800 Metal Detector with EQX 11” Double-D Waterproof Coil
  • MULTI-IQ TECHNOLOGY: Minelab’s revolutionary technology combines the power of...
  • FULLY WATERPROOF: Don’t stop at the beach or the bank, this fully submersible...
  • 4 DETECT MODES: Easily select from Park, Field, Beach or Gold modes to focus on...
  • ACCURATE TARGET ID: Identify your targets quickly and confidently to efficiently...
  • CUSTOM SEARCH PROFILES: Enjoy 8 custom Search Profiles and save your favorite 2...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ModelMinelab Equinox 800
ApplicationCoin, Relic, Jewellery & Beach
TechnologiesMulti-IQ, Wi-Stream, Bluetooth
Weight1.34 kg (2.96 lbs)
Length (Adjustable)1440 mm (56.7″)
BatteriesIn-built Lithium-ion
Headphones Included, bluetooth and aptX™
Audio OutputIn-built loudspeaker, 3.5 mm (1/8″) headphones
Warranty3 years
Operating Principle VLF
Standard Searchcoil11-inch Double-D
Operating Frequencies (kHz) Multi, 5, 10, 15, 20, 40
Water resistanceWaterproof
Submersion Depth up to 3m/10-feet
Visual DisplayMonochrome LCD with backlight
Noise CancelYes
USB ConnectivityYes (Windows and OSX)
Ground Balance Auto, Manual
Search Modes Park, Beach, Field, Gold
Discrimination50 segment (Ferrous: -9 – 0, Non-ferrous: 1 – 40)
Custom Search Profiles8 (2 per Detect Mode)
Noise CancelAuto, Manual (-9 to 9)
Audio Threshold Yes
Sensitivity1-25
Target Volume0–25
Threshold Level0–25
Threshold Pitch0–25
Target Tones1, 2, 5, 50
Electronic Pinpointing Yes
VDI (0 to 99 scale) Yes
LCD BacklightYes

XP Deus II

XP Deus II review

Nowadays it is the best metal detector on the market. XP Deus 3 has accumulated all the best groundwork made by XP during all these years.

XP Deus II is a metal detector designed in 2022 that is one of the best multipurpose metal detectors nowadays. It is fast both for ground and underwater metal detecting, with FMF ® technology (fast multifrequency technology), extra lightweight (it weighs just 800 grams), the device is mobile and completely wireless: its control unit, search coil, headset, connection with a pinpointer are wireless. This is the best metal detector model designed by XP.

The most important about this novelty is its own technology, FMF – Fast Multi Frequency. This means the ability of the device operation simultaneously using a multifrequency from 4 to 45 kHz. At that, the frequencies in multi-frequency mode will be selected according to the device operation mode selected.

While XP Deus predecessor was good in many ways but not for beach hunting, XP Deus II can be used not only for beach hunting but the device also can be submerged up to 20 meters deep!

For underwater treasure hunting, there was designed a bone conduction headset that allows for hearing the weakest signals. Vibration mode was also added to the headset features.

Moreover, XP Deus II is a multifrequency device that efficiently searches both large-sized targets and small gold nuggets for which it has a special program, «Goldfield»

XP Deus II is as light weight as possible (it weighs 815 g max), which means that the device is very convenient in use. Since we all know how hard it is to sweep with any other device and then your hand starts aching. Now these issues are settled and you can enjoy using this metal detector.

Deus II is quickly assembled and dismantled and at that there is no chance of loosing or breakage of any device’s components. The metal detector has embedded batteries with at least 2 years term of service and then you should replace them with new ones. The batteries high capacity ensures very long service term without recharging.

XP Deus II can be considered the most light-weighted, ergonomic, and multipurpose metal detector with the highest efficiency when searching for any targets under any conditions. It is obvious that here we have a really new device, not just a veiled upgrade of the previous device model.

XP Deus II Fast Multi Frequency Metal Detector with 11" FMF Search Coil
  • Ergonomic & lightweight
  • Fully wireless
  • True Fast Multi-Frequency metal detector [4 > 45 kHz]
  • Accurate, in-depth Target Id
  • Waterproof 66 Feet (20M)

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Weight
Total detector weight with batteries750-815 g
Stem weight370 g (S-Telescopic) – 305 g (S-Telescopic lite)
Remote weight with battery150 g
Headphone weight with batteryWS6: 82 g – WSA II: 72 g – WSA II XL: 250 g
Coil weight22.5 (9’’) – 345 g; 28 cm (11’) – 470 g; 34×28 cm (13’’x11’’) – 570 g
Length
StemFully telescopic, S-shaped
Length of folded stem58 cm
Length of extended stem130 cm
Coils
Wireless coilsDD 22.5cm-9’’/28 cm-11’’/34x28cm-13’’x11’’ (fully waterproof 20m – 66 ft)
Temperature
Operating T°0 to + 40°C
Max ambient T° during charging0 to + 40°C
Recommended storage T°25°C
Waterproofness
CoilIP 68 – 20m – 66 ft
Bone conduction headphonesWaterproof IP68 – 20m – 66 ft (optional)
Wireless Headphones optionalWS6 (rainproof) – WSAII (rainproof) – WSAII XL (IP 68-1m)
Batteries
BatteriesRemote/Coil: 700 mAh – Headphones: 320 mAh
Battery level indicatorYes: Remote/Headphones/Coil/MI-6
Wireless Remote Control battery life~ 15 to 30H depending on audio output activated
Wireless Headphone battery life~ 15H WSAII/WS6
Wireless Coil battery life8H to 20H depending on programs and frequencies
Mains power chargerDepending on version, Input 100-220V 50/60Hz, Output 5V- 1A max
Charging time~3 h
Features
Software updatesYes, by USB/Internet connection
Hip mount remote control caseYes
Headphones storage caseYes (WS6, WSA II)
WarrantyFive years parts and labor. Batteries, chargers and connectors have a 2 year
warranty
Settings
Detection frequenciesSimultaneous Multi Frequency or between the 49 single
frequencies from 4 to 45 kHz
Sensitivity99 levels
Sound typeDifferent sound options: PWM, SQUARE
Audio Volume10 levels for each audio output
Reactivity9 levels (0/0.5/1/1.5/2/2.5/3/4/5)
Audio Response8 levels
Iron Volume6 levels
Multi Tones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Pitch and Full Tones 1 and 2 + EXPERT modes
Ground balanceTracking, Grab, Manual
Multi-NotchYes, with adjustable window width
PinpointYes, with and without Autotune – Audio and visual
DiscriminationAudio and visual/ferrous bottle cap rejection on 5 levels/Silencer
ThresholdThreshold and Audio frequency adjustable
Equalizer4 Bands configurable
Programs12 factory programs + 12 users
Backlight20 levels adjustable, very low power consumption

Best underwater metal detectors

Nokta PulseDive

This is a multi-purpose device designed by Nokta Makro that includes a pinpointer and scuba pinpointer.

The device is a transformer pinpointer, which is an underwater metal detector and a pinpointer for ground search at the same time. How is this possible? Well, it is pretty simple. Nokta PulseDive has a special search mono coil that can be attached to the device, and then it is used for deep underwater treasure hunting.

The Nokta PulseDive uses a PI approach, and its operating frequency is 3 kHz, which makes the device utterly unaffected by brackish water or highly mineralized soils. Such technology ensures more stable device performance in brackish water or on any soil type.

Nokta PulseDive Underwater Metal Detector & Pinpointer 2-in-1 Set with 4" Coil, 3 kHz Pulse...
  • System Box - Scuba Coil - Scuba Coil Cover - Pointer Coil - Pointer Coil...
  • Nokta PulseDive Underwater Metal Detector:
  • Used by Professional Divers, Vacationer & Detectorist Loving Searches On Land &...
  • Best Addition to Your Gear This-Year!
  • Innovative Design:Quick Transformation from Scuba Detector into PinpointerVice...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ModelNokta PulseDive
Operating PrinciplePulse Induction
Operating Frequency3kHz
WaterproofUp to 60m (200ft.)
Detection ModesAudio / Vibration / Audio + Vibration / LED
Sensitivity5 levels adjustable
Length28 cm (11”)
Weight286 gr (10oz) including the hard-shell case
Battery1650mAh Lithium Polymer
Charging Time≈2 hours
Warranty2 years

Scuba Tector

This is a 95 kHz frequency pulse metal detector are able to provide you with fun while scuba diving. Unlike complex underwater metal detectors, this device is easy to use, and its price is rather attractive. The metal detector is designed as a monoblock unit. Only the battery unit cover and a lanyard can be removed. The device has positive buoyancy.

On the front side, Scuba Tector has a mono coil with rounded corners 12×10 cm that functions using the PI principle. You can use it on salty sand and in brackish water, on black sand, and in environments that are challenging for other devices’ performance.

Deteknix Scuba Tector Underwater Waterproof Metal Detector up to 200ft / 60m with LED,...
  • LED/Buzzer/Vibration Alert System When Finding Objects
  • Li-Poly Rechargble Battery for up to 10 Hours of Continuous Use
  • Waterproof Up to 200 Feet / 60 Meters
  • Standy and Auto Power Off Mode after 3 Minutes of Non Use to Conserve Battery...
  • LED Flash For Low Light Conditions / Landyard Attaches to Cap for Safe Keeping...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ModelScuba Tector
Operating PrinciplePulse Induction
Operating Frequency95 kHz
WaterproofUp to 60m (200ft.)
Detection ModesLED/Buzzer/Vibration Alert System
Sensitivity4 levels adjustable
Length42 cm (16.5 x 2.4 x 3.9 inches)
Weight400 g (11.6 ounces)
Battery500 mAh li-polymer accumulator
Charging Time≈2 hours
Warranty2 years

Minelab Excalibur II

This is a classical submersible metal detector for underwater treasure hunting. We can’t even count how many treasures and troves were found by means of it. This is a time-proven and very quality metal detector and after buying it you can go underwater treasure hunting right away. Excalibur II is considered to be the most best underwater metal detector and I guess you won’t find anyone who will argue with this.

You can dive up to 60 meters deep with it; it has a highly efficient discriminator which can see between ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

This metal detector uses a unique technology of broad band scanning (BBS) that works with 17 frequencies simultaneously in the range from 1.5 kHz to 25.5 kHz. The device has a pin pointer by means of which you will identify the target center. The metal detector has Koss waterproof headphones in its set and a lot of other stuff.

We should mention that Excalibur 2 uses the technology of signal amplification by the coil (RCB). The coil with RCB technology amplifies any weak signals from small objects or deeply resting ones; due to its design the coil simultaneously suppresses interference and false signals.

The metal detector case color is bright and fluorescent, due to which you won’t loose track of it in muddy water. The device has S-shaped shaft and it is more convenient to use for underwater treasure hunting than a straight one.

The device is powered by eight AA batteries or by accumulator; its capacity is quite large – up to 1000 Ah. Though the metal detector weighs 2.5 kg, you all know that things become lighter under water.

Minelab Excalibur II 1000 Bundle with Headphones, Car Charger & Extra Rechargable Batteries
  • Special Bundle with Free Minelab Headphones, Car Charger & Extra Rechargable...
  • RCB amplifies weak target signals inside the coil, reducing noise and boosting...
  • High Visibility (Hi-Vis) fluorescent bodywork;
  • NiMH Rechargeable battery pack for operation up to 12 hours Hi-Vis Skid plate;
  • Side-mount shaft for shallow and surf-wading (available as an optional...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ModelMinelab Excalibur II
ApplicationCoin, Relic, Jewellery, Beach & Dive (waterproof 200ft)
TechnologyBBS
Weight8″ Coil 2.1kg (4.6lbs) or 10″ coil 2.3kg (5.1lbs) (inc NiMH battery)
Length (Adjustable)Standard shaft 1140 mm – 1220 mm (45″ – 48″); Dive shaft 820 mm – 910 mm (32″ – 36″)
BatteriesNiMH battery pack 13V 1000 mAh
Headphones Included, Koss 8, hardwired
Warranty1 year
Operating Principle VLF
Standard Searchcoil10″ Double-D hardwired
Operating Frequencies (kHz) Multiple frequencies: 1.5, 3, 4.5,…25.5kHz)
Water resistanceUnderwater metal detector
Submersion Depth waterproof 200ft
Discrimination Variable Discrimination (adjustable turn control) & All Metal
Ground Balance Automatic ground rejection
Detect ModesDiscriminate or All-Metal (Pinpoint)
Target Volume AdjustAdjustable turn control
Audio Threshold Adjustable 
Electronic Pinpointing Yes
VDI (0 to 99 scale) No
Build-in flashlightNo

Fisher CZ-21

This is an underwater metal detector that functions using 2 frequencies – high (15 kHz) and low one (5 kHz). The high frequency easily detects small targets including those made from precious metals and 5 kHz frequency allows searching large sized objects.

As its designers say, the metal detector was created to work in brackish water. That’s why if you’ve decided to dive with a metal detector in the sea, Fisher CZ-21 is one of the perfect options. Its maximal depth of immersion is 76 meters; at that it can function both in brackish and fresh water.

Two signals VLF (5 or 15 kHz) that penetrate deep provide twice more information for the target identification. The device has a function of compensation of destabilizing effects of salt water, tunes out false signals generated by brackish water.

The ground balance function is adjusted manually and a tone signal informs you about the target found. At that there is an amplifier of weak signals that allows to hear them.

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ModelFisher CZ-21
Weight8” Coil 5 lb, 10.5” Coil 6 lb, 5” Coil 5.4 lb
Length (Adjustable) 30”- 50”
Batteries 9 Volt (4)
HeadphonesIncluded
Warranty2 years
Operating PrincipleVLF
Standard Searchcoil10.5’’ Concentric
Operating Frequencies (kHz)Dual, VLF Search 5 KHz and 15 KHz
Water resistanceYes
Submersion Depthup to 250 feet
DiscriminationYes
Ground BalanceYes
Audio ThresholdNo
Electronic PinpointingYes
VDI (0 to 99 scale)No
Build-in flashlightNo

Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II

Sea Hunter Mark II is a professional underwater metal detector made by American company Garrett. You can put Sea Hunter Mark II up to 65 meters deep into the water. Waterproof headphones and straps to fasten the device to a diving suit come in the device set.

The settings are quite simple and flexible at the same time – these are discrimination, threshold tone and sensitivity.

The device design is rather ergonomical – the control unit can be fastened to upper, middle or bottom section of its shaft.

Also you can assemble the metal detector without using the middle shaft for more comfortable hunting at tough conditions.

Sea Hunter Mark II is a metal detector based on PI search technology. Application of this technology allows Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II get an immediate target response.

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

ModelGarrett Sea Hunter Mark II
Weight5.1 lbs (2.3 kgs) stem-mounted
Control Housing31 oz (88 kgs)
Length (Adjustable)28″ to 52″ (.71m – 1.32m)
Batteries8 AA (included)
Headphones Submersible headphones included
Warranty1 year
Circuit Type Pulse Induction
Standard Searchcoil8″ PROformance™ mono
Operating Frequencies (kHz) 750 pulses per second, adjustable
Water resistanceUnderwater detector
Submersion Depth 200 feet (65m)
Discrimination Full Range (PI)
Ground Balance Preset
Search Modes 3
Audio Tones1
Audio Threshold No
Detector BuoyancyNear neutral
Updatable SoftwareNo
Electronic Pinpointing No
VDI (0 to 99 scale) No
Build-in flashlightNo

Fisher 1280X-8

1280X-8 is an underwater metal detector made by American manufacturer Fisher. You can put 1280X-8 up to 76 meters under water. Fisher made its 1280X-8 completely easy-to-use. Maximum number of the device settings are adjusted automatically – threshold signal, ground balance, compensation of salt water influences.

Fisher 1280X-8 has sequential metals discriminator with the ability to adjust the metal detector sensitivity. Fisher 1280X-8 has 3-tone audio target response, volume adjustment. Visual control of the target response. Increased time of offline work.

Fisher 1280X-8 Underwater All-Purpose Metal Detector, Black
  • Turn on & go operation - submersible up to 250 feet - full range target...
  • Adjustable sensitivity control - audio and visual target response - vlf...
  • 8” and 10” coil options - up to 75+ hours of battery life
  • Operating Frequency: 2.4 kHz
  • Recommended for: beach hunting, shallow water, lake /surf, diving

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


So what makes these metal detectors different?

The thing is, that manufacturers of top metal detectors try to design them as multi-purpose ones, so they would be in high demand among the majority of treasure hunting fans.

Which means that a waterproof metal detector is a device capable of functioning both on the ground (moreover, it was designed for this) and under water at insignificant depth.

Waterproof metal detectors typically have screens and function using a classical technology common for all metal detectors; it is called VLF (very low frequencies) and they can be put under water at some limited depth.

Most of professional underwater metal detectors doesn’t have a LED display, they use Pulse Induction (PI) technology and can be drowned quite deep into water.

For convenience some underwater metal detectors have separated control unit and search coil.

This is really handy, since the control unit is usually fastened to a waistband and you search the pond bottom by means of a coil fixed to a metal detector shaft.

This way it is easier to perform underwater metal detecting.

VLF and Pulse Induction technologies

Standard ground metal detectors (those using VLF technology) generate constant electric current inside the coil transmitter and the change of the receiver voltage phase or amplitude indicates the presence of metal objects under ground.

Metal detectors using pulse induction (PI) generate electric currents for the transmitter, which turns on for some period of time and then abruptly turns off.

The coil field generates pulse vortex currents in the object they detect and analyze the pulse attenuation in the receiver coil.

PI metal detectors are irreplaceable during coastal and underwater treasure hunting as well as on highly mineralized soils.

The device productivity doesn’t depend on water or ground influences. Such devices demonstrate the same successful productivity both under water and on the ground.

That’s why PI technology is used in underwater metal detectors. They demonstrate good results when searing on sandy beaches and wet sand metal detecting.

The depth of objects detection in the ground and in brackish water is larger if compared with the results obtained by VLF metal detectors.

VLF is good for treasure hunting on the ground, but under water such devices show significantly lower productivity and the detection depth is less if compared with those of PI ones.

If you do treasure hunting professionally and use VLF instead of a PI metal detector, you essentially decrease your chances to find something really valuable.