Garret Metal Detectors

Electronic Metal Detectors are Great Gifts for Children and Adults

Metal detectors are great gifts for children and adults. Even a low-cost unit can encourage children to turn off the TV, leave the couch and get outside in the fresh air…well, okay, if they’re normal kids they will leave the TV on–but they will still go outside to play.


As a hobby, treasure hunting can be relatively inexpensive. You need to buy a detector, a couple of digging tools, and some small bags to carry home things found while searching. There are usually no membership fees unless you join a club, or really any other costs involved except perhaps batteries.


Where most people get stuck is when it comes to picking out the metal detector itself. There are so many choices that it can be difficult to decide which unit to buy. One thing to keep in mind is that children will be using the device. That means the unit needs to be solid enough to handle getting banged around without breaking and cheap enough to easily replace if it gets busted.


If a children’s metal detector is in the budget, consider how many children will be expected to use the same metal detector. Some families expect to buy one unit and share it among several children. This will work as long as only one or two of the kids decide they like treasure hunting. If several children all want to use the unit, it may be better to buy lower-cost units and purchase more than one.


Also, remember that the more expensive metal detectors may be more than the kids really need or can understand. Many children are happy digging up pull tabs from the back yard and you don’t need a very expensive unit for that. In electronics, cost is often a sign of a more sophisticated product and treasure hunting is no exception to this rule. High-end machines from Whites, Tesoro, and Garrett will usually offer features and sensitivity that most lower-cost detectors don’t have.


But, for children is that necessary? Maybe and maybe not– if the child is serious about the hobby, it may be reasonable to spend a bit more money on a more powerful and feature filled device. Many parents will buy their children good-quality guitars or computers for gifts because they expect the children will use them and there is no reason not to follow this pattern with children’s metal detectors.


What if this is a first unit and the child has never treasure hunted before? Then the decision is up to the parent how much money to spend. Remember that a poorly functioning unit will be miserable to operate and may cause the kid to lose all interest in using it (and thereby being outside in the air and not on the couch). That said, it isn’t necessary to spend an inordinate amount of money on the project. There are several reasonable detectors available for right around $100 and even a couple of passable ones that are about one-half of that.


So, don’t panic if a junior adventurer asks for a children’s metal detector, the cost doesn’t have to be astronomical. And remember that beyond the detector there really aren’t that many costs involved.




Garret Ace 250 Metal Detector

Garret has manufactured a line of fine metal detectors for a number of years, and I personally own a GTA 500. Garret’s electronics package is extremely high quality and the locators are very good at finding and pin-pointing the kinds of metal that Treasure Hunters are looking for while rejecting the scrap.

The Ace 250 operates on 4 AA batteries, which is one-half the number necessary to operate a GTA. AA’s are a nice choice since they are lightweight and often are slightly more readily available than the 9 volt batteries that some other detectors use.

Unlike the GTA series which has batteries in a detachable battery pack that can be worn on the belt, the Ace appears to carry the batteries inside the case of the unit, which in the long run is probably as useful has having a belt carried pack. The shaft also appears to be composed of only a couple of pieces as opposed to my GTA which has a handle grip made of plastic and aluminum shafts connected to it and running in both directions. That aluminum-plastic-aluminum connection has always felt a bit flimsy in my hand, and I find I prefer a detector with a shaft that is all metal.

For the money, this entry level Garret will give you many advanced features like pinpointing and the LCD graphics are easier to understand for most people than a common meter would be. My advice is to buy earphones that have a volume control built in since Garret does not install a volume control and the speaker can be loud enough to be disturbing. Headphones can reduce some of this volume and you can always wear them around your neck with the volume turned up which so you can still hear normally but you can hear the locator at a normal level too.