New focus on underwater metal detecting. Best tips on how to maximize success.

Underwater metal detecting can be an exciting and rewarding hobby, but it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations.

Hobbyists who engage in diving expeditions, including underwater metal detecting, often enjoy a wide range of pleasures and experiences beyond just searching for treasures. Diving in itself is a rewarding activity that offers a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world and its marine life.

underwater metal detecting



Here are some tips to help those interested in underwater metal detecting have a successful and safe experience:

1. Choose the Right Equipment:

  • Waterproof Metal Detector: Invest in a metal detector designed specifically for underwater use. ( See section B below ) These detectors are sealed to prevent water damage.
  • Waterproof Headphones: Use waterproof headphones to hear signals clearly underwater.
  • Trowel and Sand Scoop: A trowel and sand scoop designed for underwater use will help you recover items from the seabed or lake bottom.

2. Learn to Swim:

If you’re not already a competent swimmer, it’s essential to learn how to swim confidently before attempting underwater metal detecting.

3. Research Your Location:

  • Check Regulations: Ensure you are aware of and adhere to local regulations regarding underwater metal detecting. Some areas may have restrictions or require permits.
  • Know the Conditions: Understand the water conditions, including tides, currents, and visibility, as these factors can affect your safety and success.
  • Historical Sites: Research historical sites and shipwrecks in the area. Knowing the history can help you pinpoint potential treasure hotspots.

4. Safety First:

  • Buddy System: Whenever possible, go underwater metal detecting with a buddy for safety. This is especially important in case of emergencies.
  • Use a Float or Dive Flag: Attach a dive flag or float to your equipment to make your presence known to boaters and other water users.
  • Check Weather: Always check the weather forecast before heading out and avoid metal detecting in rough conditions.

5. Dive Responsibly:

  • Respect Marine Life: Avoid disturbing marine life and coral reefs. Be mindful of the underwater ecosystem.
  • No Dig Zones: Some locations may have restrictions on digging in sensitive areas. Make sure you know where you’re allowed to dig.

6. Proper Target Recovery:

  • Digging Tools: Use a sand scoop or trowel to recover targets. Be gentle to avoid damaging objects or the environment.
  • Mark the Location: If you can’t recover an item immediately, mark the location with a buoy or marker to return later.

7. Clean and Maintain Your Equipment:

  • Rinse After Use: Thoroughly rinse your equipment with fresh water after each dive to prevent corrosion.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your metal detector and gear in good condition by performing regular maintenance checks.

8. Record Finds:

  • Log Finds: Keep a log of your underwater metal detecting trips, including the location, date, and details of any significant finds.
  • Report Treasure: If you find significant historical artifacts or treasure, report your discovery to the appropriate authorities. Laws regarding treasure finds vary by location.

9. Practice and Patience:

  • Practice in Shallow Water: If you’re new to underwater detecting, start in shallow water to practice your skills before diving into deeper areas.
  • Be Patient: Success in underwater metal detecting often requires patience. It may take time to find valuable or historically significant items.

10. Respect Private Property:

  • If you’re detecting near private property or beaches, always obtain permission from landowners or authorities.

underwater metal detecting

Remember that underwater metal detecting can be physically demanding and may require additional training, such as scuba diving certification, for certain locations. Safety should always be a top priority when engaging in this hobby.


Minelab: Minelab is a highly respected brand in the metal detecting community and offers a range of underwater metal detectors suitable for both shallow and deep-water hunting. Their Excalibur II and Equinox series are popular choices for underwater use.

underwater metal detectors

Minelab Equinox 900 Waterproof Metal Detector

Garrett: Garrett is another reputable brand that offers waterproof metal detectors suitable for underwater detecting. The Garrett AT Pro and AT Max models are popular among detectorists, and they can be used in wet conditions, including freshwater.

Fisher: Fisher produces a range of underwater metal detectors designed for various depths and conditions. The Fisher CZ-21 and Fisher 1280-X Aquanaut are known for their underwater capabilities.

Nokta Makro: Nokta Makro offers the PulseDive and Anfibio Multi metal detectors, both of which are designed for underwater use. The PulseDive, in particular, is highly portable and suitable for snorkeling or shallow diving.

Whites Electronics: Whites Electronics has a history of producing quality metal detectors. While they are known for their land-based detectors, some models, like the MX Sport, are designed for both land and underwater use.

Tesoro: Tesoro metal detectors are often praised for their simplicity and effectiveness. Some of their models can be used in shallow water environments.

Aquascan: Aquascan specializes in underwater metal detectors and offers a variety of models for different applications, including professional and recreational use.

XP Deus 2: The XP Deus 2 metal detector operates well in most conditions, both on land and at sea. It operates to a maximum depth of 20 metres.

For details of how an underwater metal detector operates check out the following YouTube video HERE

When choosing an underwater metal detector, consider factors such as your budget, the depth of water you plan to search in, the types of targets you are looking for (e.g., coins, relics, jewelry), and your level of experience. It’s also important to read user reviews, seek recommendations from experienced underwater detectorists, and test the equipment whenever possible to ensure it meets your needs and preferences.


It is important to keep in mind that underwater metal detecting may require additional accessories like waterproof headphones, floats, and sand scoops designed for use in aquatic environments.

Always follow safety guidelines and regulations when engaging in underwater metal detecting, and check local laws regarding the use of metal detectors in specific bodies of water.