Before I get into what I would consider the best metal detector for a kid I think we need to discuss kids in general. Although I think the metal detecting hobby can be enjoyed by everyone from small children to adults there are a few things to consider before buying your child a metal detector.
If your child is under 10 I would first ask yourself “do you plan on metal detecting with them and helping them out.” I would say most kids under the age of 10 are going to need help not only learning their new metal detector but also digging and recovering the target. I would say 10 is just a general age and is different for each child. My 10-year-old daughter is small for her age and needs my help to dig all of her holes. I have a 10-year-old nephew who needs very little help if any unless its an especially difficult recovery such as rocky soil or really dry.
I will say though if you plan on getting out with your child to metal detect you’re probably going to get hooked. It’s a great hobby to get out as a family and enjoy and you never know what you might find! Personally, I believe any child under the age of 10 is going to need an adult’s help. Kids who are over 10, probably not so much.
The dilemma as a parent is how much do we spend? Most children (I know mine fall in this category) have a very short attention span. As parents we don’t want to spend to much money on something they might not even enjoy and metal detecting can be challenging for younger children. Another problem we face when it comes to metal detecting is if we don’t spend enough money the metal detector might not be good enough to find much and might be so frustrating for a kid (and adults) that your kid doesn’t even get to see what the hobby is about to know if they enjoy it!
My Pick – Quest X10 Metal Detector
A few months back I had the opportunity to use a Quest X10 metal detector and I did a review of it in the Dirt Digest Magazine. As a seasoned detectorist I wasn’t sure how I would like using an entry level detector that sells for $199.00. The X10 turned out to be a great little metal detector that I found to be very impressive especially at the entry level price range.
The Quest X10 is very lightweight, easy to learn and use and I found it an absolutely capable detector at a great price. I don’t know of any other detector in this price range currently with the features the X10 has. The one that stuck out to me was the three-piece shaft. You can leave out the middle shaft for younger, shorter kids making it an awesome detector for smaller children! With all three shafts being used and fully collapsed it fits my nephew perfect. With the middle shaft out and it fully extended it fits my daughter. With the smaller shaft even much smaller kids could use this metal detector comfortably.
If 199 is a little more than you want to spend then I would look at the Quest X5. Much like the X10 but with a few less features but still a very capable metal detector and it comes in at $159.00. I know for many of us this is a lot of money to spend on our children when it might be something they quickly learn they aren’t into. Unfortunately, at this time, I am not aware of anything more affordable that I could feel good about recommending you.
On a positive note though I will say in my experience children that have a parent who will go out and metal detect with them, help them learn their new detector will stick with the hobby and enjoy it. I have found that it doesn’t matter the age, whether 5 years old or 70, when you find your first treasure you’re hooked!