The worst in Minelab Go-Find 20. A hunter’s feedback

I’ve bought the Go-Find 20 and Go-Find 40 with my own money. And I want to know: can they really be hunted with?

Here are practical first impressions of the Minelab Go-Find 20.


The manufacturer claims that the Minelab Go-Find 20 is one of the most modern entry level detectors. The hunters consider it to be a toy. In sober fact, it’s somewhere in the middle.

Is the Minelab Go-Find 20 compact when folded up? In general, yes. But if we take just the length, the same Garrett ACE 250 is not much larger. And if you disconnect the coil from the lower shaft, the ACE 250 will be even shorter.



I’ve already said that I have two machines: the Go-Find 20 and Go-Find 40. And I’ve noticed a by no means unimportant fact. As stated in the specifications, the Go-Find 20, 40 and 60 models when folded up have equal length – 55.5cm. The Go-Find 20 really corresponds to this length. But the Go-Find 40 folded is shorter!



As an example, the Go-Find 40 easily fits in a usual urban backpack, whereas the Go-Find 20 – just barely.

But this is not the worst in the Minelab Go-Find 20. The biggest drawback of this metal detector is plastic construction. It actually doesn’t have any bolt or metal component. I’ve posted the photo report (Opening the Minelab Go-Find 40). A flat tip screwdriver, 5 minutes of time – and you already have nothing but a pile of plastic. The coil can’t be replaced, one detector – one coil (for the term of its life). There is every indication that the manufacturer didn’t provide the possibility to repair this detector. If it is broken down – buy a new one.


I mostly ignore the armrest fixing strap while metal detecting. It distracts me and encroaches upon my time. The machine gives a positive response every few minutes and the soil is hard to dig. Therefore, while digging up a hole I put the metal detector aside. I can’t be bothered to loosen the fixing strap each time and then to tighten it again. But without doing this, either the fixing strap won’t work (tightening is too loose) or the clothed arm won’t pass through it (tightening is strong). If the metal detector armrest holds the arm without a fixing strap, it’s good.


The Go-Find 20 problem lies in the small armrest with a long handle. It’s impossible to hunt without the fixing strap. The armrest doesn’t hold the arm on its own. The arm slides out with each sweep. You should hunt with the strap only.

I have great doubt about the locking mechanisms, made of plastic, on the Minelab Go-Find 20 shaft. It seems to me that there will come a day when they wear down or break. Or won’t break? Practice will show.


In their advertising the manufacturer says that the real-life detectorists participated in the development of the Go-Find. Can it be true that nobody told the manufacturer about this trough? It’s a perfect place for collecting trash while hunting! And this one will hinder folding of the machine then. Mega construction…


I will point out that the Go-Find 20 is very simple – as befits a cheap metal detector. In terms of settings, it has volume and sensitivity controls. There are only 2 find modes: All-Metal and Iron Mask. When in the second mode, the device responds to non-ferrous metals only… As I’ve already said before, the first segment of the Go-Find discrimination corresponds to the first 4 segments of the Garrett ACE 250 scale. And when going out with the Garrett ACE 250, I am mostly detecting with this mask on only. Thus, in theory, the Go-Find 20 has quite sufficient discrimination.


Regarding depth. While hunting with the Go-Find 20, you really won’t see a coin deeper than 20 centimeters in the soil. On the other hand, what is better? So that a newbie will dig 10 half-a-meter-sized holes at his first hunt, get tired… and the world will see one more unlucky fellow? Or so that he will run 2 extra hours, pick up his first coin and the world will see a new treasure hunter? A half of my finds have been picked up from the depth of up to 20 centimeters. So the Minelab Go-Find 20 depth isn’t the biggest drawback. As for the cheap metal detector – that will do.


I would also say about absence of the pinpoint mode, but… it turns out that a lot of people don’t make use of it (even on expensive devices). It is beyond my reach, but such fact does exist.

The same goes for the cable hidden inside the shaft. I like it and consider it to be a plus. But for most detectorists this plus isn’t evident. Ordinary hunters equally perceive both the cable wrapped around the shaft and the one hidden inside.


Minelab Go-Find 20 Recovery speed test

All about the Minelab Go-Find 20 metal detector is collected here. On Knowledgebase pages there is also additional info on Minelab Go-Find 20.

2 Responses to The worst in Minelab Go-Find 20. A hunter’s feedback

  • Please, excuse me, I’m new in Metal Detectors. But I have 3 days (and nights) searching for my first one and now I have a theoretical learning about MD. I think this is not a fair review of Minelab GF20. But I understand why you are not a happy customer. Even the GoFind 60 have the same issues. Is a good CONCEPT, but need 2 more generation to improve. It’s a shame for MineLab

    YES this detector have many bad issues, Like Arm rest, Discrimination, No optional parts, and others.

    I think that the main problem is the COIL, just is not good enought for this brand. too slow response time. so Bad pinpoint. And is terrible not to have options to change it.

    Plastic: well, I remember when Glock appears, everybody said that it was like a toy, Now every one copy this polymer design and is one of the best guns in the world. Of course, a plastic Metal Detector have to as good as a classic one.
    Folding: how much time do you expend trying folding or unfolding a Garret? Go Find is a nice concept.
    Pinpoint: Garret 150 has pinpoint? GoFind20 is in the same range than Ace150, Fisher F11 wins! but of course, All low cost MD has bad pinpoint. Minelab Go Find is not a exception.
    Depth: really????? a issue??????

    I want to buy this MD the 40 or 60 version, but for the Coil issue, I would prefer the new Fisher F22 and with some more money, a Garret Ace 350. but I can ensure, that I’m going to buy the 3rd Generation of GoFind80. Now I have just enough for a Bounty Hunter Tracker 4 :(


    PD: sorry my english… my chinese is better : )

  • I’ve compared the Garrett 250 to the Minelab 40 (less expensive national geographic version) and the 66. I give Garrett credit for being more solid built but I would grab the go find 66 or 44 any day over at stock Garrett 250. Depending on what I was doing maybe the 250 with a butterfly or small 4 inch coil but even then I highly doubt it would perform any better than the go find 66 other than it is a little more sturdy.

    It’s almost childish of the OP to take apart the 250 into pieces and pretend like it’s the same as a metal detector that folds down. I have just sent my mother a GoFind 66 instead of an Ace 250 and she is very happy with the 66. It is very lightweight turn on and go and is perfect for her folded up in her camper van.

    I made the decision by comparing both of them head to head. I don’t like Garrett’s beep boop grunt so I went into it with a little prejudice. But getting past the plastic shell the 66 is a better performer, at least in Florida. Had they Incorporated several available coils this discussion would never have been. Or incorporated numerical vdi readout. They did not and that was the mistake that perhaps they will grow from or not. Probably not.

    I stated it on a different thread recently that I think the best cheapest or beginner metal detector right now can be purchased exclusively on Amazon and it’s the national geographic version of the Gofind 40/44. Sure for a few dollars more than the 66 there are better options out there like the Xterra Pro that blows the Ace 250 starter detector out of the water in every way imaginable. Anyway while I was playing with the go finds I was wishing that that would have been my first metal detector when I was a kid amazing compared to the jetco dtex I had.

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