Minelab CTX 3030 Review: Is it Really a Great Choice?

Minelab CTX 3030 is a highly functional and quality metal detector designed for all-terrain and everyday use. However, it’s not a budget option, but rather a high-end metal detector, but the good thing is, it comes flush with premium features that are usually absent from the typical metal detectors.

Some of these features include in-built GPS, target separation, FeCo discrimination, and a lot more. But does this really warrant the hefty price tag? Let’s find out.

Features and Benefits of Minelab CTX


Expectedly, this premium unit is well-balanced, durably constructed, and quite sturdy. From the word go, this metal detector oozes of professionalism and quality craftsmanship, and this is evident by looking at the stem/shaft, which is constructed from premium carbon fiber.

Speaking of the stem, this model is highly adjustable as it comes with a stem of a minimum size of 37″, which can further be extended to 55.3″, meaning that the CTX gives you plenty of flexibility depending on your treasure hunting needs.

The only gripe I had with this metal detector is the weight; weighing at 5.2 pounds, there’s no denying that Minelab is a bulky and heavy machine.

Surprisingly, though, it didn’t feel weighty or clunky to hold, and this is hugely attributed to the fact that it’s well balanced. In any case, I found the weight evenly distributed along the entire arm of the CTX.

But still, if you’re in search of a lightweight metal detector that you’ll easily swing and carry hours on end without tiring, I wouldn’t really recommend the CTX 3030.

In my opinion, though, it’s still unfair to complain about the heftiness of the Minelab 3030, especially considering the technology and features that have been packed on this model.

Waterproof Feature

Minelab CXT 3030 is waterproof to a depth of 3 meters, a similar depth that we had earlier seen with the Garret AT Pro. Again, like the AT Pro, the headphones that accompany this metal detector are similarly not waterproof.

While Minelab will not allow you to get into Deep underwater Ocean treasure hunting or even diving, I found it as an incredible option or hunting in the rivers, creeks, beaches, oceans, and ponds.

Multi-Frequency Detector

One of the departure points between the Minelab CTX and a majority of the metal detectors in the market is the multi-frequency performance.

Now, if you know anything about the role of a frequency in a detector, you understand that it greatly contributes to the overall performance, more so to the sensitivity.

With the Minelab, you get a detector that combines multiple frequencies between 1.5 and 100 kHz, and this allows for greater sensitivity and let users find even the deeper targets with ease and efficiency.

More importantly, these features help the Minelab to ignore the mineralization, meaning it’s not obscured by the chatter that is often associated with mineralized surfaces such as the salt waters and beaches.

FeCo Discrimination

As you’re probably aware, the greatest feature of a metal detector is discrimination, which refers to the ability of a metal detector to distinguish between false metals and treasure.

This feature is quite handy as it makes your search quite effective and reduces the chances spent on digging unwanted trashes such as nails, foils, and metal caps.

To this end, Minelab has equipped the CTX with a more sophisticated discrimination technology that will allow efficient analysis of both the ferrous and conductive properties on the targets.

Sure, it’s tempting to compare the FeCo discrimination to the modest Accept/Reject found in a majority of the detectors, but the FeCo technology goes beyond than this and in reality, it’s a powerful setting that will let you locate and determine the type of target with greater ease and efficiency.

When this technology is further combined with the multi-frequency feature, the Minelab CTX really raises the bar for treasure hunting, more particularly for relic and coin hunting.

However, as you rightly guessed, Minelab is quite a complicated metal detector, and if anything, you need to read the manual several times before taking the detector out in the field.

In my opinion, this detector is not for the beginners, but rather the seasoned detectorists who have an idea of how to operate a detector and won’t mind the extended learning curve.

Search Modes Minelab is a highly versatile detector as it comes with five pre-set search modes that include:

  • Coin
  • Beach
  • Silver
  • High trash
  • Relics

Though these search modes are quite incredible options for the beginners, they’re equally handy for the seasoned treasure hunters who don’t want to waste their time digging up trash.

Versatility on this metal detector is further bolstered the five custom programs that are usually saved when you turn off the detector.

They’re equally a fantastic option for the beginners as they save them from the hassles of going again through the complicated setup.

See, a majority of the high-end machines are usually challenging to use, but the presence of these custom modes will simplify the ease of use.

Integrated GPS and PC Mapping

A major highlight of the Minelab CTX 3030 is the built-in GPS that allows users to record all their hunting endeavors, including places you’ve hunted and the exact location. And once you get at home, you can easily upload this data to your PC.

There’re numerous benefits of having a detector with GPS, but my personal favorite is that I get to see the missed areas as well as the potential hotspots.

And when in the hunting process, this feature will show you where you’ve hunted, meaning that you won’t accidentally miss an area.

The integrated GPS comes alongside a handy Xchange 2 application, a cloud-based app that lets you interact with other treasure hunters.

Sure, GPS and map hunting isn’t necessarily an essential eater, but it’s a nice extra add on that will make your hunt even more efficient and interesting.

Other Notable Features

Minelab CTX comes flush with a host of other features, and combined; they go a long way at improving the overall performance of this detector.

Some of the notable features include a Target ID that gives you an idea of the target location as well as its depth. An Automatic Ground balance alongside a noise cancellation feature helps to find targets in the mineralized surfaces and reduce chatter.

The verdict is it worth it?

Minelab might be a high-end ad expensive model, but it’s definitely worth it; this detector comes with a whole range of new and exciting features and technologies, all of which are geared to making your treasure hunting more exciting and effective.