Metal Detecting / Best Gold Panning Kits

Best Gold Panning Kits

Marc McDermott

Gold panning is an increasingly popular hobby that gets people into the great outdoors and provides an awesome sense of adventure. Want to find the best kit for your gold panning?  

What to look for

Gold panning can be tricky to master at first, but with a little practice, you’ll be panning gold in no time!

So how do you get started?

You could just buy a single pan, but we recommend you get yourself a complete gold panning kit.

A kit will give you everything you need to get started and is perfect for beginners.

Here are some factors to consider when shopping around for your first gold panning kit.

What’s in the kit?

It’s true that you can purchase individual pans, sifters, vials, etc. and create your own kit that is personalized to how you go about panning.

However, unless you have experience in gold panning, you more than likely have no idea what you will need and probably have a hard time telling the difference between a pan and a classifier.

That’s why purchasing a kit instead of individual components is important for those just beginning in this hobby.

You will want to find a kit that has everything you need to get started.

Your skill level

You have to be honest with yourself and determine your skill level at panning before deciding on a particular kit.

Obviously, if you are just starting out in this hobby, your skill level is more than likely going to be pretty low.

If that’s the case, don’t purchase a kit that is developed for a professional or experienced prospector.

There is a good chance that a gold panning kit for someone of this skill level will be more challenging to use if you have never panned for gold before.

Now that we have covered some important factors to consider let’s get to our list of candidates for the best gold panning kit.

Gold Rush Panning Kit

This kit contains everything the beginning prospector could need to get started.

The 12” gold pan is large enough to pan a good amount of material and small enough to take with you without taking up too much room in your pack.

Also included in the kit are instructions on how to use a gold pan correctly, a vial to securely hold any gold you may find, tweezers to pluck out flakes easily, and a certificate of authenticity.

However, what makes this kit truly exciting is that it also includes a ½ lb pouch of authentic Gold Rush pay dirt.

While each bag is supposed to contain some actual gold so that you can practice your skills before heading out to a real location, there is no guarantee on how much you will find in each pouch.

Items included:

  • 12-Inch Gold Pan
  • Tweezers
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Instructions
  • ½ lb. Authentic Gold Rush Pay Dirt

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Included pouch of paydirt affords valuable hands-on experience.

Cons

  • Does not include a classifier.
  • Could benefit from including an additional pan.

Garrett Gold Pan Kit (standard model)

This gold panning kit from Garrett is one kit that includes just about everything the beginning prospector will need to get started.

It features two pans, a 10-inch for backpacking and a 14-inch for panning through larger amounts of material at one time.

The thick, durable plastic ensures the kit is lightweight while providing durability.

The included classifier comfortably fits most five-gallon buckets and is an excellent way to eliminate larger, unwanted material quickly.

Items included:​

  • 10-Inch Gold Pan
  • Tweezers
  • ½-inch classifier
  • Instructions
  • Two Vials
  • 14-inch Pan
  • Snuffer

Pros

  • Comes complete with everything the beginning panner will need.
  • Plastic construction ensures durability and easy transportation.

Cons

  • Classifier could come with smaller ¼-inch holes to make separating easier for beginners.
  • The included tweezer/magnifying glass is not the best build quality.

Garrett Deluxe Gold Pan Kit

This second entry on our list from Garrett adds even more content for the serious gold panner.

The addition of a larger, Super Sluice pan and snuffer bottle ensures that you have everything you will need when you hit the great outdoors in search of precious gold.

There is also an included book by legendary gold hunter Roy Lagal and a very informative video.

Items included:

  • 15-inch Gold Pan
  • Tweezers/Magnifier
  • 14-inch Gold Pan
  • 10-inch Gold Pan
  • Classifier
  • 2 Plastic Vials
  • Snuffer Bottle
  • 2 Books

Pros

  • The same durability we have come to expect from Garrett products.
  • The Super Sluice 15-inch pan is perfect for sorting a very large amount of material at one time.

Cons

  • A classifier could come with smaller ¼-inch holes to make separating easier for beginners.
  • The same lower-quality tweezer/magnifier combo.

SE 11-Piece Prospecting Kit by SC

This kit is packed with everything the new prospector needs.

Unlike the first three we mentioned, this kit not only comes with three pans, but it also comes with two classifiers.

The first classifier is the same size as our other kits have at ½-inch. However, to sort the even smaller materials, there is also a ⅛-inch classifier.

There are also plenty of extras that come included with this comprehensive kit.

Included Items:

  • 14-inch Gold Pan
  • 10-inch Gold Pan
  • 8-inch Gold Pan
  • Tweezers/Magnifier
  • 2 Plastic Vials
  • Snuffer Bottle
  • ½-inch Classifier
  • ⅛-inch Classifier
  • Loupe
  • 12-inch Scoop

Pros

  • All of the items included are durable and should provide you with plenty of use.
  • The ⅛-inch classifier is an excellent addition to a gold panning kit that our first three kits do not have.

Cons

  • The 8-inch pan seems to be a little too small for its intended purpose. The 10-inch is the perfect size for backpacking to locations without sacrificing much space.
  • The support lines on the classifiers tend to trap rocks between the screen and the plastic. This can throw off the balance of the classifier.

Final thoughts

While any of these five kits could work perfectly for the beginner, our pick for the best gold panning kit for the money would have to be the Garrett Deluxe Kit.

You can’t go wrong with any of the kits we listed above. So take your pick and get panning!

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below.

Happy panning!

P.S. Want to learn about the best metal detectors for gold nuggets? Check out our guide here.​

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