Top 5 Best Gold Pan Options With Reviews And Buying Guide

We’re excited to share this detailed list of the best gold pan options available!  Like anything else, having the right tools for the job makes it much easier.  Using the right pan will help you find more gold faster and more effectively.

It’s easy to overlook the importance of selecting the correct pan.  However, using the best gold pans available can greatly impact your prospecting success.  Therefore, taking a little time to discover the best options is worth it.

Below you’ll find the list of the top five best gold pans.  Also, be sure to use the table of contents to easily navigate to the sections of this post that are most beneficial to you.

Best Gold Pan Options And Buyers Guide

*Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced to help you make the best choice for you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Why Using The Best Gold Pan Available Is Important

The gold pan is important because it is typically used in the first part of the prospecting process to test and locate pay locations.  A gold pan is also used in the final steps of processing materials to extract gold from the finer materials.

gold panning supplies

In the minds of most geologists and mining engineers, the gold pan is associated with the prospecting and mining of alluvial deposits.  All placer miners know how to use a gold pan and find it indispensable in their work. GeoScience World

Needless to say, the gold pan is a staple in any prospector’s kit, and selecting the right pan for the right application is very important.

How Does A Gold Pan Work?

Using a gold pan is based on the principle that gold is a heavy object.  As water agitates, the materials and objects are classified; the gold will sink to the bottom of the pan because it is heavier.

How To Use A Gold Pan

Using a gold pan is a fairly simple process. Once you identify an area with potential for finding gold, which will require research and investigation, you’ll want to follow the basics of using a gold pan outlined below:

1.  Identify materials worthy of being classified and scoop portions of them into the pan.  Classify the material by removing large rocks so that you can focus on working with the smaller deposits, leaving room for gold deposits.

2.  Ensure the material in your pan is wet.  Next, think of this part of the process as two steps, fluidly working together.  Using a slow and steady pace, shake the pan back and forth (this allows the gold to separate and fall to the bottom of the pan), keeping the pan slightly angled.  Almost simultaneously, reduce the heavier materials by carefully rinsing the top layer of sediments.

3.  Continue this process until you are left with a concentrate of black sand with gold.  At this point, leaving about an inch of water in the pan, carefully swirl the sand around and look for gold nuggets and pieces that can be removed by hand or with tweezers.

4.  Repeat this final process reducing the amount of sand each time with care.

5.  Finally, remove the gold from the pan using a magnet or recovery bottle.

Top 5 Best Gold Pans And Why

There are some aspects to consider when selecting a gold pan are color, shape, material, and most important, size.

Gold Pan Features To Consider

Gold Pan Size

The most popular gold pans are sized between 10″- 15″ inches in diameter.  Using a larger pan will help you process more material; however, it’s important to consider the person’s size who will use the pan.  Ideally, the pan will fit in between the crease of your elbow and your wrist.

After all, a gold pan is meant to be used for sampling and classifying smaller amounts of material to identify potential areas for heavier prospecting or in the finishing process of accumulating the gold you have recovered.

Once you identify an area that seems to be rich with gold, you will probably want to incorporate the use of a sluice box.  To view an extensive list of sluice boxes and power sluice options, check out the post: Sluice Box Review And Buyer Guide.

Gold Pan Material:  Plastic Or Metal

Modern plastic pans are also common because they are light-weight and will not interfere when using a magnet.  Plastic gold pans are a better option than metal pans. A plastic pan will never rust because it does not have oily residue like most metal pans and have better built-in riffles.

Gold Pan Colors

Color is a matter of preference.  However, keep in mind that gold will display best against darker colors like black, green, and blue because of the contrast it provides with shiny gold.

Using the criteria above, below are our top picks for the gold pans available.

1. Garrett 15″ Supersluice Gold Pan

The Garrett 15″ Supersluice Gold Pan is our top pick for the best gold pan available.  It uses a 90-degree riffle design created by Roy Lagel which helps improve gold recovery in wet and dry conditions.  The plastic construction is light-weight, weighing only 2 lbs. and very durable.  It features two 1/2″ deep gold riffles and can trap any fine gold or nuggets that are one ounce or bigger.

The Garrett SuperSluice Gold Pan measures  15″ rim to rim.  The bottom of the pan is 9″ across.  The depth of the pan is 3.25″. 

garrett super sluice gold pan review

2. Estwing 12″ Plastic Gold Pan

The Estwing 12″ Gold Pan is popular because of its black color and mini-riffles.  Estwing is an established company known for making quality tools, so it’s a given they would offer a durable and dependable gold pan.  It only weighs 0.36 lb. It also features finger grips around the rim and a lanyard hole for easy carrying.

The Estwing 12″ Plastic Gold pan measures 12″ rim to rim.  The depth of the pan is 3″. 

estwing gold pan review

View The Estwing Gold Pan In Action (*14″ is used in the video)

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3. Stansport Professional 14″ Gold Pan

Stansport is no stranger to the prospecting world. They’re also known for high-quality sluice boxes and other mining equipment.  This pan is 14″ wide and weighs 0.65 lb., and is made from high-impact black plastic.

The Stansport Professional Gold Pan measures 14″ rim to rim, and the depth of the pan is 3″. 

stansport gold pan

View The Garret Stansport Professional 14″ Gold Pan In Action

best gold pan

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4. Minelab PRO-Gold 15″ Polypropylene Dual Riffle Gold Pan

The Minelab 15″ Pro Gold pan is tough and durable, and made of blue high-quality polypropylene plastic.  The pan features a variety of 90° riffles, mini riffles, and a flat sidewall to help increase gold recovery.  It weighs 1 lb.

The Minelab Pro-Gold Dual Riffle Gold Pan measures 15″ rim to rim.  The bottom of the pan is 10″ across.  The depth of the pan is 3″. 

minelab gold pan review

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5. SE 14″ Green Plastic Gold Pan with Two Types of Riffles

This Sona Enterprises 14″ gold pan is made from durable plastic.  Like some of the other pans listed, it also features two riffle systems that allow for using the same pan for different processes.  The pan is super light weighing only 0.19 lb.

The SE (Sona Enterprises) Gold Pan measures 15″ rim to rim, and the bottom of the pan is 5″ across.  The depth of the pan is 2.5″. 

gold panning supplies

Top 5 Best Gold Pan Options QUICK REVIEW

Gold Pan BrandGold Pan ImageDimensions & WeightFeaturesPurchase
Garrett 15″ Supersluice Gold Pangold pan supplies15″ rim to rim, The bottom of the pan is 9″ across, The depth of the pan is 3.25″. Weight: 2 lbs. 90 degree rifflesBUY NOW
Estwing 12″ Plastic Gold Panestwing gold pan review12″ rim to rim, The depth of the pan is 3″. Weight: 0.36 lb.Mini-riffles, Finger grips around the rim, Lanyard hole for easy carryingBUY NOW
Stansport Professional 14″ Gold Panstansport gold pan14″ rim to rim. The depth of the pan is 3″. Weight: 0.65 lb.Multi-riffle systemBUY NOW
Minelab PRO-Gold 15″ Polypropylene Dual Riffle Gold Panminelab gold pan reviewmeasures 15″ rim to rim. The bottom of the pan is 10″ across. The depth of the pan is 3″. Weight: 1lb.Blue, High-quality polypropylene plastic, Variety of 90° rifflesBUY NOW
SE 14" Green Plastic Gold Pan with Two Types of Rifflesgold panning supplies15" rim to rim.  The bottom of the pan is 5" across.  The depth of the pan is 2.5".
Weight: 0.19 lb.
Durable plastic, Two riffle systemsBUY NOW

Additional Gold Panning Supplies

Once you have selected the proper gold pan, ensure that you have the right tools to go along with it, such as a snuffer bottle, vial, tweezers, etc. This will make gold recovery much easier.

As mentioned previously, a serious prospector’s kit will include a sluice box or power sluice.  Along with other gold mining equipment like digging tools, magnets, tweezers, and metal detectors.  Additional parts like miners moss, riffles, classifying screens, and stands are also a part of a prospector’s tool bag.

Expert Gold Panning Tips When Finishing

  1. In the finishing process, when just black sand and gold remain, rather than using a swirling motion, try tapping the side of the pan until you begin to notice the black sand separating to one side and the gold accumulating on the other.
  2. Next, create space between the material and bottom edge of the gold pan by tilting the pan slightly toward you and gently shaking it in a front-to-back motion.
  3. Once space is created, allow water to run over the gold and use the tapping method again.  You will notice that an accumulated gold line has formed.
  4. Now gently allow the water to wash over the gold line to continue removing any fine black sand remaining.
  5. Repeat this process until you are satisfied.  Lastly, use a snuffer bottle to suck up gold.

We hope this review of the best gold pan options available, along with the hints and tips, helps you select the right pan to find more gold.


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out some of our other popular posts on this site:

The Ultimate Sluice Box Review And Buyer Guide

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