The 8 Best Prospecting Picks Serious Gold Hunters Use

Prospecting for gold continues to be an alluring activity for serious gold hunters. Spotting that glittering speck of gold brings a thrill that helps compensate for the back-breaking work of gold prospecting. One of the key hand tools used by gold hunters is the prospecting pick. 

Choosing and using the best pick for the job can factor into a successful search for gold. Read on for our gold star choices for serious gold hunters.

8 Best Prospecting Picks For Digging Gold

Apex Talon 36″ Extreme Handle Pick with 3 Magnets

Apex Picks Extreme 36 Handle with 3 Magnets

Apex is one of the top names in prospecting picks, and they offer a variety of sizes and lengths, including the 18” Badger. Like other Apex picks, this Talon 30” pick has a solid hickory handle that’s 30” long. At 4.25 pounds, it’s not too heavy to carry and wield on a prospecting trip.

Gold is non-magnetic, meaning it will not be pulled onto a magnet. This pick features three attached magnets that assist you in determining whether or not something is real gold or not. If you discover a bit of gold, the 12 x 4.5” head provides plenty of digging surface to bring that precious metal out of the ground.

Estwing Geo/Paleo Rock Pick

Estwing Geo:Paleo Rock Pick

According to Estwing’s website, the Estwing pick is the number one choice for geologists and prospectors worldwide. It’s made in the USA using American steel, forged in one single piece. A vinyl grip cushion provides a no-slip grip in any condition.

Let’s talk specifics: The Estwing pick is 25.5 inches long and weighs 4 pounds. What makes this an outstanding prospecting tool is the 14 inches long, heavy-duty, dual head. The head has a chiseled end that is used to pry and lift rocks from the ground. Its pointed end is good for chipping away and breaking up rocks.

Fisher Research Lab Gold Pick

Fisher Research Lab Gold Pick

This gold pick by Fisher weighs in at 2.4 pounds and is about 21” in length, but that doesn’t mean it’s a lightweight in the goldfields. The business end of this pick boasts a 10” long tempered steelhead that includes a pick and a 3” wide adz.

Attached to the head is a powerful magnet that helps sort between gold and iron or other magnetic ore. The fiberglass handle with a rubberized grip makes this pick easy to grasp securely and swing decisively.

Fiskars Pro IsoCore 36″ Prospecting Pick

Fiskars Pro IsoCore 36 Prospecting Pick

At 5 pounds and 36 inches long, the Fiskars Pro IsoCore pick is one of the bigger picks reviewed here. Its premium steel body is punctuated with a patented Softgrip handle on one end and a riveted head on the other end. The powerful head is designed to stay attached to the handle even under rigorous use against hard-packed dirt and rocks.

One of the pick’s best features is the patented ShockControl system that “absorbs the energy and vibration from each strike, reducing fatigue on muscles and joints.” All this at an affordable price makes this Fiskars pick a top pick.

ASR Outdoor Gold Hunters Compact Magnetic Prospector’s Pick

ASR Outdoor Gold Hunters Compact Magnetic Prospector's Pick

ASR’s compact pick boasts a unique collapsible design that takes it from a full 18 ⅝” length to a transportable 10” collapsed length. The aluminum handle comes apart into three pieces which, along with the head, can be stored in the nylon canvas bag and carried on a belt or in a backpack.

One Amazon reviewer called it “the best pick for the money out there,” and it’s easy to see why. The head is made of hardened stainless steel, and both the pick and shovel sides are a generous 4” long. Magnets embedded in the handle and head provide 15 pounds of pick-up capacity, and the ribbed handle helps you easily hang on to this beast of a tool.

Gold Buddy Ultra-Lite Detector Pick with Super Magnet

Gold Buddy Ultra-Lite Detector Pick w:Super Magnet

The name says Ultra-Lite, and that’s no lie! This pick barely registers on the scales at just over one pound! The total length is 13.5 inches, but the head is a massive 7 inches from the pointed end to the shovel end.

A super magnet is in place at the top of the plated steel pick to help distinguish between gold and any unwanted magnetic metals.

Digger Folding Shovel with Pick

Digger Folding Shovel with Pick

Frog & Co.’s folding digger offers the best of both worlds for the gold hunter who heads deep into the backcountry looking for a lucrative vein. It is super lightweight at 2.5 pounds and folds down to 9.5″ x 5.5″ x 2.25″ inches for an economical spot in a backpack. A handy storage bag with a loop gives you options for carrying the tool on your belt.

But once you’re at the dig site, this affordable shovel shows its true colors. Unfolded, it becomes a reliable tool 22.75 inches long with a saw-tooth-edged spade and a pick that helps you tackle any tough terrain.

Lesche Lightweight Mini Pick

Lesche Lightweight Mini Pick

Most serious gold hunters have picks of different sizes to use in different situations. Adding the Lesche mini pick to your collection gives you a solid choice for shallow bedrock digging. It’s made of Chromoly steel, a lightweight material that offers more strength than mild carbon steel. This aircraft steel is heat-treated and tempered and backed by a 5-year warranty.

The blade is 10.5 inches from tip to tip, while the handle’s overall length is 14.5 inches. The pick claims to be lightweight in its name, and it definitely lives up to that; the Lesche is a mere one pound!

Final Thoughts Concerning Prospecting Picks

Most gold-mining operations these days are done on a large scale with heavy equipment. However, there is still room for the individual prospector to hunt for gold on a small scale or hobby basis.

You might not fit the traditional mold of the grizzled gold prospector found in old western movies, but using the right pick can definitely turn your prospecting days into golden opportunities for exciting nuggets of fun.

Gold Prospecting Picks References:


Kelly Co.

Survival Frog

Rare Gold Nugget