How to Choose a Metal Detector
There is no perfect detector for every terrain, unfortunately. If you a metal detector for only one purpose, then getting one should be easy. However, a lot of us want a metal detector for various types of terrain, so therefore, you will need to carefully pick one that suits most of our requirements as best as they can. Going through any site or magazine will definitely prove that as a potential buyer, you have a lot of choices. They are a lot of options to choose from, so much that it would prove difficult even for a seasoned detector.
Therefore, the question is, how do you search through the metal detector heap of metal detectors that have been provided by the market and get the best detector. These steps should help you get to the point you want t:
- The first thing to consider is your budget, how much are you actually willing to spend on it and do not forget accessories (headphones, trowels and the likes.)
- The next thing you should ask yourself is where you will be detecting. As a beginner, this is possibly the hardest thing to consider, but this does not lead you to what you should buy. The best way to approach this is to think of your local areas located on a map, as most of us tend to hunt locally. If you stay close to a beach, for example, you will be able to go hunting there, and if you live inland and you have never seen the sea, will you be able to go hunting on parkland.
- Another thing to consider is the weight of your metal detector. You do not want to order a metal detector that you cannot lift.
- Now, do you want a new one or a used one? A new one will give you the peace of mind, a manufacturer’s warranty and if you are lucky, some free accessories, but if you buy a used one, you can buy a better brand.
When you have answered these basic questions, you need to read the booklets and look at the detectors that match your results. Finally, speak to someone; do not be shy about asking the questions the brochures never seem to answer.
Remember, your new detector will be your partner for a long time, and your hobby success relies on you starting the right equipment.
Pointers on choosing a new detector
As a beginner, the most important of your tools is the metal detector. If you are sure you want to metal detect as a hobby. Of course, you may want to buy some accessories, like headphones and gloves. However, the first thing you should probably select will be your metal detector. Do not make an on the spot choice as that would be a huge mistake. You could end up buying a metal detector that does not suit you or you or your location, so carefully select what metal detector you want to use before making your purchase. A few things to consider before buying one include:
Let’s say you live in the desert, and it’s safe to say you will not need any underwater diving equipment. So, therefore, when going for a metal detector, decide from what targets will possibly be found in your area. If you live in a gold country, invest in a metal detector that can pick up coins, gold, and jewelry.
Learn the metal detecting basics. This I cannot stress enough, if you want to start something, learn the basics. Imagine going to buy a phone without knowing what it is used for or what it can do. You may be able to use it, but you will have a very hard time adjusting to it and using all its capabilities.
Check the different types of metal detectors, and their capabilities. Very Low Frequency (VLF), are usually the most common on the market. The newer pulse induction units are wireless, multi-purpose, and water-resistant, but, of course, will cost you way more. I also suggest that you study brand names and gather information online as it will help in your search. The bigger the brand, the better their products.
Familiarize yourself with the metal detecting terminology and the functions and parts of your metal detector. When you know the settings and the features, then you will be able to decide what type of metal detector you want to get and what type will fit your profile and budget.
Finally, I recommend you join a metal detecting club in your area. A lot of local communities have one depending on your location. This is a great way to enjoy the hobby and meet new people, make new friends. You can learn a lot about technique and get some tips from the veterans in the area.
How deep can a metal detector detect?
A good metal detector can detect as deep as six to eleven inches below for objects around the size of coins, but this actually depends on a lot of factors. One of them is the type of soil you are detecting on. With bigger objects, you could go as deep as fourteen to sixteen inches with your device, if the conditions are ideal.
A few factors that could affect the depth include:
- The size of the object that you are scanning. The bigger they are, the better your device will be at picking it up, no matter how deep it is.
- Discrimination. Depending on the amount of discrimination you set on your device, it may or may not go deeper. If you set low discrimination, then you won’t be able to even go through junk metal below the soil and get to the better targets.
- The composition of the targets. Certain metals have better electrical conductivity like copper, brass, and sliver, so they make excellent targets and can be detected and discriminated easier than metals with low conductivity like stainless steel, therefore, making it harder to detect at lower depths.
- Your proximity to the actual target relative to other metals in the area can affect how deep you can search.
- The sensitivity set on your machine. Yes, this can greatly affect your metal detector, set your settings on a good level; even smaller objects can be found in a good setting.
How the Coil Size and Type Influence the Detector Depth?
Metal detectors come with their own coils, but you can install a new one depending on the size, quality, and type of your metal detector. The size of your coil is directly proportional to how deep your machine can go; it also affects the sensitivity of the machine. Basically, the bigger the coil, the deeper you will be able to detect and vice versa.
The downside to this is that smaller targets become easier to miss. On the flip side, though your depth will be reduced, with a smaller coil, your metal detector becomes more sensitive.
Small coils are also quite light when it comes to weight. Therefore, they are easier to control, and this is why people usually choose them when negotiating tough terrains or when they go hunting underground.
Therefore, if you don’t have small targets, then we advise you to go for a bigger coil.
Nevertheless, if you are targeting small targets like little gold pockets or sliver, then you should probably get a smaller one. Though, make sure you check with someone who knows the soil around your area to recommend a coil size that has a balance between depth and the sensitivity.
How Mineralized Soil affects the Metal Detector Depth?
Mineralized soil can also cause some problems for your metal detector, even if you know what are doing. Soil mineralization, in summary, is the amount of metallic and mineral particles in the soils, this, therefore, causes a magnetic effect that can affect your machine.
Now, this type of soil creates a magnetic effect, which can then be detected by your metal detector, and we do not want to detect soil, do we? You can then get problems when it comes to depth when there is a particular level of minerals present in the soil, especially if your metal detector is not designed to handle such conditions, making everything you read a mess. Imagine you have a high level of iron content in the area you are searching, then this will cause a lot of trouble and affect the metal detectors range and deep it can actually detect.
How Wet Ground influences Detector Depth?
When you go out hunting, it is impossible to tell what type of soil you will stumble upon. Nevertheless, most people prefer to detect on wet ground. This is because it increases the conductivity of metals.
However, the wet ground makes it difficult to search deeper. Though ground that is frequently moist makes it quite easy to find coins that are buried, this is especially better after rain. Assuming you want to go metal detecting under the rain, then do make sure your metal detector is waterproof, we don’t want your expensive piece of equipment short-circuiting.
However, a lot of metal detectors are waterproof all over. It is important that you pick the perfect detector for wet ground.
How the Metal Detector’s Frequency Influence its Depth?
Frequency refers to the number of electronic waves a machine produces, in the case of metal detectors, it is the number of waves that it sends to the ground that allows it to detect metals.
Machines with longer wavelengths, i.e., they have low frequencies, can go deeper and detect at lower depths. This is because longer waves have a higher penetrating power. Nevertheless, the downside is, they are not very good at finding small objects, but they are perfect for finding metals with high conductivity like a sliver.
However, detectors with high frequency have short wavelengths; they do not really have great depth, compared to their low-frequency counterparts. The upside of this is that they work well when detecting objects close to the surface.
The solution is to go for a multi-frequency metal detector. Do note that this does not mean you will only have different frequencies on one machine – it also means you will be able to use these frequencies at the same time.