If you are developing an interest in metal detecting as a hobby, your most important buy will be your metal detector. You will also need accessories, such as digging tools, headphones, and different sized search coils. These are secondary; first, you will need to look for the best metal detector for you.
Selecting a metal detector cannot be spontaneous because there are several types of metal detectors to choose from, based on your location and area of interest. You should consider the following things before making a purchase:
- The first thing is to decide which kinds of targets you are most likely to find in your area. For example, if you are living in Nevada near the desert, you will not need underwater equipment, but you are also not in the area for Civil War relics.
However, you can detect gold. So, the best metal detector would be the one that is right for coin hunting and jewellery or gold prospecting.
- There are different models available with distinct capabilities. Very low frequency or VLF detectors are the most common. The newer models contain Pulse Induction units. You can choose from wireless, water-resistant, and multi-purpose models. You must know about the best metal detector brands.
- Become familiar with functions as well as the metal detector keywords. This will help you to decide which features are the most necessary for the kind of treasure hunting you will be embarking upon.
- You can also join a metal detector club in your area. This way you can make new friends and learn more about the hobby. A local club is a good place to learn the finer details and the proper technique of metal detecting in your region.
Important Metal Detector Features
When you buy a metal detector, you will come across important features being talked about in product descriptions. The following points will help you know about the functionality of a metal detector, and will aid you in selecting and comparing the models.
This is the ability of a metal detector to differentiate between one target and another. In other words, it will tell if the signal that you are receiving is junk or not. The soil is full of as many rusty nails and bottle caps as there is valuable treasure. This discrimination saves you from digging up rubbish.
The best metal detector allows you to tune out or adjust the rubbish manually. For specific targets like relics and gold, detectorists choose not to use this feature, as they want to unearth everything that is metal.
This is an excellent tool, which can distinguish between coins like Pence, Penny Sterling, foil/junk, silver jewellery, or the probability of gold. The result can be an audible tone, which is high-pitched for worthy items and a low grunt for rubbish. This is known as tone identification.
More frequently, target identification is visual and shows up on the LCD display screen. There is usually a numeric value known as the VDI number that displays on the screen. You will get to know the meaning of the number as well as their possible targets.
All soil has a minute level of metals such as iron. This can interfere with the metal detector’s ability to detect jewellery, gold, and other valuables. Ground balance lets your metal detector bypass these minerals.
There are some variations of ground balance on detectors-
- Automatic: Many modern detectors have circuitry that finds and adjusts for ground effects automatically.
- Preset: The manufacturer presets the metal detector’s ground balance at a specific level, which works well in most searching environments.
- Manual: It needs the user to adjust for ground balance every time they are detecting. This would be the best metal detector for you if you are prospecting valuable metals like gold because of changes in ground conditions.
- Multiple: It lets the user either select automatic or manual settings depending on their preference.
Frequency means the number of times a signal is transmitted and received by the metal detector each second. Detectors with a lower frequency scan deeper, so they provide better overall detection depth. Most general-purpose detectors operate at lower frequencies.
Higher frequency metal detectors are very sensitive to gold and small objects. If you are looking for specks of gold or smaller relics, you would opt for a detector with higher frequency. However, these models are less able to enter deep into the ground.
The depth to which the metal detector can look for coins and other objects is its search depth. Lower frequency metal detectors provide better depth. Your search coil, as well as the composition of soil being searched, can have an impact on search depth. The larger the coil, the deeper it can detect. Usually, you can detect coins to a depth of 1.5 times the search coil diameter. If you are utilising an 8-inch search coil, you will find coins at 8 to 12 inches for example.
Before selecting the best metal detector, consider the land composition and climate in your area. The three prime categories metal detectors fall under are beach and underwater detecting, gold and precious metals detecting, and land-based relics and coin hunting. Your requirement will play an important role in deciding which kind of metal detector will be suitable for you.