Tips For Buying Your First Metal Detector

Have you ever had a passion for ancient artifacts and dreamed of being an archaeologist, or perhaps read romantic stories of buried treasure and dreamed of finding your own treasure chest? Metal detecting enthusiasts share this kind of passion and more and more people are pursuing this exciting hobby and finding their own treasure. If you are thinking of becoming a metal detectorist, then the first thing you need to do is look for the right kind of metal detector. Don’t worry, you needn’t break the bank and purchase the most expensive technology straight out! Here are some great tips for buying your first metal detector

Five Basic Types of Metal Detectors

  1. Simple “transmit & receive” system detectors, which can differentiate between ferrous items and non-ferrous items. The problem with these detectors is that they don’t function properly in areas where the soil is highly mineralized, as a result, they’ve largely been phased out. Rather don’t buy an old second hand machine from the 1960s or 70s as they are likely to be of this type.
  2. Metal Detectors that use oscillation of beat frequency to detect metals. Metal detectors with this system are the least expensive in the market and can be purchased brand new for a hundred dollars or less. The downside of these types of machines is that they are unable to differentiate between different types of metals – leading to a lot of false-positive detections.
  3. VLF technology or “very low frequency” technology detectors. Metal detectors that use VLF technology are able to detect different kinds of metals, including silver and gold.
  4. The old “transmit & receive” detection system was given new life by some manufacturers. To control false-positive detections, they combined the T & R system with VLF technology so highly mineralized soils can be explored without having to deal with too many false-positive detections. The detection of trash or junk in the ground is also reduced with hybrid T & R/VLF metal detectors.
  5. The fifth and last type of metal detector utilizes pulse induction to track down metals buried in the ground. Pulse induction detectors have the same weakness as T & R detectors (so they aren’t great for regular detecting). However, Pulse induction detectors are experts when it comes to mineralized areas, and thus can be used underwater (if protected with waterproof casing).

Tips for Buying a Detector

  1. For some time now, people have thought that the depth of detection is the most important feature of a metal detector, but the truth of the matter is that almost all metal detectors (save for some very expensive ones) have the same depth of detection – so don’t focus too much on depth.
  2. Look for features that will help you during an actual hunt, for example, it would be great if the metal detector provided a visual readout of any detection so you’ll an idea of what it has picked up while you were walking.
  3. Ease of use is another important factor. Some people buy the top-of-the-line metal detectors and never get to use them because the gadgets are too complicated. Instead of sniffing the ground for gold, iron, silver coins, and relics, the expensive (and complicated) machines stay in closets for years because the owner has no time to read the manuals.
  4. Experience is the best teacher, so talk to some old hands at metal detecting to gain from their experience with different types of machines.
  5. There are dozens of brands out there, all vying for the attention of this small market. Don’t be confused by all the hype. Make a sound decision based on the features and the price of the metal detector, and not on any sales statements.
  6. Choose a metal detector from a company that has a long-standing reputation for innovation and product improvement.
  7. Don’t settle for one model after your primary research. Instead, choose three or more models that you like and go to the store so you can try the detectors yourself.
  8. Check out detectors physically – don’t order online. You won’t be able to test the machine and a detector should be purchased based on its performance.

Once you have your machine, you are ready to get out there and start treasure hunting.

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Category: Metal Detecting Tips

Comments (44)

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  1. devlinX says:

    You can’t find dead bodies with a metal detector.

  2. jdswim13 says:

    Is the MD-3010II Metal Detector Gold Digger Treasure Hunter a good one I am 13 and have new metal detected before I can get one that is more expensive though I have saved a lot

  3. jdswim13 says:

    Whoops I meant never

  4. jdswim13 says:

    Maybe the garret ace 250?

  5. martin hoyos says:

    im wanting to get into metal detecting and iv heard a lot about the garret ace 250 should i go a head with this detector and i live in waterloo ontario and where should i be hunting there is a forest near my house would that be a good area to start off

  6. ulloaa78 says:

    Hi Jeff, I live in Arizona close to some dry washes, what detector would you recommend for a budget of 200-400.00 to sweep the top soil and hopefully get “gold” hits. Thanks

  7. Jeff Peacock says:

    I bought one of these to try it out. It was extremely poor on its ability to do anything the machines from N America can do. I tried it under many hunting conditions and it was an extremely poor performer. i would not even sell the one I have used to anyone it is that bad.

  8. Jeff Peacock says:

    if the body has gold filling in the teeth, jewellery, then yes you can. Also if it is a body thats been dumped the machine will pick up on zippers, buttons etc. Sounds gross but it’s true

  9. Jeff Peacock says:

    Tesoro vaquero would do the job nicely without spending a lot of money

  10. nedz rox says:

    hi can any 1 please help I have a parkinson pro metal detector and I carnt find anything about these at all it finds things well a small nail at 9 inches so that’s good enough for
    Me it looks like a c scope grey box tune knob metal type knob and a retune button any info would be great please hh

  11. snoopyholt007 says:

    Is the Bounty Hunter sharp shooter 2 a good one ?

  12. sweetcherritree says:

    Hi, my hubby really really loves to dig up old coins, bottles, etc, our closets and under beds are stuffed full and although I can do without any more for him it is truly a passion. Sooo I was thinking about getting a metal detector for him for Christmas. What would be the best device to get for about $200.00-$300.00?( we live in NH if that matter at all) any help you can provide will be very helpful : ) tyia

  13. Mic Micson says:

    What is the best meteorite metal detector?

  14. aricars6263 says:

    very good detector.

  15. Marcus Bollinger says:

    is the bounty hunter metal detector IV good and accurate for hunting old jewerly and old coins?

  16. kristofer sigmarsson says:

    hi =)

  17. BettaThenUpunk says:

    Hey, just curious… Can I buy one that you push like a pushmower?

  18. Kelly Norris says:

    Good advice… Thanks

  19. Chris J. Giro says:

    Dig every target! Human trash, in my opinion is a rewarding find. Go Team Earth!

  20. Joebob6238 says:

    Is there a great machine that costs around 200$?

  21. Cabiira1 says:

    What if i just want the machine that only detects gold? in the water and dessert country’s also if you don`t have a visa card can you pay by cash when it comes in the post office? and I am from the UK and can you tell me what the price is in British pounds!

  22. SteveDerps says:

    The idea of digging for euro coins is comical. I wouldn’t pickup 50 cent in the street never ind dig for it :O

  23. whitbyjet65 says:

    I want a metal detector that only finds Saxon treasure. I also need it to find it quickly so that I can go out just the once, find buried treasure then sell it and take early retirement. What do you recommend?

  24. Jeff Peacock says:

    a job

  25. whitbyjet65 says:

    Errrrr? I already have a job.

  26. winklinkfink says:

    How is the Garret Ace 350?

  27. rick krake says:

    Bounty Hunter 1st Texas Pilot Metal Detector

  28. JeffroTV2 says:

    You should have done a video like in the 200 dollar range, this is a good machine, in the $300-$400 range this is a good machine, ect….You really didn’t explain much.

  29. Alex Mitchell says:

    I like to eat the coins I find and then use the metal detector on my stomach!

  30. jay anderson says:

    hi jeff what do you think obout the bounty hunter quick draw 2 for a first machine.Let me know mate thanks.

  31. GHTRVSA says:

    Tesoro. Best bang for your buck. No display to distract you and you’ll become a better detectorist quicker. Anyone looking at an Ace should look at a Fisher F2 if you want a display. Much better machine.

  32. presqueisle69 says:

    Well you did not tell us what brand to buy. Can you buy a ok one for 500

  33. TWittsend says:

    Don’t know? Bought one and have not used it yet. Some day I’ll get around to try it.

  34. Paulo Pimentel says:

    is the MAXKON 3 MODES, 180MM GOOD ? is that something good to start with ?

  35. Jeff Peacock says:

    if your on a tight budget this will def get you going. but it is limited in the depth and the amount of trash the machine will eliminate. If you like the hobby then upgrade as you can afford it

  36. Jeff Peacock says:

    Fisher f5, Garrett 350(euro), teknetics 4000, Teknetics euro pro are all very good machines

  37. Jeff Peacock says:

    cant go wrong with a tesoro, no bells and whstles just sheer detecting power.

  38. Jeff Peacock says:

    BHQDII is another good machine to start out on. always like the sound of the machine. Easy to use nice display as well.

  39. Jeff Peacock says:

    i dont recommend this, but that actually works

  40. Jeff Peacock says:

    350 good if your down south or just using it for beach or relic hunting. really struggles with Canadian coins. In canada we have the Euro version and it works much better

  41. deeplivin says:

    I’ve had a Fisher CZ5 for over 15 years. It has never let me down. I live in the quad cities. Works great with the metal content of the soil here anyway.Good vid man.

  42. Mark Anson says:

    Hi, Yes I know everyone asks the same question “whats the best detector to buy” but what I find is I buy something, like a digital camera, I outgrow it and I have lost my money on buying a beginner item first. What I’m trying to say is I dont want to buy twice. I want a decent detector that does a great job from the start and there is no reason for me to upgrade later. Also if I dont like the hobby I stand a better chance of getting more money on resale. What make and model would you buy? Thanks

  43. 75mavr1ck says:

    Barska Elite Edition? This one is pretty inexpensive at Walmart. Just looking for something for my 6 yr old and I to play around with. What do you think? Are you familiar?

  44. Leo Neblung says:

    I was looking at barska master edition does anyone know the depth of it and if it’s any good