Metal detecting can be an enjoyable hobby. It gives you good exercise through walking, and you get to enjoy the fresh air. It is also quite popular, with everyone doing it—from those who enjoy it just on the weekends to those who are retired and like taking their device to the beach every day.
However, there are so many metal detectors now available, and they come in different models and types. This can make choosing a detector really challenging, especially if you are a new hobbyist. For that, you need reliable tips on how to choose a metal detector.
How to Choose a Metal Detector
The ideal metal detector for you will depend on your particular needs and wants. They are not all made the same or equal.
Furthermore, many detectors are created with very specific uses in mind. As such, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind when making your choice:
- What do you want to find?
- Where will you do your metal detecting?
- How frequently will you use the metal detector?
- How experienced are you?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you better select a metal detector that aligns with your wants.
What do you want to find?
You first need to decide what you want to find with your metal detector. You could be looking for coins, gold, jewelry, or artifacts. Maybe you have no desired target, and you just want to explore. This is likely how many hobbyists start out. It can be thrilling just to find anything.
Many metal detectors today can be used for several different purposes, but they don’t all have the same precision qualities. For example, if you are looking for jewelry in general, you want a detector that can differentiate between valuable jewelry and junk.
If you are looking for gold specifically, you will want to find a metal detector that uses a higher frequency and also has smaller coils. Those types are typically made for finding gold specifically. You will need a detector that has a higher sensitivity to small pieces of gold as well. That is typically harder for general detectors to register.
Where will you do your metal detecting?
There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing where to do your metal detecting. Much of your choice depends on where you live or where you spend most of your time. You can use your metal detector at the beach, on the mountains, or even in the water. You might choose to take it to parks or schools to look for items. Your location can really drive your usage.
If you want to detect metal in general areas, such as parks or around schools, an all-purpose detector might be right for you. They won’t prevent you from looking for any items, and they can usually detect just about anything. Those same general detectors can even be used in shallow water, such as rivers, lakes, or at the edge of larger bodies of water. However, they cannot be totally submerged.
If you do want to be able to submerge your metal detector, such as in deeper rivers, lakes, or even the ocean, you will need a detector that is designed for that. These types of detectors are specially created with waterproof housing. Finally, if you are specifically looking for detectors you can use in the ocean, you will want one that ensures its signal is not thrown off by the salt water’s conductivity.
How frequently will you use the metal detector?
You will want to consider how often you plan on using your metal detector. Your purchase might be different if you plan on only using it occasionally on some weekends versus if you are retired and plan on going to the beach most days.
You might also find that you really enjoy the hobby and want to take part in it more frequently than you originally thought. Just like with any other purchase, you want your metal detector to last.
The frequency of your use also has to do with the metal detector’s durability. It isn’t hard to drop the detector when using it. If you are typically rough with things you handle all the time, that is also something to keep in mind. Basically, you want a machine that will stand up to a bit of abuse and that you can use as frequently as you intend.
Many detectors also come with warranties now so that is something you can keep in mind as well. If you know you might beat up your device, then perhaps you want to purchase one that can easily be replaced or repaired.
How experienced are you?
Everyone has to start somewhere, and it was everyone’s first day doing something. With that said, keep in mind how experienced you are at metal detecting before making your purchase. There are some that have features that allow for a quick start. These are super easy to use. Basically, you put batteries in them and turn on the detector.
There are some that also provide auto settings. So, you find very specific items, such as diamond rings or old coins, if that’s what you want to find.
Auto-tuning is also a feature that comes with many metal detectors. That auto tuning allows you to calibrate the detector for various conditions. It can also help you to cancel out any interference you might encounter from things like power lines.
Many detectors also have other, more specific features available, which are typically used by more experienced hobbyists or professionals. These features are usually quite in-depth, and you can explore them as you get more familiar with your device.
Finding the right metal detector can help you enjoy the hobby even more. Hopefully, these tips on how to choose a metal detector have assisted you in narrowing down your choices. Make sure you know what you want to find, how frequently and in what conditions you plan on using it and then start your exploring.
As you get more accustomed to the hobby, and your particular device, you’ll find that you can use more of the features you find on your specific device. With more experience, you will likely get better at the hobby and may enjoy it even more.