Do you intend to buy the best metal detector on the market? So, this article will surely provide you with reviews of the most popular models metal detectors for beginners, amateurs and professionals.
Here you’ll find out about downsides and advantages, technical characteristics, detecting features and peculiarities of modern metal detector models.
Besides all above mentioned in our metal detectors guide we have answers to the following frequently asked questions:
- What kind of metal detector performs best?
- What is the most important when searching for treasures?
- What companies are the best MD manufacturers?
- What is discrimination about?
- What does depth of detection influence on?
- What is ground balance for?
- In what way does a pinpoint function make treasure hunters’ job easier?
- What is an MD detection rate and what parameters it affects?
- How do mono- and DD coil differ and which is better?
- 1 The most common pitfalls
- 2 Metal detectors review
- 3 The manufacturers
- 4 Metal detectors for the beginners
- 4.1 Minelab GO-FIND 60 – the best compact size metal detector
- 4.2 Garrett ACE-150 – the best cheap metal detector
- 4.3 Garrett Асе 250 – is like АК-47 among metal detectors
- 4.4 MINELAB X-TERRA 305 an entry-level model in the popular product line
- 4.5 FISHER F22 a metal detector for beach hunting for the beginners
- 4.6 Teknetics Delta 4000 is a simple and reliable metal detector
- 4.7 Whites Coinmaster Pro – this is a time-proved metal detector
- 4.8 Bounty Hunter Land Ranger PRO the best metal detector for beginners
- 5 Metal detectors for amateur treasure hunters
- 5.1 Garrett AT Pro this in an “amphibia” for beach hunting
- 5.2 Fisher F75 a metal detector to work on a littery ground
- 5.3 GARRETT ACE 400 the upgraded classical metal detector
- 5.4 MINELAB X-TERRA 705 the best metal detector in this class
- 5.5 Garrett AT Gold a metal detector for gold and jewelry hunting
- 6 Metal detectors for professionals
- 6.1 Minelab CTX3030 a metal detector with GPS and 28 operation frequencies
- 6.2 White’s Spectra V3i a metal detector with three operation frequencies at the same time
- 6.3 XP DEUS Wireless Metal Detector is an optimal choice
- 6.4 MINELAB E-Trac – a metal detector that searches at 28 frequencies simultaneously
- 7 Main features of a metal detector
- 7.1 Discrimination
- 7.2 Depth of searching
- 7.3 Target identification
- 7.4 Ground balance
- 7.5 Pinpoint
- 7.6 The number of operational frequencies and their values
- 7.7 The number of functions and user-friendly design of a metal detector
- 7.8 Metal detector with damp proof coil
- 7.9 A metal detector price
- 8 Coils
The most common pitfalls
An expensive device is always better than a cheap one. It is true to some extent, but there are some exceptions as usual. The price of expensive MDs is quite often high at the account of some additional functions and settings, which won’t ever be used by beginners.
Therefore, you’ll pay for the functions you actually don’t need. Even most of experienced metal detector users confess that though they have expensive devices, they hardly ever use all their potential.
Another important factor is that, for instance, for the device that costs $1500 and the one priced $400 the depth of detection of a coin can be just 4-5 inches different! Since, indeed, 90% of all metal detector findings are located within the reach of any name-brand detector of entry-level (a spit deep).
In case of a hoard of gold coins – due to its large size it can also be detected by any cheap device.
Expensive metal detectors should be bought after giving this issue your careful consideration. Only if you do need their additional functions and sensitivity. Inexpensive brand-name devices perform within their main sensitivity range the same as their highly priced rivals.
The only thing that they do better is more precise defining of the metal type, however only experienced diggers can see the case and apply these functions, since they can adjust the device properly.
Disregard the device design completely. As for any metal detector – its audio tone is important, not the display. The latter just helps you to get used to the device at first. Most of experienced treasure hunters work with their head-phones on and very rarely they look at the display. Audio information is of more importance when conducting some detection.
The main thing about using a metal detector is experience!
Far more depends on the user: on the place he has chosen, how attentive the user is and again – his experience. During some joint searching competitions those with the simplest and cheapest devices used to find not less, than those using expensive ones. Attentiveness is the case here, the ability to “hear” your device and choose a proper place for searching.
A cheap metal detector doesn’t mean a bad one. Any inexpensive device is something in the middle between just toys and professional devices with additional functions and settings.
Such a device has everything that is necessary for successful treasure hunting: sufficient detection depth, discrimination and several audio tones to define the target. So called “happy medium” devices are those that cost from $300 to $600 as a rule.The devices which price is less than $100 can be used just for fun.
Metal detectors review
All metal detectors can be nominally divided into three classes: for beginners, semi-pro devices and those designed for professionals. We’ll overview the most popular models. Starting from the simplest and moving to more complicated ones.
The best metal detectors
It is difficult to choose the best device among the number of high quality ones. However, I feel that there is an optimal model (as for price-quality ratio) within each price bracket.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger PRO – this metal detector is as good as ACE-250.
Moreover, it is even better. The device has 7 searching modes, 11 inch coil, large display, discrimination function, pinpoint… Such an assembly of features will do even for metal detectors of higher class. The only thing that this device needs is some advertisement company to make it more popular.
Ten years gap is between Bounty Hunter Land Ranger PRO and ACE-250 and, nevertheless, this metal detector is still ahead of Garret classical model. Bounty Hunter Land Ranger PRO – is an ideal choice for beginners in the field of treasure hunting.
MINELAB X-TERRA 705 – this metal detector can be considered a professional device and it has been until recently. However, some new models were produced and its price was reduced. The device advantages are the following: three operating frequencies, easily adjusted, Geo-mode, perfect discrimination function, no false alarms. This is the best device among semi-pro metal detectors.
XP DEUS – this one is the best among MD for professionals. It is rather difficult to choose a device withing this price bracket. Arguments between this or that MD model fans are just like the ones between iPhone and Android fanciers. I consider this metal detector as the best professional model for the following reasons: it is light weighted, wireless, its software is being updated regularly, high build quality, discrimination function performance.
Minelab CTX 3030 – simple the best. If we could compare this metal detector with a car model, then CTX would be a Mercedes. It is the symbol of comfort, high quality standards, functionality and status. Other cars will just take you from point A to point B.
There are people who will be quite happy with it though. However, some of them are all about exclusiveness and first class service. CTX metal detector is exactly for these people, for those who can afford it.
Despite the fact that the market is saturated with all kinds of metal detector models, there are just several main rivals and they produce about 80% of all devices.
Metal detectors for the beginners
So, you need an entry-level device if you speculate as follows:
I consider treasure hunting as insignificant, but interesting hobby to spend my weekend. It involves taking a nature hike, communication with fellow-thinkers and getting some positive emotions. Possibly I will go treasure hunting for about 5-6 times a season or seldom look for nickels, dimes and pennies in the fields around. The main task of my metal detector is just to to perform properly and find targets. I don’t want to make any complicated adjustments; I just want to get maximum of user-friendliness and simplicity from the device.
Minelab GO-FIND 60 – the best compact size metal detector
This one will do for both the beginners and those who want to get a small sized device that can be always with you, for example, in a car.
MINELAB Go-Find 60 – is the newest device and it is highly likely that future Minelab models will inherit quite a lot from it. The product line is represented by three metal detectors – Go-Find 20, Go-Find 40 and Go-Find 60. Since Go-Find 60 is the most sophisticated and highly productive one, let’s begin with reviewing it first.
Once again, the device’s main merit is its small size. It is has telescopic design and looks like a spinning rod, but this time for treasure hunting and not for fishing. The length of this MD in a stowed position is just 22 inches, therefore it can be easily put in your car trunk, in a small rucksack, bag and so on.
The case and sliding components – a shaft and an arm rest – all of these are made of high quality durable plastic, which have provided keen and tough competition to metal constructions we’ve got used to.
Modern metal detector just has to be as light weighted as it is possible. Because nobody wants to walk around waving a “clubbell”, due to which your hand starts to hurt in a few hours.
Go-Find 60 weighs 2.4 pounds, it is very light weighted. This is an MD-transformer and you need just several seconds to get it ready to work.
The coil is rectangular with rounded corners, it looks rather unusual and it has highly consistent performance – due to its shape it is impossible to miss any spots when scanning the land area.
The device case is made of high endurance and wearproof plastic, providing that the device is properly used it doesn’t require any additional protection accessories.
The coil of MINELAB Go-Find 60 is completely waterproof and it can be put under water (but just the coil, not the MD itself!).
The obvious advantage of this metal detector is that the cable connected to the coil is hidden into the shaft and it won’t hook onto bushes when using the device.
The fact that the coil can’t be dismounted and you can’t replace it with another one is definitely a sufficient demerit of the MD.
Its display is highly informative and user-friendly. On the upper side of the display there is an adjustable discrimination scale that consists of just four pictograms with easy to understand target images peculiar to each segment.
Adjustment of the discrimination level is the most important thing in any metal detector setting. Here you just have to push the button several times to exclude some targets from the searching process or, on the contrary, to make the device sense them again.
Below the discrimination scale there are pictograms and scales of some additional functions. The user may turn them off or on, or set the proper level.
The metal detector allows turning on the display light, adjusting the device sensitivity level, monitoring information about the target depth, battery charge level, making audio signal level higher or lower.
The fact that MINELAB Go-Find 60 model has Bluetooth function is a cherry on top of all above mentioned. This function lets you by means of a special mobile app transfer information about your findings to a smart phone.
- Small size. In a stowed position the device takes up minimum space both in a rucksack and in a car trunk.
- Light weighted. New advanced materials allow minimizing the device’s weight
- Waterproof coil. Nothing keeps you from beach hunting as well as searching along river and lake shores
- Synchronization. Ability to connect the device to your smart phone
- Not dismountable coil
- Using of plastic instead of metal makes the device design lightweight at the same time making it more fragile
- The arm rest is not very convenient, since you can lay your arm there only if it’s fixed with a strap
Garrett ACE-150 – the best cheap metal detector
GARRETT ACE 150 – is a convenient and multi-purpose metal detector for jewelry hunting or searching for relics, which can be used even the least experienced treasure hunter.
A metal detector Garrett ACE 150 is the simplest device you can ever think about. However, it is a quite fully-featured one. Its undoubted advantage is price, simple adjustment and light weight.
Such metal detector will be a good present for a kid, teenager, because it is very user-friendly and its light weight adds another point for buying it.
At the same time Garrett ACE 150 metal detector will be of interest for those who have just decided to join treasure hunters, since you pay not much and have a chance to decide whether you need it or not?
Garrett ACE 150 operational frequency is 6,5 kHz, it uses the same microprocessor technology as more complex models, though it is much easier to adjust and control.
There are only three buttons on the device control unit. Switch on/off, sensitivity adjustment, mode selection. We use one button to turn the device on, another one is used to adjust the device sensitivity from 1 to 4 and the third button we use to choose one of three search modes (coins, jewelry or all kinds of metals).
The device discriminator has only 5 segments, which are covered depending on he chosen mode. If we choose “coins” mode – the 1st and 3rd segments will be covered and they are the ones where all kinds of metal-containing rubbish gets.
The device has an indicator of the target depth that consists of three values – 2, 4, 6 inches. The device has no other settings and you can’t change all the above mentioned. Therefore, everything is really easy.
Garrett ACE 150 coil is waterproof, so you can put it into water without any doubt, the searching depth under water has only one restriction – don’t let the control unit get in the water.
- Affordable price
- Easy to manage and operate
- Small size
- Light weight
- S-shaped 3-section shaft with a convenient armrest
- Multi-tone audio identification system
- Internal speaker, you can connect head-phones
- Oval shaped coil has a sealed case
- Target depth indicator
- 5 segments of discrimination scale
- Battery level indication
- The device control unit and display are not waterproof
- It can be barely used for beach hunting, searching on complex soils and in mountains as well as for relics hunting
- Rather low searching depth
- Has no audio signal adjustment
- No ground balance function
- No pinpoint
- Low selectivity
Garrett Асе 250 – is like АК-47 among metal detectors
Garrett ACE 250 is an improved ACE 150 model. This reliable, easy in mastering device has a strong presence among modern metal detectors. It is a legend among treasure hunters.
It was Garrett ACE 250 that was used by a lot of contemporary treasure hunting professionals at the beginning of their career and they still like this device.
Considering price-quality ratio it is no surprise that this metal detector has been overdemanded. Both the beginners and those who can’t afford buying more expensive and sophisticated device enjoy using it.
Garrett ACE 250 will do for searching both small and large targets, its operating frequency is 6,5 kHz, which is a compromise between low (high searching depth, but less sensitivity to small targets) and high frequencies (less deep, but more sensitive to small targets).
Searching depth stated by the manufacturer – for a coin it’s 10 inches, for large target – 20 inches. From my experience of using ACE 250 I’d like to add that these values can be improved. To a large extent they depend on a soil parameters in some specific area as well as on how a target is located towards the metal detector (flatside or edgewise) and on the soil oxidation level.
ACE 250 has the same design as its earlier model (150), the same operational frequency and waterproof coil, that can be put under water. The difference is that Garrett ACE 250 metal detector provides manual adjustments ability to perform more precise settings.
The software (it has 5 modes) allows you to turn of any unnecessary segments on discrimination scale and save these settings into the device memory. As for the discriminator scale now it has 12 segments instead of 5, which ensures more efficient operation.
At that, for example, you can turn off the discrimination scale segments both for targets made of low and high conductivity metals. “Custom” mode will help you to save discrimination scale settings when the device is off.
The beginners will appreciate symbols put above the discrimination scale to depict the most typical targets for certain segments. There are 4 pre-set searching modes: coins, relics, jewelry and all metal.
The indicator of a target depth now has 4 values – 2, 4, 6, 8 + inches. The device sensitivity can be set within 1 to 8 range, which improves your ability to adjust it to certain searching conditions.
Pin-Point is another important function that was added as well. This is the mode you use to define a target location precisely, which significantly reduces searching time and helps beginners not to damage the target when digging it out.
Target sound identification has three tones. The device has an embedded speaker and a plug-connection for head-phones.
- Easy in use
- Light weight
- Pinpoint mode
- Fast response to a target found (you will pass through large search areas rather quickly)
- Sensitive to cold
- The coil gets scratched rather fast
- Sometimes some background noise appears
- Small searching depth
- No adjustment of audio signal
MINELAB X-TERRA 305 an entry-level model in the popular product line
X-Terra 305 is a modern microprocessor metal detector designed using VLF technology. It has two operating frequencies 7,5 kHz and 18,75 kHz. The device has a wide range of user settings: highly accurate ground balancing, noise cancel feature, sensitivity adjustment, audio and graphical target identification and different discrimination modes. The device has been on the market since 2009.
No wonder X-TERRA 305 is highly demanded among treasure hunters. Its advantage is its affordable price as well as perfect searching characteristics and user-friendliness.
The device is self-explanatory and easy to master which is a benefit for the beginners. At the same time it has quite a lot of functions. This metal detector has a fully-featured menu that helps you to adjust some settings: ground balance, noise cancel feature, sensitivity adjustment, audio signal volume and difference in tone giving. It has a Pinpoint function as well – it is a static mode to perform precise target location.
X-TERRA 305 has two operation frequencies which makes the device a multi-purpose one. Having its standard features this metal detector is perfect for coins and relics hunting, at that you can purchase more coils for some specific search conditions. If you change the coil for a high frequency one, you’ll get a great device for beach hunting.
Therefore, this ability to change the operation frequency not by some small values, but transforming the device into a full-scale high frequency metal detector is quite a useful one, since searching conditions may appear to be very different. At that you achieve this result by simple coil replacement. There is a wide range of coils compatible with X-TERRA 305 metal detector.
The main feature that differs Minelab X-Terra 305 from other models of the family, namely from, X-Terra 505 and X-Terra 705 — is the absence of the third underfrequency (3 kHz). Others have limited ranges of adjustments and discriination. For example, there is sensitivity adjustment within 1-10 values (X-Terra 505: 1-20, X-Terra 705: 1-30), ground balancing feature within 0-20 (X-Terra 505: 0-50, X-Terra 705: 0-90), 12 segments VDI (X-Terra 505: 18, X-Terra 705: 28). As for X-Terra 305 – in its standard set it is sold with 9 mono coil. Though its later models: X-Terra 505 and X-Terra 705 have 10,5 DD coil in a set.
- Two target identification systems (audio and graphics)
- Two operating frequencies
- Manual ground balancing feature
- Noise cancel feature
- PinPoint mode
- Long-lasting off-line working
- The discrimination scale has just 12 segments (value range is from -4 to +44)
- There is a mono coil in the device standard set, though DD coil would be much preferable
- To use high frequency searching mode (18.75 kHz) you’ll have to buy an additional coil aimed to work at this frequency
- No backlight
FISHER F22 a metal detector for beach hunting for the beginners
Fisher F22 metal detector was a long-awaited product in 2015. The device is easy to master both for beginners and experienced users, because F22 doesn’t have any complicated adjustments and settings – it is simple, functional, multi-purpose, high-quality and affordable metal detector.
Its waterproof case allows searching even when it’s raining. The device has 9″ concentric mono coil, pinpoint function and large LCD-display with VDI, and discrimination scale consisting of 9 segments.
Fisher F22 is the 1st weatherproof metal detector. What does weatherproof mean? Engineers in Fisher research labs have made the device control unit waterproof. Now it is protected from dust and water ingress. By contrast, other metal detector models eventually encounter some troubles due to dirt, water and dust ingress into conducting parts. However, providing that the device has a waterproof case all these issues can be avoided and thus the metal detector durability can become several-folds longer.
Another new feature of Fisher F22 is that it needs just two AA batteries to function. Low energy consumption has become possible due to using of more energy efficient microchips in the device scheme. Supplied with two alkaline batteries this metal detector is capable of functioning up to 30 hours! Such operation duration can’t be reached by lots of devices made by famous brands.
Fisher F22 control unit is equipped with a large LCD-display. All signs and pictograms are clearly seen, therefore you don’t waste your time while searching to get what is displayed or indicated.
In the center of the display you see a large two digit number, which indicates rating of the found metal object (VDI number). Taking VDI number into consideration quite often helps to distinguish between some metal rubbish and valuable finding.
Above VDI number you’ll see the 9 segment discriminator scale and it stretches along the display full width. By switching of one or another segment you can set the metal detector to search for some specific targets.
There is a menu on the left where you can adjust search parameters and perform more accurate setting of the discrimination function. There are two indicators next to the menu list: these are depth and batteries level indicators. Interestingly, the depth-gauge has 3 levels, while the battery charge level has 7 positions.
Fisher F22 scans soil at 7,69 kHz frequency by means of 9 inch concentric coil. F22 is the first in the world production metal detector that has an egg-shaped coil. A scanning beam of such shape is more selective as for adjacent targets, which allows finding valuable things even on a very littery land area.
- Quick response
- Audio level adjustment
- High quality discriminator
- Requires just two AA batteries
- No manual ground balance adjustment
- No backlight
Teknetics Delta 4000 is a simple and reliable metal detector
Teknetics Delta 4000 is a budget priced metal detector both for the beginners and amateurs. It is made to help the user master the device fast and easily. It has a “pin point” and automatic ground balancing function.
Teknetics Delta 4000 breaks all stereotypes by demonstrating simple, convenient and comfortable learning to use the device and further operation. This is a metal detector with a necessary set of functions which can be fast and easily studied, so you can start searching right away.
Wight of a metal detector is a stumbling rock for lots of manufacturing companies, since each of them tries to decrease the device weight by all means.
Teknetics Delta 4000 consists of three components – two upper shafts are made of light aluminum alloy and the bottom shaft is made of plastic. This is a special kind of plastic – it is capable of damping the coil collisions with some natural obstacles (stones, plant roots and etc.).
This way it prevents the coil or the sensor hold-down bolt from breakage. This plastic is so strong, that if you’d like you can install a coil of larger size and diameter on this metal detector and you don’t have to worry if the shaft will hold it.
The middle and upper shaft are colored with highly wearproof powder paint, therefore even in case of rough usage it’ll look as if it has just been brought from a shop!
The armrest of Teknetics Delta 4000 can be moved along the shaft, which also allows adjusting the device to its user build. Besides, the armrest has some special soft inclusions which help to ensure that user’s elbow is tightly fixed inside. The armrest has two holes for a fixing strap, but it doesn’t come in the standard device’s set and you can buy it if necessary.
Teknetics Delta 4000 coil is a mono one and it is designed using solid technology. Its diameter is 8 inches and it is not powerful enough for convenient operation. We should mention that the searching depth and sensitivity of the device can be improved (plus 30-50% additionally) by installing a more powerful coil.
In this case you’ll level up your device and the issues caused by its initial coil are avoided this way. Which means that there is the way to upgrade the device, which is good to know.
The coil is completely waterproof, that’s why you can surely use Teknetics Delta 4000 to search for old relics in puddles, drains as well as to go beach hunting.
Teknetics Delta 4000 control unit isn’t waterproof though, therefore don’t forget about this while looking for treasures in water.
The operation frequency of this metal detector is 7.8 kHz, so you can consider the device a multi-purpose one, because it can be used to search for any metal targets regardless of their size and the alloy they are made of.
Performance capabilities and settings of this metal detector are rather various and flexible: discriminator with 8 segments capable of setting an individual discrimination mask, “all metal” search mode and pinpoint mode – all these tools allow searching and identification of findings quickly, accurately and easy.
Теknеtiсs Dеltа 4000 is rather demanding as for its batteries. The manufacturer insists on using only alkaline batteries or other high capacity batteries. It was proved to be true – while testing we’ve observed that when using cheap zinc-carbon batteries and setting the device on its maximum sensitivity level, the device sometimes would turn off when getting a signal from a target.
This occurred due to electrochemical capacity limit of zinc-carbon batteries.
Operational economy, light weight, convenient installing, flexible adjustment of linear sizes of the device, ergonomic design all these are the benefits of the new Teknetics Delta 4000 metal detector!
- Light weight
- Quite fast and reliable target response
- Three tones audio identification
- Has a plug-connection for head-phones Jack 1/8 inches, you may also use your player head-phones as well
- Sensor buttons are located on the same level that the display is, which is quite convenient
- Dirt and dust ingress are not the case for this device
- 8″ coil isn’t the most powerful one and it’s better to replace it
- The wire connected to the coil is very thin
- Demanding as for batteries type
Whites Coinmaster Pro – this is a time-proved metal detector
This is indeed an ideal entry-level device. To describe it with one phrase I’d say – this is a “switch on and dig” metal detector. It is highly consistent and it has a perfect discrimination function.
Unlike other ordinary Coinmaster metal detectors, Pro model has multi-tonal audio signals (audio identification), a bit improved searching depth and an ability to turn on elements discrimination function selectively in any order.
It also uses VLF technology, operating frequency is 6.6 kHz, adjustable discrimination modes, automatic ground balance, embedded «pinpoint» mode. Considering the device price brackets and functions this is an entry-level metal detector.
A round waterproof 9″ mono coil comes in the device set. The shaft consists of two parts and “s” shaped handle with an armrest, where usually a control unit with LCD display is mounted. The shaft parts have standard fixation with telescopic length adjustment and spring-loaded plunger for apertures.
Such a construction as a rule causes little back lash, at that it is more reliable and it can serve trouble-free for many years. As for the armrest we should mention that it has no softening pads inside, however it is adjustable and there is a possibility to use a restraining strap.
The control unit has all navigation buttons and electronics in it as well as an LCD-display and a cell for batteries. Besides a plug-connector for a coil there is also an embedded plug for head-phones there.
On the display you can see settings indication and a type of a target found, when the cursor location shows one from eight target types; for coin-type objects the depth is displayed. You can adjust the settings using the buttons on the device control unit.
Discrimination function is also set by means of the keyboard (search for all metal types or turn off unnecessary objects search such as, for example, nails and other iron rubbish), adjust the device sensitivity and turn on PinPoint mode (the function of accurate definition of the target location).
The discrimination function is improved due to selective discrimination introduced here (SMART NOTCH), which means when you turn off 5 segments you can turn on the 3rd one that corresponds to nickel coins searching.
- High discrimination quality
- Simple adjustment
- Operation reliability
- Off-line operation duration without changing batteries
- The device standard set includes a mono coil, not DD one
- One operating frequency
- No backlight
- Small range of additional coils that can be used
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger PRO the best metal detector for beginners
Land Ranger PRO is a flagship model of professional metal detectors product line BountyHunter. The device has 7 pre-set search modes each of which can be manually adjusted. This is a perfect device for relics, coins and jewelry hunting or any metal you want. A waterproof 11 inch DD coil comes in the device set.
Land Ranger Pro metal detector produced by American company Bounty Hunter uses 6,7 kHz frequency in a dynamical mode. The ground balancing function is performed automatically and the searching can be performed both in discrimination an All metal mode. Besides this metal detector allows adjusting sensitivity and discrimination level.
The control unit has a nice LCD-display by means of which its user can control VDI number for targets found and see some settings as well.
There are several buttons of the control unit. The red one on the left is to turn on/off the device, while the red button in the center is to turn on Pinpoint mode. On the left there are 4 buttons (up and down arrows and «+» and «-»), which are required to adjust some other functions. There are two buttons on the right: Ground Grab and Mode (to choose the mode and adjust it as you need).
Above the display there is a multicolored scale with three sections – orange, yellow and white. Under it, right on the display there is another scale with scale marks. Depending on the type of the detected metal these marks will be filled. To make the process more clear some scale marks have notes: iron, foil, aluminum, zinc. Values 5с, 10с, 25с, 50с, 1$ stand for 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 dollar. Besides, large VDI numbers are displayed as well.
When discrimination mode is on you can see on the display sensitivity level – Sens, audio signal level – Volume, ground balance value – Ground, discrimination level – Disc Level as well as V-Break and Notch Width functions. Though in All Metal mode you’ll see only sensitivity, volume and ground balance.
The battery level is always displayed. Depth function is activated only after you find a target and it shows how deep it is located. You should keep in mind that it isn’t the distance from the ground level to the target, since this is the one between the coil and the target. The depth-gauge has 5 levels.
You can also use the device both in All Metal and discrimination modes. When All Metal mode is on the metal detector just sees all metals. The discrimination function allows the user to exclude one or several metal types from the search. You can use two different ways to turn on the discrimination function in Land Ranger Pro. The 1st one is to set discrimination level by means of Disc Level. The 2nd one is to use Notch function and to «cut off» a part of the scale with the values you don’t need. By the way, the device has a very useful feature to memorize its settings after turning off and on again, which is rather convenient.
As for the pinpoint mode, in Land Ranger Pro it is very handy – you just have to push PP button and hold it till the device switches to All metal mode with further detection of the object’s center.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro has a standard completely waterproof 11-inch DD-type coil. You can use it for under water hunting, but remember to keep the control unit far from water.
Summary: this metal detector model is a bit unacknowledged on the market, which is rather strange. Considering its rather low price this metal detector characteristics can compete with that of semi-pro devices. Also don’t forget that this model was produced in 2014, while ACE-250 – in 2004. This is clearly seen from the device appearance, design and characteristics. I recommend Bounty Hunter Land Ranger PRO as the best metal detector for the beginners – it is an ideal combination of price and functions.
- Fast target response
- 7 modes of search
- Memorizes settings and when the device is off all of them (except ground balance) are saved into the device’s memory
- Sufficient depth
- Large display
- All modes perform properly
- Sufficient ground balancing function
- Fragile plug-connector for a coil
- 9 volt battery
- No Noise Cancel function
- No protective case for control unit
Metal detectors for amateur treasure hunters
You require an MD of middle level if you speculate as follows:
I take seriously everything I do and I’ve got used to work with quality equipment. I’m a demanding user. At that I’m aware of the fact that this is a very exciting hobby, so I have free time and money for it. I’ll go treasure hunting quite often. However, I’m not completely keen on all this stuff, I’m just an ordinary man that likes good devices and appreciates combination of reasonable price and corresponding properties of the goods I buy. Therefore, I’m buying a metal detector and expect I won’t have to buy another one soon if I want a more powerful device.
Garrett AT Pro this in an “amphibia” for beach hunting
Garrett AT Pro is a multi-purpose metal detector of semi-pro class and it is perfect for coin, jewelry and gold hunting in highly alkaline soils and on ocean beach.
The basic difference of Garret AT PRO when compared to other professional detectors is the possibility to put it whole under water. It means that you can start your treasure hunting along coastal area of any pond 10-foot depth. This is a multi-purpose amphibia, which means that it is both ground and underwater metal detector at the same time.
The device’s coil DD PROformance 8,5″ х 11″ with operation frequency 15 kHz makes Garrett AT Pro International a professional metal detector when hunting for small targets. The device is designed exactly for small stuff hunting, that’s why it can be called almost ideal metal detector for beach hunting.
Of course, it can be used for larger targets hunting, but not so deep in the ground, as other devices of its class can search for.
We should mention as well that quite a lot of treasure hunters provide positive feedback after using this device on alkaline soils. Surely, it’s very convenient to use Garret AT PRO at the seaside, but you’ll have to adjust ground balance manually and decrease the device sensitivity.
Moreover, please keep in mind that hunting under water requires using special headphones designed just for this model of metal detector. Using manual and automatic ground balancing modes make treasure hunting with Garrett AT Pro International more efficient on complex soils or highly alkaline fields.
Using PinPoint mode together with a new DD PROformance coil gives possibility of accurate defining of even the smallest target location.
- Multi-purpose device that can work both on the ground and under water
- Good for beach hunting
- Suitable for highly alkaline soils
- Its operation frequency allows searching for small targets (jewelry lost on the beach, for example)
- Low price for the functions available
- Dust and waterproof
- The device may not work properly in brackish water, it requires manual adjustment for this
- Plug-connectors are rather inconvenient to use
- Batteries discharge quite fast
- No backlight
Fisher F75 a metal detector to work on a littery ground
The main benefit Fisher F75 metal detector can offer to the user is its proper operation around littered with rubbish areas.
The device contains all the newest functions from a discriminator with double filtration to an automatic ground tracking FAST GRAB. This metal detector is an advanced level one and it can’t be recommended to the beginners, since they may just waste their time trying to adjust the device settings.
Fisher F75 productivity directly depends on whether its user has learned to work with the device properly. This metal detector is famous for its perfect sensitivity to small targets (such as coins) and superb results when being used on a littered with metal-containing rubbish ground as well as on soils with excessive mineralization.
The device’s main operation frequency is 13 kHz which is one of the reasons why it’s sensitive to small objects.
While constructing Fisher F75 a greater focus was placed to lessen issues that arise as a result of soil mineralization. It is very convenient that this device shows on the display information about soil mineralization in the real time scale.
The metal detector has three searching modes, though experienced treasure hunters prefer All Metal, because it provides the largest searching depth. You can adjust ground balance both manually and automatically. When turning he device on and off it saves the latest settings.
Despite their number there are three components that are used to control the device: potentiometer, trigger and button.
The metal detector has an attractive function to define soil structure damage. In other words, the structure of the ground where something is hidden or covered up with soil should differ from the other ground in the area. This way the chances of finding a treasure get higher.
Fisher F75 has 11х7 inches waterproof DD Bi-Axial coil, using which you can go beach hunting, searching in salty sand, in streams and not very deep ponds as well as in sea soundings. The coil will let you search deep and sense targets which are next to you quite well regardless of a soil type, even if it is a highly mineralized one.
The device has solid S-shaped shaft that consist of three components. Stiffness of the metal detector structure is provided by collet clamps and it is balanced due to the control unit (with four AA batteries) placed under the armrest.
Such ergonomic design gives you the feeling that you are holding a very lightweight device and you’ll be able to go for long treasure hunting with it.
- Prefect discrimination function
- 13khz operation frequency
- Light weight
- Lots of settings and options
- Suitable for small coins searching
- Perfect for hunting around littered areas
- Sufficient depth
- Low energy consumption
- Very quick target response
- It is difficult to master this metal detector for the beginners, especially if they used to have ACE 250
- The device’s audio sound is rather loud and it may annoy you
GARRETT ACE 400 the upgraded classical metal detector
Garrett Ace 400 is a recent development made by Garrett in 2016. Actually, this device is just more sophisticated replacement for Ace 350 metal detector. ACE 400 can be used as a multi-task metal detector for any type of hunting: relics (coins, artifacts), treasures, gold jewelry on beaches, war booty in forests.
The main feature that makes this device differ from previous models is VDI number on the monitor, possibility to shift operation frequency, widened iron range and adjustment of audion signal volume for iron targets.
VDI number indicator (Target ID) is the most crucial improvement of the upgraded metal detector. Target identification has become easier and more accurate, because now the user is guided not only by the scale segments, but also by VDI numbers displayed.
Digital discrimination scale from 1 to 99 is divided into 12 segments. Another segment for iron was added and now there are four of them. You can exclude only one specific sector from search. When using renewed Garrett Ace 400 iron-containing rubbish isn’t the issue any more!
IronAudio option will help you to see between valuable targets and beer cans, caps and so on. This Garrett AT Pro function has proved itself as a highly useful one and it is widely used mostly for beach hunting.
Garrett Ace 400 is equipped with a DD coil, 8,5×11″. This type of sensor is well known and it has demonstrated all its downsides and benefits when being used on the previous Ace 350 model of the device. The coil really deserves a credit! Quick target response, perfect differentiation of metals (non-iron/iron), total absence of “blind spots” as well as excellent coverage (in two sweeps it covers more than 20 inches area).
All these are the advantages that make this device much more preferable among other metal detectors! We also should mention that the coil shows good efficiency on all soil types including mineralized and alkaline ones as well as it is a weatherproof one!
- Light weighted
- Powerful coil
- It is possible to put the coil under water
- Small target search was improved
- Efficient on littered ground – detects metal-containing rubbish easily
- Long-lasting off-line operation
- A spring is a battery section is the device soft spot
- Small display
- This product line itself is outmoded
MINELAB X-TERRA 705 the best metal detector in this class
Its performance potential and equipment impress with their huge searching features. The device’s commercial software is so accurately and throughly set, that even the beginner who has just taken this metal detector into his hands will find quite a number of coins right in his very first day of treasure hunting!
The strongest advantage of this device is that Х-Теrrа 705 can work quietly under fully amplified sensitivity! In other words, this noiseless metal detector responses only to a specific metal under the coil and nothing else! Due to its unique technology of digital data transfer (VFLEX) X-Terra always works without any disturbances in such tough conditions, where all other devices just “peep” all the time!
The device’s construction is exactly the same as that of its previous models of this product line (305 и 505). The menu structure almost hasn’t been changed as well – everything is clear and simple.
However, X-TERRA 705 has some settings and modes that previous models don’t have and it makes this metal detector a really multi-task one. In this case we actually have two devices in one. By simply pressing a button you can switch from treasure hunting mode to GEO mode aimed to search for the tiniest gold nuggets. When the device is in GEO mode it can find small relics and jewelry as well.
This metal detector is a multi-purpose one – it can operate with coils of both «Мono» and «DD» type at different frequencies: 3 kHz (for large targets hunting at maximal depth), 7.5 kHz (universal one) and 18,75 kHz (for small targets hunting).
All the devices in this product line choose automatically the operation frequency depending on the coil that is connected. Which means that to work at 3 kHz frequency you need a coil for it and for 7.5 kHz correspondingly and so on.
This model has the widest discrimination scale among all the devices of this product line. It has 28 segments, each of which covers 2 VDI numbers — values from −4 to +48.
Each parameter of the device has more continuously adjustable tuning than that of X-TERRA 305/505, which allows more accurate adjustments according to specific search conditions. The device discrimination scale now consists of 28 segments, providing that you already have some experience this feature ensures that you dig out only valuable targets.
- Convenient in use
- Sufficient depth
- High discrimination level
- User-friendly menu
- Low energy consumption
- High price
- No waterproof coil in the device set
Garrett AT Gold a metal detector for gold and jewelry hunting
This is a twin-brother of AT-Pro metal detector, but with another operation frequency. Garrett has designed AT Gold specially for gold nuggets and jewelry hunting both on the ground and under water. Unlike AT-Pro, Garrett AT Gold has a smaller coil — DD 5×8″ and higher operating frequency – 18 kHz.
Due to these the device is very sensitive to small targets: pieces of gold, jewelry, silver and copper coins. Except gold this metal detector excellently senses silver coins.
Garrett AT Gold is very easy-to-use. It can be quickly assembled and dismantled, at that the shaft components are connected more reliably than that of AT Pro model – there is almost no black lash in the junctions. Due to the proper location of the control unit it is very convenient to use the device with one hand.
Batteries are installed and replaced by means of a replacement module – a cassette where four AA batteries are put. The batteries section is waterproof just like the whole control unit.
The fact that Garrett At Gold case is a waterproof one is a very strong benefit which allows hunting both on the ground and in water (up to 10 feet deep). Metal detector Garrett At Gold waterproofness not just for underwater hunting, but for hunting under some extreme conditions. The device is completely ok with rain, fog, dirt, dust – therefore you can go treasure hunting at any conditions and weather and have no worries if your metal detector can stand the loads!
- Aimed to search gold
- Quick response
- No sound adjustment on the control unit
Metal detectors for professionals
You require the most modern metal detector if you speculate as follows:
I am a professional and whatever I do I try to do it diligently. I can afford buying a really high quality MD. Treasure hunting is a super hobby which I’m obsessed with and this is my lifestyle! I spend (or I will spend) a lot of time traveling for treasure hunting and a metal detector for me is the most crucial device just like a gun for a true hunter. Each additional inch of the depth as well as are essential to me!
Minelab CTX3030 a metal detector with GPS and 28 operation frequencies
Minelab CTX 3030 was a long-awaited device of 2012. It is 2017 now, but the functionality this metal detector provides can easily compete with those newly-designed devices of 2016.
Minelab CTX 3030 is designed for relics hunting at any weather conditions and on any soil type as well as under water (up to 10 feet deep). This metal detector has the newest equipment even for nowadays. This device is the only one that has GPS unit integrated with Google Maps. Not a single manufacturing company in the world was able to install GPS into its metal detector. Therefore, GPS navigation is a strong benefit of this device especially when hunting on some unfamiliar area.
For example, if you’ve been digging out some target, but haven’t finished and came back in a year. Surely, you won’t exactly remember where it was, especially if some new plants/trees appeared there or the landscape has changed. GPS navigation is here to help you! You’ll easily find that very spot where you were digging last time.
This function with the help of Google Maps and PC XChange 2 displays on your PC the spot, where each target was found. At home when looking through your root you’ll be able to see which area you’ve missed.
This is the first time when a color LCD-display was installed on Minelab metal detector. The image on the display can be clearly seen even if the sun is shining brightly.
The improved multi-frequency FBS2 technology has become more efficient. The metal detector performs searching at 28 frequencies simultaneously in the range from 1,5 to 100 kHz. This gives an ability to work on highly mineralized soils, where one-frequency metal detectors are useless. Due to this technology the device shows sufficient results both for small and large targets; it maintains the same searching depth even on complex soils.
The upgraded technology of target identification – Smart Find 2 — now the target is detected not only according to its conductivity, but its inductivity as well. This allows more precise defining of the target type (non-ferrous or ferrous metal), its size and depth. Now apart from displaying the object, when moving the coil above it the image gets animated.
The device ranges targets found according two parameters: iron content and conductivity. CTX 3030 user can set discrimination masks – this way the metal detector will find only targets with these set inductivity and iron content values.
The device has 10 search modes: 5 modes have pre-set ground balance and Fe-Co settings.
- Mode 1 — coins;
- Mode 2 — beach;
- Mode 3 — relics;
- Mode 4 — silver;
- Mode 5 — high level of litter
All these make the device very easy-to-use for those who see it for the first time. The user can choose the appropriate mode and start treasure hunting straight away.
As for modes 6, 7, 8 and 9, 10 – these are for professionals and they can be adjusted as it is required. For example, you can set the device response, target separation, sea water level (for beach hunting) and salt level (for soils), litter level and lots more. In case if the result of your manual adjustment doesn’t satisfy you and you don’t remember the initial settings, you can roll them back to manufacturer’s default ones.
This metal detector has two adjustment modes:
Manual. A user manually adjusts the device to operate where the soil is uniform and this provides hunting at maximum depth.
Automatic mode — is used to adjust the device automatically when hunting on complex soils where searching conditions vary.
As for the device disadvantages – the batteries discharge very fast, if you aren’t using accumulators. Eight batteries get discharged during day light when you search without using any additional functionals, GPS and other embedded stuff.
Another sufficient drawback is the device’s weight (5,2 pounds). However, its manufacturer’s concentrated the main load on accumulator therefore it is the heaviest.
We should also point out another demerit – it’d be difficult for the beginner to master the device and get its maximum performance. He’d have to use just standard modes.
- High depth of target detecting
- Vey good system of target separation
- GPS navigation
- Wireless transfer of audio signal
- Full-color display
- Tracking roots on the map using PC
- Functionality: target tracking, inductivity analysis, GPS-unit, synchronization with a PC, amphibia. The device can be used both in the water and on the fround
- Package contents: cool head-phones, WiFi-unit, accumulator and power supply unit
- Complicated adjustment
- High power consumption (batteries discharge fast)
- Though the device is aimed to work under water, the depth shouldn’t exceed 10 feet
- Not a lightweight device, but among multi-frequency metal detectors it’s definitely not the heaviest one
- Requires professional adjustment, thoughtful approach, diligence, a desire to get into all details. Although the device’s interface is quite user-friendly
- Accessories, spare parts and coils price corresponds to the one of the device
White’s Spectra V3i a metal detector with three operation frequencies at the same time
Whites Spectra V3I is a three frequencies metal detector produced in this modification by Whites company in 2010. The device performs using three frequencies – 2,5; 7,5 and 22,5 kHz; they can be used simultaneously and separately.
Whites Spectra Vision V3i can surely be considered on of the best metal detectors. It is equipped with a color display that shows information about the device performance and about these three frequencies as well. By means of a special program it displays data about the target found and the level of all three frequencies.
The device’s menu has 6 units with a user-friendly interface that ensures fast settings adjustment and start of treasure hunting. Sensitivity, discrimination, ground balance and audio signal are easily adjusted using the menu. The display has backlight and you can choose one from 20 brightness levels.
This metal detector has several different search modes: Coin, Coin and Jewelry, Deep Silver, High Trash. In Hi-Pro mode the level of trash dropping (using audio signal) is the lowest. The target is defined using the display, because the signal is very powerful.
In Meteorite mode the device recognizes nickel and ferriferrous meteorite using the negative VDI numbers. At that the majority of other targets is discriminated. Mixed Mode Pro mode allows combining of audio discrimination adjustment with “All Metal” having Hi Pro parameters. This mode will perfectly suit for archaeological hunting.
Prospecting mode is for hunting for gold in its natural state – gold dust or nuggets. Relic mode is good for relics hunting, and Salt Beach – is for the beach one.
This metal detector has three operation frequencies and it can use either each of them separately, or all three of them at the same time. This depends on the selected search mode and settings.
The device uses the following frequencies: 2.5 kHz for high conductivity metals (copper or silver, for example); 7.5 kHz is used only in “All Metal” mode; as for 22.5 kHz frequency it is
used for efficient search of low conductivity metals and small targets ( gold, nickel).
The metal detector has 10 inch double coil, that allows scanning large area and exclude the soil mineralization influence. You can input personal and contact data of the device owner using the menu and protect them with a password.
The device can choose filtration level itself and it has 8 values in the range of 9-12,5 Hz. Accepted and canceled targets are marked on the display with green and red color correspondingly. Signal that comes from the target is processed by the device with a speed that has 200 values.
Eight rechargeable NiMh-batteries are the source of power for the metal detector.
The device operates according to VLF scheme. Salts compensator function lets automatically select the most appropriate work frequency according to the soil conditions. It eliminates influence of salt conductivity when beach hunting or alkali when working in a desert.
Completely assembled and ready to work Whites Spectra Vision V3i weighs just 3.5 pounds. The device set has 10 inch DD coil, wireless head-phones and manual in it, except the metal detector itself consisting of a shaft, control unit and mountings.
Whites Spectra Vision V3i has a wireless data transfer system using BlueTooth. Now you don’t have to think about swinging head-phones wires – because with Spectra V3i you can use wireless BlueTooth head-phones. Also you can connect the device to another one ( to exchange the programs) or to PC (using USB or BlueTooth).
However, Whites engineers decided to leave a standard plug-in for head-phones and an embedded speaker in the device.
- Three operation frequencies that can be simultaneously used – 2.5kHz, 7.5 kHz, 22.5 kHz
- Possible to use one single frequency
- Color display
- Wireless head-phones
- Batteries get recharged very fast
XP DEUS Wireless Metal Detector is an optimal choice
A professional metal detector XP Deus with 9 inch coil is made using modern wireless connection technology. The control unit, head-phones and the coil of XP Deus are connected with each other by means of wireless technology.
This is a huge convenience when searching – no wires, they don’t cling to anything and you aren’t afraid to tear the wire from the coil, which sometimes happens with other devices. XP Deus has outstanding search characteristics. At rather sufficient depth it separates the targets rather clearly.
The device can identify even the smallest coin next to hand-made nail. You can change the frequencies along the way by adjusting the device for deep and superficial search and even the smallest targets missed by other devices will be found.
To work in complicated conditions of highly mineralized soil use the ground balancing function that can be set in several modes (tracing, superficial search and manual adjustment).
The device uses one of 4 frequencies (4 kHz, 8 kHz, 12 kHz, 18 kHz), which provides to define targets of different size at the device depth limit with high precision. Though they don’t work simultaneously – its only one frequency of the four possible chosen by the user.
Хр Deus is as light weight as possible (it weighs 2,14 pounds), which means that the device is very convenient in use. Since we all know how hard it is to sweep with any other device and then your hand starts aching. Now these issues are settled and you can enjoy using this metal detector.
Deus is quickly assembled and dismantled and at that there is no chance of loosing or breakage of any device’s components. The metal detector has embedded batteries with at least 2 years term of service and then you should replace them with new ones. The batteries high capacity ensures very long service term without recharging.
Summary: XP DEUS – is a very interesting detector and you decidedly should buy it, if you have a chance. The device requires serious and thoughtful approach. The device has lots of features all you need is to learn how to use them properly.
All these unique characteristics make XP Deus the best professional metal detector nowadays. Taking into account the perfect quality of the materials and assembly ( made in France) this device leaves its rivals far behind.
- 4 frequencies
- Wireless technology
- Software is constantly upgraded
- Large number of accessories
- No drawbacks. Except that for the beginners the device is hard to master
MINELAB E-Trac – a metal detector that searches at 28 frequencies simultaneously
E-Trac is one of the best metal detectors nowadays. It is a multi-task device that is suitable both for small and large targets hunting regardless of their depth and the level of soul mineralization. Not every metal detector can offer such operation efficiency.
First of all, E-Trac is a metal detector that is designed using full band spectrum technology (FBS), that allows the device work without any troubles on any type of soil – it has almost no false alarms.
Due to FBS technology the coil sends to the metal detector several responses that correspond to different frequencies. As a result the device’s microprocessor obtains more information about the target and more accurately identifies it.
Minelab is known to develop outstanding technologies and the unique FBS technology is one of them. It allows sufficient enhance the metal detector sensitivity, depth and accuracy of targets location.
Just imagine – the device’s coil simultaneously emits pulses at 28 frequencies in a very short time (several milliseconds)! This way the metal detector electronics sort of touches with “invisible hands” the target located under ground by means of frequencies with different amplitudes.
Therefore, basing on the data obtained from each frequency E-Trac metal detector can precisely identify conductivity and inductivity of the target!
E-Trac as a professional metal detector has the world’s best discriminator, because it uses two physical properties of the metal to define its type – conductivity and inductivity; this data is then shown as a graph on the device’s display.
This allows defining the metal type quite precisely as well as searching around rather littered areas – for example, in a city park or on the beach and ignore the rubbish completely.
USB interface has become another major improvement in E-Trac construction – now it has made it possible to create discrimination masks using PC and then upload them to the metal detector. Successful configurations of search programs with device can now be stored on your computer and you don’t have to worry that they’ll be lost somehow.
Due to this innovation approach E-Trac is able to exchange its firmware with other E-Trac metal detector owners. All E-Trac sets include a compact disc with branded software from Minelab Xchange.
- Excellent discrimination function
- Simultaneous search at 28 frequencies
- USB connection
- The coil wire is hidden inside the device’s shaft
- You should sweep slowly since the response isn’t quite fast
- It is rather complicated even for the experienced users to master
Main features of a metal detector
When a beginner treasure hunter (and sometimes even an experienced one) opens a list of detector characteristics he gets lost in dozens of names and terms. Below you may find the main and most important ones and get the idea of how they work.
This allows a metal detector sense only some specific kind of metal. Do you have any idea how much iron-containing rubbish can be found in the ground? Foil from cigarette packs, aluminum beverage cans, bottle caps – if you have a metal detector that responses to all of these it’ll just add some blind-alley job for the user.
Once you’ve adjusted the discriminator you can skip all the rubbish and concentrate on treasure hunting – notching only for gold, or copper, nickel, silver and so on.
Another big obstacle for a metal detector user is lots of ferrous materials, which are of no use for a treasure hunter unless you’ve decided to clean the ground from metal rubbish. To prevent the device from sensing the rubbish you need the discrimination. This way you can aim all your efforts to search the objects that are of more interest to you – coins, gold nuggets, jewelry.
In the majority of devices the discrimination is selective – you can exclude gold from the search range, but leave nickel there (modern coins are made of copper and nickel alloy).
Due to the discriminator the user’s task gets easier, therefore you should pay attention to this point when choosing a metal detector to buy. The more programs the discriminator has the easier it is to operate your MD.
You won’t have to dig every time you get the device response, which sufficiently saves your time and efforts.
Depth of searching
This is what influences how deep your metal detector can “see”. The depth of searching depends on the target size – the larger it is, the deeper it can be “seen”. For example, the average depth of detection performed by modern professional MD with a standard 10” coil for stand alone coins is about 12 inches, for a treasure of army helmet size – is about 3 feet, for a larger target the depth is up to 5 feet.
In case of inexpensive devices this value will be not more than 10-20% due to the false alarms from the ground which have increased once the coil diameter has been changed. Single frequency metal detectors deal with the soil disturbance less efficiently, than those multi-frequency ones.
Usually we search for treasures and coins in the ground full of different disturbances that prevent electromagnetic signal from passing from the device coil into the ground. Such disturbances and unwanted signals share one common term: soil disturbance.
The less is soil disturbance level, the deeper metal detector can “see”. There are light-textured soils such as black soil, peatbog, sand. Soils with high disturbance level are the following: salty wet sand, soils with ceramic, burned clay and bricks inclusions as well as with corroded metal fragments and oxides. Mountaneous ground, clay loam, clay, alkaline soil should also be considered as soils with high level of disturbance.
A metal detector automatically defines a type of the target found and you get the info on LCD display or by means of sound indication. Many MD models are equipped with an identification scale that has icons/pictograms symbolizing a target type – for example, a coin, gold or relics.
Sound identification is a multi-tonal one – each height of pitch corresponds to an object with different conductivity. This function is irreplaceable for underwater metal detectors, since they don’t have a display and the identification process is performed only by means of audio signals.
This function will be very handy when using the device on soils with high level of disturbance, complex and alkaline soils. However, any kind of soil always contains some percentage of minerals in it, which may give false alarms to a user. Especially the ground balance function is useful when searching for gold, because it is known to be found specifically in complex soils.
Searching along salt water beach, firing ground, alkaline soils and under other complex conditions is performed much easier if your device has a ground balance function.
It can be of 3 types – preset ground balancing feature, auto or manually adjustable one. Let’s look at each of them in details.
Fixed ground balancing feature
This is when your metal detector has its ground balance adjusted by the manufacturing company in one set position and it can’t be changed. This is a very rough adjustment that works for the majority of soils.
The device with such settings performs consistently on any ground, however at that it comes short of searching depth, if compared to the devices with auto or manually adjustable ground balancing features. Nevertheless, a merit of fixed ground balancing is that an unexperienced user can easily operate such a device.
A downside is that it’s impossible to adjust the device to some certain soil conditions and, therefore, no high productivity should be expected, because the device just doesn’t have proper searching depth and sensitivity.
Auto ground balancing
This feature allows the device to sense levels of the soil mineralization and automatically adjust accordingly. The user should just perform some simple operations with a coil, which will take just 10-20 seconds. The device microprocessor gets a signal from the ground and automatically adjusts the detector to work at this very area of search.
Experienced treasure hunters are aware that in some areas the ground characteristics may change quite frequently and therefore you have to adjust the device each time you change the location. This should also be done is case you see some instability in the device performance.
The professionals advise even if your metal detector works consistently and you haven’t changed the location of your searching, yet you should adjust ground balance at least once in two hours. This will only improve the searching process. Another benefit of auto ground balancing feature is that it’s fault free.
Though, the drawback is that fine adjustment is impossible to do to improve the device performance.
Manual ground balance is different because the user itself decides is any adjustment is required. The process is similar to auto ground balance adjustment, however, the user has to define the soil mineralization level on his own using the data provided by the device.
To do this one has to know a lot and be rather experienced treasure hunter. Furthermore, when the adjustment was done wrongly the searching result will be zero and, on contrast, professionally performed ground balancing allows obtaining the best result.
Static mode pinpointer ensured precise target detection. This feature of a metal detector essentially increases the convenience when using the device and decreases the time required to dig the target out. Most of valuable finds are small sized (coins, rings, jewelry). For example, if a small coin is somewhere in a peace of dug out ground the pinpointer will show where exactly you should look for your find.
Earlier, when metal detectors didn’t have a pinpoint feature the target location was defined by so called “cross method” – the user swings the coil lengthwise and perpendicularly and the point where the responses intersect is considered the target location. The pinpoint function has simplified the process significantly.
Nowadays, you just have to turn the function on and slowly move the device over the estimated target location area and you’ll get the precise location (you’ll hear the loudest audio signal and it’ll also be indicated on the metal detector display). In pinpointer mode the depth of the target location is shown as well.
The number of operational frequencies and their values
Amateur one frequency metal detectors depending on their frequency are adjusted to search just for large or small targets. Their high frequency of 18 kHz allows detecting small objects of several ounces size. However, a high frequency signal faster attenuates in the ground, that’s why the searching depth is a bit less. Low frequency of 3 kHz makes detecting of small objects less sufficient, although the electromagnetic signal penetrates deeper into the ground and the searching depth becomes larger correspondingly.
So, the lower is metal detector operation frequency, the deeper located target it can find. To compensate for this shortcoming the manufacturers have foreseen the possibility to change coils. For instance, you have found a location promising lots of finds and your metal detector design allows changing its coil.
Therefore, first you walk around the area with a coil that has high operation frequency and then with low frequency coil. As a result, there are no missed findings.
The lower the frequency is, the higher is a metal detector sensitivity to targets made of metals with high conductivity (copper, bronze, silver). Another advantage is that this way it is easier to find large and heavy findings (though the finding square is usually considered, you may also take its mass into account).
Low frequencies have good penetrability and they also can be used for soils with high mineralization and alkaline soils. Nevertheless, quite often low frequency signals are distorted due to some electromagnetic interference.
The higher the frequency is, the more sensitive the device becomes to targets made of low conductivity metals (aluminum, nickel and etc.) as well as to small and thin objects. High frequency signals have lower penetrability and they can’t be used when searching around mineralized and alkaline soils.
However, at that this type of signals is completely resistant to any electromagnetic interference.
Medium frequencies are a compromise between low and high ones. Medium frequency is considered a multi-purpose one that will do for any type of target. Although, don’t take it too literally, summarizing that low frequency metal detector won’t “see” any small targets at all. Of course, it will, but taking into account the frequencies peculiarity.
Professional multi-frequency metal detectors with 28 operation frequencies from 1,5 to 100 kHz can perform searching both at high and low frequency, which allows to combine in one device the best features of low frequency and high frequency metal detectors.
Using of multi-frequency MD is like operating several single frequency devices with different characteristics simultaneously.
The number of functions and user-friendly design of a metal detector
These are very important characteristics to be taken into account when choosing an MD. Quite often the beginners tend to buy a professional metal detector at once. In this case you have to keep in mind that mastering an expensive professional device may take weeks or even months.
Such detectors have a large number of features and if some mistakes are made when adjusting them the searching depth may be even less, than that of entry-level devices. That’s why an inexpensive metal detector is the best choice for those, who are just beginners in treasure hunting.
Such device requires minimum adjustment. The most important is to learn the technology of using a metal detector.
Metal detector with damp proof coil
Most of metal detectors have a damp proof coil that can be used for searching soundings. However, you shouldn’t let the control unit get wet. There are special cases to prevent this. As for the professional metal detectors, they are completely damp proof and usually they are designed to perform searching both on land and in water.
A metal detector price
For the majority of treasure hunters the main determinative factor when buying a metal detector is its price. There popular models within each price bracket. Therefore, you have a chance not to get puzzled which one to choose and rely on conventional wisdom.
All these metal detector models have lots of positive reviews due to efficient combination of their characteristics and features.
Modern metal detector search coils differ in their size and design. There are Mono (or so called concentric coils) and DoubleD coils. The main difference between DD and Mono coils is their signal format, which dramatically effects searching quality and focus.
Until recently, mono coils were those that came in a metal detector set. They have cone-shaped signal that is more suitable for pinpoint search or working on some contaminated land. However, such signal type captures small area of ground and the coil sweep for each step has to overlap at least the half of the previous sweep.
Thus, the beam diameter of 9 inch coil decreases twofolds when getting 4 inches deep. It is advisable to apply mono coils after several targets were detected. This will allow reducing the amount of digging and getting clearer idea of the possible object hidden.
With the advent of DoubleD coils the efficiency of searching has improved several-fold. The metal detectors produced recently are equipped with exactly this type of coils. They got their name due to mirroring location of receiving and transmitting loops that resemble letter “D”.
DD coils signal is a blade-shaped search field, that ensures uniform scanning of the surface under the coil. This type of coil is perfectly suitable for working on soils with high mineralization and for scanning large land areas. Moreover, the difference between DD and mono coil isn’t the only parameter that can be used to improve your searching results.
To perform efficient instrumental search one has to take into account the coil size as well, since it may vary from 4 to 20 inches (if necessary you can find coils twice as large). Small coil size allows not only to scan some hard-to-reach places, but also to minimize the influence of soil disturbance.
When scanning using standard frequencies and a small coil you can detect even the tiniest objects and define precisely the material of the objects next to them. Though, quite frequent sweeping with the search coil and small depth are considered as drawbacks of these coils.
Middle sized coils (from 8 to 12 inches large) are believed to be more multi-purpose ones. They may be used to detect wide range of targets. As for the coils larger than 13 inches – there will do for deep search of large objects and at that they quite often miss smaller objects.
This is due to the necessity to analyze large amount of soil when small objects are treated as a part of soil disturbance.