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Choosing a Metal Detector

Started by gash, February 19, 2016, 07:49:32 am

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Hopefully this may help people new to detecting to choose their first detector..

Probably the most important thing, decide how much money you want to dedicate to this hobby, other factors like mindset and patience will also have some relevance here.

Beach or land or both
Dedicated beach machines are called PI machines (pulse induction)
These machines are excellent at ignoring the heavy mineralisation of the sand and the water and salt contents.
So if you are going to hit the beaches all the time then you need to look for one of these.
For both land and beach there are a few machines that say they can do it, dont take that at face value, phone the dealers up and ask their advise..

Your mindset and levels of patience
What i mean by this is are you easily frustrated?
If so then a top of the range machine with lots of things to tweak is probably not going to be ideal for you.
You would be better with a switch on and go machine.
If you love to tinker and learn then these machines will get your detecting juices flowing and you will do well with this type of machine
A huge reason why people give this hobby up is because the machine they have bought is to complicated and gets the user frustrated.

I personaly believe this is more designed for the American detectorists, they dig a lot of parks, old houses and tot lots, they dont like to dig ring pulls etc so notching them out is something they do to save time.
Trouble with this is not many(if any) US coinage falls into the pulltab/foil range, over here its a different story.
Hammered coins often fall into this range and notching them out would make you miss them....

Some machines are very heavy to use or are unbalanced, a machine with a stonking great search coil might look good for your 20 acre field, but swinging it for more than 2 hours may realy take it out of you.
Try if possible to visit a shop and try the machine out, failing that join a club and get a feel for the machines used on a dig.
Failing that ask on the forums, more often than not someone has one or has used one and can advise you.

Unknown makes
This is just my opinion.
On a well known selling site you can often find fantastic sounding machines for £100......I personaly wouldnt buy one of these, and here in my opinion is why:
These machines are mass produced in lets say China, they are built by electronics companys but these companys do not have any detecting experience and therefore rarely have these machines set up to operate correctly.....Sure they will still find stuff, but maybe only a few inches down.....or they are so badly set up that they automaticaly discriminate between some metal items...
Also, if something goes wrong with the machine you have a hellish time trying to contact far away, foreign speaking companys....
Personaly i would stick to dealing with UK companys who sell the big names in detectors...

The net and forums are awash with Field tests and reports on different machines.
Pick a couple of machines in your price range and then narrow down your research to these machines.
Dont be afraid to phone the dealers up and ask them.....also ask them what the best price they can do for you....or maybe what extras they would throw in...

Second hand machines
As with all second hand items its buyers beware.
Buying second hand from a dealer is a good way, they usualy throw in some warranty and can test the machine for you.
Buying from Fleabay.
Ask questions, do they have the reciept, why are they selling.
As for payment on fleabay i would try and draw a cheque from your credit card...I'm not 100% sure but it may give you some comeback should it turn out all wrong.....

XP Deus 9" coil & 13x11 coil
XP Goldmaxx Power
Whites DFX
Garrett Ace250
Nokta Simplex+


Such a wide range of things to consider, pretty good write up.

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