What to know when Choosing a Metal Detector

A good quality metal detector is not cheap to buy, so it is worth taking the time to do a bit research.  You need to find out what to know before choosing a metal detector.

The first thing to consider is what your budget is.  It’s no good checking out top of the range metal detectors, when you know that your bank balance will be choosing a detector from the middle, or even bottom of the price range.  The cost of a metal detector can run from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds.  The more you pay, the more you can adapt the functions of your metal detector to the ground you are detecting on. 

The lower end machines offer you the basic needs of detecting.  They will provide you with limited functions and programmes, but are capable finding coins and artefacts.  You just may not be able to work out what type of metal you’ve found before you dig it out of the ground.

The middle priced range of metal detectors are designed to increase your ability of assessing what type of metal you have located.  Choosing certain settings, which will allow your metal detector to ‘ignore’ certain metals such as iron, or aluminium, does this.  Most will also have a ground balancing function.  This lets your machine adjust its settings to take into account the kind of ground you are detecting on.

If you are choosing a metal detector from the upper price range, the programmes and settings are aimed at more accurate discrimination of unwanted metal.  These detectors may also allow you to discriminate in favour of coins and artefacts.  Choosing these settings will mean that you will be reducing your chances of digging up iron, bottle tops, and other metal based rubbish.  These machines also have the ground balancing function.

Once you have established how much you can spend on your metal detector, the next thing to ask yourself is where will you be detecting.  If you will be using your machine solely on the local beach to detect for coins and jewellery, a lower end priced metal detector is suitable.  What to know about a beach, or coin-shooting detector, is whether it can be used on wet sand.  Not all detectors are suited for use on wet sand, so check this out.

What to know about metal detecting on farmland is that it requires a machine with a good detecting depth, and accurate discrimination.  Although many quality finds have been made using cheap or middle priced metal detectors, choosing a detector which can programme out scrap metal, will greatly enhance the quality and quantity of good finds. 

Whatever metal detector you end up choosing, what to know about detecting is that you have to walk over the artefact to find it.  A good quality machine may just make the difference between getting that signal and acting on it, or choosing to walk away.  The cheaper machines can miss a deep signal, and you might never know what you have left in the ground.  Was that faint signal an artefact, a coin, or half a horseshoe?