Metal Detecting for Fun or Profit – Do You Need One?
So you bumped into an old metal detector at your local scrap metal yard and decided to take up metal detecting as a hobby. Or maybe your friend got you hooked on the idea of treasure hunting for profit. Looking for the best metal detector for a beginner can be really overwhelming, leave alone learning how to use it. There are many different models, brands, and other options to pick from. The best thing to do is to find someone with experience to give you some relevant tips and tricks.
This is a great way to test the waters and see if metal detecting is something you want to pursue, saving you a lot of expense in the long run. Not only that, your experienced partner can also show you some of the best places in your area where relics and coins can be found. The process of selecting the best detector circumnavigates around these factors.
Metal Detecting for Fun
Strike a Balance between your Budget and Quality Features
The cost of the detector, its top features and how you plan to use it are some of the things that are likely to determine your choice. A top grade metal detector may siphon many thousands of dollars from your wallet, but there are many high quality metal sensing devices out there that cost less. Expect to commit about $120-$200 for a product that will give you proper services for many years to come.
Any device priced below $100 will probably perform poorly or even break down after one day of use. Again, many devices lying in the range of 55120-33200 are always easy to use, which can be advantageous for a beginner, but will most likely lack additional features of more expensive detectors. Such features include target ID, depth indicator, and pinpointing. As your price continues to rise above $300 you can expect to find more sophisticated detectors.
Here are some of the features that you might look at:
After discovering your target, you'll need to determine its exact location, and this is when the pinpoint function in your device becomes very important. Pinpointing makes it easier to extract the object and will enable you dig much smaller holes. If your metal sensor doesn't have the pinpoint function, then you might need to swing the device over the target from several directions or use a handheld pin pointer.
Depth indicator is a function which allows you to know exactly how deep a target is under the ground.
This function in your metal detector allows you to know the type of item the target is before you dig. Generally, the device puts targets into categories - iron, penny, zinc, nickel, dime, quarter, etc. Target ID is therefore an essential feature because it helps you dig only what you're interested in, especially in trashy areas where there are very many iron targets.
It's however important to understand that Target ID is not always 1003-6 perfect. Firstly, some amount of trash might show up in categories that you'll want to dig. Secondly, some targets might turn out to be garbage. For instance, it can sometimes be difficult for your metal detecting machine to discriminate between nickel and pull tabs. Again, gold items often can display in the same category as iron and foil.
It can be really challenging to use a typical detector on a ground that contains plenty of iron and other minerals. Why? Ground signals can be stronger than the signal from the target hence confusing the device. Ground balancing is a function that cancels all the effect of ground signals. If you'll be hunting in a location which is highly mineralized, then this might be a good feature to have.
Identify Your Goals and Objectives
Choosing the right metal sensing device depends on your understanding of all the essential facts that describe different models and brands of detectors. Metal detecting, whether for fun or profit, includes different forms of treasure hunting activities like coin shooting, shallow and underwater hunting, sand beach combing (both wet and dry), relic hunting, gold prospecting, meteorite hunting, just to name a few.
Various metal sensors are specifically designed for different types of treasure hunting activities. With rapidly increasing technology, new detectors that can serve different purposes have also hit the market. General-purpose metal sensing devices come with more features than ever before and are therefore good for newcomers who might want to try different things.
Investing in a device with "turn-on-and-go" feature would be really beneficial, especially for beginners. A perfect example is the AGE-150. Here you'll find three search modes - all metals, coins and jewelry. It can accurately pinpoint location of your target, indicate its depth and its identity. Many professional sand beach combers have used this product at some point in time and believe it, there's hardly a day they went home empty-handed.
Metal Detecting for Fun - Videos
Go Online or Join Your Local Hobbyists Club
If you can "test drive" many different models before you commit to buy one, then you're lucky. If, on the other hand, only one or two models are available in your local store, then your preliminary research is going to help you a lot. This is one decision you want to get right! Browse relevant reviews on the internet as these will help you come up with a comprehensive list of the most reliable metal detecting machines in the market today.
If you want more information from experienced people, join your local treasure hunters' club or any online forum you might find. Beyond any reasonable doubt, these people will help you narrow down your search to a few models. Besides giving you purchasing tips, such people can also give you valuable information on locations where rarities can be easily found.
The cost of a metal detector makes it the single most expensive too you'll need for your treasure hunting activities. Therefore, make your choice carefully. Considering the type of hunting you'll be doing and the terrain you'll be visiting, get the most reliable device your budget will allow. If your passion for metal detecting later grows, you can always purchase a more sophisticated sensing machine.