How to choose a Metal Detector
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The hobby of metal detecting is now firmly established in Britain, the USA, Australia
and many European countries, and is suitable for all ages, from the very young
to the very old. Using a metal detector is quite healthy for the body because
it gets you out in the air and gives you exercise through walking and digging.
The many thousands of metal detectorists (as they are known) who enjoy metal detecting
as a hobby reap benefits in a variety of ways; the gain of knowledge about the
past, the excitement and pleasure one feels when handling objects which haven't
seen light for years and, of course, the coins and artefacts recovered. Initially,
a Victorian Penny or a button is a great thrill to find, raising all sorts of
questions such as how the object got there and to whom it once belonged etc. Nowadays,
metal detectors are hi-tec electronic machines with a variety of capabilities
dependant on price. We offer metal detectors made by Garrett, Viking and Cscope. We
have chosen these metal detectors because they offer probably the best value
for money, owing to their high performance, reliability, good prices, and
excellent manufacturer support. They are produced by well-known and established
UK, European and American companies, and cover a broad range of prices.
How much should I spend on a metal detector?
Broadly speaking, there are three quality bands for metal detectors. High
end metal detectors, such as our Garrett ATX, occupy the
top band. These metal detectors are powerful, rugged and use highly-tuned electronics.
They often offer many functions. Upper Mid-range metal detectors, such
as the Garrett AT Pro,
C.Scope CS6MX-i, C.Scope
CS4MX-i, C.Scope CS1220XD, Garrett 400i combine
excellent performance with lower prices. Good Mid-range metal detectors,
such as the Garrett 300i,
Garrett Euro ACE, Ace
VK40 or the C.Scope
CS3MX-i, are the most popular, since they combine both good performance
and more affordable prices (under £100 up to about £350). Within the mid-range
band, you will find different types of detector, and when considering which
one to buy, your decision may be based on a number of factors, such as who is
going to use it, where it is going to be used etc (we will cover these aspects
below). The third band is what we term Entry-Level metal detectors. The
number of budget metal detectors available on the market is increasing as companies
try to cash in on the metal detector boom, often with cheaply-made models whose
quality leaves a lot to be desired. We therefore advise our customers to be
wary of buying this sort of metal detector, and to stick to well-known brands
if possible. Good examples of Entry-level detectors are the Garrett
ACE 150, Viking 6,
Can a beginner use a high-end Metal Detector?
Or, to put the question another way, can a beginner cope with a more complicated
high end metal detector? The answer is yes, especially if you select a model
that also has a range of factory pre-set search modes. These allow you to just
turn on and start detecting. The advantage of buying a good metal detector up
front is that it means you will not have to upgrade at a later date.
Should I consider cheap metal detectors?
You will see a number of cheaper metal detectors on the market and they are
often sold under unfamiliar names. The most important thing to be aware of is
that a metal detector's ability to find interesting objects depends on the quality
of the technology inside. Established metal detector brands do not only use
more sophisticated circuits, but the electronics are highly tuned to optimise
performance. In addition, the signal processing algorithms are very effective.
What is the most important thing about a metal detector?
At the end of the day, the most important thing about a metal detector is that
it actually enables you to find interesting objects under the ground, and you
feel comfortable using it. Obviously this means your detector has to be able
to look deeply into the ground, yet it's not always about having as many bells
and whistles on your machine. For example, you could buy a good general purpose
detector like the Ace
200i, Viking VK-10,
or the C.Scope CS3MX-i.
These 3 detectors have varying amounts of bells and whistles, but all have good
penetration depths and will all enable you to find great objects. After detecting
depth, there are other considerations that are more important, such as ease
of use, lightness, where it is being used etc. Before covering these points,
it is important to understand different types of metal detector.
Looking for a children's detector?
All our metal detectors are fully adjustable and most children over the age
of 10 can handle an adult's model - even if they find an adults model slightly
heavier, it will be something they grow into. If you are looking for a lighter
model, the Viking 1
and C.Scope CS440XD
Non-Motion versus Motion
The head of the (generally) more expensive Motion metal detectors has to be
kept moving or scanning the ground in order to detect metal, the moment movement
is stopped, detection stops. The big advantage of Motion metal detectors is
that they allow more sophisticated metal detecting, are self-tuning, offer better
target analysis and are not affected as greatly by mineralised ground as non-motion
metal detectors. Also, motion metal detectors usually achieve greater penetration
and clearer discrimination. However, non-motion detectors do have a loyal following
among experienced metal detectorists. They can be especially useful when detecting
in places where moving the detector head back and forth is more difficult, such
as in hedgerows. Cscope produce some very good non-motion detectors, such as
the C.Scope CS1220XD,
990XD and 770XD.
Owing to their simplicity, a non-motion detector may be a better choice for
Discrimination Control on metal detectors
A discrimination control allows iron, silver paper and other rubbish items to
be ignored by the detector, while still detecting gold, silver, copper and other
non-ferrous metals. The higher the control is set, the more objects will be
What About Accessories?
The most important area to spend your money is on the detector itself. Once
you have chosen your detector, you may wish to consider accessories. A good
accessory to consider is a Head Cover. This is a cover that fits under
the search coil, protecting it from scratches and damage - it is far cheaper
to replace a head cover than the search coil itself! Headphones are not
absolutely necessary as all our detectors have speakers. The advantage of not
using headphones is that you can share the excitement of hearing signals with
other people who are detecting with you. Headphones do have some advantages
though: they enable you to focus better on the signals, especially faint ones
generated by a non-motion detector, and they keep signals more private when
in crowded areas, such as beaches. And of course, headphones keep your ears
warm when out detecting on a chilly winter's day. Control Box Covers
help to keep the control box clean and dry, and are certainly a good idea if
you are using your detector in wet muddy conditions.
Should I be concerned about Metal Detector Frequency?
Frequencies in a metal detector are referred to in kHz (kilo hertz) which is
the number of times a signal is transmitted into the ground as received back
per second. The lower the detector's frequency, the deeper it will penetrate.
However, its sensitivity to smaller targets may be reduced. On the other hand,
the higher the detector's frequency, the higher its sensitivity to even the
smallest targets, but it may not penetrate as deeply. Generally, gold detectors
operate at a higher frequency for locating small gold nuggets. Coin, relic and
treasure hunting detectors operate at lower frequencies for greater depth penetration.
Most treasure-hunting metal detectors operate in the range 4KHz up to 20KHz.
Spare Parts & Guarantees
Always make sure that you are able to buy spare parts for your metal detector.
You need to make sure, therefore, that your metal detector manufacturer will
still be around after that time. The manufacturers from whom we select our metal
detectors are all very well established companies, and we supply their full
range of spare parts.