A Complete Guide to Metal Detectors Buying

Metal Detectors Buying Guide
Metal Detector Tips & Tricks
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Metal detecting can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but with so many different metal detectors on the market, it can be challenging to know where to start when buying one.

Factors such as price range, features, and intended use all come into play when choosing the right metal detector.

This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of what to look for when buying a metal detector and offer some tips and tricks to make the most of your metal detecting experience.

Why You Should Read the Metal Detectors Buying Guide?

The Metal Detectors Buying Guide is a comprehensive resource that will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when purchasing a metal detector.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced detectorist, this guide will help you understand the different types of metal detectors available, their features, and their capabilities.

By reading this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision about which metal detector is right for you, based on your budget, experience level, and the type of metal detecting you want to do.

So, whether you're looking for a metal detector for treasure hunting, relic hunting, or gold prospecting, this guide will help you choose the right detector for your needs.

Metal Detectors Buying Guide

Here are the some facts to consider before making a purchase:

Detection Mode

Detection mode refers to the different settings that a metal detector offers to help you detect specific types of metal and ignore unwanted objects. There are different detection modes for different purposes, such as coin mode, jewelry mode, relic mode, and more.

Each mode is designed to detect a specific type of metal object based on its conductivity, size, and shape.

For example, coin mode is optimized for finding coins and other small metallic objects, while relic mode is optimized for finding larger metallic objects like artifacts, relics, and other historical items.

Jewelry mode is designed to detect small gold and silver items like rings, bracelets, and earrings.

Having multiple detection modes can be helpful because it allows you to adjust your detector's settings to suit your needs and increase your chances of finding the type of metal you're looking for.

However, it's important to note that the more detection modes a metal detector has, the more complicated it can be to use.


Discrimination is a feature of metal detectors that allows users to ignore certain types of metal while searching for specific targets. It is achieved through the use of target ID and audio tones, which differentiate between various types of metal.

With discrimination, users can set their metal detector to only detect specific types of metal and ignore others. This feature is especially useful for searching in areas with high levels of trash or unwanted metal, as it can help users find their desired targets while ignoring junk metal.


Sensitivity refers to the ability of a metal detector to detect small or deep targets. It is an important factor to consider when buying a metal detector, especially if you are looking for small, valuable items such as coins, jewelry, or relics.

Sensitivity is usually adjustable on most metal detectors, allowing the user to customize it to the specific conditions of the search area.

A higher sensitivity setting will make the detector more responsive to smaller or deeper targets, but it can also lead to more false signals or interference from mineralization in the ground.

Coil Size

Coil size is an important consideration when buying a metal detector. The size of the coil determines the depth and sensitivity of the detector. Smaller coils are more sensitive to small targets, but they have less depth penetration.

Larger coils have more depth penetration but are less sensitive to small targets. The choice of coil size depends on the type of hunting you plan to do.

If you are looking for small, shallow targets like coins or jewelry in trashy areas, a small coil would be ideal. If you are searching for larger, deeper targets like relics or caches, a larger coil would be more appropriate.

Ground Balance

Ground balance is a crucial feature in metal detectors that helps to filter out mineralization in the ground. Mineralization can cause false signals and make it difficult to detect targets accurately.

Ground balance allows the detector to adjust to the minerals in the soil and compensate for their effects on the detection signal. There are two types of ground balance: manual and automatic.

Manual ground balance allows the user to adjust the detector to the ground manually. This is useful when detecting in areas with high mineralization or when the soil changes frequently.

Automatic ground balance, on the other hand, adjusts the detector automatically to the ground conditions. This feature is useful for beginners who may not be familiar with the different types of soil and mineralization.

Having the ability to adjust ground balance is important because it can affect the depth at which targets can be detected. Therefore, it's essential to understand how to use the ground balance feature to optimize the metal detector's performance.

Operating Frequency

Operating frequency refers to the number of times a metal detector's coil emits and receives signals per second. It is measured in kilohertz (kHz), and most metal detectors have a frequency ranging from 3 kHz to 100 kHz.

The operating frequency of a metal detector affects its ability to detect certain types of metals and its depth penetration.

A lower frequency metal detector is better for detecting larger and more conductive metals such as silver, copper, and brass. This is because lower frequency detectors can penetrate deeper into the ground and have a larger detection range.

On the other hand, a higher frequency metal detector is better for detecting smaller and less conductive metals such as gold and lead. Higher frequency detectors are more sensitive to small targets and are better suited for shallow hunting.

Some metal detectors have multiple frequency settings, allowing users to adjust the operating frequency depending on the type of metal they are searching for.

Target ID

Target ID, or target identification, is a feature in metal detectors that helps users distinguish between different types of metals that the detector detects. It is an essential feature for any metal detector as it helps to identify the metal objects buried in the ground accurately.

When a metal detector detects a metal object, it generates an electromagnetic field that interacts with the metal object.

The signal that is returned from the metal object is then analyzed by the metal detector's control box, which determines the type of metal and displays it on the screen.

Target ID is represented on the metal detector's display with a numerical range or a visual display of the object's shape or size.

For example, some metal detectors may display a graph or a meter that indicates the depth of the object, its conductivity, and its size. Others may display an image of the object or an icon that indicates its type.

Target ID is a vital feature for many metal detector enthusiasts, especially for those who search for specific types of metals, such as gold or silver.

By using the target ID feature, they can distinguish between valuable and non-valuable metals and avoid digging up trash.

It is important to note that target ID accuracy may vary depending on the metal detector's quality, the size of the object, and the soil's mineralization.

Hence, it is always recommended to test the metal detector in various ground conditions and adjust the sensitivity and discrimination settings to achieve the best results.


Technology is an important consideration when purchasing a metal detector. There are different types of technology used in metal detectors, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Very Low Frequency (VLF) technology is the most common type of metal detector technology. It uses two coils, one to transmit an electromagnetic field and one to receive the signal that bounces back.

VLF detectors are able to discriminate between different types of metals, which is helpful in identifying what type of object has been detected.

Pulse Induction (PI) technology is another type of metal detector technology. It uses a single coil to transmit and receive signals, and it is not affected by mineralization or ground conditions.

PI detectors are typically used for deep searching and are not as good at discriminating between different types of metals.

Multi-Frequency (MF) technology is a newer type of metal detector technology that is becoming more popular. It uses multiple frequencies to penetrate different types of ground and provide more accurate target identification.

MF detectors are also good at discriminating between different types of metals.

When choosing a metal detector, consider the type of hunting you will be doing and the ground conditions in your area. Different technologies may be better suited for different environments.


Waterproofing is an important factor to consider when purchasing a metal detector, especially if you plan on using it near bodies of water or in rainy conditions.

A waterproof metal detector allows you to search in shallow water, wet sand, or even dive underwater, expanding your search capabilities and increasing the likelihood of finding valuable treasures.

When looking for a waterproof metal detector, make sure to check the waterproof rating, which indicates the maximum depth at which the detector can be submerged.

Some models may have a waterproof coil or stem, while others may be fully submersible. It is important to note that a fully submersible metal detector may be more expensive than a model with just a waterproof coil or stem.

Also, consider the type of environment you will be searching in. If you plan on beach hunting, a saltwater-proof detector may be necessary to handle the high mineralization and salt content in the sand and water.

On the other hand, if you will be searching in freshwater, a detector with a lower waterproof rating may suffice.

Ultimately, choosing a waterproof metal detector can expand your search capabilities and increase your chances of finding valuable treasures, but it is important to consider your budget and the environment in which you will be searching before making a purchase.


The weight of a metal detector is an essential factor to consider when buying one. A heavy metal detector can cause fatigue and affect the user's mobility during a long day of treasure hunting.

On the other hand, a lightweight detector may not be as durable and sturdy as heavier models. The weight of a metal detector is usually determined by the materials used in its construction.

Entry-level models are generally lighter and made from plastic or lightweight metals like aluminum. High-end models are usually heavier and made of more robust materials like steel.

Nonetheless, some manufacturers design metal detectors with lightweight materials like carbon fiber, making them both sturdy and lightweight.

When choosing a metal detector based on weight, it's essential to consider your physical abilities and the type of treasure hunting you plan to undertake.

For instance, if you intend to cover large areas and search for extended periods, a lighter detector would be more suitable.

Anyway, if you are looking to detect in challenging terrains or search for precious metals, a more substantial metal detector would be appropriate.


Warranty is an important factor to consider when buying a metal detector. A good warranty will give you peace of mind that the manufacturer stands behind their product and will cover any defects or issues that may arise.

Most metal detector manufacturers offer a warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship. The length of the warranty varies between manufacturers and models, but it typically ranges from one to five years.

When purchasing a metal detector, it's important to read the warranty carefully and understand what it covers. Some warranties may have limitations or exclusions, such as damage caused by misuse or normal wear and tear.

It's also a good idea to research the manufacturer's customer service and support before making a purchase. Look for reviews or feedback from other customers to get an idea of how responsive and helpful the manufacturer is in addressing any issues or concerns.

Ultimately, a good warranty can provide added value and protection for your investment in a metal detector.


Price is a crucial factor to consider when buying a metal detector. Metal detectors are available in different price ranges, from budget-friendly to high-end models. The price depends on several factors such as features, technology, brand, and overall quality.

Budget-friendly metal detectors are perfect for beginners who want to try out metal detecting without spending too much money. They typically have basic features and may not be as sensitive as more expensive models. Mid-range metal detectors offer more features, better sensitivity, and more customization options.

High-end metal detectors are designed for professional use and have advanced features such as multi-frequency operation, faster recovery times, and more accurate target identification.

These models are usually more expensive, but they offer unparalleled performance and durability.

It's essential to set a budget before buying a metal detector to ensure you get the best value for your money. You don't need to spend a fortune to get a decent metal detector, but you should be willing to invest in a quality model if you plan to use it frequently.

Included Accessories

Included accessories are the extra items that come with the metal detector when you purchase it. They are essential as they help in maximizing the performance of the device, making it easier to use and enhancing your overall experience.

Some of the accessories that come with metal detectors include headphones, search coils, carrying bags, and digging tools.

Headphones are crucial accessories that enable you to hear the audio signals produced by the metal detector. They help you to concentrate on the audio cues, making it easier to detect metals even in noisy environments.

Search coils are another essential accessory that determines the depth and sensitivity of the detector. They are available in various sizes, and you can choose the one that suits your needs best.

Carrying bags and cases are also important as they make it easier to transport and store the detector. They help to protect the detector from damage when not in use, making it more durable.

Digging tools such as trowels and shovels are necessary for digging up targets once they have been detected. They help to remove the soil and uncover the target without damaging it.

When choosing a metal detector, it's important to consider the included accessories to ensure that you get the best value for your money.

Some detectors come with more accessories than others, so it's essential to compare the options and choose one that meets your needs.

In addition, some accessories such as headphones and search coils can also be purchased separately, so you can always upgrade your device as needed.

User Reviews

User reviews are an important consideration when buying a metal detector. They provide valuable insights into the actual experiences of people who have used the product.

Reading user reviews can give you an idea of the detector's strengths and weaknesses, its ease of use, and its overall performance.

When looking at user reviews, it's important to consider the number of reviews and their overall rating. A detector with a large number of positive reviews is more likely to be a reliable and effective product.

Nevertheless, it's important to read a variety of reviews to get a well-rounded understanding of the detector's performance.

It's also important to take user reviews with a grain of salt. Some reviews may be biased or based on limited experience with the detector. Try to focus on reviews that provide specific examples of the detector's performance and use.

Ultimately, user reviews should be just one factor to consider when buying a metal detector. Don't rely solely on user reviews when making your decision, but use them as a helpful tool to gain insight into the detector's real-world performance.

A Complete Guide to Metal Detectors Buying

Salt Mode

Salt mode is a feature found in some metal detectors that helps to reduce interference from saltwater or salt mineralized ground.

It works by adjusting the detector's settings to better handle the electrical conductivity of salt, which can often cause false signals or decreased detection depth.

In salt mode, the detector's sensitivity and ground balance are adjusted to minimize these effects and improve the detector's performance in saltwater or on salt mineralized ground.

Salt mode is particularly useful for beach hunting or detecting in areas with high salt content in the soil.


A backlight is a feature that illuminates the display screen of a metal detector, making it easier to read in low light conditions. It is especially useful for early morning or evening hunts, as well as for use in dimly lit areas.

A metal detector with a backlight allows you to easily identify targets and read important information on the display screen, without straining your eyes or missing important details. This feature can be particularly important for older users or those with visual impairments.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

What is the best metal detector for beginners?

There are many metal detectors suitable for beginners, including the Garrett Ace 300, Fisher F22, and Bounty Hunter Tracker IV.

What kind of batteries do metal detectors use?

Metal detectors use various types of batteries, including alkaline, rechargeable, and lithium.

Can metal detectors detect gold?

Yes, metal detectors can detect gold, but some models are more specialized for gold prospecting than others.

How deep can metal detectors detect?

The depth at which a metal detector can detect objects depends on several factors, including the size and composition of the object, the type of ground, and the detector's operating frequency and sensitivity. Generally, metal detectors can detect objects up to several feet deep.

Can metal detectors be used underwater?

Yes, some metal detectors are designed for use in water, and they can be used in rivers, lakes, and even the ocean. However, it is important to choose a detector that is specifically designed for underwater use, as not all detectors are waterproof.

What is ground balance, and why is it important?

Ground balance is a feature that allows a metal detector to adjust to the minerals and other materials in the ground to reduce false signals and improve detection depth. It is an important feature for metal detecting in mineralized soil or areas with high iron content.

What is discrimination, and how does it work?

Discrimination is a feature that allows a metal detector to differentiate between different types of metal based on their conductivity and other properties. It is important for avoiding unwanted targets and improving target identification.

Can metal detectors detect coins?

Yes, metal detectors can detect coins made from various metals, including copper, silver, and gold.

Are metal detectors safe to use? Yes, metal detectors are generally safe to use, but it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and take appropriate safety precautions, such as using headphones and avoiding areas with buried utilities.

What is the average price of a metal detector?

The price of a metal detector can vary widely depending on the features, brand, and model. Entry-level detectors can cost as little as $50, while advanced models can cost several thousand dollars. The average price for a decent beginner to intermediate level detector is around $200-$300.


In conclusion, purchasing a metal detector can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be overwhelming with so many options available in the market.

By considering the factors mentioned in this guide, you can make an informed decision and choose the best metal detector that suits your needs and budget. Remember to think about your intended use, budget, features, and other factors before making a purchase.

Always research and read reviews before making a final decision to ensure you get the best value for your money. With the right metal detector, you'll be able to uncover hidden treasures and enjoy the hobby for years to come.

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