Metal Detector Comparisons
Metal Detector Like every great hobby, metal detecting is an activity that is filled with special words that outsiders may have a hard time understanding. Here we will define some of the words you may not be very familiar with.
Ferrous: Metals that contain iron. Non-ferrous metals are metals that are not magnetic, like brass, gold, silver, nickel, tin, and lead.
Frequency: Frequencies vary on metal detectors and the different frequencies are used for different types of detecting. The frequencies are measured in Kilohertz and measure the number of magnetic fields sent to the ground. Different metals react to different frequencies based on the characteristics and conductivity of that metal.
Mineralization: The amount of iron and salt in the ground. Examples of mineralized ground include black sand on beaches (from the iron), redness in the dirt (iron), and the salt in the sand on saltwater beaches.
Interference: Anything with an electromagnetic field, like cell phones or power lines, can interfere with the detector’s signal.
Control box: Contains the controls, speaker, batteries, and processor of a metal detector.
Search coil: This is what “sees” the metal in the ground. Different search coil sizes and shapes perform differently. Generally speaking, smaller coils are most sensitive while larger coils can penetrate deeper underground.
Discrimination: You can filter out different types of metal or objects by adjusting your settings.
Ground balance: Adjustments made to the detector for different types of soil and mineralization.
Target separation: How well a detector identifies targets that are close to one another.
Choosing The Best Metal Detector
There isn’t one metal detector that’s better than all the rest, although there are a few stand-out best metal detectors in multiple categories. This buyer’s guide for the best metal detectors will examine the specific features that make for a good detector in a number of those categories. We will make recommendations based on many category-specific criteria, as well as some criteria that are common between several categories.
We will examine factors like:
- Ease of use
- Price point
- Customer ratings and reviews
- Warranty length
For each category we evaluate, we will recommend three different detectors:
- Best of the best
- Best for beginners
- Best value
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned professional, this guide will help you make an informed decision on which metal detector is the best fit to become your next detector. After all, once you’ve been bitten by the metal detecting bug, there is no such thing as owning just one metal detector.
The Most Trusted Metal Detector
Using a metal detector to search for gold has a fun name: coin shooting. Whether you’re coin shooting or looking for rings or other types of jewelry, we recommend searching areas where lots of people visit on foot. Parks, beaches, schools, churches, even sports complexes, and bleachers are great places to look for these items.
Some of the very best locations for coin shooters are places that are abandoned today but were very busy in the past.
When you shop for a metal detector for coins, rings, or jewelry, choose one that’s easy to use and has good target separation or discrimination. That allows you to filter out what you don’t want. Parks mean you have a high chance of finding coins and jewelry, but these areas also have a lot of “junk” like foil and pull tabs.
Some machines include a feature called notch discrimination, which is very useful for this kind of hunting. That allows you to pick a target and filter out everything else that is outside that target’s feedback range.
Choose a machine with a frequency of 10-15 kHz and a depth range of 6-8 inches.
This is Minelab’s highest performing all-around metal detector. It can find objects in every type of soil, including mineralized ground where gold is found. This machine has five preset search modes and is also fully customizable for more advanced detectorists. This detector works in any terrain, including the ocean and wet beach sand.
Professional prospectors say that this CTX-3030 is heavy but well-balanced. If you plan on using this for an extended period of time, a harness is available to help relieve some of the strain.
- Weight: 5.20 pounds
- Frequency: 1.5 kHz – 100 kHz
- Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
- Warranty: Three-year limited
Garrett AT MAX
Like the more expensive CTX 3030, the Garrett AT Max is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It’s an all-terrain detector that has 40 different discrimination settings to notch out various types of ferrous metals, including iron. Customers say this is one of the most versatile metal detectors out there. In the past, separate headphones were recommended, but with the upgraded MS-2 headphones you have all you need to get out detecting!
The Pro audio mode setting allows users to “hear” the properties of the target they have detected. It will emit a different tone depending on how deep an object is buried.
A digital target ID on the screen also allows users to quickly identify what the machine is detecting. The most ferrous targets are labeled between 1 and 40, with the most conductive targets — like thick silver — registering closer to 99.
Sometimes, when detecting, a larger ferrous target can be interpreted as non-ferrous (and therefore valuable). The Garrett AT Max contains a feature called Iron Audio which, with the press of a button, can correctly identify the target.
- Weight: 3.03 pounds
- Frequency: 15 kHz
- Waterproof: Up to 10 feet
- Warranty: 2-year limited
Best Metal Detector for Beginners
Nokta Makro Simplex
The Simplex is a simple, easy-to-use detector. It has an auto ground balancing and four preset search modes, including a beach mode. Includes an 11-inch search coil. The Simplex is fully submersible up to 10 ft. and has great lighting for nighttime and underwater use. It has great discrimination between metals. Features VLF technology.
- Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Frequency: 12 kHz
- Waterproof: Fully submersible up to 10 ft.
- Warranty: Yes
Concord metal detector
Concord Metal Detector is a unique metal detector from the German company Mega Detection, a new release in the company’s series of devices that meet the needs of amateur and professional prospectors through a set of devices that suits different categories.
It is a multi-search system device that includes five systems that mainly combine Long-Range Locating and scanning technology (L.R.L) suitable for detecting metal targets from a distance and at great depths, with the new and improved Pulse induction technology through set of search coils suitable for detecting small-sized targets such as old coins, natural gold nuggets and gold ornaments such as rings.
- Depth 50 m2
- 5 Search Systems
- Warranty 5 Years
- Made In Germany
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