Metal detecting is a hobby that a lot of people love to do. The idea of being able to find that hidden treasure or simply something interesting is a great thrill. In order to do that though you need to get one of the most efficient metal detectors to give you the best chance of finding anything beneath the ground.
Whether you what to find the best metal detector for gold or are simply curious about what you might find, it’s important to get the detector with the best features possible. There is a lot to consider and it can be confusing trying to work out what is important.
That’s where we can help, as here we will explain all those key features and why they matter to you. We have also completed 10 metal detectors reviews to show you the best products on the market. Once you have finished reading, you’ll know exactly what you need.
How To Choose The Best Metal Detector – Buying Guide
Where Are You Going To Search
Before you decide to buy a metal detector you need to know where you are going to be searching and how that relates to what features you will need for your device. It could be that you are searching for a specific metal or searching in difficult conditions.
If you are going to be near water then you need to make sure that you are using a detector that is going to be able to cope with that. The level of water protection in these devices generally comes in three different levels.
These models that we have featured are at least going to be weather resistant but some offer more protection than that. A lot will be able to search under shallow water with a waterproof coil whereas others might be fully waterproof. If you are going to be going underwater then it’s a good idea to get the best waterproof metal detector.
There are other considerations too such as if you are going to be searching over ground which has a high amount of mineral content. If it does then you will want a pulse induction detector that is going to be able to prevent you from getting a false reading.
Some of these products can be taken apart or folded too and that is going to be ideal if you are traveling to your favorite spot and need it to be more compact. If you are hunting for a specific type of metal in an area then you will want a detector that is going to be able to search for that specific signal.
There are many reasons as to why you would want a detector that has specific needs and this is simply a case of making sure that you know what you want. If you end up getting a product which is not perfect for your needs you could end up very disappointed.
What Are You Searching For
As well as where you are going to be searching, it is also important to know what you are going to be searching for too. There are those who will be happy to look for absolutely anything while there are others who will want to search for something a little more specific.
Iron, for example, is one material that a lot of people wouldn’t be interesting in search for as it is not a precious metal and won’t be much value. There are detectors which are able to ignore this in order to help you look for other metals. Some people though will be hunting for relics and antiques, and therefore would happily want these signals.
If you are searching for these old bits of history then you could be doing so in heavily mineralized ground and therefore you would need a detector to be able to cope with this. If you are searching for items on a beach then it would be a good idea to get a coil which is going to be waterproof.
For some people it could be that they are looking for a specific metal and in the world of these detectors, that usually means gold. Getting a product which is able to look for specific types of metals is going to be very useful and will help to give you the best chance. Hunting for gold though is very difficult and required a lot of patience.
Like with where you are searching, this comes down to your individual preferences and making sure that the activity that you want to complete matches up with the detector that you are going to buy. That way, you will be able to enjoy your time out there as much as possible.
The size of your detector is going to play a big role in how comfortable it is and how easy it is going to be to hold. It’s important to know the size of the product before you are going to buy it so that you know whether it is going to be comfortable in your hand or not.
This is going to be particularly important if you are taller or shorter as the standard size of a detector might not be ideal for you. If this is the case, you want to look for options that have a high amount of adjustability to make it comfortable for you.
A high amount of adjustability can also help to get your children involved, or anyone else for that matter. It will allow multiple different people to be able to use the device without ever getting sore or too achy.
Another important consideration is whether or not you are buying a metal detector for a junior. There are a couple of great options in the list which are a bit smaller in size. It’s important that these detectors have some adjustability as they will be able to continue to use it as they grow or multiple children can get involved.
There is also the matter of weight too. All these products that we have looked at here are low in weight but when you are using it for hours on end, even the smallest of weights can start to feel heavy after a while. The detector shouldn’t weigh more than a couple of pounds otherwise you won’t be able to use it for very long.
Calibration is also known as the ground balancing feature and this is going to be important for when the ground has a high level of mineral content. When there are minerals in the ground they can spark the signal of the detector and make you think that there is something there when there is not. This is obviously highly frustrating and something you would want to prevent.
The ground balancing feature is going to be able to sense these minerals in the ground and thereby giving you a signal that you can trust. When it comes to this type of calibration, there are generally three different main features that these products have in order to be able to do the job.
If the detector has a preset calibration it will have been permanently set to a specific range that is intended to help filter out any mineral readings. This means that no effort is required from the user but it doesn’t allow for any alteration.
Another type is if the detector has auto-calibration which as you can imagine means that it will automatically adjust its settings depending on the ground that it is going over. This again doesn’t require any effort from the use but it is able to alter the signal for an accurate reading.
Finally there is also the possibility to have manual calibration which is ideal for those who are a bit more comfortable with how the metal detector works and what they are doing. This requires knowledge and effort from the user but does mean that you would be able to get the perfect around of ground balance.
Getting the right ground balance is important in order to get readings and signals that you are going to be able to trust. Having this feature will help to prevent any frustration and also wasted time looking for objects which aren’t there.
The coil of the detector is what is going to send and receive those signals to let you know what is in the ground. This is obviously going to be vitally important and it can come in a few different designs, shapes and sizes too, and they are all important to its overall function.
The most common shapes for a coil are the double-D, a concentric shape and a spider design. Each type of coil has its advantages and disadvantages, and therefore it’s important to know the difference and see how it is going to be able to relate to you.
The double-D coils have a particularly good area of coverage which is great for scanning a lot of ground but they aren’t able to penetrate very deep into the ground. Concentric coils are the opposite and don’t have quite the range of coverage but are great for deeply buried objects. A spider shape is a mixture of the two and will provide a decent level of courage and depth, they are also highly effective is bushy and grassy areas too.
Another important aspect of a coils design is their waterproofing. This depends a lot on where you are going to be using your detector but having a coil which is able to be submerged is going to be very useful. This will allows you to have a more dynamic range of the places that you are going to be able to search.
The size of the coil is going to be an important factor and it’s generally a case of the bigger, the better. Not all coils are built the same though and a great seven inch coil is going to do a much better job than an average 10 inch coil. If they are equal in technology and design though, having a larger coil is going to allow you to search wider and deeper, but it would add some weight.
When it comes to metal detectors, most of them are still very simple in the information that they will give you and will generally use volume intensity and the dial to alert you to a nearby object. Even when you have found one, you still don’t know how deep it is going to be.
Despite being a useful feature, it is something that is going to be rare on metal detectors as it can always be very difficult to know how deep an object is. Therefore, this is a feature that is generally only found on the higher end models.
It’s always going to be ideal to know how far you are going to need to dig in order to find your object. This will generally be on an LCD screen where you will be able to see a reading and decide whether or not you are going to be bothered digging or not.
Not having a depth indicator though isn’t really going to be an issue due to how these detectors work. You are not going to be digging down very deep just to find a ring pull as it wouldn’t be able to detect something like that very far down.
The deeper down into the ground, the bigger the item need to be in order to receive a signal. Therefore, if you do start having to dig quite far down then you know you might be on to something interesting. Equally, if you’re only looking for coins and have dug down 5 inches, you know you can stop searching.
Discrimination is very simply the detectors ability to discriminate between different types of metal. The reason for this is that some people will prefer to only search for some types of metal, especially in an area where there can be a lot of unwanted metal.
The way the detector is able to do this is by checking the magnetic frequencies that are given off by the metal. As each type of metal is able to give off its own unique magnetic signature, this helps the detector to determine which type of metal it is.
The most obvious type of use for this feature is the ability to specifically look for precious metals such as gold. Having a detector which is able to discriminate to just this type of metal is going to be perfect for those hoping to find something very valuable.
Others though love to metal detect for the sheer curiosity of it. Also finding precious metals is a lot more difficult and therefore you could be searching for a very long time before you are going to be able to find anything good.
Having this feature is very useful though as it gives you a lot more options on what you are going to be able to do and what you can find. Not all detectors have this feature and therefore it’s important that you double-check it if it’s going to be important to you.
This is another feature which is only going to be found on a few metal detectors. Just like the depth indicator, this requires a higher level of technology and therefore it is usually seen on the higher end models which are going to be more expensive.
As suggested from the title, this is a feature which is going to help you pinpoint the exact location that you are looking for. A lot of metal detectors can be quite vague in what they are beeping it at and with cheaper models this can lead to a pretty wide search area.
The way this works is generally with an extra sensor that will sit on the bottom of the coil. This will then be activated by a button on the control which will then help you to narrow down exactly where the object is that you are looking for.
This will potentially help to save you a lot of time and effort, and prevent you from any digging that isn’t required. It is worth noting that the most efficient metal detectors which don’t have this feature are still going to be able to give you a high degree of accuracy, therefore, while it can be a very useful feature, it’s something that the best models don’t really need.
The radar is a vital part of the metal detector as that is going to be the part which is going to be able to find the metals that you are looking for. As you can imagine though, not all radar is built the same and there can be a big difference in quality between the different brands.
This is where user reviews can be really helpful though as radar isn’t the type of product listing that has a number or a feature that will help you tell them apart. You trust that the more expensive products will have better technology but this isn’t always the case.
There are a few trusted brands out there though that will be able to consistently produce a high level of quality products. All these products that we have reviewed here are great brands and all these products have a very high rating level that you would be able to trust.
Without a good radar your detector won’t be able to read the size or density of the object that you are scanning very well. This can lead you to miss objects which could be valuable or it could equally make you search for worthless items.
On most detectors you will have a meter which is going to be able to change the sensitivity of the detector. This can be useful for a number of different reasons, especially if you are looking for something specific or only wanting to detect a specific depth.
If the sensitivity is high then you are going to be able to find smaller items such as small pieces of jewelry but there is also a downside to that. It will mean that you are able more likely to find that you find more pieces of scrap metal and don’t find bigger objects.
Having the sensitivity down low will mean that you are able to find deeper items and also items that are going to be bigger. While this will mean that the hits you get are more likely to be solid finds, there is a chance that you are going to miss more valuable items.
This is a balance that many people will need to find. It can often depend on what you want to detect and how much time you want to spend digging. It can often be amended depending on where you are, so it can be very useful.
While these items aren’t going to be that heavy, carrying that extra weight around for possibly hours on end can take its toll after a while, and you want to make sure that you are going to be getting a metal detector which is going to be comfortable.
With these products, that comes in the form of two different aspects as you would want the handle to be comfortable to grip on to and you would also want the forearm rest to be able to take some of the weight too and be comfortable enough to rest your arm on.
Most of these detectors come with a foam grip which will be able to add some cushioning for your hand and also help to protect it from the metal which might become cold and hard to grip. Some of these handles have a bit more of a textured surface which would provide more grip.
In terms of the forearm rest, you want this to be large and comfortable. The best models will have foam for your arm to rest against and also a strap over the arm would be able to keep it in place, ensure that it doesn’t move around and help to support some of the weight.
The display is going to be an important part of the metal detector as this will be able to give you the visual signals that you need in order to know how close you are to finding that metal as well as a number of different features depending on the quality of it.
Some people are more than happy with the simple sensitivity dial whereas others like the idea of having an LCD display and plenty of buttons to keep you occupied. These screens are usually very easy to work and will be able to give you a high level of information.
The best screens are seen on the expensive models and this is often more important as these are the types of products which have more features. On the basic models you should still have dials that are going to be able to help you change the sensitivity and discrimination.
Q: What Is A Metal Detector?
A metal detector is quite simply a device which is able to detect metal. There are countless things that are above the ground or below the water that have accidentally made their way there though one form or another.
There are some enthusiasts that are just happy to find any old piece of metal while there are others who are specifically trying to find some sort of treasure. You always here is on the news every now and again about how someone has found something that is worth a large sum of money.
The metal detector works by sending radar signals down through the ground and checking for magnetic responses. Once it does this then it will alert the user to the findings. This can be great as either a serious treasure hunt or something much more leisurely.
Q: Can I Use Metal Detector For Gold?
A metal detector is able to find all manner of metals, including gold. Whether this is in streams and rivers or it could well be just searching on a beach for a lost piece of jewelry, gold is one of the pieces that can be found.
Many metal detector users will use their machine solely for the purpose of finding gold and some detectors are better at this than others. If this is what you are interested in, then you need to look for a detector which is able to discriminate between different metals.
This means that the detector will read the signals that it is getting and only alert you when the frequency matches that of gold. There is a word of warning here though, gold is so valuable as it is a very rare metal both above ground and below ground. Therefore you could spend long days searching with very little results if you were just looking for gold.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Underwater And Regular Metal Detector?
There are generally three types of metal detector when it comes to waterproofing. If they have weather resistance then that means that they would be able to be used in the rain but the coil wouldn’t be able to be placed underwater.
Then the common types which can be found with highly rated detectors are those which have coils that can go underwater. This means that you would be able to take your device out to the beach or a stream etc. and fully submerge the coil into the water.
Then there is the third type of detector which is fully waterproof. These will be able to go completely under the water to a specific depth. Some metal detectors are able to go a lot further underwater than others and allow you to snorkel while looking for those treasures.Related Review: Underwater Metal Detector
Globo Surf Overview
There is a mystique and a romance that comes with metal detecting. There is something about it which gives you a child-like sense of adventure, the ability to find something from another time and another culture, or the opportunity to find something valuable.
What it does require though is a lot of time and patience. You will go through times when you are searching with very little results and there will be times when you are digging and find something worthless and uninteresting. You want to make sure that you are giving yourself the best chance and getting the best metal detector is an important part of that.
Before getting a metal detector, it’s also important to know where you are going to be searching and what you are going to be searching for. If you are heading to the beach, for example, then you will want to buy a product which has a waterproof coil. If you are just looking for gold, then you will want a detector which has great discrimination.
There are a few important features that we have discussed here that you need to consider. These are the types of products which can vary a lot in price and sometimes you just need to check how important certain features are. You can still have a lot of fun with a cheaper model but might not have all the features that we have listed here.
There are also great junior models and it would be a great idea to get the kids involved. Not only will you be doing something together but you are increasing your chances of finding something special. While on the face of it they are fairly simple, it’s important to learn how to best use a metal detector in order to give yourself the best chance. Aspects like the sensitivity, discrimination and the various modes will be worked out over time.
This guide should have given you all the information that you need in order to start your adventure and hopefully find the treasure that you are looking for. All these products that we have listed here are highly rated and would do a great job. Some have different features than others though, therefore check what is important to you before getting out there and hunting those prizes.