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Old 08-26-2020, 01:56 PM   #1
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New Metal Detecting thread

Well, I'm late to the party but count me in on a Metal Detecting club/group! Sorry I had to start a new thread but the other one i tried to reply to is too old.

I've been detecting since the 1970s with a Radio Shack (lucky to find trash with that thing) to a CTX and Excal today. Mostly a coin shooter but i love beach detecting even more.

If you have ANY interest at all in metal detecting you MUST watch the BBC series the detectorists (toby jones and mackenzie crook).

And for those of you contemplating getting into metal detecting, PLEASE ask us here what you should buy before you spend your money. Theres a lot of junk detectors around and theres also a couple of Must Have accessories that you will need.
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:46 AM   #2
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Hey thanks for this. I have a detector that I think is medium quality at home. When I get back I'll post the details and you can critique it. I’m at the beach now and thread make me wish I had it here - didn’t even think about it. I bought it to find survey pins.

It’s mostly been frustrating probably because I didn’t spend much time learning about it. But I can see hours of enjoyment with it on theses trips.
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:56 AM   #3
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So what is the a good detector to buy?

I know there are 50 plus ? criteria to determine what is right for me.
Just throw out a few models and I can research from there.
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Old 09-01-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies! Let me take a minute here and give you some general ideas on metal detectors. All of these points are arguable as we all like or dislike certain things, so i will keep it kind of general info for noobs in this post.

Know that every detector made (even the cheap chinese fake copies) will find that class ring lost on your front lawn last month. And it will also sing with equal or greater enthusiasm for pieces of trash. Its in the discrimination circuits where it counts in modern metal detectors.

Anything made by Minelab, Garrett, and XP is worth having. There are other models of some other brands as well but remember that i am going to try to keep this as a general info post. Whites are good too, but they just this year went out of business and i'd worry about repairs in the future.

You will get a detection depth of ROUGHLY the diameter of your coil on a properly set up detector.

Most detectors handle most soils with only minor (and very easy) tweeking but salt water and salt water beaches require special models/circuitry/hardware/software. Generally a salt machine costs a bit more.

NO ONE advertises the real price in a ad. Detector companies are very particular about advertising below MSRP. You will pay a lot less and generally get lots of throw ins when you buy a detector from a real dealer. Especially ifyou are amed with the knowledge of whats worth having.
Speaking of which, the throw ins from the largest dealer, Kellyco, are absolute junk and an insult. I can recommend several good dealers to buy from if youd like. I have no relation to any of them other than being a very satisfied customer.

You absolutely need these accessories:
- pinpointer. the 2 best are the orange Garrett and the Minelab one. i have had both. imo the Garrett is a bit better. there are dissenters to that opinion, but i believe the great majority of users agree with me. expect to pay about 120 for the Garrett Carrott.
- digging tool. it needs to be a metal detector's trowel, NOT anything from the hardware or gardening store. they will break. the best 2 are the Lesche and the Gator. i prefer the Gator but the great majority of detectorists prefer the Lesche. the Gator is more of a prybar and the Lessche is more surgical. expect to pay up to about 50 for a good trowel.
and thats it. sure there are other things you will use like a belt to hang stuff on, a finds/trash pouch, a towel to wipe your hands off with and such, but those are very individual preferences.

Only other thing is a specialized digging tool for the beach. Basically a heavy duty metal scoop on a handle with holes in it to sift out the sand and leave all that gold jewelry in the scoop bucket. Again, theres 3 or 4 main choices and we can go into them if someone asks.


Now, on to What Metal Detector Should I Buy?.....
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:11 PM   #5
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Before i can recommmend a detector for a person, i have to know a couple of things:

1) how much do you want to spend, and
2) where to you plan to use it (soil, beach, prospecting, underwater, etc).

I group detectors into 3 main divisions in my mind. Lower end from 200-400. midrange 400-800, and Skys the Limit. There are some excellent lower range detectors if you just want to try the hobby out. But if you know this is something you want to do, i advise moving into the midrange. Then if you love it, you will know which hi$ detector is right for you after you have picked up all that loot with the midrange machine.

Please dont buy a Bounty Hunter. They are ok machines but there are much better machines for what you will spend for a BH. If you already have a BH, GREAT! Use that machine to learn on and figure out what you want in your next machine. My wife started on a BH (it was a throw in on another detector buy). Please dont let me insult you on this!
Personally i use Minelab detectors. I believe their tech is much better than all the others. Basically certain ML machines process multiple frequencies and their harmonics whereas all others use only a single freq at a time. Remember, what you are paying for in a modern metal detector is Discrimination- the ability to pick out valuable metals from amongst all the metal trash.

fwiw, I have a CTX for all around use and an Excaliber for saltwater use (waterproof to 200'). I have also used a Garrett ATP, Minelab Safari, and a Whites Coinmaster. My next machine will be an Equinox 800 to use as a backup unless something better comes out in the meantime.


Being on the Questions! I am full of....Answers.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:52 PM   #6
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just a reminder, most state and county parks, do not allow digging in the park and this includes for a metal detector.

Ken
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
just a reminder, most state and county parks, do not allow digging in the park and this includes for a metal detector.

Ken
.Excellent point. National Parks are absolutely verboten, ime state parks are also but with the caveat that you can ask those in charge to hunt for a specific lost item. Around here, county and city parks are good to go. The main thing is to Know whats legal before you start.

fyi, some states publish a list of which parks you can or cannot metal detect in and even show maps of some parks where there are Hunt and No Hunt zones. Michigan and Ohio come to mind tho its been years since i checked on them.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:44 AM   #8
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Thank you for all of this great information! Started watching The Detectorists last night...so funny! I’m new to both RVing and metal detecting and would like to purchase a mid-level detector ($500-$700). So far we’ve only camped in forests, but we’d like to hit the beaches at some point. Is there a good unit that can handle both gold/silver in rock/streams and have salt water ability? I’m particularly concerned about corrosion issues. Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Choosehappy View Post
Thank you for all of this great information! Started watching The Detectorists last night...so funny! Im new to both RVing and metal detecting and would like to purchase a mid-level detector ($500-$700). So far weve only camped in forests, but wed like to hit the beaches at some point. Is there a good unit that can handle both gold/silver in rock/streams and have salt water ability? Im particularly concerned about corrosion issues. Thanks!
Part 1:
First off, dont worry about corrosion of salt water. Just rinse off your machine when you are done for the day and it will be fine. The exterior is mostly plastic anyway. (But that means that a periodic wiping with 303 will extend the life of the plastic wrapped cables and such.)

lol on your requirements. Basically you want a machine that does everything. Nothing Wrong With That! But realize that it will cost a bit more to get an all around Everything machine.

Forget about silver. All machines will hit on silver hard.

Coins are also easy for a detector. Most machines are designed for them and even the ones that arent will hit on them anyway due to size.

Ring/medallion sized gold are easy, tho differentiating between gold and some trash (like pulltabs) is VERY hard.
Why? Because gold is rarely 24k, even raw gold from the goldfields is <24k. Then it is adulterated to get anything from 10k (or less) to 22k. And then what it is mixed with varies. Copper, platinum, chrome and many other metals are mixed to get a certain look in modern jewelry and all of them contribute to the item's electromagnetic response. Thats a long way of saying that Gold comes in across most of the nonferrous spectrum on a metal detector. That means the detector will hit on that gold, but you may have trouble knowing what its hitting. Especially in the pulltab range, you might be inclined to not dig that signal and miss the gold (thousands of pulltabs will do that to you, trust me). The good news is that Experience can overcome that to a large degree. And virtually all my gold has had a distinctive sound to it.
disclaimer, i consider myself a scientist (geologist and then some) but i am about to make a totally unscientific statement). The gold that i have found sounded like a Solid, Round Signal. Remember i use Minelab machines set on 50 tones (thats 49 tones more than a lot of machines out there) and there is a massive amount of information when hearing the entire audio spectrum. Experienced Minelab users kept telling me that i would know gold when i heard it for the first time. And it was true- it just didnt sound like a normal target. It sounded Solid and Round. Anyway, i digress.


Now tiny gold, such as in nugget prospecting in the US west is much more difficult. So are small gold chains (detectors see each link individually). I could easily hit your price without that requirement. Adding that one is gonna add at least 200 to what i will recommend. Seriously, people that exclusively hunt small gold start at about 850 and rapidly jump into the thousands for a machine, depending on how hardcore they are.


So what does this mean. Recommendations in Part 2.....
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:15 AM   #10
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well that definitely rates a
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:50 AM   #11
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Part 2, Recommendations:
Remember that you will need a pinpointer (get the orange waterproof Garrett, about 120) and a good digging trowel (Lesche or Gator, about 50). Trust me on these.

Also consider how much time (short and long term) you want to spend in this hobby. Buy the best machine you can afford if you will be doing a lot of detecting. Buy once, cry once is very true in this hobby. And i promise you that if you stay with it and put in the time, whatever machine i recommend here will pay for itself. All of mine have except for the dedicated underwater machine and thats my fault for not using it very much.

Now dont panic because i am going to list msrp when i name a detector. These are not even close to the real prices a dealer will sell you a machine for. PM me and i will name several dealers that i like. I have no relationship with any of them beyond being a satisfied customer. They will give you a good deal and all will be within 10 or 20 of each other on a machine. (but call them all). I recommend against Kellyco (worlds largest seller of detectors) as they are unbelievably good at selling you worthless throw-in junk and making you think you got a killer deal. Small dealers are the way to go in this hobby. The ones i recommend will stay with you for over the phone help as long as you need it.

Best machines by price:


Minelab Vanquish. I have never owed this machine but detectorists that I respect speak very highly of it. It is an entry level machine designed to supplant the:

Garret Ace series. The long time standard in entry level machines.

For mid price range, I recommend the Minelab Equinox. I know lots of folks swinging them and they are living up to the hype that they would ‘make all other detectors obsolete’. One of the best/most respected detectorists I know of, Steve Herschbach, sold most of his other hi$ machines to hunt almost exclusively with the Equinox 800. The Equinox was designed to supplant the:

Garrett AT Pro (seeing a trend here?). This was THE standard mid priced machine until the Equinox series came along.


But does it match the criteria:


Minelab Vanquish will do everything you ask. Probably not so great on small gold, eg small nuggets.

Garrett Ace, same as the ML Vanquish tho not quite as well.

Garrett ATP, cannot handle salt water At All, and not great at small gold. (rem, small gold is Hard)

Minelab Equinox, the ML Eq 800 will do everything you want and is the machine I recommend. BUT it is going to be over your budget when you add in the pinpointer and trowel. If you drop the small gold prospecting requirement you can drop down to the ML Eq 600 and get into your price range. They are exactly the same machine with the small gold program missing in the 600.


MSRP: (all come with headphones)

Garrett Ace series: 150-400
Minelab Vanquish series: 200-370
Garrett ATP: 550
Minelab Equinox 600, 800: 650 and 900

Remember, all these are excellent machines. Some are just better than others. Let me know if I can answer anything further. As you can tell, I am quite wordy.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:23 AM   #12
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Beach Hunting

While you can use a trowel or even a shovel to dig your targets at the beach, you really need a dedicated beach scoop. This is another Trust Me thing. And once again, you can go cheap or go quality.


Cheap:
Any scoop with a wire bracket. Will retail <100. Fine for the casual hunter or someone who rarely does wet sand sifting. Also good for those less physically capable as these are very lightweight.


Best: (all are top quality materials)

Stealth: stainless steel, best warranty service bar none.

Stavr: stainless steel, have to wait to get it from over seas, but a bit less expensive

RTG: made of Aluminum so a bit lighter. Al scoops are not really repairable when you wear them out. For the casual or even fairly regular hunter this wont matter.

T-Rex and a few stainless steel others: seem to be well made, but watch the welds and how the handle attaches. Theres a lot of stress on the handle-bucket junction.




Size matters. For the good scoops, youll want a 7" or 9" basket. With wire basket scoops, larger just means it will collapse quicker. Ask me how i know that.

Get a good tall handle. I prefer the 20degree angled ones but others like the straight 90degrees ones. The 90s wear you out quicker. Ask me how i know that.

Also, youll want to think about how heavy your scoop is. Carrying a 9"er all day in the blistering sun will wear you out. Ask me how i know that.
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Old 09-17-2020, 04:24 PM   #13
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Thank you for all of your wordiness! I’ll definitely reach out should I have additional questions. Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:16 PM   #14
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Links to scoops? Maybe? Please......?
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