What is a Metal Detector
A handheld metal detector is a tool that consists of an oscillator, which produces an alternating current that passes through a coil generating an alternating magnetic field. When the coil gets close to a piece of electrically conductive metal, eddy currents (also called vortex of Foucault currents) are induced in the metal, thus producing a magnetic field of their own. The distortion of the magnetic field caused by the presence of a metallic object can be detected if another (identical, D-shape or concentric) coil is used to measure the density of the magnetic field. Nowadays a metal detector is not only an instrument for finding various metal objects under the ground but also a nice entertainment for a whole family or friends. The search for ancient coins and artifacts is an exciting occupation for your children to get involved in, which allows them to discover new things about the history of your area. Using a handheld metal detector is a hobby that can be fun and interesting as well as profitable. The practical use of a metal detector can help you clean a land plot of metal scrap and junk buried under the ground or find an adornment lost in your garden.
To help you make the right choice we have reviewed 5 different metal detector models and singled out the main features, which you should keep in mind when buying one. If you are a fan of alfresco pastime, using headlamps and sleeping bags can make your staying outdoors much more comfortable.
What Features to Compare
When looking for a metal detector, it’s important to consider certain things that directly affect its efficiency. Estimate the operation frequency to see what types of metal the chosen detector can “sense”. If you need a basic tool for seeking custom metal objects on your land plot, consider models with operating frequency of 5 kHz. They are pretty much affordable and can easily detect most non-precious metals. Metal detectors that offer 6 to 9 kHz operating frequency can fit jobs that require detecting precious metals and ancient coins. There are also metal detectors that work at 10 kHz frequency; they would become an optimal choice for users who plan to use it for picking artifacts, adornments and precious metal objects dug deeply in the ground.
A detector coil type, its size, and shape are of great importance, too, when analyzing metal detector features. The most popular coils used by metal detector vendors are mono coils because they are very effective in detecting custom and precious metals at different depths. These advantages render them a number one choice for the vast majority of middle- and entry-level metal detectors.
DD-shape (D-shape) coils are grouped back-to-back to form a circle, which enables them to detect a type and burial depth of metal with high precision. Such coils are often used in professional metal detectors. Speaking of size and shape of a detector coil one should remember that the bigger coil covers a larger area and can be swept over the same territory faster but this comes as a tradeoff for a slightly reduced detection precision. Smaller coils, on the contrary, can locate metal objects more precisely due to a smaller area of coverage, but they require more time to perform the search on a specific territory.
Operation Modes and Controls
The next group of aspects for you to consider includes device operation modes and controls. For example, different configuration profiles of a metal detector allow detecting specific types of metal and discarding the other, which enables a discrimination among the artifacts you are after and prevents you from digging for a scrap. Thus, applying your own configuration profile greatly increases the search efficiency. Some metal detectors support a depth meter function, with which you can obtain information on the burial depth of a precious ring or a coin. The feature of detector sensitivity adjustment provides easier search and makes it possible to filter interference and noise produced by mineralized soil or nearby transmission lines. Extra features, such as determination of the type of a metal object or even a denomination value of coins are the pros when considering a metal detecting device. A digital pinpointer feature provides a detailed info on object location in the ground so, you can excavate this object without damaging it. A big and informative screen and various data displaying configurations allow you to choose a mode that suits you best and easily read the detector info. While a multitone sound indication of metal detection empowers you to distinguish different metals by ear.
Having decided on the specifications and operation modes of a metal detector you are about to purchase you should gain insight into its extras, which facilitate its use. If you plan to search for coins and adornments in the water we strongly encourage you to buy metal detector models with waterproof coil assemblies in order to avoid damaging the detector. To be able to search for artifacts and precious metal objects under adverse weather conditions, you need to pick a detector model with a rainproof control unit. Some detectors feature a shaft with an adjustable length to help you further customize your device and be sure of its comfortable long-term service life. Collapsible or foldable design of metal detectors will help you transport such devices in your vehicle’s trunk or in a bag. The Bluetooth or smartphone connectivity enables you to save location data and search results as well as share your data with other detectorists. Small weight of a metal detector is also a big advantage if you need to use it continuously.
Garrett Euro ACE
X Marks the Spot
Euro Ace company has already proved itself as one of the leading manufacturers of high-quality metal detectors for both professional and amateur treasure hunters. Therefore, we have chosen its Garrett Euro ACE model for our review. Around the globe, this model is better known as the Garrett ACE 350, it has already received a bunch of positive reviews and was renamed specifically for the European market. But it's not just the name that is worth mentioning. This metal detector boasts a Double-D coil with the groundbreaking 8.25 kHz frequency. With it, you will get the upper hand over other treasure hunters as you can accurately pinpoint metal coins under up to 25 cm below the ground. As for the bigger objects, expect it to detect them up to 60 cm under the ground. The elliptical-shaped coil can easily go around the trees or in tight places between their roots. Moreover, you can scan larger areas quicker because it covers around 28 cm in just one small sweep. This is actually around 3 times more as compared to concentric coil metal detectors. Additionally, we want to point out that this metal detector can also show you the depth where the object lies. And you have to be careful not to break it or scratch when digging it up. For this, you can use either a small shovel or sifting scoop if you are going to hunt on the beaches. The device has rich functionality and boasts different searching modes. You can select several metal masks when looking for the specific metal types. What's more, when the device detects a metal object, the screen indication informs you about what it might be and how deeply under the ground it is buried.
Seben Metal Detector
In Search of the Holy Grail
While hunting for the best metal detectors to bring on our shortlist, we wanted to find out, what other treasure hunters look for in a metal detector. The main concerns for many customers are about the effective depth of detection. If you are one of them, this Seben metal detector might interest you for several good reasons. When compared with the other models within the same price range, it easily leaves them behind, owing to the impressive 2-meter detection depth. Thus, you can really use it for archaeology and may even find some old arrowheads or empty rounds from wartime. There are 10 sensitivity levels to choose from. That way, you can sift out the interference from the other objects under the ground while scanning for a metal object. Speaking of materials, the device works at 5.5 kHz frequency, allowing users to detect specific types of metal. However, we should warn you that it might not be enough for detecting some precious elements like platinum or gold but in other regards, this Seben metal pinpointer is very effective. As a side note, it can also be employed for searching metal at the river banks since being submerged in the water at a reasonable depth doesn't affect its performance, owing to the protected body design. Obviously, the detector will also work under the rain. There's only sound indication available here. Thus, we recommend you to use either your own headphones.
Visua Metal Detector
Fortune and Glory
Our review wouldn't be full without a model with great usability that can be easily recommended for kids and adults alike. This Visua Metal Detector features a comfortable handle with a telescopic rod and adjustable armrest position. Therefore, its length can be changed in order to make it appropriate for kids or short people. The controls are also as simple as ABC. There are no sophisticated modes or tune-ups, metal masks or confusing symbols on the screen. The only indicators are for precious or non-precious metals and signal power. Therefore, it is an ideal choice as a present for an adventurous child. Let your kids act like young Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Despite having straightforward controls, the detector has one handy feature that reduces the ground interference, allowing effective scanning not just under the sand but also detecting things below the layers of pebbles or gravel. The package also includes over-ear headphones with 3.5mm jack and 9V batteries. Therefore, you can turn it on almost right out-of-the-box. As a result, Visua metal detector is a great buy for any novice and amateurs, considering its moderate price, convenient design, and solid performance under different conditions.
Garrett 1140900 Pro-Pointer AT Pinpointing
Garrett 1140900 is a pinpointing metal detector, which is intended for finding coins or silver scales in a pit or heap of soil. As a rule, this pinpointing device is used in conjunction with a standard metal detector. Having the 11.5 kHz operating frequency the Garrett 1140900 pinpointer is capable of detecting both metal objects and pieces of jewellery. As we read in the manual and numerous Garret metal detector reviews the high sensitivity of this pinpointing metal detector can detect target objects to a depth of around 30 cm. The detector probe is rendered as rod and placed in a waterproof orange casing.
Operation Modes and Controls
This pinpointing metal detector by Garret is capable of finding all types of metal and notifying you of the detection with a sound signal or a vibration. The vibration notification especially comes in handy when you use the device for an underwater search. Depending on the ground type and environment you can choose one of the three sensitivity levels to reduce the noise produced by soil or water, especially sea water. The effectiveness and capabilities of the device are just one click away from you as this underwater metal detector is designed for a single-button control for Power, Sensitivity adjustment, Retune, and Stealth Mode.
Who wouldn't want to find the pirate's hoard? However, even locating a single pence in the sand is not such an easy task as one might expect. The real treasure hunting requires experience and the right metal detector. While we can't help you with the first one, this ReaseJoy 3010II Metal Detector solves the second part of the equation for you. First of all, its concentric coil has a special WEB design that reduces the interference from the other objects below the ground. It can detect different metal types and notify you about the findings via an LCD screen. Furthermore, the S-shaped telescopic rod also has a convenient armrest and soft grip so, you can hold it for a long time without tiring your hand. You can switch between 7 masks or select several of them at once when you need to find some objects made of specific metal. This comes extremely handy, for example, when looking for the lost jewellery, ignoring other objects like bottle caps or soda cans on the ground.
Concluding, this metal detector is a considerable choice for enthusiasts who live near some widely popular areas like beaches or campsites, where people often lose things, including coins and jewellery.