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Best Metal Detectors 2020 Review
Beginner Detectors

Beginner-friendly metal detectors are easy to use as they provide preset tuning and outstanding features that do not require long learning.

Best Metal Detectors for Beginners
Gold Prospecting Metal Detectors

Check out reviews on detectors for prospecting to opt for the best machine that would suit your needs, and fit the potential locations.

Best Metal Detectors for Gold
Kids Metal Detectors

Choose a simple yet functional metal detector for your kid; check the reviews to make an informed decision and avoid useless purchases.

Best Metal Detectors for Kids

Improve Your Knowledge With Our Reviews

Garrett Ace Apex
Garrett ACE Apex
9.2/10
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Nokta Makro Simplex
Nokta Simplex
9.6/10
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Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab EQUINOX 800 1
9.6/10
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Explore Everything About Metal Detecting

Minelab GPX 6000 – New 2021 Minelab Metal Detector

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Michael Moore

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What Is Metal Detecting?

Metal detecting is a hobby (although it can also be pursued professionally at some levels) of searching different locations for the sake of finding valuable objects, from coins and jewelry to old relicts and objects that have historical importance. The objects are called targets, and places, where targets can be supposedly found, are called locations.

Metal detecting means scanning the ground to a certain depth with a metal detector, a special tool that is equipped with the search coil. The transmitting part of the search coil sends frequencies or pulses into the ground – or sand, or water, depending on the location – and created magnetic fields in the depth of the ground. Metal objects react to magnetic fields, reflecting them, and the receiving part of the search coil catches these reflected waves. When a potentially valuable object is spotted, the machine gives a signal – audio or vibration – so that the operator of the metal detector, also called detectorist, knew there is something in the ground.

The detectorist needs certain skills, experience, and knowledge, to be able to tune the detector for finding specific targets, and then, the detectorist has to correctly interpret the signals they get from the machine. In most cases, metal detectors are equipped with a display that not only allows to set the tuning before search session, but also assists the detectorist in the interpretation of the signal by showing depth, size, and potential composition of the spotted target.

If the detectorist believes the target is worthy, they may consider digging it out. For this, many treasure hunters use Pinpoint mode on their detector, to spot the target most accurately, and avoid damaging it with the digging tools. After digging many targets, the detectorist accumulates knowledge and understanding of how the machine reacts to this or that type of object, and with time, they learn to interpret the signals and evaluate targets very accurately.

Types of Metal Detecting

There are different types of metal detecting. The type is generally defined by the target and/or location that influences the features and functions of the optimal metal detector the most. In other words, it is targets and/or locations that define what functions and features are crucial of the machine to operate in the given conditions – not the detectorist.

If the detectorist is aware what targets are their prefered ones, it also makes sense to evaluate potential locations where these targets might be found – both currently available, and potentially available in the future. The combination of target and suggested location hints on how to choose the most fitting machine.

Relic Hunting

Hunting for relics is a popular trend among detectorists, and for a good reason. Firstly, it is totally possible to dig out something historically important, leave your legacy to the world’s history, and even become famous. Secondly, some finds may be less historically important, but have great monetary value, and selling those is rather profitable. The only problem is that relic hunting requires certain locations, and moreover, the hunter has to be extremely cautious with the ancient stuff they dig out. Not only finding and digging out, but keeping the ancient relics is not an easy task, as they have spend lots of time underground, and should be handled with care.

Coins Shooting

Coins shooting is another extremely popular variety of metal detecting activities, mainly because it is comparatively easy. In contrast to relics, coin shooter can look for coins almost everywhere, and hunt for both old ones, and the ones being used today. Besides, coins are fun to look for, and one can possibly start a collection. Finding a super valuable coin that could be sold for a fortune is kinda hard, but coin shooting is a good choice of activity for a beginner. On the other hand, since coins are so small, one needs a metal detector that is able to spot small objects.

Gold Prospecting

Gold prospecting is one of the hardest and the most demanding type of metal detecting activities – and it is demanding in both physical and technical senses. Gold is not found just anywhere, because the ore is naturally formed only in soils with specific composition. natural conditions for gold prospecting are complicated ones, and the prospector needs a corresponding metal detector that fits. To get an idea about proper machines, check out the best metal detectors for gold review in the first place. Finding gold is cool and profitable, but seeking for gold is an exhausting and often expensive entertainment.

Beach Metal Detecting

Looking for lost objects on the beach sounds like fun activity, and it is. You can spend the time outdoors, enjoy some waves and sand, and at the same time, spot a golden ring or two lost by people on vacation. Beach detecting is not as complicated as underwater detecting, but it is definitely harder than searching on dry land. Therefore, the detectorist needs additional skills, while their machine needs additional features – like vibration mode, waterproofness, etc. Yet, your efforts might be awarded with some valuable finds, and definitely with an exciting adventure while searching.

Underwater Metal Detecting

Underwater detecting is one of the most complicated types of activities, for obvious reasons. While underwater detecting on the depth of 3 feet is already hard enough for an inexperienced user, deep dive detecting requires very specialized equipment, and outstanding skills and expertise. On the other hand, those pursuing underwater detecting have chances of spotting something extraordinary and extremely valuable, because they can reach locations no one else can, and dig out stuff buried deep on the seabed, or in old wrecks. To check what machine would fit, read the best underwater metal detectors review.

Treasure Hunting

Treasures can be different, depending on what the detectorist wants. Those wanting to find valuable items for sell seek for precious metals or exclusive relics. Some treasure hunters are excited about old stuff that is historically important, or has relation to their hometown, etc. Treasure hunting requires additional training before the actual search, because one should first suggest places where treasures might be spotted. Treasure hunting can take place in weird locations, like abandoned houses, etc. But it all depends on the target, which means, the choice of the metal detector is also defined by the target.

Where I Can Go Detecting?

As we have already mentioned, locations are usually defined by targets you’d like to spot. Suggest where your wanted targets can be found, maybe check out some maps, etc. However, some metal detectors are truly universal, so many people may wonder where generally they could go to metal detect. If you are not specifically excited about targets, there are several most popular locations you could examine.

Common Lands and Parks

This is a good choice for a beginner detectorist, mostly because such locations are open to common use, and also because they are rich in different objects, both old and new. If your town is an old one, you can spot some really unexpected and even valuable objects in your park.

Gardens and Backyards

If you have a permission to do so, you may want to explore neighboring gardens and backyards. While this option may seem a little weird, and even confusing, in fact, many modern houses are built on historical sites, and average garden can bring many interesting finds.

Fields and Forests

This is another popular and actually optimal location of choice for both newbie and experienced detectorists. Forests and fields can be rich in many kinds of things, from coins to war objects, to ancient weapons, depending on what was going on these lands centuries before.

Roads

Most modern roads are actually constructed along the old roads, especially if we are talking village or small town roads. You may be surprised how many things were lost along the roads by people in the previous years, and even centuries. Also, roads are usually less popular, and you will get less unwanted attention.

Coasts and River Banks

Beaches, coasts, and river banks are usually burial sites of a bunch of objects, from trash of all kinds, to lost jewelry and rings, to mobile phones, to totally unexpected objects like ancient kitchen utensils. But of course searching in water requires more skill, and a waterproof machine.

Deserted Buildings

This unusual type of location can bring the most unusual finds, including dangerous ones like weapons. The search process itself can be dangerous if the building is old. Moreover, make sure you do not violate the law by trespassing someone’s property, even if this property seems to be on its last legs.

Metal Detecting Laws: Do I Need Permissions for Metal Detecting?

There are several aspects about permissions that need to be discussed. First and foremost, you always need permissions to search on private property, full stop. There are no exceptions for this rule, regardless of the state or country. Your being unaware that the land you are detecting on is someone’s property is not an excuse to avoid legal punishment, and even serious conflicts with the owner in the first place. So, be careful, always double-check the maps, and ask for permission (better in a written form!) from the owner.

In case you are now aware of the metal detecting laws nuances, you have to discuss with the owner that things you find belong to you; but there are always chances that the owner can have a different opinion, depending on what you manage to find.

If we are not talking private property, then whether you need a permission or not depends on local and state laws. Some countries allow metal detecting in all forms but on private lands, and everything found is owned by the finder; other countries ban detecting altogether, with no exceptions; some countries allow detecting only in certain locations like sea coast; other countries still believe that especially valuable finds (including historically important ones) are the property of the state.

Conclusion? Research the laws in that location you want to scan. While your research may take a day or two, and save you from serious problems, detecting without research and without permission may lead you into trouble lasting longer than 1-2 days.

Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

While metal detecting can be a solitary activity, the community is kinda concerned about beginner detectorists who may be unaware of the code of ethics. However, knowing the code of ethics and following it is important, because one case of misbehavior undermines trust to the whole community, not only to one careless detectorist. Misbehavior of single treasure hunters shapes the perception of metal detecting in general, so if you personally would want this hobby ton continue developing and thriving, following the code of ethics is crucial.

The code in fact, is very simple and contains several main points:

  • never metal detect on private property without asking for permission
  • never leave holes after your digging, even the location is forest or field
  • never damage natural resources, never harm the animals
  • respect historical heritage of the location or residents
  • remove all trash you find or dig out
  • never leave campfire unattended
  • never destroy common property like road signs or any equipment
  • never destroy or damage crops
  • does not disturb other people present on the location (in the park, on the beach)

What Equipment Do I Need for Successful Metal Detecting?

Funny, but metal detector machine alone is not enough to make your search productive – or even possible at all, if we are talking more complicated middle-level or expert-level machines. If you check our best metal detectors review, you will notice that each machine actually comes with a kit of the most important accessories. You will need additional tools to make your search productive, comfortable for you, and also safe (mostly for the machine and for the finds).

However, huge expensive kit is not needed immediately, especially if you are a newbie, or if you are not sure yet what locations are your prefered ones. You can start with a minimum kit to facilitate the search sessions, and then, opt for additional accessories later.

Minimum Kit

The minimum kit is absolutely necessary for any detectorist, and without this kit, you will bump into various issues and problems very quickly. Also, we recommend to buy accessories that are high in quality, even regardless of the fact that you are looking forward to “minimum” budget-friendly kit.

Now, the minimum kit includes:

  • metal detector
  • shovel
  • gloves
  • bag for finds

Full Kit

The full kit is a must-have in case you are a middle-level or professional detectorist, and tend to metal detect on complicated locations, hunting for complicated finds. If you are a newbie, able to and willing to afford full kit right off the bat, well, don’t do that. The kit is collected depending on preferences and has to meet the actual practical needs. Without real proper experience, you don’t know your needs yet, so high chances some accessories of your kit will be useless, or inconvenient.

The full kit is collected after some months, or even years, of metal detecting, and most often it includes the following items:

  • metal detector
  • shovel
  • digger knife
  • gloves
  • pinpointer
  • headset
  • bag for metal detector
  • bag for finds

Ready to Go?

If you are ready to start the exciting hobby of metal detecting, we are here to assist! Check out our metal detectors reviews, best metal detector pinpointer review posts, metal detecting digging tools, guidelines, and metal detecting blog posts. Learn more about treasure hunting in our recommendation posts, participate in comments discussions, and more!