As with any other particular goal, opting for the most suitable instrument to spot coins is not easy, because the future buyer should look for certain technical specifications and features. The top three important aspects each shiner fan should consider are depth of reach, search regimes, plus discrimination. The depth of reach is crucial, since older coins can be hidden in deeper layers. Search programs will help find the most suitable combination of tuning for particular locations. Discrimination is totally vital – ancient shiners are small, so they sound much like bottle caps or trash, so if the signal is not clear, you will miss valuable targets to dig out trash.
Price is also important, of course, but the user has to understand that higher price generally means more usable features, while more features promise more finds. On-budget devices are not obligatory bad (unless they are Chinese!), but the chances of spotting an interesting object are smaller. So, looking only for cheap instruments will make the user disappointed pretty quickly, while more expensive instruments will bring finds, pleasure, plus seamless operation, during several years. Therefore, it makes little sense purchasing an expensive toy if you only want to give it a try, but in case you are a passionate shiner hunter, buying a cheap tool will piss you off eventually.
When talking about instruments specifically for shiner hunting, one of the most crucial features we assess is discrimination. Proper discrimination enables the instrument to tell an old shiner from trash, therefore ignore the signals caused by trash, to indicate only valuable objects. Poor discrimination is inadmissible, since the user does a lot of physical work digging out objects so small; wasting so much effort to dig out trash just sucks.
To rate the detectors comprehensively, one should assess each item within the same system of criteria. The main criteria we always pay the utmost attention to include:
- tech specifications (actual dimensions, weight, frequencies, number of programs, number of tones; in other words, numbers the instrument has);
- the main or peculiar features (what the device can offer)
- usability with convenience (do all those features and tuning make sense for the user, or will the user scratch the back of their head when trying to turn the instrument on?)
- quality (including the reputation of brand)
- price (or, more accurately, the combination of quality and price).
We check whether the instrument meets these requirements, to rate the items accordingly.
Top 3 Best Entry-Level Detectors for Coins
These three instruments – Garrett Ace 400, Fisher F44, Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro – will be the best choice for the beginning shiner hunter.
Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
#1 Garrett ACE 400
Garrett ACE 400 is an all-purpose single-frequency (10 kHz) tool with five search regimes plus pinpoint, the ground balance is fixed. Powered by four AA batteries and weights 2,8 lbs. This is the top item from the series; being noob-friendly but very sensitive, with good depth of reach, and allows frequency shift to filter the noises. It works perfectly in search for small objects, while the innovative sound display system improves the accuracy when determining the nature of the object spotted.
#2 Fisher F44
Fisher F44 is a semi-professional device with excellent quality, but yet simple enough for a beginner to cope with. A single-frequency (7,9 kHz) all-purpose device offers five search programs plus pinpont, four audio tones for signals, manual ground balance, plus LCD display. It is powered by two AA batteries, and is super lightweight – only 2,2 lbs, which is very convenient for the user. Although this model is considered universal, in fact it is perfect specifically for treasure seeking, including coins or jewelry. The instrument is comprehensive enough to turn it on to start searching, but also has enough tuning to make adjust it to more narrow requirements, but also save the custom tuning. One of the best features is discrimination including nine segments. Together with pinpoint, it will be helpful for spotting the ancient shiners.
#3 Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro
The last but not the least, Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro is the recognized leader among the instruments for newbies. Easy to set and use, it also offers a decent set of functions with adjustments. Lightweight, with seven search programs, it has a DD coil, which is cool because no other instrument within this price range can boast this. Pinpoint plus automatic vs manual ground balance are included. As you can see, this device is not fancy-shmancy, but it is functionable yet affordable, while being suitable for small objects spotting.
All devices in this section have a decent quality of discrimination.
Top 3 Best Middle-Level Detectors for Coins
As soon as the user gets some considerable experience in the hobby of coin seeking, it makes sense to opt for a higher quality instrument as well. Advanced experience includes both skills in working with the device, interpreting signals, but also skills of analyzing the location, the soils, etc. With beginner-level instruments, these skills are useless. So, here are the items a more experienced user should pay attention to:
#1 Minelab Equinox 600
In this segment, this is the most recent model with the coolest set of features. The discrimination is very quality, and the device can be submerged underwater up to the depth of nine feet. This all-purpose tool has three single frequencies plus multifrequency mode, plus pinpoint, making it very usable and versatile. Ground balancing is either automatic or manual, three pre-set search regimes, it shows amazing adaptation to different soils.
#2 Garrett AT Pro
Garrett AT Pro – this is not a recent model, but it performs seamlessly and brings tons of finds. The user can submerge it to the depth of up to nine feet. It is all-terrain, frequency is 15 kHz, six search programs plus pinpoint, powered by four AA batteries and comparatively lightweight. This model demonstrates high results with all metals, so the user can really target the desired material pretty accurately.
#3 Fisher F75
Generally almost similar to the previous two items: professional, all-purpose single frequency. However, it has only two search programs plus pinpoint. Ground balance tuning are only manual; the device is powered by four AA batteries (four batteries for two search programs without additional outstanding features, that’s a disadvantage). Nevertheless, it is simple enough to cope with, and versatile enough to use in different environments. Another disadvantage is you cannot submerge it underwater.
All metal detectors from this section provide high quality discrimination, but the top indication is in Equinox 600.
Top 3 Best Pro-Level Detectors for Coins
Now these are the toppest top of the expert level metal detecting instruments for coin seeking! Meet Minelab CTX 3030, XP Deus, and Garrett AT Max.
#1 Minelab CTX 3030
The best choice one can make for coin seeking; the old shiners will just jump out of the ground when it comes. The instrument boasts high quality discrimination, it can be submerged underwater to up to 9 feet. The set of functions is incredible: first of all, it has 28 frequencies, from 15 to 100 kHz! Plus 15 search programs, including 10 customizable programs with pinpoint included. These two sets of characteristics already make Minelab CTX 3030 literally unbeatable. Of course, the user should have enough experience to use the instrument, but with proper skills, you will spot anything that is out there. The tool is powered with eight AA batteries (who cares? It has 28 frequencies Karl!) and weighs 5,2 lbs.
#2 Garrett AT Max
Very good instrument, shows excellent results for coin hunting, but the discrimination is weaker than in the previous two (yet better than in devices from the previous sections!). It can be submerged to the depth of up to 9 feet. In addition: single 13,6 kHz frequency, 4 search regimes with 3 audio tones. Works on four AA batteries, the weight is 3 lbs. As you can see, this is a high quality, reliable device, but it definitely gets outplayed by the previous model.
#3 XP Deus
Another one of a kind instrument in global terms, a fully wireless device. The discrimination is very clear, plus the tool offers a wide range of tuning for customizable search. You can’t search underwater with it, however, here is what you get: four frequencies plus shifts to avoid noise, 17 search programs with pinpoint (not bad!), manual ground balance, five audio tones. The tool’s weight is ridiculous, only 2,1 lbs, which means awesome user experience. So the only disadvantage is not waterproof.
We hope you will be able to take advantage of this review. To shortly summarize the content, the noobs who feels passionate about old shiners should consider buying Garrett ACE 400, since it is noob-friendly, easy to set and use, but at the same time, it is super sensitive, therefore will bring tons of finds even without much experience in detecting.
For those hunters who already has certain experience, so would like to hunt specifically for coins, Minelab Equinox 600 is the best pick. It is waterproof, with decent discrimination, and shows excellent versatility due to several frequencies. One of the best qualities is its ability to adapt to different types of soils.
Experts in the field who cannot imagine their life without detecting should give their heart to Minelab CTX 3030. Its 28 frequencies with 15 search regimes plus clear discrimination and nice performance underwater will bring the most finds on any location.