The best beginner's metal detector

Written by eric duncan
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The best beginner's metal detector
Metal detecting is a hobby that gets you outdoors and you may find treasure! (Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Metal detecting is a fascinating hobby that uses a device designed to detect the presence of metals underground. To enjoy metal detecting, it is important for the beginner to have a detector that is suitable for his needs. The beginner should not necessarily purchase the most expensive detector, with many functions that may overwhelm and discourage him. He should also not purchase the cheapest one. That may lead to disappointment.

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Features

There are five common features on most metal detectors. Discrimination is the ability of your detector to ignore certain objects. Sensitivity enables the user to set the depth of the search. Ground balance will zero out high mineralisation in areas with high concentration of minerals such as iron. The target ID function is relatively new, enabling the user to distinguish target depth and size. Volume control is also an important function, especially when wearing headphones. Ensure your new metal detector is equipped with a headphone jack, even if it is for future use.

Considerations

When shopping for a metal detector, the features should not be your only consideration. Comfort, price and the type of terrain you will be using the detector in are also important. If possible, handle several metal detectors to determine their comfort levels for you.

Fisher F2

The Fisher F2 is a lightweight detector at just 1.18 Kilogram that is good for coin and relic hunting as well as gold prospecting. It has an adjustable arm cuff for comfort and an LCD screen that helps the user determine whether a detected target is worth digging. It has adjustable sensitivity and a pinpoint mode that helps show the target's depth. This detector sells for about £130 in 2011, and is a good entry-level machine.

Garrett Ace 250

The Garrett Ace 250 is a good beginning metal detector priced around £130 in 2011. It is equipped with a large 6.5-by-9-inch LCD screen for reading target ID and depth information. It features an adjustable armrest and a padded hand grip. It is equipped with a discrimination feature, and is recommended for coin hunting and hunting for jewellery, relics and other metals with the factory settings.

Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter TK4-PL Tracker IV is an affordable machine at £65 in 2011. It includes a target indicator, sensitivity control and a two-tone audio feedback for decent target identification. This is a basic machine without an LCD screen. Simplicity is what makes this detector good for beginners. It is preset at the factory and sensitivity is maintained without any adjustments. It is capable of finding targets on saltwater beaches and in soil with high mineral concentrations.

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