It turns out that metal detectors are not cheap. A good entry-level machine will still be expensive, and they quickly skyrocket from there. So if you’re planning on buying one, make sure it will work for your needs.
The metal detectors need to be able to separate the items underground. There are a lot of different things in the soil, including iron inside rocks and valuable coins. Differentiating is usually done with either Target or Tone ID.
Target ID and Tone ID
These are the features of the detector that give you information about what it is finding. Target ID detectors show a number, usually from 1 to 99 and will often display the metal type, like gold or silver. Tone ID detectors use audio cues to do the same thing. This is a screeching noise commonly associated with a metal detector. Lots of detectors only have one or two tones for either good or bad (A relic, or some trash,) but some have a wide range of tones to differentiate the materials underground. Most detectors will have a version of both Target ID and Tone ID.
Range and Depth
The larger the range on a detector’s coil, the more ground you can cover at one time. The size of the coil translates to the range and depth that it has - but too large of a coil can make it hard to pinpoint an object. You want to be able to cover a large area while still being able to find an object.
Detectors operate on frequencies between 2 and 50 kHz and each frequency is good for detecting certain materials. Low-frequency detectors are good for deep coins and objects, mid-range frequencies are good for relic hunting, jewelry and gold detection, while higher frequencies are usually used to search for treasure. Whereas most expensive detectors have a wide range of frequencies available and multi-frequency options that search for everything across a wider range.
Metal detectors are long and can get pretty heavy, which is why they need to be easy to hold. The metal detector grip should also be one that makes it easy for the user to swing it back and forth for a long period of time.
Waterproofing isn’t entirely necessary for relic hunting, but metal detectors are often used outside and the weather can be unpredictable. Lots of people take their metal detectors to the beach. Being waterproof gives you better protection and allows some detectors to work underwater.
In most modern detectors, there is a speaker and sound equipment. Higher-end models also have Bluetooth compatibility so that your detector can swing cord-free.
A metal detector is more than just waving it around. There are many things to consider when using one, such as where to look for buried treasures. Some battlefields across the world contain millions of shells and artifacts that can be found with a metal detector (be careful; not everything you find will be defused).
While beaches may be popular for vacationers, finding lost items is not easy. Metal detectors are investments that can only be used if you want to spend time doing the hobby. If you’re just looking for a ring in your backyard, consider renting or borrowing one from a friend. If you do want to get involved in the hobby, consider joining a club or visiting an online community for hunters to help you get started using your new detector.
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