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Metal Detecting Tips and detectors for beginners

Posted by on June 23, 2013

So you are interested in taking up metal detecting? You’ve seen the TV  shows, you know friends that are into metal detecting, or you have just always wondered about it (like I did), so you want to give it a try but you are not sure where to begin.

What is the best metal detector for me to buy? This is the first question that everyone usually asks me. Unfortunately, there is no one single answer for everyone. Each metal detectorist is usually interested in a specific type of metal detecting that cannot be met by one single detector. The best way to determine what the best detector is for you is to evaluate what and where you want to be detecting.

After taking all of these things into consideration, then you will be able to find a metal detector that fits your needs and your budget. Prices can range from $100 to $4000 so depending on what you can afford, will help you determine what detectors you can even consider.

Most of us weren’t sure where to begin either, what detector, what accessories will I need, how much does it cost? these are all good and important questions for someone just getting into metal detecting and I will share with you some good metal detecting tips to get you started.

One of the first things to decide is where will you be detecting? Will you be saltwater beach metal detecting or will it be just land detecting? Will you want to metal detect in the water or even under water? Will you be coin shooting, or relic hunting? There are many different things to consider when picking that 1st metal detector so maybe I can help.

If you are not going to detect saltwater beaches and you are after coins, jewelry and relics on land, the entry level decision is a little easier. One of the best metal detecting tips that I can give a beginner is, that the two most recommended detectors for those just starting out are the Garrett Ace 250 and the Fisher F2. Or if you are on a very limited budget there is the Garrett Ace 150 for around $150. For more on the Ace 150 click the link below.

The Garrett Ace 250 and the Fisher F2 are perfect beginner metal detectors for land and dry sand metal detecting. There are others but hands down these are the two most recommended for their low cost, quality, and ease of use for beginners. You can find them at Amazon for a great price by clicking on a link below.

Now if you are really suffering with a budget issue and can’t afford one of the already mentioned metal detectors then there is the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV available for under $90. It has really good reviews (check the Amazon link below) for a beginning detector and probably will be fine for just starting out with a very limited budget.


Many start with these metal detectors and many have been using them for years, but many eventually move on to a more sophisticated, high end machine once they realize they like the hobby and want to continue to grow in it.

Now if you plan to metal detect on saltwater beaches you will need a dual or multiple frequency detector, or a P.I. (pulse induction) detector.

After you have read this post check this link for great beach detecting info; Click Here!

I personally prefer a dual or multiple frequency, target ID machine, but that’s me, I like to have the ability to hear and see what I might be digging. The problem for me with a PI machine is you have to dig everything because there is no ID method with it. Don’t get me wrong, many swear by the PI metal detectors. They are deep seeking machines and are great on not so trashy beaches and under water (if waterproof) but I prefer the visual and audio “hints” at what I might be digging.

There are a number of good multi frequency detectors on the market and one of my personal favorites is the Fisher CZ3D, it is a deep seeking metal detector with great target ID and audio. I have been using one for about 8 years now and I have trouble believing there are better machines out there, at least not for under a $1000.

I think you get the most bang for your buck with the CZ3D because it is multi frequency, great on dry land or wet saltwater sand, has a waterproof search coil, and a 5 year warranty all for just a tad over $800.

 Minelab Etrac is another multi-frequency detector that is popular amongst some pretty good detectorists out there and there are numerous others. With Fisher CZ detectors and many Minelabs you can pretty much hunt anywhere, even under water with some of them.

The Garrett AT Pro is another popular metal detector and it is also waterproof to 10 feet but freshwater only. It does not work well in saltwater. It is also very good on dry land so it is a good all-purpose machine if you don’t plan on hunting saltwater wet sand.


Pulse induction (from Wikipedia)- Developers were looking at using a different technique in metal detection called pulse induction. Unlike the beat frequency oscillator or the induction balance machines which both used a uniform alternating current at a low frequency, the pulse induction machine simply fired a high-voltage pulse of signal into the ground.

In the absence of metal, the pulse decayed at a uniform rate, and the time it took to fall to zero volts could be accurately measured. However, if metal was present when the machine fired, a small current would flow in the metal, and the time for the voltage to drop to zero would be increased.

These time differences were minute, but the improvement in electronics made it possible to measure them accurately and identify the presence of metal at a reasonable distance. These new machines had one major advantage: they were completely impervious to the effects of mineralization, and rings and other jewelry could now be located even under highly-mineralized black sand.

Other quality metal detector brands are White’s, Teknetics, Tesoro, Bounty Hunter & Titan to name a few. Any of these companies have multi-purpose metal detectors to meet all your needs and you can find great deals hereOther good metal detecting tips and things you will need to get started can be found in other posts here on my website, like pin-pointers, sand scoops and other digging tools.
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