What is the best metal detector? Well I have had the same question so I went out to the experts to see what they have to say. My question posed to these 18 treasure hunting experts was simple…
- What is your favorite metal detector
- What is your #1 tip for someone just starting out treasure hunting
Their wisdom certainly helped me and I hope this resource will help others!
Big Thank You!
I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed! This has been a fun project contacting all of you and getting your tips. If you have anything to add please comment at the bottom.
- Tony Hunt
- John Winter
- Bart Davis
- Dick Stout
- David Villanueva
- John Volek
- Mark Ellis
- Ray Burr
- James Oliver
- DJ Yost
- Rob Hill
- Carl Fismer
So, without so much ado, let’s launch into:
What is the best metal detector?
- One of the better machines at target Identification
- Water proof to 9 feet
- Link with Exchange 2 and work out the screens you want to use
- The perfect all round machine
- Simple to use
- Iron Audio Feature
- Small and compact and light weight
- So fast at processing signals
- Pinpointing targets is also very fast
Theres only one answer as far as I am concerned, the CTX. I have had all the Explorers from day one and loved them all, I tried the quattro and Sovereigns along the way but never felt really comfortable that they did the same business. I had the Deus for a year and also the Fisher F75 special and T2 but none of them squared up with the returns that my minelabs gave. I loved the ETrac also and the CTX is basically a better more refined version of that with extra Bells and Whistles. I love the ability with the CTX to be able to sit in the comfort of my home, link with Exchange 2 and work out the screens I want to use and the tone sounds I personally like. I love and make use of the GPS out in the field to take me back to findspots again and again. I could go on and on. The only way Minelab will improve the CTX is to make it lighter maybe than the competition. It has the best of everything else already.
My number one tip for anybody starting out in metal detecting is go for the best detector from day one that you can afford. Buy a second hand top of the range rather than a cheapie thats going to be lacking in everything you need. Next step is to learn it thoroughly, read all the books and do your research on the Web. Most newcomers first mistake is to fire it up and go out in the field without even reading the basics. They want to get rich quick and that is rarely going to happen best of times. Talk to others with the same detector If possible and learn the wrinkles and try and gain from their experiences.
Best Gold Metal Detector
I have little advice for those setting out and don’t regard myself as an expert. My advice is to join a good forum and ask that same question. There are so many improbables – like price and whether you intend sticking to beach detecting, etcetera.
Garrett AT Gold because it’s a really good all-around machine. It’s lightweight, waterproof, (no rain jacket needed!), has a great recovery time, and is relatively easy to use. It comes with some preset coin searching modes, and can switch frequencies so 4 of them can be used in the same vicinity.
If you are just starting out, my number one tip is PATIENCE. Without it, you will get frustrated. I often compare metal detecting to playing a musical instrument. It takes practice. Nobody sounds like Eddie Van Halen the first time they pick up a guitar.
I cant choose just 1. I use the Minelab CTX 3030 and the XP DEUS exclusively.
Be prepared to dig lots of trash. If you aren’t digging the trash you will miss the good ones.
I’m also a firm believer that the more you know your machine, the more success you will have in the field. I’ve seen some people switching back and forth, or buying machine after machine, hoping to have better luck, but that can be confusing and affect the learning curve.
My number one tip for someone starting out is patience. Did I say patience? Yup, patience. Occasionally treasure will just jump out at you, but for the most part, you search.
Well it would have to be the White’s MXT Pro. I love it. It’s got great depth, is easy to understand and I’ve gotten used to all its various audio responses. I also love the LCD readout.I also own a White’s 6000di Series 2, hipmount, A Garrett Groundhog VLF/TR, a Garrett Freedom III and a White’s Liberty.
No need to spend a lot of money when starting out. A detector in the $200 to $400 category will do a good job. Be patient, learn you machine and most important, RESEARCH because if you aren’t hunting in the right place it won’t matter how much you paid for your detector.
If I could only use one of my detectors it would have to be the Detech EDS as this is my main detector anyway. The Detech EDS performs extremely well on inland sites and although it is not the best wet beach detector, it does work reasonably well on salt wet beaches, albeit rather noisily.
My number one beginner’s tip is: Get out and search regularly. That way you’ll learn your detector, stay in tune with it and keep bringing home the finds. You have to be in it to win it as they say!
Get to know someone else who enjoys the hobby or join a club that goes treasure hunting. If you are a part of a bigger group you will be far more likely to learn from some of the guys that have been doing it for a while, and you can ask around for good spots to go detecting.
The machine I use varies from job to job and depends on what and where the search is being done. I favor my Minelab CTX3030, but the price point is beyond most peoples budget. I think most people who are just venturing into metal detecting as a hobby are not looking to spend 2000.00 dollars on a detector, but the upside, it’s a great machine. I now personally use three different machine, the CTX3030 for most of my general metal detecting, Minelab Excalibur II for underwater work, and the Fisher Gold Bug 2 for very small gold items that most other machines will not detect.
Don’t by cheap, I don’t own one, but I hear the Garrett AT Pro is an exceptional machine for both professional and hobbyist. After deciding on you machine, build a test bed of the items you will be searching for most frequently (coins, jewelry, relics). Learn the machine on your known items, and the rest should be pretty easy after that. I guess that’s actually two tips and not one.
Best Metal Detectors for Beginners
Right now, if I only could have one detector, it would be the XP Deus. It is small and compact and light weight, which makes it great for traveling. It is so fast at processing signals, you can swing the coil very fast. Pinpointing targets is also very fast. For coin shooting at parks or schools it is a great machine. If I lived near the beach or did much water hunting, then I would have to say the Minelab CTX-3030. It is water proof to 9 feet and provides more information on the target than any other detector. I guess that is why I have both
Always be a good representative of the metal detecting community. Always have permission before you hunt. Leave the area you hunt better than you found it. Carefully repair your holes and carry out the garbage. If you are looking to get rich, you should find another hobby. Do it because you love history or love the excitement of never knowing what is going to come out of the ground.
As far as any tips for the beginner, I would ignore any detector’s screen and just dig everything that beeps. Learn to use your ears, not an LCD panel. Also, fill all of your dig holes in and carry out the trash you’ve dug. Always, always leave a site better looking than you found it. Take pride in what you do and you will be rewarded over and over again.
When I decided to go full time in the RV I had to choose which detector to pack with me in our travels. I chose the Garrett ACE 250, I find it a good all around unit, small and lightweight, great battery life, easy to pack and store in the RV. Also because it is fairly inexpensive I’m not as worried about thief or damage so I take it everywhere with me when I travelling. Never know when a good area presents itself for a hunt.
My #1 tip to folks new to the hobby is to turn off your discrimination, put the unit in all metal mode for a while and dig everything, pay close attention to the sounds different items make and how they react to the sweeps of the coil and pinpointing. After you have developed a good understanding of the target types and get a feel for how the sound then start to use the discrimination features.
My Minelab Explorer SE Pro. I’m a Minelab fan and I know this machine “inside and out”, I feel completely comfortable with it! Everything about minelab speaks quality and sophistication,I feel they are one of the best machines on the market, with multiple functions of the highest standard.
Don’t be discouraged by the amount of time the learning curve takes to complete. Get to know your machine intimately, until it becomes an extension of yourself and everything about it like the sounds, tones, how the machine behaves to different metals etc. all become second nature to you. It is a great advantage for one to be able to recognize the different responses from ones machine and feel totally at ease with them, a great comfort to feel a reassuring confidence in what one is doing. Build that confidence with lots and lots of practice!
My number one tip is to have patience, stick with it, and most importantly -learn your machine.
I would say, because of my location I coin hunt a lot. So the Minelab CTX3030 is to me, one of the better machines at target Identification. It’s not the deepest nor is it the fastest. The main reason of choosing the CTX is I don’t get to hunt much, so when I do, I want to spend the least amount of time guessing what I am digging. Of course silver is in the cross hairs when I am coin hunting. The FBS technology seems to really zero in on those higher conductive targets. It seems after griding a property with the CTX there doesn’t seem to much left on return trips. Now coming back with a different frequency or quicker machine might yield some missed targets, but it isn’t usually coins, more relics. I think the fbs id’s the more perfect pure signal targets,(copper, brass, silver) than the odd or mixed alloy relics and tokens. Just an opinion, but seems to be the most accurate the way and area I hunt.
Number one tip? Research not only the area’s you will hunt, but your machine. When I started there wasn’t Google or YouTube. It can make a newbie really be successful in a much shorter amount of time. If you have a specific name brand machine there is probably a video showing its use somewhere on the net. Now with research portion, most of my time was spent in the library. Fast forward to today’s “internet has everything society”, there is usually some kind of good information out there about the area you live or want to hunt. Usually the state’s university websites will have a historical record that is a wealth of knowledge. The local historical societies and museums can also help.
My number one tip for a newbie is to start out with a middle of the road detector. Do not buy the cheapest one available as that can discourage you very quickly. Start out detecting in your yard first and then expand with permission to other yards, school yards, parks etc. Dig every target while watching and listening to your detector with every dig. It can take 100 hours to really get a feel for your machine. If you are very observant to what your machine is telling you by sound and by visual from digging all those targets you will enjoy the hobby much more. You will feel confident that you are not missing good targets by skipping over those readings that you have come to know. When you are able to skip over known trash you will dig more quality targets and that is very rewarding.
Thanks but I will hold off in answering about the best metal detector. But as a tip for a beginner use more than less descrimination as it will deter you from digging a lot of trash and cause you to loose faith in your detector. Once you have mastered and have confidence In your detector then start with medium descrimination and go from there.
My favorite machine is the J.W. Fisher Pulse 8X. I do most of my recovery work underwater, and the Pulse 8X has sensitive meter as well as bone phone. I believe using the meter helps me keep my concentration on what I’m doing plus I set it a little on the high side. This causes a few false hits, but a quick check will confirm or deny. I use the same machine on the beach as it disassembles for easy beach use. I have recovered thousands of coins with this machine.
My number one tip is, if your going to buy a machine, use it. You will go through stages where you wonder if it working, or has a problem, you feel like quitting, but the truth is the more you use it the better you become with it. I also tell people about the healthy thing. You won’t be sitting too much on the couch, you will be outside, and moving a lot, bending over, digging. I believe using a metal detector could add time to your life. Quality Time.