Buying Guide for Metal Detectors

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Guide for Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are hand-held machines used to find metal by penetrating the ground magnetically.

They have the ability to not only detect gold, historic relics, jewelry, and coins, but also, discarded junk. This can give the activity of metal detecting more appeal because you are never sure of when you might find.


A metal detector has the ability to detect the conductive metals by using the electromagnetic principle. These machines use a magnetic field that penetrates the ground to find lost objects. Once a metallic object is located, the user is alerted to the find by way of a sound signal or alert. A high-end metal detector often has the ability to determine the depth of a find as well as the type of metal found.

A typical depth to detect lost metal is in the region of 12 inches, although the more high-end models have the ability to go much further.


Most of the metal detectors on the market are built with similar parts or components in place. Some of the common parts include:

  1. Stabilizer – A stabilizer is usually an arm-brace that makes it easy to handle the machine while it is being moved back and forth across the floor.
  2. Control unit – A control unit is designed to serve as the brains of the machine and is the location of the microprocessor, batteries, speakers, controls, and generally circuitry.
  3. Shaft – A shaft is there to connect the search coil to the control unit. A metal detector with an adjustable shaft is often preferred since it makes it easier to adapt the unit to the personal individual height.
  4. Search Coil – A search coil is the part that hovers over the ground and detects metals as it moves back and forth.


Before investing in a metal detector, it usually benefits to read up on customer reviews to increase the chance of buying a machine that is of high quality and matches the specific needs. Look at the latest models to enter the market as well as some of the more well-established units.

Here are several key issues to consider in the process of buying a first or up-graded metal detector:

  • Price – most of the metal detector models are quite affordable unless looking at the most advanced machines in the market. In addition to the actual detector, it is also important to look at the cost of the accessories, such as carrying bags, digging tools, headphones, etc.
  • Use – The type of use expected from the metal detector can have a significant impact on the cost. A well-used machine that is needed several times per week can benefit from a unit that has multiple electronic features. However, if the device is only to be used occasionally, it will be possible to go with less features and a lower price.
  • Location – Use a metal detector that matches the intended search sites which varies from inland to water-based locations. If using under water, it is necessary to have a unit with waterproof seals. Plus, the preferred unit can be more effective at finding gold, relics, jewelry, coins, etc., so make sure to invest in the right unit to match the needs.