“How to Choose A Metal Detector- Expert Recommendations”

Looking for the perfect metal detector can be a daunting task! With so many detectors and places to buy them, it’s hard to know where to start. And it’s challenging enough if you are an experienced treasure hunter, but if you are new to the hobby, it can seem completely overwhelming.

How To Choose A Metal Detector

Fortunately, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about how to choose a metal detector. We’ll cover the different types of machines, what features to look for, and more. So, if you’re a beginner just starting out or even a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

Why Metal Detect


Metal detecting is a very exciting hobby because you never know what you might find each time you go out. Along with coin shooting and relic hunting, it is also a great way to learn about history and get some exercise while enjoying the outdoors. But for the best experience, when figuring out how to choose a metal detector, you should have an idea of where you would like to go metal detecting and what hidden treasures you would like to find.

So begin by asking yourself, why do you want to metal detect? Do you want to coin shoot, find gold jewelry, learn about history, or do you simply want to exercise? Take some time to think about it because the answer to this question will make all the difference in choosing the right metal detector.

Now that you have begun thinking about why you would want to go metal detecting, let’s move on to how to choose a metal detector for you.

Where Do You Want to You Hunt?

After considering what you want to find, you’ll need to consider where you plan to use your new metal detector.

If your answer is the beach, you’ll want to purchase a waterproof metal detector. And if the beach you want to hunt is a saltwater beach, you’ll need a multi-frequency metal detector that, along with being waterproof, has a waterproof search coil that can handle wet sand and harsh saltwater conditions.

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But, if you want to go coin shooting or relic hunting, you’ll probably find yourself in densely populated woods which will also determine the type of metal detector that you need as well as the coil that would work best.

Where you choose to hunt, and the ground conditions will help determine the best machine for the job.

2 Types of Metal Detectors

Once you have decided what you want to find, it’s time to start looking at the different metal detectors. So the first thing to know is that there are two main types of metal detectors.

VLF (Very Low Frequency ) and PI (Pulse Induction). Although Pulse induction machines penetrate the ground deeper and handle harsh conditions better, in this post, I’ll only be referring to VLF machines since they are more common and much less expensive. They are also excellent all-purpose detectors that can be used for a wide range of applications and are great for beginners.

Quality Detectors Find More Targets


When learning how to choose a metal detector, the next thing you need to know is that the price of metal detectors varies greatly. Enthusiasts new to the hobby will find very inexpensive machines online and in big box stores. However, I wouldn’t suggest the cheapest models since they aren’t capable of finding very much and you get what you pay for!

If you’re serious about finding treasure, you will need to invest in a high-quality machine capable of locating the sort of treasure you would like to find. However, the question then becomes, how much is enough, especially if you are a new treasure hunter who has never even swung a metal detector before.

So the first thing I would suggest is purchasing from a manufacturer with a long history of quality. Then, do your research by talking to other detectorists, checking out reviews, and visiting forums. See what brands people like and which are causing people problems, but make sure to ask questions!


You also want to make sure that the metal detector you select comes with a warranty and that the manufacturer stands behind it. A reputable company stands behind its machine should something break.

I have a friend who purchased a metal detector that became filled with water after being submerged. Fortunately, the manufacturer stood behind its product and quickly replaced the machine.

So always buy from a reputable company with a warranty! Not doing so may mean you’re stuck with a metal detector that doesn’t work with no way to get your money back.

Best Metal Detector for Beginners

If you are a beginner without a large budget, look for quality entry-level detectors with the necessary features that we’ll talk about in a minute, but maybe not all of the advanced features.

Although an advanced machine with many adjustments may be good for an experienced detectorist, it will only confuse a beginner leading to frustration and maybe even giving up the hobby.

Besides being lightweight, a good beginner metal detector should have an easy learning curve. Remember, if you’re a beginner, you’re still learning the hobby and probably haven’t heard of terms like iron discrimination and tone breaks yet.

What’s Your Price Range?


Although you always want to keep in mind your level of experience and that you should buy a reputable product, as a general rule, if you are new to the hobby, get the best user-friendly machine you can afford, especially if money isn’t an issue.

Other things that you should keep in mind include how often you think you will use the metal detector and what type of treasure you are looking to find – remember our original question, why do you want to metal detect?

Essential Equipment

Now that you have an idea of why you want to go metal detecting, where you’ll be using your detector, your budget, and an understanding of some of the different types of equipment, it’s time to start looking at some features. So next, we will be talking about the features that, at a minimum, you’ll need on your metal detector.


The first feature that you want to look for is a metal detector with adjustable discrimination. Discrimination allows the user to filter out unwanted trash items and junk metals. For example, if you’re only interested in finding silver coins, you can set the machine to only detect silver.

This is a helpful feature, especially for beginners. But, as you become more experienced, you’ll probably want to turn the discrimination off so that you find all kinds of metal.


The next feature to look for is a sensitivity adjustment. The sensitivity adjustment control allows the user to adjust how sensitive the machine is. The more sensitive, the more likely it is to pick up on small metal objects.

However, if the machine is too sensitive, it will give false signals. So, it’s important to find a balance. But, again, this is something that takes practice and experience to perfect.


You’ll also want a metal detector that gives off different tones for different metals. This is really important since it will help you identify what you’re finding before you even start digging.


Finally, make sure to get a metal detector with a headphone jack. This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is.

You’ll want to be able to hear the machine, especially when discrimination is turned on, as it will give off different tones for different metals. But more importantly, you’ll want to eliminate background noise and be able to hear the metal detector in noisy areas by removing background noise.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard treasure hunters talk about missing a signal because of unwanted noise.


Selecting Your Search Coil

When choosing a metal detector, getting the right search coil is essential. The coil is the part of the machine that actually detects the metal. It’s a round or oval-shaped metal disk that emits and receives electromagnetic signals.

Concentric coils are round, common, and easy to use. On the other hand, double-D coils are shaped like two intersecting D’s. They are more expensive but better at finding treasure. They’re also more sensitive and can better discriminate between different metals.

Coil size also makes a difference. Although larger coils can cover more ground, they are more difficult to maneuver. Conversely, smaller coils cover less ground but are easier to carry and handle.

The type of coil you use should be determined by what you want to find. For example, if you’re interested in hunting in high trash areas, you are better off with a smaller coil. But a larger coil will work better if you’re interested in covering larger open spaces.



In conclusion, there are a few things to know when choosing the perfect metal detector. The first thing to do is to decide what types of objects you’re interested in finding. Then, look for a machine with discrimination, a sensitivity setting, and tones that help identify different metals. Also, make sure to get a model with a headphone jack so you can hear the tones in noisy areas.

You also want to do your research by talking to other treasure hunters, checking reviews, and going online to look at forums. This way, especially if you are a beginner, you can begin to learn about the different brands and products available.

Finally, get a metal detector from a reputable manufacturer so that you get a solid warranty should something go wrong.

Choosing the perfect metal detector is a process that takes time. But once you find the right one, it’ll be worth it!

I hope that I was able to help you in answering the question “how to choose a metal detector” and with your journey to finding the perfect one! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or better yet, stop in and visit.

Here at Kwaks Metal Detectors, we have a wide variety of metal detectors to choose from. We also offer expert advice and will take the time to answer any questions you have. So, come in and find your perfect metal detector today!

I also hope that you enjoyed this post about how to choose a metal detector and if you are interested in learning more about metal detecting, may I suggest checking out one of our other metal detecting posts?

Thanks for reading!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the best places to detect?

The best place to detect will depend on what type of metals and objects you’re interested in finding. However, some good areas to start investigating include parks, beaches, and anywhere that people have gathered in the past.

What treasures can metal detectors find?

Most metal detectors can detect many types of targets, including iron, aluminum, gold, and silver. However, the best detectors can discriminate between the different types of metals.

How deep can a metal detector locate treasure?

This depends on the type of metal detector and coil you’re using and the size of the items you’re trying to find. However, a quality machine can detect deep targets buried at a depth of up to 18 inches deep.

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