The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive guide on how to buy your first gold metal detector.
It will cover the different types of detectors and what you should be looking for in each, as well as other considerations before making a purchase.
This article does not include reviews or opinions about any specific models; it only provides an overview of all types so that you can choose which one suits your needs best. For reviews of the best gold metal detectors check out this article by Chad Eicher from metalpursuits.com.
Read further for an overview of all types of detectors and what you should be looking for in each. Make sure you are equipped with enough knowledge so that when it comes time to buy, you won’t be caught off guard by unexpected details.
Types of Gold Metal Detectors
Before deciding on what type of gold metal detector to purchase, it is important that you understand all the different types and what they tend to be used for.
This article will briefly cover some of the most popular: VLF (very low frequency) and PI (pulse induction).
- VLF detectors provide the best ground coverage, but will not detect small gold.
- PI detectors excel at detecting small and fine gold nuggets and give increased depth over VLF. However, they aren’t as good with larger nuggets.
It is important that you know what type of gold or mineral you are looking for before buying a metal detector. If you are planning on spending most of your time hunting for small nuggets in the surf zone, then it would be best to purchase a PI-based detector. If you plan on spending more time in the dry washes, then it would be better to buy a VLF-based gold metal detector.
Accessories for Gold Metal Detector
A common mistake made by first-time gold metal detector users is to think that they can find everything they need in the box, as it comes with a coil (which you should always buy as a spare anyways), headphones, and a carry strap.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! There are several accessories that every gold metal detectorist should have, and even more that will come in handy.
The following list of accessories is not limited to what you need to get started, but rather a shortlist of the most common items:
- Shovel (or scoop)
- Battery charger/rechargers
- Extra coils
Pinpointers should be used to help you zero in on the target’s exact location.
A shovel will come in handy if you need to dig up larger targets or want to avoid disturbing too much of the site.
Batteries are important for all metal detectors to have, as they help them run.
Headphones are helpful because you don’t need to bother anybody around you and will eliminate most of the outside noise so that you can focus on what’s in front of you.
Finally, extra coils allow you to cover more area without having to reposition yourself or your detector.
11 Things to Pay Attention to When Buying a Gold Metal Detector
Here is a list of things to keep in mind when buying your first gold metal detector.
You don’t need to worry about all of these points; however, it would be best if you knew as much as possible before making the purchase.
- Ground coverage – Most models can provide ground coverage of up to 80% and some even more. However, you must know what type of terrain and minerals your detector can and cannot detect to avoid false readings and way too many falsing signals.
- Frequency – Most models use either low or medium frequency; these frequencies are much less likely to generate a false signal than high frequency.
- Depth – The depth of a metal detector is directly related to the frequency and mineral content of the ground it can detect. Higher frequencies allow for increased depth, but lower frequencies will give better sensitivity.
- Coil Size – Will determine how low you can go hunting in deep nuggety terrain and how much ground you can cover. The larger the coil, the more ground you can cover per sweep.
- Controls – Controls should be easy to use and understand; you don’t want complicated controls when trying to swap between different settings in haste while out in the field. Smaller buttons are not ideal for this reason; however, they do allow for increased functionality.
- Screen – The screen should be easy to read and understand, as well as being adjustable for brightness. This way you can see how much gold is detected without needing a separate meter/display.
- Warranty – A warranty cover of at least 2 or 3 years will show that the detector manufacturer stands behind their product and believes in the quality of their product.
- Durability – A gold metal detector should last a long time, even if it has been used for prospecting and gold prospecting. Look for features such as waterproof housing, durable shaft design, corrosion-resistant paint finish, etc to ensure that your detector will be reliable and durable over its lifetime.
- Price – Expensive does not always mean better when it comes to gold detectors. Many of the high-quality products are also reasonably priced because they are in high demand, so you should keep this in mind when looking for a new detector.
- Customer Support – You want to be able to rely on quick and professional assistance if you ever have a problem with your purchase, so look for a gold metal detector that provides great customer support.
- Reviews – You will want to read reviews by experienced prospectors and buyers to help you make the best choice; this way you can be sure that you are making an informed decision when making your purchase. There are many good sources of information on the internet to help you, so ensure that you take advantage of them.
Buying a new gold metal detector is an investment that you want to get right.
In this article, we’ve shown you how to choose the best one for your needs and budget by considering what features are most important for your particular fields of prospecting or hunting.
We hope that these 11 tips helped clear up any questions or reservations about purchasing a new metal detector; after reading this article there shouldn’t be anything between you and your new hobby!