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Jacob's Photo & Digital
9 Mokoia Road
Birkenhead
Auckland 0626

Metal Detector Buying Guide

Find the best detector for you, with our basic guide

With so many options, finding the right metal detector can be difficult. Unlike our other guides, because this subject is so massive we are going to focus on beginning users with some of the most common questions we get asked.

When you’re first starting out, or if budget is a factor, you’ll want to get an entry level detector

Currently an entry level detector costs anything between $170 and $700 NZD. These detectors are aimed at people looking for treasure (coins and jewellery) and generally offer a simple experience for first time users.

Try to keep in mind what is important when picking your detector. Things like weight, size, features (lcd, inbuilt speaker, gps etc), processing (discrimination, so you don't dig up junk) and coil size.

Some of the better entry level relic machines we sell are:

There are other machines that are cheaper than the above but these offer the best bang for your buck with manual controls refine the detection.

Let's get started with some common questions from first time buyers

How deep does a Metal detector go?

You will notice that no brand lists this specification. Why? It's because it's impossible to answer.

The depth that any given detector will detect to will be based on a number of variables, including:

  • Size of the object
  • The material it is buried in
  • How long it's been in the ground
  • Moisture
  • Metal type,
  • Coil size
  • Electromagnetic interference (power lines) etc.

Lots of these variables are outside of your control. Finding a 50 cent coin 15cm underground is normally well within the range of all entry level detectors using an 8" coil.

Is bigger better when it comes to coils?

Short answer: no. Different coil sizes are used differently. A smaller coil would be better in high trash areas when several targets are close to each other were a large coil is great for low-mineralisation areas and deep searching. Not all coils are round, some are oval shaped for getting in between those hard to reach places.

 

Why do people always use headphones?

Sound isolation. A good set of headphones significantly increases your chances of finding buried objects by blocking background noise.

Using headphones will also improve your detector's battery life as well and won't attract unwanted attention from curious or annoyed onlookers.

Metal detectors either take the standard headphone plug or the smaller earbud plug.

I've heard that pinpointers are a good idea but my detector comes with one built in, why should I buy one?

A good pinpointer is the first item people come back for, as entry level machines never have a pinpointer that's as good as a separate unit.

The point end of the tool contains a miniature metal detector coil. When it is in very close proximity to metal it will alert you by sound or vibration. These tool are normally inserted into the hole you have dug where you think the treasure lies.

A pin-pointers job is to find the object exactly, they can cut down hours and hours of frustration and wasted time trying to find a tiny bit of metal.

Gold or Treasure Detector?

A gold detector will typically have no, or very little discrimination between metals. They are designed to find gold and gold only. If your target is say coins or odd bits of metal at the beach, a treasure detector is what you want. A treasure detector will find gold in say the form of a ring but is not designed to find small and deep gold nuggets. A treasure detector also has good discrimination between metals, allowing you to sort out the junk from the treasure!

For any questions, please contact us or come into our retail store.

We have demo units on display and are more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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