How to Choose Your First Metal Detector as a Beginner?

How to Choose Your First Metal Detector as a Beginner?

So you’re thinking about dipping your toes into the exciting world of metal detecting as your metal detecting hobby? Choosing your first metal detector can feel like a puzzle, especially if you’re a newbie. With so many options flooding the market, finding the right one might seem overwhelming.

But fear not! We’ve got your back, providing all the essential info you need to make a well-informed decision as you select your first metal detector. This article breaks down what to look for when shopping for the best beginner metal detector and shares the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop.

Let’s Start with the ABCs

Before you venture forth on your treasure-seeking escapades, it’s super important to get a solid handle on the basics of metal detecting. Keep these fundamentals in mind as you prepare for your grand adventure:

How do Metal Detectors work?

Metal detectors work using a scientific principle called electromagnetism, which states that when an electric current passes through wire coils, it generates a magnetic field around it, and vice versa: when you move a magnet over the coil of charged wires, an electric current passes through. If you didn’t get a search coil cover with your device, we suggest you get some for every search coil you have. This basic principle also influences how metal detectors operate; they detect metals by sensing disturbances within their electromagnetic fields.

The device contains two main components: the search head (which includes transmitting and receiving antennae or coil) alongside the control box inclusive power source & circuits. Assembling these under one roof creates operational flux capable of releasing alternating electrical currents frequency interchange checking out any metallic substances lying anywhere close.

When the detector’s coil approaches metallic objects where there would be natural mineralized soil beneath them, the magnetism in responding vibrates at different frequencies depending on the type of material this alerts. Which is transmitted via tone, sight, or vibration to the signal receiver letting the operator know they’ve struck something special!

Different systems are available like PI (Pulse Induction), VI(Frequency based)& BFO(Beat Frequency Oscillation). Devices with VLF Transmitters/receivers offer higher levels of sensitivity for detecting small & valuable items as well as commonly found things such as coins/metallic debris.

PI systems emit short bursts of energy pulses that reach deep down surfaces destroying physical barriers between objects searched for minerals grimes. While BFO machines have long been regarded as weaker then later trends cater to beginner-level users requiring easy-to-use, durable yet sensitive models. Nowadays, most metal detectors are designed to be highly sensitive.

It should be noted however environmental conditions can sometimes cause hindrances while operating devices. These are magnetic-interference(commonly described as chatter noise sounding off every while from hidden sources, which could distract hearing capability accuracy). One other hazard detrimentally affects final results experienced often due to weathering phenomena(referred seasonality pattern since irregular rainfall, frozen grounds, etc interfere negatively during operation.

Metal detecting might require several trial runs of the device for the best functionality. Running previous knowledge past more experienced users or checking out manuals alongside systematic operations ensures better success rates when trying to recover some precious metals/materials.

When you are deciding whether or not you need a waterproof detector, think about where you intend to metal detect it.

Types of Metal Detectors

There are several types of metal detectors available in the market, each designed for specific purposes. The best metal detector depends on your specific needs and budget. Beginners may find the PANCKY® Metal Detector for Adult – PK0075 user-friendly and a great starting point, while top-of-the-line best beginner metal detectors are also available for more advanced users. Here are some common types of other metal detectors:

1. VLF (Very Low Frequency) Detectors:

VLF (very low frequency) metal detectors are a type of metal detector that uses electromagnetic fields to detect metal objects buried in the ground. The basic operating principle of VLF metal detectors involves the use of two coils, a transmitter coil and a receiver coil, that are tuned to the same frequency.

The transmitter coil emits a low-frequency electromagnetic field into the ground, which interacts with any metal objects present. When the electromagnetic field encounters a metal object, it induces an electrical current in the object, which in turn produces a secondary electromagnetic field that can be detected by the receiver coil.

The receiver coil detects changes in the secondary electromagnetic field caused by the presence of a metal object, and produces an audio or visual signal that alerts the user to the presence of metal.

VLF metal detectors are commonly used for metal detecting in a variety of applications, including hobbyist metal detecting, security screening, and industrial metal detection. They are known for their sensitivity to small metal objects and their ability to discriminate between different types of metals. However, they can be affected by soil mineralization and electromagnetic interference from nearby sources, which can affect their performance.

2. PI (Pulse Induction) Detectors

PI (pulse induction) detectors are a type of metal detector that uses pulses of electricity to generate a magnetic field, which is used to detect metal objects. Unlike VLF metal detectors, which use a continuous wave to detect metal, PI detectors send short bursts of electricity through a coil, creating a magnetic field that quickly collapses.

When the magnetic field collapses, it generates a current in any nearby conductive material, such as metal. The current produces a magnetic field of its own, which is detected by a second coil in the detector. The detector then amplifies and processes the signal to produce an audio or visual alert to the user.

One of the main advantages of PI detectors is their ability to detect deep or large metal objects, as the pulse of electricity can penetrate deeper into the ground than the continuous wave used by VLF detectors. They are also less affected by soil mineralization and electromagnetic interference, making them well-suited for use in highly mineralized soils or areas with high levels of electromagnetic activity.

However, PI detectors are generally less sensitive to small or shallow metal objects than VLF detectors, and they may not be able to discriminate between different types of metal as effectively. They are commonly used in industrial applications, such as searching for buried pipes or cables, as well as in beach and underwater metal detecting.

3. BFO (Beat-Frequency Oscillation) Detectors

BFO (Beat-Frequency Oscillation) detectors are a type of metal detector that uses two oscillating circuits to detect metal objects. The two oscillating circuits are tuned to slightly different frequencies, and when they are brought into close proximity to a metal object, the frequencies of the two circuits will begin to beat against each other.

The beating frequency produced by the two circuits is amplified and then fed into a speaker or headphones, producing an audible tone that increases in volume as the detector gets closer to the metal object. This change in tone or pitch is used by the user to determine the location of the metal object.

BFO detectors are generally simple and easy to operate, making them popular among beginners and hobbyist metal detector enthusiasts. They are also relatively inexpensive, making them an affordable option for those who want to try metal detecting without investing a lot of money. However, they are not as sensitive as other types of metal detectors, and they may not be able to discriminate between different types of metal or distinguish between small and large metal objects.

4. Multi-frequency Detectors

Multi-frequency detectors are a type of metal detector that can operate at multiple frequencies simultaneously or switch between different frequencies. They use a combination of VLF and/or PI technology to provide a wide range of detection capabilities and improved target identification.

By operating at multiple frequencies, multi-frequency detectors can detect a wider range of metal objects, from small coins to larger relics or jewelry. They can also better discriminate between different types of metals, allowing the user to more easily distinguish between desirable targets and unwanted items like nails or bottle caps.

Some multi-frequency detectors can also adjust their operating frequency in real-time based on the ground conditions and mineralization. This allows the detector to maintain its performance in challenging environments and minimize false signals caused by mineralized soils or electromagnetic interference.

Multi-frequency detectors are commonly used by serious hobbyists and professional treasure hunters, as well as in industrial and security applications where high sensitivity and accurate target identification are required. However, they are generally more expensive than single-frequency detectors and may require more expertise to operate effectively.

5. Directional Metal Detector

A directional metal detector is a specialized type of metal detector that can provide information about the location and orientation of a metal object in three-dimensional space.

These detectors typically use multiple sensors, such as coils or antennas, arranged in an array, which can detect the magnetic field produced by the metal object. By analyzing the signal received by each sensor, the detector can determine the direction and distance of the metal object.

Directional metal detectors are commonly used in industrial and security applications where the exact location and orientation of metal objects are important, such as detecting buried pipes or cables. They are also used in archaeology and treasure hunting, where they can help pinpoint the location of buried objects and determine their orientation.

However, directional metal detectors are generally more expensive and complex than other types of metal detectors, and they may require specialized training to operate effectively.

6. Depth Metal Detector

A depth metal detector is a type of metal detector that is designed to detect metal objects that are buried deep beneath the ground. These detectors typically use advanced technology, such as pulse induction (PI) or multi-frequency detection, to penetrate deeper into the ground and detect metal objects at greater depths. They may also use larger or more sensitive coils to increase their detection range.

Depth metal detectors are commonly used in archaeology and treasure hunting, where the location of valuable artifacts or buried treasure may be at significant depths. They may also be used in industrial or security applications to detect buried pipes or cables.

However, depth metal detectors may be less effective at detecting smaller or shallower metal objects, as their increased sensitivity and range may make them more susceptible to interference and false signals. They may also be more expensive than other types of metal detectors, making them less accessible to hobbyist metal detector enthusiasts.

Each detector comes with its own features and capabilities suitable for varying fields including hobbyists combing beaches or parks seeking lost pocket change residue during the decades-gone eras; mining operations looking out for rich deposits; hunters prospecting minerals deposits customers’ personal valuables hidden beneath their properties amongst others. Therefore picking one should hinge on one’s need, metal detecting sounds, durability, level of sophistication, and if capable of meeting present/future demands.

Where To Use Metal Detectors?

Metal detectors can be used in various locations for different purposes. Here are some places where metal detectors can be used:

1. Beaches: Metal detecting on beaches is a popular activity, as many people lose jewelry and other valuable items in the sand.

2. Parks and playgrounds: These areas offer potential treasure troves of coins and other small metallic items.

3. Historical sites: Burial grounds or historical sites provide opportunities to find relics from bygone eras – something that could be fascinating to scavenger hunters..

4. Construction Sites: By using metal detection devices, Construction workers should get an accurate location of buried underground pipelines, and main cables before digging up soil whose damage could prove costly.

5. Kids events: For funfairs, and kid’s games you may want to hold exciting award-winning hunts thus making sure no metal-laden substances hide around your premises.

6. Airports: implementing security gadgets will now help with the identification & confirmation of contraband materials hidden in suitcases or traveler’s apparel trying to cross through without proper exposition.

Choosing Your First Metal Detector

Choosing your first metal detector can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are new to the hobby. Here are some metal detecting tips to consider before making a purchase of these other metal detectors:

1. Budget: Metal detectors can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so it’s essential to set a budget.

2. Intended use: What do you plan on using your metal detector for? If you want to hunt for coins and jewelry at parks or beaches, then look for models that are designed specifically for those types of environments. Or if gold prospecting is of interest then invest in PI( pulse induction) detectors which would help seek out nuggets/treasures descents meters/feet under the soil.

3. Frequency capabilities: The frequency rating determines the sensitivity of the device by breaking down how deep and sensitive metals get detected beneath surface levels thus helping pick out valuable items.

4. Adjustable Settings: Aspects such “discrimination” feature helps you distinguish between ferrous metals (iron, steel, etc)- common stuff we hardly care much about!

5. Reviews: It pays before making any financial commitment with third-party reviews corroborating company specifications as actual user experiences could greatly affect future purchases. Nothing beats experience eh?

6. Warranty & Return policy: Once convinced about choice options determining; mode interest, the environment you are operating from & ability/skill level, it’s good practice to consider the manufacturer offering warranty & return policies just in case anything goes wrong

Best Metal Detectors For Beginners

After conducting thorough research, we have compiled a list of the top metal detectors suitable for novice users. The list includes

  • PANCKY® Metal Detector for Adult – PK0075
  • Bounty Hunter Quick Silver Metal Detector,
  • Minelab Equinox 600 Metal Detector, and
  • Nokta Makro Simplex+ Metal Detector.

Tips For Metal Detecting

If you’re new to the hobby of metal detecting, here are some tips to get the most out of your experience:

1. Research potential locations: It’s important to choose areas that have a high likelihood of finding metallic objects such as beaches, parks, or historical sites.

2. Check area permission: Some places like Historical/archaeological sites, Federal Property for example require permits/licenses from related authorities hence it is wise checking up on state and federal regulations.

3. Get familiar with your device: Take time in getting acquainted with your detector’s manual operations, knowing what each button, wave/sounds mean before moving ahead helps prevent setting off mountains hereabouts when all one intended was a few fine treasures only so make sure readings, audio alerts, and visual indicators mean something! A key feature of more advanced metal detectors is target identification

4. Dress appropriately: Since metal detection activity typically involves an extended period outdoors wear weather-commensurate clothing, hiking boots/gloves, sunscreen/hat due to sun rays, and strong bug/insect repellent plus this also helps reduce exposure from possible thorns, dirt splatters & similar physical hazards

5. Carry gear wisely: leave unnecessary load-bearing items behind, instead bring along a digging tool, pouch/bags for storage, GPS navigation system backup batteries, etc. The idea is to travel light while carrying essentials thus easing the mobility/detection process within various terrain types.

6. Digging responsibly: Particular care must be taken when excavation begins after detection; making use of spades or garden trowels over machines could aid in precious finds not being mutilated/destroyed causing them to lose value.


The process can be overwhelming if you are a beginner looking to purchase your first metal detector. However, you can simplify the decision-making process by considering factors such as your budget, the type of metal detecting you plan to do, and the weight and ergonomics of the detector to ensure it meets your needs and skill level. Additionally, researching various brands and models, reading reviews, and seeking advice from experienced detectorists can help you make an informed decision.

After selecting a metal detector, practicing using it in different settings is crucial to becoming familiar with its features and settings. It is important to be environmentally conscious when metal detecting by leaving the area in better condition than you found it and being mindful of the impact on surrounding vegetation and wildlife.

By considering these pointers and factors, you can confidently select your first metal detector and embark on your quest in the thrilling realm of metal detecting without any hesitation.