What is a Metal Detector?
A handheld metal detector is a tool that consists of an oscillator, which produces an alternating current that passes through a coil generating an alternating magnetic field. When the coil gets close to a piece of electrically conductive metal, eddy currents (also called vortex of Foucault currents) are induced in the metal, thus producing a magnetic field of their own. The distortion of the magnetic field caused by the presence of a metallic object can be detected if another (identical, D-shape or concentric) coil is used to measure the density of the magnetic field. Nowadays a metal detector is not only an instrument for finding various metal objects under the ground but also a thing that offers you an enjoyable time spending with your family or friends in the field. The search for ancient coins and artifacts is an exciting occupation for your children to get involved in, which makes them learn new things about the history of your area. Using a handheld metal detector is a hobby that can be fun and interesting as well as profitable. The practical use of a metal detector can help you clean a land plot of metal scrap and junk buried under the ground or find an adornment lost in your garden.
To help you make a right choice we have reviewed 5 different metal detector models and singled out the main features, which you should keep in mind when buying such a device. If you are a fan of alfresco pastime, you may find headlamps and sleeping bags objects of your interest, which can make you spend a night outdoors with comfort.
What Features to Compare
When choosing an appropriate metal detector you need to consider several aspects, which affect metal detection efficiency. First, you need to learn about the Specifications of a detector model in question. The operating frequency of a metal detector has a direct influence on the types of metals detected. If you are to choose a tool for searching for base metal objects on your land plot then you should look at the models with operating frequency of up to 5 kHz as they are very affordable and capable of effective detection of non-precious metals. The metal detector models with an operating frequency from 6 to 9 kHz range are best fit for finding precious metals and ancient coins. In case you decided to go digging for artifacts or precious metal objects and adornments you need to arm yourself with an operating frequency of 10 kHz and higher as these metal detectors are optimal for detecting different types of metals in big depths. The ability to peer deep under the ground will definitely come in handy for professional diggers.
A detector coil type, its size, and shape are of much importance when analyzing a metal detector features. The most popular coils used by metal detector vendors are mono coils because they are very effective in detecting base and precious metals at different depths. These advantages render them a number one choice for the vast majority of middle- and entry-level metal detectors.
DD-shape (D-shape) coils are grouped back-to-back to form a circle, which enables them to detect a type and burial depth of metal with high precision. Such coils are often used in professional metal detectors. When regarding a size and shape of detector coil one should remember that the bigger coil covers a larger area and can be swept over the same territory faster but this comes as a tradeoff for a slightly reduced detection precision. The smaller coils, on the contrary, can locate metal objects more precisely due to a smaller area of coverage, but they require more time to perform a search on a specific territory.
Operation Modes and Controls
The next group of aspects for you to consider includes device Operation Modes and Controls. For example, different configuration profiles of a metal detector allow detecting specific types of metal and discarding the other, which enables a discrimination among the artifacts you are after and prevents you from digging for a scrap. Thus, applying your own configuration profile greatly increases the search efficiency. Some metal detectors support a depth meter function, with which you can obtain information on the burial depth of a precious ring or a coin. The feature of detector sensitivity adjustment provides an easier search and makes it possible to filter the interference and noise produced by mineralized soil or nearby transmission lines. Extra features, such as determination of the type of a metal object or even a denomination value of coins are the pros when considering a metal detecting device. A digital pinpointer feature provides a detailed info on location of an object in the ground so you can excavate this object without damaging it. Big and informative screen and various data displaying configurations allow you to choose a mode that suits you best and easily read the detector info. While a multitone sound indication of metal detection empowers you to distinguish different metals by ear.
Having decided upon the Specifications and Operation modes of a metal detector you are about to purchase you should gain insight into its Extras, which facilitate the detector use very much. If you plan to search for coins and adornments in the water we strongly encourage you to buy metal detector models with waterproof coil assemblies in order to avoid damaging the detector. To be able to search for artifacts and precious metal objects in adverse weather conditions you need to pick a detector model with a rainproof control unit. Some detectors feature a shaft with an adjustable length to help you further customize the device and provide a comfortable long-term usage. The collapsible or foldable design of metal detectors will help you transport such devices in your vehicle’s trunk or put it in a bag. The Bluetooth or smartphone connectivity enable you to save location data and search results as well as share your data with other detectorists. The small weight of a metal detector is also a big advantage for a continuous use of the device.