Your yard: Simple, easy with no permission required – who knows what’s been left behind over the years. The beach: Surfers often lose St Christophers, and cold, wet fingers mean rings just slide off.
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Carrying a detector for hours can tire you out before you’re ready to head home. Once you have a detector there’s not much else required, but some extra bits and pieces can make you comfortable and help with the tricky aspects. Salt from the ocean water and surf spray can also cause problems with components. Wet sand is mixed with ‘black sand’ and black sand is mixed with iron and other minerals that can trick your detector into springing a signal. However, venturing onto the wet sand or into salt water is another kettle of fish.
For instance, if you kept finding nails and soda can pull-tabs that were reading at target IDs between 25 and 35, you can use notching to eliminate that range of numbers and only get readings for values below or above. Discrimination comes in handy because it allows you to filter out metals you don’t want to find, like soda can pull tabs and other trash. But this round of testing was scheduled during wintertime, which meant we were fighting frozen ground, cold temperatures and snow outside of our lab.
Using maximum sensitivity means ALL metal signals will ring out, including minerals and trash. An elliptical coil works in just the same way, albeit covers less ground in one swing, but it can reach into small, awkward spaces. They’re best for deeply buried objects and cover a greater ground surface, but they are heavier which makes a big difference for long sessions and water work.
They can be used on land, saltwater, and freshwater with good discrimination on mineralized ground. A pulse induction my response machine finds deeper, smaller objects than VLF detectors and they’re programmed to ignore ground minerals.
Note that you do NOT need a specialty machine if you’re hunting on the dry sand of a salt water beach. One thing you want to make sure of here is that you do not buy a machine with too high frequency – i.e., one designed for gold prospecting (you can read our guide here on the best metal detectors for gold nuggets). You’d like to get into metal detecting but aren’t sure which detector to go with. Remember metal detecting should be fun, don’t take it too seriously and you’ll be just fine. The days of just a simple metal detector are mostly gone, so plan accordingly.
Before you take a load off this Labor Day, ensure you have everything you need to kick back and celebrate the day in style, and shop for deals on metal detectors, flags, and more. When it does, it sends up an audio signal to the receiver coil. They locate all metal materials and cannot differentiate one from another. Beat frequency oscillator (BFO): Typically preferred by beginners, these are the least expensive detectors.
When you are ready to dig the depth indicator shows how far down you need to go. Target ID will provide you with a numerical scale from 0-99. The digital target ID function is really handy and not always featured on beginner models.