Metal Detector Review


metal  detector sales

I will review which detector is best for your interests,

and instruct you how to use it.


Minelab, Fisher, Troy, Bounty Hunter and

White's Electronics Metal detectors dealer

 no sales tax in Oregon.

Which is the best detector?

Do you want  a meter?


 Best detector?

 Do you want  a meter?

Meters help you to know what your target is before you start digging.

People like them, they feel they dig less trash.

Do you want to find gold nuggets?

Detectors with full discrimination may pass over gold nuggets.

If you want to prospect, I always recommend a gold detector designed for prospecting.

What is your price range?

Do you want automatic ground balance?

 Minimizes the noise created by minerals in the ground through the use of a microprocessor, which continually sets

the ground-balance to an optimum level.Previously, all metal detectors had to be ground-balanced manually which

limited the detector operator's time and ability to successfully detect the deeper targets.

Automatic ground balance is good in very high mineralized ground like Oregon, Arizona and Nevada.

If you are constantly balancing your detector, a "manual ground  balance" detector you may pass over targets.

Do you want manual ground balance?

Some like manual, they feel they have control, and manual is good for meteorites.

still need help? click here for a chart.

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The History Of Metal Detecting

The first known metal detector was discovered by a radio engineer in the United States in 1925. It is

believed to have been discovered by accident when a metal water tank caused interference with his field experiments.

From 1927 until the Second World War, metal detectors were very basic transmit-receive (TR) sets which had to be carried

with shoulder straps due to the enormous weight of the battery. These early TR detectors had difficulty ground-balancing in

various soil conditions (mineralization) and had a limited ability to discriminate between different metals. Besides being

heavy and cumbersome, the early detectors were only able to detect targets the size of a tennis or baseball and were not readily used for prospecting.

During World War II metal detectors were used to locate shallow land mines. After the war ended the majority of the machines,

which were predominantly owned by the US government, were purchased by North American treasure hunters.

It was not until the development and introduction of VLF detectors (Very Low Frequency: range 3 - 30 kHz) that growth in the

industry began.

Since the introduction of VLF metal detectors there have been many advances in detector technology.

How A Metal Detector Works

In order to achieve the best performance from your metal detector, it is important to understand exactly how it works and why

it goes "beep" when it comes across a metal target.

Metal detectors work on the principle of conductivity. All metal objects, whether they be ferrous or non-ferrous, are conductive,

that is, heat and electricity can flow through them.

A metal detector creates what is known as an "Electro-Magnetic Field" which penetrates the ground to a certain depth. When

 this field comes across a conductive metal object, the search-coil senses a change in the field and thus detects the object.

A signal is then sent to the control box, which drives a loudspeaker, meter or headphones and emits a noise, alerting the

operator to the presence of the object. Metal detectors react to the surface area of an object not its mass. The larger the surface area,

the deeper you will detect an object. For example, a coin lying flat will be detected at a greater depth than the same coin standing upright on its edge.

In addition to metals, a detector may react to iron ores, magnetic non-conductive minerals and beach salts. These non-metallic substances are known

as "mineralized ground" and can cause a detector to produce a "false signal" or "ground noise". To

eliminate this ground noise, the detector must be "ground balanced" to compensate for the levels of these substances in the

ground being searched.

Various parts of a detector

 If you are not familiar with the various parts of a metal detector then it is important to take the time to become familiar with them.

The better acquainted you are with your detector, the better performance you will get from it.

The first part of a detector is the Arm-rest (1). This sits at the top of the main shaft and the operator places their elbow into it.

Directly below the arm-rest is the Main Shaft (2). This is usually bent half way along, as can be seen in the diagram. A sponge

hand-grip is placed at this bend for the operator to grip the shaft.

Ideally, the distance between the arm-rest and the hand-grip should be the length of the operator's forearm. This provides for the

best balance and comfort.

The Control Box (3).

Contains the electronic circuitry which drives the metal detector. The type of circuitry will depend upon the brand and type of

detector; gold, coin, relic, treasure or water.

Below the main shaft is the bottom shaft or Fibreglass Tube (4). This tube connects into the main shaft and can be shortened

or lengthened to suit the height of the operator.

At the base of the shaft is the Search Coil (5). This has a cable attached to it which runs up the shaft and connects into the

control box via a Connecting Plug (6).

On the base of the search coil is a Skid plate or Coil Cover (7). Its purpose is to protect the bottom of the search coil from


Who Goes Prospecting and Why?

The Profile

As a Hobby
To Make a Living
For Fun and Adventure
To Locate Historical Artifacts
As an Activity for the Whole Family
For Healthy Exercise
Enjoyment of the Outdoors
To Meet New Friends
For Holidays and Trips

There is much diversity among metal detector operators, but there are some common reasons as to why people go detecting.

Gold Prospecting

This group represents about 20% of detector operators worldwide. In addition to the weekend fossicker, there are a significant

number of men and women who make a full-time living from electronic prospecting, especially in Australia and the USA.

Advanced metal detecting technology, such as the MPS used in Minelab's SD Series of detectors, provides better recovery rates

and allows the operator to detect at greater depth, thereby re-opening previously searched areas

Advanced Gold Prospecting Tips

Once you have mastered the basic techniques of operating a gold detector, there are a number of more advanced techniques

and tips that will help you increase your gold finds.


Research is one of the most important techniques for increasing your gold finds. It is essential to research an area before prospecting.

Research will guide you to the best gold producing areas within a particular region.

Your research should consist of reviewing old records from a region, viewing maps, reading books, talking to local people and

finally checking local libraries, information centres and historical societies.

Research can be 90% of your success. Remember that it doesn't matter how good your gold detector is, if you're not in a

gold producing area then you have no chance of finding gold.

Types of Gold Producing Areas.

There are a number of types of goldfields, each distinctly unique:-

Virgin Ground: This is an area of ground which was never worked by the old-time prospectors. This may have been because

the area was not rich enough to warrant the labour or was just not ever discovered.

Surfacing: This is where large areas of ground have been removed from several inches to several feet deep.

These are usually located in shallow ground areas, can be easily recognised and were areas of rich gold deposits in their day.

Shallow Diggings: This is where the gold rushes of the early 1850s took place. Small, shallow shafts were dug with picks

and shovels, the gold-bearing gravel on the bottom was then processed. These tended to follow the lowest points in an area

like gullies. These are very fertile prospecting areas and generally the old miners discarded more gold than they found.

Deep Leads: These are ancient river beds that over time have been buried. These are both "deep" deep leads and "shallow"

deep leads. When detecting deep deep leads, search only the mullock heaps. When detecting shallow deep leads, search


the mullock heaps and the ground in between.


There are a number of advanced techniques that will help you to increase your gold yield in an area, while also help you to

remember an area's location.

Gridding: This technique involves dividing an area into a number of small grids and thoroughly detecting each grid slowly

and methodically. In dry country, it is common to see detector operators dragging a chain behind them so they can easily see

the line of their last sweep.

Marking: This involves tying coloured ribbons or string to trees to mark an area where you have previously found gold. Also

try to mark these spots on maps to ensure that you can return to them at a later date. The use of pocket-size Global

Positioning Systems (GPS) can be used to plot and store your position to within a few meters.

Happy Hunting.

Coin, Relic, and Treasure Detecting

Detecting for coins, relics and treasure is by far the most widely enjoyed form of metal detecting around the world. In every

country there are myriads of objects of great historical interest to be found including coins, war relics, rings etc. After

centuries of making metal objects of value, the world is literally covered with items of great interest and value, some which have

been lying dormant for a 100 years or more.

Water and Beach Detecting

This is one of the most fascinating and now fastest growing types of metal detecting. Only in recent years have underwater

detectors such as the Excalibur been developed. Until this time, detector operators were restricted to the land while a bounty

of treasures lay just beyond the shoreline. Metal detectors are now sophisticated enough to be operated in fresh and sea water

up to depths of 200 feet, below the surface, allowing divers to use detectors while searching for sunken Spanish galleons and shipwrecks.

 Metal detecting Tips & Techniques

General Techniques For Operation

Operating a metal detector to achieve the best performance from it and to increase the likelihood of finding targets requires

some basic and easily learned skills. The following is a description of the basic operating techniques for the metal detector.


sweep with detector

The most basic detecting technique and the first that operators need to master is sweeping. This is the moving of the search

coil from side to side across the ground in order to find buried targets.

This diagram shows the sweeping motion and illustrates how the ground area is covered.

When sweeping, you should:

1. Slightly overlap each sweep so as not to miss any targets.  

sweep over the target

2. Keep the search coil parallel to the ground at all times to prevent the loss of detection of deep targets.

Operators sometimes have a tendency to lift the coil at the end of each sweep. Where possible this should be avoided because

it will cause a loss of detection depth.

Whilst sweeping, do not forget to listen for signals, especially faint ones. Beginners often dig only the very loud target signals

when in fact the faint signals may be a deep or small target.

Pinpointing the Target   

pinpoint the target

Once you have detected a target, you can avoid digging a large hole by pin

pointing the exact location of the target.

Use the following method for pinpointing using a Double D search coil. Due to the nature of the Double D search coil, the

strongest detection is achieved along a straight line from heel to toe through the center of the coil.

When the target is detected along the sweep line, draw a line at right angels to it, through the center of the coil.

Turn 90 and move along the line just drawn until you detect the target again.

Again, draw a line through the center of the search coil. Where the two lines meet is where the targe lies.

Digging the Object

Once you have pin-pointed the target, clear the surface material and check the hole again for the signal. If there is no signal,

then the target is amongst the surface material. In this case, search the area until you have located the target.

If, however, the signal is still there, remove a few inches of soil from the surface of the ground. If the target in not visible, sweep

the coil over the hole again. The signal should become louder. If it does continue your digging.

Take care of how you dig. A swift blow to an object with a pick could deface a valuable coin or split a piece of gold in two.

If the object is not clearly visible you might need to scan the soil which has been dug up, so be sure to pile the soil carefully

whilst digging. There are two methods of scanning this soil:

Spread the soil out, then sweep the coil over it to locate the target. (Be sure that there is no object buried in the ground below

the soil).

Lay the coil on its side near the hole. Pick up a handful of soil from the pile and pass it across the coil. If there is no signal then

place the soil in a second pile away from the first and grab another handful of soil. Continue this process until you receive a

signal; the target is now in you hand. Sift through the soil until the object is located.

Once the target has been recovered it is a good idea to run the detector over the hole again to make sure that there are no other targets to be found.

Once a target has been found, there is a high chance that more targets are close by, so it is advisable to search the surrounding

area extremely carefully.

Some like to use pinpointers. there are many on the market.

Remember, always refill any holes dug.

General Detecting Tips

Once you have mastered the basic operational techniques, you can move onto more advanced techniques. I've been detecting

for almost 20 years and these are just a few of the tips I've picked up over the years.

Good research is invaluable in locating good productive sites. Remove all rubbish targets as you search (saves you discovering

them again!) and always obtain permission to detect areas - never assume its OK.

Always swing the coil low and slow. Most modern detectors use microprocessors so if you lift the coil at the end of your sweep,

vary the coil height above the ground, or vary your sweep speed, you'll get random noises as the microprocessor tries to keep up

 with your actions.

If you swing too fast, you may miss targets. The detector may not respond as quickly as you expect or you might not hear the

target signal because it's duration is too brief.

Slow down and give your detector time to evaluate targets.

Some people will tell you to buy expensive headphones because they are the best, but my experience is that this is not always

the case. There are many medium-priced headphones available around the world that are quite adequate for the job. Remember,

you are not listening to a symphony orchestra! It's probably more important to wear a comfortable set that you like the sound of.

It is very important to study your instruction manual and understand your detector. Time spent practising and playing around with your

machine is time well spent.Try joining a local metal detecting club as most members have a wealth of information about detectors and

local areas. Invariably they are good company and receptive to new chums.

One of the most commonly asked questions is how high to set discriminator controls. Firstly, assess the area to be searched,

then set the discriminator to reject the surface rubbish. Remember that if you set the discriminator to eliminate drink caps/tabs

you may also miss 9ct rings with broken bands, so don't worry if you dig up some junk, at least you won't reject good targets -

better safe than sorry!

If you want to search on beach-sand or in shallow water, you'll need a unit that can operate in salt-laden environments. Most

Pulse Induction units will be O.K., but BBS units are best. You'll also require a non-buoyant, submersible coil (BBS 1000 coil

is a good example).

If the control unit is not waterproof it will need to be removable so that you can operate it from a bag on your waist or chest.

Most manufacturer's don't guarantee their units against water/salt ingress or corrosion, so be sensible and careful - a plastic

grocery bag is very useful in case of rain or seaspray.

Always wash shafts and coils in fresh water after use. A small paint brush is handy to remove sand from control box faces and

knobs etc. Treat your detector with respect and it will give you many happy (and hopefully profitable) hours of hunting.

Detecting, to some degree, is a state of mind. If you are comfortable and happy within yourself, you will be more relaxed and

patient, and your finds will probably improve. Wear comfortable clothing and most importantly, set out to enjoy yourself!

Advanced Coin & Treasure Hunting Tips

Coin, relic and treasure hunting at the beach, in the park, in a field, or around an old homestead can be one of the most

rewarding forms of metal detecting.Throughout the world there are metal objects that have been buried for centuries.

Treasure hunters around the world consistently unearth relics from the past such as old buttons, badges, belt-buckles, US

civil war memorabilia, and Roman artifacts.

These can be extremely valuable items, some worth many thousands of dollars.

Decimal, pre-decimal and Roman coins are found scattered throughout Europe, Spanish Doubloons and pieces of Eight are

often found on the beaches of the USA.

Where to Hunt

You must hunt in well patronized areas such as beaches,parks, showgrounds or picnic areas. Your own backyard may even

yield valuable treasure. Consider the age of your home and who may have lived there in the past.

1. Your Own Backyard

It was common practice many years ago to bury large amounts of money and valuables in the backyard for safekeeping. Rings

and other jewellery are lost while gardening, including diamond wedding rings or gold necklaces. These were often lost before

the invention of metal detectors and lie in your garden waiting to be discovered.

The porch is a great place to sit and drink lemonade on a warm night, however many a coin dropped from a pocket and fell through

the cracks in the floorboards.

2. The Beach

The beach is one of the best places to hunt for coins and treasure because of:

The large number of people who go to the beach.

The nature of sand and how easily small objects are lost. Fingers shrink in the cold water and rings slip off, while watches and

other jewellery get loosened by waves.

The ease of retrieving objects from the sand.

Beaches are easily accessible to most people living near the coast.

3. Join a Club

Most metal detecting clubs have regular treasure-hunting trips or field days. Coin and treasure hunts are regular events with the

club "seeding" a designated area with tokens and giving contestants a time limit to recover as many tokens as possible. Prizes

are often quite substantial, it helps the detector operator improve their skills and can be a lot of fun for all family members.

4. Other Places *

Parks and playgrounds


Ghost Towns

School yards and ovals

Picnic areas

Abandoned homes

Abandoned buildings

Gold Mining sites

Camping grounds

Roman sites

Sports grounds

Swimming pool areas

* Always check local regulations and fill in holes dug, especially in parks.

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 Frequently Asked Questions

(about detectors and detecting)

1. Are all detectors the same?

The answer to this is simply NO. Metal detectors, like cars, have various brands and models each having different features

and performance.

Essentially, there are 3 types of metal detecting:

Coin, Relic & Treasure Hunting

Gold Prospecting

Underwater Hunting

Detectors are designed specifically to suit one type of use. For example, gold prospecting detectors are designed to be

extremely sensitive to small pieces of gold whereas a coin, relic & treasure hunting detector has the ability to discriminate

between various types of metal objects.

It is important to understand that each model of metal detector has specific features, levels of performance and applications.

So, when preparing to purchase a new detector be sure you know exactly which features you want and the types of objects

you plan to look for.

2. How deep do detectors go?

This is by far the most frequently asked question, and is unfortunately the most difficult to answer.

The depth to which a metal detector will detect an object depends upon a number of factors:

The level of mineralization present in the soil. The more mineralized the soil, ie. the presence of laterite, haematite or red

clay soils, the more difficult it is for a metal detector to cancel out the interference that these soils produce. Hence detection

depth is reduced.

The size, shape and orientation of the object in the ground. Objects of a greater surface area are detected at greater depth.

For example, a coin lying flat exposes a greater surface area than a coin or another metal target lying on its side, therefore it

will be detected at a greater depth.

The size of the search coil being used. Search coils come in a host of shapes and sizes. For example, 6", 8" and 18" round

coils or 10" elliptical. Also, the configuration of the windings within the coil, produces different search patterns, for example Concentric,

Double D or Monoloop patterns.

The experience and skill of the detector operator. There is no substitute for experience. Knowing how to operate your

machine and understanding its signals will increase the depth at which an object can be detected.

3. What is operating frequency?

Frequency in a metal detector is referred to in kHz (kilo hertz), that is, the number of times a signal is transmitted and received

by the detector every second. For example, a metal detector operating on 8 kHz will transmit and receive 8,000 times per second

and 16 kHz at 16,000 times per second.

The lower a detector's frequency, the deeper it will penetrate, however its sensitivity to smaller targets will be low. On the other

hand, the higher a detector's frequency, the higher its sensitivity to even the smallest targets, but it will not penetrate as deeply.

Generally, gold prospecting detectors operate at a higher frequency for finding tiny gold nuggets.

Coin, relic & treasure hunting detectors operate at lower frequencies for greater depth penetration.

4. What difference does coil size make?

The size of the search coil is very important. Each coil size is particularly suited to finding specific objects such as gold, coin,

relics, or underwater targets. When deciding the size of coil to be used, you must consider three things:

The nature and size of the target

The depth at which you anticipate finding your target

The degree of soil mineralization

A small coil will be much more sensitive, and able to detect very small objects. However, it will not be very effective in detecting

larger objects at depth. Conversely, a large coil will achieve greater detection depth, but will overlook the smaller objects nearer

the ground surface.

5. What is discrimination?

Discrimination is the ability of a metal detector to tell the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals. All good coin, relic,

treasure and underwater detectors have discrimination electronics. This will enable you to ignore unwanted ferrous objects

such as iron and steel while detecting only valuable non-ferrous objects such as silver, gold, brass and copper.

Discrimination measures the level of conductivity of a metal object to determine whether it is ferrous or non-ferrous.

6. Can I get instruction on my detector?

I offer free instruction with every detector I sell.

Do you have a local detecting club? If so,  it is an excellent idea to join. Members freely share information and this is a great

place to pick up tips and listen to some entertaining stories.

I will help you answer these questions.


2210 SE Oak Grove Blvd.

Portland, OR. 97267

I enjoy gold prospecting and nugget hunting,

please read my stories and see some of the gold nuggets I have found and

I will help you decide which detector is best for your needs and have everything you need to go

right out and detect.


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