Perhaps one of the quickest growing hobbies in the nation is metal detecting, but before you just dive in and spend a bunch of money on a new metal detector, there are some things that you should know.

Nearly every metal detector has all the same components and parts, but there are a lot of different choices in brands available on the market.

Most metal detectors come with a stabilizer that is designed to hold the until consistently still as the device is swept back and forth searching for treasure with the rest of the system, which includes the control panel with its microprocessor, batteries, speaker, circuits and controls, the shaft that is used to connect the search coil to the control panel and of course the search coil itself, which is what is used to detect metals underneath the surface.

The basic principles of electromagnetic induction are used to help today’s metal detectors function. An electromagnetic field is generated by the search coil as the electrical current passes through the device. If a metal item is present there is a fluctuation in the magnetic field with alters the electric currents, which are known as "eddy” currents, within the metal item itself. A magnetic field is also generated by these eddy currents, which in turn generate an opposite type of electrical current within the search coil. To indicate that a metal object is present, these currents cause the device to throw off a signal to the user.

Most metal detectors will cost you anywhere between 0-600, depending on what’s included. Extra features and higher-tech equipment that has an increased sensitivity will of course cost more. However, before you run out and purchase a top of the line metal detector, here are some things you need to know:

Use – Think about what you will be using the metal detector for, either at home or in your job, as a relic, jewelry or gold hunter, as a sandy beach hunter or a coin prospector. Many of the widely sold models of metal detectors are what is considered to be "general purpose,” which means they can be used for multiple types of searches.

Frequency – Think about how often you will really be using the detector to look for treasure. If you will be using it regularly for at least several hours each week, make sure to look for brands or models that feature high accuracy technology and extra electronic features and options. Just remember that the more bells and whistles your metal detector has, the more it will end up costing you in the end.

Experience – There are lots of different types and sizes of metal detectors on the market. Some are even easy-to-use versions that are excellent starter detectors for young children.

Weight – Women, younger hunters and hunters that use their detectors for long periods of time will prefer a lighter weight model.

Cost – Basic metal detectors won’t cost you a lot to purchase, even for newer models. But many of the extra accessories that are available can be very beneficial, such as carrying bags, digging tools and headphones that will help you to hear smaller signals much more clearly. In some cases you can buy the whole set-up in bulk and get a lower price for the whole lot.

Warranty – Always make sure you find out about the product’s warranty guidelines. Most of the top-selling brands will offer a 5-year warranty.

Research – Always find out all you can before you spend a dime. Use online resources like review sites and metal detecting news sites that will help you know which brands and models offer the most features for the money. 


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