2 men metal detecting

Get outside and find treasure today! (metal detecting).


What pastimes can you think of that can be profitable? Ok, if you are happy to whittle wood down to make objet d’art from birdboxes to model planes, trains and automobiles from your shed or workshop then fair play, same as with metal items such as firepits, BBQs and more.

If you like the outside, walking, exploring new public spaces, history and more then perhaps you could consider going metal detecting? Not only do you get fresh air but also there is a chance of some profitability, from finding modern coins and items to old relics – there is literally stuff everywhere (if you want to look for it).

I don’t want to lead you on a false trail and must mention the amount of not only nice shiny objects to find but also the discarded junk in the ground, this ranges from pig iron to melted vehicles and more, it’s all there in the ground. You may think of this as a pain but there are some advantages to this such as removing rubbish from the ground and making the environment cleaner for other people as well as insects and animals, some detectorists even save the collected and removed junk up then eventually scrap it to a licensed recycler – aluminium is a commodity as well as brass, copper, lead and other easily found below ground items. (Just don’t be digging up public utility lines and so on…) 

So where do we start then? There is a great range of metal detecting machines to consider, from a low to high cost and they are all different from the standards they cover, some are strictly used for archaeology, some used to look for new mineral sources, some are all in between and can be adapted for many situations and conditions. These are the type of machines we will be concentrating on.

You may be thinking about the cost as I mentioned it but actually, with any hobby, pastime or even commercial application, some outlay of money is required for the ‘tools of the trade’ and so it is best to consider what you require.  These machines can be very complicated but with today’s electronic standards, they are certainly easier to use than the older machines, what with being smaller and lighter too due mainly to the microelectronics they now pack, which really makes a difference when swinging the metal detector for prolonged periods.

For this review I am not going to concentrate on the very cheap, or the very expensive metal detectors, I am gonna go the middle ground where I think the best weigh up for cost versus features really stands out.

With the Garrett range of metal detectors, you can be sure that you will be utilizing the very latest in technology in an easy to use feedback format, the problem is that there can be so many configuration options and settings that it can be hard to get the exact one that works for your geological location. Garret solved this problem by utilizing a ground balancing one click option to simply optimize the detector for the ground and lessen mineralization feedback, you just press the button on the control and move to and fro towards the ground a few times keeping the search coil flat with the surface until all feedback tones are gone – That’s it, you are ready to go!

Ok there is a little more to that but these machines are plug and play (almost)

If you are just starting out I would suggest the Garrett Ace 300i, it is the latest prosumer metal detector from Garrett, there is the Garrett ACE 250 but this latest model offers a greater scale of target information with a 0 – 99 scale (previously just 0-12) this really does give a much better visual feedback on the possible target. Coupled with that there is a new 7” x 10” (18 x 25 cm) PROformance submersible search coil, this can cover a good area whilst swinging, then works adequately with the pinpoint function. 8kz frequency is used to provide better sensitivity with an updated iron resolution and rejection (using discrimination).

This machine is robust and good finds have been made with this machine.

Get this lovely little starter machine from https://amzn.to/31aMsW0

If you have some experience with metal detecting, go for the Garrett  AT Pro International metal detector (with MS-3 Z-Lynk wireless headphone kit). The AT part of the name stans for ‘All-Terrain’ and this machine can cope with all conditions whether on a farmers field or at the beach. It offers the setting of ground sensitivity a one click affair and can be done in seconds – sometimes if going from one set of ground to a more mineralized one (with black sands) or even up to a waters edge, it is required to reset the ground sensitivity to cut out ‘chatter’ and false positives every so often, the machine makes this a simple, quick/easy to recalibrate task.

This detector has a good visual display that gives feedback on the possible ground object/s with a 1 – 99 scale (gold being the topper most scale with iron very low down up to perhaps 40 – 42 (depending on ground conditions). You can discriminate iron out up to 40 on the scale and can get audio feedback or not too if you choose this. You can also ‘notch’ out certain parts of the feedback scale which is super handy if you are looking for a specific target range.

The detector is well made and waterproof up to 10 meters, not only that but there are two modes being standard and pro, there are differences with the audio feedback and so on but it does not take long to work out – if you start out on ‘Zero’ mode you will be able to pick up the audio and on screen feedback quickly by hearing the whole spectrum of possible under ground targets – low tones for iron, high tones for non-ferrous and shiny objects 🙂  If you are feeling lazy or just a newbie, set the machine to ‘coins’ mode to find old and modern money, relics, caches, jewelry, and even gold nuggets due to the depth and accuracy of this powerful machine.

Included is a pinpoint button on the metal detectors control that allows for a really good and fast finding action both vertically and horizontally across the ground, the machine even displays on the LCD screen the depth of the object, or thereabouts – this is sometimes a little off due to ground conditions but is still pretty swizz and very handy too when digging.

All in all this machine is awesome with a very quick setup on new ground, chatter is eliminated with the mineral balancing and if some ‘chatter’ sounds are feeding back, just turn down the sensitivity – this does reduce the depth but not overall functionality. 

This unit also comes with the MS-3 Z-Lynk wireless kit and means there are no more nasty headphone wires to entwine yourself in whilst digging. There is a lot more tech build into the Garret AT Pro to mention here, find out for yourself or purchase from https://amzn.to/31jdjiC

A nice short handled spade really helps with object retrieval and the Roughneck ROU68004 is a nice and sturdy unit that is light too, get one from https://amzn.to/35CdQQg

One last thing to have with you is a Pinpointer (probe), these really aid when locating objects, the affectionately nicknamed Garett Carrot is a top bit of kit, it is also wireless and links to the headphones too. Get the Garett Pro-pointer AT from https://amzn.to/2oz9Org

I hope this has given you some insight into metal detecting whether you are a novice or a pro, whatever your level the above machines will allow you to get out to find both historical and valuable items that have been discarded or lost over time. If you have any questions, pop them into the comments below and have fun metal detecting out there!