I know this topic can be a little broad, vague, and subjective; but I did have a person ask me what I thought the best metal detector to buy as a beginner was. I may not be giving you the most solid advice in the world as I am a beginner myself, but I can relay to you the things that I have noticed so far in my own experiences. Obviously I won’t be able to pinpoint the exact unit for you, but I can give you some things to consider when purchasing. Remember, the best metal detector is the one that you can use the best. I personally have a Bounty Hunter Tracker II and it is serving me just fine.
Dollar Dollar Bills Yall
This has to be the starting point of the conversation. Unless you are like the sweepstakes lady from an Oprah episode I watched years ago then you are probably going to be purchasing your metal detector through normal means. You will pay somebody some money and they will hand you your product, or ship it, whatever. My point is that the cost is the starting point. These devices can range anywhere from twenty dollars or so for children’s models to ten thousand for some of the really high end stuff. I am going to go out on a limb and say that if you are buying a several thousand dollar unit then you probably aren’t on this beginners page. Find your comfort range between fifty dollars to five hundred. If you absolutely must spend more go ahead it’s your money, who am I to tell you how to use it.
Comfort is another key aspect. If you are planning on taking this hobby very seriously then you are going to be spending a considerable amount of time holding your metal detector one inch above the ground and sweeping it back and forth in an arc. Regardless of how much of a love you have for the hobby after enough time that is going to wear you down. If you are purchasing from a retailer see if you can put the unit together and get a feel for it. I have found that I have one metal detector that doesn’t quite fit, doesn’t seem long enough. I’m 6’3 so I suppose I am a little over average height, but not a giant.
Display: Digital vs Analog
I have used three different detectors so far in my hunting time, and I certainly prefer the digital. It just seems easier and faster to read. I like seeing that one solid number and my depth indicator picture in inches with the little bars. My analog unit does fine and I am finding all sorts of “treasures” with it, but I just prefer the digital. I don’t know if it is that everything in our world is digital or what, but the needle moving up and down just doesn’t do it for me.
Ease of Use
This I think is the main issue to consider. Do you want to sit around reading through the operator manual and being taught how to use your machine, or do you want to get out there and get some metal out of the ground. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to read the manual on everything I get, when I have the chance. I want to know that my machine isn’t so complex that it detracts for my enjoyment of the sport. There is a place and time for bells and whistles, beginnings are neither the time nor the place. As skill increases feel free to purchase something fancier, but I would keep it pretty basic starting out. After you are comfortable and wanting something more refined, go get it. If you find though that you never reach that point……..you only have an eighty dollar metal detector cluttering up your house instead of a four hundred dollar one.
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