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What’s a good metal detector for a newbie looking for coins & nuggets?

Hey guys I’ve never used a metal detector before except as a kid with my uncle but lately I’ve been reading articles about people who have found all kinds of crazy stuff, from a Roman denarius, to a gold nugget, and even a Greek drachma, and I’ve been thinking about going metal detecting just for fun if the cost allows it.

So yeah, what’s a good model of metal detector in say a $200 budget range.

Comments

  • rickoricko Posts: 77,712 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Look at the selection at Garrett's....Remember, you will also need a pinpointer and digging tool (Lesche makes a great tool). Recommended - knee pads, apron with pockets, two water bottles (one for drinking, one for washing finds)....That should get you started... Good luck.. Cheers, RickO

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 4,336 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good morning. I've been detecting for 30 years. It is a physically involved hobby. Kneeling, digging, up and down, so there's that. Garrett makes good entry level units in their Ace detectors. The quality of the unit is important and $200 is the bare minimum IMO. If winter is in play for you, save some more until the spring thaw cause $300-400 is better. You're gonna want a pinpointer too, if you're serious. Peace Roy

  • Gam3rBlakeGam3rBlake Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    @Namvet69 said:
    Good morning. I've been detecting for 30 years. It is a physically involved hobby. Kneeling, digging, up and down, so there's that. Garrett makes good entry level units in their Ace detectors. The quality of the unit is important and $200 is the bare minimum IMO. If winter is in play for you, save some more until the spring thaw cause $300-400 is better. You're gonna want a pinpointer too, if you're serious. Peace Roy

    I’d like to search by local rivers. One of my friends found an awesome coin from France dated 1820 and we both think someone buried more coins there as a way to keep them safe.

    However he still got $1,000 for that one coin after sending it to PCGS for verification and it coming back an XF40.

  • Gam3rBlakeGam3rBlake Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    @Namvet69 said:
    Good morning. I've been detecting for 30 years. It is a physically involved hobby. Kneeling, digging, up and down, so there's that. Garrett makes good entry level units in their Ace detectors. The quality of the unit is important and $200 is the bare minimum IMO. If winter is in play for you, save some more until the spring thaw cause $300-400 is better. You're gonna want a pinpointer too, if you're serious. Peace Roy

    Well I live in California so winters are very mild. It rarely gets below 32F/0C even on the coldest, darkest, day of winter.

    I’m thinking about a Garrett ACE 300 or 400 but not sure what’s the difference? I don’t know much about metal detectors.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 4,336 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Gam3rBlake well you're almost there. Go to the Garrett website for a comparison chart. The 400 can detect gold, which is doable in CA. I've had an ATpro for some time and I love it. Kellyco is a good retailer. You don't need the swag packaged with the unit so that'll save you money. Kneepads, garden trowel, nail pouch, pinpointer, bug spray, let's go! Btw, I used to live in Marin Co. Peace Roy

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    The best low price detector is the Minelab Vanquish. There are three Vanquish models: 340, 440, and 540. The 340 is lacking some features that you will want, even as a beginner.

    The Minelab Vanquish is a simultaneous multi-frequency detector. With one exception, the Ace Apex, all Garrett detectors only use a single frequency. The Ace Apex costs more than you want to spend and isn't as good as the Minelab anyway.

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    Garrett is a joke. Don't buy a Garrett.

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭
    edited November 5, 2020 12:59PM

    I just noticed that there's a promotion going on from now until January 31st. You can get a free pinpointer with the purchase of a Minelab Vanquish. The Vanquish was already a great deal, this makes it compelling.

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    I currently own a Minelab Etrac, Minelab Equinox, a couple of Los Banos made Fisher CZ3D, a couple of AKA Signums, and various other high end detectors.

    I just now ordered a Minelab Vanquish 440 with free pinpointer. I'm going to sell off the pinpointer and keep the detector in the trunk of my car all the time. I wasn't in the market for another detector; but, I couldn't resist this deal and don't want to leave an expensive detector in the car.

  • Gam3rBlakeGam3rBlake Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    @Bayard1908 said:
    I currently own a Minelab Etrac, Minelab Equinox, a couple of Los Banos made Fisher CZ3D, a couple of AKA Signums, and various other high end detectors.

    I just now ordered a Minelab Vanquish 440 with free pinpointer. I'm going to sell off the pinpointer and keep the detector in the trunk of my car all the time. I wasn't in the market for another detector; but, I couldn't resist this deal and don't want to leave an expensive detector in the car.

    Can’t you only use one metal detector at a time? 😆

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    @Gam3rBlake said:

    Can’t you only use one metal detector at a time? 😆

    The Minelab Etrac is my primary detector; however, I am always interested in machines with complementary capabilities. The best complement for the Etrac has been the Minelab Equinox. Using these two machines in succession is the best way I know of to maximize finds at a given site.

  • rickoricko Posts: 77,712 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It certainly seems to MAXIMIZE your silver finds.... ;) Cheers, RickO

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    My Minelab Vanquish 440 arrived on Monday. I'm going to take it with me on Saturday when I go detecting and give it a brief try out.

  • rickoricko Posts: 77,712 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good luck... and give us a report on your impressions - and finds. Cheers, RickO

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    I used the Minelab Vanquish 440 for over an hour on Saturday. My overall opinion of the machine is very favorable.

    The first signal I got was a relatively shallow penny signal. I dug a plug and then searched the hole with my pinpointer. I found a rusty bottle cap and a pull tab ring in the hole. For a brief moment, I was concerned that the Vanquish had been fooled by the bottle cap, which should not happen to a simultaneous multi frequency detector. The Vanquish wasn't fooled. There was a penny in the plug. I was amazed that such an inexpensive detector could give a clear penny signal when the coin was next to both a bottle cap and a pull tab ring. Many detectors would average these three targets and give a junky signal.

    I was very pleased by the ergonomics of the detector. It is a pleasure to swing. The ability to collapse the detector was also very convenient and made it possible to store the detector in the very rear of my car trunk, which is the narrowest part of the trunk.

    The deepest coin I dug was about 5 inches deep. The signal was very clear and unambiguous. The depth meter was at 4 out of 5 triangles. I never got a signal that was 5 triangles deep on the depth meter, but, have no doubt that this detector could easily hit a 6 or 7 inch deep penny or dime.

    There were only a couple of things that I didn't like about the Vanquish. When pinpointing, the pinpoint button has to be held in the entire time. I prefer a pinpoint button that stays in pinpoint until it gets pressed a second time. The other thing I didn't like is that the detector is prone to iron falsing, i.e., giving broken high tones on deep iron targets. This is not a machine for digging deep iffy signals. A deep iffy signal is usually a rusty nail on the Vanquish. I am only going to dig solid signals that repeat strongly in perpendicular directions. Unless you enjoy digging nails and other iron, leave the deep iffy signals for a more expensive detector.

    Overall, I am very pleased with this machine and am probably going to purchase an RNB lithium battery for it. I might even upgrade to a Vanquish 540.

  • bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 2,477 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bayard1908 said:
    Garrett is a joke. Don't buy a Garrett.

    I had an old Garrett 300. I used it for years until I upgraded to my 1500. I've never had problems with either of them. My 1500 has to be the best coin hunter I've ever had.

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭
    edited November 23, 2020 6:37PM

    @bsshog40 said:

    @Bayard1908 said:
    Garrett is a joke. Don't buy a Garrett.

    I had an old Garrett 300. I used it for years until I upgraded to my 1500. I've never had problems with either of them. My 1500 has to be the best coin hunter I've ever had.

    What machines have you owned other than older Garretts? If you've never owned a simultaneous multi-frequency Minelab, you have no idea how many good targets you're walking over and leaving behind.

    How many silver coins have you found this year and in the last five years? That would tell us a lot about the ability of your Garretts.

  • bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 2,477 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bayard1908 said:

    @bsshog40 said:

    @Bayard1908 said:
    Garrett is a joke. Don't buy a Garrett.

    I had an old Garrett 300. I used it for years until I upgraded to my 1500. I've never had problems with either of them. My 1500 has to be the best coin hunter I've ever had.

    What machines have you owned other than older Garretts? If you've never owned a simultaneous multi-frequency Minelab, you have no idea how many good targets you're walking over and leaving behind.

    How many silver coins have you found this year and in the last five years? That would tell us a lot about the ability of your Garretts.

    The only other I have used was a whites mxt Tracker E. Have you used a Garrett 1500? I'm not a frequent hunter. Just something to do once in a while. I have found plenty of coins with it, a gold watch and a couple old small toy cars. I'm definitely not an avid hunter by far. But I really enjoy my 1500 and when I do hunt with it, It narrows something right down to where its at very good. That's all I got! Lol

  • Bayard1908Bayard1908 Posts: 3,696 ✭✭✭

    @bsshog40 said:

    The only other I have used was a whites mxt Tracker E. Have you used a Garrett 1500? I'm not a frequent hunter. Just something to do once in a while. I have found plenty of coins with it, a gold watch and a couple old small toy cars. I'm definitely not an avid hunter by far. But I really enjoy my 1500 and when I do hunt with it, It narrows something right down to where its at very good. That's all I got! Lol

    So, you have found no silver coins this year or even in the last five years? Personally, I would quit this hobby if I went a year without finding any silver coins.

    I've never used a Garrett 1500, and I don't want to use one. I prefer simultaneous multi-frequency detectors, especially those made by Minelab.

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