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  #1  
Old 04-07-2020, 09:29 PM
PK&O PK&O is offline
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Hi,
Looking to purchase a first detector for my daughter's birthday. The thing is that it will also be a first detector for me as well, so it'll have to be something not only that a kid use, but that a beginner can help her to learn. Articles have steered me toward models like the Garret Ace 200 or Fisher F22 because they are easy to use and lightweight enough.
The type of detecting we'd be doing I suppose would be artifact hunting. Places we would be searching would be along an old abandoned railway that is in our backyard. Crown lots on our road and our own property which are on a historic wagon trail that was the first major overland infrastructure in the region, around some of the major fur trade waterways and portages, the site of a former POW camp, and beaches on fresh water lakes. Local soils are red clay at the surface indicating a fair bit of iron presence I would guess.
We would simply walk to some sites and others I imagine we would be taking our side X side (maybe Americans call them UTVs?) and maybe it would join us on the odd canoe trip, so flimsy construction would be a concern. We won't be going to any manicured city parks or anything like that.
So in researching the models, a couple of things jumped out. While many that are good for beginners such as the ACE 200 and F22, they are not terribly well suited to relic hunting which is mostly what we would be doing I would guess. There is a lot of talk of the Vanquish being a great option as well. It seems like it's a price/quality ratio race. If you are going to spend $200, the extra value on something that is $300 is probably a better way to go and on and on.
But in all the information on how good a model is, I have to remember that it is for a 10 year old and the guy who will be walking behind her with a shovel in hand has no experience either. I'm pretty sure I am apt enough to understand the science, but I don't want to turn my daughter off of it because if she's not interested, I won't carve out the time for it myself. I have plenty of other hobbies like fishing, paddling, and hiking that she would join me in during the warm months. She has a really good attention span but things like ground balance and target separation might be a little overwhelming to manage to start with.
Are there any other things I should consider?
Does my situation scream any one detector over all the others?
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2020, 10:14 PM
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Sounds like you enjoy the water. You might want to look at the simplex. It's the least expensive waterproof detector

I don't think the technology of any of the mid range machines would be overwhelming for most 10 year olds
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2020, 04:49 PM
Coinboy Coinboy is offline
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+1 on the simplex just got one
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Old 04-09-2020, 02:07 PM
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If you decide on Garrett, I'd avoid the 200 and move to the 300 instead.

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Old 04-09-2020, 04:13 PM
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I donít recommend the Simplex for a kid. The buttons are way too hard to push and while navigating the menu you only have a few seconds to make the changes before it reverts back to the mode you were in.
For an affordable Minelab option, I would look at the Vanquish line of detectors or just get it over with and pick up the Equinox 600 that will allow some growth as you both get better at detecting. Good luck and stay safe!

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  #6  
Old 04-09-2020, 04:23 PM
IDXMonster IDXMonster is offline
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You might want to re-word the thread title...

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  #7  
Old 04-10-2020, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by idxmonster View post
you might want to re-word the thread title...
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2020, 05:23 PM
jmaclen jmaclen is online now
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Most of the "Best Entry Level Detectors/Best Detectors" websites are so out of date, written by non-users and just wrong that unfortunately they should be completely ignored.

Thankfully you came to one of the right places along with several other excellent USA metal detecting forums that have up to date information.

The Fisher F11, F22 and F44 are redesigned F2s, F4s and Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pros. First Texas (Fisher) and Garrett (Ace series) have continued to rebadge their older tech for at least 10 years with absolutely nothing really new. Fisher has done a good job of lightening the weight of their entry level detectors. So if you are looking for a detector for your daughter only, the F22, Teknetics Delta, and Teknetics Minuteman are lightweight, easy to operate and very adjustable for shorter people by removing the middle rod of the three piece rod system. This is 10 year old or older tech however and very basic.

If you are also looking for a detector for you, the new Nokta Makro Simplex has similar audio and target ID range that mimics the Fisher products. You get great warranties with First Texas and a pretty good one with the Simplex too. Some people have recommended the Simplex for kids. A teen ager, maybe.......a 10 year old is iffy in my opinion. Swinging a nose heavy almost 3 pound detector for a 70 lbs or so kid is not going to be very fun after a few minutes. Hopefully that smaller coil will come out soon.

The Ace 300 and the new Minelab Vanquish series are definitely good options for both of you. The Vanquish is extremely adjustable and is very lightweight. You can take out one of the rods and make it a straight shaft detector for smaller people too.
An Equinox for a 10 year old might work IF you had lots of detecting experience. With both of you being newbies..............???????

Jeff

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  #9  
Old 04-11-2020, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jmaclen View post


The Ace 300 and the new Minelab Vanquish series are definitely good options for both of you. The Vanquish is extremely adjustable and is very lightweight. You can take out one of the rods and make it a straight shaft detector for smaller people too.
An Equinox for a 10 year old might work IF you had lots of detecting experience. With both of you being newbies..............???????

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. This is really helpful. The point is for both of us to enjoy the activity together, but she will be the one wielding the detector mostly. When the Simplex was first suggested, I was intrigued by it. Being waterproof is nice in an area that has more navigable waterways than roads. Though I don't intend to be in the water with it, not being afraid of small mishaps near the water might make us take it to more places than others. It's not the most important factor though. Ergonomics and easy to use interface for a kid are. I don't want to overwhelm her and turn her off right away.
I feel like I'm comparing apples to oranges though. One thing I liked about the Simplex specs was the auto and manual ground balance. From what I can tell from what I've read is that I have fairly highly mineralized soil. Our surface soils are red clay and our shallow well produces really hard water. Am I overthinking this? The Vanquish has "fixed" ground balance. But it has the newer mult-IQ technology. Does that address the ground balance differently?
Also, the "iron bias" on the Vanquish 440 is high while the 540 is adjustable. We're not disinterested in large iron targets like rail spikes and other industrial artifacts. One place we will be searching is an old railway that used to serve an iron mine so iron ore pellets are scattered all around it. Is that just a recipe for frustration or are there certain tech specs to look for that will help in this area?
I want it to be affordable for my budget but have enough features to keep us engaged and help us learn. The equinox is out and the 540 starts to tip a little beyond my comfort level if the 440 is good enough. But if the additional functions of the 540 really do address some of the difficulties we may encounter and help overcome some frustration, I'd be open to it. It seems the Vanquish is just better for the money than the F22 or ACE options at a similar price point. If the Vanquish is as easy to use as those, I'm pretty much sold on it.
We still have snow on the ground here but there is bare ground in patches. It'll still be a while before the ground is diggable, but I'd love to order one soon so that we can start setting up some learning exercises so we can get out as soon as the frost is out of the ground. Vanquish 440 good enough for our situation? Just do it?
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:19 PM
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Unfortunately, opinions about starter metal detectors are as varied as the number of detectors available on the market. From what you have posted, it sounds like you want a detector that is essentially a turn-on-and-go, one that you and your daughter can grab, head out, and just have fun with and not have to worry about settings, modes, and the other more technical aspects of many detectors.

This said, I feel that I can only offer an opinion based in the machines that I have used or been around enough to have some idea of their operation:

First, the Bounty Hunter Quicksilver. This is the first detector I ever really had any exposure to. My dad (Benson10) received it for free from his employer (one of those longevity bonuses). He did well with it, but I would not purchase one.

Second, the Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro. While it may be "recycled technology" this is the first and only detector that I personally have owned. My wife gave it to me in 2019 as a Christmas present; I believe she paid around $190USD (on sale) for it on Amazon. In the four months that I have owned it, I have been out nearly every day with it and have had (what I think) is pretty good success, especially for a newbie (see my signature below). It also is VERY light. While it has some of the features that more advanced detectors have, it lacks others; but in my humble opinion, it is a good starting point for anyone not looking to spend a lot to just get out there and have fun.

Third, the Vanquish 540 pro pack. My dad (Benson10) recently purchased this detector to replace his BH Quicksilver. Since doing so he has been absolutely killing it. He has since caught up to and surpassed my clad total for the year and has found many interesting things. He recently found a 10K class ring and did a return today. All around, I am very impressed with the Vanquish 540. When it comes time for me to upgrade, it will be a top contender. From what I have seen and what my dad has said, this machine can be a turn-on-and-go with the option of some customization of modes. If it came down to the 440 and 540 for you, I would lean more toward the 540 as (for me) built in bluetooth capability, 5 vs 3 tones, and double the discrimination segments are a HUGE plus of the 540 over the 440.

Fourth, the Equinox 800. Very impressive machine, very customizable, very complicated machine. The Nox 800's little brother, the Nox 600, is just as capable and only slightly less complicated. Again, when the time comes for me to upgrade, these machines will be top contenders. The Nox is also quite heavy. From what you have said in your posts, I highly doubt that a 10 year old would enjoy swinging this beast and in all likelihood end up getting frustrated with the hobby.

Just as important as detector selection though is getting a high quality pinpointer. Others here have said that when buying a metal detector you really are only getting half of it and the pinpointer is the other half; something I totally agree with.

Good luck!

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  #11  
Old 04-15-2020, 06:44 PM
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Vanquish 440
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  #12  
Old 04-15-2020, 07:14 PM
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The simplex is the least expensive waterproof detector that is simple to use and performs very well. The vanquish 340 performs very well, is light weight and easy to use. Don't eliminate "beep n dig" detectors without a vid (number or icon display) like the Tesoros, Goldenmask and others. If you're relic hunting then you will probably be digging everything above iron so you won't need multiple tones and vdi's. These detectors can make detecting a lot more fun for a lot of kids and adults and they perform very well too.
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2020, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by YooperBSN View post

First, the Bounty Hunter Quicksilver. This is the first detector I ever really had any exposure to. My dad (Benson10) received it for free from his employer (one of those longevity bonuses). He did well with it, but I would not purchase one.
Funny you mention the Quicksilver. They've got a good marketing scheme going on with the "Dad and Me" package that also comes with the bounty hunter jr. While some people are buying performance to find specific things, a good segment of the first timers like me are actually after quality family time and that's what they are selling. I considered it, but glad I kept doing research. I think my older daughter is ready to start out with something above the junior and I really don't need to have my own. If I were getting into this with my 6 year old though, the Dad and Me would be good enough.
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:14 PM
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For the price the Quicksilver is a decent detector. It's what I first started with and got me hooked, found my first silver and gold with it and does alright on relics as well. Not the deepest but it is light weight and easy to use. My 9 year old can swing it without any problems. Also have a Whites Coin master that I won as a prize at a seeded hunt a few years back. Also a nice light decent machine my kids can swing. Good luck with your choices. Also don't forget to factor in a good pointer. Save you a lot of time going forward.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:39 AM
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Minelab Vanquish 340,440 or Ace 250 ,300.

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  #16  
Old 05-01-2020, 10:47 PM
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I noticed in the "For Sale" section, a fellow has a Fisher F2 for sale. This would make a very nice starter for sure. I bought one just to hand to friends of mine to see if detecting might become a hobby they would take an interest in...Two fellows bought the F2 after one outing using my loaner unit...Dang it, I forget and left the unit at a Buds property near Ada Oklahoma about a year ago...He uses it ever time he travels up there.
Good luck with whatever unit you choose!

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Old 05-07-2020, 06:49 PM
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Have you checked out the Minelab Go-Find 66? I was thinking about it for my son that is the same age.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cubanroots View post
Have you checked out the Minelab Go-Find 66? I was thinking about it for my son that is the same age.
We ended up with a Vanquish 540. I think it was a decent choice for her as she can find things on her own with it but there's a lot of room for growth with it. I like it. It's not difficult to use by any means and I'm learning it's language pretty quickly.
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