I'm new to metal detecting and I need to know what to buy.

Cherry Picker

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How many times have we seen this question? Over my 50 years I've given advice to people new to metal detecting and now realize it probably was not as good as I thought. I used to say "buy the best you can afford", which seemed like good advice until you start thinking about it. It is only good advice to someone you expect to remain in the hobby. Out of all the people new to detecting I have given this advice, only about 2-3, that I know of, are still metal detecting.

The first thing we generally see as an answer to this question is people spitting out detector models without even knowing what they will be looking for, where they will be hunting, and if they will be learning alone or with help from a fellow detectorist. All are very important as they will help determine the best choice. Is suggesting that buying a $700 detector to someone new to metal detecting that will be learning on their own a good idea? That is good advice for someone who has help in the field learning, but on your own would be overwhelming. I'm as guilty as anyone, but now I realize, especially with todays detectors, that suggesting a good $250-$300 starter is probably a better idea. After all, first you must learn the basics of metal detecting and how they work to even make use of all those confusing features like Iron Bias, Frequency Shift, and Silencer. The lone starter needs a good simple turn-on and swing detector to get a feel for the hobby. No whistle, no tweet, no whizzing tones, but a plain and simple tone.

We have good intentions when we suggest a model that has done us well, but that isn't always the best choice.
 
Detector I hear what you're saying, but if you remember when we first started into this hobby we didn't have the resources people have today with the internet. Back then you and I had to rely on treasure magazines and catalogs you got through the mail. If we were lucky we could go to a detector dealer and get a hands on feel with more than one machine. When I got my first Garrett I had no other person to help me learn. Having a resource like the Friendly Metal detecting forum is actually a gold mine of experienced information for new people. All that being said, I agree that someone just starting out would be better off with an entry level machine to get them acquainted with the hobby. Something as simple as the Ace series or the Minelab Go Find series would be a good start. One thing I think we all would agree on is steering new folks clear of the cheap Chinese junk machines.
 
Interesting, to say the least, I am a newbie just bought my detector about a month ago, I did have a detector years ago I think it was a radio shack machine which I discovered in the attic here, tried it and realized why I never used it or got into the hobby but realized I would like to get into this hobby.

so in my case I spent hours upon hours researching reading everything and learning everything I could about modern detectors, then narrowed down what I thought was important to me, my search area, and the features I thought I would like/need, mf vs. sf, waterproof, adjustability etc.

My thought is that if you are going to take the time to learn this hobby and a machine then purchasing the best machine possible that fits within your budget and taking the time to learn it will likely eliminate the need to purchase a more or full featured machine later on, admittedly the learning curve might be a bit steeper, but the information available out there should not make this very difficult, and as with any machine use and experience comes with as much time you decide to put into it, I think learning about the machine is half the fun,

so I believe your advice in advocating purchasing the best machine your budget will allow is spot on, and that research is the key to any good decision
 
Detector I hear what you're saying, but if you remember when we first started into this hobby we didn't have the resources people have today with the internet. Back then you and I had to rely on treasure magazines and catalogs you got through the mail. If we were lucky we could go to a detector dealer and get a hands on feel with more than one machine. When I got my first Garrett I had no other person to help me learn. Having a resource like the Friendly Metal detecting forum is actually a gold mine of experienced information for new people. All that being said, I agree that someone just starting out would be better off with an entry level machine to get them acquainted with the hobby. Something as simple as the Ace series or the Minelab Go Find series would be a good start. One thing I think we all would agree on is steering new folks clear of the cheap Chinese junk machines.
Yeah to a degree I guess. Back then China made anything was taboo. We had no dealer here but lucky for me I bought a good one at a garage sale. There was no one to show me how to adjust it. It had default arrows to tell you where to set it for default basic hunting and that was what I used to learn. We did get a Garrett dealer later and I bought a lot of Garretts. Easy beep & dig. I also learned a lot from the local dealer and MAGs. Whites & Garrett in hand was my main teachers.
 
so I believe your advice in advocating purchasing the best machine your budget will allow is spot on, and that research is the key to any good decision
But not everyone takes the time, or has the resources, to research. They just ask now, but don't know what to ask.

If I was getting in the street racer hobby I would hope they had the common sense to not use the idea "buy what you can afford to buy". The last thing a new street racer needs is a blown, nitro-injected, balanced & blue printed car as a beginner LOL. You work your way up as your skill improves. Now I have no issues with a full features detector that also has a beginner's mode, but few do. Had I been given the advice I've seen often when I was starting out I probably never would have remained in the hobby.
 
My thought is that if you are going to take the time to learn this hobby and a machine then purchasing the best machine possible that fits within your budget and taking the time to learn it will likely eliminate the need to purchase a more or full featured machine later on, admittedly the learning curve might be a bit steeper, but the information available out there should not make this very difficult, and as with any machine use and experience comes with as much time you decide to put into it, I think learning about the machine is half the fun,
Correct. A lot of it is visual perception. A person who has never been exposed to metal detecting watches a program on tv where there are a couple guys swinging coils and making some awesome finds. What's not shown is all the trash they dug between the live digs. These new folks get it in their head that I can buy this detector, turn it on and get rich by the end of the day. Well, we all know that is just not the case. It takes time, patience, and the will to continue that makes the difference between becoming a detectorist, or having an unused machine stuck in a closet. :waytogo:
 
It had default arrows to tell you where to set it for default basic hunting and that was what I used to learn
AAHHH yes the default arrows. :rofl2: I looked at those the same way I looked at a cheat sheet you smuggled into a test at school. I gotta say they did help.:waytogo:
 
Some 15 years ago I did a test for just such a case. I was hunting a park and was approached by a guy who said he was thinking about getting into detecting but didn't know how they worked or if he'd like it. I handed him my Whites DFX and told him nothing but how to turn it on. I told him to just follow the directions. It was a test for me. We hunt for an hour or so and when he was done he came to me with a hand full of coins and a few pieces of junk. From that point on I had no problems recommending the DFX to new users. How many of today's detectors would meet that results?
 
in any hobby or sport you will always have closet queen equipment just because folks look at something that looks interesting sounds wonderful or for whatever reason they decide to buy or try something, music, road racing, metal detecting, whatever and decide the work/time involved to become proficient is just to hard or isn't worth the effort,

my first and second time out with my detector I very happily dug up probably 15- 20 bottle caps a s**t load of pull tabs a couple of beer cans and .52 cents the experience was awesome would recommend it to anyone,

next thing to learn Bottle Cap Rejection....... maybe
 
in any hobby or sport you will always have closet queen equipment just because folks look at something that looks interesting sounds wonderful or for whatever reason they decide to buy or try something, music, road racing, metal detecting, whatever and decide the work/time involved to become proficient is just to hard or isn't worth the effort,

my first and second time out with my detector I very happily dug up probably 15- 20 bottle caps a s**t load of pull tabs a couple of beer cans and .52 cents the experience was awesome would recommend it to anyone,

next thing to learn Bottle Cap Rejection....... maybe
I bought a 2007 Fender Stratocaster Standard in mint condition, with an amp & cables for $50 at a garage sale. I'm sure this closet queen was bought by some kid's parents when he said he wanted to learn to play the guitar. They spent a lot of money on a guitar, he played it once and it went in the closet. Maybe they were rich, but they could have spent $150 for a guitar to see if he liked playing or was going to give it up.

I'm not complaining LOL.
 
Detector I hear what you're saying, but if you remember when we first started into this hobby we didn't have the resources people have today with the internet. Back then you and I had to rely on treasure magazines and catalogs you got through the mail. If we were lucky we could go to a detector dealer and get a hands on feel with more than one machine. When I got my first Garrett I had no other person to help me learn. Having a resource like the Friendly Metal detecting forum is actually a gold mine of experienced information for new people. All that being said, I agree that someone just starting out would be better off with an entry level machine to get them acquainted with the hobby. Something as simple as the Ace series or the Minelab Go Find series would be a good start. One thing I think we all would agree on is steering new folks clear of the cheap Chinese junk machines.
Really good point Bill!
As I look back how quickly things changed in my work life and then in the detecting industry, it is staggering!!
 
Not that southwest Kansas is a bunch of hicks, but I know quite a few that don't use the Internet at all. It just isn't the necessity of life as it is in other parts of the US. Not by a lack of availability, but by choice.
 
As I look back how quickly things changed in my work life and then in the detecting industry, it is staggering!!
Amen to that brother Bee. In one way I believe we had it made and didn't even realize it. For detecting we had to learn it the hard way. And for that reason, it stuck with us. Do I like watching tutorial videos, oh heck yeah. I'm one of those people who can read a manual 42 times and still not know what to do. Show me once and I'll remember it for eve...........quite a while.:rofl2:
 
Not that southwest Kansas is a bunch of hicks, but I know quite a few that don't use the Internet at all. It just isn't the necessity of life as it is in other parts of the US. Not by a lack of availability, but by choice.
I agree as I have a few friends who for whatever reason don't use the internet also, but won't hesitate to ask for help with something they are attempting to find or learn,
 
How many times have we seen this question? Over my 50 years I've given advice to people new to metal detecting and now realize it probably was not as good as I thought. I used to say "buy the best you can afford", which seemed like good advice until you start thinking about it. It is only good advice to someone you expect to remain in the hobby. Out of all the people new to detecting I have given this advice, only about 2-3, that I know of, are still metal detecting.

The first thing we generally see as an answer to this question is people spitting out detector models without even knowing what they will be looking for, where they will be hunting, and if they will be learning alone or with help from a fellow detectorist. All are very important as they will help determine the best choice. Is suggesting that buying a $700 detector to someone new to metal detecting that will be learning on their own a good idea? That is good advice for someone who has help in the field learning, but on your own would be overwhelming. I'm as guilty as anyone, but now I realize, especially with todays detectors, that suggesting a good $250-$300 starter is probably a better idea. After all, first you must learn the basics of metal detecting and how they work to even make use of all those confusing features like Iron Bias, Frequency Shift, and Silencer. The lone starter needs a good simple turn-on and swing detector to get a feel for the hobby. No whistle, no tweet, no whizzing tones, but a plain and simple tone.

We have good intentions when we suggest a model that has done us well, but that isn't always the best choice.
Good post whats best for a beginner is pretty dang subjective, and with out really knowing the person it really is kind of tough to give someone a answer to that question, because what is good for me may not be the best for someone just starting out, there are so many so called beginners detectors out there now, that are so close in performance that to me it is really kind of up in the air as to what to suggest to someone just starting out in this great hobby
 
Good post whats best for a beginner is pretty dang subjective, and with out really knowing the person it really is kind of tough to give someone a answer to that question, because what is good for me may not be the best for someone just starting out, there are so many so called beginners detectors out there now, that are so close in performance that to me it is really kind of up in the air as to what to suggest to someone just starting out in this great hobby
Most people tend to think of themselves when suggesting a new detector without realizing the new person is probably not near as devoted to the idea as they were. they get mad when the detector doesn't give them a hand full of goods right off the bat and wonder why they spent $700 when they could have got one for $250. To them, they all look the same.

Out of the new detectors, I've tried I sure wouldn't recommend one to someone new to detecting unless they had help. But that is just me. There is a reason they have an "entry level" detector, and its not just price.
 
When I returned to the hobby after 40 years, I researched detectors and came to the conclusion that the X-Terra was the best machine for my needs, based on where I was hunting and soil conditions. That machine was a steep learning curve for me. I did it, but after buying my wife a Vanquish, if I had to go back and do it again, I would have started with the simpler machine and worked my way up to the X-Terra.
 
I gave the Whites DFX as an example because in my opinion it truly is a detector that can go from entry level to top end. A one time purchase to not only take you from beginner to expert but teach you as you go. The DFX didn't just give you numbers, like many of today's "entry level" detectors, but would display two icons, one of what was most likely under the coil and the other a second likely. From the time you turned it on it would tell you what to do. Teach you if you were on your own. In my opinion, the DFX was one of the few, even today, designed to take you from beginner to expert with one machine.

Confidence is what keeps most newcomers in the hobby. The DFX would give you a most likely icon, and a possible icon. When it showed there was most likely a dime under the coil, and you recover a dime it gives you confidence in being more successful. The so called entry level detector of today just gives you a number that you need to memorize. You get an 83 and look it up as a possible dime. You find it is a dime, next you get a 79 OK, again a possible dime, but you recover pull tab. Now you have doubts about what those numbers mean. Even the Garrett AT Pro had pictures of a possible penny, dime, nickel, quarter, pull tab, and foil. That is what an entry level detector looks like, not just a cheap price.
 
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When I returned to the hobby after 40 years, I researched detectors and came to the conclusion that the X-Terra was the best machine for my needs, based on where I was hunting and soil conditions. That machine was a steep learning curve for me. I did it, but after buying my wife a Vanquish, if I had to go back and do it again, I would have started with the simpler machine and worked my way up to the X-Terra.
thats funny the Xterra 705, which happens to be my favorite detector of all I have used my wife and I purchased a AT Pro and the 705 shortly after, would I ever suggest a new user purchase a Xterra 705 for a first detector, even though I did as one of my fist detectors, no way in you know where would I ever recommend a Xterra 705 to someone new to detecting, and you are correct the Xterra 705 has one of the steepest leaning curves of all the detectors I have ever used, it took me two years to actually learn what the 705 was telling me, had it not been for randy Horton's AKA (Digger) book I would have wrapped the 705 around a tree, but then one day a light bulb turned on and I had an Ah Ha moment and the rest was history

the problem is most new detectorist cannot tell you if they will stick with the hobby or not and most do not they will purchase the most or close to the most expensive detector they can find because they have watched some you tuber telling everyone this is the detector they need so the newbies will end up with dreams of becoming rich, with grand illusions of only digging great finds (which any of us that have detected for any length of time knows is not even happening) and then the newbies lose interest really quick when they go out their first time and dig 500 pull tabs and a bunch of other junk LOL and maybe find a few clad coins then their dream is smashed to pieces, if the you tubers would actually show the amount of trash to actual garbage most new people would not even give detecting a second look at all.

I wish some of these newbies would find someone in their area and go out with that person just so they could get a taste of reality of detecting before actually purchasing any detector, like the detecting I do which is nugget detecting come out with me one time and look at the 500 little shotgun pellets us gold detectorist find and lead bullets and spent casings and other crap, just to finally find 1-3 nuggets or no nuggets how many newbies does anyone think would actually stick with detecting at all, if newbies would go out with an open mind and look at it and reallize you are going to dig more trash then you are treasure they might and I repeat just might just stick with this hobby
 
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