Metal Detector Reviews UK
- 1 Metal Detector Reviews UK
- 1.1 Garrett EuroAce Review – Our Number 1
- 1.2 X-Terra 705 Universal Metal Detector Review – Number 2
- 1.3 X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector Review – Number 3
- 1.4 Garrett Depth Probe Metal Detector Review – Number 4
- 1.5 Fisher F4 Visual and Audio Target ID Metal Detector Review – Number 5
- 1.6 Verdict
- 2 Metal Detectors Buyers Guide
- 2.1 A brief history of metal detectors
- 2.2 The different types of metal detectors
- 2.3 Hand Held Units
- 2.4 Beat Frequency Oscillation
- 2.5 Very Low-Frequency Detectors
- 2.6 Pulse Induction
- 2.7 Industrial Metal Detectors
- 2.8 What to look for in a metal detector?
- 2.9 Price
- 2.10 Coil
- 2.11 Functionality and Features
- 2.12 Brand
- 2.13 Design
- 2.14 So, what can metal detector be used for?
- 2.15 Ferrous Metal
- 2.16 Non-Ferrous
- 2.17 Stainless Steel
- 2.18 Archaeological Uses
- 2.19 As a Hobby
- 2.20 The Ringlemere Cup
- 2.21 The Roman Coin Hoard
- 2.22 The Silverdale Hoard
- 2.23 The Hoxne Hoard
Scouring the countryside for hours on end, treasure hunters spend a lot of time listening for that elusive bounty. To help them in their quest, they will employ a metal detector to scan the area around them to see what’s under the surface. Here are a list of the top five metal detectors around at the moment.
Garrett EuroAce Review – Our Number 1
The Garrett EuroAce (VIEW PRICE HERE!) is a well-made metal detector that uses number of different features to get the best results. Here are a few of the features that made it number one.
- The double-D search coil is 28 x 22 cm and is a very high performance detector. It is powerful enough to give the user the best feedback from the ground.
- The Garrett EuroAce uses a higher 8.25 KHz frequency so that it can detect smaller objects than other detectors.
- Greater distinction between ferrous and non-ferrous objects thanks to its enhanced Audio-Tone ID.
- Improved headphones with volume control means that objects signals can be heard much clearer than ever before.
There is no doubt that the Garrett EuroAce offers an improved capability over previous models. It also uses the best technology currently available to give the user the best experience.
X-Terra 705 Universal Metal Detector Review – Number 2
This metal detector by X-Terra is highly versatile because of its ability to change the detection heads. This will be great for those who want a different frequency depending on the ground they are on. Here is why it’s at number two.
- The frequency of the detector can be changed by using different coils. The detector is compatible with all 7 of the X-Terra coils currently available.
- The ground balance range from between 1 to 90 and it has automatic beach tracking settings.
- Perfect for hunting coins, jewellery and other relics an almost any type of soil.
- It is easy to assemble and is perfectly balanced so you won’t get tired arms.
Overall, the X-Terra Universal Metal Detector is a great all round product. It is very flexible and will make it easy for the user to find those hidden gems.
X-Terra 705 Universal Gold Pack Metal Detector Review – Number 3
This detector is another very versatile product that has a lot of settings to choose from. It is capable of detecting many types of objects, even the smallest. It has a powerful search coil that can penetrate deep into the soil. Here are a few other reasons it made number three.
- The X-Terra uses the latest VFLEX technology to greatly enhance the single frequency achieved by this machine.
- It can use low, medium and high frequencies due to its ability to change coils. It is compatible with all 7 of the X-Terra coil accessories.
- This particular type is specially designed to detect gold nuggets and coins in even the remotest of settings.
- It has highly tuned settings to help detect gold in highly-mineralized areas. The detector has even been tested in Alaska to make sure it can do the job.
The X-Terra 705 universal Gold Pack Metal Detector is a good piece of kit if you are particularly looking for gold. But such is its versatility, that it can also detect many other objects with a change of coil.
Garrett Depth Probe Metal Detector Review – Number 4
The Garrett Death Probe is packed with features and is built to withstand the harshest conditions. It has several modes available depending on the type of ground you are detecting on. But that’s just some of its features, here are some of the others.
- All-Metal mode gives a deep detection depth that can pick up even the smallest of objects. It is particularly good at finding metal and gold deposits.
- It is designed to be one touch operation. All you need to do is press a button and it will start up ready for action. It will either begin with factory settings or your own personal settings.
- It can be immersed in water up to 3 meters in depth so looking for objects in water need not be a problem.
- A host of settings dedicates to targeting and detecting that makes this product very accurate.
This metal detector has been specially designed to deal with deep objects in many types of soil and sand. It also has the added advantage of being able to work underwater without any problems.
Fisher F4 Visual and Audio Target ID Metal Detector Review – Number 5
The Fisher F4 metal detector is well made deep seeking product that has a lot of features for its compact design. It is a great all round detector that will appeal to those new to the profession, or those who want a more variable hit rate. Let us have a look at some of its features.
- Well-made design with easy to use controls for variable uses.
- High and deep seeking with a manual ground balance, ideal for many types of terrain.
- It is equipped with an 11 inch bi-axial search coil that allows the user to detect objects from deep down as well as a wide radius.
- The visual and audio capabilities of the Fisher F4 means you can hear as well as see your targets with ease.
- At just 2.2 kg is weight, it is perfectly balanced to give the user the best experience with the product.
The design and features of the Fisher F4 metal detector are impressive and will no doubt appeal to many hunters. Its wide radius and flexibility means it can be used by people new to metal detecting who want to learn the technique. This detector well deserves its number five spot on the list.
The overall top spot goes to the Garrett EuroAce metal detector. It has a powerful search coil that is ideal for those looking to find things deep in the ground. It is also specially designed to find specific metals and gold, even the smallest of pieces. This together with the variable settings and improved abilities, make this a worthy product for the top spot on the list.
Metal Detectors Buyers Guide
This is such as vast topic it can be a little hard to know where to begin, but to make it easier to read I am going to break it down into a few sections. The first will cover a brief history of the metal detector, the second will cover the different types of metal detectors and some of their features, third will cover what they can be used for and lastly, I will give you some examples of amazing finds that have been discovered thanks to metal detectors.
A brief history of metal detectors
Near the end of the 19th century scientist and engineers began using their knowledge of electrical theory to try to create a machine that would be able to locate metal. This type of device would give miners a huge advantage while looking for ore-bearing rocks. The early models were very simple and worked in a very limited capacity. In 1874 Gustave Trouvé invented a hand-held device that was designed to locate metal objects, such as bullets and shrapnel, from patients. In 1881, inspired by Gustave Trouvé, Alexander Graham Bell developed a similar machine in an attempt to locate a bullet that had been lodged in the chest of the American president James Garfield. The metal detector worked well however it did get confused by the metal springs in the ned Garfield was laying on. This device was an electromagnetic machine that he called the induction balance.
Metal detectors were used after the first world war to locate unexploded bombs and the development of the metal detector really began in the 1920’s when Gerhard Fischar invented a portable metal detector and his first model was sold commercially in 1931 and he was behind the first large scale production of metal detectors.
Gerhard Fisher was the founder of Fisher Research Laboratory and he was commissioned as a research engineer with the Federal Telegraph Co. and Western Air Express to develop airborne direction finding equipment. He was awarded some of the first patents issued in the field of airborne direction finding by means of radio. During the course of his work, he encountered some strange errors and once he solved these problems, he had the foresight to apply the solution to a completely unrelated field, that of metal and mineral detection.
The first industrial metal detectors were developed in the 1960s and were used extensively for mineral prospecting and other industrial applications. Uses include de-mining (the detection of land mines), the detection of weapons such as knives and guns (especially in airport security), geophysical prospecting, archaeology and treasure hunting. Metal detectors are also used to detect foreign bodies in food, and in the construction industry to detect steel reinforcing bars in concrete and pipes and wires buried in walls and floors.
The different types of metal detectors
A metal detector is an electronic instrument which detects the presence of metal nearby. Metal detectors can help people find metal inclusions hidden within objects, or metal objects buried underground.
Hand Held Units
Beat Frequency Oscillation
This type of metal detector is the most basic of metal detectors and the concept behind how it works is very simple and easy to understand. This metal detector is considered weak and is the option most commonly used in most electronics shops as it can only locate objects that are no further down than about two feet. All metal detectors use a coiled of copper rolled around a ring of iron or steel the detectors have one large ring that is attached to the base of the detector. In addition to this it has another tiny ring attached slightly higher. The coils are both connected to oscillators that can generate a frequency. The two coils work at different frequency and this difference is what the speakers attached to the metal detector detect and feed out to announce you have found something. This speaker, which usually comes in the form of a wearable headpiece produce a constant hum that can be heard by the person using the detector and when the base coil comes across a metallic object, the interaction of electromagnetics causes an interference in frequency transmission. This interference is what is used as proof of the existence of a metal object.
Very Low-Frequency Detectors
This type is one of the most popular metal detectors currently in use today and this is especially so among experienced treasure seekers and geocachers. The type of detector can be highly accurate and is usually very sensitive. This coil also has a pair of coils, which work together, the first coil is the transmitter, usually giving off an intense electric current while the second coil is a receiver; meaning it picks the signal from the main coil and amplifies it many times over.
The transmitter coil works by looping a magnetic field above and below ground, the field usually extends about two feet into the ground. When the field comes into contact with something metallic it creates a magnetic current. It is this current that then interferes with the perfect magnetic loop running into the ground and the secondary coil picks up the interference. This coil magnifies the interference and sends it into an audio system attached to the metal detector. Thus, the person is then able to tell if there is an object in the ground. The beauty about this detector is that each metal objector generates a different frequency so you can learn to recognise what metal has been discovered.
Highly magnetic objects such as steel or iron generate a very power field and this field is quite distinct, some detectors have the technology to indicate this which is a great added bonus as it saves you wasting time digging up the earth just to find another crushed soft drink can. In addition, it can detect objects with a very low magnetic pulse and this can include precious metals such as gold.
This type of metal detector is one of the latest innovations in detecting metallic objects in a handheld device. Security guards tend to use this type of detectors for detecting concealed weapons at security checkpoints. However, the technology is not very efficient in distinguishing between the different types of metals, such as a metal pin that could have been implanted into someone’s leg after a bad break. This system works in a similar way to echolocation, which is what bats used to navigate their surroundings.
An example of this would be if someone were to make a sound in a padded room the majority of the sound would be lost. If they were then to repeat the same sound in a room full of hard surfaces, they would experience a very powerful echo and this is how pulse induction works.
The detector usually relies on one coil or a number of coils that work as one. This is unlike other detectors that relies on two complementary coils working together. The pulse induction detector works by sending out a short burst of powerful current through the coil or coils, this pulse then disappears and the magnetic field quickly reverses.
This then generates a short electric current, which then disappears. The current generated is used to establish a report on the objects present in the ground or on the body, or in a bag. If there is a magnetic object located in the area it will undoubtedly interfere with the current that has been generated and thus a signal is made to alert the operator to the presence of a metallic object. This model works well because the pulsing motion lets it detect only signals it has generated and does not get con fused by other signals or interference. This type of detector remains one of the most expensive types of detectors currently in existence.
Industrial Metal Detectors
Even though this type is no good for locating buried treasure it was worth mentioning as it is another type of metal detector.
Industrial metal detector, door frame detectors, are the ones you tend to come across in airport security check points and other secure buildings. The sheer size of these pieces of equipment mean they are not suitable for finding treasure. The detector on the basic principles of electromagnetism to work. This type of detector is very effective in deterring criminals from accessing a building or secure area with concealed weapons.
What to look for in a metal detector?
Here is a little subheading on this area just to help you out of you are considering purchasing a metal detector and have no real idea where to begin and what you would need to have for the use you intend to use it for.
For most people, the main factor to consider is usually price, however this shouldn’t really be the case because the difference between an effective piece of equipment and basically a toy is nominal and if you want to make a real hobby out of this then it’s worth paying that little bit extra to get a decent metal detector.
While you want to find something reasonably priced try not to be tempted in going too low. If your budget is to stick to less than £100, try not to go too low as the cheaper ones of around £20 are really only any good for children. If you find a second hand one be careful and ensure that you get the full specs and are able to test it out to ensure that it is in full working order before you hand over any cash.
As with most things in life the bigger it is the better it is and this is no exception when it comes to the coils in metal detectors. The larger the coil the more sensitive the instrument is and the better hunting you will have. Coils come in a variety of sizes and different sizes not only mean more strength but what they are good for.
Smallest – 5 inches.
These are sometimes referred to as mini coils or snipers and are perfect for heavily trashed areas as they can pinpoint coins and other worthwhile metals in between all the other junk. This size is also good for detecting near to metal poles and wire fences without getting confused. This size can be good for beginners as it gives you a better chance to fund something interesting.
Small – 5-8 inches
This size is good for tight spots and where you come across a lot of natural obstacles such as dense vegetation and tree roots. They are also good for highly mineralised ground and have a larger depth range than a sniper but are still just as easy to manoeuvre. These sizes of coils are great for searching cellars and old homesteads, if mineralisation is low and junk is moderate the 8 inch is the best for depth, target separation and pinpointing desirable objects.
Medium – 8- 11.5 inches
This range is the usual standard size for most metal detectors and are sometimes known as the ‘golden medium’ of coils as they have been designed for general use and are able to locate a range of targets under average metal detecting conditions. These coils are great but can lose their effectiveness under extreme conditions, so if the area is highly trashed with iron for instance then you would be better off swapping out to use a smaller coil such as a 5 to 7 inch as this will help you locate the worthwhile amongst the trash. Similarly, if the area to be search is a field then you would be better off selecting a 15-inch coil as this can do the job much quicker.
Large – 11.5-24 inches
These coils have the deepest depth penetration, in theory it should mean that they can pick up more objects but they can be affected by interference from mineralisation of the area. The maximum practical size is 15 inches, anything larger would require a pulse induction detector to work acurately.
A simple rule of thumb for larger coils is as follows: as the size and depth of the target you seek increases and the concentration of junk targets decreases, the size of the search coil should increase. Meaning if you know there could be something buried deeper down and there is likely to be less junk in the surrounding area then you should opt for a larger coil.
Some additional features that would be useful could be an interchangeable coil for instance, as this would mean that you are getting two for the price of one. Another very useful feature would be the coil’s waterproof nature, some are semi-waterproof meaning they can be used in shallow waters but not in deep ones. This is subject to preference and location but a full water-proof beats a semi any day. The technology of the coil is also important and the latest ones use D-tech which is well worth looking out for.
Functionality and Features
There are several features that will vary depending on the type of metal detector you have chosen to go with, but as a rule the £100 or less devices will tend to be a very-low frequency (VLF) type. The minimum you should expect from this level and price of technology is:
Target discrimination: whatever they may package this feature as the detector should be able to discriminate targets based on their signal strength and depth and give you an option to determine what strength you want to find. This will allow you to locate only object of interest and not every metallic object under your feet.
Ground balance: whether automatic or user-defined, you should be able to minimize interference by electro-magnetic waves and minerals in the soil. This sensitivity and discrimination should be altered to your preference and the area you are targeting.
LCD Display: Having an LCD display beats having none at all and makes the process less audible based, which is good for those with some level of hearing impairment. You should be able to find a display with the sensitivity, target ID and battery level icons. The audio could have in-built speakers or come with headphones and the headphone jack should be there for your comfort and suitability. At this price, do not count on high end headphones being a part of the parcel. On the tones, mono-tone to three or four tones are available. This depends on your choice but generally having more tones is always better as you tend to only dig up what you want rather than doing a blind survey.
This is a personal preference but if you are new to this then it is worth looking up customer reviews n sites such as Amazon, Bounty Hunter and Coinmaster. This will give you an idea of the reliability and functionality of any given unit that you are interested in from people who are actually using it.
The best ones come with adjustable shaft lengths and are user-centred, these tend to be the most comfortable to use. Features to look out for include arm-rest padding and the handle materials. Metal detectors are handy tools that tend to be used for prolonged periods of time so being relatively lightweight is an important feature to consider.
So, what can metal detector be used for?
As it has already been ascertained different sized metal detectors are better at some jobs than others so this question isn’t quite as pointless as it may seem at first. The question should however be rephrased to ask what can metal detectors find and this is quite and extensive list.
There are three main types of metal that can be picked up by a metal detector these are as follows:
Ferrous Metal is any metal that can be attracted to a magnet, examples of this type of metal include:
- Alloy steel
- Iron based super alloys
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel
Basically, any iron or steel based metal is considered ferrous and it is the easiest metal to find, as well as being one of the largest contaminant in industrial environments. Examples of these are paper clips, thumbtacks, pins, staples, most screws, nails, washers, welding slag, rust and abrasions from metal to metal contact.
Non-Ferrous metal is as you would expect, its non-magnetic metals such as copper, aluminium, brass and lead. It will take approximately 50% more of a non-ferrous metal to be as detectable as a ferrous metal.
Stainless Steel is always the most difficult metal to detect due to its poor electrical conductive qualities. By definition, stainless steel has low magnetic permeability and a stainless steel sphere would have to be 50% larger than a ferrous sphere to produce the same signal strength on the metal detector.
Metal detectors are widely used in archaeology to help archaeologists discover hidden artefacts at dig sites. They have ben utilising this method for many years and the first recorded use was by a military historian by the name of Don Rickey in 1958, who used one to detect the firing lines at Little Big Horn.
However, archaeologists oppose the use of metal detectors by “artefact seekers” or “site looters” whose activities disrupt archaeological sites. The problem with use of metal detectors in archaeological sites or more to the point hobbyist who find objects of archaeological interest is that the context that the object was found in is lost and no detailed survey of its surroundings is made. Outside of known sites the significance of objects may not be apparent to a metal detector hobbyist
As a Hobby
There are various types of hobby activities that involve metal detectors and these include:
- Coin shooting this is looking for coins after an event that had a lot people in attendance such as football games, circuses, fairgrounds and any other event in fields where people would have handed over cash for food or services. Another one is to simply be looking for any old coins. Some coin shooters conduct historical research to locate sites with potential to give up historical and collectible coins.
- Prospecting is looking for valuable metals such as gold and silver, and in some cases copper in their natural forms, such as nuggets or flakes.
- They can also be used to locate discarded or lost valuable man-made objects such as mobile phones, cameras and other devices.
- General metal detecting is very similar to coin shooting except that the user is after any type of historical artefact or object of value. Detectorists may be dedicated to preserving historical artefacts and often have considerable expertise in their chosen area. Coins, bullets, buttons, axe heads and buckles are just a few of the items that are commonly found by relic hunters.
- Beach combing is another option as this is all about hunting for lost coins or jewellery on a beach. Beach hunting can be as simple or as complicated as one wishes to make it. Many dedicated beach hunters also familiarize themselves with tide movements and beach erosion.
Some of the world’s most notable metal detector finds
There have been many valuable finds from around the world but here are just a few to show you what can be found with a metal detector.
The following examples have been found by armatures.
The Ringlemere Cup
Location: Sandwich, Kent
One morning in a muddy field near Ringlemere, East Kent, metal detector hobbyist called Cliff Bradshaw heard a tell-tale beep from his machine as he swept the ground. After some digging Mr Bradshaw unearthed an exquisite and rare gold chalice, now known as the Ringlemere Cup. It was only the second example of its type to come from Britain
These gold cups date from the very early Bronze Age (2300 BC – 4000 years ago). They are similar to examples found around the Mediterranean, suggesting connections between the Cornish and Greek peoples at the time. The cup was purchased from Mr Bradshaw by the British Museum for £270,000.
The Roman Coin Hoard
Location: Frome, Somerset
Hobbyist Dave Crisp was hoping, at best, to find a roman silver coin when he started searching in a farmer’s field near Frome. After a few hours of sweeping the ground he received a ‘funny signal’. That signal turned out to be one of the largest coin hordes ever found.
During an emergency 3-day excavation of the site over 52,000 Roman coins were found, amounting to an astounding half a million pounds in value. Unfortunately for Dave his entire find was confiscated by the Crown.
The Silverdale Hoard
Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire
When David Whelan and his son Andrew went off metal detecting in a North Yorkshire field little did they know what they were about to unearth. After receiving a strong signal, they discovered, hidden amongst scraps of iron, a finely engraved silver bowl. Upon realising its value a full-scale dig commenced which ultimately produced 617 silver coins and 65 other fine silver items.
Most of the items were made in France or Germany around 900 AD. They include ornaments, ingots and jewellery. The vessel in which they were hidden in is lined with gold and decorated with vines, leaves and six hunting scenes showing lions, stags, and a horse.
The horde was sold to the Yorkshire Museum, the Whelans and the landowners were left to split a cool 1 million pounds.
The Hoxne Hoard
Location: Hoxne, Suffolk
All the treasure mentioned so far have been found by people in search of treasure; this particular hoard however was found by men in search of a lost hammer. Peter Whatling summoned his friend Eric Lawes to help him search for an errant tool. While searching in Peter’s field they uncovered silver spoons, gold jewellery and numerous coins.
After a full excavation of the field, over 15,000 roman coins and 200 other items were found, including very rare examples roman jewellery. Lawes received a finder’s fee of £1.75m which was shared equally between himself and his farmer friend. This is the largest payment ever granted by the crown to a treasure hunter.
These are just a few examples of things people have found, some when looking for them and the last when they were simply looking for a hammer. You never know what it lurking beneath your feet so it might be worth having a detector session just in case you’re walking over a treasure trove of your own.