Handheld Metal Detector Guide for Beginners

The history of metal detectors is quite long and fascinating. It dates back to 1881 when the first metal detector was invented by Alexander Graham Bell who wanted to detect the bullet in the shot president’s (James Garfield) body. The detector was an electromagnetic device that Alexander Graham Bell called the induction balance.

But it was in 1925 when Gerhard R. Fischer invented the first portable metal detector called the Metalloscope, and in 1931 he received a patent for it. Over the years, the range of metal detectors has improved but their purpose remained the same – to help people detect hidden metal objects or metal objects buried underground.

How Do They Differ from Today’s Detectors?

One of the greatest differences between the old and today’s detectors is in technology. Today’s metal detectors are more accurate, quality and energy-efficient. They’re also lighter in weight and have a wide range of built-in features that can make metal detecting a piece of cake.

What Are The Most Common Types of Metal Detectors These Days?

PI Technology Detectors

Source: modernmetaldetectors.com

PI (Pulse Induction) detectors are one of the most popular and commonly used hand-held metal detector models. They’re perfect for those who are into hunting gold since they have excellent depth. PI hand-held detectors for metal can also handle high mineralisation and hot rocks rich in iron which is something not all detectors can handle. Being so powerful and durable explains their price, but having one can certainly pay off since they can stand the test of time.

PI detectors use a single coil to send signals down into the ground in random pulses or bursts. The pulses, on the other hand, flow outwards and create a magnetic field that reacts to any metal as you sweep. Once it detects metal, the detector sends back the signal to the control box where it’s sampled, amplified and turned into a sound that you’re able to hear through the built-in headphones or speaker.

While being perfect for detecting gold, this hand-held metal detector might not be great for detecting jewellery or coins. However, if you’re desire is to search for gold, then this is the right type of detector for you. Just keep in mind that there’s a large selection of PI detectors on the market, meaning that you should do deeper research in order to find the right size, weight and type of detector.

VLF Metal Detectors

Source: anacondastores.com

Compared to PI detectors, these ones run on lower frequencies which usually start at around 6kHz for coin and treasure hunting metal detectors and 13kHz and above for VLF multi-purpose detectors for metal which can also find gold. VLF detectors are the ones you can see used by people at the beach, in the park and in fields.

Usually, they’re used for detecting lost coins, jewellery and old treasures. While most VLF detectors are designed for detecting any other metals than gold, there are some which run on higher frequencies and have features like metal mode and sensitivity which can help in finding gold as well.

Unlike PI detectors which use only one coil, VLF detectors use two coil detection systems to detect objects. Said in simple words, one coil sends the signal into the ground and the second coil receives it and sends it into the control box which amplifies it and turns it into a sound through the built-in speaker or headphones.

These devices usually have a LED display just like some PI detector models, and this display shows a number related to the type of metal target you have found. Having a detector for metal is quite handy since you’ll be able to actually see what you’ve found.

Aside from not being suitable for finding gold, it’s also said that these detectors are susceptible to mineralisation and hot rocks. This can create serious damage, so if you’re a beginner and don’t know what you’re dealing with, this is not the right detector for you. Plus, these detectors aren’t designed to go to the same depths as PI detectors which is another great disadvantage they have.

As you can see, both of these detectors have their pros and cons, so you should choose the right model depending on your needs. But whatever type you decide to choose, an important thing to have in mind is choosing a model that’s waterproof to at least a certain level of depth. This is extremely important, especially when planning to detect metal objects at the beach.

Source: finderskeepersgold.com

How Deep Do Hand-Held Metal Detectors Go?

This depends entirely on the type of metal detector, its model and its characteristics. For instance, while some detectors can go 15 – 20cm on average, there are some that can go up to 20m.

How deep the detector can go depends mainly on the frequency the metal detector works at. So, if this is something that matters to you, you should certainly do your research and consult with someone who better understands the way these devices work.