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Looking For My First Metal Detector. Using At: South Florida Beaches

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Im looking to get my first metal detector and will be using mostly at the beaches here in South Florida. I'll occasionally use use it more inland so would like it to be versatile. Also, wouldnt mind if it waterproof in case it gets wet at the beach. My budget is up to $1000. Can anyone recommend something that will work for me?

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Welcome to the forum, Sid.

If you want a great beach detector with versatility, you can't go wrong with a Minelab Equinox 600 ($649) or 800 ($899).  It uses simultaneous multi frequency (called Multi IQ) which gives it maximum stability in salt sand and salt water vs. single frequency metal detectors, is waterproof, uses wireless audio so you don't have to worry about headphone cables getting in the way but only the 800 includes the wireless phones in the box (unless you are actually submerging the detector fully in the surf, in that case you need to separately purchase wired waterproof phones), has multiple modes for beach, park, and field hunting.  The 800 includes a high frequency mode suited for gold prospecting.  It can be utilized effectively using the default settings but has advanced settings as you grow in your abilities. 

All that being said, if this is going to be your first metal detector, I would highly suggest the Minelab Vanquish.  It too uses multifrequency (Multi IQ), but its settings are more limited than the Equinox, yet it has modes that are suitable for beach and inland hunting.  I would suggest either the Vanquish 440 ($280) or the 540 ($370) which has wireless capability but you have to buy the headphones separately.  The 540 Pro Pack ($500) comes with wireless headphones and an extra, smaller search coil ideal for trashy situations or for working in and around tight spots like around playground equipment on tot lots.   Unlike the Equinox, the control housing is not waterproof, but the detector coils are waterproof so you can take it into the shallow surf wash or swing it in tide pools or surf cuts on the beach. 

I recommend the Vanquish because it performs well and probably handles 90% of situations the typical detectorist will encounter.  The lower investment means that you are taking less of a risk if the hobby doesn't turn out to be all you imagined (you will dig A LOT more bottle caps, pull tabs, bear cans, fish tackle and other beach trash vs. coins, spanish treasure, and rings, though you will get better at recognizing trash signals you become more experienced but even a pro has trouble differentiating a pull tab from a gold ring or even a nickel - so set your expectations at a realistic level).  You will also need to invest in a sand or water scoop and finds pouch (I recommend a scoop with a handle vs. a hand scoop, the constant bending over will get to you after awhile) and for land hunting a digging tool of some sort and a pinpointer (mini hand held metal detector) for recovering your targets from the dig holes (not really needed for beach hunting as your scoop sifts the sand from the target).  Hope this Helps and Good Luck.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for letting everyone know your choice and for showing your finds.  If you post up often here you will be able to look back in a couple of years and see what you have found in the past.

You have lots of beaches.  Get the goodies before someone else does.


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Hey Sid,

Maybe I'll see you out there! I'm one of those "someone else" people that Mitchel, (mn90403) was just talking about!🤣

Yeah,; " Where's Waldo" at Jupiter inlet! Photo's courtesy of "Big👁Brother"🤣👍👍



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I'm Social Distancing!😷

 This is how my Nurse wife makes sure i'm following the rules!! And not the "Bikini Line"!👙🤣🤣

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