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Questions From A Newbie From Chicagoland


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Hi All,

I live in Chicago suburbs, am quite new to the hobby, about to buy my first detector. I did some research and have a few final questions I was hoping you could help me with:

1. Should I buy Minelab Vanquish 340 or Fisher F22, or do you have a strong suggestion for another model? (Honestly, I'm new to this, I'd like to find gold and historical relics but live in the semi-suburbs and worry about excessive anti-detecting regulations and hostile people)

2. Pinpointer: are they all the same, or should I stick to top brands like Garret, Mr. Otel or Minelab, even though they are 5x more expensive than copycats on Amazon?

3. I have a degree in anthropology (though I work in a quite different business field). Does metal detecting lead one to archaeology or numismatics necessarily? Does numismatics help with metal detecting?...
Thanks so much for your insights.


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Welcome to the forum phd_angel!

I've only been detecting a little under three months, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt, but I will attempt to answer your questions.

I have the Minelab 440, and I love it! It is my backup detector, but I find it to be very capable in a variety of scenarios. I don't know all the differences between the 340 and 440, but I know a lot of people are impressed with the features of the 340 given its price point. I know bupkis about the Fisher F22, but someone here will.

Not all pinpointers are the same, but I would highly recommend NOT buying a copycat.  Buy good tools, and you only cry once! I am using a Garrett Pro Pointer AT, and it works well for me.

As for question number three, from my limited experience, as I have found interesting relics, or older coins, I have developed a definite interest in history, archaeology, and numismatics. Maybe not out of necessity, but out of genuine interest.

Hope this helps a bit, and I know other more experienced folks will chime in.  Again welcome to the forum! Looking forward to hearing more from you.


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1 hour ago, phd_angel said:

1. Should I buy Minelab Vanquish 340 or Fisher F22, or do you have a strong suggestion for another model? (Honestly, I'm new to this, I'd like to find gold and historical relics but live in the semi-suburbs and worry about excessive anti-detecting regulations and hostile people)

2. Pinpointer: are they all the same, or should I stick to top brands like Garret, Mr. Otel or Minelab, even though they are 5x more expensive than copycats on Amazon?

3. I have a degree in anthropology (though I work in a quite different business field). Does metal detecting lead one to archaeology or numismatics necessarily? Does numismatics help with metal detecting?...

Welcome phd_angel!  You're off to a good start -- joining detectorprospector.com.  You ask good questions and you may get different answers, but that's the richness of life.  Here are mine.

1.  Well, you seem to have narrowed it down to two detectors.  When you say "I'd like to find gold..." do you mean naturally occurring gold or processed gold (such as jewelry) or ??  And if naturally occuring, in the Midwest or do you have plans to travel west soon?  Actually your answers probably aren't relevant between these two as the Fisher F22 is low single frequency and thus primarily a coin detector with abilities in jewelry and relic detecting.  The Vanquish is multi-frequency which can handle those but likely be better for naturally occurring gold and even saltwater hunting (but it's not waterproof so keep that in mind).

You mention "excessive detecting regulations and hostile people".  IMO, although it's always good to be aware of possible issues, I don't think you should dwell on these.  If you're detecting in parks you should look at their websites and also read any rules posted at the parks themselves.  If it doesn't prohibit detecting or digging then you should be fine.  'Hostile people' are extremely rare.  First off park users (and employees) recognize what you are doing -- lots of detectorists around.  Secondly, as long as you respect the property (e.g. carefully fill your holes, carry away any trash you find, whether metal or not, whether dug or not) then you are actually improving the site and should be confident in your activities.  If someone questions you, show them the trash you are cleaning up and emphasize you fill any holes dug.

2. IMO, buying the copycats just encourages illegal or unethical behavior.  It's true that the originals cost $100-$150 new, but you will feel better about yourself if you go that route.  Those companies invest a lot of money developing those products and the copycats are parasites who feed off that research without any investment or risk on their own.

3. Metal detecting attracts a wide range of interests.  Allow it to take you to those areas that you are interested in and enjoy.  Everyone who respects the hobby and the properties they hunt are welcome to carry on further as little or as much as they choose.  I enjoy the history (including numismatics) but many just enjoy finding treasure that has been lost, and go no further.  They are just as much a welcome part of the hobby as anyone.

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Welcome aboard and the Vanquish is a great detector for almost every item that you would like to look for.

The pinpointer if you can afford the higher priced you will get a better product. The MOSUNECE Waterproof Metal Detector Pinpointers on Amazon is a item that GB stated is a copycat product, and I have to admit before I knew anything about it being a copycat I had purchased one. It works very well for me however GB is correct and if I had known that it was a copycat I would not have purchased it. Does it work, yes and it works very well.

I am sorry to hear about you being from the Chicago area and know that it is a handicap for you to admit it, but there are many good places in southern Illinois that you will like.

I also am from this state and have found many great areas to hunt at, and I am waiting for my neck to heal up so that I can get back out there.

Good luck and hope to see some of your finds.

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Great to have you here phd_angle!

    There's not much to add to Bashes and GB's response! You can check Steve's thread, "Best Detector Values Under $500" if you haven't already!  Depending on what and wear you want to hunt; this forum will help you decide on detectors, pinpointers, digging tools, pouches, etc... But as they said, knockoffs are trouble, so be sure to use legit venders! 

  Other than that, ask lots of questions, and look through the many answers on the forum!!  We have all been where you are at some point! The big advantage you now have is the tremendous knowledge base on this site! This may be your greatest tool!

And don't forget to keep us posted!!👍👍




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Hi phd_angel ,

I have a Vanquish 540 with the 3 coils V8 V10 V12 ( 30 hours detecting with it up to now ) and a friend who is a beginner has a 340 since a few weeks so I have a few feedbacks from him about the 340. .. And we could detect together 2 times , so I could compare the 340 with the 540 ,  in fact their perfos and audio are very similar , just the 540 has more functions like the wireless , backlight , etc ...

My conditions are inland detecting on mild soils , coin and relic hunting … ( No beach or nugget hunting )

So my friend the beginner  is happy with the 340 , he uses it more in woods / forests with low/moderate iron trash. In such areas it is an excellent machine,  very accurate and sensible to both big AND tiny targets with the MultiIQ.

If you dont want to miss tiny targets the 340 will be better than the F22  . The Fisher F22 uses a 7khz low freq which means that it will miss tiny targets for sure .. It depends what you are looking for ...

One more plus , the Vanquish has an excellent telescopic shaft not available on the F22.  It means that you can adjust the shaft exactly to your size this is very important. Also it is very compact when in a ruksack. I really like this telescopic shaft , a great design from ML ...

On the other hand my friend had a little trouble with the 340 on high iron trashed areas ( in open fields with iron trash for example ). I agree with him that the Vanquish ( and Equinox ) are a little too chatty on such areas , and it needs a few hours to get used to the MLs audio , probably a F22 will be more "silent" on such iron trashed areas. I prefer using my Deus than the Vanquish on high iron trash areas ..

If I had to choose , I would go for the Vanquish , even knowing that it needs a little time to get used to its sometimes "chatty" audio .  Once you are used to it,  it  is an excellent machine you cant go wrong with it ...

Concerning the pinpointer I have a Minelab Profind 35 which is the only one with a very useful iron discri . Very happy with it ...

Hope that helps ...


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