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Very New To Metal Detecting

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If you plan on dunking the machine in some of those lakes you will want a machine that is also waterproof and with waterproof machines you will need hard wired (preferably waterproof) headphones to the package. You will need a digger of some sorts, a pouch and a pinpointer that goes with the detector as other brands may interfere.

Waterproof all terrain machines: Equinox 800 & 600, Nokta/Makro Amphibio and Kruzer series, Simplex+, Garrett AT series to name a few not in any particular order.

Starting out the Simplex+ from Nokta is a descent machine and they package it with a pinpointer and wireless headphones to start out far low in your budget. You may want to try that out and see how you like the hobby before dumping out loads of cash only to have it sit on the shelf.

There is a new Garrett Apex that is simple to use and is splashproof to also check out.

If your on land and don't plan on dunking the control box then your options are even wider with companies like Fisher, Technetics, XP to name a few.

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17 hours ago, BobL said:

Living near The great Lakes...


17 hours ago, BobL said:

...What is a good detector for around 1000.00-1500.00?...


17 hours ago, BobL said:

I would like to buy something that I would not have to upgrade for a while.

I cut these three sentences as they narrow some things down.  You have at least a couple months before you can realistically do more than just fiddle around in the back yard.  You've set a budget.  And most importantly you want to spend your time detecting rather than shopping/buying/selling/trading detectors.


9 hours ago, Joe D. said:

...Leave enough room in your budget for whatever accessories....

Excellent point and one that seems to get ignored by a lot of advisers.  (Of course not everyone sticks to a budget or even has one....)  Here are some price ranges on those:  good hand-held pinpointer -- $100-$130.  Good set of headphones -- up to $150 (really wide range here depending upon what one means by 'good').  Finds&trash pouch -- $20-$40.  Good hand digger -- $25-$50.  You're an outdoorsman so you probably already have the garb, etc. that you need.

Welcome!  You chose a good hobby and a great site to learn and share.


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Welcome aboard! Great suggestions by all.

You may want to investigate the XP Deus metal detector. It’s super light weight and won’t mess with your bad back. It also has, as an extra, a waterproof kit so you would be able to hunt the water. I use mine primarily at the beach.

Good luck!

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20 hours ago, BobL said:

Hello, I was in search for a hobby That takes me outside. I was a rock climber, kayaker, backpacker, Ect...... Bu know at 50 I had a heart attack, and a bad back so a lot of the extreme sports are done. Living near The great Lakes and spending a lot of time in/on/ and near them might be a good place to spend a day metal detecting. I was wondering if anyone has the time to share what is a good detector for around 1000.00-1500.00, All the reviews I have seen so far are trying to sell me something. So un-biased reviews and thoughts would be great. I would like to buy something that I would not have to upgrade for a while. But I know nothing about the brands, or coils, ect... Minlab seems to have a big following but I do not know if it is just hype.

Thank You

Great advice from previous posters.  Great hobby for you to pursue from what you described as your background because it allows you to get outdoors, get some exercise, meet new and interesting people, and find some cool stuff.

Here's my advice and things you should consider:


  • As mentioned previously - decide what aspect of the hobby you want to pursue.  It is a multifaceted hobby with a myriad of pursuits and your choice will determine the equipment you will need to acquire and where you can actually pursue the hobby.  For example - dry beach hunting you just need a basic detector, sand scoop, and a finds pouch and you are good to go (some use a small pinpointer detector too, but the sand scoop usually captures the object such that it ends up in the bottom of the scoop once you let the sand sift out).  If you want to go in the water, you will need more robust equipment including a heavy duty wet sand/water scoop, salt vs. freshwater is another consideration (salt degrades equipment and affects how a detector operates, it kind of narrows down your optimal choice of detector), and you will be exerting yourself more because of water including making it harder to swing the coil.  Park and field hunting for coins and jewelry requires a different set of accessories, including a hand digger or probe, perhaps a small shovel, a pinpointer to find the object in the hole or plug, the requisite technique to ensure your recovery method does not damage the turf, perhaps kneepads, finds pouch and a means to carry your hand-held equipment (utility or tool belt or carpenter's apron).  As you can see it can get complicated fast and the accessories will start to add up, so factor that into your budget.
  • Since you may not exactly know what type of detecting will be of most interest to you I advise you get the most versatile detector that fits within your budget.  The Equinox 600 would be my number one recommendation for you even though that is on the high end of the cost spectrum for starting out at around $650.  I caution new detectorists not to invest too heavily at the start because once the realities of the hobby become apparent, you will find it is a lot different than portrayed in the heavily edited videos of the youtube "influencers".  More on that later.  Other good, affordable bets are the Minelab Vanquish, the Nokta Simplex, and the Garrett Ace Apex - still, none of those detectors approach the overall versatility of Equinox 600.  For example, the Vanquish lacks ground balance control, water submergibility (though it is weather resistant), and single frequency options, the Nokta Simplex is limited to a single operating frequency and because it packs a lot of features into the mix, I think it is a little less intuitive to operate for the beginner, the Apex is a new kid on the block but it's overall performance struggles to meet that of the Equinox and it is also not submersible (but is weather resistant).   Also, I must say that I disagree with a previous comment implying the Equinox is too complicated for the beginning detectorist.  Either the Equinox 600 or 800 is really set up to be operated right out of the box without any tweaking whatsoever.  The default settings so well thought out that you can turn it on, put it in Park 1 mode and swing away and have success.  You will not be disappointed and if you want to delve into the finer aspects of tweaking the settings, you can do that too as you become more proficient and the machine will grow with your abilities.  Yeah, I am a fan of that machine for beginner to expert provided the purchaser can afford the machine within their budget.  It is the pinnacle of detector value (performance per cost) without being the most or least expensive machine around.

People and Resources:

  • Join a good detecting forum from which you can solicit advice and ask questions (you can check that off your list now).  
  • Consider joining a local detecting club - there are many advantages to doing this.  First you will meet like minded hobbyists with similar interests.  They are also a tremendous resource for teaching detecting skills, gaining hands on knowledge of range of equipment, and, perhaps most importantly, they are a likely resource to finding places you can actually detect. 
  • One of the greatest impediments to enjoying this hobby is gaining access to sites where you can actually swing the detector besides your back yard.  Public beaches usually (but not always) allow access to detectorists without other constraints.  That is not necessarily true of other public areas such as parks, ball fields, or public historic sites (strictly prohibited) - which typically significantly limit or prohibit access to detectorists or limit how targets can be recovered.  Some require significant finds to be turned into the park authorities or only limit recovery to modern coins.  Practically all require you to leave no trace of your target recoveries.  You need to educate yourself on the local rules, ordinances, types of people who hang out where you are detecting, and obey the signage.  You don't want to get into a situation where you are accused of trespassing, destroying public property, or become the victim of a crime of opportunity. You always want to keep a low profile and try not to draw attention to yourself at all times.  You may find that your access to public detecting areas to be very limited as a result.  This means you may need to do some door knocking to gain permission to private property.  You can do research and figure out old properties or farms that are located in historic areas and then followup with the land owners.  There is a whole social engineering aspect to how you approach people to successfully gain permission.  Search the forum for those nuggets.
  • Look for group hunts, club hunts, detecting classes, or organized detecting trips such as to the UK to expand your ability gain access to sites.  There are a whole lot of different types of these hunts, including seeded hunts where targets or tokens are planted in the field and contest hunts where you try to recovery as many seeded targets as you can within a certain time frame as you compete against others in the same site.
  • Find a reputable dealer and shop around.  Don't settle for MSRP or print advertised prices.  Stay away from the big box dealers if you really want to find a deal on a detector.  You want a dealer who gives you trusted personal service and advice.  Someone who is willing to cut you a deal on a new detector because they want to earn your long term business.  There are a number of reputable dealers who frequent this site and others who are out there.  Use the internet shop around and make some phone calls.  Ask about specific dealers here and you will likely find someone who has dealt with them and can give you advice as to whether they can be trusted.

Set Your Expectations Appropriately

  • Metal detecting is fun and the enjoyable aspects of the hobby go well beyond simply digging treasure.  Once you realize that you will dig much, much more trash then treasure but can still enjoy the day, take in the sights, and share the good times with friends, then you will know the hobby is for you.  If you find learning the detector to be frustrating or get really grumpy about digging a fifty pull tabs and bottlecaps with nothing else to show for it save for a few zinc pennies, or you can't seem to find something outside your backyard to swing the detector because you can't sweet talk your way onto a new permission, then maybe it is not your cup of tea.  And that is ok.  It is for this reason, that I say, go slow and don't make a huge investment until you have confirmed you have caught the detecting bug.

Good luck, welcome to the site, and hoping you get the detecting bug and enjoy it as much as the rest of us.

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Wow lots of good thought to think about. I'm glad I decided to get some opinions other than sale people. Thanks for all the information I will be researching more tomorrow. if any luck I will be out when the snow melts (if it ever does).

Cheers to all.

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I can get pretty detailed in some of my interests and views, but when it comes to detecting sites -- just the opposite.  You've gotten some honest and deep felt advice regarding when and where to hunt.  However in my experience there are a few simple 'rules' that have worked for me:

1) If it's private property, get permission or don't hunt it.  If you're not sure, assume it's private.

2) If it's municipally owned public property, check websites and if detecting and/or digging are not explicitly prohibited, it's open season.  Oh, and when you get there look at the posted rules and regulations (if they even have them).

3) If it's state or federal land, again check the web and conform to their rules.

Detecting is kind of like buying on Ebay or walking in Manhattan.  The rare bad experiences get all the publicity and press.  Only once was I asked -- by school security guards -- to stop detecting (that was in greater Denver), and they were very polite and non-aggressive.  Twice I've had private citizens initially show alarm.  Staying calm, polite, and confident (but not defensive) defused both of those and I continued unopposed.  I've been seen by municipal workers on innumerable occasions without anyone of them ever saying a peep.  I've seen policeman on multiple occasions and even had one strike up a conversation.  On my favorite park site my best source of information (by far) has been the park's custodian.

I would never say my experiences apply to everyone, but if you do your homework (i.e. web check) you can be confident in your actions and likely at worst just be asked to stop.

But for sure, refill your holes with care.  When people see you respecting the property they will respect you.

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Bob, welcome from another new member of detectorprospector, but not new to detecting. I've been at it for 45 years, and as others, will offer my suggestions, on where or how to start in on this great hobby.

As already pointed out in previous replies, there are quite a number of choices in metal detectors, and you have a pretty generous budget. But there is no reason to spend anywhere near that amount of money for a good, capable machine. Sure, you can buy a thousand dollar detector, but with not even knowing what kind of metal detecting you will really enjoy most, I would recommend a more modest priced machine, easy to operate, and good at coin, relic, beach, and even in and under water detecting.

As several others, I am a fan of Nokta Makro detectors, and for your first purchase, I'd recommend Simplex. Check them out on the detector reviews here on the forum, and maybe watch some youtube videos. For under $350 you can buy a simplex with wireless headphones, then get a decent pinpointer (Nokta also makes those, as well as Garrett, and others. Buy a Lesche digging tool for land based hunting, maybe a Predator 31-35" plug-cutting shovel, and if you're going to hunt sandy beaches, you'll need a decent long-handle scoop. Pick up a trash & treasure apron or pouch for your finds, and you are ready to go detecting.

This will get you in the hobby with good equipment that won't overwhelm, and all in, you will spend less than half your budget. Good luck, and post any questions you may have. This forum has a wealth of knowledge and very helpful people.


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Welcome aboard !

This is one of the best places you could find to ask those ???.

As you have seen already , plenty of experienced as well as new to the game voices in here and sure there'll be many more too.  Whatever style your interests and abilities may lead you  to ,,somebody here is probably into that a lot and guess it's a picture is worth a thousand words kinda thing... 

One thing you also might consider is looking for a local detecting club and go to a few meetings asking the same questions..

It's very possible you will get a chance to try out a machine or two and maybe even snag a detecting buddy with experience to get you started.

You can also do site research and possibly get some permissions in line so you're ready to hit the ground run...er walking ,,,ya know , when you can SEE the ground again ! LOL.

Good luck on your first hunt,,,,you'll have beginner's luck going for you already !

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Welcome aboard. You'll find some great folks here or in a club. They will share their experiences and knowledge of detecting... Just ask. I have been doing this since 1974 and I'm no expert at it. Even now, there's still alot to learn. I hope you like this new hobby and stick with it. For a newbie like yourself, you may even get lucky and get some gold!

Good luck and happy hunting.


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