Do you plan to hunt on or near freshwater, land, and/or saltwater beaches? Current companies make their
search coils waterproof. You can search out swimming holes as long as you keep water away from the controls. Even raising
the coil above the controls can ruin a detector from water that gets inside of the rod and then runs into the controls.
Only a few detectors have a watertight control box that allow you to get the entire machine wet. Watertight machines are heavier
and sometimes can weigh enough to make land hunting a miserable task. Hip mounting heavier machines is sometimes an option,
but you still have that heavy thing hanging there throughout the entire day of hunting, and not all machines can be hip mounted.
Do you want to hunt salt-water beaches? Not all metal detectors can perform there. Actually, very few will do it well.
The salt in wet beach sand will build a momentary charge, which can be sent back to the detector to produce a false signal,
(fresh water beaches do not usually have this problem). This effect is not predictable and it will get a lot of people thinking
their new metal detector is faulty. If you are going to hunt salt water and wet sand near it, spend the extra cash to get
a machine that can handle it. The average VLF machine will work great on a saltwater beach as long as you stay in the dry
sand where the sunbathers are.
Ask yourself what will I be searching for the most? Not all machines are equal when it comes to searching for certain items.
We have already looked at beach hunting, now lets take a little closer look on what is being searched for.
If your primary use is for hunting coins in parks, schoolyards, lawns and such, any multipurpose detector will do a good
job for you as long as it fits your other criteria.
If you plan on looking primarily for gold nuggets, then you may want to consider a detector designed for gold hunting.
These units are quite sensitive to aluminum foil, pull tabs and other less attractive targets in the 'low range'
If you're looking primarily for relics, then you want a machine that goes deep and has large aftermarket coils available.
The operating frequency of the detector plays a role as well. The higher frequencies are more sensitive to gold (all else
being equal of course), while lower frequencies are more sensitive to silver, copper and bronze. Multi- purpose machines use
frequencies that do an admirable job on all metals. The vast majority of first detectors are multi-purpose units because of