At the very beginning, I had the same concern as you … I felt a little bit intimidated using a metal detector, thus, I was wondering if there is an easy detector that I can start using right off the bat and still have early success!
In this Post I give you a detailed answer of what you should be using …
… So, what is the easiest metal detector to use? There are many detectors that won’t represent a challenging learning curve, simply because of the limited settings and features that you can play with … A Good example of that is the Bounty Hunter Tracker 4 (basic but efficient) … Other than that, the Garrett models from the Ace series to AT series are quite simple.
In this article, I dive in several detection devices I believe you won’t struggle while learning them … Hopefully, this will give you more ideas on what machine you should pick!
Here are 3 of the easiest detectors to use!
1. Garrett AT Pro
The AT PRO (Check it Here at Amazon) is an easy machine to use … In fact; it has Preset settings that you can start with and have the ability to adjust them as you advance.
Also, what makes it uncomplicated is the control box! Indeed, everything is clear …
… If you are targeting coins, which you should do, all you have to do is to select the coins mode. Also, the singular iron tone will allow you to ignore the junk and only focus on the valuable finds.
The target identification is pretty accurate as in the screen you can predict if your target is a silver item, a jewelry/gold jewelry object or if it is just junk iron.
Another factor that this device includes is the depth indicator … In other words, each time you stumble upon a target you will simply know how deep it is per inches (2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 inches) …
… This is extremely important as it you won’t need to dig deeper than what’s necessary to recover your target!
2. Bounty Hunter Tracker 4
I recommend every newbie on a budget to start with this machine (Check it Here at Amazon) as it is the cheapest of the real Quality machines and its use doesn’t represent almost any complications! It has a serious discrimination and very light in terms of weight.
The main reason I consider this device as a non-difficult one is simply because it’s very basic and doesn’t have much things to mess up with!
Indeed, there is one nob to On or Off the device and to control its sensitivity, another nob will allow you to select the detection mode.
Other than that, you have an analog screen to measure the strength of the signal once you come across a metallic object.
That’s it! Simple and straightforward …
3. Minelab Equinox Series
This series of machine include 2 models (As of I am writing this Post) that you can choose from:
If you already have some prior knowledge about this machine series, you may think that I am joking by say that they are easy to use! I would agree with you to a certain extent, yet, I still have some solid reasons why I am including it in this short list …
… The first reason is simply the Company itself MINELAB! In other words, all the resources you need (manual guide, tutorials, software upgrades …) are available in their website, youtube channel and other dealers platforms … This simply mean that there is a little margin for being confused about any of these machines features!
In addition, the pre-set modes are well done and more than enough to start having some early success in your beloved hobby:
- Field mode: if you are dealing with a clean environment in which the targets are not really that deep.
- Park mode: when you are detecting in trashy locations, this mode will give you the ability to discriminate the trash and focus solely on what could hold value in it.
- Beach mode: to be able to deal with sand, wet sand and salt water in an efficient way!
- Gold mode: This mode will give you more detection power by seeing straight through mineralized soil and an optimal sensitivity to pick small gold nuggets and gold dust if any.
This is an Easy to read metal detector!
However, these days most recent machines nowadays are designed to be pretty intuitive while reading its screen! There are some hobbyists who prefer some models over others which is normal …
But for a nerd like me, I would say, the go-to when it comes to this feature is the Fisher F44 (Check it Here at Amazon) …
… Simply because it has:
- A wide range of target ID (going from 1 to 99) which is a correlation between the electrical conductivity of the target! In other words, if you are dealing with a highly conductive metal like silver then you should expect a higher target id value … It represents the last target you just come across and it lasts about 3 seconds before it disappears.
- 9 Target Category Numbers, each one gives you an indication of the metal you’ve just detected! For example, the first number means iron which is confirmed by a Bass tone coming from this detector for all modes (Jewelry, Coins, Artifact). The higher numbers (6, 7, 8 and 9) mean more silver elements like spendable coins and are reinforced by a High Tone!
Good to know that there is a custom mode in which you can, for each Target Category Number, set a specific Tone! I don’t recommend to play with that in the beginning, until you get a good feel of this model …
This is an Easy to use Gold detector
First of all, I don’t recommend for beginners to start by a Gold machine, unless you are living close to a Gold Hot Spot … Then it would be worth it …
… What I actually recommend is to start with an all-purpose machine to get used to the hobby, then when the occasion presents itself, you can add a Gold machine to your arsenal …
… Now, apart from this, as far as I am concerned, it you are looking for an intuitive Gold hunting device, then the one I Recommend is the Garrett AT Gold (Check it Here at Amazon) and there are several reasons why I am confident saying that:
- There is not much stuff to mess up with, all possible settings (sensitivity, Frequency, Ground Balancing, Mode selection, Iron Discrimination …) are clear and easy to adjust to your liking.
- The control screen is similar to most of the Garrett machines (AT Max, AT Pro) and even pretty close to the Ace series … so if you’ve already used to any one of these models before, the AT Gold will be a piece of cake!
- Frequency adjustment … In fact, there are several machines (Minelab models for e.g.) that give you the ability to play with several frequencies depending on the size of your target and the ground conditions … This could be hard to figure out and could take a long time hours to understand properly … The AT Gold on the other hand, offer the possibility to play with 4 frequencies, but they are very close to each other in a way this doesn’t affect your detecting capability at the moment.
To expend you knowledge about this topic, I highly invite you to Check these Gold Detectors!
How to fasten your learning curve?
As Charles Garrett once said, you should expect to use a detector for 100 hours before you can understand its capabilities! And it is very hard to disagree with that …
… For me the 100 hours number thrown by Mr Charles is pretty much an average … In other words, there are some devices that will require less than that and others that will certainly require significantly more than 100 hours!
What you should keep in mind, is that each machine represents a learning curve; it could be steep or shallow … Yet, there are ways to fasten your learning process:
- Spend an hour reading the user manual: Most people skip that, and I don’t know why! Most machines come with a user manual explaining all the features that you should know about … By doing only this, you will save hours messing up with the settings.
- Take advantage of your Backyard: Go out there and pick different metallic targets with different sizes and bury them under different depths and then try to swing your machine on them and see what sounds and target id come out … This will give you lots of advantages, while detecting for real, on the identity of your targets even before digging …
- Youtube: That’s a huge asset (if used properly) for pretty much anything you want to learn … In our case, just search for the model you are looking for in this plateform and you could watch dozens of videos trying and testing the same model over and over again… This will give you an idea on its capabilities in different environments and ground conditions!
You can learn more about how easy are metal detectors are!
Does a Cheaper machine mean necessary easy to use?
This is a good but hard to answer question … In fact, the cheaper detectors don’t really have a very good discrimination and you could be digging lots of junk before you could stumble upon what matters … And the more expensive ones can be a little bit harder to get your head around like a CTX 3030 for example!
In addition, the low end models will have a pretty basic learning curve but the technique most detectorists learn from day one pretty much stays with them all though their journey until they could afford a high-end model!
But the advice that I can tell you is to check these tips on how to choose a metal detector! Following this guide you will be able to pick the right one depending on many relevant factors…
… What I want you to keep in mind, is that as far as you are willing to spend time learning your machine, regardless of how hard it is to learn, you will end up completely learning it and exploring all the possible features, thus, having more success!
Remember, this is not a Sprint, this is a Marathon, A Fun one by the way! So, it doesn’t really matter how you start, what matters the most is how you end it, and I am sure you will end coming up with some highly valuable finds!
To be honest, I had a lot of additional ideas to write for this article, but at the same time, I didn’t want to make it longer than necessary! Really hope that you’ve learnt new and helpful information which will lead you to picking a suitable detector …
… If you are still having some questions or not sure about something, don’t hesitate to contact me … I would be very happy to help!
Finally, if you are still confused, I highly invite you to learn about choosing the easiest metal detector!