Deciding on a detector

So if you want to get into the world of metal detecting then I guess the first call of action would have to be a purchase of a metal detector.

For someone who knows absolutely jack about this hobby, this was a tough choice. I have been living in Dubai for the last 3 years but looking forward to returning back to SA at the end of the year – the reason I mention this is because I am presently in the worlds biggest shopping destination, however metal detectors are not something they have easily available here… if at all. I suppose why would one of the worlds richest countries need metal detectors anyway, if you want gold then just go and buy it – I suppose thats the philosophy here.

So that pretty much left me with ebay. The USA seem to have the best deals anyways, so why not order from there and just get it shipped to me in Dubai, seems easy enough.

I was browsing some of the international forums to try and get a feel of what a good detector for a newbie is and I would say the general consensus was a Garrett Ace 250. Yeah it seemed simple enough but to be honest I didnt like the look of it, seemed a bit plasticy and cheap looking. The cheap looking part probably has something to do with the price because it is actually quite cheap. It would appear a detector can cost anywhere from around $200 – $3000 and the Garrett definitely fell in the lower part of the price range.

My problem always is that I buy a starter product and then quickly want to upgrade to something better and better and ultimately it has cost me a lot more to get the one I really want. So I decided this time round, I am going straight for a detector that I wont need to upgrade in the near future – getting the best one I can afford. The Garrett 250 was not that!

So I found that Minelab has some great detectors and after hours of research I decide the Minelab 705 would be a great choice coming in at around $800. However, what would my main type of detecting be, land, dry sand, beach, wet sand? I really think I would be doing a lot of beach detecting and I believe the best part of the beaches would be the wet sand and just slightly into the water for the best finds. Some more reasearch and I realise the 705 is a great all round detector but better for dry sand and not great for wet sand and water detecting, so that threw that out of the equation.

Everyone keeps talking about the Minelab Etrac – wow this thing does look like a beast. Its good for dry sand, wet sand, saltwater – this thing looks good! After about reading through a gazillion reviews, this is the one I want. So order placed at around $1500 gets me the detector, a Garrett handheld probe, a beach scoop, a carry bag and handbook.

Now I am also led to believe that this is one of the most complicated detectors out there with a steep learning curve. This is definitely going to be a challenge, just learning how the the thing works never mind actually finding anything with it.

I am looking forward to it arriving so I can start learning and playing. I will get some pictures and update the blog when it arrives. Cant wait…

 

 

thecoilist - November 14, 2012 - 4:17 pm

You can’t go wrong with an Etrac. There is a LOT to learn about the machine. The best thing about not having one before buying the Etrac is the fact you don’t have that “learning curve” everyone talks about. It’s a fresh start.

Good luck!

South African Metal Detecting Forums

While I was researching for information on metal detecting in South Africa, I found that we did not have our own online community.

There are plenty of American, British and Australian sites and as nice as the international forums are, I wanted to find a place where local South African metal detecting enthusiasts could get together in order to share good locations, knowledge, finds and perhaps even arrange group hunts etc.

I could not find one, so I created one instead. Please feel free to browse or join our online community.

 

daniel sishaba - April 23, 2013 - 9:50 am

I bought the Saffari from minelab with the aim of finding the Treasure that was buried by my Grandfather in a farm many years ago but with that Saffari I could not locate the treasure so now I am confused, I do not know which metal detal must I buy to loacte those treasure.

admin - April 28, 2013 - 6:08 pm

The minelab safari is a good detector – I am sure if the treasure is there, the machine will find it 🙂 Good Luck

stuart kirton - November 13, 2013 - 5:48 pm

hello

could you tell me what the best detector is to start off with?
do you recommend any second hand dealers?

thanks kindly

admin - November 30, 2013 - 9:09 am

Hi Stuart, you never know what you going to get from a second hand dealer. Could be a bargain, could be trouble! Luck of the draw…

I would recommend a Garret Ace 250, see my blog post about this here:
http://treasurehunters.co.za/?p=133

Gustav Bouwer - April 28, 2014 - 7:20 am

HI there Please notify me if any thing happens in South Africa.