Although there are many brands available, hobby metal detectors all have common parts and components. Usually, the metal detector consists of the stabilizer which keeps the unit steady as it is swept backward and forward, the control box (which contains the circuitry, controls, speaker, batteries and microprocessor), the shaft which connects the control box and the search coil, and the search coil to detect the buried treasure.

Metal detectors function based on the principles of electromagnetic induction. The search coil generates an electromagnetic field around itself when a current passes through it. In the presence of a metal item, this magnetic field is changed and induces electric currents called eddy currents in the metal item. The eddy currents generate their own magnetic field and generate an opposite current in the coil. This in turn produces a signal indicating the presence of metal.

The price of a metal detector range between $100 and $600. Of course, added features and greater sensitivity come with a higher price tag. Here are some considerations before committing on your metal detector:

Type of hunting activities - What do you use the metal detector for - gold prospecting, home or work use, jewellery hunting, relic hunting, coin shooting or beach hunting? While most common detectors in the market are "general purpose" metal detectors, there are models which cater to specific activities.

Where - Where do you intend to search for the coins and those gold nuggets? Most brands will tell you that their coils are water proof, but what that means is that they can be used in shallow water, like on the beach. If hunting treasures underwater is really what you want, get a modelthat are made for this purpose. On the other hand, makesure you ask for one with good ground balancing properties if it is intended for use on sandy grounds.

Frequency of Use - How often do you treasure hunt? If you plan to use a metal detector several hours a week, look for a model with more electronic features and higher accuracy. Nonetheless, bear in mind what we said earlier, added features means a bigger price tag.

Age - Metal detectors come in different sizes and complexity. Many brands have fuss free models developed specially for juniors.

Gender - As a rule of thumb, ladies prefer light-weight models that allow them to be carried around effortlessly.

Cost - Metal detectors are relatively inexpensive on their own. However, you may want to include in your budget accessories such as headphones, digging tools and carrying bags on top of the equipment itself. Buy the accessories together with the detector and the merchant will normally give you a discount.

Warranty - Check out the warranty period for the product. Most brands provides a 5-year warranty for their products.

More importantly, do your research! There are many review websites for metal detectors that offer comparisons amongst brands and models.

A metal detector to suit you is out there somewhere. You just have to look around in the right places to find it.

About the Author

Is the ideal metal detector for treasure hunting eluding you? Or, you have no idea where to start when looking for precious metals? Read more about the latest in metal detecting. For even more information on metal detecting, visit Metal Detector 10.

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