Public beaches are some of the best places to use a metal detector. When people loose things of value, like jewelry, the sand makes it difficult to find them, even after hours of searching. Public beaches also have food vendors or food stands and often have equipment rentals. Beach goers will therefore have money for these expenses. When they engage in the many beach activities available, they’re likely to loose plenty of change. A good metal detector for use at the beach can make searching for coins and valuables more fun and exciting. But, you need to know what to look for when choosing the best metal detector for the beach.
1. Dealing with salt water and beach minerals
The salinity of the ocean tends to amplify the signals given off by minerals below the sand. So, if the right metal detector does not compensate for this, it can be frustrating working around all the false alarms. A metal detector with very low frequency and controls for the ground should help avoid too many false alarms.
2. Pulse indicator
A good metal detector to use at the beach comes with pulse indicator technology. This technology ignores the signals from the many minerals on the beach. A metal detector with this technology allows buyers to simply pick up the device and start using it right away, with no adjustments needed.
3. Use in shallow water
If you plan on using the metal detector in shallow water, you will need to find a model designed for this. A model that’s completely waterproof and designed for up to 10 feet is ideal for shallow water use. This type of metal detector can be used along the shore and on the sand as well. When searching for a metal detector that will work in both the shallow water and on the sand, you will need to look for features of a waterproof coil and ground balance adjustment. These models may also be used for shallow water snorkeling.
For some people, the weight of the metal detector is important. If you plan on scanning the beach and shoreline for hours, you will want a unit that reduces arm fatigue. Swinging the unit back and forth can get tiring. The heavier the model, the quicker the arms will tire. It may be helpful to look at a few models and actually pick them up, so you can gauge weight requirements for the metal detector you will use.
5. Target identification
This is a feature that helps distinguish metal jewelry and coins from junk. The tone that’s given off with each will be slightly different. Some models with target identification will provide a digital readout on an LCD screen, which lets the user know what is likely setting off the sound. The type of identification feature chosen will depend on personal preference. An LCD read out can be more desirable for someone who may have difficulty distinguishing among the various tones. Those who can distinguish one tone from another can get away with buying a tone model.
Frequency is an important feature for those who want to do metal detecting in specific types of settings. For searching deep below the ground, low frequency devices are most effective. For finding small pieces of metal like flecks of gold, a higher frequency device is best. For most people wanting to use a metal detector on the beach, a low frequency model will be most suitable and effective in finding buried treasure like jewelry and loose change lost by beach goers.
Sensitivity is an important feature of any metal detector. If the sensitivity is set too high, the user can experience distortion of signals. But higher sensitivity is recommended for finding objects from a distance. However, for detecting in areas with high mineral content, lower sensitivity is better. So a metal detector with low sensitivity or adjustability is most desirable for use in beach settings, as it can help mitigate the effects of minerals in the sand and in the shallow waters.
8. Search depth
Search depth indicates how far below the surface the unit can detect the desired metals. While soil composition can affect the detector’s performance and ability to find desired items, the size of the coil can have just as much of an impact. A larger coil typically will allow the user to search deeper under the surface. For example, to search 8 to 12 inches down, a coil of at least 8 inches is recommended.
9. Multiple settings
If you plan on using the metal detector on the beach and elsewhere, you will need a model with greater flexibility. A metal detector with multiple frequencies makes it easier to search on the sand, in wet sand, and in the water, as long as it has a waterproof coil.
Choosing the right metal detector for the beach can be daunting for beginners. But even experienced detectionists can become confused by all the new features and technologies available in today’s models. Technology is changing rapidly. Many new models will offer digital read outs to make the process easier. Even beginners can do fine with models that don’t come with all the bells and whistles, with a bit of practice and paying attention to the differences in signals while using the device. Many newer models with all the additional technologies don’t provide much more than the basic models. So you may be paying for fancy features you won’t use much.
If you plan to do much of your metal detecting on or near the beach, you need a model with the right frequencies or multiple frequencies. You will want an entirely waterproof machine or one with at least a waterproof coil, if you want to use it in shallow water along the shore line. You should consider what to look for when choosing the best metal detector for the beach. The ability to use the device in the water and to overcome the high mineral content are the most important considerations.