A 2020 Guide To Buying The Best Underwater Metal Detector

If you have been thinking about what you can do to add fun and excitement during your swimming vacations, the secret could be in treasure hunting. Imagine going to different locations that could include rivers, lakes, dams, and oceans to do what you love while at the same time trying to find hidden or lost treasure in the areas. While to some people that may feel like a movie theme, you can actually actualize it by purchasing a quality waterproof metal detector. The metal detectors are electronic devices that help individuals find metal pieces that could be hidden underground. The metal pieces can be anything from a discarded junk to valuable items such as coins, jewelry, historic relics and gold among other items that could have been lost over the years.

If you are just beginning your treasure hunting expeditions, you can actually start in your yard and public places such as parks, beaches, and farming land. Although you can go treasure hunting whenever you want, it is a good idea to start at places that get littered with junk. The good thing about treasure hunting in places that get regularly littered is that you have higher chances of finding lost items on these grounds than other places. Unfortunately, the places are also filled with junk and thus, you may end up digging a lot of rubbish before you can come across a valuable piece, which is unrewarding and time-consuming. Thankfully, in order to overcome the challenge of digging up rubbish, you only need to use the best metal detector with the capability to distinguish junk from treasure.

What you should know before buying a metal detector

Understanding and acquainting yourself with how the metal detector works should be your first goal. Basically, the metal detectors work on the essence of electromagnetic reaction on conductive metal. The devices are battery powered and detect objects buried on the ground by generating a magnetic field that penetrates on the ground. Once the field penetrates the ground, it magnetizes any metal it comes across. The magnetized metal then sends a signal back to the device alerting you to the existence of the object. If the device used is of high quality, it can even let you know the type of metal buried as well as the actual depth of the metallic object. Today, a decent metal detector can help you locate a metallic object that is buried about 12 inches below the surface or even deeper.

The top quality metal detectors have the ability to measure the conductive and the ferrous properties of the object. The conductive properties let you know whether the object is junk based on how it responds to the device’s magnetic field. Different metallic objects such as nails and foil have different properties from rings and coins enabling you to only dig up real treasure and not junk. The ferrous properties measure the amount of iron in a target object. The objects with ferrous properties are usually trash. It is also helpful to know the components of a metal detector. Regardless of the brand and model, all metal detectors have similar components that include the stabilizer, the control box, the shaft and search coil. The stabilizer is the arm brace that is moved back and forth over the surface while the control box is the brain of the device and contains circuitry, speaker, microprocessor, controls, and batteries.

What to look for when choosing the best waterproof metal detector

When buying a metal detector that you can use underwater, you must pay close attention to the features of the device as well where you will be treasure hunting. The important features of metal detectors you should consider include:

The type of detector: Basically, metal detectors come in two types that include the pulse induction (PI) and the very low frequency (VLF). The PI metal detectors are commonly used in scuba diving and salt water environments. The devices are highly sensitive to precious metals and work by sending short bursts of electronic pulses. The PI metal detectors are not affected by sand or mineralized soil but they operate in an all-metal mode and thus, they cannot be set to ignore iron. The VLF metal detectors are highly sensitive towards metallic targets such as coins, jewelry, metal artifacts, and silver. The VLF devices operate in the 3-70 kHz frequency, which makes them the best when it comes to separating target metals from junk metals. However, the VLF units can be affected by mineralized soil.

Fresh vs salt water: The environment where you will be using the device can affect its performance. While all waterproof metal detectors can be used on the land, some units are better suited to salt water while others are suited for fresh water. Salt water comes with unique problems and hence, you must make sure that the unit is usable in salt water.

Depth rating and search coil: If you will be looking for valuables in shallow water areas, the depth rating is not a major worry as most devices are waterproof up to 10 feet. However, if you intend to go scuba diving, you should look for a unit with a higher depth rating. The search coil is the one that sends and receives signals and thus, you must ensure that it is of good quality. It is also helpful to purchase a metal detector with an interchangeable search coil.

Buoyancy and weight: Since you will be detecting underwater, you want a device that will not make you sink in water. The best metal detector should also not keep you floating when you need to go underwater. The best unit should also have neutral buoyancy.


When purchasing your ideal metal detector, it is also ideal to consider your metal detecting experience in addition to what to look for when choosing the best waterproof metal detector. If you are not experienced, it is always good to start with an entry waterproof metal detector that is easy to use. Buying a complicated device that is difficult to use will make treasure hunting boring. On the other hand, if you are experienced, you should go for the best unit that you can afford. Furthermore, if you are looking to hunt specific valuables, it is helpful to look for specialty machines. While most metal detectors are designed to detect coins, relics, and jewelry, there are special units that are designed for specific uses such as gold prospecting.

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