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What Are the Best Beginners Metal Detectors?

How to Get Started with a Metal Detector

By Daniel Bernzweig

If Indiana Jones's Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Goonies bring back great childhood memories, it's because there's no greater mystique than the prospect of treasure hunting! The treasure hunt seems to be a lost art these days in lieu of the internet, texting, Wii and handheld gaming devices. As parents, however, we can encourage our kids to participate in fun, hands–on learning activities such as using a metal detector to hunt for treasure. Metal detecting builds a child's character. It activates their imagination and requires problem solving, patience and perseverance! These are skills which kids can take with them into adulthood..

The best way to select sites for treasure hunting with a metal detector is to do some old fashioned research at the library. Kids can get information about the history of local cities and the surrounding area to decide where their treasure hunt will take place. Vacations and camping trips are also perfect metal detecting sites for the beginner. The locals and an internet search can expose where buried items would most likely turn up, as well as potential treasure spots!

What Types of Valuables Can a Metal Detector Find?

Beginners—especially kids—will probably like the idea of searching for coins with a metal detector. It's found money! The metal detectors for beginners today can locate basically all metallic objects. This includes gold, silver, iron, nickel, copper, brass, aluminum, tin, lead and bronze. Metal detector hobbyists cite lucky finds as jewelry, watches, relics and hidden caches of coins or jewelry. Among the popular relics to search for in the U.S. include Civil War pieces such as colonial buckles, buttons, swords, and musket balls—as well as artifacts such as arrowheads, jewelry and knives. These items are all worth money, giving kids the opportunity to acquire valuables on their own.

What are the Best Metal Detectors for Beginners?

Not all beginner metal detectors are created equal. The inexpensive models that are available at toy stores or in the children's department at major retailers are basically toys. My brother and I tested a few that rarely signaled and when they did, only detected pop tops. Luckily, you can find professional quality beginner metal detectors here that are specifically designed for beginners, yet offer the same fine quality found in more expensive detectors. Depending on the age of the child or what items you're hoping to recover, there are several high–quality models with deluxe features such as target identification displays, visual depth indicators and audio tone discrimination.

If you're searching for relics, many of them are produced from iron, brass and steel. A detector with a lower frequency will better target relics than a detector with a higher one. These are a few things to consider when you're selecting a "first" metal detector. A metal detector is the perfect gift for anyone from children to retirees to middle–aged adults, treasure hunting is a hobby everyone will fall in love with!

Below are a few of our most popular multi-purpose metal detectors:

Entry Level:

Mid Level:

High End:

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