When to Repair or Replace Your Metal Detector


When to Repair or Replace Your Metal Detector


by Michael Bernzweig

Imagine that you are on a long, potentially successful metal detector hunt. You have spent hours searching, digging, and locating potential sites in which buried treasure is located. All of a sudden, your metal detector stops working and you must do some metal detector repair work in the field. Yet, metal detector repair work isn't something you are familiar with. So, how do you fix metal detector problems once your device wears out?

For the most part, metal detectors are built to last for years. Manufacturers put a lot of time and effort into building sustainable products for detectorists. Warranties for quality built leading brand name models typically cover defects in material and workmanship for 1 to 5 years from the date of purchase. If your unit was produced by an off brand producer or the producer of your model is out of business you may not have warranty. With that said, warranties do not cover abuse, neglect or accidents in the field. For example, if you have a non waterproof detector and get hit by a wave at the ocean, you may be out of luck. Not all metal detectors are built with the same high-quality materials, but many metal detectors on the market from reputable companies will be able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. In fact, industrial metal detectors from companies like Goldak, Leica, Schonstedt and Copperhead Industries are used in the most rugged and challenging conditions.

A lot of the older metal detector models from companies such as Garrett, Fisher, and Nokta Makro are known to hold up for years. In fact, you can even tweak these older models with search coils and accessories to get the most out of them. But what to do about older detectors made by Whites, Tesoro, Teknetics and Nautilus that are no longer in business. Parts are hard to find and technical know how is even more rare. Metal detector repair could be costly and you may not know exactly when you need to fix your device. You may also need to determine whether it is better to repair your metal detector or to replace it. Let us explore the two options: repair or replace.

What Kind of Repairs Are Needed?

As long as your repair is covered by the manufacturer's warranty and the manufacturer is still in business, you're in luck. The manufacturer can be contacted directly to arrange your repair. As a general rule, you will need to pay for the shipping costs, however the repair work will be completed under the warranty. It is important to note that the specifics of shipping costs as well as which products are covered may differ from one manufacturer to another, so it is important to confirm this with the manufacturer or refer to the warranty. There are generally two types of repair, board level or internal repairs, or mechanical or field replaceable parts.

The first step to identifying whether you should replace or fix a metal detector is to determine what the issue is. Replacing the detector could cost less than repairing it. Minor repairs can be done at a lower cost and can make it possible to fix your metal detector for a moderate price. For example broken connectors, and switches or knobs can be straightforward to replace. Even damaged battery holders, grips and field replaceable parts are simply remove and replace. However, the price can rise sharply for items such as circuit boards and proprietary hardware.

In addition, you may not be able to get the electronic items needed to repair your metal detector. Unless you can do the repairs yourself, you may have to pay for the repair work to be completed if you do get the parts needed to repair your metal detector. The parts for older or proprietary metal detectors may not be readily available. If you need major repairs, or if you need to repair an underwater metal detector, you will likely incur high costs. In these cases, you may find it less expensive to purchase a brand-new metal detector.

How Costly Are the Repairs?

Why do you want to repair your metal detector? Is it your favorite metal detector, the one you can not be without? Or is it just an unexpected repair that you need to undertake. In this case, your budget may be more sensitive. Only you know your inspiration for the repair. If you have an older metal detector, repairs are likely to expensive. That is if a repair is possible at all. You will need to begin by finding out if a service center exists. Next find out if the necessary parts are available for your service. The costs associated with shipping the repair to and from the service center, the hourly labor rate, as well as the cost of the parts can add up quickly.  

In many cases, you will need to make a decision on how much the repair is worth to you? This will depend on your motivation for getting the unit repaired in the first place. If it is your first love, you may be open to spending more! There is a good chance that buying a new, fully functioning metal detector will cost you less than the repairs needed on your old device. Purchasing a new metal detector would also allow you to get a device with modern functions and a full warranty that will provide years of coverage. Your old metal detector being too costly to fix might be a blessing. With better metal detector technology advancing by the day, you may be able afford a much more advanced detector for less than it would have originally cost to repair your old metal detector. This would definitely be the best thing ever.

How Old Is Your Metal Detector?

Buying a new metal detector or repairing your old one depends on its age. Think about whether it still has value to you. Consider the cost of repairs when deciding whether to buy a metal detector. Repairing an old model isn't always a good idea. A metal detector that is older can still do the most important job that you need it to do, which is finding and locating rings, coins, and other targets. If you are enjoying the device, or are just familiar with how it functions, it might make sense to pay more for a repair. Like cell phones, metal detector technology has advanced rapidly over the years. With newer models, detection is often easier, deeper, and with more advanced features. In fact some of the newest models are fully waterproof and environmentally sealed. Designed for hunting in rainy or challenging conditions, these new models are all-terrain in design.

You can determine a metal detector's useful life based on its original cost, its brand, and the specific  model. The lifespan of each detector varies. Factors like the way you take care of your metal detector after each use impacts its life. Ask yourself a few important questions. Do you recharge your batteries regularly? if so their useful life will be extended. Do you clean your unit after each use, especially if you are at the beach or in salt water conditions?  If you just toss it in the trunk  between uses and only care about it when searching, then you are likely to wear out the device quickly. 

What Do You Use Your Metal Detector For?

Old detectors may feel like old friends that deserve repair. Metal detectors are available for every interest, hobby, and need. Before investing in a new detector, be sure to think about what you're looking for and why. Maybe your interests have changed since the purchase, or maybe you've bought more than one detector. You might also want to go out and buy the latest model.

Should repair your metal detector or just plunk your money down and get new one to replace it. Where do you expect to use your detector? What types of items are you hoping to locate? How deep are the targets you are searching for? Know what features you want your metal detector to have before considering a new purchase versus fixing your existing model.  There are a wide range of metal detectors available for all types of hobby uses. 

This hobby can be so much fun, from coin, relic, and jewelry hunting to diving and snorkeling. You'll find many differences between models, such as size, frequency range, sensitivity, and even price!

 Some people use them for deep treasure hunting while others explore relic hunting, marine salvage or even meteorite hunting. Metal detectors are commonly used as a hobby. There are different types of metal detectors that can be used to locate items. Scuba diving metal detectors allow you to go underwater. You may even select a gold metal detector to specifically search for gold nuggets. 

Would You Prefer to Repair or Replace Your Metal Detector?

You may be thinking does it make sense to upgrade to a new metal detector? Investing in a new metal detector might not be the best option, depending on your needs.  If you want something new and to have some updated, upgraded features, then purchasing a new metal detector is better than fixing your old device. Opening up a new metal detector is a big thrill and can be very exciting.  In fact, getting a brand new metal detector can be lots of fun. Just as exciting as unearthing a great  treasure find. 

You may not want to stop using the metal detector if you're used to it. Detectorists tend to grow attached to their metal detectors.  Replacing your current metal detector maybe your best option if your old device is worn out. Not only will you get a new device with updated features, but you could get a great deal, costing you less than repairing your old metal detector.  Ultimately, the decision that you make is a very personal one and it will be a tough one to make.

Copyright Detector Electronics Corp.