Seems like every time a new machine comes out, the forums and Facebook are rocked with talk about how it is an end-all must-have ultimate machine. Yes, certain detectors have definite advantages under certain conditions, and there is no arguing that new technology goes a long way, but at the end of the day, Without pushing specific machines, let’s discuss why no machine just rules and is guaranteed automatically finds more than other detectors:
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Many detectors are designed for or just better completely different use cases: coin shooting, relic hunting, beach and water hunting, gold hunting. In choosing a detector, consider those that are used by successful detectorists that are hunting in the same type of places you are, for the same kind of stuff.
Some detectors perform better in specific regional soil conditions, and some ground balance better than others. A great example are the pulse induction machines that do very well in the highly mineralized red dirt of Virginia battlefields.
EVERYONE CAN’T AFFORD A HIGH END MACHINE
When I was a teen, I wanted a White’s 6000DI. It might have well cost a million dollars, because my family couldn’t afford to get me one. Maybe you could afford a very expensive machine, but are unable to detect enough to justify the cost. So buy the best machine you can – new or lightly used – in your price range. One that others in your area hunting for the same things you do are successful with.
NOT EVERYONE DETECTS ENOUGH TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF CERTAIN MACHINES
I have hundreds of hours on two different machines that I am most successful with. They were both extremely aggravating until I had over 100 hours on them. If I didn’t detect a lot, I don’t believe either of these machines would have been a wise choice as I would have been unable to wield them, and they would have just felt noisy and cumbersome.
WHERE ARE YOU HUNTING?
In 2016, if you are getting permission and hunting private property, you hold a huge advantage over those that are hunting easily-accessible sites. You can get by with a machine that isn’t as deep and good in trash. If you are hunting sites that have been hunted for years, such as parks, you not only have to master a machine that can get deep remaining targets, and those in trash and iron, you have to develop the techniques required to do so consistently.
Some machines just aren’t a particular detectorists cup of tea. I have at least one machine that I’m very good with, but if I knew in advance how tough it was to learn to use, I would probably not have opted for it. Many detectorists are downright surgical with machines that many would feel are old technology or inadequate for todays conditions and the fact that most sites have been hunted repeatedly.
I use multiple machines. Each seems to hit the ground differently. I have three fairly high end machines and as much as I hunt, I couldn’t give a clear over-all advantage to either of them. So we recommend that you watch detectorists that are successful hunting for the same types of finds in the same areas and types of sites as you are, and consider those machines. Don’t be afraid of new machines, but don’t fall for pure marketing hype.