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  #1  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:52 AM
grubber grubber is offline
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Default Want to buy a detector. Intimidated by the machines at the local meet up. Need some perspective for a newbie.

I've wanted a metal detector for a while so I looked up a local meet up to do a little research on the local scene and maybe learn something about detectors from some folks with a bit of experience.

I was more than a little intimidated by the hardware on display.

I got a lot of recommendations for $500 to $1000 machines as my first detector.

After the sticker shock has worn off I thought I'd come to the friendly, collective mind here and try to get some perspective.

My budget is limited to machines $250 and under.

So, big picture, what can a $500-$1000 machine do that a $100-250 machine can't? What does the extra money buy you?

A little about the areas I'll be searching and what my goals are. I won't be anywhere near salt water or salty beaches. My area has creeks and I have waders but I don't know that I'll ever be wading but maybe.
I'm not trying to make money at this. I'm more interested in what I can find and what that tells me about the history of the area I'm searching.

Any perspective you can lend about detectors and their price vs their value would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:16 AM
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Greetings from the Garden State

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Old 10-09-2019, 11:28 AM
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The high dollar machines will give you more info about your target and help improve your chances of separating trash from treasure.
Most of the $250 machines have a waterproof coil so you can hit a shallow creek as long as you don't drop it and get the controls wet. If you don't have a waterproof machine you will always wonder what is in that creek.
You can still have fun with a less expensive machine, but the more expensive ones allow you to waste time more efficiently.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:46 AM
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Nokta Makro has a new machine called the Simplex+. I have no experience with it whatsoever but on paper it sounds very promising. Loaded with features commonly found on higher end detectors, easy to understand menu, waterproof and very reasonably priced at $299 MSRP (can probably get it for a little less). If my budget was $250 thats the one I'd be taking a hard look at it.

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  #5  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:05 PM
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You might also look into buying a used one from Perhaps Craigslist..
My first was from there and I have never had an issue with it.

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  #6  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:21 PM
MuddyMo MuddyMo is offline
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Originally Posted by grubber View post
......
My budget is limited to machines $250 and under.

So, big picture, what can a $500-$1000 machine do that a $100-250 machine can't? What does the extra money buy you?

A little about the areas I'll be searching and what my goals are. I won't be anywhere near salt water or salty beaches. My area has creeks and I have waders but I don't know that I'll ever be wading but maybe.
I'm not trying to make money at this. I'm more interested in what I can find and what that tells me about the history of the area I'm searching......
From what you said "what that tells me about the history of the area" you will probably want to dig almost everything so a >$500 detector won't add much, a little extra depth, waterproofing, and ??

Under $250-
A used $500 detector.
A Tracker IV
A Tesoro.
Xterra 305
Simplex?
Avoid the lower priced digital detectors.

Finding a good detector you enjoy using, tones, ergonomics, weight, quiet vs sparky etc, will be best. Watch YouTube videos, compare specs and go to a dealer or metal detector club and put your hands on some if possible.

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Last edited by MuddyMo; 10-09-2019 at 12:46 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:24 PM
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+1 , Big bang for the buck, i am not fond of a machine with a 2 year warranty , but i would try a Simplex + IF i were to own 1 machine on a budget and didn't intend to hunt wet salt or Salt beaches- now over other low end machines' now , why for what it offer's better depth , water proofing , at a low price , ps the machine is not out just yet, so it's not proven -it's rep. yet , but if your budget is low, try one , keep us posted on your sucess ,and thought's if you get one, Earl

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  #8  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooterjim View post
the more expensive ones allow you to waste time more efficiently.

Quote of the year right there.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:23 PM
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Don't listen to all that nonsense the club guys told you.
Honestly, I am sure they were trying to be helpful and get you a fully loaded tool to give you the best shot at finding the most but I bet not many told you that most of them worked up to those higher end machines...they didn't start out with them.
Some do, most don't.
Ask them again and I bet most will tell you they started out with way simpler and less expensive machines before they decided to climb up the upgrade mountain.

Sure, higher price will get you more features, more settings to tweak, more depth and more, but really how much do you really need just starting out?

Here is my journey using a low end $200 Fisher F2,
http://metaldetectingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53930

Read it, or at least scroll through and look at the pictures because that will open your eyes to what lower end tools can do in the hands of an owner that commits to learning his tools as well as he possibly could.
It starts out slow because I was learning but as time went on even I became shocked at the quality and volume of great treasure in eventually found.
Especially all the silver and gold.

It wasn't the best or the deepest but it found me more great treasure than most could have imagined, relics, coins and jewelry...especially jewelry because that is what I was most interested in at the time.
I found enough in 3 seasons to pay for that F2 way more than 10x's its cost.
Way more.
As a matter of fact I won so many awards at my monthly club meetings that 4 or 5 guys in that club, who all owned those higher end whiz-bang, fully featured more expensive detectors, all went out and bought F2's.
They saw me bring in more silver and gold jewelry in to show off than anyone else, mostly every month, they saw me win yearly clad count awards and beat out the next nearest member by thousands more coins for the year.
I think the ones that went out and got one after I showed up believed this detector was magic.
It wasn't...the magic was in how well I learned to understand it and how much fun I had doing it and finding all that treasure.
Just about all of it was found in common, public parks, also.

The fact is 95% of what we look for and find is usually 6" or less in depth and that is a mark that most detectors can hit, even the cheaper ones.
Not everything but the bulk of what we find.
So what if they can't get to everything at all depths in every kind of dirt and site conditions, there is still plenty out there to find no matter what you use.

Admittedly, where I hunt now is very challenging because I live in the SE now with many issues like massive iron and trash, mineralized red clay devil dirt and more.
I used the F2 here for many months before I moved to better dirt in another part of the country and found a ton and had a great time but the fact is my soil is so challenging the F2 just couldn't do what I can do now with a couple of higher end detectors because they just have more power to get deeper and more settings that really helped to combat and get around all these problems so going upper end does have some advantages.
Do I regret doing all that hunting around here with that lower end F2 that just didn't have the capabilities my higher end tools have...not in the slightest.
I don't regret one second standing behind that thing for 3 years, I have nothing to regret because I found so much in two different states that I never had a chance to regret a thing.

The F2 is gone now but it was replaced with the F22, an upgrade to the F2 that still costs under $250.
There are others out there too, the Eurotek Pro has many fans and the market today is filled with lower end and entry level tools that can work well for you.
You need something decent to start out and learn the hobby and most $200-$250 units will work well at doing just that.
If you want to upgrade one day fine, most of us that stay in the hobby do that, but why not stay in your comfort range and get one that you can learn on.and find things, maybe enough to help pay for or completely pay for a healthy upgrade if you want to do that...someday?
By that time you will be well versed in what features would be advantageous for you to have on board to get you to the next level.

In the time I spent with that F2 I managed to gather up close to $1000 in clad, lots of older coins and about $12-$1,500 in silver and gold jewelry if I sold it all at melt price...not retail.
Since then I added a few more higher end detectors and lots of coils plus other accessories to my arsenal and the F2 paid for all of it.
I vowed after I was in the hobby about a year that I would never spend another dollar on my hobby that couldn't be paid for with what I was able to find buried in the ground and I am still pretty much sticking to that.

Start out slow, spend what you want to spend and use that one to learn the hobby and most of all have fun doing it.
When it is time to upgrade, if that time ever comes, you will have much more knowledge about what kind of hunter you want to be, what kind of targets you enjoy going after the most and experience in different kinds of sites and soil conditions so you will know exactly what features could possibly help you advance in the hobby if you feel you want to do that.
Trust me, it is all so confusing now but in a short time it won't be once you start.
Eventually it will all become easy and obvious to make future decisions.

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Last edited by DIGGER27; 10-09-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:53 PM
A7thson A7thson is offline
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I also just got into the hobby and opted for a Teknetics Delta 4000 Metal Detector. About $200 new with a 5 yr warranty. (Target, Amazon) It's light, easy to use, and I'm having fun with it. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that some have but until I find out if this is a hobby I'm going to pursue I really don't want to blow much more. Add in digging tools, pin pointers. etc and the price keeps climbing. It seemed like a good entry level machine for me. I've read it's not very good in salt water\wet sand, but works well in dry sand. I'm heading down to the beach next week so I'll test that out as well. I'm leery of used equipment, you never know how the previous person treated their tools. So I opted for a reasonable priced new one. The one thing that does kind of irritate me about it is there is no memory for the settings. Once you shut it off and turn it back on you have to reset the volume, discrimination, etc. but for now I can live with that.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:06 AM
grubber grubber is offline
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Originally Posted by MuddyMo View post

Under $250-
A used $500 detector.
A Tracker IV
A Tesoro.
Xterra 305
Simplex?
Avoid the lower priced digital detectors.
.
I was thinking the same thing about the low end digital models.
I'll check out your recommendations. Thank you

Edit: I can't find the simplex available anywhere but the tracker IV is available from Dicks Sporting good with a separate pinpointer included for $100. Unless I see a better used machine come up for sale that sounds like the machine for me.

Last edited by grubber; 10-10-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by grubber View post
I was thinking the same thing about the low end digital models.
I'll check out your recommendations. Thank you

Edit: I can't find the simplex available anywhere but the tracker IV is available from Dicks Sporting good with a separate pinpointer included for $100. Unless I see a better used machine come up for sale that sounds like the machine for me.
The bounty Hunter tracker has no number display, that may discourage you? I would get one with display numbers.

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Old 10-10-2019, 04:54 PM
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I am just getting back into hunting. My wife and I used to go treasure hunting all the time but not for the last 10 years.

I ordered 2 Simplex+ units from KellyCo as they were the only ones taking preorders at the time.

It's a 2 month wait, but 2 units that seem like they will be pretty good, for under $700 seemed like a no brainer.

If you are not in a rush, that may be a good way for you to go. You'll have a machine that will meet your needs for a long time.

Also remember that aside from a detector you will need other items like shovel, scoops, bag, whatever, which could also add up to quite a bit.
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Old 10-10-2019, 08:44 PM
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An F2, F70 and MX7 are for sale on this forumís classifieds right now in your price range. Al three are great detectors.
Jeff

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  #15  
Old 10-10-2019, 10:56 PM
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My first detector was an older used one. Not saying used is the way to go but I've had an absolute blast with mine and bought it for 250. Best 250 I've spent in recent years. Had it for a year, learned a ton, put plenty of hours on it and my brand new nox gets here tomorrow

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Old 10-10-2019, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Rattlehead View post
Nokta Makro has a new machine called the Simplex+. I have no experience with it whatsoever but on paper it sounds very promising. Loaded with features commonly found on higher end detectors, easy to understand menu, waterproof and very reasonably priced at $299 MSRP (can probably get it for a little less). If my budget was $250 thats the one I'd be taking a hard look at it.
Plus 1 on this! Pre-Order price is $254.

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Old 10-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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As others have mentioned the new Simplex seems to be a lot of value for a budget price.

Also check out the forum classified. I found my Fisher F75 for that price range a few months ago. I just wasn't willing to shell out big bucks for a new hobby but wanted a nice detector. You can occasionally find a good used Fisher F70 or F75, Teknetics T2 or Patriot or a Garrett AT Pro in that price range. They go quick but they do pop up. At the moment I see 2 Teknetics Patriots, 2 Teknetics Omegas, and Whites MX7 in your price range for sale. There are often people upgrading to those $1000 machines selling other good quality detectors.

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  #18  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by grubber View post
I was thinking the same thing about the low end digital models.
I'll check out your recommendations. Thank you

Edit: I can't find the simplex available anywhere but the tracker IV is available from Dicks Sporting good with a separate pinpointer included for $100. Unless I see a better used machine come up for sale that sounds like the machine for me.


I would suggest you avoid the Tracker IV. With something that basic you may get discouraged. Although some people here have had success with it, I wouldn't recommend it. That pinpointer is junk IMO. I have one that's sitting on a shelf in the garage...in fact I think I might have two of them. You'll need to be within an inch of the target in order for it to find it.


Look on the classifieds here, as someone else mentioned. Good used machines there in your price range.


Where are you located? If you're localish to me, I'd be happy to take you out and let you try one of my detectors to see what you like. I have an F2, an ACE 250, an AT Pro, and a Nox 800. I also have access to a couple of Tesoros if you wanted to try a machine without a display.

ETA: Plus, I'll never spend a dime at Dick's ever again

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