Crawfords Metal Detectors has been doing business in the UK since 1995, where they have become a household name in the metal detector industry known for their genuine, honest professionalism and outstanding customer service.
How to Get Started in Metal Detecting
Metal detectors have been used for decades in all sorts of applications, from landmine detecting to airport security. However, as they have become more easily affordable, their use has expanded to provide an exciting, relaxing and potentially profitable hobby for increasing numbers of people. You may be wondering how you can get started in metal detecting, and become part of this growing community.
Equipment you need
The first step is to collect your basic equipment. Apart from the metal detector itself, at a minimum you will need a spade or Gator digger, strong gloves, a knife, a ground cloth of about 24 inches square, and an apron with pockets. It’s also a good idea to have a coin probe, preferably made of stainless steel, or a pin pointer such as a Garrett Pro Pointer. A tool belt pouch is ideal for carrying everything.
Many detectorists use headphones when working and these are necessary in noisy areas, to screen out background noise. However, there is no need to buy expensive ones. It is more important to make sure they are comfortable.
How to Choose your Detector
The metal detector you choose will partly depend on your main reason for detecting. If your primary interest is in coins, the most important features will be target identification, and a depth indicator. On the other hand, if you are more interested in relics and antiquities, the main feature you need will be ground-balancing, which tunes out signals from minerals naturally present in the ground. You may of course want to do everything, and so need a multi-purpose detector.
Your choice also depends on where you are searching. The most versatile type of metal detector — the type that detects the widest range of objects — is the VLF, or very low frequency, detector. Ideally, you should go for the Turn-on-and-Go type, which has automatic ground balance, meaning you don’t have to keep adjusting the ground balance function. You should also look for a discrimination control function, which eliminates responses from undesired objects.
The other main type is the Pulse Indicator or PI, which works by sending electrical pulses towards the ground, generating responding pulses from target objects. PI detectors are more effective than VLF ones on mineralized ground and saltwater beaches, as they can ignore both minerals and conductive salts simultaneously. They can also detect objects buried very deep under the ground, but they do not have the discrimination capability of VLF detectors.
The other factor you need to check out is the kHz (kiloHertz) rating. Most machines operate within a range of 3-20 kHz. Those in the lower range, between 3 and 6 kHz, are more effective for finding larger, thicker coins and can ignore mineralization, but recovery is slower. The top range is faster, and better for finding smaller, thinner coins, but those in the middle range are the most versatile. On some machines, it is possible for the operator to change the frequency as required.
Your Basic Techniques
Once you are ready to start metal detecting, the most basic technique you will use is sweeping, which means moving your search coil across the ground from side to side. Make sure you overlap each sweep, so as not to miss any part of the ground. While sweeping, ensure you keep the coil parallel to the ground at all times — avoid lifting it at the end of a sweep, as it could cause you to miss a signal, as could sweeping too fast. Low and slow is the ticket.
When you receive a signal, you need to pinpoint the object, if your machine does not have a pinpoint button. How you do it depends on the type of search coil you are using. With a concentric coil, you should move the detector over the area, back and forth and side to side in a plus-sign pattern, noting where you get the strongest audio signal. With a Double D coil, which has a hot strip along the center, perform the side-to-side movement as with the concentric coil, then move the machine back towards you very slowly with tiny sweeps, till the audio response drops off. For objects buried in only a few inches of soil, you can use your probe or pin pointer.
When the object is located, use your Gator digger to cut a semi-circular plug, cutting straight down, and then lift it up like a flap, keeping the grass roots intact. Remove the soil from the hole and place it on your ground cloth. After securing the object, replace the plug and tamp it down — try to leave as little damage as possible.
You should not become despondent if you find little that is worthwhile on your first few outings — every hobbyist has good and bad days. The important thing is to do diligent research, study metal detecting methods and techniques, and get in touch with other like-minded people. As your knowledge and experience grow, so will your success, excitement and enjoyment.
Crawfords stocks the best there is in metal detectors, including; Bounty Hunter, C.Scope, Coiltek, Detech, Fisher, Garrett, Laser, Minelab, Nokta, Teknetics, Tesoro, Viking, XP and Whites.
Visit their website http://www.crawfordsmd.com
Additionally, you can contact Crawfords at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01724 845608 (in the UK).