Choosing a metal detector for finding buried stuff

I think I want to get a metal detector, the kind you walk around with to find buried treasure. Teach me about them please???

The first treasure would be the second hatch on my septic tank. I’ve never seen it opened, and it’s VERY difficult to dig in our rocky soil. I hear the hatches have steel in them and should be detectable. I’m having it pumped in about 3 weeks.

But I’ve also thought it would be interesting in general, and sometimes useful for finding infrastructure and whatnot on my land. I gather their use is not allowed in many parks, on many beaches, etc, so I’m anticipating it’s mostly for home use.

I’m hoping they’re available with headphones and some kind of sounds that are meaningful, for example big versus small objects, how deeply buried, maybe whether ferromagnetic or not. But maybe they just give a beep or whatever.

Tuppence is tuppence, of course. But I’m not too worried about price. Glancing at Amazon I see they all seem to be below $200, which would be fine.

How do I choose?


The septic tank pumping company probably has a metal detector. Sometimes they’ll do the digging for you. Still could be useful to have around even if they don’t help. I don’t remember where I got my basic unit, probably Amazon. It does find large chunks of metal out in the yard, and I determined a bump on my best friend was a BB and not a cyst.

I haven’t heard of that. Haven’t really been interested in doing that kind of thing though. I am tempted to look in some local areas where Colonial era coins and other artifacts turn up occasionally. There’s also plenty of iron ore around here, including our own town mineral Cumberlandite.

I have. For some strange reason they don’t want people digging (and usually leaving) holes on public property.

I haven’t bought a metal detector since they sold them at Radio Shack, but I do know that metal detectors sell for a lot more than $200 now. One that cheap may or may not be considered a cheap toy and may or may not be good enough for your needs.

If they can even give you a rough idea of where they think it might be, a heavy, pointed metal rod can be dropped/pushed into the ground in hopes of hitting it.

I bought a White’s Spectrum in 1997. Great detector, and it still works.

Sadly, it appears White’s is out of business.

I think Garrett is still in business. They have been around for a long time.

I can understand that in a lot of places but I was thinking of those guys on the beach where people dig holes all the time.

Don’t mean to ThreadShit, but this made me laugh till I crapped my pants! :laughing:

Just in case, any excuse to plug one of the great recent TV shows:

Metal detectors are one of those things that people buy, use a few times, and then it gathers dust. I’d look for a high-end model that is used.

Excellent advice! I myself have a fairly nice one sitting around that I got as a Christmas gift from my step-daughter a couple years ago. I will pass it on through eBay after an appropriate time.

One problem I have is that most parks and seashores here don’t allow metal detectors. And private land owners are very leery of letting you use one on their property. Unfortunately, there are too many “detectorists” who are bad guests.

Lots of great info and advice, thank you! I just bought a Garrett ACE 300, used, on Ebay. I downloaded the manual and checked it out; looks like it should work well for me.

I used to have a White. After finding a whole lot of poptops and other junk, I gave up on it. I would get one that can discriminate between what is junk and what is valuable. Historic sites also prohibit metal detectors. There were signs to that effect at historic battlefields in Virginia.