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Artifact Hunting: Choosing a Metal Detector

Охота за артефактами: выбираем металлодетектор

Well, dear reader, you were inspired by all the materials you read and seriously decided to purchase a metal detector (hereinafter - MD) Or, as it is called in a copar environment, a “device”. Just a device. The very thing with which we will look for various artifacts. We do not write “search for treasures”, since this is still not the most frequent find.

The most frequent find, the most coveted find, under which the vast majority of metal detectors are “imprisoned” is, after all, a coin. That is, it is a flat kruglyash made of non-ferrous metal, most often copper or an alloy based on it - bronze or brass. Less commonly, silver, sometimes aluminum, sometimes base silver - billon, very rarely made of gold. It happens that it is completely made of iron.

Some general information

Therefore, any metal detector designed to search for historical artifacts reacts most fun and fervently to a non-ferrous metal circle.

For example, on an aluminum cork, which in our fields is scattered in dozens, and sometimes hundreds of times more than coins. This is the so-called “alcohol-thaler," as the kopari joke. Our people, alas, for the most part do not adhere to sober outlooks on life.

Corks from drunk “Charlik” often end up in compost heaps, along with the rest of the garbage, which then falls onto the fields.

The signal from the aluminum cork is practically indistinguishable from the coin signal, not one, even the most advanced metal detector, has taught to discriminate it (distinguish it from another “flower” and ignore it). Therefore, here is the first knowledge about the subject - if you are presented with a device and are asserted that it discriminates against aluminum and distinguishes aluminum plugs from coins, do not believe it. Absolutely breach, such devices so far (as of November 2014) do not exist.


What does a beginner usually pay when buying a device? Of course, to the depth of the search! “Does he take lope?” Is the first question that the “treasure hunter” will ask. The second question: “How much does he stand?”.

Depth of detection is always spelled out in the accompanying documents. Moreover, they write, as a rule, the depth of detection of the coin. But it should be remembered that coins are different - sometimes there is a 30-gram thaler, with a huge shielding surface, and sometimes there is a weightless miniature boratinka or even a small-sized scale on the little finger.

Охота за артефактами: выбираем металлодетектор

Therefore, let us declare the “Soviet” five-copeck coin with us and we will dance from it.

Devices are different. The most unpretentious ones will find a flat nickel lying flat at a depth of 25 cm in moist soil, but those devices that are more serious will notice (unreliably, but notice) coins at a depth of 60 cm. But the greater the depth, the less accurate the discrimination of the device. That is, what lies there, deep underground - a gold coin or a rusty nail MD will not tell you.

The search conditions are very different and the conductivity of the soil is very variable, and the same coin can lie flat, or maybe on the edge. She may lie alone, or may be among the iron debris.

A potential copar should be warned that most coins and other finds lie at a depth to the bayonet of a shovel. A device that takes deeper is simply not needed by many.

And let's imagine that we have a device with super-maximum search depth and, as a result, filthy discrimination? And if he will periodically give you some “rotten” signal at a 60-cm depth, estimate how many physical holes are enough for digging and how many nails, bolts or pieces of aluminum wire are your emotional strengths? Believe me, not by much.

Let's estimate. With an average number of finds in a place of average "bad" we will find about 3 coins per hour. Each coin will have about a dozen “left” finds - corks, sleeves, shrapnel, wire. It already turns out 30 per hour. Although what is “30 per hour” ... More, much more! If you take into account that the shortest search day barely fits at 3 o’clock, then it is easy to calculate how many holes you have to dig and how many times to bend down and sit down. This is me to the fact that a beginner does not need to chase extreme depths. The bayonet of your shovel is the maximum search depth and this is enough for now.

Although there are devices that are specifically designed to search for large metal objects at extreme depths - the so-called “depths”. But this is a completely different, separate story.

A little more about discrimination

Another important criterion that you should pay attention to when choosing MD is the discrimination mentioned above. That is, the ability of the device to distinguish ferrous metal from non-ferrous. Discrimination may consist, depending on the selected search mode, in the fact that the device simply ignores the “ink” and “haws” only the “flower”, or that it signals the finds of different metals with a different sound or a different tone of sound signal.

Охота за артефактами: выбираем металлодетектор

But here, not everything is so simple. As mentioned above, the device is sharpened on a coin, so about large pieces of bullshit, say, if you have a plow share under the coil, it joyfully “screams” with a clear color signal.

Also, “rusty” rings and very rusty objects made of iron. However, information about the find can be obtained not only through an audio signal, but also visually - on the display, if provided by your device.

As for my personal preferences, I’m closer to searching with my ears using a multi-tone device. Multitonality is when every metal object in the search area has its own special “voice” and cacophony in the headphones, a person who has learned to understand his device very clearly understands the whole picture of what is underground directly in front of him. I hear the wire, sleeve, shrapnel very clearly, but, alas, I can’t distinguish the cork from the coin, so I have to dig any color signal.


Another important criterion is the tightness of the device. And pay attention, if we are talking about tightness, then you should always find out what tightness is meant - brains, coils, or both.

The search is not always carried out under the sun on a dry field.

Personally, I solved the issue of brain tightness (no need to laugh, get used to slang) very simply - with the help of a plastic bag, which I pull on them with the first drops of rain. I then fasten the package with electrical tape.

Price and manufacturer

The following criteria by which to choose a device are price and manufacturer.

I saw how Chinese-made devices work, the names of which differ only by a couple of letters from the best examples of the American and French electronic industries.

They work, as a rule, not bad and not for long. In my eyes, such a device first stratified a coil. The owner dried it, filled it with silicone and glued it with epoxy.

Then, after about a week, the brains fell off the rod, they had to be repaired in the field using improvised means. Well, then, after a couple of field trips, the bar itself broke exactly in the middle. Part of it was subsequently replaced by a telescopic rod. However, the device is still working, so I look forward to new jokes from it.


The most important selection criterion is ergonomics. If the length of the rod is elementarily adjusted to your height, then, alas, nothing can be done with the weight of the device. Weight can be different and even 100 grams play a big role.

Choose the grip that is most convenient for you, there are only two of them.

We will conditionally call the first “pissing boy” the second - the same as we hold a hacksaw when sawing. Do you understand the images? If not, take a look at the photo.

Охота за артефактами: выбираем металлодетектор
"Manneken Pis"
Охота за артефактами: выбираем металлодетектор

And at the end of my story, I want to warn you that dishonest comrades have appeared in all the post-Soviet countries who are unsuccessfully trying to “push” the army mine detectors IMP-1 and IMP-2 to newcomers. In a copar environment they are called “sticks” for the similarity of form. They are absolutely not suitable for our occupation. Moreover, they are said about them that with their help you can only find the cover from the sewer manhole and only if you know exactly where it lies. They exaggerate, I think, but this device is designed to search for mines - heavy metal objects.

That's all about appliances, in short. You need to choose the device that you like. But do not rush to draw conclusions about the potential of your new friend immediately after the first trip to the field. Learn a little understanding.

Personally, I, after I first went into the field with a device that I haven’t parted with for the third year, was very disappointed in him and even had the desire to flunk him on a tree trunk so that I would not be tormented and not torment me. Full understanding came about after the tenth departure. Now we do not spill water. What we wish you.