The New Metal Detector

16th February 2018 — 61 Comments

For many detectorists the act of buying a new machine far outweighs the thrill of actually doing the hobby …

… that’s the impression I get from looking at the various detecting forums, talking to detectorists and keeping my eyes and ears open. If you regularly visit online hobby sites or Facebook then you’ll be very familiar with the threads extolling the virtues of one make of detector over another. They usually run for several pages, becoming increasingly vitriolic and personal before an enlightened and increasingly frustrated moderator pulls the plug.

The machines being ‘discussed’ – I use that word lightly – are rarely the reasonably priced models, but high-end machines costing a lotta dosh. I am often amused to see that whilst these detector wars are going on some unsophisticated newbie has just purchased a machine costing peanuts and found the kind of treasure the warring combatants are convinced they will find with their sophisticated gear. It rarely happens.

© JW

For the guys with all the latest gear (but little idea?) it’s as though when they do venture into a muddy field they have to hold their head up high by sporting the latest and the most expensive equipment; when we all know that all you need to find treasure is enthusiasm, a reasonably priced proven detector and a spade.

But, of course that’s not true, because they have to turn up looking like a cross between a soldier on active service and an astronaut … that’s if you can see them in all that camouflage. In addition to the fancy dress costume (don’t forget the leather wellies) they’ll have the latest wireless and noise-cancelling headphones, the most expensive pinpointer, a vehicle that doubles as a hotel if it spots with rain … and the ability to talk for hours about the merits of the DD coil. Nine out of ten will also carry a video camera to capture that clod shot we all want to see. Not!

This simply means that every button or crotal bell they find has cost approximately £1m. It doesn’t seem to matter though. As I said; for so many detectorists the thrill of buying a new hobby-related gadget far outweighs the thrill of actually swinging the coil.


I’ve already ‘lost’ two subscribers since posting this blog. More will follow, no doubt! 🙂


© This has been another tongue-in-cheek production on behalf of detector retailers everywhere! 🙂



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61 responses to The New Metal Detector

  1. harsh words John and so unlike you. Your posts are usually informative The thrill of detecting as you know is not about finding Treasure but the enjoyment of finding interesting and often mundane items but wondering what the history of the find is and how it got where it did.

    • You take it the wrong way, Ray.
      Playing at Devil’s Advocate.
      Tongue in cheek …

      Still the nice old man I always was … but like being provocative now and again!

    • Sorry pal, but those are NOT harsh words by any standards. They are the thoughts, carefully
      considered, before putting finger to keyboard, of a fine write, and journalist.
      What J.W. has done is to say it as it really is, many in this great hobby cannot understand why
      the newby often out strips the old hand at detecting, one with a lesser priced detector, the other
      waving around what he/she believes is the Rolls Royce, which the second hand Mini will never be able to compete with, which as we all know is actually a load of bollocks.
      able to compete with, which as we all know is actually a load of bollocks.

      I am currently using a Minelab 705, which on its very first outing, on a loss special search. I
      was with my detecting buddy, he was toting his Deus full set up. My inexpensive 705 out ran
      his Roller, when I found the item at a depth of about 15″, and his detector could not even register a signal for the find which had been buried for 30 years, in a very large field.

      Please do not knock John, he does not deserve it.

  2. Same with all hobbies and sports John.
    You see it in golf when Norman Wisdom turns up and pulls out the latest and most expensive set of carbide/titanium clubs and smacks his first drive into the nearest hedge or in clay pigeon shooting where Elmer Fudd turns up at the shooting grounds with a £5000 sporting Baretta and couldn’t hit the side of barn.
    Some folks don’t understand that putting the hours in is mandatory. Metal detecting will never be exempt and of course and the manufacturers know this all too well : )

  3. Amen, and I’m not religious! Seems that looking good, sounding cool and being popular is what matters anymore. Great post John, thank you.

  4. Couldn’t agree more John. For nine out of ten targets, if you walk over it you will find it with most detectors.

  5. “all you need to find treasure is enthusiasm, a reasonably priced proven detector and a spade.”

    Been saying that for years now John..So many good finds are made with inexpensive machines.

    A good lesson here my friend


  6. It seems like it’s all about having the latest and the greatest and trying to out do the next guy. Or like having the newest cell phone where people line up for hours just to buy something to replace something that was just as capable as the something it is replacing. Now isn’t that something!!!


  7. Spot on John. My brother still uses a C Scope dating to about 1980 and has made some great finds.

  8. hi john as you know me no whistles or bells I use the same detector I bought 25 years ago, tesoro silver sabre 2, my wellys were a tenner, headphones 2 quid from a car boot, spade I made my self from a spit, granted I don’t find much exciting but one day it just might happen ,i just like to get to get out and have a nosey about,

  9. Well I thought every man and his wife and their dog owned a Deus anyway!

  10. Spot on, John. Some people I know have 5 or 6 detectors. What’s the point? I don’t know about anyone else but I can only use one at a time.

  11. why do people say you have to walk over it to find it. Walking over it will find you very little but to swing a detector over it, that is a different matter

  12. Excellent article !!!!What happen to the hobby??

  13. I don’t need luck john, I need to look harder mate

  14. Vladimir Asenov Giochev 16th February 2018 at 7:47 PM

    What’s wrong with having as hobby buying staff for metal detecting?

    • Do you mean “What’s wrong with having a hobby and buying stuff for metal detecting? … not everybody is advanced enough to be able to enjoy metal detecting with a 30 years old machine, £5 shovel and £10 boot.”

      Thanks for the comment Vladimir … nothing wrong with that at all … and it was never suggested.

      • Vladimir Asenov Giochev 16th February 2018 at 11:10 PM

        I meant to say – What’s wrong with having as a hobby buying expensive(and often unnecessary) staff for metal detecting?

        – an unsucsesfull atempt at a joke.

        But you are wright, so far I had more fun buying my equipment than digging the 10 buckets of metal junk I found since I started the hobby 8 months ago.

  15. A element of truth in John`s musings.

    Having said that this hobby of ours keeps many people amused and well exercised.

    At the same time it also keeps some folks employed, for better or worse.

    Happy Hunting,


  16. Another good post John even if it is only a filler.
    Here in Oz you have to have good equipment to find gold regularly, not necessarily the latest but it has to be good. We nearly all use Minelab equipment but i will guess only about 10 out of our 70 plus members are using the latest 7000.
    Most are using the previous 5000 and 4500’s. The 2300’s have been out for a while now and one of our members found 15 little nuggets over the weekend. Rare for us to see members wearing camo over here.

  17. Yeah, only a ‘filler’. Was feeling a little mischievous! That fella Stout has been giving me lessons.

  18. And what a good job these posts on Facebook and forum’s happen discussing and debating such issues as new machines, camouflage clothing and DD coils as you Mr Winters would have diddely squat to write about.

  19. You can certainly get them going John, as well as a good detector, I need good clothing and decent boots or wellies.

    Yes my jacket and wellies are high end and bloody expensive but at my age I find that I need the extra comfort of being warm and dry. None of it is camo but I do own an army camo jacket which I can wear when temperatures are a bit in the middle of the scale.

    I have been fortunate that on a couple of birthdays, I have been given enough money to buy the kit to suit my health problems and I stay warm and dry whatever.

    It’s not like you to open a can of worms and not go fishing John.

    Best regards

  20. John from Ontario (AKA Geobound) 17th February 2018 at 4:15 AM

    My wife just says to me every time I’m interesting in looking at something new or upgrading from something that I already have……….”boys and their toys, are they ever satisfied”?

    Since I know she won’t check here, I she’s right……….although I will deny it if she ever finds out! LOL…..

    We do tend to like our toys more than the fairer sex (for the most part), and we absolutely have to have the bigger and better toy compared to our friends, so it doesn’t surprise me all the hoopla over the new Minelab machines.

    There will always be somebody out there building a better mouse trap, and there will always be discussions of which mouse trap is the best.

    So long as you’re having fun and aren’t hurting anybody, then have at it!

  21. Yes, here in the U.S. it seems like they should rename the forums as ” metal detector ” forums instead of ” metal detecting ” forums. A few years ago the hot threads were about permissions,legal issues and morals. Arguing about a detector’s performance is just not as much fun as arguing about a person’s performance. 🙂

  22. Now for my opinion, as usual you old tart, you have come up with a very humorous topic to post.

    The comments of some indicate that not enough folk are ply their needs in the direction of Specsavers,

    Good job you are prepared to tell it as is, other wise we “would have diddly squat to write about”

  23. You succinctly write that, “all you need to find treasure is enthusiasm, a reasonably priced proven detector and a spade.”

    Very true, but what about not having a fear of the dark?

  24. Haven’t seen so many replies for a long time John. not so sure that it’s the thrill of a new detector more the thrill of THE new detector. The Equinox promises to knock the Deus off it’s perch

  25. While cleaning a closet I found a duplicate of a shirt that resides in your possession, and may I say the only plagiarized copy of your original.
    And it still resides in it’s original packaging unworn and in mint condition for fear of photographic evidence of copyright infringement towards a younger member of your family. Now that I have thoroughly brought to your remembrance ( and hopefully a plethora of questions from your readers concerning what unmentioned article of clothing resides in both of our possession ) who is contacting you from across the pond.
    Now for my response to your article, good show and thought provoking. I wonder my self as I travel back home from a dirtfishing trip how many collectible and valuable coins I have passed by to travel to distance ghost towns only to return with treasure barely valuable enough to pay for the fuel to get out of the driveway. So the opening of the proverbial can of worms of equipment selection and price, my quandary is why travel so far for nothing when great treasure lies waiting in just walking distance from home. Thanks for listening to my rambling, and looking forward to yours.

    • Hello Gerald. Good to hear from you again. I thought the shirt was displayed in your ‘man cave’ and you wore it on special occasions. This link should spread some light on the subject:

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Thanks for the link I enjoyed reading all the Articles pertaining to my deed of plagiarism. My copy of your original is still in the room that will someday be my man cave but as it is it is still a storage room for my wife and her collection of stuff. And just remember if one person takes your idea it’s plagiarism, but if a group of people do it’s called research.

  26. My goodness… John “The Hornet Stirrer” Winter..! Looks like you’ve hit the finger squarely on the nail! Do you secretly stir it up on hi-fi forums too? In any case I’m on your side… sigh… kit worship… what would Saints Germain of Man and Patrick think..?

  27. Brilliant and so True , but don’t forget luck, newbies , (hate that word ) often find good stuff because they don’t know what the signal is , and don’t start relying on the what the machine tells them ,
    Shame they think they’ve got to spend a fortune , I’m still using my 15 year old T2 and still it brings up the goods ,

    • Hello Derek. Determination and a modicum of luck are part of the mixture we call enthusiasm.

      NOTE: Mrs John and I bought our first detector from Derek – many moons ago. We didn’t spend a fortune, but it was that diddy machine that sparked our interest.

      • Remember it well John , Viking VK30 ?,
        Amazing this hobby , gets into your soul ,i’m still out every week, knees etc permitting ,after 40+ years , Often think if i was still selling at today’s prices , would be very rich i think

  28. Makes a lot of sense: “…all you need to find treasure is enthusiasm, a reasonably priced proven detector and a spade.” To which I would add:

    4. research
    5. patience
    6. the bladder of a 20 year old.

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