A Contentious Post . . .

. . . guaranteed to annoy someone, but it’s what I think; you may even be able to recognise yourself 🙂

for many metal 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 friends and keeping my eyes and ears open. If you regularly visit online hobby sites 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 well over a thousand pounds.

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’ll never happen.


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, fingerless gloves from John Lewis, 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.

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

THE END Courtesy of QM

This has been another Devil’s Advocate post by JW


20 thoughts on “A Contentious Post . . .”

  1. Hilarious John !!!!!!!!!!!!!!went to dig a hole on the foreshore on foot on sunday ,i looked like a trooper from Easy Company with all my gear.


  2. oh john ..please dont be sorry ….truely love the ending  …have to admit to having many changes of machines at the top end and enjoyed useing them …at present its the ctx and nox800 and who knows what in a few years ..i try and keep away from the wars ..that mines better than yours ..each to there own i say

  3. Models may vary but the majority here in Oz use the same brand. I do admit that nowdays most of the little gold nuggets found cost more to find than they are worth.

  4. Substitute camera for detector (and related terminology) and that’s photography! Always a pleasure to read your articles John, thanks.

  5. I guess John most of the forums receive support from specific manufacturers or outlets hence the promotion of types of machines. You have to be careful not to take the fun out of the hobby. It’s the same with mobile phones and vehicles you have to buy the upgraded version, even though your existing model serves all your needs. More expensive machines. doesn’t necessarily equate to better results but perhaps finding unsearched land might!

  6. My eyes!! My eyes!! ;

    John, that last photo really woke me up, and not in a good way.. LOL,,
    ..Diving equipment is the same.. Basic equipment almost does not exist.. What we have now is shopping rather than diving.

    Detecting at least gives a few choices.. But I found so many great things with my basic detectors of old.. I almost wonder why I have gone
    to the expensive extremes that I have in acquiring my detectors.. Things were so much simpler back in the day


  7. Very true John. Detectors are same as guns. Just keep buying higher priced units in the expectation results will soon come our way. We should be always trying to develop our skills to a higher level.
    Finally, detectors and guns are like love, you cannot put a number on them.

  8. So true John. How many times have we heard “this new detector is rubbish” from those that have it and those that don’t. New Equipment means instant treasure in the minds of some.
    I have never sold a single find or bought a new machine just because it was ‘new’.

  9. I totally agree John, I’d much rather read posts about the finds that have been made, rather than the chest puffing, look what I’ve got posts we see a lot of today. I must admit, I rarely even read, never mind comment on posts like that.

    • How very, very true John

      I have given up detecting due to ill health and not being able to dig holes for ring pulls. Ray Hambo hit the nail right on the head. I have returned to shooting and I have found that, buying detectors and guns is very much the same and everybody puts forward their points on the merits of each particular rifle.

      With shooting though, it relates to skill and skill alone. You can buy a cheap or very expensive gun that shoots well, but if you can’t hit a barn door at say ten yards, you should give up, or practice more. I detected for years with high end detectors and never found gold, but you still see the beginners coming out with their Ace 150s and finding a gold coin or something else of the elusive yellow colour. The old adage applies, you have to walk over it to find it.

      It’s great to see you writing again John, and It was good to catch up with you on facetime last week. Love to Lynda and all the best to you John. Les.

  10. So very true, everyone is raving about the Nox. It may be the ‘in’ machine at the moment, and possibly go slightly deeper than some other machines, but unless you walk over said treasure you wont find it. As long as you know your own machine you have as much chance as the next man/woman. The only other requirement that you need is patience, in bucket loads.

  11. Took the words right out of my mouth John. It always amazes me that some hobbyists believe that by buying the latest “in detector” everything will change & great finds will appear with minimal effort. Reality of course will soon bring them down to earth.

  12. There are very profitable finds to be made with the latest detector. You have to learn how to use it to your advantage. You have to work in groups with people that are just as determined to make those finds. Your success is determined by how many people you find buying it.

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