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What to Look for in Metal Detectors

Metal detecting can be a great hobby to indulge in. As you search for treasure or other metals, you can apply biology, physics and geology to find hidden metals. Getting a Garrett metal detector can be a fun way to live out dreams of being an adventurer.

What Do I Need to Look for in a Search Coil?

The search coil, which is a flat, typically round disk found at the bottom of your metal detector, is an important component of a Garrett detector. It generates a magnetic field and senses metals within that field by alerting the user when a metallic object distorts the generated magnetic field. In determining the kind of metal detector that suits your needs, you need to consider the kinds of search coils.

  • Size: The detection depth of the coil is about equal to its diameter. However, the larger the search coil and field pattern are, the less concentrated the field is. Small search coils are ideal for shallow, small metallic objects, while large search coils work for bigger and deeply buried objects.
  • Shape: Search coils are typically circular or elliptical in shape. The circular shape is the more commonly used shape and has more detection depth and sensitivity in non-mineralized soil. However, the elliptical search coil is easier to use and covers a wider radius.

What Configuration Do I Need?

A variety of coil configurations, or the arrangement of transmit coil and receive coil in the search coil shell, are available for Garrett detectors, varying based on ground conditions and what you're searching for. These configurations include:

  • Concentric: In this configuration, the receive coil is coiled near the center of the shell, while the transmit coil is coiled around the receive coil, closer to the outer rim. Concentric coils offer a symmetrical detection field, but can experience interference over heavily mineralized ground.
  • Mono: Mono coils either have the transmit and receive coils located together, or have one coil acting as both transmitter and receiver. Its performance is similar to the concentric configuration.
  • Imaging: This configuration, unique to the Garrett GTI, is similar to the concentric arrangement, but it has an extra receiving coil. This enhances its perception of target depth and target size.
  • DD: The DD, or Double-D, configuration, named after the shape of the transmit and receive coils, produces a canceling effect via negative detection fields that reduces ground interference over mineralized ground. However, the DD coil's actual detection field is smaller, making it less sensitive than the concentric coil over non-mineralized ground.

What Kind of Garrett Metal Detector Should I Look for?

Garrett offers a variety of metal detectors for various experience levels and needs.

  • Ace: The Ace series, including the Garrett Ace 250, is a detector well suited for those just starting out. The Ace 250 has an elliptical, concentric coil and the search coil is both waterproof and interchangeable for various size loops.
  • All-Terrain: The Garrett AT, as the name implies, is designed for all terrains. It uses a DD coil and is waterproof, allowing you to submerge it underwater. The Garrett AT comes in three different kinds: Max, Gold and Pro.

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