Metal Detector Tips - Five Things You Need to Know
By Michael D. Hall

Metal detecting is a hobby that never goes out of style and figures suggest that increasing numbers of hobbyists are taking up their metal detectors and striking out in search of treasure. But what exactly is a metal detector, how does it work and what are the best ways of using it to improve your chances of finding something valuable?

What is a metal detector?
The first commercial detectors appeared in the 1960s and were used initially in industrial settings, for example, mining, to discover buried metal that was not visible to the naked eye. Detectors are also used in the military for detecting buried mines or weapons caches. Subsequently, the metal detector became a very popular tool for the hobbyist, and has been used to unearth significant treasure troves of great historical and monetary value.

How does it work?
Different techniques have been developed, including Beat Frequency Oscillator, Induction Balance and Pulse Induction. These employ various methods for detecting metal underground, and for discriminating different metals from each other enabling the detectorist to avoid worthless metals and detect ones of value.

What forms does the hobby take?
Some of the most popular detector activities are 'coin shooting' - looking for money after a large gathering of people such as a festival - and 'beach combing' - scouring a strand for valuables after a summer's day at the beach when large numbers of people have visited it. The purist hobbyists are 'relic hunters', interested mainly in the discovery of historically significant items.

What are the best locations?
Beaches, city parks and ski pistes are all popular, as they are all locations where people mass and where the ground is such that things easily become lost. If on the other hand you are looking for ancient treasures, your best bet is ancient fields, paths and sites of historic settlements.

How much does a detector cost?
High performance machines can cost hundreds of pounds to buy, but reasonably good ones can be had for around 60 pounds. However, renting a metal detector is always an option. Top of the range detectors can be hired for as little as 12 pounds per day.

Author details:
Michael D. Hall is a consultant at erento, the world's largest online rental marketplace. erento lists over 1 million rental items in 2,200 categories such as Metal hire, Wood Chipper hire and many others.

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