A Crash Course in Minelab Metal Detectors: How to Choose the Right One

Feeling adventurous and want to try your hand at metal detecting? Haven’t quite figured out where to start your journey? No problem, many novice treasure hunters face the same issue. Some even go as far as to say that choosing a metal detector is almost as difficult as finding the buried treasure itself.

But as much as finding those artifacts or valuable items may seem like a daunting task, the whole experience can be quite rewarding, both financially and emotionally. So, whether you’re simply looking for a new hobby or you’re serious about making some extra income, metal detecting can be a great option for you.

What Are the Most Versatile Metal Detectors?

When most people think of metal detectors, they picture the large, coil-toting machines that are often used in movies and TV shows to find hidden underground chambers or lost pirate treasure. However, modern metal detectors have come a long way and can be found in all shapes and sizes designed to accommodate different needs. Here are four of the most popular and efficient models on the market:

Equinox 800

Equinox 800
Source: phasetechnical.com.au

This model is based on multi-frequency technology, which means it can be used in a variety of environments, including saltwater beaches. The waves emitted by the accurate Equinox 800 detector are able to penetrate deeper into the ground, resulting in an overall more efficient search.

The device’s clear LCD panel also gives users the ability to see a range of information at a glance, from target ID numbers to depth readings. Its straightforward user interface allows you to change the signal frequency, detection mode, and other settings with just a few taps. You can also create your own custom discrimination patterns to better suit your treasure hunting needs.

For the more daring hunter, the Minelab Equinox 800 also has a range of advanced settings that can be adjusted, such as threshold, ground balance, target tone and recovery speed. These settings can help you fine-tune your search to better suit the environment you’re in and the type of treasure you’re looking for.

Moreover, the device itself is one of the lightest and most balanced on the market, making it easy to manoeuvre across various terrains. Its waterproof design also means you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged if you submerge it in water while searching for lost jewellery on the beach.

And if you’re willing to splurge a little extra, the Equinox 800 also comes in a deluxe bundle that includes a prospector scoop, finds pouch and pin pointer to help make your treasure hunting experience even more enjoyable.

CTX 3030

CTX 3030 metal detector
Source: swissdetector.ch

Next up is another adaptable machine that’s well-suited for a range of detection environments. One of its key features is the full-colour TFT display, which gives you a clear idea of what’s going on beneath the ground.

The large screen makes it easy to see target ID numbers, depth readings and other essential information at a glance. You can also switch between different audio responses, so you can better identify different types of metals.

In addition, this machine is equipped with an automatic ground balance feature, which helps to cancel out any unwanted signals that might be coming from the ground itself. This is particularly useful if you’re searching in an area with high mineral content, as it can help prevent false positives.

The CTX 3030 comes with a range of included accessories, such as a wireless module and a set of rechargeable batteries. You also have the option to purchase an additional accessory kit, which includes a coil cover, sunshade and armrest strap, among other things.

GPX 4000

If you’re looking for a machine that’s specifically designed for gold prospecting, then the GPX 4000 is definitely worth considering. It comes with a number of features that make it well-suited for this task, such as an advanced ground balance system that can be manually adjusted to suit your distinct needs.

This machine also has a wide range of sensitivity settings, so you can tailor your search to the type of terrain you’re in. For example, if you’re searching in an area with a lot of trash, you can reduce the sensitivity to help prevent false positives. And if you’re searching in an area with very little ground cover, you can raise the sensitivity to ensure that you don’t miss any small pieces of gold.

Excalibur II

Excalibur II metal detector
Source: minelab.com

Finally, we have the Excalibur II, a machine that’s specifically designed for use in water. It’s perfect for both beginner and experienced hunters who want to search for treasure in rivers, lakes and even the ocean.

One of its key features is the ability to adjust the frequency, which can help you avoid interference from other devices or minerals in the ground. By operating at a higher frequency, you can also increase your chances of finding smaller portions of gold in less-than-ideal conditions.

You can also adjust the machine’s discrimination settings to help filter out unwanted metals. And if you purchase the optional wireless module, you’ll be able to use headphones without having to worry about getting them wet.

Key Factors to Consider

Apart from the specific features that each machine offers, you should also take into account a few other aspects before making your purchase.

Detection Ground

Metal detecting on beach
Source: permanent365.gq

The first thing you need to think about is the type of ground you’ll be detecting on. Different machines are better suited for different types of terrain, so it’s important to choose one that’s ideal for the environment you’ll be using it in.

For example, if you’re going to be searching on beach sand, you’ll need a machine that’s specifically designed for this task. On the other hand, if you’re prospecting for gold in an area with a lot of mineral content, you’ll need a machine that can discriminate between different types of metals.


The device’s sensitivity refers to its ability to detect small pieces of metal. If you’re searching in an area with a lot of trash, you might want to reduce the sensitivity to help prevent false positives. Similarly, if you’re searching in an area with very little ground cover, you should get a machine that has high sensitivity in order to ensure that you don’t miss any small pieces of gold.

Operation Frequency

Metal detecting
Source: photo4less.com

The frequency of a given device is measured in kilohertz (KHz), and it refers to how often the device emits pulses of energy. Generally speaking, lower frequencies are better for detecting larger pieces of metal, while higher frequencies are better for finding smaller pieces of gold.

Coil Size

The size of the coil is determined by the diameter of the search loop. Larger coils can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time, but they’re also more likely to produce false positives. Smaller coils are better for pinpointing small pieces of gold, but it’ll take you longer to cover the same amount of ground.