There are many types of metal detectors, but only a few selected ones are efficient enough for underwater metal detecting. This is because an underwater metal detector needs to have certain features in order to function properly in the desired conditions. Next, we will present a series of topics you need to consider when choosing an underwater metal detector.
Choose the budget, hunting location, and method
In order for you to decide which metal detector will best suit your needs, you need to have a very clear idea of how and where you’re going to use it. Take note of important things like:
- Are you planning on using it on salt or fresh water?
- Are you planning to fully submerge the device, or even dive at high depths while hunting?
- What is your budget?
These are fundamental questions you need to answer before starting to look for a metal detector.
Water resistance level and depth
These are the two most important features you need to consider.
This should go without saying, but an underwater metal detector needs to be resistant to water, meaning it can work underwater without suffering damage or loss of function.
Within this product category, there are different levels of water resistance which can be found in metal detectors. You can find:
- Water resistant metal detectors
- Waterproof metal detectors
Generally speaking, you should choose one that fulfills your needs efficiently.
For example, if you want to use a metal detector while diving,you need to choose a fully waterproof equipment which has high depth resistance, but if you want to look for treasure in a beach or riverbank, you can opt for a water-resistant metal detector (which can usually be submerged up to 5 meters deep). Moreover, there are metal detectors which are fully waterproof, meaning you can submerge their whole bodies and they will still work perfectly, while others are only partially waterproof, meaning there are some parts of the detector which you can’t submerge in water.
As for depth resistance, this is extremely important if you want to use the detector while diving. There are detectors which can work in more than 200 feet deep, while others will only work at 30 (and there is a whole range in between).
The choice should depend on where and how you intend to look for treasure.
There are two major types of detection you can find in the underwater metal detectors currently available in the market:
- Pulse induction (PI)
- Very Low Frequency (VLF)
VLF waterproof detectors are the most common in the market. They have LED display screens, and work by emitting low-frequency magnetic waves into the soil and receiving magnetic waves from items at the scene. This technology is effective at very limited depths, and only if the water you’re hunting in isn’t highly mineralized.
PI detectors, on the other hand, are highly suitable for deep water hunting, even in highly mineralized water. This technology is used in most professional metal detectors since its productivity and sensitivity are not affected by factors such as the soil/water compositions or depth. Overall, if you can afford them, PI metal detectors are more efficient and perform better than VLF detectors, whether on ground or water hunting.
Although the main points are already covered, there are a few extra features that can really make your life much easier. If you can, include these in your metal detector features’ wish list.
- Lost alarm, bright and/or easily recognizable colors
While hunting, there is the risk of dropping your metal detector in the water. If it’s dark, dirty, or very deep, finding your metal detector can be quite a challenge.
In order to prevent losing your precious equipment forever, choose a metal detector with a bright and easily identifiable color (like bright orange or yellow), and maybe even an alarm that sends signals when the equipment is turned on but not handled for a considerable amount of time.
- Type of materials and maneuverability
Other important features to consider while searching for an underwater metal detector are related to how it’s built. Since you’re planning to keep your detector in constant contact with water, make sure its body isn’t made of materials that can easily rust or oxidize. Also, keep in mind that saltwater may damage certain materials in the long-term, so be sure to choose a detector that is suitable for that type of water, and even if you’re planning on using it anywhere near the sea. Ideally, the best choice is always a metal detector that can work in both salt and freshwater.
Moreover, look for a detector that is not very big or oddly shaped.Remember, you’ll have to carry and maneuver it underwater, which will make the task even harder than it would be on the ground.
- Detection methods
When finding an item, some metal detectors emit a sound, while others vibrate or turn on LED lights. These are all efficient ways of sending a detection warning, but some options are better than others while in an underwater hunting context.
Choosing a sound-emitting metal detector is a good option only if you have a set of waterproof headphones and a waterproof sound system, so be sure to look for metal detectors with these features included. If you’re looking for a model that vibrates, make sure the vibration frequency and strength is unmistakably recognizable under any context. Ideally, these features should be combined into one metal detector in order to ensure maximum performance. Having LED lights is also a must, especially if you’re hunting at increased depths.
Also, if you can, choose a metal detector with an incorporated pinpointer. This feature will most likely increase the detection performance and sensitivity.
- Battery indicator, extra (rechargeable) batteries
Knowing when your detector’s battery might run out and having backup batteries is also essential. So, choose a metal detector with a battery life indicator. You can purchase spare rechargeable batteries separately, but if you can find a metal detector with extra batteries included, that is ideal.