Different Strokes for Different Folks…

On my most recent post JT commented –

“these days when a “newbie” hits the internet and asks what detector should I buy. amazingly most tell him to get the one that introduces itself by “parachute”. Seen this many, many times, and the recommendation makes a lot of sense, because this company “from down under” is really, really killing it! no bulls*it ,and the model “most” recommend is great for a beginner, or a seasoned pro”.

No question the detector (and the company) he’s referring to is popular. Over and above it’s descent from an airplane in 2017 it’s been producing for an overwhelming majority of detectorists.  JT’s comment however got me thinking about everyone’s choices when it comes to detectors. Just what is it that makes you so sold on a particular brand or model?

I’d like to think it was how it performed in the field and how it matched up with the competition but might your obsession be based on social media, word of mouth or might it be skewed just a little by clever advertising and marketing?

Understand I don’t claim to be an expert in this area and in fact I’m so far removed from today’s technology that perhaps I shouldn’t even be writing about it. On the other hand maybe that makes me the perfect person to look at the topic. At this stage of my life I have no axe to grind, no favorites, no horse in the race. I also love to play the devil’s advocate.

Detectorists today gravitate towards certain makes and models for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is price, which in my opinion just might be the wisest one. Spending money you don’t really have is never a good idea. Of course there’s the theory, albeit a dumb one, that if it costs more it has to be better. Well I don’t buy that (no pun intended). I prefer the “build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door” concept but even that can be debated.

Other factors that surely enter into the equation or at least should – Is it lightweight? Wireless?  Does it offer multi-frequencies? Is it waterproof? Weatherproof?  Are additional coils readily available? Is the learning process easy or does it come with a 400 page owners manual and a diploma?

And while no one will admit it, advertising, marketing and promotional hype play a huge part in your decision making. If they didn’t you wouldn’t have had the skydiver delivering the Equinox, a mermaid surfacing with the Simplex or the series of teasing videos leading to the release of the Apex.

I also believe a helluva lot of detectors are sold today because of social media. TH’ers see cool finds and just connect the dots. Personally I’m not too enamored with that kind of thinking. Too many variables and IMO and you need to consider the source(s).

You see there’s the “brand loyal TH’er” who only uses and only recommends models made by a particular manufacturer. Nothing wrong with this at all, just that it slightly taints his or her views of the other products out there on the market. I was a brand loyal tekkie for years and in fact I’m still accused of being one though I’m not sure why.

Next and very similar to the brand loyal user is the “subsidized TH’er” and most don’t attempt to hide this fact. These are detectorists who are committed to and often subsidized by a manufacturer, either monetarily or via perks like free merchandise and paid travel expenses. They use nothing other than brand A, continually tout its features and performance, usually haven’t used the competitor’s comparable product and probably should not be considered the end all when it comes to knowing what’s best for others.

Then there are “wannabes or groupies” who have to have what all the well known TH’ers on YouTube use. You see if Deep Diggin’ Dwayne and Little Rock LeRoy are finding all those goodies with that machine they’re getting one too. Here too I’d have that grain of salt handy.

I would be amiss too if I didn’t mention the “tech savvy, I’ll blow you away with my genius” TH’er. Nobody knows more about the metal detector than this tekkie. If you want to buy the most sophisticated, the most technologically advanced, often the most complicated detector, listen to them. You won’t necessarily find more but you will be assured that the machine in your hand is the latest and greatest in the space age and comes with bragging rights that you’ll find hard to explain and that the average Joe will find hard to understand.

Now I’d like to think the majority of detectorists making recommendations will base their advice on YOUR needs/goals and on their in-the-field experience with a variety of detectors, not just the one in their hands at the moment. I would also hope that they would not try to sell you on spending more than you can really afford because as all we all know where you use it is more important than what it cost and what it’s capable of doing.

So tell me now, what is it that sold you on that detector you’re currently using? Why is it better than your last one, what others models did you try or consider before you bought it and don’t be afraid to label yourself if you fit into one of the above categories.

Always remember when it comes to recommending or touting the “best detector” – unless you’ve tried them all it’s just your opinion.


To hear other points of view I asked all the detectorists who did Q&A sessions here the following three questions –

(1) What detectors do you own at present?

(2) What is your current “go to” detector?

(3) Why do you prefer to use that particular make or model.

Not all have responded yet but I will share their responses when I get them. The answers so far –

Kimmie Price

What metal detectors do you own at present?

Nokta Makro Anfibio Multi, Simplex+, and Multi-Kruzer

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time…

This is difficult because it really does depend on the location and situation. For the most part my “daily digger” is my Simplex+ because it’s so light and compact, making it very easy to carry to and from work for lunch-time digs. However, my weekend warriors are the Anfibio Multi and Multi Kruzer. Which one I choose on these occasions depends on whether I want to fiddle with lots of settings to really dial in (Anfibio Multi); or if I just want to get out and dig deep signals without too many adjustments (Multi Kruzer). Soil conditions and amount of trash will dictate which coil I pop on.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

I became familiar with Nokta Makro a couple of years ago when I was looking at upgrading to a more advanced machine from what I was using. I, of course, wanted a relic machine that had a reputation for digging deep targets. While making my decision I also looked at the company background as pertains to customer service, employee and brand integrity, as well as how the machines are being marketed. One machine stood out which ticked all of my boxes: the Anfibio Multi. Once I put my hands on that machine and learned it’s language I fell in love with the line-up of Nokta Makro machines. So much so that I became a member of their field team (something I had never even contemplated). I have no problem whatsoever, being affiliated with this brand, and proudly use the products they produce.


Bob Buttafuso

What metal detectors do you own at present?

XP Deus, Whites TDI, MXT, BHID, MX Sport and MX7.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time.

XP Deus

Can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

The weight plus nothing compares to it when pulling out non-ferrous targets from trashy sites.


Joe Patrick

What metal detectors do you own at present?

Two Minelab Sovereigns; Tesoro Bandido II Umax; Tesoro Silver Sabre (original model); Garrett ADS II; Garrett ADS III, Garrett Groundhog; Pillar 4 Reale; Heathkit CoinTrack GD-1190; AH Pro-2.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time

Minelab Sovereign.

Can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

Excellent discriminator and metered and tone ID. Handles any kind of ground. Virtually no hotrock response. Discriminates iron very well and locates many targets next to iron targets. Nothing better at the beach. Very productive to use once mastered.


Gary Smith

What metal detectors do you own at present?

I own a Garrett ATX, Garrett At Max, Garrett Ace Apex and an Xp Deus.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time…

It’s a close call between my At Max and my Deus, but I guess I use my Deus slightly more.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

I end up picking the Deus slightly more because it is lighter in weight and I am often out for longer hours of the day.


Allyson Cohen (Detecting Diva)

What metal detectors do you own at present?

I have 2 Minelab E-tracs, an XP Deus, and a Nokta Simplex.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time…

The Minelab E-trac is my preferred machine.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

Briefly?–No, but I’ll try. Minelab has always made a good product, and the E-trac is definitely tried & true for me.  I’ve been using it for a dozen years, and its like an extension of me.  It’s consistent, not overly complicated, and its tones are truly tones, not chatter like some of the newer machines. Unfortunately Minelab is discontinuing the E-trac, so I will probably invest in the Equinox as I hear really great things about it.  Time will tell.


Steve Sifter

What metal detectors do you own at present?

XP Deus,  Garrett ACE Apex, Dr Otek MT9s (my kids machine)

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time…

XP Deus

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

I have a long-standing love affair with the Deus it has given me a lot of great stuff.


Ron Guinazzo (Chicago Ron)

What metal detectors do you own at present?  

Minelab SE Pro, I occasionally use when hunting parks  Minelab Equinox 800, use for water/beach and England hunting and go to pin pointer is the Garrett pro II.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time… 

I love the Equinox 800, for its light weight, versatility, depth possible, discrimination and battery duration.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?  

It is good for both land and water it is light and easy to pack for travel. No heavy batteries and chargers. Settings are easy to use and there are lots of adjustments and options to meet your site’s needs.


Julie Argent

What metal detectors do you own at present?  

I own both an XP Deus and a Minelab Equinox 800.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time… 
My go to detector will ALWAYS be the Deus.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?  

Nick owned a Deus first and I swung it once when we were out detecting together and I fell in love with it. So I got one. Amazing machine. I did ask Nick to get me an Equinox for Christmas the year they came out, but I can honestly say I just can’t get on with it. 6 months of finding nothing but deep iron, and I don’t like the bloopy sounds. I’ve gone back to the Deus and now also own a HF coil for it. Love that machine. I know and trust it. Lightweight, wireless, fast recovery, positive sounds, a proven machine. The equinox collects dust now.


Dan Hughes

What metal detectors you own at present?

Fisher CZ-5, Wilson Relic & Coin II, Compass X-100, Compass XP-Pro, Garrett Ultra GTA-350 (horribly disappointing, by the way), a couple of cheapies, nothing newer than 25 years probably.

Currently what is your go-to detector?

My Fisher CZ-5.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?  

Goes deep, and I’m familiar with it.  (But truth be told, I do a lot more softball than detecting nowadays).


Hammy Sammy Jane

What metal detectors you own at present?

Equinox 800 and Makro Simplex

Currently what is your go-to detector?

The Equinox 800. I have not had a chance to use the Simplex yet due to lockdown.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?  

Both machines give me what I need. Both are waterproof and have great depth. Various functions include ground balancing, discriminating iron and coke.


Jim Fielding

What metal detectors do you own at present?

I own a Nokta Macro Simplex+, a Nokta Macro Anfibio Multi, a Makro Impact, a Minelab Excal 1000, a Minelab E-Trac, a Garrett AT-Pro, a Garrett Ace 300, a Garrett Ace 250, and a Teknetics G2+ Gold.

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time…

Currently I am using the Nokta Macro Simplex+ the majority of the time as my go-to machine, although I am not an expert with it by any means, I feel I am now on the backside of the learning-curve, and I have even discovered a few things during my outings with it that are not in the manual. Things that are a plus and increases my confidence with the instrument and it’s capabilities.

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

One big reason is that it is light-weight, foldable to almost backpack size, has a built-in wireless headphone system, and you get 12-hours of operation out of the built-in battery. At my age if I can get in to or three hours in the field, I am doing well. Once you set the lower shaft length, I find it a moderately well-balanced machine. And unlike a lot of other higher-end (and much higher-priced) detectors, this little detector has most of the advanced control functions on-screen at once…no major jumps to cross-menus under the main menu, which can confuse the !$!#!@ out of me trying to make adjustments on the fly. It has a built HEADLIGHT, two other smaller coils available, and I would have to say, performance to spare. I’m also a big fan of straightforward documentation which it has in great detail. And finally, is the ability to update the operating software based on the detectorist’s opinion of what would make the machine even better, or to fix a glitch when they pop up. I like a quality machine for a good price and I think this is it. All these features for a little over 300 bucks. I think, with this detector, I think we’ve seen a major paradigm shift in the technology/price barrier. Just sayin’…


Dave Wise

What metal detectors do you own at present?

White’s MXT all pro, white’s XLT  and XP Deus

Currently what is your go to detector? The machine you use the majority of the time…

Right now it’s the MXT all pro as I’m just learning the Deus

And can you explain briefly why you prefer to use that particular make and model?

Ease of use and I know what this machine is telling me


As more of the Q&A participants respond I will share their views here (in future updates)




Filed under Metal Detecting

17 responses to “Different Strokes for Different Folks…

  1. John Devereux

    Hi Dick,
    Current machines Whites V3i and Minelab CTX. Go to machine at the moment is the CTX as I am still getting to grips with it. From an ease of use point of view I find the V3i more intuitive to use however I have owned one since 2015 so I am probably just more used to it. I didn’t expect to like the CTX but I do. I like the quickly adjustable shaft which makes life easier. It is also better balanced from my experience than the V3i. I am not an expert by any means. Both are very capable machines. The V3i has the better display in my view but again that is probably just me being used to its functionality. Have either found me gold yet? Sadly no, but I live in hope.
    Best Regards

    • John the CTX would be too much for this old brain, not to mention the weight. I field tested the V3i years ago and used one for quite a while. As a coin hunter I always looked for the “green” to dominate.

      As for “I live in hope“….that’s really what this is all about, isn’t it?


  2. John Devereux

    Hi Dick,

    Yes indeed live in hope. :):) As for the weight I use a harness so not a problem.
    Liking the green stuff!!

    Best, John

  3. John Taylor

    you shouldn’t underestimate your influence on people dick! it’s not always a person’s general appearance that determines his over all character, and ability to succeed in life! in other words, ya generally can’t tell a book by it’s cover! also,”judge not!..lest ye be judged!”

    I purchased the minelab vanquish with the express desire to “re hunt” old large parks and school grounds with a lot of area. this has proven successful to me, so it has been a good gamble for me. the vanquish is simple, lightweight, with outrageously good i.d at depth. it’s a good fit to find what’s been “missed” over time at public places that have been “cooked” for years and yeas.it also is a tremendous “value” for money spent in my view.i also use a Tesoro “Mojave”for “sidewalk easement” work. I find it works well in very trashy spots due to the excellent “ed-180” discrimination, and 2-pole designed circuitry. both detectors compliment each other nicely, even though they are very different in technology .both,I find to be very efficient in what they are designed to do, find coins and jewelry.


  4. Yo Ricardo:
    Where have you been for the past 20-years? EVERYONE knows that expensive machines ($2,500 +) will find the more gold coins, hoards, and stuff, turning newbies into instant experts. They’ll even locate coins that aren’t there. I know this to be true as I’ve seen it on Yootoob and I’ve read all the ads. My current machine is a fully AT, GarraminewhiteXPnoktoff multi-freq pi/vlf/bfo with a 36″ coil. I’m currently training in the gym to get the strength to lift it.
    Jeez! Are you into drinking anti-freeze now?

  5. Tony

    Dick, I have to say you really put together one hell of a post here. Compiling all of those responses after your article is just not found these days. Being a coin shooter and not until recently a relic hunter I enjoyed it.

  6. John Taylor

    hi John!
    you been gazin’ at your tube too much! don’t you know, these are genuine “hits”? they don’t do any “salting” of sites, as that would be too clever for them! ya just gotta believe John! have faith! reverend, and “know” the good stuff is there and YOU will find it! no camera needed! took the “mask” off today,,found out what’s goin’ on in the world, got scared, and slipped her back on! ehe! he! heh! just sayin’


  7. Packrat

    You did an article years ago on me so I will give you my input. First I have way too many detectors to list. Most all major brands. I have detectors for hunting and others for competition. For hunting I use several different Fishers with the F75 my most go to right now but just got an Equinox to try. For competition I use Compass 77 Autos from the late 70s and Shadow detectors. I like the depth and tone discrimination for general hunting on the Fishers and pinpointing for the competition hunts.

    • And I would warn anyone who’s thinking going head to head with you in a competition hunt to forget it. Nobody outhunts Packrat.

      • Packrat

        LOL Dick. Plenty can beat me but I try and hold my own. Hunts are fun but meeting new people are what makes them fun for me.

  8. Tony

    Hey Dallas Dick, you know me and I have posted about the machines I have and had in the past – Tesoro, GMH CX2, Whites heavy and light Machines, and Minelab, Cz series.

    There was a Deacon in the club he now lives in the midwest but he would go out one day a week and dig. He came to meetings every three months with at least 30 silvers but like you didn’t give up the exact how too or latitude n longitude of his sites/parks. So I saved up and sold a few detectors and bought in by his reality than hoping I could learn the tricks he implored or developed. That is a work in progress.

    So parachute hype is one thing but proof at local club meetings is bird in the hand. Now that parachute machine is so popular they raised the price, that’s a first in the detector world – usually they go down with age not up.

    • I’m sure the Equinox is a very good detector and would like to try one but so far no one has taken pity on me. Then again I haven’t been out in a while. I do plan on charging up the Simplex tomorrow in the hope that it will get me moving again. It’s all the detector I need now.

      • John Taylor

        hey dick! maybe they will let ya stay in the “cheap seats” and send ya the “vanquish!” hope springs eternal! I’m just sayin’


  9. Tony

    Those Simplex detectors are flying off dealer shelves – I heard that as soon as they get them in stock they are sold. Folks like the Simplex big time. I probably will get one soon. Best of luck!

  10. I own the SurfMaster II, (2) DFX(s), V3i, MX Sport, Treasure Pro, MX5, AT Pro, Ace Apex, X1225, F75.

    My main go to was the V3i and now is the Ace Apex because it is lighter than my V3i. With a shoulder injury I had to revert to a lighter machine. After swinging for 53 years my old body is starting to give out.

    I love the multi frequency like my V3i has. I also love the wireless headphones and the lithium battery system that is in the Apex. I run all small coils in all of my machines because it gets between a lot of junk. I do mostly street and sidewalk tear outs so I don’t have a need for a large coil.

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