National Geographic Metal Detector Review
Whether young or old, metal detecting can connect you to your outside environment in an investigative, exploratory way – with the potential for financial reward. From trinkets like coins and jewelry, to relics and gold nuggets, there’s a horde of treasures waiting to be rediscovered.
How Does The National Geographic Metal Detector Stack Up?
When choosing a detector it’s important to know what your objective is – some will suit your needs better than others. And having the right identifier may save time and increase your odds of finding something worthwhile. A few things you might want to look out for when choosing:
- Discrimination features – can it discern and filter between metal types, which can help to discriminate between what’s valuable and what’s junk. If you’re mostly combing freshwater areas then depth discrimination becomes especially important as there’s often lots of rubbish accumulated on the bottoms of lakes and streams
- Weight – you generally want to go for lighter-weight detectors for portability reasons and to avoid muscle aches when sweeping for extended periods and carrying it around. Detecting can be particularly physically challenging around underwater areas
- Waterproof – can it handle adverse weather conditions without breaking down on you and do you need a detector that can handle the unique challenges of sand and salt water? (The higher levels of mineralization in sand and salty water can be a problem for some detectors)
- Materials and build quality – will it last or fall apart with moderate use?
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National Geographic PRO Series
The National Geographic PRO Series metal detector seems to hit the above criteria – in particular on measures of portability and ease-of-use. Its manufactured by a company called Minelab and is generally considered an excellent budget professional metal detector, with high-quality functionality and lots of good reviews at average 4.5 stars on Amazon.com. (You can grab it for around $160).
This Minelab metal detector was made for both first-time newbies – as well as pros who will appreciate its more advanced features. It comes with an illustrated learning guide pamphlet written by teachers, which takes you through: the history of metal detectors, how metal detectors work and the different types of detectors.
It features a collapsible design that makes it highly portable – with a durable yet very lightweight build at only 2.3 lbs. The design’s surprisingly good for the price – wield it using a rugged arm strap and handle, for support and comfort. Also, the length of the detector fully extended is 51’ but this can be collapsed to less than half that size at 22’.
Discrimination and range
With over a 1-foot depth range of detection, the PRO Series features a waterproof 10-inch coil (7.8kHz frequency) and can withstand a lot of moisture. There are 3 different detection modes available (all illustrated by separate LED icons):
- All metal
- All metals other than iron
- Or all metals other than iron and aluminum
It has a range of 4 sensitivity levels to choose from, however, the LED screen will flash the relevant icons depending on what it has detected:
- Iron e.g. nails, horseshoes
- Aluminum and lesser value coins
- Rings, pull tabs and lower value coins
- High-value coins and bottle screw caps
What’s really cool is that the tone pitch will vary dependent on the general value of metal being detected – high pitch tones are best!
One of the standout things about this detector, and something which Amazon customer reviews point to (no pun intended) is its very precise pinpoint feature. You can use the pinpoint location function to accurately hone in on the location of an object once you detect something, which saves you from dispersing more earth than need be.
You’ll experience the pinpoint feature in real-time as a fun, squealing sound. You’ll lose this sound when the metal is not directly under the handle, towards the back of the coil, and it will reappear when you’re back on bulls-eye. Note: you can’t change the detection mode to ignore iron or aluminum when you’re using the precision mode.
- Super portability and adjustability – super light detector at just 2.3 lbs weight and able to collapse to just 22’ for transportation in a rucksack (extending to 51”)
- A clear and simple LED display with backlighting
- A headphone jack volume adjustment for audio alert when detectionshappen
- Filter out unwanted metals with the 3 detection modes
- Pinpoint feature for very precise location discernment
- Adjust the sensitivity with 4 different modes that can detect as deep as 10-inches
- 2-year warranty
(Please note that the detector requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included)
This one’s for the kids and the professionals – with terrific adjustability and ease of use. You essentially just unlock and relock 2 latches: one to lift up the control panel and the other to expand the arm. Though it’s extremely light, the strap, which you wrap around your forearm, takes the pressure off your wrist.
No assembly is required. The detector as a whole seems a little plastic in the feel of sliding the identifier open and closed, but that’s a minor point. Older kids may have no issues assembling and learning how to use this metal detector all by themselves. The battery house is under the top panel. Children can easily adjust the length. Because it’s so light kids will generally find it easy to use.
If you’re in a noisy area plug your earphones into the earphones jack at the side of the panel. If you find you keep getting false positives or interference turn down the sensitivity. Such built-in advanced technologies and powerful capabilities make this portable metal detector any professional’s companion.
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