Generic Detectors

Should You Buy Used Metal Detectors?

6 Mins read

If you are getting into metal detecting, then you know you need a suitable device with which you can take on all your adventures. The fantastic thing is that there are so many options that are sure to meet your needs. However, buying the new devices is not always viable especially if you are purchasing a number of them or getting an upgrade on a budget. This is why there are used metal detectors offered in different online platforms.

Used metal detectors, in many cases, just like any other electronic that you may buy second hand, are usually in great shape. They are sourced from metal detecting enthusiasts just like you, checked and repaired before selling. However, there is the concern of whether they are worth the price or you should save up a little more for a new one. In this piece, you will get full details of used metal detectors and whether or not they are a great buy.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Used Metal Detector?

Metal detectors for adults or children that have been doing it for a long time are quite expensive. This is because as you get more into it, you need more sophisticated devices that allow you to go all out. For this reason, buying one or two advanced metal detectors can be an expensive affair, and a pre-owned one may seem like a good option. Depending on where you purchase it, you can get a useful device at a deal, so you need to know what to look for as follows:

Buy From Reputable Sellers

Unless you are buying it from someone you know, such as a friend or a member of your metal detecting team, always go for a known seller. Used devices need to undergo careful checks to make sure that it is ready for use, but only an expert can do this.

Dealers in used metal detectors know what to look for and what needs repairing, which they do before putting the device up for sale. This ensures that you know what you are purchasing, and you are likely to get something outstanding. If you also buy from a certified seller, it will be easier to get a refund or exchange in case of any issues after receiving the detector.

Detector Shaft

This is the extendable part of the detector and is very important since it supports you, and without it, your favorite activity wouldn’t be possible. First, make sure that the handle is in perfect condition and that it is not only glued to hold.

Check that there are no dents on the shaft itself and that the adjustable function works perfectly. Other additional points to remember are that it should have a good grip and should be sturdy throughout.

The Search Coil

The coil of a metal detector is one of the main components of a suitable device. It enables you to search on the ground and underwater, so if it is spoiled, you will have wasted your money. You can only carefully inspect a detector in person, but you can always ask for clear pictures from online sellers.

The coil should be in a good state such that it shouldn’t be broken, cracked or have significant depressions. It is perfectly normal for it to have a few scratches since they don’t affect anything. The device shouldn’t have any dents that may affect how well it perceives objects or allow in moisture that will make it useless instantly.

Check the point at which the coil is attached to the shaft and ensure that it is intact and steady. If this part is in any way detached or broken, then it will likely soon malfunction. Ensure that you can change the angle of the coil without any issues, as this will be helpful on the ground. On the positive, it is easy to find replacement coils, but it can get expensive depending on the type.

The Controls

If there is just one part about your pre-owned metal detector that must be in perfect condition, it is the electronics. This is where you control every aspect of your suitable, and it gives you access to all the great features that your device has.

One of the main reasons why you should check the controls keenly is because it is not easy to replace the electronic part, and in the cases that it may be costly. One of the things that you should pay attention to is the screen; it should be in excellent condition and without dents. A cracked screen may let in water hence messing up the functions, this is especially important if you’re looking for waterproof or submersible detectors.

If the screen has buttons, try them all out to ensure that they are working. Do not allow to buy a device with buttons that don’t work since it will be pretty useless to you. Ensure that the machine reads correctly and for this, you have actually to test it out. You can do this in your house with some metallic objects and see whether you will get the right thing.

Pros and Cons

An easy way of determining whether buying a pre-owned detector is the way to go is to check what you gain versus what you stand to lose.

Pros of Used Metal Detectors

The following are the benefits of buying second hand:

It Is Affordable

Anything that is bought second hand should be cheaper than a new one, and it is not different for metal detectors. You can get deals that are up to 50% off the original price which is excellent if you are trying to save money and get a device that is in good condition. However, ensure that you compare prices between sellers to ascertain that you get the best discount possible.

Gives You Flexibility

If you are a DIY fan, then buying second hand allows you not only to get a great metal detector cheap, but you can modify it to be the best device for you. Since the warranties of pre-owned sensors will likely have run out, you can take it apart and create something new. This is great especially when you find specific cons about a metal detector you like, but you can solve it using parts from another.

More Options

If you are on a tight budget, you may not have as many options if you’re looking to buy new. However, since used devices are cheaper, you have more options including some sophisticated ones. It allows you to upgrade in a much bigger way or even get one for your child which may not have been possible if you had bought a new device.

Cons of Buying Used Metal Detectors

While it is good to save money and have options, the disadvantages of buying used metal detectors are more.

It May Have Some Defects

It is challenging to maintain a metal detector in excellent condition for a long time for someone that goes exploring often. This is because of the rough terrain that you may have to search through, so it is difficult to know just how much your used metal detector has been through. Therefore, you may get an ideally looking device that may breakdown after one or two uses making it an expensive purchase.

It Can Be Expensive

If you buy a terrible pre-owned metal detector, you may end up using more to fix it than if you would have gotten a new one. Parts such as the coil and shaft of the high-quality metal detectors are quite expensive and sometimes not easy to find. In many cases, you may find it easier to buy a whole device so you can fix your defective one.

Reliable Sellers Are Rare

It may not hurt as much when you buy a metal detector that is broken if the seller can easily replace or give a refund. However, many sellers understand that these devices are not easily fixed so they may not provide refunds. Therefore, unless you are buying in-store, there are too many uncertainties of what you may get and for how long you can use it.


Many sellers are not usually honest about how long the metal detector has been in use, which is why you can quickly get one that is old and defective, so its accuracy is compromised. Through all the hits and bumps on the coil, the detector may lose its efficiency and this can be frustrating when you are out and about.

Is It Wise To Buy a Used Metal Detector?

While the benefits of pre-owned metal detectors are attractive, the uncertainties and disadvantages win. Given the nature of a metal detector, a lot of things could be wrong with it, but it wouldn’t show until you are exploring, and it malfunctions. The used device that you buy may be useful for one or two more rounds; then, you will have to find a way to fix it. Online sellers can be quite unscrupulous, so unless there is seller protection, it is difficult to be sure of what you’re getting.

Purchasing a used metal detector is a good idea, but you should only do it when you are sure that you will get a good buy. Therefore it should be done either in-store or from someone who you are sure about. If you choose to get a pre-owned one, ensure that you ask questions and learn about the seller’s purchase policy in case you need a refund or exchange. However, it is best to get a quality new metal detector.

About author
Hi, my name is Richard, I've been metal detecting for nearly 10 years now. I first got into it after running into an old friend on the beach who happened to be detecting (Mind he didn't actually find anything whilst I was there), it certainly got me curious. Since then it's been my biggest hobby so I decided to start this website and help other people get into it.
Related posts
Generic Detectors

Sakobs Metal Detector Review

4 Mins read
Metal detecting is an increasingly popular hobby – and not just for elderly people over 70 years, like it was once perceived!…
Generic Detectors

Minelab Equinox 600

7 Mins read
When it comes to metal detecting or prospecting, you must have noticed the name Minelab circling around quite often. This brand is...
Generic Detectors

Minelab Equinox 800 Review

16 Mins read
If you're looking for one of the most reliable metal detectors in the market, you can count on Minelab to fill you...


Leave a Reply