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Gringo 10-03-2007 02:57 PM

best u/w metal detector?
I know some of you guys have experience with underwater metal detectors. I have been doing some internet searching, but not finding anything like a Consumer Reports sort of non-biased rating. They ALL claim theirs is the best and have all their blah blah reasons why.

So the question is, if you took the price tags off completely, assume they are all exactly the same price, and wanted to get the BEST detector you could get, which one would you choose?

Maddcatter 10-03-2007 07:45 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
Whites are the best. They last forever and outperform the others.

Gringo 10-03-2007 08:39 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
Thanks for the feedback. I just looked at their product line, the only one I see that would be suitable is the Surf PI Pro, as their other one is only rated to 25 ft. deep.

I have heard good stuff about White's, but am curious as to why their competition for the underwater models is half the price of the Minelabs or JW Fishers. It would be cool if the best one wasnt the most expensive one, but price is not the main criteria.

Gringo 10-03-2007 09:12 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
That didnt come out right, I meant the Whites is half the price of their competition.

billinstuart 10-03-2007 10:14 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
Gringo, I've gotta Minelab Excalibur, which is a great machine. I don't dive, but I use it on the treasure coast beaches (was just out this evening..don't ask). The Minelabs have an outstanding reputation in treasure hunting circles, and their service, if needed, seems to be first rate. It is the preferred machine of the professional divers.

On the beach and underwater, it will reject all ferrous materials if wanted. Go to for more info. No silicon required.....................

Gringo 10-03-2007 10:31 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
I was just reading up on PI vs the ones with discrimination. For what I want, I think I want to dig every single hit. I am definitely interested in ferrous, too, since I am looking at 16th century shipwrecks. Will be underwater from six to about 30 feet for the most part. White got good reviews, but I note it does not have any visual indication, it's just headphone sound. That makes me nervous, I think I would like a flashing light or jumping needle. Flashing LED would probably be best....but I am doing my homework.

I will be looking at the Excalibur 1000, too. Lots more $$....but thats okay, if it does the job.

I guess the Cobras are junk, huh?

captdavdavis01 10-04-2007 03:27 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
Ill second the minelab excalibur.

i bought my dad one several years ago and it gets used weekly most of our work is in less than 10 ft. but still, all that time in saltwater its more than held its ground. he does minimal upkeep, if that tells you anything.

when I bought his, i paid around $900usd. he probally finds that much a week with it.
he has several whites also, but they seen to be "disposable"...meaning their service life is somewhat limited given the rugged conditions that he used them in.


billinstuart 10-04-2007 10:54 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
The excalibur does not have gauges and displays, which is perfect for me. You can tell by the tone in the headphones what category of material it is detecting. On the beach with salt on my glasses, I can't see dookie anyhow.

As for ferrous, the Excalibur has the ability to either blank ferrous items, or detect them as with any other metals. Easily controlled by an off=on switch.

Expensive, sorta. But I have a feeling you know the value of good stuff vs. junk, and I'll bet you don't have much Taiwanese stuff in your possession.

Gringo 10-04-2007 11:03 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
I took a look at that Excalibur 1000, and the 8000 online. I guess the diff is a 10" coil or a 8" coil. I see they have a short little fiberglass handle for diving....thats good.

My concern with audio only is whether I would be able to hear signals with the noise of the regulator, but I suppose they thought of that and it has enough volume control.

Is that KellyCo place the best place to buy them?

billinstuart 10-04-2007 08:36 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
The difference is indeed the size of the search coil. The headphones block a tremendous amount of outside noise..just ask my wife...... You set the "threshold" to a just barely audible carrier sound (hum), and turn the volume up full tilt. When ZZtop comes on..oops, wrong volume..when you detect something, the carrier frequency changes, and the sound intensity increases dramatically. The volume controls the amount of sound increase. You WON'T have a problem.

Kellyco is very big, and pretty respected. Located just north of Orlando. I deal with a small local guy, but my situation is different.

Of course Minelab is not the only manufacturer, but I, too, researched before I bought, and in retrospect am glad I paid more for what I feel is a superior machine. Any specific ?, e-mail me here.


Pole 10-05-2007 02:51 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
cool thread, and a coincidence for me.
was just the other day thinking of getting one.

did anyone buy their md online? amazon or ebay?
or you all bought them from a shop?

Pole 10-05-2007 03:39 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
are the garrets any good?

i would only need it for the beach and the surf line. not scuba,

so the coil would still have to be waterproof.

rwidman 10-05-2007 06:27 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
I have a Fisher CZ-20 but I believe they stopped making them. The Minelab Excalibur is a well respected under water detector.

There are a few metal detecting forums on the web and you'll probably get better advice from joining one of them.

Example, different types are suited for saltwater vs fresh water. Some of the less expensive detectors will give false indications on a salt water beach when near the water. Some will diferentiate between different types of metal while others will not. As for only the coil needing to be waterproof, eventually you will raise the coil higher than the control unit and water will run down the shaft into the control unit. ;)

Kellyco is very big ..............
They will sell you what they make a bigger profit on, they are not the ones to seek advice from (in my humble opinion).

billinstuart 10-05-2007 09:09 PM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
I can't do the place I use regularly. For Gringo, living someplace remote, maybe without electricity, a big company like Kellyco can supply him with product, but I agree information should come from sources with no financial interest in the matter.

100% waterproof is great for the beach. Spray, salt mist, rain..nothing affects it. I can't imagine using a not waterproof unit..I guess I'm spoiled.

I have no personal experience with other units. Garrett manufacturers professional detectors, though. I bought my Excalibur 800 used..and I'm happy with my decision. I'd rather have a used really good machine, than a new mediocre one.

rwidman 10-06-2007 09:04 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?

Gringo - 10/4/2007 10:03 AM

My concern with audio only is whether I would be able to hear signals with the noise of the regulator, but I suppose they thought of that and it has enough volume control.

For underwater use, sound is the only practical way of signaling the operator. You would have difficulty seeing a meter or even lights and you will be paying attention to where you are searching, not looking at the detector control box.

Again, get on the metal detecting forums and read the posts and ask questions. Just like you would here when considering a boat or boat accessory.

BTW: On my detector, turning the volume 1/2 way up is painful to the ears. I wouldn't worry about having enough volume.

Gringo 10-06-2007 09:14 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
I did contact KellyCo, described what conditions I want to detect in ( 95% of it 20 ft. under seawater, 5% on the beach) and surprisingly, they did not recommend their most expensive detectors,which I guess would be the JW Fishers. They recommended a Minelab Excaliber 1000. Same one you guys are recommending, for the most part. They are including about $ 400 in options with them right now, at the best price I have been able to find on the Internet so far, which includes shipping to the continental US. Just FWIW.

I am going to buy one. I just need to figure out the best way to get it down here without it costing me the other arm and leg.

billinstuart 10-06-2007 09:18 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
Go for it. I'll give you my address to drop ship it, and I'll break it in for charge! Get an extra battery. For beaches, a sand scoop, a big can with a handle and wire mesh bottom, is what ya need for surface digging/sifting.

rwidman 10-06-2007 09:27 AM

Re: best u/w metal detector?
You'll have fun. ;)

Yes, you need that long handled SS scoop for beaches and shallow water. Don't go cheap here, cheap ones bend. Mine was about $100.00 several years ago.

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