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One detector verses multiple detectors?

still looking 52

Well-known member
I'm of the school that one detector has several advantages over having multiple detectors. Obviously cost is lower, maintenance is lower but primarily the biggest advantage is you learn the small details, what settings work best etc. I've had my f5 now for over two years, it's the only machine I own and I've learned it's language which helps me know the difference between good and no so good targets.


Depends.....mainly or at least IMHO is if the one detector fits every detecting scenario you will normally encounter. Not that it has to fit every POSSIBLE scenario thats not realistic..just the ones you would encounter.

So for me when i was detecting at my would not cut it. There was no one detector that could do it all AS WELL as two detectors that were designed different to handle situations the other was not so good at. A good example is if you did relic and then beach..or relic and prospecting. Sure you can use just one like say....a Minelab Sovereign for both beach and worked great at one and good at the other (relic) but the F75 was superior for relic hunting compared to the Sovereign in MOST cases....but the F75 was useless at a beach.

Usually though the difference was needing a lightweight machine with good tones..good VDI display that was fast recovery for trashy areas. Usually these were machines that were not the deepest but were real stable and nice and manageable for weight and balance like the F5. would not be a first choice...for me..when i now I have to move to fields that have never been plowed..they have been hay forever and so anything elft was deep...beyond the F5's ability. So in this case I would have a second machine for this...which usually I would not tend to use in the first scenario..trash.

A good example was when I had a Nautilus DMCIIB AND a Tesoro Golden Umax combo...or in later years I did use an F5 and the Nautilus combo. This was great for both trashy cellar holes and deep field detecting.

Even when the F75 and T2 came out I though now I can just use one machine for all. But turned out that the F75 was too hot and twitchy for trashy cellar holes for my liking..even tuned down. So I still had a stable lighterweight machine along with the F75.

But again depends...if you do not encounter anything that is beyond the limits of the F5 and is a very good machine...then no...there would be no need for a second machine.

Now as far as WANT a second machine well.........


Well-known member
I agree that only having one can definitely have the advantage of getting to know a machine inside and out which can and probably does make one more productive in time. As azsh07 mentions though, a detector can't be exceptional at doing everything and that's where 2 or more might become interesting. I love my F5 for old silver coin hunting but at the beach, for everything I can find there, I much prefer the F19 although the F5 does OK there as well. I prefer one over the other in certain circumstances and one can't completely replace the other. One day I'd like to try my hand at water detecting. Since neither of my detectors is submersible, I'd need to get something else for that.

Curiosity also comes into play. If one can afford to try another detector at times, why not ? The price of a good used one makes trying other machines an attractive option. If one doesn't like it, it can be sold quickly for a minimum of loss. I think it's cool to have so many choices.


Well-known member
No way could I do that.
Multiple detectors keep down the boredom, I love switching between my Fisher and my Tesoros, even between my Vaq and my Compadre.
I can learn something on one that helps me understand the others better and that has happened several times.
What I learned hunting in extreme iron with my Fisher helped me be more successful with my Vaq, and I have always said everyone should spend time hunting with a Tesoro or other audio only unit no matter what they end up using in the future.
Learning to hunt by only audio can only help you get better in this hobby...I really believe that.

For me using one detector most of the time is my usual way but having others to grab and use on a whim when I feel like it is calming and normal and I wouldn't want it any other way.


New member
"Beware the man who only owns one rifle. He probably knows how to use it."


New member
I wear hats from both camps as they say,i have 2 main machines that i use and both have had very high hours in learning everything about the machines and they have both served me well over the years,but although they are both very good all round machines,on some site and detecting scenarios then neither are the best machines for the job,so i do have a fair few additional detectors that excel for some of my sites.

I have one site that is roman trading villa site that had activity on the site for 400 years,so with the amount of massive activity and being inland you would have thought that a normal detector would have been a walk in the park !! wrong,this site is about 70 miles inland but the site is just basically like black beach sand and the only machines that can touch this site is mainly a Pulse machine,this basically cuts through the ground like a knife through hot butter,but no other VLF machine would touch this site,even multi freq Minelab machines struggle on this site.

Also on say a trashy saxon site,some of the older Tesoro machines with a small coil on are also the best detector/coil combinations for the job,deep pasture sites i find that i require a big coil combination etc etc.

In theory one car should do all your needs,but if you want too go off road shooting or detecting then a 4x4 is a good choice,for a big family run around a estate car would be the best choice,but basically they are all cars with engines and 4 wheels but some do a better job than other,so although o will totally agree with using just one machine,sometimes having multiple detector and coils can up your game plan in your favoure,must admit i am lucky that i do have a few machines for site specific use.


Staff member
You are correct......learning the things not mentioned with your detector manual really gives you an advantage. Adding a different size/type coil sometimes is like having a second detector, yet, you still are a processional with it. Depth should not always be the number one reason to buy a particular brand.


New member
Miser67 said:
"Beware the man who only owns one rifle. He probably knows how to use it."

I agree, but, that man with only one "rifle" probably isn't a pheasant, duck, or goose hunter. He'll need a shotgun for those.

Metal detecting can be much the same, as has been mentioned by others. There are more multi-use detectors coming to market that can be operated on land and in water etc. For serious saltwater detecting, a dedicated water machine is preferable. My CTX while being the best general use detector I have used, is mostly useless for gold nugget hunting, I got a GMT for that. Rather than buy a new 6" coil for the CTX at nearly $300, I thought it a better value to buy a new F75 gold at the current lower price and added a NEL Snake coil, that combo cost just twice what that 6" CTX coil would have. It gives me an added dimension to my detecting, and enjoyment.

There is no doubt that the more time you spend using specific equipment, the more adept you become. Some folks buy new machines just to use and learn new equipment and have fun with it. Some people use the same machine exclusively for many years, and are just as happy. The reasons people choose only one or multiple detectors are as varied as the machines they choose. None of those reasons are right or wrong, as long as they're enjoying themselves.

Jackpine Savage

Active member
Revier said:
I have always said everyone should spend time hunting with a Tesoro or other audio only unit no matter what they end up using in the future.

I started with the Fisher 1236X2, a great learning tool for iron hunting.


Hoser John

New member
I use my favorite 3 as each has it's own job-Tesoro Golden Sabre since 85 for , beaches and extremely trashy areas-4 coils sizes/configurations. Gold Bug 2 since about 2000 normal coil now as small one stolen from truck,but that tiny thang rocked in rocks and teenie tiny gold. Then my Tesoro Lobo Super Traq as has disc,auto tune and many MANY features that rock my detecting world along with 3 coils to fit any problem area as needed. Great for gold nugget shooting and beach trash too. Been detecting since 61 when I made a Tandy Craft kit bfo by Heathkit and KILLED it on silver at the Redondo,Hermosa,Torrance beaches as paved in silver and jewelry galore 55 years ago. John

Jackpine Savage

Active member
I have my two favorites that get the most use, but having options to me is very important.

FYI an "Estate" car is what we call in the states a station wagon.



New member
Comfort hasn't come into play.....different detectors with different weights and ergonomics can sure be a strain on the arm...
Actually feel one learns more using several but just my lowly opinion...and in most cases one won't cover all aspects....

Tom Slick

Well-known member
I'd hate to only have one detector for all the different types of detecting I do. If there was one detector that could perform at the top in all hunting environments, I'd have it. Still looking for that detector after 40+ years of detecting. The F5 the OP listed wouldn't work very well water hunting neck deep or saltwater wet sand hunting. Not the greatest for hunting Iron infested sites either.
Hi still looking 52, I read all the post and don't recall anyone mentioned the advantage of having at least one other detector for a "Spare" in case your f5 has a problem and has go be sent in for recoup. Likely not having had that experience yet, the thought may be worth considering. Long story short: Having the Fever and having no detector can be a very unpleasant experience, very unpleasant! Short and sweet again: Consider getting another f5 and you will always be good to go! HH, Charlie


New member
I have been digging since 1977 and could never only use 1 detector. If I did I would miss so many targets. Its like having only 1 fishing pole for a 300 lb tuna and the same pole for 6" trout.

I use a F75SE for very trashy yards. Its fast and deep.
I use a MXT All Pro with the 13" ultimate coil for sports fields. Deep and powerful.
I use a Etrac for cherry picking silver out of nice lawns.

An example would be if i used my MXT or F75 in a nice green lawn it would look like a mine field when I was done due to having to dig all of the high tone signals. With my Etrac I can tell the difference between a Indian cent, wheat cent, copper cent and a zinc cent. I dig only the Indians and wheats and leave the rest in the ground. And of course all of the silver.

Another example would be if i was in a very trashy iron infested yard I would use only the F75, Its fast and sees right through old rusty nails. If i use one of the other detectors they would mask so many targets that i would miss.

Lets not go into having all of the needed coils for each one :)

Gary from Oregon.


Active member
If I was down to one, it would be one that could be used as beep/dig, tones and ID, or have a notch feature. A 3 in one detector. I have one- no names mentioning.


Well-known member
Based solely on my experience. If I could only own one detector , it would be the AT Pro. With all available coils. About everything you need, plus water proof. And a real decent $.


New member
one detector one wife, many detectors no wife :buds:

have 1 or many? I know one thing for sure none of them find anything unless I use them.



Well-known member
My thoughts are IF it were possible to accomplish all the types of hunting you do with the very best performance in every type with one machine that would be the way to go. The more time you spend on one single detector the more proficient you'll get with it. If you use several different detectors you will not be as proficient as you could be on one single detector. The problem for me has been I have spent the last 10 years looking for such a detector and it isn't made yet that I've found.

I hunt mainly tot lots for gold and parks/schools/vacant lots for coins/jewelry and the occasional relic hunting old fort sites. At the moment I am finding the Racer 2 to be very versatile and doing me quite well. The Deus also was close but cost was much higher. Still neither has done me as well as say the CTX/E-Trac in our city park on the very deep coins, and neither the CTX or E-Trac can match the Racer 2/Deus/AT Pro/DFX for tot lot gold. Some day perhaps, but for now I still rely on multiple detectors.