Several followers of this blog have pointed ou to me how I often mention large search coils but rarely mention small search coils and question if I ever use them, my answer is most definitely yes but only when the site makes a small search coil necessary.
In my opinion small search coils are like pulse induction metal detectors, very site specific and not something to be used all the time.
Some of my favorite finds have been recovered using small five to eight inch size search coils, I just don’t think about ground coverage and target depth when I know a small size search coil is right for the site.
Several years ago I remember hammering two trashy beach sites after major beach erosion had taken place and when I say hammering I mean hammering!
One site I searched just about every night for two months straight, recovering good stuff every time I used a small search coil.
I used the cover of night not to be seen because I used to post fresh finds on my Facebook page back in the day.
I would often check the area out during the day and see other people metal detecting across the area but not stopping and I knew the two reasons why, iron and target masking.
This beach was very trashy and even a ten or eleven inch search coil meant you were not going to hear any good signals in the area unless you were moving very slowly and concentrating hard.
Both ferrous (Iron) and junky non ferrous targets in high numbers mask potentially valuable targets at trashy beach and inland sites using the ten to eleven inch size search coils most people now use on metal detectors.
Stick a small five to eight inch size search coil on your metal detector and the same site comes to life if you hunt by tones, FE - CO numbers on a metal detector VDI screen or a combination of both at the right site.
Even an elliptical shape search coil can make a difference at a trashy site, an elliptical shaped small search coil even more of a difference, bigger isn’t always better in metal detecting, especially for people who search a wide variety of sites.
Your metal detector can often be used with a higher sensitivity setting using a small search coil because it is reading less of the ground, running hotter I find the target depth differential is nominal between an eight and ten inch search coil.
Target recovery speed is increased using small search coils and you can get closer to large iron in the search area, for example iron pipes or beams on a beach.
The next time you find yourself in a finds drought, put a small search coil on your metal detector and see how many more targets you start digging.