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FAQ: What is the purpose of a coil cover on a metal detector?

FAQ:  What is the purpose of a coil cover on a metal detector?

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Quite often I get a call from a customer discussing the basic function of a metal detector.  These discussions range from how to put it together, how to turn it on, and basic metal detector operations. 

One of the questions a lot of people are afraid to ask is what is a coil cover (also called a skid plate) and how is it used.  Should the coil cover be placed on the metal detector when in use or is it to protect the coil during storage?  Most of the time this question is asked hesitantly.  Some people are embarrassed to ask it.  They feel that it is a "stupid question".  The truth of the matter is, when it comes to getting into the sport of metal detecting, there are no stupid questions.  There are a lot of bells and whistles on the wide variety of metal detectors on the market and there are a lot of accessories.  There is a lot to learn when you first begin metal detecting.

Watch My 2 Min. Video About Coil Cover Basics:

Some metal detector brands, like Minelab Metal Detectors, that almost always come with a skid plate on them.  Then there are other brands, like Garrett Metal Detectors, that provide them with some models and not others.  Typically Garrett just provides the coil cover in the box and it is the consumers job to put them on the metal detector.

Rather than to provide the answer to this FAQ at the end of this article, I will make it simple for those who are looking for a straight answer:

A Metal Detector's Coil Cover Should Be Put on The Coil and Removed Only to Replace it With a New Coil Cover

Okay, for those who want more clarification I will dig  a bit deeper.  A coil cover is designed to fit snugly onto the detector's coil.  They DO NOT impeded the signal of the detector, make it less sensitive, or disrupt the function of the metal detector in any way.  

Coil covers are designed to protect the coil from nicks and scratches.  Coils generally consist of a durable plastic shell.  This shell houses the copper coil and generally there is a polymer poured into the shell covering the coil.  This polymer holds the coil in place and prevents movement and protects it.  But, with out a coil cover, the polymer can be damaged as bumps into rocks, sticks, and the soil while metal detecting.

The coil of the metal detector is one of the more expensive components of the detector.  Metal detectors generally hold their value rather well.  So, rather than an expense, you can look at it as a bit of an investment.  It is important to protect your investments.  When someone buys a used metal detector one of the first things they are going to look at is the condition of the coil.  If you have been using a skid plate, the coil itself should be in relatively good condition.  

When we take a trade in for a metal detector upgrade, this is one of the first things we look at.  When we get a returned metal detector, the condition of the coil is one thing we look closely at to determine the trade in amount or refund amount we will provide for the detector.  Simply put the better condition the coil, the more the detector is worth.

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  • Joshua Turpin