I am going to do something a little different than I have in the past and do an article on a metal detector before I actually do a review. Recently I took a trip to Ohio and the F22 went along with me to do some relic hunting. I had actually just got it a few days before and didn’t have time to do anything but take it out of the box and put it together. Fortunately I did take the time to read the manual beforehand.
One of the first things that caught my attention with the F22 was the ability to turn the Iron audio volume down and even off. If you’ve done much relic hunting with heavy concentrations of iron you know you need to run your detector wide open and listening to all the iron becomes tiring and can take a toll on your hearing. I often find myself losing my concentration and if you try to discriminate out the iron you will find yourself getting a lot of clipped tones and generally the detector will run sluggish.
I am going to be very honest here and say I wasn’t expecting a detector that the going price is around $229 to be capable of hunting in the heavy iron. I know any of the other detectors I’ve tried in that price range (and even some in higher price ranges) I haven’t had much luck over the years in the heavy iron. Not putting them down but in the lower price range you can’t really expect it to do everything and hunting in heavy iron isn’t an easy task for any metal detector.
Adjustable Iron Audio
In the past I’ve ran detectors a few different ways at iron infested sites. One way is like I said earlier, run the detector wide open with a low tone for iron and listen to it all. Most detectors will run pretty good this way but it will take its toll on your ears. Another way is to discriminate out iron and now you have to listen to a lot of clipped tones and deal with the discrimination slowing your metal detector up. Another problem with this is especially when metal detecting in fields you want to know when you’re in iron and how much iron. When you are running discrimination you won’t know that and although you can go back to all metal mode to see how much iron is under the coil at any given time I like to monitor it the whole time I’m detecting.
This is where adjustable iron audio comes into play. Being able to turn the iron volume off or very low is now a must for me when relic hunting. It solves the problem completely that has plagued relic hunters forever. The fact that a 229 dollar detector has this feature was very surprising to me. You will usually on find this on much more expensive detectors and just because it has it I have to admit I didn’t have high hopes the F22 could handle finding good targets in sites littered with iron.
It literally took me a matter of minutes to realize just how good the F22 is. I set my volume to 11 which made non-ferrous targets come in at the highest volume setting and Ferrous (iron) targets come in at the lowest volume of one. I started off at what I call ground zero, that’s where the heaviest concentration of iron is from the structure that once stood there. As I’m walking along swinging my coil I can hear at a very low volume that the site is littered with iron when suddenly, through all that iron I got a good, loud tone. My first couple of targets were only old bits of copper and brass but I found them right in the most iron infested area of this site. I ended up getting several hours in on the F22 finding lots of scrap copper, brass, lead and even a few a few flat buttons all at a spot I have hunted several times with much more expensive detectors. To say I was impressed is really an understatement, I have used many detectors over the years, most being much more expensive than the F22 and I will say it outperformed many of those detectors when it comes to relic hunting!
I am not ready to do my review of the F22 but I did want to share my relic hunting experience. I don’t know how it will work at other sites yet but I can say I would absolutely recommend this detector for relic hunting. It has to be one of the lightest, best balanced metal detectors I’ve ever swung and the ability to turn the iron volume down or off is amazing. That alone doesn’t make it worth owning but the fact that it can find the good targets that are in an iron infested site does!
I feel confident that the F22 will work great at other sites like houses and parks based on the fact it can handle iron better than many much higher priced detectors. As soon as I get enough hours on it I will get a full review out so stay tuned!