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Sunday, 25 December 2016

My Minelab Safari metal detector review and best settings for ultimate depth of detection!

The mighty Minelab Safari metal detector 

I have now been using the Minelab Safari for over 6 months and what an amazing 6 months of metal detecting it has been! Since switching to the safari from my old machine I have now found hammered  silver coins, rings and even a hoard of George iii shillings and sixpences whilst out metal detecting. To say that I am impressed with the Minelab Safari's abilities would be a complete understatement.

My Minelab Safari metal detector ready to metal detect.
My Minelab Safari metal detector ready for action.

Personally I have always said and believed that as long as you learn your metal detector and what it is telling you and just as importantly walk
over the find in the first place then you will not miss much. I still do believe this holds a lot of truth but since switching to the Safari everything seems to have literally gone up a notch or two. 
One of my main concerns when I was considering buying the Minelab Safari was it supposed slow recovery speed and difficulty of use in iron infested grounds (much the same as the rest of the Minelab FBS machines) but upon my own testing I found it was great on iron infested sites. My most iron infested site is at the foreshore of the River Humber which is heavily contaminated with nuts, bolts and more trash due to the construction of the bridge. I found that as long as I kept a slow and low swing that there was no recovery speed issues and all non ferrous targets rung through loud and clear. I even managed to winkle out a beautiful hallmarked silver ring on my most recent trip to the river as can be seen in the video below!

Where I have found that the Safari really excels is on my undisturbed pasture permission that has a lot of history dating back to early medieval times. I have been over this huge pasture permission with half a dozen different machines over the last 3 or so years and had not found anything older than 18th century. Within the first 4 months of owning the Minelab Safari I had uncovered a medieval heraldic pendant, two amazing and complete early medieval buckles and also my first medieval hammered silver coin from the site. The finds where always there to be made but non of the machines i had previously owned could get deep enough down to reach them on this untouched by plough pasture. 
A photo of the hoard of coins that I found with my Minelab Safari metal detector.
The hoard of George iii 1816 shillings and sixpences found
with my Minelab Safari in one metal detecting trip.

It is hard to pick fault with this detector as I have found it to do well in pretty much every environment that i have tested it in so far. If I had to choose one area where i believe it is not as effective then I would say that it is on ploughed fields. This could be down to me not setting it up correctly ( I do not get many chances to detect ploughed fields) or it could be that the field I detected is not perfect as it is very light sandy soil with a lot of trapped air pockets. My findings where that all of the signals that I got were very scratchy and on the verge of non dig-gable, however since it was a quiet day finds wise i still dug them all anyway. As i mentioned though this could well have been down to user error on my part!

The Minelab Safari on wet sand.

Half the reason i bought this metal detector was due to the fact that I was sick of having so many different metal detectors for each area that I searched, I wanted one that could do all areas well and this one was within my budget. Since the Safari runs using FBS it doesn't suffer the effects of heavy mineralisation like Vlf metal detectors and can be run on wet sand with ease whilst still achieving great depth of detection. I still have not got round to testing how well it copes due to the fact that the beaches are rubbish right now due to a huge build up of sand over the summer months. However we have recently had our first winter storms of the season so I hope to get out metal detecting on the beach tomorrow and will update this blog post with the results.


As promised I went down to the local beach today to see how well The Minelab Safari was on the wet sand beach. Bridlington beach is well known for having very wet sand which is highly mineralised so an ultimate test! I am pleased to say it behaved great and here is the video of it in use on the wet stuff.

My best Minelab Safari metal detector settings.

These are the settings that I tend to use on all my permissions with the Safari, I find that theyu get the best depth whilst also being very sensitive to small objects such as tiny silver coins. Feel free to give them a try next time your out.

Sensitivity in auto, all metal mode with -10 and +40 notched out, threshold on 11 and instead of noise cancelling in the air i prefer to be touching the ground after checking there are no metal objects there first.

I hope this blog post has been of help to some of you readers and I would love to hear your comments and experiences using this metal detector, or even your preferred settings.

Silver hammered coin found with Minelab Safari.


  1. Nice hammered coin, Andy. Do you find that you dig some iron with these settings? I have recently got the Safari and wonder whether to discriminate out -10 to -6 in conductive mode in general use.

    1. Hi Bern, I have only dug very minimal iron with these settings and even then it has been big lumps that would trick any detector :)

  2. Andy, am I right in assuming that you search in FERROUS mode with the above settings?

    1. Hi, I forget which mode I search in and I'm not with my detector right now but the one I use is the one that makes a high tone for non ferrous and a low tone for ferrous :)

    2. Thanks, Andy I think that's ferrous.


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