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There are plenty of budget metal detectors in the market, but the key in finding the good ones is to do a little research first or you may end up with a kid’s toy.
The RM RicoMax GC-1037 is one of the good ones.
Judging a budget detector takes a little know-how about detecting, and if you’re brand new to the hobby, you may be at a disadvantage.
This review will provide the details you need to determine if the GC-1037 would be a great first-time buy for your detecting goals
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Target ID
❌ Worst Feature: No Obvious Ground Balance Feature
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Coins, Jewelry, Relics, Beginners, Older Kids
- Target ID
- 6 Target Categories
- 3 Modes
- Adjustable Sensitivity
- Backlight LCD
Our Verdict: The RicoMax GC-1037 is one of the more fancier metal detectors within their inventory. It has a digital display, adjustable sensitivity, and Target ID. For its intended purposes, it works well. For beginners, it’ll satisfy their need to get detecting right away.
Who is the RM RicoMax GC-1037 Best Suited to?
The simple format and capabilities of the RicoMax detector is best suited for beginners and starters to detecting. It’s cheap, has the necessary basics, and it’s very lightweight. The lightweight frame weighs 2.31 lbs is worthy of mention as it can be used for long periods of time by all users including older children.
Adults with shoulder and arm injuries will look for a lightweight detector. However, the RicoMax’s basic platform is extremely limiting to intermediate and expert hobbyists. For an entry-level model on a budget, they should look to the $200 range.
How Does the RM RicoMax GC-1037 Perform?
The RicoMax GC-1037 is a VLF single frequency detector. The operating frequency is likely somewhere around 6 kHz, and unfortunately, there is no confirmation on this. But, its performance is comparable to other similar detectors in this price range.
It detects all metals, but it will struggle with gold nuggets and small objects deeper than 8”. The nice features about it is that you have adjustable discrimination and sensitivity. You also have a Target ID numerical system, so it’s just like the professional ones where you have a great idea of what is being detected before you dig.
Features & Benefits
The Target ID on the RicoMax is a 2-digit numerical system that provides an estimated value on the object’s conductivity. Each Target ID can be different between models from different manufacturers, but they essentially provide similar data. Different types of metals will fall within the 0-99 scale. On this detector, they have filtered out metals with Target IDs as follows: Iron 0-5, Nickel (5c) 6-17, Aluminum (pull-tabs) 18-26, Gold & Zinc 27-38, Copper & Gold 39-62, Copper & Silver 63-99.
6 Target Categories
The six target categories are Iron, Nickel, Aluminum, Gold & Zinc, Copper & Gold, and Copper & Silver. These categories are tied to the Target ID numerical system that provides a value to which you can determine what type of metal is being detected. There is a target scale with the six segments that can be found along the top of the screen.
On the display, the segments are primarily labelled for coins: Iron, 5c, P-Tab, 1c, 10c, and 25c. Regardless of whether or not it’s a coin you find, the metal will fall under one of these target categories. You may have to rely on the numerical number to further decide what type of metal it is. Using discrimination and pinpoint will be helpful, but often the best discriminator will be your favorite metal detecting shovel.
The three search modes on the RicoMax are All Metal, DISC, and PinPoint. All Metal is a non-discriminatory mode, so you will hear audio for all types of metal objects detected. When you find an object in All Metal, you can use DISC or PinPoint modes to acquire more information or its precise location.
The DISC mode is where you can discriminate trash items and iron signals from being heard to spend more time finding good items. For example, if you want to focus on coins, you can set the DISC to discriminate items with target IDs of 50 and less to spend more time finding dimes and quarters.
PinPoint mode is an integrated feature that allows the searchcoil to find the precise location of the detected object. This takes some practice as you essentially have to outline an area for a large object or create an X to mark the location with the object at its center.
Having PinPoint will help you home in on the target and dig up less dirt with a smaller hole as sensitivity is increased. Note, you must hold down the PinPoint button for use.
Since there is no apparent ground balance feature, the adjustable sensitivity setting will come in handy. When hitting less than ideal soil conditions, EMI interference, or even other detectors operating at the same frequency, you might find the only thing you can do is decrease sensitivity to help with detection.
Decreasing sensitivity will make it harder for the detector to detect good objects, but unless you move out of the area back to ideal ground and away from power lines and electronics, all you’ll hear is chatter.
On the other hand, you can increase sensitivity when you suspect the detector is struggling to detect small objects. You can also lower the discrimination value to help improve detection.
The LCD screen is said to be 20% bigger. Compared to what? Not sure, but a large display is good thing. Brightness can be controlled with nine settings that allows for maximum and appropriate visibility in various conditions, namely, night.
No Obvious Ground Balance Feature
First off, it’s apparent the GC-1037 does not have adjustable ground balance. I would assume that it has preset ground balance to eliminate a moderate amount of ground signals that may interfere with detection. Without an auto or manual feature to adjust for differing terrains, you will be limited to efficient detecting in ideal soils or those where you can discriminate for high trash areas.
Is the RM RicoMax Completely Waterproof?
The RicoMax detector is not completely waterproof. It’s somewhat water-resistant for rain, but the control box is not waterproof. You do not want to get this wet. The only waterproof component on the detector is the searchcoil and shaft. You can use it in shallow water and be sure to wash debris off the searchcoil afterwards.
How Deep can it Detect?
The GC-1037 is rated as a surface exploration metal detector. Depending on sensitivity settings, soil conditions, size, orientation, and depth of the target, you can detect coins up to 8”. Larger targets may be detected even deeper. Using discrimination settings can also affect depth penetration negatively or slow down the system. Using the detector in All Metal mode is typically the best way to get maximum sensitivity and depth.
Does the Searchcoil on the Metal Detector Affect Detection Depth?
The searchcoil also plays a role in detection, and the 10” concentric searchcoil covers quite a bit of ground. It falls within the medium to large range but is certainly smaller than some large ones that you can get in the market. The depth is typically equal to the diameter of the searchcoil for a coin-sized object.
So, the larger it is, the deeper its detection. However, it may miss small-sized targets since its broader magnetic field becomes less concentrated to detect items like coins but is especially good for finding relics and caches. The 10” can be considered a general-use size for broad use in various terrains for different types of treasures.
Can the RicoMax GC-1037 be Used at the Beach?
The metal detector may be used at the beach in white, dry sand. Once you go beyond the towel line and into the surf or wet, black sand, the detector may exhibit erratic behavior with consistent signals that it’s picking up from minerals in the ground, namely, salt.
You cannot ground balance to saltwater, so it’s not recommended for use in this area. Just stay on dry sand, and you should be good to find some lost and washed-up treasures.
The RM RicoMax GC-1037 metal detector works well enough for beginners on a budget. It won’t find gold nuggets or the like, but you will be able to find gold jewelry, artifacts, and other small goods. As a starter detector, it will help you get an idea of what to expect and how a detector works so that you can upgrade to an advanced model in the future.
This model proves that it doesn’t cost you hundreds of dollars to get started on your new-found hobby.
- 💰Convenient to Use - RM RICOMAX metal detector weighs only 2.31 pounds, is really lighter than others. The ergonomic handle design makes it perfect for all-day use, and the adjustable height(41.3” to 47.6”) makes it suitable for both adults&child. INTUITIVE LCD DISPLAY makes you can see the detection mode, sensitivity level, battery condition, and volume level conveniently, and you can also light up the screen if you want to detect metal in the darkness.
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Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API