Machine purchased from :
NEL Direct  http://www.nel-coils.com/

UK sales www.Regton.com

NEL search coil review
By Gary's detecting


Nel coil Minelab explorer information and pictures
We have been hearing about NEL coils for some time, looking at the web site they are designed to fit a vast range of metal detectors and the list is becoming more comprehensive as the weeks go on.
I was recently invited to test 2 coils for my Minelab Explorer II, within 10 days the coils and coil covers arrived well packaged and looking very impressive.

The 2 coils ordered were the NEL Sharp shooter and the NEL Tornado
NEL search coils for Minelab Explorer


Nel Tornado
My first choice was the 13"x12" Tornado coil, about the same weight as the standard coil with more ground coverage and hopefully a touch more depth owing to the bigger size, NEL do make an even bigger coil called the "Big" 15" x 17" ....to much for what I need.
After speaking to people who have used NEL products I decided the Tornado coil would be an ideal choice for my pasture site just outside the village where I have tested so many machines and coils in the past.

nel tornado search coils

Field test
My first time out with the Tornado.... I found my original Explorer settings needed to be slightly changed to cater for the bigger coil, firstly I lowered the sensitivity a little...once the machine was settled I could then fine tune some other settings at start the session.

metal detecting with the nel tornado coil

At this stage I guess you're thinking I bet he finds something big and deep...well you're going to be wrong then !
Deep yes...Big no, I found myself digging tiny buttons at very reasonable depths, even some very thin shoe buckles came out at around 8".
So if I was to to sum up my first session with the Tornado I would say this coil has very good sensitivity to small targets while maintaining stability, no finds to get excited about but that's detecting for you, I'm sure it was a case of simply not walking over it on this occasion.

The Nel Sharp shooter
The coil I was desperate to try was the cute little Sharp shooter 9.5" x 5.5", this would be ideal for my junky site and hopefully get between the nails to find the odd elusive coin or artefact, those of you who have been invited out detecting with us know this site and how hard it is to work.
Time was not on my side as the crops were already showing and the farmer had mentioned on our earlier visit to take extra care so we knew the detecting doors were closing for this season.
Having pounded these fields for weeks with other machines made this a worthy test for the Sharp shooter.

nel sharp shooter coil
Also in the van was the Tornado coil just for an experiment really, I wanted to give it a try later in the day and look for that pot of Gold I keep promising myself.
Again the machine required a little tweaking to suit the soil conditions but it performed every bit how I had imagined it would. Searching with my little Sharpshooter coil was an absolute dream, the balance was perfect.
I had a nice Roman Bronze amongst my many pieces of lead, I can honestly say this little coil was perfect for the job in hand...very precise and sensitive.

nel sharpshooter with roman coin minelab explorer with sharpshooter coi

Ok that's the Sharpshooter coil in the bag as far as I was concerned and most definitely in the armoury for future sessions...There was enough time to have a mooch around with the Tornado coil to see if I could find some big targets beyond my normal detection depth, which is really a lost cause as the iron contamination kills any hope of soil penetration on this site.

I decided to run my Explorer with a large handful of discrimination (iron mask to be exact) and just try to pick off some high tones that may turn out to be large coins or artefacts, as always I run the Explorer in Conductivity mode rather than Ferrous it's just a personal choice.

Also I normally run my Explorer with an open screen, there's nothing worse than listening to the threshold nulling constantly, it puts a lot of doubt in your mind, the question I always ask myself is am I missing targets next to iron ? well yes would be the logical answer using a slow plodding Explorer with a 13" coil on a Roman site is never a recipe for great success, there are lots of machines on the market much more suited for this environment.

Perhaps I spend to much time analysing things because it wasn't long before I got a solid low tone...simlar to what I was hearing with the smaller coil, it turned out to be a small roman bronze...fluke ! I must have walked over an iron free spot the coin was there the machine found it...big deal...carry on. Then another low tone and another and so on..... This bloody coil had just found 3 Roman Grots like they were on the surface.
At this point I opened the discrimination up and resorted to my original "small target" program which I had used with the Sharp shooter coil and from that point it all went shockingly well.
nel tornado coil with coins nel tornado coil very sensitive
No pot of Gold but some interesting pieces all different sizes at respectable depths...on a difficult site WITH AN EXPLORER, I can't say how the other coils will perform on different machines but hand on heart I was impressed, not only by the coil but what the Explorer was actually capable of on this site.

NEL Pin pointing tip : This is true with most 2d coils, find your target and lock on with a very tight left to right sweep..at the same time draw the coil back...when the signal disappears the target is just in front of the coil in the recess where the windings cross over.
Explorer Tip 1 : Run an open discrim and watch out for the cursor in the bottom left of the screen, that's where the little Roman coins on edge like to lurk.
Explorer Tip 2 : Make your Explorer more sensitive to small targets by running the "noise channel" at 1 this will give you approx 18Khz.

Some very minor points I would like to see addressed by the manufacturer
It would be nice to have after market coil bolts supplied with the units as the original Minelab coil bolt presses against the coil wire and could lead to problems in the future, I had a spare bolt for the sharp shooter as you can see in the pictures which fitted well.

Coil bolt is very tight on coil wire
coil plug wire

The decals could be made from a better quality material as they show signs of peeling

nel decal quality

The sharp shooter coil cover is a loose fit I would suggest a line of insulating tape around the coil to seat it properly, or a line of silicone sealer, apart from those small points the NEL Minelab coils worked well for me.

What you guys really need to know is :
Did I notice any performance advantages over the stock coils?........Yes
Are the products good quality ?.....Yes
What single point impressed me the most ?....The sensitivity to small targets
Did the Minelab pin point well with the Tornado coil....Yes
Should you buy a NEL coil.....Your choice, personally I prefer the SEF

If you do invest in a Nel coil and want to use my Explorer settings please drop me a line.
This test is still on going I will be adding more as winter approaches as there are some pasture sites I would like to try this coil on.

This NEL tornado coil and NEL sharpshooter coil reviews are the sole property of Gary's detecting Copyright
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