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Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 1/15/01

Tool Review by Allen Parks

Little Wizard Metal Detector

The "Little Wizard" is advertised as a "portable, precision metal detector." Weighing 5.7 ounces with battery, the T-shaped instrument measures 8 1/2" long by 2 3/4" at the head. It's shape resembles an oversized razor.

The single 9-volt battery powers the circuitry, 5 indicator LEDs, and speaker. Operation consists of turning the on/off dial until all the lights just go out and the tone stops. This is its most sensitive point. To use, position the Little Wizard with the head pointing toward the surface of the suspected location of the metal and move in a circular notion. A continuous tone is heard when you are directly on top of a metal object. A continuous tone and continuously illuminated lights indicates location of the metal object.

The use and portability of the Little Wizard couldn't be easier. The precision may leave something to be desired. Keep in mind it will locate only metal, not studs nor AC current.

For the woodworker it will detect larger nails up to about 5/8" deep. A 1" brad shot into a piece of pine wood could not be detected. It will locate screws in a drywall and metal studs in a building where they are used.

It is advertised as "perfect for Law Enforcement and Security ... in airports, schools, high security buildings, clubs, concerts, etc." My experience says this may be oversell. Metal objects can be detected in clothing, but only at very close range and with a detailed search pattern. Objects can be concealed quite easily.

As for use in locating coins, jewelry, lost valuables only if they are just below the surface and a very close search pattern is maintained.

I was unable to detect any wire mesh or rebar in my shop floor, although I know it contains both.

The larger the object the easier to detect. For the woodworker and treasure hunter, it's the smaller objects you want to locate. The Little Wizard may not tell you.

At $29.95 at my local woodworking store it is a useful and affordable addition where precise or great sensitivity is not required.

The Little Wizard is available from Wizard Distribution , Studio City, California. They can be contacted at 888-346-3826 or wizarddistribution.com

Allen Parks

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