The Definitive Guide to Metal Detecting: 41 Tips and Tricks

Metal detecting is a fun hobby for many people. While metal detecting can be enjoyable, it can also be frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. If metal detecting has been on your mind and you want to learn more about the activity, this blog post will help.

Metal Detecting Trips and Tricks

This article contains 41 metal detecting tips and tricks that should help make metal detecting easier and more enjoyable for beginners.

1. If You Can, Invest in a Decent Metal Detector When You’re First Getting One.

I am not telling you to spend as much as possible and get a metal detector that costs over $1,000. But it is important to find one that costs between $300 and $700.

The metal detector you need has all the features for beginners. The more expensive ones are not necessary yet because you are still a beginner. You don’t want to buy something that you cannot use.

2. Don’t Get Easily Discouraged.

When you’re metal detecting, you might find many trash items. But it doesn’t mean that there is nothing there.

The general rule of thumb for metal detecting is finding more trash than treasure. This is true for all detectorists, from novice to expert. The difference is that the professional is aware of this and is prepared to deal with it. Before they find anything useful, the newbie becomes disheartened and gives up.

3. Dig on Every Hit.

This goes with the last one in that if you cannot find any good signals, it may make you feel like giving up. Don’t give up because there is always a chance.

You are going to want to dig everything as a beginner. You can’t know if something will be trash or treasure unless you put in the work and dig it out of the ground. Plus, the simple probability will tell you that the more targets you dig, the more opportunities you have to find something good. It is also very important for beginners to experience finding targets and unearthing them.

4. To Develop a Feel for the Metal Detector, Start in Your Backyard.

You should practice with your metal detector when you first obtain it. You will want to find the setting that works best for you. Instead of figuring this out when you are at a beach, why not figure this out back at home? Who knows what treasure could be waiting for you in your backyard?

After searching my whole property, I found a bunch of coins, a few tools, and some pieces of foil. I also learned to use functions like discrimination, sensitivity, ground-balancing, and volume adjustment.

5. Use an Overlapping Scanning Technique.

One of the worst mistakes that a beginner detectorist can make is not overlapping their swings. If you don’t overlap your swings, you might miss ground and treasures. I found that when I initially started utilizing an overlapping strategy, I got twice as many hits – a significant increase for such a minor adjustment.

6. Sweep the Dirt You Dig Out of a Hole Every Time.

When digging a hole, brush the coil of your metal detector over the pile of dirt you’ve dug out regularly. If something is already dug up, it will appear on the detector. I always check below me after every few digs to ensure I am not wasting my time.

7. I Learned How to Employ Discrimination, Sensitivity, Ground-Balancing, and Volume Adjustment Functions.

Coil discipline is a skill that you learn over time. If you start practicing it from the beginning, you do not have to get rid of bad habits. Having the coil parallel to the ground helps when it comes to detecting signals. To find deep signals, keep your coil close to the ground so you can detect as much as possible.

When metal detecting, it’s critical to have the correct equipment. You can cover more ground if you dig quickly. Three tools come highly recommended:

Metal Detecting Lesche Digging Tools

  • Lesche RS Hand Trowel (Kellyco link) – This hand shovel is AMAZING.
  • For me, the Lesche Ground Shark (link to Kellyco for price and availability) is a must-have on every trip!
  • Mini Pick Lesche When I’m in the woods, I like to hack through roots and dig out rocks.

8. Make Sure You’re Wearing Comfortable Headphones.

Most metal detectors have a speaker, but use it if yours also has a headphone port. Wearing headphones will help you hear the detector better than the speaker on your detector. Just make sure they are comfortable.

9. Take Your Time Scanning.

You may miss a sign or signal if you move too rapidly. The best way to ensure that you don’t miss anything critical is to take your time and slow down.

10. Be Respectful and Follow the Law.

This should not surprise most people, but it is important to remember. Always respect the land you are detecting on and leave as little impact as possible. This means filling in holes and covering your holes with dirt, not digging too deep, and not destroying anything.

You must make certain that metal detecting on the land is legal at all times. If it is not, then don’t do it. And if so, follow any rules or regulations that go along with metal detecting in these areas. If you get a ticket for not following these rules or regulations, then you will be in trouble.

If you’re seeking coins, here are some suggestions.

11. If You Discover One Coin, There’s a Good Chance You’ll Find Another.

If you find one coin, then search the area around it. You might find more coins that are close to each other. Three mercury dimes were once discovered within a foot and a half of each other.

The following are a few items you’ll need for beach metal detecting. A proven pin-pointer, a sand scoop, and a waterproof watch.

12. Go to the Beach.

A beach is a place where you can find coins. They are easier to see when they are surrounded by sand.

13. Always Go Detecting After the Snow Melts.

Many things can be lost in the snow. People may find coins, rings, and other lost jewelry when it melts.

14. If You’re in a Trashy Area, Use a Smaller Coil.

The search area of a tiny coil will be smaller. This is easier than when you are in an area with lots of trash.

15. To Keep Your Finds Safe, Wear a Belt Pouch.

Buying a little bag to carry my belongings is one of the best buys I’ve made. I recommend having one that you can pass your belt through so it’s easy to access but not in the way.

16. Don’t Clean a Coin Until You Are Positive of What It Is Worth.

Do not wash old coins before you know what they are worth. If you do, it can damage them and make them less valuable.

17. Use a Pinpointer.

A pinpointer is a tool that helps you find objects in the ground when you are digging. The benefit is that it is easier to use than a metal detector. It also has a small size, so it can be used in tight spaces. I bought one, and now I use it as much as my main metal detector.

18. Look for High-Traffic Areas.

Location can help you find more metal. You should also narrow down your search. This increases your chances of discovering something. Good places to look are tourist beaches and walking paths, or areas with lots of people.

19. Record All of Your Finds.

I met a guy on the beach. He said to write down where you find things and what they are. This way, if you’re looking for more things like that, you know where to go. This is important because it helps me find the best things and stay profitable.

20. Rotate the Places You Go to Metal Detect.

Detecting is a good way to find out if someone has been in your home. This tip works best when used with the previous one because it will give you more chances to catch them. You want to ‘detect’ in places with lots of foot traffic and then rotate where and when you do it, so they don’t know what place you are going next.

21. Consider Using a Pulse Induction Metal Detector.

A very low-frequency detector, often called a VLF detector, can help you find metals. But if it’s a saltwater beach, then the sediment from the water will interfere with your metal detector. A pulse induction metal detector isn’t affected by hot rocks or even saltwater beaches!

22. Walk-in a Grid Pattern.

I have already explained that using overlapping scans is the best way to detect metal. I also recommend using a grid pattern when you are looking for metals. If you pretend there is a grid on top of where you are, it will be easy to find all places with metal.

23. Go to Tourist Beaches.

Tourist beaches are not the best place to find ancient things. But you can find jewelry on one. I had seen people get gold rings, necklaces, and earrings there all summer long when they were looking for treasure on a tourist beach.

24. Go to Abandoned Beaches.

If you don’t like crowds, go to an abandoned beach instead of a popular tourist place. Even if nobody is there now, it may have been a place that people liked before. Metal detectors are good for finding things on abandoned beaches.

25. Carry a Sand Sifter.

A sand sifter is an object that has holes in it. You can use the holes to take your treasure out of your beach. Because it will go through, there is nothing left at the end of the hole.

26. Go Treasure Hunting After It Rains.

This tip is good because the soil will be wet and easier to dig up after it rains. So take advantage of the weather when it comes.

27. Go Out Early in the Morning or Late at Night.

If you like to keep to yourself, it can be hard to ask you questions while at the park. That is why I like to go early in the morning or late at night.

When looking for metal, you need to dig. It’s important to use the right tools. I recommend three:

Metal Detecting Lesche Digging Tools

  • Lesche RS Hand Trowel (Kellyco link) – This hand shovel is AMAZING.
  • For me, the Lesche Ground Shark (link to Kellyco for price and availability) is a must-have on every trip!
  • The Lesche Ground Shark (pricing and availability from Kellyco) is a must-have for me on every trip!

28. Make a Checklist of All Your Gear.

You generally don’t need a checklist if you’ve been using the same setup for a long time. But if you are going to do something new or go somewhere without your usual gear, then having a list of all your gear will help. I suggest keeping a digital copy so that if you want to print it again later, you can just re-print it.

29. Carry a Test Coin.

When you don’t find anything for hours, it can make you feel like your metal detector is broken. I suggest keeping some coins on you so that if the metal detector starts working again, you can keep your sanity.

30. Carry coils of different sizes.

Different areas need different coils. If a field is big, a big coil will be better. If the area is small, then a small coil that can be moved easily will work best. This trick isn’t much of a trick because it’s just about having the right tool for your job.

31. Carry coils of different types.

Coils are used to find metals. There are different coil designs. Knowing which one is best for a certain metal can increase your chances of finding it.

32. Always carry extra batteries.

Metal detectors come with different battery types. If you buy your metal detector, I suggest getting extra chargers and batteries.

33. Remove trash find when you come upon them.

I know you probably don’t want to carry around a lot of trash when metal detecting, but the next person doesn’t want to find it. You should remove trash when you find it so that other people don’t have to dig.

34. Use a hand shovel that has a built-in blade for sawing roots.

Roots are hard to get through when metal detecting. It’s best to have a hand shovel with a serrated edge. The best type of shovel is the one that has a flat blade and is like a knife so you can cut through sod easily.

35. Research if you are looking for relics.

You can always look in your backyard for a relic, but if that doesn’t work, you can look into where the relics are housed. The internet and libraries will tell you.

36. Dig slowly and carefully.

It is bad to damage a coin by washing it. Using a shovel can also happen, but it is more likely with the shovel. Digging slowly and carefully does not always work. Sometimes you will still break a find, but I have found that it helps to do this most of the time. You might harm an object worth more money if you don’t do this.

37. Bring a pail of fertilizer water if you’re digging in the grass.

Some people don’t want you to metal detect in their yard. But if they let you, then promise to put the grass back after you are done. Carry around some water and fertilizer when you go out to metal detect in a lawn area. As a result, mowing or replacing their grass will be much easier for them.

38. Bring a sturdy screwdriver as a pick.

If you don’t have a handheld pickaxe or just want to carry something else, you can use a large flathead screwdriver instead. The screwdriver is much smaller and will fit in your back pocket. Make sure it is strong enough for wear and tear. Make sure the handle is sturdy.

39. Ensure your metal detector is waterproof before taking it outside on a rainy day or into the water.

Metal Detecting Tips for Water

Metal detectors can protect themselves from water. But if it’s not water-resistant, the metal detector will not work. It is important to check before you put your machine in the water. If it rains and you don’t have a waterproof one, your metal detector could break.

I’m Constantly Being Asked What Equipment I Employ. I’ve Suggested the Same Good Metal Detecting Gear for Years to Others.

  • The Garrett Ace 250 was my first metal detector. It’s still going strong after six years. It’s something I keep on hand for treasure hunts with my buddies.
  • I am using a metal detector called the Garrett AT Pro. They have come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. It is hard to get tangled up in wires when you are on your knees, digging in the dirt. You can find the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and PinPointer at Amazon for great prices.
  • To dig with, you need a trowel and sand scoop. I recommend
  • The Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool and the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle.
  • A pinpointer helps you find small things. It points to them. Although I have an older Garrett Pro, the new one is waterproof and has a headphone jack.

40. When beach metal detecting, pay attention to changes in the water level.

When your metal detects on a beach, water level changes can affect where the metal is. When the tide goes up, it brings things to the top of the beach. But if there has been heavy rain, these things will have sunk below high tide.

41. Another thing to look for is rock piles.

It is not good to drop metal objects in a pile of rocks because someone could not find them. It’s worth mentioning that this is bad for the person who dropped the metal object, but you might find something valuable if you go looking.

Frequently Asked Questions About 41 Metal Detecting Tips and Tricks

When it comes to metal detecting coins, where is the finest location to go?

On the other hand, the ideal sites to find old coins with a metal detector, maybe any of the following: Parks and Picnic Areas A park or a historically significant picnic location, perhaps an excellent place to begin your search. Houses. Churches. School Grounds. Beaches or Waterways. Sidewalks. Places You Wouldn’t Suspect

In a metal detector, what should a beginner look for?

Detection Mode Features To Look For In A Metal Detector Many metal detectors on the market today come with pre-programmed detection settings for various types of objects. Discrimination. Sensitivity. Coil Size. Ground Balance. Operating Frequency. Target ID.

Can I metal detect in the park?

Beaches are generally considered to be a safe site for metal detection. Nonetheless, you may be barred from some areas of the beach or from entering the water according to laws. In parks that allow metal detecting with or without a license, metal detectorists are expected to follow local rules and follow a code of ethics.

Where are you not allowed to metal detect?

Metal detectors are prohibited in all federal and national parks in the United States. Furthermore, you are not permitted to use a metal detector on the grounds of any monuments or historical places.

What is the most expensive item ever found with a metal detector?

The most valuable item discovered with a metal detector is a gold nugget known as The Hand of Faith. Kevin Hillier discovered it while on a fun metal detecting expedition in Kingower, Australia.

Where can you metal detect without permission, UK?

By the way, the UK doesn’t need a license to use a metal detector, but there are laws about their use. It is prohibited to run a metal detector on private property without the owner’s authorization. It is also prohibited on a designated ancient monument or in an archaeologically significant region.

How deep can metal detectors detect?

Most metal detectors can detect 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) deep items. A mid-range metal detector can reach depths of 12-18 (30-45 cm) underground under optimum conditions. Certain advanced detectors can penetrate to a depth of 65 feet (20 m).

What metals Cannot be detected by a metal detector?

Metal detectors have difficulty identifying metals with low electrical conductivity, such as stainless steel. Because stainless steel has a limited magnetic permeability, it does not emit a strong enough signal to be detected. Gemstones are another thing that metal detectors will not be able to locate.

Can you find gold with a metal detector?

You can locate gold with a metal detector, but finding little nuggets will be difficult if you don’t have one. Gold is not detected in the same way that other metals are. It works by inducing a pulse in the detectors; however, metal detectors operate at a different frequency.

Can I metal detect at the beach?

You can metal detect both in the water and on land, depending on the metal detector you have. You’ll have a better chance of finding valuable goods on the beach if you use specific detecting techniques. For beach metal detecting, some metal detectors are superior to others.

Can you metal detect in Woods?

You must obtain permission from the landowner before using a metal detector. You always need the landowner’s permission to detect an area of land and keep anything you find on their land.

Can your metal detect churches?

Churches: Usually Older is Better. Some churches will let you metal detect on their property if you acquire permission ahead of time, depending on who owns them and what kind of church they are.

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