8 Tips to Using Your Metal Detector Correctly


Whether searching for coins, gold, or any treasure finds in a field or on the beach, a metal detector can be a life-changing investment. There are numerous expensive models in the market, but unless you know how to use it properly, you won't get the expected results. Even though a metal detector might seem easy to use, it's critical that you learn all about the machine and how to best use it for great results. It doesn't matter how complicated or simple your metal detector is or how much you paid for it, you are going to have to learn how to use it. At the very least, you will need to read the user manual.

There are different alerts sounds, setting and care tips you will need to master before heading outdoors to search for treasure and artifacts. Why do people go metal detecting? So, what is so exciting about metal detecting? People have different reasons to go metal detecting. Some of them do it for the love of history and the excitement that comes with holding an item that hasn't seen the light of day for ages. Some are avid coin collectors while others just love being active and outdoors.

And of course, there is there is the financial gain that comes from selling the finds. Contrary to what a lot of people think, not all people who metal detect are not in for the money, and a majority of them are neither history enthusiast nor pawn shop frequenters. Metal detecting can be extremely addictive, especially if you consistently land on relics and artifacts that are hundreds of years old. Before you get overexcited, let's get straight into tips on how to correctly use a metal detector.

1. If it's your first time

Ask for Assistance the First Time If it's your first time to use a metal detector, it's important to request the person you bought it from for assistance or read the manual thoroughly. Metal detectors produce different alert sounds when they find different types of metal, and this can be quite confusing to an untrained ear. You can also check for metal detecting clubs online in your area and seek more advice from veteran detectors.

2. Practice

Practice indeed makes perfect. You need to practice with a number of items until you become familiar with various sounds that the device makes. For instance, you can practice by running your device on a pull tab, pop can, a coin, a gold object and a nail to differentiate the various sounds that your device makes for various items. This practice will save you time when looking for specific items as you will avoid wasting time digging for unwanted objects. Move the detector slowly over the area that you need to search and keep track of the areas that you've already searched. Start with a small area at a time.

3. Search in a Pattern

When hunting, be sure to follow a specific pattern so that you can make the most out of your hunting time. Most detectorists follow a grid pattern when searching, however, you can choose to use any pattern as long as it enables you to cover all the grounds in the fastest and most efficient way possible. For instance, you can start by searching the border area first, all the way around, followed by a left to right search.

4. Pinpoint your object

You need to learn to really narrow down to where the treasured artifact is before you begin to dig. Failing to pinpoint exactly where the object is can make you dig a whole lot longer. To narrow down to your object, you need to move your detector around front-to-back and side-to-side until you locate precisely where the artifact is. A digital detector can make pinpointing the object much faster and easier. Use a plastic trowel to dig up a small area of dirt. Put the dirt into a bucket and scan the area again. Be sure you have gotten the artifact out of the ground and located it before discarding the dirt in the bucket. And if you detect anything that is not worth your search, don't throw it back into the ground.

5. Don't Clean the Artifacts

One of the very first responses when a new metal detector user finds an artifact is to clean it and find out what it is. As tempting as it might be, don't clean it as doing so can lower its value. Just use a soft brush to remove the residue and dirt, rinse it lightly with clean water and blot it dry. If you're in doubt, just keep the item until you can get professional identification help or do some research on it.

6. Use the All Metal Setting

If you are a beginner, it's advisable to use the all metal setting on your device. This setting will help you find more valuable items. Ordinarily, you can set your detector not to beep when it comes across items like nails or pop cans, but if a gold ring is buried near nails or a piece of foil, for instance, you may miss out on the gold as well.

7. Look out for Salt Interference

Salt can interior with signals of your metal detector. As a result, you need to be aware of salt rocks and deposits at gulf beaches and oceans. You may need to adjust down the sensitivity of your device for better stability. This might cut down the depth of the search a little, but that is a small price to pay to avoid salt interference.

8. Wear Headphones

There is a special kind of metal detector headphones that might enhance your alert sound identification when hunting for treasure. This headphone blocks out other interference sounds such as conversations, wind, and radios, and allows you to only focus on the alert bleeps. They will also prevent you from interfering with other people around, and attract interruptions from curious kids and nosy strangers. 


Many people today buy metal detectors so that they can find treasure and make money out of it. However, for you to really make any meaningful outcome out of this venture, you need to learn how to correctly use your device. Take some time to read the user manual provided, but if you don't have one or just need a quick guide, the above 10 tips should make your hunting experience fruitful, fun and exciting.

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