A Complete Metal Detecting Guide For Beginners


For a lot of you out there, the term metal detecting’ sends images of an old guy or a group of crazy looking people using weird looking tools along the shorelines, vacant properties, bushes and forests in search of valuable buried materials. But did you know that metal detecting could turn into an addictive hobby and surprisingly offer much more than you would expect?

Metal detectors have become increasingly popular across the globe, but what is so exciting about it? In this guide, we will look at some interesting facts about metal detectors, how to use this amazing outdoor tool, how to carry and clean your finds and how to have the most fun with metal detecting.

Why Detect Metal?

There are different reasons different people have to go metal detecting. Some people may have love of history. They enjoy the thrill of getting hold of something that had been buried since ages.

Some people love collecting coins and metal detecting gives them the chance to collect wheat pennies, silver coins and even older colonial coins that don’t exist anymore.

Another reason is that metal detecting offers a great way to exercise. You can get to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors being active and sweating.

Last, but not the least, you can gain financially by selling your finds. It’s worth a mention that you may even end up digging silver and gold jewelry or perhaps a gold nugget someday.

How to Get Started?

Getting started with this amazing hobby doesn’t have to be daunting. But first of all, you must understand the type of equipment you will need.

Today, there are various types of metal detectors available. If you are a beginner, budget may be a concern for you and this is the reason you should consider getting yourself a basic metal detector which is also known as an entry level metal detector.

Other than the main tool itself, you will need other equipment as well. These can include carry bags, probes, towels, gloves, pouches, diggers, scoops and so on. The list is actually endless and what you get for yourself when you get started once again depends on your budget.

For an experienced metal detecting enthusiast, all this equipment is useful, but for a beginner, only the detector is all you need to get started. You can consider adding to your list of essential items as you become more skilled and experienced.

What Are the Common Places to Detect Metal?

For a beginner, some of the best places for metal detection are:

  • Public parks
  • Beaches
  • Public schools
  • Woods

It is important to do your research before you actually locate a specific source for metal detecting. Although your aim may be to enjoy yourself and have fun, it doesn’t hurt to conduct a bit of research and uncover better finds.

You must also make sure that you have permission to visit the specific area and dig it up should you detect any metal. Whether you take up metal detecting as a hobby or income source, you should avoid hunting areas where you do not have permission as doing so can land you into trouble with the law.

If you decide to hunt on a public land, you must seek permission from the local government first. The same thing also applies to public schools. When it comes to the woods, you must watch out for signs and prevent yourself from stepping foot into somebody’s private land.

Carrying and Cleaning Your Finds

You will at least need a pouch to carry your findings. A belt pouch can be the best accessory you can buy to keep your findings safe during your hunt.

While it is rare, but there is also chance that you could dig up a valuable piece of jewelry, a diamond or an ancient dollar bill. To prevent these delicate items from getting damaged with the rest of your findings, you may also want to carry a small plastic bag that is stuffed with cotton balls.

Sometimes, beginner metal detector enthusiasts ruin the value of their findings by cleaning them. This mostly happens when they find coins. Cleaned coins are usually considered as damaged coins and if you plan to sell them, you may not fetch a good amount for them.

So, the best thing you can do to clean the coins is to lightly brush them using a soft bristled toothbrush. Whether you have identified the finding or not, you must avoid using harsh chemicals during the cleaning process.

Metal Detector Tips for Beginners

  • Start with your compound or backyard and learn how to use your new metal detector before you visit unknown places. Getting started in your area will boost your confidence and will also help you become familiar with the settings of the tool.
  • Don't be disappointed if you find a lot of trash along the way. No matter how skilled or experienced you are, you will find more junk than treasure.
  • You must be persistent with your search. The more you hunt, the more you will find.
  • Historic places are the best for relic hunting. So, before you get started, visit the city hall or the library to learn more about the historic places in your area.
  • When hunting in public places, avoid visiting at times when the traffic is dense.
  • Treasure hunting is more efficient when carried out after rain. Wet ground improves conductivity and metal detection.
  • Try new hunting spots and avoid going back to the same place you went yesterday or a week before.
  • If you dig up a hole, make sure you cover it up before you leave the spot.
  • To enhance your experience, you must wear specific metal detector headphones because they help block external noises and allows you to focus on the beeps only.

Final Words

A metal detector can be one of your best investments because it can help you find hidden treasures. But, it is also important that you learn how to use it properly, where to use it and how you can get the most out of your metal hunting journey. As an enthusiast, you must invest in a quality metal detector and a brand that you can trust.

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