METAL DETECTING FOR BEGINNERS: 10 TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW
If you're new to this fun and potentially lucrative hobby, here's a list of things you should know before getting started in metal detecting.
Are you determined to find valuable treasure with your new metal detector? Or maybe you’re an excited beginner, but uncertain of how to start this great hobby.
Then check out these tips and save yourself a lot of trouble! Who knows, you may just be lucky and hit a great find.
1. Expect more trash than treasure
Many people buy a metal detector expecting to find great things in their first swings.That couldn’t be furthest from the truth. 95% of what you’ll find is going to be junk.
That gold ring is going to take a while!
You need to be very patient, but it will eventually come. The more you use your equipment, the more you’ll get used to it and learn how to differentiate a treasure from a false alarm.
2. More is better
The more metal you detect, the more you will find! If you do 4h to 5h hours, you will have 4 to 5 more chances to score your treasure.
It’s hard to come up with that kind of time to keep searching and keep digging... but it’s worth it. It’s hard work, it’s thirsty work. You just got to persevere.
3. Dig everything
Don’t let anything pass. When you’re not acquainted with your equipment, you won’t be able to know by the sound if it’s going to be iron, a nail, a coin…
So dig it up, get used to it and start differentiating. Getting to know the sounds it’s part of the process. The only way to master it is by digging everything to make sure you know it’s deep, it’s shallow or it’s a big or small amount.
4. Start in your own backyard
The first time you’re metal detecting in public, you’ll feel like everybody is watching. It’s uncomfortable.
You’re not going to ‘dig it’.
But if you’re in your back garden, you can play with your machine, play with the settings and get used to your device away from pesky, judgemental eyes.
5. Detect after rain
Hunt after rain! When everything is wet, all the water soaks into the ground and helps your metal detector.
If it’s sunny, it’s hard to dig and you can detect only a couple of inches. If it’s rainy, the ground is softer and you can detect two times further down, and it will be easier to dig and get deeper.
The conductivity of the machine is much better after rain.
6. Be respectful
First rule: cover up your holes! Don’t leave your holes there, someone can get injured! It’s not rocket science. Someone can trip and break a leg, so before you go, pat it down and make it look like you were not even there.
Second rule to being respectful is to wear headphones. People don’t want to hear you bleeping. If you don’t have a simple headphone, use the volume as low as possible. Don’t ruin everybody else’s day.
Some people are out for the peace and quiet.
And the last rule for being respectful is to pick up your trash! If you find something useless, take it with you and dispose of it properly.
7. Slow down!
No need to rush. People think if they go faster, they can cover more ground. But most machines can’t cope with being swung at a fast speed.
If you do have a machine that can cope with that, take your chances. However, 90% of the brands can’t. And even if your machine is good, would you forgive yourself if you rushed through a $1,000 dollars coin and missed it?
The only way to be sure is by taking your time.
8. Swing correctly
If you raise your metal detector too much on the edges, you’ll only cover the central points.
It can’t be like a pendulum, going up and back. You want to keep it always as near as possible to the ground (without forcing your back).
You must keep the coil always parallel to the floor! And you shouldn’t walk normally. You must follow your detecting machine, with a zigzag like pattern with your legs.
If you want to be a good metal detector, keep your coil parallel to the ground at all times.
9. Recheck your holes
If you find something good in a hole, make sure you sweep over it again.
The first thing you’ve got to do before you fill it in again, remember to use your pinpointer and check if there are any valuables left.
You’ll be surprised how many times you can find extra treasure next to a hole you’ve already scored something good from.
There are a lot of chances the goods were scattered. It happens very often, and you can picture a bag of coins falling and a couple rolls a little further than the others.
After covering the hole, use your metal detector all around! There’s a great chance you’ll find more.
Check the entire area and you might get double the luck!
10. Get comfortable headphones
Imagine spending 5hrs with bad headphones. You do not want big, uncomfortable headphones on a hot summer day.
Many people wear their headphones with the upper part behind their necks, to make sure they don’t mess with their hair. That’s ok, whatever works for you.
You just need to be comfortable!