Guide to Beginner’s Metal Detecting: All You Need to Know

Metal detecting is an activity for both the children and the grownups. It is a fun exercise that allows you to find treasures hidden in the soil while you work out.

However, if you are a newbie metal detectorist, you might not have an idea of how to go about it. Where do you start with metal detecting?

Follow these simple steps to the letter, and you might tun a professional soon:

Beginner’s Metal Detecting

1. Know Your Metal Detector

You have a new beginner metal detector, and everything seems complicated. It is time to learn about its feature and settings.

That can make you comfortable with the new machine, giving you more time to find treasures and increasing your chances of detecting them. Start by reading the user’s instruction guide.

Read through all the settings on the detector to understand how every part works.

Important Tip: You can also go online and find YouTube videos about metal detectors’ features and settings.  

Important Things to Learn

  • Detection mode: Most beginners detectors come with preset modes that help to find sure treasures. They include relics, jewelry, coins, and all-metal modes.
  • Discrimination: It helps you to ignore trash objects when hunting for precious metals. 
  • Ground balance: The ground contains a lot of minerals that can trigger a signal if you do not set the ground balance.
  • Sensitivity: Sensitivity helps the metal detector to find deeply hidden treasures. You need to know the ideal sensitivity for your regions.

Important Tip: Test your metal detector when you set the above variables before you head to the real hunting grounds. You can bury different types of metal at various depths right at home, and then find them using your new machine.

2. Prepare Your Hunting Kit

You cannot go metal hunting without a metal detector, but there are other things you require to have a successful day. It is vital to have these accessories:

  • Durable gloves: Metal detecting involves digging out sand, dirt, metal, and other things. You can keep your hands safe by wearing durable gloves.
  • Headphones: All headphones with variable volume control can do the job. You should consider getting waterproof headphones if you intend to hunt underwater.
  • Digging Tools: The right digging tools make the job easier and reduce damage to the ground. You might need a sand scoop, lesche digger, or a trowel.
  • Coil covers: They can prevent scratches and dents to the coils, which can reduce their effectiveness.

Important Tips: You can buy some of these tools if you do not have them. It would make sense to spend more to get a quality accessory. Also, know which tools are necessary and which ones you can do without for now.

3. Pick Your Hunting Area

The perfect place to begin your metal hunting adventure should have lots of foot traffic—a place where treasures get lost all the time.

You can try different places like woodland, private land, public parks, public schools, beaches, churchyards, vehicle parks, campsites, and surrounding land resorts.

Important Tip: It is critical to ensure that you get permission to access some of these hunting grounds. You can be banned from these areas or get fined for trespassing. 

How to Seek Permission

For government properties: like public schools and parts, seek written permission from your local government. It is illegal to look for treasures in most federal parks; you should avoid them.

For private land: like secluded beaches, talk to the owner to get permission. You need to know the boundaries of that land to ensure that you do not enter the next property.  

For public beaches: you can hunt without any problem. Make sure you avoid state or federal owned beaches. 

4. Start Detecting the Right Way

You have your metal detector, you know how to use it, you have all the accessories, and you have your hunting ground. The next thing is to do the actual metal detecting.

Learn the Ideal Swing

It would help if you learned the perfect swing while on the ground. You can follow these few tips:

  • Start with the search head slightly above the surface. Make sure that it is low enough to catch the signals but does not touch the soil.
  • Ensure that your detector is about 2-foot ahead.
  • Sweep your machine in a semi-circular way when moving forward – about one foot on both sides and ensure that you move slowly.
  • Walk in a straight line to have an idea of where you have passed before.

Important Tip: The key is to swing “slow and low,” and it can take time to master the art of metal detecting. 

Digging the Treasures Up

One vital area of metal detecting is the actual digging out of the treasure. It would help if you did not destroy the ground when removing the target.

You can do the following things:

  • Locate your target and cut three sides around the treasure up to 3-inch deep.
  • Flip the plug (cut) upside-down using your digger – the uncut section should be the hinge.
  • Recover the treasure
  • Return the cut into the while and step on it slightly

Important Tip: You might need to dig deeper if you do not find the treasure when you remove the cut.

Continue with Your Systematic Search

You can now move forward with your search. Step about 2-foot to the side when you reach the end and start hunting as you move toward the starting point.

Final Tips for Beginner Metal Detectorists

You can have a more successful day if:

  • Look for all maps: They contain all the places you can find hidden and forgotten treasure. It is a great way to start metal detecting, especially for kids.
  • Do not clean the treasures: Place them inside your bag as you found them. Also, please do not use chemicals to clean them; instead, go home and use a brush to wipe the dirt.
  • Be persistent: You might find lots of cans, iron, and other trash when starting. Eventually, you will learn how to find the good stuff.

Final Word

We hope you can now start your metal detecting adventure and turn into a professional.