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how to use a metal detector

How to Use a Metal Detector

How to Use a Metal Detector?

Just as you are learning how to use your new metal detector you quickly realize that there must be some rules about where you can and cannot use your metal detector. These rules and a whole lot more will be discussed in this article to help you learn how to use your metal detector.

Understand Your Equipment

Metal detectors have a discriminate mode and an all metal mode. When using the discriminate mode, junk targets will be removed. The all metal mode is used to pinpoint the exact location of your targets. More advanced metal detectors include a notch filter discriminator to selectively choose which targets to filter out.

More basic metal detectors include a simple discrimination mode that will just filter out a broad range of targets. Preset search modes at low frequencies will penetrate the ground deeper for relics and low conductivity targets like iron.

Higher frequency modes will not go as deep but are best for finding high conductivity targets like silver and copper. The all metal mode is also commonly referred to as a non-discriminate mode.

Ground Balance

Most mid and upper level hand-held metal detectors include a ground balance feature. In areas with mineralized soil, it is important to ground balance before metal detecting. A properly ground balanced metal detector will be able to filter out ground minerals so that your handheld metal detector does not give false signals. The ground balance procedure can be automatic or manual depending on the brand and model you own. Salt water beaches, areas with very mineralized soil, and gold-bearing areas require ground balancing. This will reduce false ground signals from ruining your day. Proper balance will help you avoid ground mineralization interference.

Sensitivity Setting

Once you have set up your detector’s sensitivity adjustment, you can begin metal detecting. When you increase the sensitivity adjustment, the metal detector will become more sensitive to smaller targets.

You will also be able to locate deeper targets. If you decrease your sensitivity, you will not be able to locate targets as deeply or as small. If your sensitivity is too high, you will pick up interference from other metal detectors operating at the same frequency or devices in close proximity.

Other devices such as radio towers, electrical lines, dog fences, etc. may also cause issues. With your sensitivity properly set, you will be able to find the valuable targets you are searching for even if they produce weak signals.

Learn the Metal Detector Sweep Technique

Practice sweeping your metal detectors search coil over an area where there is no object that should be detected. Once you have identified a clean or metal free area, you are ready to get started. You can now ground balance your detector in this area.

Using a correct swing technique will help you find more desirable metals no matter your location. Whether you are hunting a wide open field, flat ground or a baseball field, proper swing is important.

First practice sweeping from left-to-right, right-to-left, back-and-forth, forward-and-backward, and in circular motions.  Each of these techniques will be important in your searches as you begin finding targets and pinpointing them.

Detecting Coins

As you are searching for coins, keep your coil on the ground and sweep slowly from left to right. Be sure that you are not lifting your coil off the ground at the end of each sweep. If you find yourself doing this you are trying to cover to much ground. Pick a narrow path and stay focused. Once you have located your coin, hit the pinpoint button. Now be sure to make an x with your search coil and criss-cross the target and listen for the loudest signal. That is the center of your target.

Detecting Jewelry

Similar to searching for coins, when searching for Jewelry you will want to follow a methodical path. Be careful when digging for jewelry as you will not want to damage it. Gold and precious metal finds can be elusive. You may need to scrub your coil close to the ground as you are sweeping. Many times you might hear a very faint sound. Keep after it if it is a repeatable sound as you sweep from side to side.

Detecting Relics

As you are sweeping your search coil in pursuit of historical relics, you will notice some louder broader signals. It is not uncommon to start digging and to find the target suddenly disappear. If the target is made of iron, it may have corroded to the point that it falls apart as you begin to disturb the ground. Finding just one or two good relics like Civil War buckles, buttons, breast plates and mini balls will make the effort all worthwhile.

Detecting Treasures

A large hidden treasure can be made of gold, silver and other types of metal objects including precious metals buried in a vessel. For example some common types of containers that a treasure would be buried in include a treasure chest, can or a jar filled with coins. Deep treasure detectors can locate any type of metallic object and will each have unique sweep patterns and speeds. In general you will want to follow the directions that came with your device.

Identify Potential Locations

Look at maps and aerial photos to identify areas where people have been digging holes to find the best locations for metal detecting. Check for signs of recent activity such as disturbed soil, broken branches, footprints, tire tracks, etc. Search for old wells, abandoned mines, quarries, etc. Top sites might include beaches, parks, old schools, fair grounds and more.

1. Amusement Parks

Parks have typically been used for years, decades, and even centuries by people in local towns and cities. The amount of foot traffic that has gone through many parks means there are likely trinkets to be found that have been dropped over the years.

2. Local Schools

Similar to parks, schools have often been used for years and the grounds around them could be littered with all manner of treasure. Coins, jewelry, and other metal items are likely to have been lost making schools a great location for metal detecting near me.

3. Old houses

A wealth of treasure possibilities can be found around old houses. Depending on when the property was built, the former owners may have dropped or buried items including coins and jewelry around the property. The old floor boards, foundations and porch are ideal spots to check.  Be sure to thoroughly search walk ways and drive way.

4. Local Public beaches and swimming spots

Beaches are always ideal locations to go hunting. They are frequented often by people and despite being searched regularly, can turn up new findings.

5. Churches

You may need permission to search churches and dig around them. Once permission is granted, a buried treasure trove of items could be found, including old coins. Money was used by visitors as donations to the church. You may find a few stray coins around the church.

Research Local Laws & Regulations

As you are metal detecting in various areas, you will want to be sure to identify the local and national laws. In our guide to beach metal detecting tips we noted “This is a great question and will vary from state to state. In the United States, some state laws prohibit detection in certain public areas.

Some laws prohibit hunting in national seashore areas. Some laws vary from town to town depending on local ordinances. To avoid problems, you should always speak to your local authorities or metal detecting clubs before embarking on your beach hunt. Pay attention to local postings and signage as well. You will always need to ask permission when hunting on private property.

Beaches in certain areas have additional regulations.” As we noted in our tips for metal detecting in your neighborhood “Each time you go on a hunt, make a record of the coins you’ve found and their date. Circle the sites with coins dating earlier than 1965 and you’ll have a record of your best digging sites.”

We encourage responsible conduct and strict adherence to all local, state, and federal regulations, as well as unconditional respect for the rights and property of others, and for those we all share. Although these values and standards aren’t explicitly stated in each article you read on our site, they are fundamental to our philosophy, efforts, and goals.

Get Permission and Be Prepared!

When you are metal detecting on private property, be sure that you get permission from the land owner. It is as simple as researching the owner of the land and asking for permission. In many cases, land owners may be excited to see what you find and find value in unearthing the artifacts for future generations to enjoy.

Make sure you know all the details before going out into the field. Make sure you understand the legalities involved. Know who owns the property you plan to search. Be aware of any special considerations. Have everything ready so you don’t waste time searching for things you already found.

If you do find something valuable, do your best to track down the original owner. Many times, some simple steps like checking year books for inscribed items, checking local lost and founds and posting an ad online will help you reunite the item with the owner. The joy and happiness shared by the owner will many times outweigh any financial gain you might forgo by returning the item.

Leave No Trace & Clean Up After Yourself

Be sure to leave the area better than you found it. Make sure your holes are covered and filled in. Many detectorists will take extra time and care to refill their plugs knowing that their good behavior will keep great hunting sites open for future detector visits.

If you dig up anything, clean it off quickly to identify the target. Don’t throw away items unless they are obviously trash. Take pictures if necessary. If you do find trash, be sure to discard it properly. Do not toss it back in the hole as that will be frustrating for other detectorists who may frequent the site in the future.

What did we learn today? As we can see, using a metal detector is not just about setting your controls and adjustments. The true spirit of using a metal detector properly involves being a good ambassador for the the metal detecting community.

So you ask, how will this affect our future searches? As you turn on your detector at each new location, remember the learning lessons of proper settings, sweep technique and the rules and ethics of metal detecting. Metal Detectors are an essential tool for anyone who loves treasure hunting.

Be Patient While Detecting

If you are looking for gold,  silver or other precious metals or relics then you should be patient while metal detecting. It takes time to find these metals. You can also get lucky and find them without any effort at all. But if you want to make sure that you have found the right spot, then you should be careful and patient.

As you begin your search, you will see that there is a lot of digging involved. You may hunt for hours locating only junk targets and modern coins. All it takes is one swing of the detector to locate a valuable items. At the end of the day, stay focused and be patient.

The rewards of your hard work will come in time, maybe not on this trip but with persistence. Remember, the more junk targets you dig the better your chances of finding that one valuable keeper that you will have for years to come.

Find Buried Utilities Safely with a Metal Detector.

To prevent damage to underground utilities during construction, utility locating involves locating underground utilities (electricity, gas, telephone, cable television, fiber optic, etc.). find a licensed and trained professional for Locating Buried Utilities with a Metal Detector.

If you are looking for buried utilities such as water lines or gas pipes, you can use an industrial metal detector to locate them. A metal detector works by detecting the presence of ferrous metals like iron and steel. These metals are common in underground infrastructure, so they can be detected by the device.

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