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The secrets of metal detection

The secrets of metal detection 2022

The secrets of metal detection 2021

There are many things and tricks that every prospector should know and look for, because this will greatly facilitate the metal detection process. In this article, we review some of the most important secrets that every mineral explorer and prospector must follow. 


1- Join the “Metal Detecting Club” 

Finding other people who enjoy mineral exploration is a very important plus. This is why joining the metal detector club is number one on the list of metal detection secrets. Not only will it allow you to make new friends, but it is also the fastest way to learn things about metal detection that could take years to learn on your own. It will also drive your passion for discovery. 


2 – Bigger detector doesn’t mean better 

It is understandable to think that something is better because it is bigger. However, this is not always true with metal detectors. You will likely see other detectors with huge detectors with all the bells and whistles or heavy digging tools. Don’t let that discourage you from using a smaller, lightweight detector. Metal detection requires you to go out and chase a lot of locations. When you have a heavy metal detector or a large shovel, you will tire faster and your hunts will decrease. 


3 – Always keep extra batteries on hand 

You may have heard of this tip before, but it’s worth listening again. Always keep spare batteries with you on every metal detector trip. If you haven’t run out of batteries on a fishing trip yet, you will. Be prepared so you never have to cut the fishing.


4 – You need a Pinpointer 

You can find all kinds of metal detector equipment and accessories out there, many of which are not necessary to have successful hunts, and are simply a matter of personal preference. Strictly defined is not one of those things. Whether you are looking for gold or coins and jewelry, you need to have an accurate pointer in your metal detector tool belt. It will save you a lot of time finding goals, reduce frustration, and make filling in the gaps much faster. Check out the Garrett Pro-Pointer or Minelab Pro-Find 35. 


5 – Every chase is different

 Just as the locations you discover are different, so will your fishing trips. You may have trips where you don’t find great targets after spending hours searching, while you have other trips where you have a Midas touch. Don’t let fruitless hunts discourage you – your best finds may be just around the corner. 


6 – Locations are never searched 

Don’t allow the fact that other detectors have already searched a site to prevent you from looking at yourself. If you’ve searched the same site twice and found something the second time around, you know that detectors sometimes miss targets. They also sometimes choose not to dig up certain targets because they think it’s an unimportant signal. You may just find what they missed 


7 – Always check your hole 

When you dig a target, you should use the fine detector or pointer to check the hole twice. Never assume you’ve found everything you find in a hole. Sometimes, especially with coins, if you find one, there is more to it. 


8- practice and patience 

The best kind of practice is to go out and do it. There will be a lot of trial and error, but it’s the best way to gain experience. But, it is also highly recommended that you read your manual! Learn about your detector and how it works, what its limitations are, and how you can maximize its potential to improve your success rate. Watch how-to videos online and join an online or local metal detector club/community to turn these clumsy practices into elaborate techniques. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with practice, it will happen. 


9- Use small search coils for neglected sites 

Perhaps the most annoying consequence of hunting in neglected sites is the unknown. Garbage targets can mask signals from good ones. A small search coil of 6 inches or less with a DD shape will provide better target separation, increased detection of small objects, and improved maneuverability. 


10- Use large search coils for greater depth 

Larger search coils mean greater and wider depth and coverage. Advantages include fewer scans, more large object detection, and a larger scanning area. 


11- Overlap your scans 

It’s tempting to get up and running quickly, especially in a large field or on a beach. However, resist the temptation and work methodically through overlapping your scans so you don’t miss any good targets. Keep the search coil parallel to the ground to achieve maximum depth. 

12- Remove trash find when you come upon them.

You will get that you probably don’t want to carry around a bunch of garbage finds, but the next guy doesn’t want to dig up a ton of garbage either. Especially if the next guy is you. Removing trash when you find it is just good practice when it comes to metal detecting etiquette.

13- Use a hand shovel that has a built-in blade for sawing roots.

Roots are probably the absolute worst part about metal detecting. A hand shovel with a serrated edge is one of the most convenient ways to get through even the thickest roots you might encounter. A flat, knife like, hand shovel is the best in my opinion due to its superior sod cutting abilities.

14- Do research if you are looking for relics.

There is always a chance you can find a relic hidden away in your front yard, but if that doesn’t work out then you might want to do some research to up your chances. The internet, library record, heck even just stories from the locals; anything that points to an area having the kind of relics you are looking for is what you will need to make sure you’re working smarter not harder.

15- Dig slowly and carefully.

The only thing worse than damaging a coin by washing it is to damage one with the blade of your shovel. Digging slowly and carefully doesn’t ensure that you will never damage a find, but in my experience it definitely helps. I’ve had it happen to me, and so has any other detectorist, but it still sucks when you wind up being the reason that an object isn’t worth as much as it could be worth.

16- Carry a jug of fertilizer water if you are digging in grass.

It is a very great idea to carry around a gallon jug of fertilizer water to pour over the area after you was finished digging up the find. It will be kind of a pain at first, but you will realized later it was actually a great idea, so I started doing it whenever you go out to metal detect in a grassy area.

17- Bring a strong screwdriver to use as a pick.

If you either, don’t have a handheld pickaxe or don’t want to carry it around; a large flathead crew driver can be a great tool for breaking up rocks or just hard soil compacts. I personally use one instead of pickaxe because the screwdriver will fit in my back pocket and the pickaxe won’t. Make sure it is both long and thick enough to handle a fair bit of ware and tear though, a sturdy handle doesn’t hurt either.

18- Make sure your metal detector is waterproof before you use it in the rain… or in the water for that matter.

Most midgrade metal detectors come with some sort of water-resistant qualities. However, a lot of cheaper ones and even some expensive ones don’t. Make sure to check if your metal detector is waterproof before sticking it in the water is all I’m saying. I’ve haven’t had it happen to me, but friends of mine tell me they’ve had more than a couple issues with rain getting into the connections in their machines.

19- Consider water level changes when beach metal detecting.

Most notably on beaches affected by the tides, water level changes need to be accounted for while beach metal detecting. Areas near the top of a high tide, or even just a high-water level after a heavy rain, are when the waves will deposit anything floating in the water. That isn’t to say that there is no point in taking stab at the ground below high tide, in fact the heavier the object the further below high tide it will have sunk to the ground.

20- Rock piles are always worth checking out.

This one isn’t always useful, but it’s worth mentioning that a pile of rocks is a terrible place to drop a coin, or even a piece of jewelry. At least it’s terrible for the person who dropped it, for you, it poses an opportunity to find something that someone without a metal detector probably couldn’t.

last thoughts 

Metal detection is a hobby in which there is always something new to learn. We hope the above secrets will help you to have better and more productive fishing trips.


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