Tips on Metal Detecting

Tips on Metal Detecting

Metal detection has been practiced for years. Recently, it has gained attention and importance because of technological advancements. It has become simpler and more efficient. Some people do it as their passion, while others engage in it as a fun activity to explore.

Metal detection cannot be learned in just one or two days of practice. It requires continuous practice to become an expert.

In this section, we will discuss some tips on metal detecting that can be helpful for beginners and professionals. We will also discuss techniques that can be useful in various other ways.

Metal Detecting and Beginners

Beginners are individuals who are:

  • New to the hobby
  • Have a limited budget to invest
  • Do not have much experience with the device

Now, let’s discuss these points in detail:

New to the Hobby

This category includes people who have recently adopted this hobby. They are individuals who haven’t invested much time in it but are performing research to learn more about it.

Limited Budget to Invest

This category includes people who want to explore this hobby but have a limited budget. At first, they will use a basic device because of their limited budget. The device won’t have advanced features or many possibilities.

Not Much Experience with the Device

This category includes people who may have a high-quality metal-detecting device but have not used it extensively. As a result, they may not be fully familiar with all the functions of their device.

Metal Detecting Tips for Beginners

Remove Metallic Objects

First and foremost, remove all the metallic objects you are wearing or carrying. Before you start searching with a metal detector, take off your rings, jewelry, watches, chains, and phones. In short, ensure that you are metal-free.

Maintain Distance of the Coil

When swinging the detector, keep its coil 2 to 3 inches above the ground. To keep your metal detector working well, protect the coil from rocks and dirt that can scratch it.

Learn How to test a metal detector coil to know its capabilities. 

Hold Detector on an Angle

Hold the detector at an angle that prevents it from detecting its control unit. When the detector passes signals underground, it can also detect its control unit if not held at the right angle. Visualize holding the detector at a 45-degree angle to avoid detecting the control unit.

Keep Additional Batteries

If you are going on an adventure to an area without power or electricity, it’s crucial to carry spare batteries. This ensures you can continue using your metal detector even if you cannot recharge its battery.

Perform Ground Balance

Ground balance is a process that makes your detector familiar with the ground you are detecting. Swing the coil of your detector 2 to 3 times on the ground to achieve ground balance.

It is recommended to perform ground balance at different spots to get an average value and optimize the performance of your device.

Learn in-depth about What is ground balance on a metal detector and how to set it properly.

Use Headphones

Using headphones allows you to listen to each sound produced by the detector clearly. This includes low beeps that may not be easily audible without headphones.

Headphones are also helpful in keeping your equipment use discreet in public areas.

Search When Traffic is Low

If you are detecting in a public place, try to search when the traffic is low to avoid distractions from curious onlookers and their questions. This allows you to focus on listening for important signals.

Keep the Environment Clean

Take good care of the environment while metal detecting. If you dig holes in search of treasures, remember to fill them back in afterward.

Factors to Become an Expert

Manufacturers are the ones who produce metal detection devices. When it comes to becoming an expert in metal detecting, they recommend the following:

Understand Your Device

Study the user manual thoroughly to have a complete understanding of your device’s functions. Test all the functions practically, both through air and rock tests and by digging holes in the ground.

Your Device Understands Your Ground

Your device is not aware of the surface characteristics of the ground. It may take some time for your device to understand and adjust to different terrains, whether mountainous, desert, or plain areas.

Certain soils may be highly mineralized, resulting in noisier detections initially. Spend about 90 hours in the field to help your device learn about soil and work better.

Some Useful Metal Detecting Tricks

Use “All Metal” Mode

Enable the “All Metal” mode to detect all metals. This reduces the chances of missing important metals. In areas with lots of trash, you can disable iron metal detection.

Listen to the Tones Carefully

By listening to the sounds the detector makes, you can tell the difference between metals. You will learn which tones indicate the need to dig and which do not. This saves time by avoiding unnecessary digging.

Ignore False Tones

If a sound is produced by the detector but the control unit does not display any target identification number, it is likely a false tone. Ignore such tones to focus on genuine signals.

Learn about Metal detectors false tone settings to avoid them.

Metal Detecting Techniques

Check Weather Conditions

It is sometimes said that detection results are better after rainfall. If you plan to go on a metal-detecting adventure, consider doing a little research on the weather conditions beforehand.

Don’t be Shy to Check Again

Do not hesitate to check a specific area multiple times, even if you have already scanned it. Using various settings and scanning methods can help us find new targets and solve depth/performance problems.

Digging Equipment and Tools

Before embarking on a metal detecting adventure, ensure you have all the necessary digging equipment and tools. This will allow you to dig the ground when you detect something of interest.

Collect and Secure Detected Items

Carry storage bags or bottles with you to collect and secure the items you detect for later examination and safekeeping.

Metal Detector Advice for Beginners

Use the “All metal” mode to gain experience in detecting different metals.

Avoid purchasing expensive devices initially and maintain realistic expectations.

Research the area and check the local laws regarding metal detection.


If you are new to this hobby and wondering how to get started with metal detecting, tips on metal detecting will be very useful for you. To become an expert in metal detecting, practice more and gain experience with your device.

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