Metal detecting is an exciting hobby that can be really productive when fully engaged. However, it can also be hard to learn, especially when there’s no one around to teach you the ropes.
Believe me when I say there’s nothing more frustrating than going out every day in search of gold or some other valuable item, only to end up finding a piece of metal trash. This is why many folks end up withdrawing from the hobby even before they get started.
Therefore, some metal detector tips and tricks for beginner might help! Of course, you will need a lot of practice and commitment, but I can assure you that the time and effort put in will be well worth it in the end.
That said, below are some tips and tricks I found really useful to anyone getting into metal detecting. These will make life easier for you as you start the journey to becoming a real treasure hunter!
14 Metal Detector Tips and Tricks for Beginners for a Perfect Start
Tip #: Tip #1: Get the Right Equipment
When it comes to metal detecting – just like any other hobby, the first step to success is to buy the right equipment.
As a beginner, the last thing you want is a machine that will leave you feeling overwhelmed or confused with features you don’t need. Instead, you want to go for something simple and more targeted towards beginners.
But don’t confuse “simple” with inefficient. Most of the cheapest detectors in the market are no better than toys. So you should pay attention to choosing a model that will actually help you find what you’re looking for.
To find such a device, you need to have a budget. It should also be clear what you’re searching for.
Tip #2: Don’t Ignore the Manual
Don’t be like most people who never open their detector’s instruction manual or watch the CD that is supplied with the machine. If you’ve done that already, then this is a good time to get the book and read it properly.
Believe it or not, there’s no better way to understand a piece of equipment than to consult the user manual or see the instruction video. This is extremely important, especially when dealing with special equipment like a metal detector.
Even though they generally do the same thing – which is to detect metal, each detector has its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to operation. So the easiest route you can take to know about the machine and how to operate it is through the user manual.
By understanding how the detector behaves, such as the features and functions, you will not only have more fun using it but also enjoy more fruitful hunting sessions.
You will also have a good idea of how to troubleshoot the machine so you don’t have to pack it up or seek help every time you have a technical problem.
Tip #3: Record Your Finds
One of the important habits you can form as a beginner is to keep a log of your hunts. This can be really useful when planning for the future as it makes it much easier to identify patterns and rotate your hunting sites accordingly.
So every time you go out there, try to record the place you visited as well as your finds. You can use a book for this purpose, an app or a spreadsheet. In addition to location and finds, you should also record date and time.
Tip #4: Carry Extra Batteries (and Parts)
Metal detecting is not like a football match or basketball game that has a stipulated time. Most of the time, you end up spending a significant amount of time, even if you didn’t plan to do so.
Sometimes you might just spend a few hours searching while at other times you might find yourself hunting throughout the whole day. Whatever the case is, you should always be prepared when your batteries run out. So make sure you don’t leave the house without an extra set of batteries.
The last thing you want is to be forced to end your trip just when things start to get exciting — all because your machine can’t carry on due to low battery.
Other backup gears you might also consider carrying are coil bolts, straps, and headphones. You can never tell when you will desperately need one of these out there.
(You can also check our review on Garrett AT Max, Garrett ACE 400 and Garret 250 Metal Detector.)
Tip #5: Choose a Good Time to Hunt
As a beginner, you might have the nudge to go out and swing your machine all day. This is completely understandable — I have been there before. But by doing this, you won’t be making the best use of your time.
It is better to pick a particular time of the day, preferably when there will be fewer people around. This will help you avoid getting run off by someone or bumping into a large group of people. Ultimately, you want to be able to focus.
Personally, I think the best times are early in the morning and late at night. In fact, I know many detectorists who only hunt at night.
Tip #6: Don’t Leave a Mess Behind
It is very common for new detectorists to the mess they created while digging. Don’t make this mistake as it’s against the code of ethics. In fact, in some places, you might end up getting fined for upsetting the environment.
But it’s not only the local authorities you should be worried about, digging a hole without filling it back or leaving behind the trash you dug up doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
Instead, you want to remove every mess, so there isn’t any trace of your presence. This ensures you (or some other detectorists) don’t have to dig up the trash again whenever you come across the same spot in the future. Also, you would have reduced the number of false signals in the area.
For this reason, you will need to carry a collapsible can or pouch to store the trash items and fill up the holes before you leave.
Tip #7: Carry a Collection Bag
As you make provision for storing trash, you also need somewhere to store the valuable stuff you discover. Your first instinct might be to use your pockets, but I strongly advise against this to avoid soiling your clothing. Want to check top garret detectors list then click here.
Instead, carry a sack or bag to collect the valuables.
Tip #8: Dig Up Everything
Experienced hunters usually have the instinct to differentiate whether a sound or code signifies that the machine has found something valuable. So they might not dig up everything that they come across.
But this shouldn’t be the case for you. As a beginner, you should dig up everything you come across, whether its trash or treasure, provided you get a signal. Don’t rely on your instinct at this point, because it takes some time to develop that. Until then, just keep digging!
Tip #9: Rescan the Hole
Whenever you dig for a target, don’t always stop when you find one thing. Sometimes, try to dig deeper. Who knows? There might be something valuable still buried there.
So when you dig the first time and find something, don’t be in a hurry to fill up the hole. Again you can use a pinpointer to rescan the spot. You might just find more items, especially when if the first item you found is a coin. There’s a great chance there are more coins buried there.
Tip #10: Coil Size Matters
Many new detectorists don’t usually think their coil size matters, but the truth is that it does. There are several factors that usually determine what coil size a hunter should use, but the most significant ones are the size of the targets and the hunting location.
In case of large targets that are buried deep into the ground, a larger coil would be required. For smaller targets, a smaller coil would be sufficient. Also, sites like farm fields would require a large coil so you can cover more area while swinging the antenna.
So make sure you pay attention to these things in order to choose the right coil size for your hunts to increase your chance of success.
Tip #11: Do Your Research
To hunt for treasure in a public place – such as a park or beach - doesn’t require any great deal of research since such places are usually filled with different sorts of lost items.
However, for more specialized hunting such as relic hunting, you will need to do some amount of research before heading out or else your chances of finding treasure would be very slim.
Google is a nice place to start. Research historical sights and events. You can also check out local history sites, maps, city halls, and other places where you can find useful historic information. This will enable you to identify the right hunting spots and thus increase your chances of hitting something valuable.
Tip #12: Hunt After Rain
Do you know the best time to hunt? Well, it’s after it has rained. During this time, the ground is usually wet and thus has better conductivity. As a result, it is usually much easier to find metal and also dig up wet dirt.
So next time, when it rains, make sure you go on a hunt while the ground is still moist. In the same manner, consider hunting during the low tide if your home is close to the beach or coast. Check out our recommendation of metal detector for beach and kids.
Tip #13: Wear Your Safety Gear
Next, comes your safety. Even though metal detecting is fun, it is not without some level of risk. There are basically four items you will need to protect yourself – a hat, a pair of gloves, boots, and knee pads.
The gloves are meant to keep your hands protected when digging while the hat is meant to cover your head from the sun. Even during winter, it’s still a good practice to wear a hat!
To ensure your knee doesn’t get pierced by any sharp object, you are advised to wear thick and soft knee pads. Also, try to wear comfortable boots before leaving your home.
Tip #14: Become a Club Member
Finally, join a club around to grow and fast-track your learning. This will ensure you don’t waste too much time on the basics. Also, it’s a lot more fun and motivating to learn a new hobby with others.
You will get the chance to share your experience and finds with other learners and also get to learn about theirs too. This way, you can discover more unrestricted areas to explore and even get access to places you normally wouldn’t be allowed to hunt.
It is time to draw the curtains. Hope the article wasn’t too long, and you were able to take something away. I have no doubt you will become more productive in your treasure hunt once you apply what you’ve learned here.
Remember, learning is an ongoing experience, so never get disheartened by your failures. Continue practicing, and you will start hitting the mines sooner or later. I won’t be surprised if you also came up with your own metal detector tips.
Finally, make sure you choose the right machine to increase your chance of success.
Until then, have fun and enjoy the fresh air!
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