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Click to enlargeMetal Detecting Tips & Tricks

Metal Detecting Tips and Tricks

Tip #1

Always use headphones when metal detecting. Small variations in tone will go unnoticed when drowned out by background noise.

Tip #2

Anytime headphones are used, and your hunting anywhere there is the POSSIBILITY of poisonous snakes, wear sturdy leather boots and snake chaps. Nothing will ruin a great day of metal detecting worse, than ending it with a nasty rattlesnake bite.

Tip #3

Use a small, strong garden pick for digging down to targets, and attach a strong magnet to the digging blade. This will grab onto ferrous (iron) targets and expose them quickly, so a minimum amount of time is wasted.

Tip #4

To search an area known for having a lot of nails and other ferrous trash, rake the area first, pulling out most (or all) of the nails. Make a magnetic rake out of a 4-prong garden rake and cow magnets (available at any feed store). Attach the magnets with small hose clamps.

Tip #5

Carry digging tools, nugget bottles, magnifying glass, and other accessories on a tool belt. Use a carpenter's single nail pouch on a 2" web belt. This can have additional hooks and loops attached to "customize" it for your own personal tastes.

Tip #6

Wear hard-cap knee pads. There is a lot of bending and kneeling involved in metal detecting. Hard-cap knee pads are well worth the few bucks you pay for them.

Tip #7

Don't coil the cable from the control box down to the search coil. Instead, tape the cable in a single line up the shaft to a point above the collapsible joint. Start the coil from there. As you swing the coil from side to side, a loose cable coiled around the shaft, and near the search coil, can give false signals.

Tip #8

Always use a protective cap on the search coil. Protective caps are cheap, search coils are not.

Tip #9

Carry water, or have water available in your vehicle, if your vehicle is close. You may not be physically exerting yourself too hard, but in the heat of the day, you will sweat out lots of water.

Tip #10

Unless you know the area you will be working in very, very well, take along a map and compass. Make sure you know how to use them. (See also Land Navigation at rockerbox.com)


Once you get familiar with your machine lower the discrimination and you will find deeper and smaller targets. Remember to go slowly. Thanks from the land of the Bluenose. Thanks to Lisa Warner for this tip. Tip #12

Many years ago, I obtained a Garrett Groundhog, with disc settings... Naturally, I first opted to cancel out ANYTHING save for those valuable coins that I felt sure would now be LEAPING from the ground before me! Well, my six yr old son was following me with a $29 bargain detector I'd bought just for him, and to my amazement, was pulling pennies, dimes, and nickels from the 'barren' areas I'd just passed Also, I found that high disc settings caused me to 'skim over' many otherwise nice finds, such as brass shot shell casings, some jewelry, and misc. hardware items that I also desired to find.. IN SHORT, please let me state, it is now my preference to dig twenty five 'junk holes' and find but one keeper, than to skip over not only junk, but perhaps that one special find of the day..... Thanks to Larry Lawhon for this tip. Tip #13

Hi! Here's a suggestion for increasing the clad to copper ratio. Lets start by suggesting modern vlf/tr circuits are great for detecting the presence of round (disk-like) metallic objects (coins - rings). Unfortunately pennies fall nicely into this category. They really are nasty targets due largely to their "sweet" broad spectrum registry and of coarse their prevalence - most coin shooters would appreciate a detector with greater resolution/discrimination regarding copper content. This unfortunately is outside the abilities of the most expensive of standard coil type vlf machines. The inability to positively indicate the presence of nuisance pennies. My suggestion; using a standard coil type machine - mark all coin hits with golf balls - having done this to however many hits (20-30?) drop the detector and approach each designated location with a powerful hard-drive type magnet. Attempt to induce residual magnetism in the yet indeterminate target. This can be approached by employing a pinpointing type detector to guide one in the application of the powerful magnetic fields. Now removing the magnet from the area will allow for the ready detection of residual magnetism as registered on a gauss meter/magnetometer. Here in Canada our $1.00 and $2.00 coins respond quite nicely to this whole process which I have chosen to refer to as "enhancement". The gauss meter is readily available as the "Gauss Master" $50.00 CDN @ Efston Science. Trust this as interesting reading. :^ )

Mikk Thanks Mikk

Tip #14

When digging a target use a dog Frisbee to put the dirt on. When done pour it back into the hole.

Tom Buescher

Thanks Tom

Tip #15

When you dig a coin and its dirty I put the coin in a m& m mini candy container and put 2 cotton gun patches on the top of it. Next coin do the same, then the coins won't get scratched.

Tom Buescher

Thanks again Tom

Tip #16 A little tip that might help save some time from digging that piece of pipe or cable, wire. Ya get the idea. I sometimes hunt areas where houses have been torn down. When I come across a target that I think might be worth bending over for, I'll swing my coil in a cross pattern, get a pin point, then swing the coil in a circle around the target far enough out so that you don't pick up the pin pointed target. If I get a tone on each side chances are it's long. This works well in areas where you know there to be trash such as pipe , wire, ect. Of course you might try digging a few times till you get the hang of it. BoilerMan, Houston, TX

Thanks Boiler Man

"Reprinted with permission of The Rocker Box"


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