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Getting Started Metal Detecting

Updated on March 14, 2016
roob profile image

Ruby is a reseller with a growing catalog. He created Billionaire Pets Club. He also has his own Youtube channel on a variety of topics.

The hobby that pays for itself!
The hobby that pays for itself!

Picking The Right Detector

I would recommend a detector that is multi purpose, unless you only go to the beach or in the lake. That means it is meant for detecting all terrains such as sand & dirt, plus all metals from aluminum to gold. Now don't go submerging your multi purpose detector deep into ocean or lake water unless it specifies that it can withstand that. The multi purpose detectors tend to be able to handle splashes of water but not full submersion. A good brand at a good price is the Bounty Hunter line on Amazon. A decent detector should cost you around $150 and up. Most importantly if you want to have a good time get a detector that can discriminate between metals! Or else you will be digging up pull tabs and screws only to end up saying "screw this".

Listen closely!
Listen closely!

Other Gear To Consider

Sure you could detect with just a detector but you won't have as much success compared to someone who is equipped properly. Most importantly depending on where you are detecting you will want a shovel for dirt and/or a scoop for sand. Another important item in my arsenal is my pin pointer, you would be surprised at how hard it is to locate in object in the ground with just a detector. The pin pointer is hand held and does exactly what its name says, pin points the object in the ground after your detector has gotten the general signal. Headphones can really help you get a better signal in a loud environment though it is best to get some designed specifically for detecting. Some other items that aren't as important but make the job easier/healthier include a pouch to keep your stuff & some gloves to avoid bacteria in the ground.

You got this!
You got this!

Tips For Success

  • Throw away junk items you find for good karma also you might detect the same spot in the future
  • Go slow in a sweeping motion back and forth with the detector hovering about an inch above the ground
  • Try areas with the grass worn down due to high traffic, curbsides where people get into their cars, under old trees & any other plots of land where many people have gathered or still do; the older the better

One man's pocket change another man's treasure!
One man's pocket change another man's treasure!

What Can You Find?

More experienced detectors can actually look for specific objects. The main categories include.

  • Relic hunting: Old artifacts such as items from past wars that are found usually on old plots of land where such events took place.
  • Coin shooting: This one is obvious... looking for coins. Where you look may determine if they are old or new coins. The main thing I look for is old silver coins.
  • Cache hunting: If you find one of these then you must have good luck. These are rare. Basically a container full of old coins, since these are an older tradition there is a good chance they might be silver or gold!

I Got A Question For You

What's the most precious metal you've found?

See results


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    • roob profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from United States

      @JG aw that is sick... and kinda sweet lol.

      Well get back out there and be patient... hopefully it is a decent model.

      Do you two still go detecting?(: If so any cool finds?

    • JG Hemlock profile image

      JG Hemlock 

      2 years ago from VISIONS AND DREAMS

      My husband & I lived in Ft. Lauderdale and after the hurricanes we would do this. The first time we bought one I was so excited trying it. Unfortunately I live with Mr. JG who was behind me throwing nickles and pennies just to see my excitement and then no excitement. LOL

      Good article! Much success!

    • roob profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from United States

      Oh wow that sounds sooooo fun! I am just 22 but I could see me and you going to work on that field haha. I hope you find old coins and relics... maybe even an old cache!

      I will be looking forward to hearing what you find!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      2 years ago

      roob - My coin garden really trained my ears to distinguish between the different coins and trash. With the coins I also buried a few nails and a couple pull-tabs so I could tell the difference.

      I have some friends that own a working cattle ranch that was started in the 1800's by their great grandfather. It has passed down since then to the current owners. When their father owned the ranch they had rodeo's on the weekends where many of the local cowboys came to just have fun, drink beer, and enjoy the steaks. When John Wayne was in town making a movie he was known to come out to the ranch and participate in the fun.

      I tell you this because this ranch has never been gone over with a metal detector than anyone knows about. I have a standing invitation to come out and do that and will let you know the results when I am finished.

    • roob profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from United States

      @Old Poolman: I need to start carrying mine more like that! I also need to work on my tones. When I found my first & only silver coin so far, it was exciting to say the least. Good luck to you Poolman & thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 

      2 years ago

      It is a great hobby. I carry a detector in my truck all the time. When I first got it I found the different tones very confusing. I made a coin test patch in my yard by burying different coins in sandwich bags and trying to find them and determine what kind of coin it is before digging it up. It takes a lot of practice to get really good at metal detecting but one can do it if they want to spend the time. I did find on small gold ring under a tree near a city park, but it was not worth a lot. I just kept it as the only gold I have found so far.

      Nice hub by the way.

    • roob profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from United States

      @Jesse Drzal: Thanks! I haven't been detecting long enough to know about the tech coming along but my detector works great lol! Yes it is, coin shooting or looking for coins is my favorite. Nothing like finding a silver coin... well i'm sure a gold ring would be cool too.(; I think it is a good hobby for people who are like ADD, seems to satisfy that kind of mind!

    • Jesse Drzal profile image

      The Write Life 

      2 years ago from The United States

      Cool Hub. The technology has come a long way on these I have heard. I know some people into it and they love it. Looks like a good hobby for the coin collector too.

    • roob profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from United States

      @RTalloni: I tried to add one on this page but it wouldn't show up ): The one I use and recommend is the Bounty Hunter Time Ranger, great price on Amazon! This one will breakdown to get shorter but not all the way! If you have any other questions let me know.(:

    • RTalloni profile image


      2 years ago from the short journey

      These are great tips. As I'm considering one of these as a gift for my husband I appreciate learning that there are detectors that distinguish between metals. Will you be doing a hub on the gadget brands? I'm hoping for a small but substantial one. Or at least one with a retracting handle.


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