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Metal Detecting 101: A Beginner's Guide

metal detector and a shovel on sand

So, you've decided to dip your toes into the world of metal detecting. Welcome aboard! This hobby is a perfect blend of treasure hunting, history, and outdoor adventure. And whether you're looking to uncover lost relics, find some extra pocket change, or just enjoy a new outdoor activity, metal detecting has something for everyone. Let's take you through the basics to get you started on your detecting journey.

Getting Started with Metal Detecting

Starting a new hobby can be overwhelming, but don't worry - we've got you covered. Let's break down the essentials you need to know.

Choosing the Right Metal Detector

Your first big decision will be choosing a metal detector, and there are tons of options out there, from basic models to high-tech machines. As a beginner, you'll want to look for something user-friendly and versatile.

Many detectorists start with hobby metal detectors that offer a good balance of features and affordability; these detectors are designed to be easy to use while still providing enough capabilities to grow with you as you gain experience.

Understanding Basic Metal Detecting Terminology

Like any hobby, metal detecting comes with its own lingo. Here are a few terms you'll want to know:


This is the object your detector has found.


The ability of your detector to distinguish between different types of metals.

Ground Balance

A setting that helps your detector ignore minerals in the soil.

Essential Equipment for Beginners

While your detector is the star of the show, there are a few other items you'll need:

Digging Tool

A sturdy trowel or small shovel for digging up targets.


A handheld device that helps you locate your target precisely in the hole.


These help you hear faint signals and avoid disturbing others.

Metal Detecting Basics

Now that you've got your gear, let's talk about how this all works.

How Metal Detectors Work

Metal detectors create an electromagnetic field that interacts with metal objects in the ground. When the field is disrupted by a metal object, your detector alerts you. It's a bit like fishing - you're casting out your electromagnetic "net" and seeing what you can catch!

Types of Metal Detectors

There are also several types of metal detectors, each with its strengths. Very Low Frequency (VLF) detectors are the most common for beginners, while Pulse Induction (PI) detectors are great for saltwater environments. Multi-frequency detectors offer more versatility but are usually more expensive.

If you're curious about what the pros use, check out this guide on commonly used detectors by experienced diggers.

Metal Detecting Techniques for Beginners

The basic technique is simple: sweep your detector from side to side in a smooth, controlled motion, keeping the coil close to the ground. Overlap your sweeps to ensure you don't miss anything. When you get a signal, tighten your sweeps to pinpoint the target's location.

Finding and Identifying Targets

Now for the exciting part - finding treasure!

Where to Metal Detect

finger pointing on a specific location on a map

Popular places for metal detecting include beaches, parks, old homesteads, and fields. You’ll always want to make sure you have permission to detect on private property, and check local laws for public areas.

Identifying Common Targets

As a beginner, you'll likely find a lot of modern coins, pull tabs, and bottle caps. But don't get discouraged - these are great for practicing your skills. As you gain experience, you'll start to recognize the signals for different types of targets.

Using Pinpointers and Probes

Once your detector has found a target, use your pinpointer to locate it precisely in the hole. This helps you dig smaller, more precise holes and find your target faster.

Metal Detecting Tips for Beginners

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your detecting:

Researching and Planning Your Metal Detecting Trips

Old maps can be a goldmine of information about potential hot spots, so do some research on the history of the area you plan to detect.

Practicing Proper Digging Techniques

Always dig responsibly. Make clean, small holes and fill them back in when you're done. Leave the area as you found it, or better!

Dealing with Trash and Non-Valuable Finds

You'll find a lot of trash, especially at first. Don't get discouraged - every piece of trash you remove makes the area better for future detecting.

Maintenance and Care for Your Equipment

Take care of your equipment and it will serve you well, so clean your detector after each use, especially if you've been detecting on the beach. Keep batteries charged and store your detector in a cool, dry place.

Joining the Metal Detecting Community

Finally, metal detecting has a great community of enthusiasts, so why not consider joining a local club or online forum? You can learn a lot from experienced detectorists and maybe even make some new friends.

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Detector Online Training

With your new detector, you will receive a Quick Start Guide, a valuable resource designed to guide you through the essential steps of operating your new device seamlessly. This user-friendly guide is tailored to ensure that even beginners can quickly grasp the fundamental functions and features.

For those seeking a more profound understanding, a comprehensive manual accompanies your purchase. This detailed manual delves into the intricacies of your detector, providing a wealth of information for users eager to explore advanced settings and capabilities.

However, the pinnacle of expertise in harnessing your detector's full potential lies in professional training. While guides and manuals offer a solid foundation, professional training takes your knowledge to the next level. Through hands-on instruction and insights from seasoned experts, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your detector's nuances and unlock its optimal performance.

During the individual training, our detector Expert addresses your wishes and questions, provides you tips and tricks and helps you to improve your chances of success with your detector.

  • Theoretical introduction
  • Overview of the functionality and operating modes of your detector
  • Using the detector on the test field
  • Tips and tricks for advanced users
  • Improving your measurement procedure
  • Evaluation of the scans on the detector display
  • Answers to your questions

In addition to a general introduction to the functionality and operating modes of your detector, the detector Expert explains how to use the detector efficiently in the field. In doing so, he can correct small errors during the measurement and advise you on special features of your search projects.

You will learn how to check your measurements and further improve your scanning technique independently. You can also draw initial conclusions about potential target objects in the underground.

  • Service & Support: for entry-level, experienced and professional detectorists
  • Schedule: After you add the paid training, we will contact you to schedule your training with our expert.

Trainings are charged per hour! Additional costs may apply for training sessions. For special requests please contact us at