Metal detecting is a fun way to find various items that have been dropped or buried and lost to the element of time. In the past, it was difficult to find lost items. Still, with current advanced technology, anyone interested and able to operate a metal detector can hunt for hidden and forgotten items with metallic properties.
Gold, silver, aluminum, copper, and iron are the base for numerous objects frequently found with metal detectors. Thanks to the durability of the material, a large number of things are capable of surviving long periods beneath the Earth’s surface without suffering severe damage.
Professional detectorists and hobbyists must have a general knowledge of the different tools needed to safely and properly detect an area or site safely and properly. While it might sound easy, knowing how to use a metal detector and understanding each metal’s noise may not be as simple. Technology makes it possible, but knowing which tools are better suited for what, where, and when is necessary.
Fortunately, there are multiple resources readily available for beginners to seasoned professionals. Online libraries, metal detecting forums, metal-detecting groups, maps, notes, public record offices, and help from friends and family are all tremendous intellectual tools to aid in the hunt and know the rules and regulations of a visited area.
Manufacture brand how-to books and guides are available online for instructions and recommendations on using a specific brand’s metal detector. Most of these valuable resources are free and accessible worldwide.
To get started with metal detecting, there are a few essential pieces of gear that you will need:
- Metal detector – This is the most important equipment for metal detecting. Many different models are available, and the best one for you will depend on your budget, the type of metal you want to detect, and the terrain you will be using the detector.
- Headphones – Many metal detectors come with headphones, but if yours doesn’t, investing in a pair is a good idea. Headphones help to block out external noise and allow you to focus on the signals from your metal detector.
- Digging tools – You will need tools to dig up any items you find with your metal detector. A small shovel and a digging tool, such as a trowel or pick, should suffice for most situations.
- Finds pouch or bag – It is a good idea to have a place to store any items that you find while metal detecting. A finds pouch or bag can keep your finds organized and protected.
- Protective clothing and equipment – Depending on the terrain you will be detected in, you may want to consider wearing protective clothing and equipment, such as gloves, a hat, and sunscreen, to protect yourself from the elements.
With this essential gear, you will be well-equipped to start your metal-detecting adventures.
Keep reading to learn more about the appropriate physical tools associated with metal detecting. We have put together a small list of necessities for your next outing.
Headphones are an essential piece to keep with a metal detector. As a detector is swept across an area of land, any metal the coil finds will cause a loud beeping noise. The unique beeps that each metal will sound off can often be missed in populated areas with high interference noise.
When nobody is around, this may only be not very pleasant to the animals. Still, to keep everyone happy, furry friends included, headphones make the noise only audible to the one wearing them. Headphones allow semi-soundproof isolation of each beep to alert a detectorist to a potential find.
The market for headphones is vast. When deciding which brand or model to purchase, it can feel overwhelming at first. Headphones can be wired, wireless with Bluetooth capabilities, earbuds, over the ear, small, medium, or large. Then there is the option for color choices too.
The best approach to finding a set of headphones is to stick to what is comfortable for you and within your budget. Also, note if your metal detector has a Bluetooth connection or requires a wired set-up to simplify your headphone search further.
Waterproof headphones are an excellent option since they allow a more extensive search area and can be worn if weather conditions change from sunny to rainy or snowy. Rain can unexpectedly start failing at any time, even during a sunny day, so a waterproof feature is ideal. Usually, the best brands and models have higher price tags. However, a good pair of headphones do not need to be expensive if a less expensive brand meets your needs.
Metal Detector Pinpointer
It is not a secret that metal detecting can sometimes be challenging and require a decent amount of energy and strength. Sometimes it can take hours to locate a strong beep, dig to the appropriate depth, find the item setting off the metal detector, remove the item from the ground, and refill the hole.
Sometimes, discovered objects are buried deep below the surface, so it is difficult to determine an exact location from the initial detector readings. That’s the moment when a pinpointer comes in.
You can use it simultaneously while digging and searching until the target object has been located. Pinpointers can save you time if a considerable depth is dug, an item is similarly colored to its surroundings, or if the item’s size is smaller than expected and hard to see with just the eye. A good quality pinpointer helps create a more effective and efficient metal detecting process that is beneficial for covering more ground and discovering more finds.
Like headphones, it is always a good idea to find a waterproof pinpointer. Of course, not all pinpointers are the same, and some provide extra beneficial features. A waterproof feature allows one to explore beaches, streams, lakes, rivers, shorelines, bays, and even the ocean.
LED lights are another feature that helps shine a light on the ground in the immediate area you are detecting. LED lights are fantastic in the early morning, at sunset, or trying to find a tiny target object.
Batteries power the majority of pinpointers. They do not use much power when on and are only used when needed, so the batteries in these devices tend to last longer than others. A pro to being battery-powered is the ease they can be replaced should the pinpointer quit working while out on a hunt. The price of pinpointing devices can be slightly higher than headphones but much less than a full-sized metal detector.
Shovel And Bag
A metal detecting shovel is also a necessary tool for metal detecting. The detector and pinpointer can help you discover and precisely locate the object in the ground; however, these devices cannot dig a hole when needed. You will have to do this separately, and that’s not always possible with bare hands.
Shovels used while metal detecting does not need to be big. A smaller, foldable shovel traditionally used while camping is plenty big enough for the size of holes made when metal detecting. Lightweight shovels are best to avoid excessive weight and save your energy and strength while carrying them around.
The shovel must be made from durable materials to handle the pressure of digging holes on multiple terrains. Stainless steel shovels are most likely the best you can find on the market. Some models have pretty unique shapes and are developed in such a way as to provide better results.
Some shovels are multipurpose, too, acting like a shovel or folded into a pick. Luckily, metal detecting shovels are not an expensive part of the equipment, so you can find great models at low prices.
Collection bags are crucial to have on every outing. Whether it is a large number of valuable coins, jewelry, small toys, keys, phones, cameras, or even pull tabs and trash, a collection bag provides a place to store your finds without having to go back and forth to a vehicle and detection site.
These bags can be worn around the waist, attached to the upper thigh, worn like a backpack, or accessorized in many other comfortable ways for the detectorist. Additional baggies inside your pouch, or collection bag, will help you separate dangerous items, trash, and valuables until you are ready to examine.
Collection bags and pouches are sold with unique features that appeal to people differently. Some pouches are worn around the waist with an adjustable strap and a long rectangular pouch for holding items. Other bags resemble the infamous fanny pack that was popular in the 1980s and 1990s.
Smaller travel backpacks work well for some, while others prefer a messenger bag style. Regardless of your size and carrying method, find a bag or pouch made from durable materials that are washable or water-resistant, has a zipper closure, and has as many internal or external pockets as you need.
Additional Batteries And Trash Bags
As you know, metal detectors and pinpointers are battery-powered devices that generally work until the batteries die. Once the batteries die, they will need replaced to continue looking for more treasures. Without a power supply, trips will need to be cut short or not happen in the worst case. Forgetting extra batteries when metal detecting is just as bad as forgetting to pack the tent when you go camping.
Trash bags are another item that should be considered mandatory as part of the tool collection for metal detecting. Bringing along trash bags not only ensures that your trash and the trash of anyone out with you will be collected and adequately thrown away, but it also provides a safe place to dispose of dangerous objects found along the way.
Rusty nails, screws, pull tabs, sharp aluminum cans, glass bottles, and any other unsafe item can be disposed of and protect the environment, animals, and people.
When handling trash and other items while metal detecting, it is recommended to wear durable gloves rated high for non-tearing and non-slicing. Gloves not only keep hands safe while disposing trash, but they keep hands clean and cut free while digging around on the ground.
Knee pads are another helpful tool for making being on the ground more comfortable and protecting the legs from cuts and scrapes. Aside from being a pain for metal detectors and a safety issue for other humans, it is a big problem for nature and the environment when the trash is left uncollected.