Mastering Metal Detecting: 9 Expert Tips for Success and Safety

‍Introduction to Metal Detecting

Metal detecting is an exciting and rewarding hobby that allows you to explore the past and uncover hidden treasures buried beneath the surface. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a new outdoor activity, metal detecting offers endless possibilities. After years of metal detecting, I’ve come across quite a few tips worth sharing.

Is Metal Detecting Still Worth It?

Absolutely! It is fun. It’s exciting, it’s a way to get out of the house, and it encourages wonder.

Another angle – can you make a lot of money metal detecting? Is metal detecting still a lucrative hobby? The answer is yes and no. While it’s possible to find valuable items such as gold and silver coins, most of what you’ll find will be of sentimental value rather than monetary.

However, this doesn’t mean that metal detecting isn’t worth it. The thrill of the hunt and the joy of discovering something new is priceless. Additionally, the items you find can have historical significance and may be worth more than their weight in gold to museums and collectors.

It’s important to remember that metal detecting shouldn’t be done solely for financial gain. It’s a hobby that should be enjoyed for the adventure and excitement it brings.

Is a Metal Detector Worth the Investment?

Metal detectors come in a range of prices, from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. The question is, is a metal detector worth the investment? The answer depends on several factors, including how often you plan to use it and where you plan to use it.

People often ask what’s the best metal detector, or what’s the best metal detector for beginners – it depends. Technology advances slowly, with some occasional big breakthroughs. Here’s my recommendation if you’re starting out:

If you’re a beginnerOpens in a new tab., it’s recommended to start with a mid-range metal detector. This will give you the necessary features without breaking the bank. As you gain experience and knowledge, you can upgrade to a more advanced model.

When considering a metal detector’s worth, it’s also essential to think about where you’ll use it. If you plan to use it primarily on the beach or in parks, a waterproof detector is a must. If you’re interested in exploring historical sites, a detector with advanced discrimination features will be beneficial.

Important Metal Detecting Tips

Tip 1: Health Benefits of Metal Detecting

Metal detecting goes beyond the thrill of finding valuable items; it also offers a range of other benefits. It provides a unique opportunity to connect with history by unearthing artifacts that have been lost or forgotten over time. Each find tells a story and adds to our understanding of the past. The hidden feature? Metal detecting can be a great form of exercise, as it involves walking, bending, and digging across various terrains, from parks and fields to beaches and forests, making it a versatile and engaging activity.

Tip 2: Get Yourself Some Essential Metal Detecting Equipment

To embark on your metal detecting journey, it’s crucial to have the right equipment. The most important tool is, of course, a metal detector. What metal detector to buy? When choosing which metal detector, consider factors such as your skill level, budget, and the type of terrain you plan to search. As a beginner, a Bounty Hunter Metal DetectorOpens in a new tab. provides good value at an affordable pricepoint. It’s worth investing in a quality detector that offers adjustable settings and advanced features to enhance your detecting experience.

The metal detector is only part of the equation. You’ll need a few other essential items. A digging tool, such as a trowel or shovelOpens in a new tab., is necessary to unearth your finds. A pinpointer metal detectorOpens in a new tab. is a handy device that helps locate the exact position of a target once it’s been detected. It saves time and minimizes damage to the surrounding area. Lastly, don’t forget to bring a bag or pouchOpens in a new tab. to collect and store your finds safely.

If you’re interested in how a metal detector works, check out this articleOpens in a new tab..

Tip 3: Practice Metal Detecting Techniques for Beginners

If you’re new to metal detecting or have been off the beat for some time, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some basic techniques to maximize your chances of success. Start by learning how to properly swing your metal detector. Maintain a steady and consistent motion, ensuring that you cover the entire search area. Keep the coil close to the ground, but without touching it, to ensure optimal depth penetration. Keep the coil as horizontal (parallel to the ground) as possible.

Next, learn to interpret the signals produced by your metal detector. Different metals and objects will produce varying signals, so it’s essential to understand the audio and visual cues your detector provides. Read the manual and look for YouTube videos that pertain to your model. Practice identifying and discriminating between different types of signals – this will help you distinguish valuable targets from trash.

Finally, develop a systematic search pattern. Start by searching in a grid-like pattern, covering one section at a time. This ensures that you don’t miss any areas and increases your chances of finding hidden treasures. Remember to overlap your swings slightly to ensure thorough coverage.

Tip 4: Find the Best Metal Detecting Spots

Choosing the right location is key to a successful metal detecting outing. Here are some best practices for finding the best spots to search:

  1. Research local history: Research the history of the area you plan to search. Look for sites that have historical significance, such as old homesteadsOpens in a new tab., battlefields, or parks that have been in use for many years. These areas are more likely to yield valuable finds.
  2. Seek permission: Always obtain permission before metal detecting on private property. Contact the landowner or relevant authorities to seek approval. Respect any restrictions or guidelines they may have in place.
  3. Join metal detecting clubs: Joining a metal detecting club or online community can provide valuable insights and access to exclusive detecting spots. Members often share information about their successful finds and can point you in the right direction. Be aware that sometimes detectorists are a bit secretive about really productive locations they come across that have produced valuable targets.
  4. Explore lesser-known areas: While popular beaches and parks may be tempting, they are often heavily detected, increasing the competition for finds. Explore lesser-known areas, such as remote beaches or abandoned fields, where you may have a higher chance of discovering hidden treasures.

Tip 5: Mindfulness When Metal Detecting on Beaches

Beach huntingOpens in a new tab. is a popular aspect of metal detecting, thanks to the vast number of people who frequent these areas. However, there are a few important things to know before you start searching for treasures in the sand.

Firstly, it is essential to check local regulations and any restrictions that may apply to metal detecting on beaches. Some beaches may have specific rules or require permits, so be sure to familiarize yourself with these before you go.

When beach hunting, timing is crucial. The best time to search is during low tide when more of the beach is exposed. This increases your search area and improves your chances of finding valuable items. Additionally, look for areas where people typically congregate, such as near lifeguard towers, volleyball courts, or picnic areas. These areas are more likely to yield lost jewelry and other valuable items.

It is also important to be mindful of the environment and other beachgoers. Always fill in any holes you dig and leave the beach as you found it. Use headphones to minimize noise and avoid disturbing others. Another must-have accessory for beach metal detecting is the metal detecting sand scoopOpens in a new tab.. Finally, be aware of any safety hazards, such as sharp objects or marine life, and take appropriate precautions. Unfortunately these days, beaches can yield needles that can prick your hands or feet.

Tip 6: Identifying and Preserving Metal Detecting Finds

Once you’ve made a find, it’s important to properly identify and preserve it. Some common metal detecting finds include coins, jewelry, buttons, and relics. Here are some tips for handling and preserving your discoveries:

  • Clean with careOpens in a new tab.: Use mild soap and water to clean metal items, avoiding harsh chemicals that could damage or corrode them. Gently scrub with a soft brush or cloth to remove dirt and grime. Avoid polishing or altering the item, as this can decrease its historical or collector’s value.
  • Research and document: Take the time to research your finds and learn more about their historical context. This will enhance your understanding and appreciation of the item. Document important details, such as the location and depth at which it was found, as well as any distinguishing features.
  • Store properly: Store your finds in a safe and suitable manner to prevent damage or deterioration. Use acid-free archival-quality storage materials, such as coin holders or display cases, to protect them from moisture, dust, and scratches. Avoid storing different metals together, as they may react and cause corrosion.

By following these steps, you can preserve the integrity and historical value of your metal detecting finds.

Tip 7: Adhere to Metal Detecting Etiquette and Safety Guidelines

Metal detecting is not just about finding treasures; it’s also about respecting the environment and the rights of others. Here are some etiquette and safety guidelinesOpens in a new tab. to keep in mind:

  • Obtain permission: Always seek permission before metal detecting on private property or protected areas. Respect any restrictions or guidelines set by landowners or authorities.
  • Fill in holes: When digging, always fill in any holes you create. This helps preserve the appearance of the area and prevents accidents or injuries to others.
  • Leave no trace: Take any trash or debris you find with you and dispose of it properly. Leave the area as you found it, minimizing your impact on the environment.
  • Respect others: Be considerate of other people’s privacy and space. Avoid metal detecting in crowded areas or interfering with the activities of others. Using headphones helps keep the environment peaceful for others.
  • Be mindful of safety: Wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and sturdy shoes, to prevent injuries. Be aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards, such as uneven terrain or wildlife. Bring a small first aid kit with you.
  • Let someone know where you’re going and what time you ought to be back, just in case you get lost or injured, etc.

By adhering to these etiquette and safety guidelines, you can ensure a positive and responsible metal detecting experience.

Tip 8: Avoid These Common Mistakes in Metal Detecting

While metal detecting can be a rewarding hobby, it is not without its challenges. Here are some common mistakes to avoid to increase your chances of success:

  1. Rushing: Metal detecting requires patience and persistence. Avoid rushing through a search area, as this can cause you to miss valuable targets. Take your time and thoroughly cover each section.
  2. Neglecting research: Researching the history of an area is crucial for finding valuable items. Neglecting this step can result in wasted time and missed opportunities. Take the time to learn about the area you plan to search.
  3. Ignoring signals: It’s important to pay attention to the signals produced by your metal detector. Ignoring signals or dismissing them as trash can cause you to overlook valuable finds. Take the time to investigate each signal and dig when necessary.
  4. Neglecting maintenance: Regularly maintain and calibrate your metal detector to ensure optimal performance. Neglecting this step can result in false signals or decreased detection depth. Keep fresh batteriesOpens in a new tab. on hand when you go out detecting. Check your coil cover for cracks and get them repaired.
  5. Giving up too soon: Metal detecting is a hobby that requires perseverance. Don’t get discouraged by a few unsuccessful outings. Keep practicing, learning, and exploring new areas to improve your skills and increase your chances of finding valuable items.

Tip 9: Check Resources for Learning and Connecting with the Metal Detecting Community

If you’re eager to dive deeper into the world of metal detecting, there are numerous resources available to help you learn and connect with fellow enthusiasts. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Online forums and communities: Join a friendly metal detecting forum. These online communities allow you to connect with experienced detectorists, ask questions, and share your finds. Some popular forums include TreasureNet ( and DetectorProspector (
  2. YouTube channels: Explore metal detecting-related channels on YouTube for informative videos, product reviews, and insights from experienced detectorists. Subscribe to channels like @MetalDetectorUniverse ( in a new tab.) for regular content and tips.
  3. Books and magazines: There are numerous books and magazines available that provide in-depth information on metal detecting techniques, history, and tips. Some recommended titles include “The Metal Detecting Bible” by Brandon Neice and “Lost and Found: A Beginner’s Guide to Metal Detecting and Treasure Hunting” by Jim Jauhola.
  4. Local clubs and events: Seek out local metal detecting clubs or organizations in your area. These clubs often organize outings, workshops, and competitions, providing opportunities to learn from experienced detectorists and make new connections.
  5. Keep track of what you find and where, local conditions, etc:


By following the essential tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can enhance your metal detecting skills and increase your chances of finding valuable items. Remember to research your locations, invest in quality equipment, practice proper etiquette and safety measures, and continue learning from the metal detecting community. Happy hunting!

CTA: You can get more content on my YouTube channelOpens in a new tab. @metaldetectoruniverse


I’ve arranged for a special price on a very good metal detecting course.

Normally $109 (as of this writing), your discounted price is listed below.

The course is done by a documentary producer who is big into detecting WW II battlegrounds.

The course covers these topics and more:

  • What it takes to be a successful metal detectorist
  • Healthy benefits of metal detecting
  • Where to search for treasures, starting with your backyard
  • Different types of metal detectors to help find the right one for your situation
  • How to handle your detector like a pro
  • Other equipment you will need
  • Exercising your brain to research sites to explore
  • Planning your day out – what to pack for the weather and other essential equipment
  • How to identify, clean, and restore your relics and treasures
  • Where to look for great metal-detecting buddies
  • The course is offered by the International Open Academy, providing over 200 online courses for people seeking to enhance a full-time career, start a side hustle, or discover a new hobby.
As a reader of my blog and as a way of saying thanks, I arranged for you to access the course
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(This special discount disappears on 7/11/2025)

The International Open Academy learning platform policy gives you a full 60 days of access to the course material. After those 60 days, if you need to extend that period for some reason, they have the option to buy a time extension.

I’ve personally taken the full course and can tell you that it provides great value, whether you’re a beginner or just need a refresher or a boost to get you back into the hobby.
I hope you enjoy it!

Metal detecting expert Chris of Metal Detecting WWII Battlegrounds shares his vast experience, tips and inside secrets.

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