Have you gone on several treasure hunts and now you’re addicted to metal detecting? The day has finally arrived when you’ve graduated from a “beginner” treasure hunter to the next phase. Even though you’re familiar with your metal detector, you may be ready to master it…understanding all of its nuances. And it’s also time to improve upon your skills. So, how do you move into the next phase as an intermediate detectorist? Experts will tell you how!
First, take some time to reflect on your early detecting outings. Is your detector performing the way you expected in each of its settings? Is your search coil finding items at the depth it’s rated for? Is it time to buy some decent digging tools? Think about your successes while treasure hunting and things that need improvement. If you’ve been hunting by yourself, maybe it’s time to find a companion. Fellow hunters can help you hone your hunting and digging techniques. They will also offer search places you’ve never thought of.
10 Metal Detecting Tips for Advancing from Beginner to Intermediate
- Get a good hand-held pinpointer. Recently, pinpointers have become game changers. A quality pinpointer, such as the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, Makro Waterproof Pinpointer or White’s Bullseye TRX Pinpointer will speed up discovery of coins and jewelry the second your detector spots it. Often you can locate the target with the probe even before you start digging.
- Develop good coil swinging technique. Keep the coil close to the ground and parallel to the surface. There is a tendency to lift the coil up at the extremes of the swing. This reduces the effective depth of detection.
- Use a grid system to search an area. Set up a grid pattern for scanning your area. Missing large areas of a park or beach makes for inefficient searching. You can either cover the area in linear fashion, like a football field—or make even circles from the outer perimeter inward.
- Consider an additional search coil for different search areas. Several coil sizes are available for your metal detector. The standard 8-9 inch coil is an all-purpose coil (the most popular coil size) and it performs well under most conditions. Larger coils are best suited for low-trash and low-mineralization areas. They cover more ground and increase depth penetration.
- Re-read your detector user manual. You’ll be surprised what now makes more sense after several outings. You’ll re-acclimate yourself to its search modes, settings and other specifications.
- Spend time researching the best hunt areas. There is no shortage of buried treasure, no matter where you live. For ideas, read: “Where to Find Treasure: Hunting in Unusual Places.”
- Join a metal detecting club. Most treasure hunting clubs have access to private land, which means you will be able to hunt exclusive sites. Tips from veterans in your club will prove to be invaluable!
- Stay informed on the latest detecting developments. Read metal detecting magazines and watch metal detecting videos online.
- Lower your discrimination in areas that have been hit hard by other detectorists. You’ll be surprised how many nickels, “wheaties” and silver dimes you will find this way. Be the first one to hit an area after the ground thaws. The freezing and thawing of ground over winter can bring targets within range of your detector.
- Give yourself an self-assessment of what you like and dislike about metal detecting. You can make applicable changes by reading articles in Learning Libraries, like this one: MetalDetector.com Learning Library
If you are interested in upgrading to a mid-level or higher-end metal detector, below are some of our recommendations:
Mid-Level Metal Detectors
High-End Metal Detectors