I wanted to tap into the experience of our experts.
Their responses are so valuable, not only to someone who is just starting out, but to all of us.
This is the question I asked them
What is the best advice you would share with someone new to metal detecting?
A few tips for the newcomers to the hobby.
- Select a detector in your budget and that right for you. I would save for the machine you really want. Going too cheap, just to get started, will frustrate you and you will soon lose interest.
- Go to a local dealer and see if they have any specials or floor demos that they are selling. There is room to bargain on every machine.
- Try and join a local club to meet people in your area. They might have a spare detector they can loan you and they can show you the ropes on that machine.
- Before you plunk down your hard earn cash, take some time and study. YouTube your selected machine and watch as many videos as possible. Download the manual and read up on its features.
- Go to forums and read all the questions and answers about your choice. This will help your learning curve before you go out for the first time.
- Go out and get permissions and do some research on perspective areas to hunt.
- Get needed permits in your area.
- Dig everything until you can discriminate good targets from junk.
- If you want to find silver and old relics then hit the areas that will support such finds. Old fairgrounds and parks, brick farm houses, old high schools.
- A great place to practice is the front of any high school. You will find a ton of coins and jewelry.
- Help is around every corner. There will always be someone to help you understand your machine. Just ask!
- Everyone will have a different opinion on what machine is the best. Listen, study and form your own. That will be the best.
I have been using the Whites V3i for the past 4 years. This was my first choice and I waited one year before I made my purchase.
Please visit my You tube channel, V3i SWEEPER to see if this is a machine you have interest in.
You can always find me on Facebook at
My web site global-detecting.com
Hear me on The Global Detection Adventures Podcast.
My advice to someone getting into metal detecting.
Save up and get the detector you really want. Read and watch videos on metal detecting. Lots of good info out there on questions already asked.
Join a metal detecting forum or club.
Be patient and take the time to really learn the detector. Start out at a park and dig lots of clad to get used to it.
Have a good pin pointer, finds/trash pouch and digger.
Make the hobby look good. Learn how to dig nice plugs and fill in your holes, even if you are out in the boonies.
If you dig up trash, take it with you. You are going to dig lots of trash. Respect private property.
When one person makes the hobby look bad, it reflects on all of us
Read our review on the Garrett AT Pro Click [HERE]
To someone just starting out in this hobby.
I would like to say. be patient & persistent.
It’s not all treasure. I dig a ton of junk too. Don’t get discouraged and keep at it.
Location is the key to finding historical items and old coins. Do your research, door knock and ask homeowners.
Be very respectful of the property. Take your trash out with you and leave the property looking just as good as when you 1st arrived.
Keep at it and you will succeed in this hobby!
Dave Wise in Connecticut
Tips for beginners
I’ve been detecting for over 50 years. I have used many detectors, and have learned a few tricks or two, about how and not how too metal detect etc…
Presently I use a Fisher F5, and like helping others get into the hobby , by doing things right etc…
Watch my instructional Video.
Watch our review on the Nel Sharpshooter coil Click [HERE]
Great advise from overseas.
Starting out here is a short list from an experienced user .
- Buy the best machine and gear you can afford from the start and upgrade as you go along .
- Most detectors and gear hold value well , and u can always resell and upgrade ..
- Join forums and clubs and read all you can , find yourself a buddy and someone you can trust to work with and share sites together , there is already numerous groups , YouTube videos etc , if you want to put your efforts into it , then starting your own groups or video channel.
- Find an International friend , opening up chances to detect overseas ..
- Use what people have learnt already to develop your skills and work together with likeminded others .
- Buy the best metal detecting spade for your preferred hunting area , buy a professionally made spade , and always look for one that is lighter and a better option than the one you are doing using now .. better tools won’t break in the field and make your recovery time longer.
- Work on recovering all targets in a proper manner, identifying depth , size etc… By the tone of the machine and your overall pinpointing .. more recoveries faster means more targets more keepers at the end of the day .
- All these items will not only make your day more comfortable , you will be prepared for most situations .. This happens many times usually in the sale of a find , or the valuation. Many times a newer person has tricked themselves into thinking a first item had much more value than what it has , or on the other side . A person has been tricked into letting a find go for much less than it is worth ..
- Many beginners or people newer in the hobby should take more Time with finds identification and restoration of the finds to really gain the passion within the hobby.
- Try out other machines and be knowledgeable on all brands .. they all do their job from the major manufacturers .. knowing different machines helps you gain a high knowledge of target ranges , tones , and target or orientations . Getting a high knowledge of your machine such as How it responds to masked targets Helps have a high knowledge giving you less time digging trash and life ovine onto the next treasure item .
- Learn How large is the target and how deep is the target by tone only ?
- Learn How it responds to deep targets
- My Secret I have over my competitors is having a high knowledge of all targets with numerous machines overall , this is one of my best kept secrets. and this gives me an edges over my competitors .
- Well of course finds of note and value come up regularly . But so does the trash .. if you think you have something of value . Never let a Jeweler take it out of your sight , let them test it in front of you .. and then take it to a few others .. once you have heard a few professionals then you will know what you truly have ..
- Don’t rush in .. even after detecting for a few years it’s easy to rush into a situation .. research and have knowledge , and read many others opinions before letting anything confirm your own .
- My gear is designed to be applicable in all situations so if I feel the need to have a hydration pack , or add an addition such as a finds pouch I have decided to go with military style . I have found this to some of the more hard wearing gear .
- Have the proper gear at hand .. always have a decent backpack , and have spares of items , have a jacket, and another layer of clothing if needed .
- I always have more food and drinks that I think I will need , sunscreen, repellent , finds storage , a wool hat , and a waterproof jacket in my backpack at all times , and even a first aid kit .
- Tighten your hole sizes making them easier to replace .
If any of the above advanced techniques interest you please feel free to check out my YouTube channel featuring many different styles of detecting in numerous places around the world with a number of
I have many groups promoting the hobby of metal detecting if this interests you please check them out .
John Hylton Smith
So you want to take up the hobby of metal detecting?
Have you just bought your first detector and your not sure where to start. There are lots of lists on different web sites of places to try. But a lot will depend on where you live.
I would like to give a little advice the equipment you use. Let’s start with the accessories before we talk about detectors.
You need good digging tools. They need to be tough and made of metal. Unless your digging in sand or very soft soil plastic won’t work well. A hand tool and a small shovel will be all you need.
A serrated edge for roots will make digging a lot easier. You don’t have to spend a fortune. I use Japanese hari hari gardening tool. It does the job and costs less than $10. For a shovel I use a small $10 shovel that I put a serrated edge on.
A pouch to carry the trash in with a separate area for the good stuff. I converted a leather carpenters pouch I bought at a yard sale.
Next is a pin pointer. I know you can detect without one, but buried items have a tendency to take on the color of the soil they are buried in. It can be a pain to find a brown coin in brown dirt. I know that often when you first start metal detecting money can be an issue. But you need to buy the best pin pointer you can afford. Super cheap pin pointer can be worse than not having one.
Finally let’s talk about detectors. Even if you already bought one, I can just about promise you will buy another. Even though the cheapest detector will detect metal, you have to understand your machine to have the best chance of finding what you want.
What you need to be looking at when your buying a detector, is how well does it fit you. Does it require a lot of programming or maybe it just requires a little or none.
If you just want to detect and not be programming then avoid detectors that have whole websites devoted to programing the beast.
Another important consideration is how comfortable you are with your detector. By comfortable I mean how well do you understand what it’s telling you. It’s kind hard to explain but when you are using a detector you are comfortable with it, and it becomes an extension of your senses.
I bought my first detector as an adult in 2011. By 2014 I had owned several different detectors. One detector made a terrible annoying sound over large metal. Another made a sound like a door bell. Finally after going through several well made detectors I bought a fisher f19.
For me the f19 clicked. It might not for you. But for me it works well.
Borrow or buy until you find the one that fits you. You’ll know it when you find it. Metal detecting is for fun.
You’ll probably never get rich. But if your in it for the fun you will always be successful.
The Desert Rat
Ever since I can remember, I have always been a prospector/treasure hunter.
I was a big rock collector and a shiny thing on the ground collector as a kid. I remember spending hours in our rock piles in our backyard looking for fossils.
I wanted to go to school to become an archaeologist/ anthropologist, but having kids kind of put that on the back burner because I decided to focus on their lives and preparing them for the world.
About 3 1/2 years ago I took my kids to a flea market in search of antiques.
My kids found a metal detector for sale and talked me into buying it, at first I actually drove away and they demanded me to turn around to go back and get it because they knew how bad I wanted to explore and find ANY KIND OF HISTORY.
I have since given away my first two detectors to two people who have had the itch to dig as well.
I thank my kids for demanding me to turn around and supporting my dream as much as I support theirs.
I love researching and am researching an area close to home about a buried treasure at the moment and I plan to search for it this coming spring.
My best find would have to be a 60″ two man saw in an old logging area. My family’s first Michigan settlers were loggers and after reading my family’s history, it was a find that had a lot of meaning tome.
My biggest find would be 47 silvers within 5 feet of each other that someone had intentionally buried.
Read our review on the Whites Coinmaster Click [HERE]
A change of careers.
I started out detecting with a White’s DFX and after “retiring” from the film industry at the ripe age of 29 I found myself working at White’s Electronics in Sweet Home, Oregon.
One of the first things I was tasked with was producing a series of bite-sized videos to help introduce beginning detectorists to the hobby.
We offer some great tips on our website
Although these videos are a great crash course on the basics, I would personally recommend that a newcomer spend time with someone who really knows the hobby.
The insights you can gain through hands-on, real world experience greatly outweighs any time spent on forums, watching YouTube videos, or drooling over catalogs of detectors.
That’s how I learned and I owe my neighbor Tim quite a bit – if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t work at White’s!
First off, Welcome to the club!
I hope that you enjoy this hobby for a long time. It is an extremely addictive and rewarding hobby with many surprises along the way. Thinking back 20+ years ago when I started detecting, I wish someone could have been there to share some lessons with me. Well, here’s a few key points that I feel is very important to you as a new detectorist:
- It is important to realize that you will not find treasure on every hunt. Contrary to what you may see on television or internet, not every hunt is filled with gold, silver, or other valuable finds.
- I have been detecting since the 1990s and there are still many trips where I will not find anything of significance. It happens to all of us. I have met many people over the years who bought a metal detector as a source of possible income. This mindset will only lead you down one path, disappointment.
- Check out your local pawn shops for proof of this. Those places constantly have a fresh stock of metal detectors from people like I mentioned.
- It is imperative that you’re patient. Getting to properly understand and know your machine will take many hours and can be frustrating at times.
- I believe this amount of time to “get” your detector is different for each person but I feel a good number to throw out there is 100 hours.
- Dig every repeatable signal at first. Trust me. This will make it so much easier to distinguish trash from desirable targets.
- Knowing your machine not only will improve the quality of your finds but also make detecting much more enjoyable. When you get frustrated, take a break but don’t quit. Stay with it.
- Join a local metal detecting club in your area. There are hundreds of metal detecting clubs across America.
- Being around and hunting with other detectorists can be very helpful in learning this awesome hobby. These clubs will also allow you to meet great people who also share the same passion for detecting as you and are willing to help the newcomers out.
- Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Get to know and always follow the Metal Detecting Code of Conduct. These are an important set of rules to follow. To not only keep you out of trouble but also help to preserve this wonderful hobby.
- Have Fun!
Watch our video review for the AT Pro click [HERE]
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