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7 Metal Detecting Tips & Tricks For Beginners

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Metal detecting is a hobby that many people enjoy. It’s also one of the most affordable hobbies to get into, with entry-level models starting at $150 and going up from there.

Metal detectors work by sending out an electromagnetic field and then sensing any change in the earth around it. The metal detector will give off a signal when this happens, which can be picked up on the machine’s screen or heard through headphones if you’re using a pinpointer.

This article explores some tips for beginners who want to start metal detecting. We’ll cover topics such as what to wear, where to go, how much money you should spend upfront, and more!

What is metal detecting and why do people enjoy it

What is metal detecting?

Metal detecting is the process of locating and recovering metal objects buried beneath the earth’s surface. Metal detectors work by emitting an electromagnetic field and then sensing any change in the earth around it. When a metal object is located, the detector will give off a signal which can be picked up on the machine’s screen or heard through headphones if you’re using a pinpointer.

Why do people enjoy metal detecting?

People find metal detecting rewarding because they’re helping to uncover historical artifacts, valuable coins/relics, or lost jewelry. Many people enjoy the thrill of the hunt! It can be pretty exciting when you strike gold for the first time!

What are the best tools and equipment to buy?

When you’re just starting out in metal detecting, it’s best to invest in a basic model detector. You can find entry-level detectors for as little as $150 but at first it is best to read some reviews of beginner friendly metal detectors online like this one from Metal Pursuits. However, if you plan on doing a lot of detecting, you may want to consider investing in a more advanced machine.

Tips for beginners who want to start metal detecting

  1. Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes! Metal detecting is much more enjoyable when you’re wearing comfortable clothes and shoes that won’t fall apart after just half an hour of use. If you plan on staying in the field for a long period of time, bring some snacks with you to keep your energy up!
  2. Be mindful of the depth reading on your machine! If you’re particularly new to metal detecting, it’s best to start in a familiar area such as the backyard or local park. The depth reading tells you how deep in the ground objects are located and will help you avoid digging unnecessarily deep holes.
  3. Always scan over the ground before digging holes! This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this. It’s important to scan over the entire surface of the ground before digging any holes because if there isn’t anything down there, it will be safe and easy to recover your items once they’re retrieved from below ground.
  4. Buy quality headphones! High-quality headphones not only sound better than their cheaper counterparts, but they also deliver clear audio signals to the metal detector speaker. This will help you pinpoint the location of any buried metal objects with ease!
  5. Learn how to read signals on your machine’s screen! It takes practice to be able to read your machine’s screen, but when you can successfully decipher the information on it, you’ll know exactly where the metals are located.
  6. Invest in a pinpointer (the best friend of any beginner)! This will save you lots of time because once an object has been located via a metal detector, the pinpointer will help you pinpoint its exact location.
  7. Pay attention to the weather! Metal detecting is much more pleasant when the weather is nice. If it’s too hot, humid, or cold out, it’s best to reschedule your hunt for a later date.


Metal detecting can be a fun and exciting hobby to get into, but it is important to know the fundamentals before you start. If you’re new to metal detecting, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks for beginners, including what you should wear, where you should go, how much money you need upfront, and more. This list isn’t inclusive of all metal detecting knowledge, but it will ensure that you’re ready to start your own exciting hobby!

Happy hunting! Have fun!

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.