Advanced Metal-Detecting Techniques To Improve Your Hunt
Finding buried treasure can be exciting, but it’s difficult for beginners. Here, we’ll cover a few techniques you can use to take things to the next level.
For many people, metal detecting is a fun and lucrative hobby. However, getting your technique down can take a bit of work.
Taking the time to hone your skills will make it easier to discover a big find. Use these advanced metal-detecting techniques to improve your hunt.
Maintain Coil Discipline
Coil discipline is the art of keeping the coil at the right angle and distance from the ground. Learning to keep the equipment steady and pointed in the correct direction is essential if you’re ever going to find anything.
The coil has a cover on it, so you don't need to be squirmy about getting your coil dirty--this is metal detecting we're talking about, and if you don't like digging this hobby ain't for you!
"Scrub" the grass with your coil. Don't push it down, but don't lift it up. Just let the weight of the detector (and gravity) do the work, and your coil will 'feel' its way across the ground.
Do NOT lift your coil edges when you swing to the sides. Usually people do this because they're keeping their body too stiff. Instead, allow your body to twist left and right and you will find you get much better ground coverage without your coil edges lifting at the end of your swing.
Large coils will cover more ground, and go deeper, while smaller coils tend to be more sensitive, have better maneuverability, and better target separation in trashy areas.
Overlap Your Swings
Another good technique to learn is overlapping your swings during your search. It’s easy to miss small bits of ground if you’re swinging too short. Your metal detector’s coil searches in a two-dimensional cone shape, so it’s essential to get some overlap to be sure you’ve covered the entire space. The deeper and smaller the target, the more you need to overlap to make sure you hear it.
Finding a metal detector that’s comfortable to use is essential if you want to improve your chances of finding buried items. A Minelab X-Terra Pro will give you everything you need to start your search and get to digging.
Beyond simply overlapping your swings, you may also want to use gridding to ensure you’ve covered an entire area. Gridding is the process of marking off squares, allowing you to strategically search through each space without missing anything or going over an area twice.
Setting up a grid makes hunting through a particularly large site easier.
Purchase a Pinpointer
Once you’ve detected a target, finding its exact location with a full-sized metal detector can be difficult. Pinpointers make it easy to find smaller buried objects, especially when they are coated in dirt and impossible to see.
Pinpointers are smaller handheld devices that you can employ to get the precise location of an object. They often come with a sensitivity setting that you can adjust. If the ground is highly mineralized, like the beach for instance, it is important to turn the sensitivity down, and ground balance the pinpointer by turning it on while touching it to the ground (not over your target!).
Once your main rig has identified something in the ground, you can switch over to your pinpointer to thoroughly review the area. Rather than digging randomly, you can turn the sensitivity up on the pinpointer and run it over the top of the grass to see if the target is closer to the surface or not. This technique is great for avoiding digging larger plugs.
Make the Most of Your Metal Detecting
When just starting, it’s good to focus on the basics of metal detecting. However, you’ll probably want to do something more comprehensive at some point.
Using the most advanced metal-detecting techniques to improve your hunt will make you more likely to find something of value.