15 Metal Detecting Tips For Beginners

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Cory Haasnoot

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If you are a metal detectorist like me you would probably agree that metal detecting is one of the most fun and exciting hobbies that you can partake in. Finding that first coin or piece of jewelry is very exhilarating, to say the least.

So to help you find more treasure and have a successful hunt time after time I decided to write an article about some of the best metal detecting tips for beginners that you can use for success! Some of these tips you might know and some you might have overlooked.

15 Metal Detecting Tips For Beginners

Without further adieu here is a list of metal detecting tips to help you find more treasure. These tips are not just great to help you find more treasure but some of the tips will help you stay out of jail or keep you from getting shot!

Tip 1 – Detect After It Rains

When the ground is wet is when the electrical conductivity of your metal detector is at its best. So if you go treasure hunting while its raining or just after it has rained you will get better ground penetration. You will essentially be able to detect much deeper into the ground for those elusive treasures.

Tip 2 – Get The Proper Permits

In many places in America, you can metal detect on public land but in some places, you might need a permit before you metal detect. Make sure you get the proper permit and have it on you when you go metal detecting.

By doing this you will not end up in any trouble with the law. Check the laws in your area before you venture out on your treasure hunting adventure. Some public places may not permit metal detecting and every area is different so do your due diligence.

Tip 3 – Don’t Trespass

Obey all no trespassing signs and if you found a place you would like to metal detect at that is someone else’s private property and they don’t have a sign posted don’t assume it is ok for you to go onto there property. Ask their permission first!

This will save you from going to jail or worse getting shot from a property owner. They may shoot first and ask questions later. So Don’t trespass!

Tip 4 – Know Your Metal Detector

There are three main types of metal detectors and they work better in certain circumstances. Make sure you know what type of metal detector you have and if it will work in the terrain you are going to be hunting in and if it will work for what you are searching for.

For example, some metal detectors are better at detecting on beaches and near or underwater than others are. And some detectors are good at detecting small objects and some are better at detecting bigger objects.

To learn more about the 3 different types of metal detectors click here

Tip 5 – Overlap Your Sweeps

When you are sweeping across the ground with your metal detector it’s a good idea to go overlap the sweeps so that you don’t miss any area. If you miss an area you might just have missed a valuable target leaving treasure on the table so to speak.

Tip 6 – Get a Good Pair of Metal Detecting Headphones

Fisher Stereo Metal Detecting Headphones black.

You will be wearing headphones most of the time that you are metal detecting so it is important to get yourself a comfortable pair of headphones

You will also want a good pair that you can hear well so that you can hear all the tones and beeps otherwise you could miss that valuable treasure. Make sure that you have padded ear cups and also padding on the part that goes around your neck. Adjustability is important as well because everyone’s head is different.

Tip 7 – Bring a Bag

You will want to bring along some sort of container or satchel so you can safely bring your finds home with you. A duffel bag, backpack or bag with a drawstring work well. A backpack is my favorite to bring along because you have little pockets to put smaller finds in and it is easily portable.

Tip 8 –  Take Your Time

Take your time while metal detecting so you can cover every area possible. You never know what piece of ground will hole that elusive treasure.

Tip 9 – Use a Small Search Coil in Trashy Areas

Areas that have a lot of junk and debris can be challenging to say the least to metal detect in. To help your chances of success in these trashy areas you will want to get yourself a small-sized search coil.

These small coils help discern between the treasure and the junk better than large coils. Trashy areas might hold the most hidden treasure because most detectorists will give up on these spots which might leave you with a treasure trove.

Tip 10 – Use a Pinpointer

Garrett Pro Pointer II

A good pinpointer will come in handy and help you zero in on the treasure. You will also have a much easier time getting into areas that you can’t reach with your metal detector like under tree roots or in between fences.

For a list of the best pinpointers click here.

Tip 11 –  Do Research

Research the areas around where you live. You could find where old farmsteads were or places people used to congregate. This will help you in determining the best places to go metal detecting in your area before you head out.

Researching old courthouse records and old newspapers will help you find these places that could be very lucrative spots to detect.

Tip 12 – Digging Tool

digging tool

Get yourself a good strong and sharp digging tool. A great digging tool will go along way especially if the ground in hard and rocky. Not all digging tools are created equal so do some research before purchasing a metal detecting digging tool. Sometimes a good survival type knife will do just fine.

Tip 13 – Rake Trashy Areas

If your detecting in an area that has a lot of nails or trash scattered about above the ground you will want to rake the area before detecting. By having the trash out of the way you will have a much easier time finding the treasure you are after.

Raking the area first has saved me many times from having to deal with false readings from the metal detector. So a rake in your metal detecting tool kit can go a long way.

Tip 14 – Keep The Cable  Away From The Search Coil

The cable that is attached to the control box should be kept away from the search coil. Don’t wrap it down the shaft of the detector. Tape the cable up closer to the control box. 

When the cable is loose it could swing around the search coil causing you to get false readings and signals. False signals are the worst so avoid them at all costs.

Tip 15 – Avoid Crowds

Crowd of people

Metal detecting where there are lots of people congregated can be very challenging. So try to avoid large crowds when hunting for treasure. Early morning or in the later evening can be the best time to go hunting. Another good time people will probably not be around is when it is raining.

Also, the fewer people that are in the area the less noise you will have making it easier to hear the sounds of the metal detector.


So there you have it 15 useful metal detecting tips for beginners. Metal detecting is one of the most fun and potentially lucrative hobbies that you can partake in. With these 15 tips, you will have a more successful time treasure hunting.

Get out there and start metal detecting today. You never know what you will find buried beneath the ground!

I hope you got some useful information from these tips and if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below.

As always Happy Treasure Hunting!

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

12 thoughts on “15 Metal Detecting Tips For Beginners”

        • Hi Phil,

          All metal detectors have the possibility to find gold. That being said it depends if your metal detector can effectively work in the terrain that the gold is in. If you’re serious about finding gold with your metal detector then you would want a higher-priced machine like the Garrett AT Gold that’s specifically designed for gold in mind and the terrains you typically find gold in.

          But if you are looking for a great beginner metal detector that’s under $250 that does have a gold indication setting I would recommend the
          >>Garrett Ace 250 Garrett makes excellent metal detectors and the Ace 250 would be a great starting point for a gold detecting enthusiast.

          I hope this helps answer your question. Thanks for your comment. Happy Treasure Hunting!!

  1. can you use your pc to receive any land permit for.privete or public use to metal detect on.and how can you tell when you are on private property or not, beach searching for treasure?

    • Hi Gary, the laws vary from state to state and country to country so you will have to check with your jurisdiction authorities if you want to get a permit for metal detecting. Some places you need one some you don’t. As for knowing if you are on private property or not, you need to note any no trespassing signs, and if there is an area you are not sure of asking people in the area if they know who owns the land.

      You could also check the courthouse in the area I’m sure they could help you out. Thanks for your comment and Happy Treasure Hunting!

  2. Hi I have a problem with a tr750 d it buzzes continuas when switched on and will not reset any help will be appreciated in identifying the problem I am a tech and have tested the board it is all functioning Tia.


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