How to Metal Detecting? The Definitive Beginner’s Guide

metal detecting

Metal detecting is a captivating hobby that allows you to explore the world around you while discovering hidden treasures buried beneath the surface. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking adventure, metal detecting can offer an exciting and rewarding experience.
In this beginner’s guide, we will take you through the essential steps to get started with metal detecting, from choosing the right equipment to maximising your chances of finding valuable items!

Understanding Metal Detectors

Before you begin your metal detecting adventure, it’s crucial to understand the basic components of a metal detector. Most detectors consist of a control box, shaft, search coil, and headphones. The control box houses the electronic circuitry and controls, while the shaft connects the control box to the search coil. The search coil is responsible for emitting and receiving signals, detecting metal objects beneath the ground.

Selecting the Right Equipment

Choosing the right metal detector is essential to enhance your metal detecting experience. Consider factors such as your budget, intended use, and location. Entry-level detectors are ideal for beginners, offering a balance between performance and affordability. Additionally, you may want to invest in a quality pair of headphones to help you hear faint signals and concentrate on the sounds that matter.

To start i suggest the Garrett Ace 200i. I use this bad boy and it never puts me down! Might look a bit expensive, but from my experience going too cheap on this is not the right decision. I’m pretty sure that this might be frightening, but in all honestly, with a toy this hobby is not funny…will be just frustrating.

Another great accessories it’s the Pinpointer! This in particular it’s really cheap and will help your hunting massively! With this you will be able to scan the terrain reducing the area of scan. Your back will thank you in the long run!

Then you need a portable Shovel. This cost is really cheap and works great! I don’t suggest you to invest a lot of money in accessories. The important is to start and see if you like this hobby!

Then don’t forget the most important thing: GLOVES. Buy some thick ones from Wilko, safety it’s the first thing!

Researching Potential Sites

Research is key to successful metal detecting. Begin by exploring historical records, maps, and local knowledge to identify potential sites with a high likelihood of yielding valuable finds. Historical sites, parks, beaches, and old homesteads are popular places to start your search.

Obtain permission from property owners or seek out public areas where metal detecting is allowed. Remember to respect the environment and adhere to local regulations.

Now, i have to be honest, this is most difficult part. Obtain a permission is not easy in England, my suggestion is to make a nice email. The best way is offer a service, like clean the terrain from metal junks, don’t say that you want permission to make hole in the terrain trying to find gold coins!

Now it’s time to send your email at your council, parks and farmers. Just go on google maps and type: “park”, “farmers” or other keyword. Click on all the ones that show up, go on their website, contact page and copy – paste.
With enough luck you will end up with a couple of “yes”.
If instead you are unlucky, i suggest you to go on Facebook and find groups of metal detecting. In UK there are a lot. You pay a fees and they take care of everything!

Learning Detector Techniques

To maximise your chances of finding hidden treasures, you need to familiarise yourself with the various detecting techniques. Start with the basic sweeping technique, moving the search coil in a slow, controlled motion over the ground. Over time, experiment with different sweeping speeds and patterns to cover more ground effectively. It’s also important to adjust your detector’s sensitivity and discrimination settings to filter out unwanted objects and focus on valuable targets.

Digging and Recovering Targets

Once your metal detector signals a potential target, it’s time to dig! Use a handheld digger or a trowel to carefully excavate the target area, taking care not to damage any artefacts. Remember to fill the holes you dig and leave the site as you found it. Carry a pouch or bag to collect your finds, and consider using a pinpointer—a small handheld device that helps locate targets more accurately.

Joining Metal Detecting Communities

One of the best ways to enhance your metal detecting journey is by connecting with fellow enthusiasts. Joining metal detecting communities, both online and offline, allows you to share experiences, gain valuable insights, and learn from more experienced hobbyists. Social media groups, forums, and local metal detecting clubs are excellent resources for advice, information on new locations, and even organizing group hunts.


Metal detecting is an exciting hobby that combines exploration, history, and the thrill of uncovering hidden treasures. As a beginner, understanding your metal detector, choosing the right equipment, researching potential sites, and learning effective detecting techniques are all essential steps to succeed. Remember to respect the environment, follow local regulations, and obtain permission when necessary. Embrace the journey, as metal detecting is not only about the finds but also about the experiences, knowledge, and connections you gain along the way. So, grab your metal detector and embark on a thrilling adventure of unearthing the past and discovering the unexpected! Happy hunting!

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