The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Learn How To Start Metal Detecting

metal detector

Have you ever been walking along the beach and come across something shiny half-buried in the sand? If so, you’ve probably experienced the same thrill that many people feel when they start metal detecting. Metal detecting is a fun hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. And it’s not just for beaches-you can use a metal detector anywhere there are likely to be buried metals, such as parks, forests, fields, and even your own backyard. The metal detecting hobby is a great hobby, but before you go out and buy a metal detector, there are some things you should know. This blog post will give you metal detecting tips and an overview of how to get started with this fascinating hobby. So read on to learn more about how to start metal detecting!

“Hunted Out” Doesn’t Exist

One common misconception about metal detecting is that there are no good places left to hunt. This simply isn’t true! In fact, even the most popular detecting spots still have plenty of treasures to be found. It’s all a matter of knowing where to look and being patient. It’s also a matter of realizing that today’s state of the art metal detectors is significantly advanced from what was available only a few short years ago. So even if a particular area has been hunted before by other detectorists, it’s likely that there are still plenty of treasures waiting to be found, and you have the equipment to do find it.

metal detecting

Have the Right Expectations

Just don’t go into metal detecting with the expectation of finding treasure every time you go out because you will not find treasure every time. In fact, you should only expect to find treasure once in a while. Remember to manage your expectations because otherwise, you’re likely to become disappointed and discouraged. Even the most experienced detectorists don’t find something of value every time they go out, and that’s part of the fun! The thrill is in the hunt, the good times with friends, being out in the fresh air, and the chance that you might find treasure.

Metal Detecting Laws

I couldn’t write a blog post on how to start metal detecting without taking a minute to talk about the law. Because when it comes to metal detecting, you need not only to understand them, but you must abide by them! There are some places where it is perfectly fine to hunt, but others that are completely off-limits. For example, it is never OK to enter private property without first getting permission. Some beaches and state parks also don’t allow treasure hunting, and some only allow it during certain hours. So before you go out and start metal detecting, make sure you’re familiar with the laws in your area.

There is also a metal detecting code of conduct that every detectorist should know. This code includes things such as being respectful of others, filling in dug holes, and leaving the area in better condition than when you found it. The code of conduct is not only important, but something other metal detectorists have worked hard to maintain. So be sure to familiarize yourself with the metal detecting code of conduct before hitting the field!

Selecting a Metal Detector

metal detector 1

Now that you have a general understanding of how to get started with metal detecting, it’s time to learn about the different types of metal detectors that are available. When selecting the best metal detector, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, such as what type of treasure you’re most interested in finding and your budget.

Metal detectors come in two types, pulse induction (PI) and very low frequency (VLF). Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to pick the best one for your needs.

Types Of Metal Detectors

Pulse induction (PI) – pi metal detectors are the best choice if you’re interested in finding buried metals in difficult conditions. However, they are also the most expensive type of detector.

On the other hand, VLF detectors are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and a good choice for both new and experienced metal detectorists. They are not as sensitive as PI detectors but are still commonly used to find buried metal.

When selecting your first metal detector, there are a couple of controls that, although you may not understand now how they work, you are going to want to have them once you begin detecting. These include:

  • Discrimination controls: This allows you to differentiate between different types of metals. For example, you can set the detector to ignore alloys (such as brass and copper) and only sound when it detects precious metals like gold.
  • Sensitivity adjustment: This lets you adjust how much signal the detector gives off, which helps differentiate between metals.
  • Ground balance: This feature helps to cancel out false signals caused by minerals in the ground.

When purchasing a VLF detector, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1500. Although you can easily find less expensive models, they will likely be of lower quality and won’t perform as well. As the old saying goes – you get what you pay for. You don’t want to discover that your new detector cannot locate metal and that you have to go buy the right metal detector, especially after just buying your first one.

Offset Your Eagerness With Reality

If you’re on a tight budget, there are a few things you can do to save money.

  1. Buy Used – One option is to buy a used metal detector. Just make sure that it’s in good working condition before you go out treasure hunting.
  2. Don’t Over Spend – Another option is a good mid-level detector. Once you get into the hobby, there is plenty of time to save up and buy a better metal detector. Most people begin with a mid-priced detector and then trade up as their budget allows.
  3. Online Deals – Finally, you can also look for metal detecting deals online.

Metal detecting can be an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure that you balance your enthusiasm with the hobby.

Metal Detecting Accessories

shovel 1

In addition to a metal detector, there are several other things you’ll need to get started:

  • Metal Detecting Headphones – Headphones will help you hear the metal detecting sounds called signals coming from your metal detector clearer. Headphones will also help in eliminating background noise.
  • Digging Tools – Digging tools can be anything from a simple shovel to a specialized metal detecting shovel. If you plan on metal detecting the beach, you will need a sand scoop.
  • Pinpointer – This small hand-held device helps you find the exact spot where the metal object is.
  • Storage Container – This can be anything from a pouch on a tool belt to a Ziploc bag. You’ll use this to store any treasures you find.

Practice Makes Perfect

Now that you have all the equipment you need, it’s time to practice. The best way to become a good metal detectorist is to practice in different environments or at least repeatedly in the same area multiple times.

There is a learning curve involved when learning how to metal detect, and it will take time. Just as with anything else, it is going to take practice before you get good at it.

You will need to learn how to swing your detector, listen for sounds that your metal detector makes, and handle your other equipment. You’re also going to need to learn how to find the best places to metal detect, whch we are going to get to later in this post.

The more you practice, the better you’ll become at metal detecting, and the more you’ll find!

Metal Detect With Purpose

When you first start out, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the hunt and start randomly searching for everything. However, this isn’t going to be very productive, and you’ll likely just end up getting frustrated. For example, will you be searching for old coins, or will you be detecting gold nuggets? Therefore, it is essential to have a plan and a purpose when you go out metal detecting.

Some things to consider when searching are:

  1. What type of object are you looking for?
  2. What is the approximate size of the object?
  3. How deep do you think it is buried?
  4. What is the likely location of the object?

Answering these questions before you start searching will help you be more productive and have a better chance of finding buried treasure.

Experience History Outdoors

old cart wheel

As a treasure hunter, you’ll get to experience a great many interesting things. You’ll hold coins that haven’t seen the light of day in many years. You’ll find jewelry lost long ago. You’ll hold all sorts of items in your hand that other people haven’t held for decades.

Metal detecting enthusiasts are always finding silver coins in the surf, and other valuable finds dropped in long forgotten areas that were once popular. The thrill of metal is never knowing what you might find when you go out.

But, beyond finding treasures, you’ll also get to enjoy the history and beauty of the outdoors. When you’re out treasure hunting, it’s like taking a step back in time. You can feel the history all around you as you walk through an old battlefield or search by the side of a river.

You’ll also get to enjoy the outdoors and fresh air while you’re searching for treasure. Metal detecting is a great way to get some exercise while you’re enjoying the outdoors. And, it’s a great way to spend time with family and friends.

Do Your Research

As with any other hobby, it is essential to do your research, and this could not be more true before you start metal detecting. Although this includes learning about how to use your metal detector, it also includes learning about the areas where you plan to search and finding out as much as you can about the buried treasure that you are hoping to find.

By now, you are probably ready to get out there and find some hidden treasures, but it is important to do your research so you can maximize your chances of success. Take the time to learn about your metal detectors and how it works. Understand your metal detector’s signals and the different sounds that it makes so you can more easily determine if you’ve found something good. Learn about the areas where you plan to search and what type of objects are likely to be found there. The more you know, the better your chances of success will be.

Check old maps, talk with local residents, and go to the library to see where old buildings used to exist but no longer do. This information will help you focus your metal detecting in specific areas that give you better results.

Where Can I Go Metal Detecting?

local park

Local Parks 

Local parks are an excellent place to begin getting used to a new metal detector. The ground is generally level and easy to traverse. Public parks are also good places to metal detect because you don’t have to worry about getting permission from a landowner. Just make sure that there aren’t any local ordinances prohibiting using a metal detector and digging at your local park. For example, some parks completely prohibit metal detecting while others limit the type of equipment that you are allowed to use. Regulations like these make it so important to do your research!


Beaches are another excellent place to use a metal detector, but they come with some challenges. Things are not only being lost at the beach, but it has been happening for a long time. Although you could find coins and jewelry dropped earlier that day, you can also find things lost long ago. Beaches are also easy to walk, and the sand is easy to dig.

However, make sure that metal detecting is permitted at your beach. Although most allow it, some restrict the time that you can do metal detecting so as not to overcrowd a popular beach.

Other popular places to go metal detecting include:

Schools – Metal detecting is often allowed on school grounds, but it is important to check with the local administration to be sure.

Churchyards – Many churchyards have been around for centuries and are a great place to find treasures lost over time.

Sidewalks – Coins are constantly being dropped on sidewalks. Although it may be difficult to get permission to dig, it is worth checking with the town hall to see if you need a permit.

Anywhere people gathered in large groups throughout history is a likely place to find treasures that were lost. So do your research, and you will be sure to find some great places to go metal detecting!

And make sure to check all local laws and ordinances before you go metal detecting!

Finding Resources

Once you have gotten started in metal detecting, there are a few resources that you can use to become even better at the hobby.

The first place to start is with the metal detecting community. There are many websites and forums devoted to metal detecting. These websites are a great place to find information about new finds, share tips and tricks, and connect with other people who enjoy the hobby.

There are also many books available on metal detecting. These books can be found online and in most bookstores. They cover topics such as:

  • How to use a metal detector
  • Types of metal detectors
  • The best places to go metal detecting
  • How to find lost objects
  • How to identify what you’ve found

Books are a great way to learn more about the hobby and to find new and exciting places to go metal detecting.

In addition, several organizations within the metal detecting industry hold events that can help you meet other people who enjoy the hobby.

Metal Detecting Forums

One great way to get started in metal detecting is by joining a metal detecting forum devoted to the hobby. Here you will find information about new finds, share tips and tricks, and connect with others who enjoy the hobby.

Some of the forums include:

  • Find’s Treasure Forums – This is a great place to start your search for information on metal detecting. The site is one of the largest forums on the internet, where members can ask questions, write stories, and post classifieds. 
  • Treasure Net – Treasure Net is currently the largest metal detecting forum on the internet. Here you can get answers to almost all of your questions.
  • Detector Prospector – Although this forum talks about many topics, it is well known for being dedicated to detectorists looking to find gold.
  • American Detectorist – American Detectorist is a smaller forum that includes articles written by members and is a place to show off your latest finds. The site also awards every month the best coin, relic and jewelry finds

Join Your Local Metal Detecting Community


Now that you know how to get started in metal detecting, it’s time to join your local community. There are many ways to do this, but finding a local club is the best way. Joining a club will allow you to meet other people who enjoy the hobby and to learn more about it. It can also be a great way to find new places to metal detect.

Many communities have metal detecting clubs where people get together to share information, tips, and stories about their experiences. These clubs are also a great resource for finding new places to go metal detecting.

You can find these your local club by doing a simple Google search for “metal detecting club” followed by your community name.

Once you have found a club, begin by attending one of their meetings. 


Metal detecting can be a great way to spend your free time. It’s a fun and exciting hobby that can lead to some valuable finds. Hopefully, this post gave you enough metal detecting tips to get you started.

We covered the basics of getting started in metal detecting, including choosing the right detector and finding the best places to go metal detecting. We also discussed some of our best detecting tips for beginners, including the right philosophies for becoming a successful metal detector.

So get out there and start exploring! Who knows what you’ll find!

Kwaks Trading Post Has Everything that You Need

If you’re looking for the supplies and the know how that you need to get started in metal detecting, Kwaks Trading Post is the perfect place for you. We carry a wide variety of metal detectors, and accessories, that will help you get the most out of the hobby.

We are also experienced metal detectorists and are more than happy to answer any questions that you may have as well as supply you with the latest tips to becoming successful at metal detecting. We offer friendly conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.

So, whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Kwaks Trading Post is the place to begin your metal detecting experience.


Can You Make Money Metal Detecting?

Yes, it is possible to make money in metal detecting. But along with luck, you are going to need skills that only come from many hours of practice. You are also going to need to do many hours of research to find the best places where you are likely to find valuable treasure.

How Do I Find The Best Places To Metal Detect?

The best way to find new places to metal detect is by talking to other people. By speaking with locals in the area you are interested in as well as others in the metal detecting community, you can gain valuable information about new and interesting places to explore.

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