Beginners Guide to Metal Detecting

If you are a beginner, or just want some extra information about Metal Detecting, this guide is here to help you understand the hobby.

Which machine is best for you?

You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • How much time will you devote to detecting?
  • How good are you at adapting to new technology?
  • Where will you be going to detect?

What equipment to I need?

Basic Kit:

  • Warm or waterproof clothing (weather condition’s apply)
  • Sturdy boots (not steel toe) or wellies,
  • Water,
  • Gloves,
  • Basic first aid kit,
  • Insect repellent,
  • Notepad and pencil,
  • Mobile phone,
  • Trowel,
  • Headphones,
  • Batteries
  • And most importantly your metal detector!


Search Coils

There are a variety of search coils available for metal detectors. They range from a few inches across to a whopping 18”. Several detector manufactures offer the ability to interchange from one type of coil to another. It is always advised, before you make a purchase, to check that the type of detector you wish to buy can use Interchangeable coils.


Concentric coil

The Concentric coil uses an inverted cone search field. They are often better when searching junk-infested sites. Available solid or with open centre.

concentric coil


2D Widescan coil

A wider coil can detect deeper over a greater area with each sweep. This type of coil offers a ‘knife’ like search pattern. They are more selective generally give more finds in the shallow to medium depths than equivalent concentric coils.




Eliptical Coil

This coil is ideal for getting into those tight areas and iron contaminated ground. They can be either concentric but normally 2D coils.



Headphones are not essential when metal detecting. However, it is recommended as they help eliminate outside noise that may mask faint signals.

Most modern metal detectors are compatible with any type of headphone, including CD/mp3 player types.

Below are two examples of headphones that are available.

XP Backphone NEW BLUE TypeBackphone


With 6.3mm jack adapter, foldable in three parts, very light, fits around the back of the head with volume control.

Digging Tools

So how are you going to get what you have found out of the ground?

It is very important that you have good quality digging tools for the job. There are a variety of tools available from a simple trowel to a foot assisted spade. The strongest you can afford is highly recommended.

Tight budget? £2.95

Splash out! £17.95

Black Ada Invader II mild steel metal detector trowel

High quality stainless steel sand scoop


Black Ada Sand Scoop mild steel

Pinpoint Probes

These small metal detectors are normally used when a small object proves difficult to locate in the hole you have just dug. A tiny LED light is often fitted to show it’s on & to help illuminate down a hole. The probe is very small and fits easily in a pouch or pocket.

Garrett Pro-Pointer Metal Detector. Pinpoint Probe


Find Bags

Now you have found your precious artefacts, you don’t want to damage them. Stuffing them into your pocket is going to do more damage than good. This is why a finds bag/pouch is recommended. You should also take the rubbish that you find home with you or you will find it next time. A popular choice for finds bags are waistband pouches. A little tip: Carry self-sealing polythene bags to keep delicate finds separate from one another.

Garrett Finds Pouch with internal pocket


Hobby Metal Detecting: 

Article found: 3 Tips For A Successful Metal Detecting Experience

3 Tips For A Successful Metal Detecting Experience



Are you a beginner in metal detecting? Do you need some tips in order for you to start finding treasures? I am sure it is frustrating that you don’t know how to use your detector, or confused because you don’t know where to start. Hopefully these tips that I will share with you can help you.

It is good that you search around the internet to learn and enhance your skills and hopefully it will increase your chance to find a good find buried under the ground. So what do you really need in metal detecting? I will tell you what are the essential things that you need to prepare before you go out hunting.

First is your metal detector. You need to decide which detector will fits your goal. What are the things that you are looking for? If you choose a metal detector it should be fitted to your needs. Write a list of what do you like in your metal detector. Like for example, the treasure that you are aiming to find, whether you want to hunt for treasures underwater or on the sand. Search online what features you need from your metal detector. Your budget has to be considered as well. You should know that not all expensive metal detectors guarantee that you will find a treasure. It is always down to your skills in sweeping and your knowledge of your metal detector that will determine your success. So these are just a few factors you need considered and planned carefully before you go out buying a metal detector.

Second is, getting to know your detector. Please spend some time learning and knowing its features and how to use it. It is best to practice first at your backyard. Try to observe the sounds and signals that your metal detector is telling you; try swaying it at can, coins and other metal in your backyard. You might get lucky there are hidden treasures hidden underneath your own backyard. Just keep on practicing until you are confident enough to go out and search for valuables hidden underneath the ground.

Third is having a positive mind and be patience. Don’t expect that every time you’re out you will be lucky to find something valuable. There are days that you will only get rubbish. You might even find nothing after trying to dig a few area of land. Whenever you find something unusual even if its is a rubbish keep it and bring it home. Clean it up and examine, you never it might be something valuable. If you think that your metal detector is telling you that there is something buried under that area, try digging it even if it sounds like its rubbish down there. To be successful in metal detecting you need to be hardworking and also work smart.

It is really a matter of determination and using your skills at your very best when metal detecting. You will be lucky someday in finding a treasure one day.

Article Source:

About the Author

Adam Brown has been in metal detecting for more than 5 years now. He shares his experience throughout the year at his personal website. To know more tips on metal detecting and other helpful resources please check out his website:

 Hobby Metal Detectors:


Recommended groups to be a member of


National Council For Metal Detecting

You will find information on clubs, membership, the Treasure Act and the National Council for Metal Detecting.
There are various grades of:
The current NCMD subscription for club membership is £6.00: per person per annum.
However NCMD Regions may charge club members an additional levy to cover the services they provide.

(a) Membership of a local club which is part of an NCMD Region which in turn elects four voting delegates to the regular meetings of the NCMD.

(b) Individual and Associate membership as a member of an NCMD Region which operates this facility. (Regions which operate this facility are, Midlands Region, Yorkshire Region. and Scottish Region)

(c) Individual and Associate member registered directly with the National Council.
For further details please visit their website.

Federation Of Independent Detectorists

Benefits include :- Quarterly postal bulletins, keeping you up to date with all the news, your own personal identity card with your photo on it, if you live in the United Kingdom you also have free public liability insurance for £5,000,000. Once you have joined, you can obtain help and information on metal detecting via the Internet, telephone or post.

FID will accept any responsible detectorist (whether beginner or experienced) as a member, there is no waiting list, and we will answer snail mail by return of post. The joining fee is £5, plus an annual membership fee of £4.00, There is a discount for senior citizens and the unwaged of £2, simply send a photocopy of your pension or benefit book with your application.


Uk Metal Detecting Clubs A-Z

An A to Z guide of metal detecting clubs around the U.K.





The Portable Antiquities Scheme

This website provides background information on the Portable Antiquities Scheme, news articles such as the Staffordshire hoard, events listings and access to our database of objects and images.

A list is also provided with contact details for 33 Finds Liaison Officers.


Metal Detecting Forum

This Forum has details of forthcoming events and rallies, discussion forums for finds, banter, swap shop and items for sale as well as information about news & history articles.


XP Forum

This forum is all about XP.

Essentially organised like a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) platform, to enable visitors to quickly find all the answers to their questions.

To ensure that the technical information is clear, only messages containing purely technical questions and non-redundant information will be published.

There is a search option to check whether the subject you are questioning has already been dealt with.