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Avoid These Common Beginner Metal Detecting Mistakes!

The best metal detector for beginners will let almost anyone get outside to start looking for treasure. Although it might be tempting to turn on the equipment right away, that choice is the first common mistake that new detectorists make.
It is better to get to know the capabilities and features of your new metal detector before taking it outside. That way, you’ll know what it can handle so that you can pick the best places to go!
Here are some of the other common metal detecting mistakes that beginners make that you’ll want to avoid.

1. Forgetting to Research the Location

It's essential to research the location you plan to metal detect beforehand. Certain areas may have restrictions or require permission before detecting. Additionally, some properties may have been searched extensively or have not had any valuable findings.
The best spots to take a metal detector include beaches, parks, and playgrounds. You can also visit historical sites and sporting fields. [1]

best spots to metal detect
cr.Paulo Rainho  


Specific rules may apply for target recovery. If you find relics or artifacts, you might be required to turn them in for examination before legally keeping the item.

2. Not Filling in Your Holes

It's important to fill in any holes you dig to leave the area as you found it and to avoid creating a hazard for others.
If you're working on private property with permission, forgetting this step could result in the forfeiture of future privileges. When you're on public land, leaving an untended hole could make you liable for another detectorist's injuries if they step into it.
Place the extracted soil or sand on a plastic sheet or nearby surface as you dig. This step keeps it separate from any debris or trash.
Once you've retrieved the item, please take a few moments to smooth out the sides and bottom of the hole you created before returning the soil to it. Then use your foot or the back of your shovel to gently tamp the soil back down. Avoid compacting the ground, as this can damage plant roots. [2]
Use a small stick or your hand to create a light grid pattern on the soil's surface to blend it back into the surrounding area, then remove excess items to dispose of them correctly. [3]

3. Using the Wrong Settings

Different detectors have unique settings and modes for detecting specific metal types. Be sure to read the instruction manual and adjust the various features and controls accordingly to ensure you can find the targets you’re looking for out there.

4. Not Using Headphones

Using headphones while detecting can make it easier to hear faint signals and minimize background noise.

Wearing headphones can help reduce the weight and strain on your detector's control box, as you do not need to turn up the volume on your equipment to hear faint signals. [4]

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In areas with potentially hazardous noises, like construction sites, airports, or even busy streets, wearing headphones can protect your ears from loud and harmful sounds.

5. Forgetting to Clean Up

Make sure to remove any trash or debris you find while detecting and leave the area clean. Since this work can be extensive on some properties, it helps to join a local metal detecting club. [5]
Clubs and associations can provide valuable information, resources, and support from other enthusiasts. It’s also an excellent way to meet new people and make a few friends.
While you're out there, be socially responsible and pick up the trash that others have left behind. It's an easy way to improve each community and neighborhood, and the only thing you need to bring along is an extra garbage bag.

6. Being Impatient

Metal detecting can take time and practice. Don't get discouraged if you don't find anything right away, and invest some time to keep practicing your technique.
Set realistic expectations for yourself. You might not find valuable items each time you search a property or area. Focus on the joy of getting outside with a metal detector and spending quality moments with your family or friends.
Take a break if you start to feel frustrated or impatient while metal detecting. Invest a few minutes in stretching, getting some water, and enjoying your surroundings.

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7. Digging Incorrectly

When you find a target, it's vital to dig carefully and avoid damaging any artifacts. Use a small hand digger or trowel to carefully remove soil or sand from around the target. Probes and other tools can help you reach deeper targets without disturbing the area.
These metal detecting tips can help you transition from beginner status with only a few expeditions for hidden treasure. Please remember to follow your equipment's storage and maintenance advice to ensure it is ready to work when you want to get outside.



Read More:

What Can I Find With a Metal Detector?

Essential Tips for Metal Detecting in the Woods

How to Find Places to Metal Detect