Metal Detector basics – Do you swing slow?

Metal detectors are great fun, and an excellent way to get some exercise on a sunny afternoon. But, just like any other hobby you have to learn how to use the equipment. One thing that puzzles many people new to the hobby is how slow or fast to swing the search coil.


There really is no set speed, or any requirement that you move it at any given speed. For the most part people well experienced with the hobby will say that it is best to swing the search coil very, very slowly. The coil should also be held parallel to the ground when working. With that said, there are special circumstances that can occur when it might be advisable to move the coil differently.


If you are trying to pinpoint a target that your detector has found, is handy to move the coil in a X-shaped pattern so that you can help locate better where the metal object is underground. It may also be handy to move the coil a little bit faster sometimes when a target seems iffy. In other words you will sometimes have occasions when the metal detector signals a target but you can’t quite determine if it is a valid target were merely an anomaly caused by mineral content in the ground. In these occasions it may be better to move the coil of it faster or to vary the speed when passing over the area where the target is that you can see how the sound changes.


Most experts describe search coils as having an invisible cone shaped area underneath that is formed from the electromagnetic radiation of the machine. Because this cone gets smaller the deeper it goes in the ground is necessary to overlap each sweep of the coil to cover as much deep territory as possible. Some experts recommend a 50% overlap and other experts recommend even slightly more. The more times you are willing to overlap your swings the faster you will be able to swing the coil.


The speed that you swing your coil will also depend in large part on the coil size. Smaller coils will have a smaller cone underneath and therefore won’t be as able to find deeper items, unless those items are quite large. Larger coils will do better on finding deep objects and she may be able to move to larger coil faster if you are only hunting shallow targets.


A metal detector’s coil may also be scrubbed across the ground or through the grass. This often is not terribly effective, but will sometimes provide an opportunity to find objects that might otherwise be missed. Often, it is necessary when digging objects, to swing the coil over dirt dug from the hole in order to ensure that nothing has been missed. Sometimes small objects like pennies and small rings can easily be pulled from the hole with the sod and if you don’t go back over with a metal detector you may miss something is very important.






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