Metal detector tips – deep targets

An electronic metal detector can provide hours of fun and entertainment for children and adults. The hobby can be something as simple as a trip to the beach, or as complex as an archaeological dig requiring months of research. These 2 extremes require slightly different techniques as might be expected. Let’s take a look at some of the techniques required for deep scanning, which is often associated with relic hunting.


Many experts recommend that you avoid discrimination mode when relic hunting. For one thing ID machines may not be terribly accurate when pinpointing targets at the maximum depth that the machine is able to work. Often items that have been in the ground for a long time may develop a halo of rust or mineralization around them. These halos can prevent metal detectors from properly identifying the object. So, the advice is usually to turn off discrimination mode and to dig all targets.


When pinpointing targets that are thought to be deeper than an inch or so, try varying the speed of the coil sweep and swing the coil in an X-shaped pattern. This will give the best opportunity to hear the tone produced by the object to determine if it is an actual object or merely an area of mineralization in the soil.


Another tip is to dig a shallow hole and then rescan by placing the coil down inside the hole. If the signal is still there or is louder you can continue digging. If the signal has disappeared it is a clue that the object may be in the soil that was removed from the hole already. In this case scan the pile of soil and sod that was removed from the hole.


When relic hunting it is helpful to have some idea what might be underneath the ground. Some locations are filled with Civil War relics and on these sites there may be a large number of small lead balls, buttons, belt buckles and occasionally larger objects. On the site of an old store, the object may be primarily coins, nails, and other smallish metal items. The difference between these two locations is that one will likely have a lot more lead items than the other, and because one site is likely much older than the other the items from one site will likely be deeper than those found on the other site.


Older items are generally found deeper in the ground than newer items because they have had much longer to have soil accumulate over top of them. Therefore it is important to know something about the site you are searching in order to have some idea of how deep to search, and what type of item she might be looking for. A flattened Civil War bullet may look like a piece of scrap if you were to simply dig it up on the beach. But, found on a Civil War battlefield that same small piece of lead becomes a piece of history and something you can take home and treasure.


Metal detectors really aren’t hard to use and the hobby isn’t hard to learn. Like every other sport there some simple guidelines and rules to follow, and it takes practice, practice, practice.


Comments are closed.