General Techniques For Metal Detector Operation

Operating a metal detector to achieve the best performance from it and to increase the likelihood of finding targets requires

some basic and easily learned skills. The following is a description of the basic operating techniques for the metal detector.

sweep your detector


The most basic detecting technique and the first that operators need to master is sweeping. This is the moving of the search

coil from side to side across the ground in order to find buried targets.

This diagram shows the sweeping motion and illustrates how the ground area is covered.

When sweeping, you should:

1. Slightly overlap each sweep so as not to miss any targets.  

Sweep detector over target

2. Keep the search coil parallel to the ground at all times to prevent the loss of detection of deep targets.

Operators sometimes have a tendency to lift the coil at the end of each sweep. Where possible this should be avoided because

it will cause a loss of detection depth.

Whilst sweeping, do not forget to listen for signals, especially faint ones. Beginners often dig only the very loud target signals

when in fact the faint signals may be a deep or small target.

Pinpointing the Target   

pinpoint target with metal detector

Once you have detected a target, you can avoid digging a large hole by pin

pointing the exact location of the target.

Use the following method for pinpointing using a Double D search coil. Due to the nature of the Double D search coil, the

strongest detection is achieved along a straight line from heel to toe through the center of the coil.

When the target is detected along the sweep line, draw a line at right angels to it, through the center of the coil.

Turn 90 and move along the line just drawn until you detect the target again.

Again, draw a line through the center of the search coil. Where the two lines meet is where the targe lies.

Digging the Object

Once you have pin-pointed the target, clear the surface material and check the hole again for the signal. If there is no signal,

then the target is amongst the surface material. In this case, search the area until you have located the target.

If, however, the signal is still there, remove a few inches of soil from the surface of the ground. If the target in not visible, sweep

the coil over the hole again. The signal should become louder. If it does continue your digging.

Take care of how you dig. A swift blow to an object with a pick could deface a valuable coin or split a piece of gold in two.

If the object is not clearly visible you might need to scan the soil which has been dug up, so be sure to pile the soil carefully

whilst digging. There are two methods of scanning this soil:

Spread the soil out, then sweep the coil over it to locate the target. (Be sure that there is no object buried in the ground below

the soil).

Lay the coil on its side near the hole. Pick up a handful of soil from the pile and pass it across the coil. If there is no signal then

place the soil in a second pile away from the first and grab another handful of soil. Continue this process until you receive a

signal; the target is now in you hand. Sift through the soil until the object is located.

Once the target has been recovered it is a good idea to run the detector over the hole again to make sure that there are no other targets to be found.

Once a target has been found, there is a high chance that more targets are close by, so it is advisable to search the surrounding

area extremely carefully.