Metal detecting is one of my very favorite hobbies. There are so many reasons to pick up your first metal detector.
This article will discuss 40 reasons you should buy your first metal detector, and hopefully encourage you to do so!
Metal Detecting is Just Plain Interesting!
Metal detecting is such an interesting hobby. There are so many factors involved in metal detecting from the history of an area to researching what machines are best to what treasures you can look forward to. The number of different items you can find is incredible, and plus, it’s fun! Just when I think I am proficient with a metal detector, I learn more!
If you’re ready to jump into the hobby of detecting, but are in need of a metal detector, check out our table below, which shows off some of the top metal detectors on today’s market:
|Garrett AT Max||$$$||Waterproof to 10 feet|
|Fisher F22||$$||9″ Triangulated Concentric Coil|
|Garrett Ace 400||$$$||8.5 x 11" DD coil|
|Minelab Vanquish 540||$||Search Modes: Coin, Relic, Jewelry, Custom, All Metal|
1) Metal Detecting Can Pay for Itself
Not all hobbies can claim this one! Getting started with metal detecting can be costly depending on the model of detector you purchase.
However, with that detector and all your other accessories, you can find actual treasure! You could find gold, jewelry, coins, relics, and all manner of other items. Some of these can be worth a lot of money. This one-time investment will pay for itself over time!
- If you’re interested in a good metal detector for finding gold, consider the very popular Fisher Gold Bug.
2) Banish Stress
Metal detecting is a great way to relieve stress. It gives you something to focus on besides all your worries and troubles. Doing something you really enjoy is always a great stress reliever. It is so easy to forget your troubles when metal detecting.
Focusing on the sounds and sites of your machine, looking around the environment, finding signs of treasures. These all help lower your stress level. Plus, you are getting some exercise, which can also lower stress!
3) The Thrill of the Hunt
Hearing the tone and seeing the LCD readout of a target never gets old. There is nothing quite like finding a target with your metal detector. As you become more familiar with your machine, you can tell the good target sounds from the trash target sounds. When you hear that sweet high tone indicating silver coins or jewelry, your heart races a little!
And trust me, that thrill never goes away. No matter how many targets I dig, even if they sound like they may not be the highest quality target, it still gets the blood moving.]
- If you’re looking for a great metal detector capable of finding all kinds of metals (from jewelry to old coins), we recommend the Garrett AT Pro.
4) Getting Outdoors
Metal detecting is a great way to spend more time outdoors. I like to take my metal detector on camping trips, as well as hunting around my town and local areas nearby. I found myself wanting to get outside more often a few years ago, and metal detecting got me there.
Sometimes we will take a day trip to the mountains and pack all our metal detecting equipment along with us. We can walk, enjoy nature, and metal detect where and when we decide (so long as it’s within the law, of course). It is so therapeutic to be outdoors with your metal detector in nature.
- For those that seek a valuable, all around metal detector that’s waterproof and capable of being submersed in water as you look for buried treasure, we recommend the Fisher F22, which as a submersible search coil.
5) Getting Some Exercise
Combined with getting outdoors more, you also get more exercise! If I am honest, I don’t love to exercise, even though I know I should. But metal detecting doesn’t seem like work to me, so it’s much easier to get all those steps in! Packing around your metal detecting gear and supplies, walking for miles a day, and digging targets are all great ways to keep fit.
6) Keeps Your Mind Active
Metal detecting is not only good for your physical fitness but can be good for keeping your mind active.
This hobby is very stimulating to the mind with all the sights and sounds, looking at the natural environment and reading your detector’s signals. You will also learn to research an area before metal detecting, and this also helps keep your mind healthy.
7) Research Can be Extremely Interesting
While it may sound boring to some, the research that goes along with metal detecting is one of my favorite parts! Each area has its own unique historical significance and learning about these piques my interest. Not only will you become very good at this type of research, but you can learn so much from it.
You will find information like when your area was first settled and by whom, any significant historical events, and locations where mining or prospecting has occurred. These will all help you become a better detectorist and help you learn what to look for when detecting.
8) You Can Metal Detect in So Many Places
Metal detecting is a very versatile hobby. You can metal detect in so many places such as public parks, fields, yards (yours and other people’s), churches, beaches, forests, trails and paths, rivers and streams, underwater, ghost towns, battle sites, and national forests.
You will need to familiarize yourself with the laws regarding metal detecting in your chosen areas. Some cities, towns, and counties allow metal detecting, some require permissions, and some don’t allow it at all. Most federal and state lands disallow metal detecting. Be sure you always check laws in your area before heading out!
9) You Don’t Have to Leave Your Yard!
Metal detecting your own yard is a great way to start out. You may only find old nails and trash, but you will become familiar with your detector and how it works.
My father in law found an antique gold and emerald cufflink 20 feet from his back door! All I have ever found in my yard is newer coins, nails, and other scrap metals. Yards are the perfect place to learn to detect.
10) You Can Learn About History
I am a huge history buff, so this one is a top reason for me having a metal detector. Because I bought a metal detector, I have done a lot of research on my area and other areas I have hunted. I have learned the history associated with the areas, what activities took place (mining, prospecting, settlements, etc.) and have a whole new appreciation for my town.
I am somewhat new to my area and didn’t grow up in this state, so I don’t know as much about the history. This has given me an opportunity to learn more about my new home and have a better appreciation for it.
11) You Can Learn About Geology
While metal detecting, you may need to study up on geology.
When you are looking for certain things, like gold, you will need to understand geological features to find the best locations to metal detect. You will also learn to find signs in various terrains of human activities, past and present. Looking for areas where bedrock is exposed or close to the surface is important, as you will learn!
12) It’s Fun for the Whole Family
It can be difficult to find activities to do with the whole family. Metal detecting not only got me outside more, but my whole family likes this hobby. We bought inexpensive metal detectors for our kiddos, and more expensive models for myself and my husband.
It is a great way to get everyone together and involved in something fun outdoors! It also keeps us off our other gadgets, like cell phones, which we all spend entirely too much time on.
13) Metal Detecting is Good for All Ages
Whether you’re young or old, metal detecting is a wonderful hobby for every age. My 11-year-old loves to find treasure with his metal detector, and my 72-year-old dad with his! It really is something everyone can do at any age. It can get older people more active, and younger people involved in the history of their area.
- If you’re looking for a good metal detector for kids, or just young people relatively new to metal detector, consider the Bounty Hunter Junior.
14) You Can Get Some Alone Time
While taking the family metal detecting is great, sometimes it is nice to just be by yourself. If you are detecting in a city or town, you can take your headphones, hook them to your machine, and detect a local park, beach, or church (with permission, of course), and just enjoy your own company. It can do a person good to do a hobby alone sometimes. While I like to be alone, I do prefer metal detecting with my family.
15) Vacations Take on a New Meaning
Anytime we take a family vacation, we pack our metal detectors. We visit family in other states a few times a year and like to metal detect in these areas. We live in the western U.S., so we have a lot of gold rush areas, silver ore, and old mining towns to search through.
It is always interesting and makes our vacations much more enjoyable. Over the summer we like to pack our detectors and camping equipment and meet our family in the mountains of Utah. We camp, hike, metal detect, play in the rivers, and have a wonderful time.
16) You Can Explore New Areas
You may find you wish to detect in an area that is not very familiar to you.
Metal detecting can lead you to research and get to know areas you normally wouldn’t. For example, if you live on the west coast, you may wish to detect in a Civil War battlefield across the country because you love Civil War history. Metal detecting gives you a great reason to get out and travel.
17) You Never Get Bored
Never once while metal detecting have I been bored. This hobby keeps you interested and focused on finding those targets. There is always something to learn. There is always something interesting to see while metal detecting. You will also be focused on the sounds and signals your detector is emitting, so you really don’t have time to be bored! Even when I am at a site where I am digging mostly (or all) trash targets, I don’t get bored.
18) Metal Detectors are Getting Easier to Use
Many metal detector models are incredibly easy to use. A lot of the time you can just take it out of the box, and it is ready to use. There are usually settings to fine tune if necessary, but a lot of models are ready to go. They are not complicated to learn and come with very informative manuals. Plus, you can always look at online videos or forums for information about detectors.
19) You Can Always Upgrade Your Metal Detector
There are metal detectors for all skill levels available. Once you are familiar with the hobby, you can always upgrade to a more advanced machine.
The more advanced machines have more features and typically distinguish targets better than entry-level metal detectors.
20) Not as Expensive as Some Other Hobbies
Some hobbies require regular money to keep them going. Metal detecting is not so! It does require some money up front to get the gear and supplies you need, but outside of that, and some gas money, you don’t have to spend a fortune to be a metal detectorist. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get started metal detecting. There are many cheap but good metal detectors out there.
21) Manufacturers Make Metal Detectors for All Terrains
Not all metal detectors work well in all terrains. Some soils are highly mineralized. Saltwater beaches also pose a problem for some detectors. Lucky for you metal detector manufacturers make different types of detectors with different features, so you are sure to find one that works well for your soil type.
22) Manufacturers Make Metal Detectors for Different Treasures
Along with metal detectors for different soil types, manufacturers produce detectors specifically for different types of treasure. Whether you’re looking for gold, jewelry, coins, relics, or all types of metal, there is a metal detector specifically for that item!
23) Buy a Detector Based on How Often You Will Use It
You don’t have to buy the most expensive, top of the line metal detector out there. If you won’t be able to dedicate a significant amount of time to this hobby, you can purchase a much less expensive model and still get all the benefits of metal detecting.
24) It Can Lead to Other Hobbies
While you are metal detecting, you may find that you inadvertently get hooked on finding coins. Now you are coin collector! Or you may find that you really enjoy metal detecting in Civil War areas or ghost towns. Maybe you’ve been metal detecting on the beach and have decided to try underwater metal detecting (snorkeling or diving). This hobby can open the door to a whole host of history and other hobbies!
25) Treasure is EVERYWHERE!
Never once have I used my metal detector in an area and come away empty handed. While a lot of what you will find is litter, there area great finds mixed in with all the litter. Wherever people spend time, or spent time in the past, you will find something.
26) Meet New People
People are often curious when they see someone metal detecting and will want to visit with you.
You can also join a metal detecting club or online forum and meet some great people who are knowledgeable about metal detecting. Often, clubs or forums will have helpful information for new detectorists.
27) You Can Help Others
If you find an item that is engraved, or someone’s cell phone, you have an opportunity to return the item to them (or at least attempt to). This will make you feel great and they will be grateful! You can help in other ways, too. You could uncover something historical, helping our understanding of history.
28) You Could End Up Working with Archaeologists
As I mentioned, some historians and archaeologists find metal detectorists a nuisance. Despite this, some are coming around to understanding the value of metal detectors, even in the hands of amateurs. Sometimes these professionals will ask for volunteers from the metal detecting community to help them search a specific area.
I read an article recently where a handful of amateur metal detectorists were recruited to search some battlefield sites that are typically off limits for scientific and historical research. They were able to unearth a lot of lost relics and gave the historians and scientists new information about the time period and battles. It would be highly rewarding to help further our understanding of history!
29) You Will Learn New Things
There are so many things to learn when you metal detect! You will learn:
- How metal detectors work
- How to identify good areas to search
- Metal Identification
- How to research
While I have learned a lot from metal detecting, it always seems like I find something new to learn about!
30) You Can Help Keep the Environment Clean
When metal detecting, you will inadvertently find trash targets. A good detectorist always packs out the trash he or she finds. This helps leave the environment cleaner than you found it. Plus, if you find enough soda cans or scrap metal you can recycle them for a little cash!
31) It is an All-Season Hobby
If you are willing to be outside in the heat or the frigid cold, metal detecting can be done year-round. Metal detecting in the off season (winter, for most areas) you will have access to areas that may be too busy during the warmer months to detect. Beaches for example are busier in the warmer summer months and would be easier to detect in the off season.
32) You Can Actually Make Money Metal Detecting
While you shouldn’t quit your day job to metal detect, you have a good chance of finding something valuable. Coins, relics, jewelry, gold, silver…. all these finds are worth money. While you may not break the bank, you can always turn in your finds for money and make a little (or a lot, depending) cash.
33) Metal Detectors Are Easy to Take with You
Most metal detectors are very light weight and can be broken down to fit in a small duffel bag or carrying case. This makes a metal detector very easy to take with you anywhere you go.
34) Metal Detecting Teaches Patience
I am not the most patient person, admittedly. However, you must be relatively patient when you metal detect. Most of us don’t walk out to an area, flip on the detector, and strike it rich. It takes time and a lot of trash targets to find the good stuff!
35) Metal Detecting Teaches Perseverance
This goes along with patience. You will have to persevere if you want to find good loot! Some areas will have more trashy targets or highly mineralized soil and it can be quite difficult to find a good target. But if you keep going you are sure to find something good. Last camping trip I took we were finding nothing but soda cans and pull tabs. We dug all the targets we came across and ended up finding several pieces of native silver!
36) You May Find Something Worth a Lot of Money!
Most metal detectorists dream of finding great treasures.
Some of them do! Several detectorists have found treasures ranging from coin hoards to large gold nuggets to ancient relics. Often museums will purchase these items to display, paying the finders handsomely.
37) You Could Become a Part of History
Many detectorists have contributed to our understanding of history, despite the often-contentious attitude between historians/archaeologists and detectorists. The British Museum reported that contributions from metal detectorist amateurs have redrawn the ancient maps of England and changed the understanding of how the country was invaded and settled.
38) Holding Forgotten Objects in Your Own Hands
If you do run across something historically significant or ancient, you will be the first person to hold that item for who know how many years. There is something special about that. Finding a forgotten item and bringing it back to life, essentially.
39) Bragging Rights!
If you do find something special (a “Top pocket find,” as one of my favorite detectorists, Gary Drayton, calls them), you will have bragging rights! You have uncovered a piece of history and should be proud of that! Remember, you don’t have to tell people exactly where you find your treasures, but you can still show them off proudly!
40) Have Fun
At the end of the day, this is a hobby. So above all else, have some fun!
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