Design a site like this with
Get started

The 5 Essential Must Haves For Metal Detecting

5 “Must Have” Essential Tools Needed For Metal Detecting

If you are looking to start this new hobby, it can be pretty overwhelming trying to figure out all of the things you will need in order to get started. Many people think that once they have a metal detector then that it, they are ready to start finding buried treasures. NOPE, wrong, you must have a few other essential items in order for you to succeed.

For anyone looking to start metal detecting as a hobby, there are at least 5 “must have” essentials you will need.

  • Metal Detector
  • Pinpointer
  • Digging Tool
  • Finds Bag
  • Gloves

Metal Detector

If you want to enjoy this hobby of metal detecting you will absolutely need a metal detector.

Now, here is the best kept secret when it comes to choosing a metal detector… IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE ONE ON THE MARKET!!!

You may want it to be, but it really doesn’t NEED to be.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Choose the right detector to suit your needs. For example! If you live in the desert, you probably do not have the need to spend hundreds of extra $$$ just because the detector is waterproof. (Just sayin)

Detectors range form $100 to tens of thousands, the average hobbyist will spend anywhere from $150 to a few thousand dollars on his or her metal detector alone.

I myself, (as you have seen throughout this book) have 2 Minelab Vanquish detectors. The 340 is a decent beginner unit and costs around $289.00 off Amazon and the 540 Vanquish which is a beginner to intermediate level machine has an approx price tag of $489.00 off Amazon.

Minelab Vanquish 540 Metal Detector with V12 12″ x 9″ Double-D Coil


I have an entire other post in this book on pinpointing and it’s importance.

So I’ll reiterate here that having a decent pinpointer will cut the time spent between digging a hole, which may take approximately 5 minutes, down to potentially under a minute. (Especially if it’s a very small piece of metal). The fact is that potentially someone with a decent pin-pointer has the potential to dig 5x faster that someone without one or even twice as fast/& efficiently as someone with a cheap knock off model.

The features that make up a good pin-pointer, and what I now look for when I purchased mine was, it needed to be waterproof to a minimum of 3 ft, have multiple noise settings, have a vibration mode, have a light, it is a bonus if that light turns on and off, have multiple sensitivity levels. Indicates when you are getting closer to a target either VIA faster vibration and or by chirping louder or faster as the pointer approaches the target. And has an alarm on it if you leave it on so you can save battery power as needed, this option helps too if you loose your pointer in the sand close by lol.

I personally chose the NOKTA MAKRO pointer myself which was a serious upgrade to a cheap one I got off Amazon. This pointer after taxes and shipping was approx $150 CDN.

NOKTA Pointer (link to pointer off Amazon)


It won’t do you any good to have a metal detector or a pin-pointer if you don’t have a decent digging tool!

I am absolutely not saying I recommend going out to spend $180 on a shovel, I simply put this here to show that even shovels can cost a lot of money. I personally went and got a few different types of digging tools. Some I got from Canadian Tire and spent a grand total of $50 for a decent spade, and a metal (durable) hand trowel. Both of these items are necessary for the places I like to detect at. But I also went and ordered a CKG sand scoop. Now this I did spend a bit extra on, for the simple reason I wanted it. It is not a necessity but believe me when I say a sand scoop is a luxury item for Beach combing.

CKG sand scoop costs about $130.00 without a handle. You decide what type of handle you want to install on it. I bought a wooden one at Canadian tire for $15

As for a hand trowel digging tool which I would say is the absolute minimum you must have in order to do any metal detecting at all. I look for a couple things in a hand trowel. A cutting edge, some type of measurement on it, light weight, does it have a sheath or do you have to pack it in your pouch? – All important considerations when choosing the right digging tool.

I have now found one that seems to work great for others and when it arrives I’ll do a review of it. It’s called the Hori Hori garden knife. It has everything I wanted and looked for in a handheld digging tool and it wasn’t too expensive either pic below off Amazon


A finds bag is essential when starting out. There are a lot of targets you will be digging up every time you head out on a dig. Choosing the right one for you should have some thought. There are a lot of them out there and not all of them are the perfect fit. When choosing one for you try to take into consideration the following.

-Size matters, know where you want to wear your bag. Weather you want a backpack style or a side pouch style? (Bum bag). – does it have Separate compartments. having many different pockets will help sort your items from trash, to wanted items. – (Lots of pockets), -Also is it big enough to have extra space for snacks. Water, a hand trowel. Ect…, if your pouch doesn’t come with a built in sheath for a pin-pointer then make sure the belt fits one for the pointer. If it’s too wide then then you may have to attach a pinpointer at a different accessible area on your person, this can be annoying in the field. Trust me just look for one with all the options that will work for your type of detecting needs.

The pouch I use.


And last on the “must have items”, are a good pair of cut resistant gloves. Gloves are a very important piece of kit. When you are digging in ground that has been hard packed (sometimes for decades). Many items can be hard to remove. Gloves will save you from getting cut by rusty and sharp items such as nails sharp metal edges, sharp rocks, and glass, plus many more items you will come across.

When looking for gloves, it’s best to get them in person rather than trying to order online as in person you can try them on for the perfect fit. You want to make sure your gloves are snug fitting durable. Cut resistant, and flexible. Do not cheap out on your gloves. Gloves will cost upwards of $50 CDN.

These are my 5 must have items when beginning the hobby of metal detecting. I have many more items one my person that I like to have out on a dig. I’ll list these items below.

A second metal detector (incase one craps out), you do not want to go out, especially if your destination of far away only to have your machine die or break on you in the field. 2- a duffel bag to hold all your gear in your car,(this keeps your car clean, 3- a divider container for special finds that fits in your dig pouch, -4 a small spray bottle with water to clean special items such as rings and coins, -5 a different size coil for searching different depths, -6 proper footwear ( boots, & extra shoes) to keep your feet dry and your car clean, -6 a dust protector for your detector, especially if it’s not a waterproof machine, even water from your hands can destroy a machine if they are wet, especially if your beach combing, -7 snacks and water, -8 a head lamp for night dogs, -8 a soft brush like a tooth brush to clean finds without scratching or destroying them, -9 a safety vest in your car if your detecting near roadways. This vest does 2 things, first it helps vehicles see you, and secondly, it helps to deter people come up and wonder what your doing. If you have a vest people seem to think your official and are meant to be doing what your doing and they leave you alone. -10 a harness for your detector, these help eliminate any strain on your arms if you plan to detect for long or extended periods. And finally #-11 knee pads. Knee pads help of course to save your knees but they also help keep pants dry and save your clothing from wear and tear. -12 wireless headphones, -13, and extra batteries for everything that requires them.

These last 12 items are my nice to have items list. By no means do I believe that these items are required when you start this hobby. So financially what does this mean? Well if you are looking to get into this hobby and are just starting out, assuming you will start off with a middle of the row detector like I did then you would expect the start up costs will be somewhere between the ranges of $750.00 to $1200.00 CDN, then the cost only go up from there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: