The first time I thought about buying a metal detector was many moons ago after picking up coins while searching tidal river banks in England, but I changed my mind because I figured Im finding coins why bother right?
I kind of looked at metal detectors and metal detecting in general as cheating and figured it took more skill to eye ball coins instead of using a machine to detect them.
Coins were easy to spot as I searched for old bottles and clay pipes along river banks, using my "Twin optical scanners" first to read the river banks looking for the right layer holding goodies and secondly to spot the things I was searching for.
Fast forward to today and I still rely on my eyes first search strategy to put me position to use a metal detector, my metal detector is just the tool I use to winkle out coins, jewelry or artifacts from an area I believe may be productive.
My long handled beach scoop and pin-pointer are target recovery tools I use now I can detect metal objects not visible on the surface.
I still look at my metal detector, scoop and pin-pointer as tools of the trade and like any trade it is the craftsmanship and work ethic that makes the difference between doing a good job or a poor job.
The point of todays blog is to look at your metal detecting equipment as tools that help you to recover what you expect or hope your site reading skills have put you in position to detect.
If you buy a certain metal detector because you believe the reason you are not finding coins, jewelry or artifacts is you are using the wrong metal detector, you need to work on your site reading skills.
Don't get me wrong, the type of metal detector you use can make a big difference in any kind of metal detecting, but only when you know why it can make a significant difference.
Site reading skills come with experience and they are the ultimate learning on the job experience for anyone swinging a metal detector.
Im lucky I found a 1790 gold coin digging for bottles in England, or Id possibly still be walking around with a rake and a plastic bag instead of a metal detector, scoop and finds pouch.
Research your local area, learn what conditions have to be present to find stuff and use the tools of the trade to detect what you are hoping to recover, preferably in that order!
Its not how many hours you spend pounding the beach, its where you spend your time that makes a difference.
In my opinion, site reading and observational skills are the building blocks of this great hobby.
If you need help reading the beach I have a book on my website called "How to read the beach & water" that will show you what to look for.