Metal detecting kit to get you going

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figgis
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So now you have your detector and somewhere to use it, but what else do you need? Note: there's a difference between what you might want and what you actually need ;)

Spade
Need? Absolutely, unless you're descended from moles and/or aardvarks. You can pay anything from a few pounds for a basic/second-hand one to around the eighty quid mark for a stainless steel detectorists' special like the Black Ada or Evolution Pro. But whatever you choose, bear in mind the weight is important as you'll be carting it about all day. It will also need to be strong as most ground, especially clay, gets really hard when dry.

Trowel
You don't actually need one but it's advisable. While your spade can be used for close quarter combat when you've closed in on your find, a smaller hand-held tool will give you much more control and lessen the risk of damage to your find. You can also use it rather than your spade if your find is obviously near the surface.

Pinpointer
Need one? No. Your detector has everything you need to locate your find. You can use the pinpointer function (most have them) or grab handfuls of soil and wave them over the coil when your target is out of the hole. The rear of the coil also serves as a pinpointer, though isn't as precise as a hand-held pinpointer.
Want one? Opinion is divided! While the above methods will eventually secure your target, a pinpointer will save much time and is far more precise. See our Guide to pinpointers for more information.

Finds Bag
Need one? Technically, no - if you have enough pockets, but it's a very good idea to have one.
The risk of damaging finds is reduced, you have a place for all the junk that you will find, and it's generally more comfortable. Plus, you'll have somewhere to hang/store other equipment. You can buy specialist detectorists bags or use something like army surplus or just adapt whatever you have to hand.

The above form the basic kit of most detectorists and there are additional elements we tailor to our own needs such as a protective finds boxes, in-field and at-home cleaning equipment, clothing, backpacks etc (all of which can be found with unbiased expertise and advice at Unearthed UK) and these you can add to your basic kit as you go along according to your requirements.

Aside from a detector, a spade and somewhere with permission to use them, the rest is optional. And remember - any questions, just ask :thumbsup:
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Daz2110
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I would say all the above are a definitely needed to make detecting more pleasurable.

A spade is obviously required.
As you said, a trowel/digging knife or some sort of hand held digging tool is highly recommended for digging within the hole rather than having to widen the hole and creating a crater.

Also highly recommend (in my opinion) is a pinpointer/probe. Although most machines have a pinpointer built in, a hand held pinpointer/probe is perfect for finding the target within the hole. Some targets can be tricky to find and unfortunately a built in pinpointer sometimes just isn't enough.

As for the finds bag...... This is also highly recommended. Partly for storing any crap you may find. But also for keeping your good finds safe. Most finds bags have multiple pouches and somewhere to store a pinpointer.

Below is a kit list of everything I take

• Metal Detctor

• Spade

• Finds pouch

• pinpointer (attached to the side of my finds bag

• Hand held digging tool (inside my main pouch

• Plastic finds box with padding inside (to keep My coins/artifacts in that have some good detail on them) this is in another pouch in my finds bag

• a small spray bottle (filled with water, to clean any coins/artifacts in the field)

• Mobile phone (for obvious reasons incase of emergency. But also has a tracking app I use to record my finds and locations. The app is called Tect O Trak)

• A hydration back pack (Google them. They're ideal if going on all day hunts. You can drink whilst walking, no need to stop and waste valuable detecting time 😉😂)

• appropriate clothing depending on the weather

I think that's everything. It looks and sounds a lot of equipment, but it's actually not. But all this equipment makes my detecting pleasurable and my digging and retrieving targets efficient and easy.
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figgis
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Great input and thanks, Daz. :thumbsup:

The idea of this thread is for beginners who might not want to invest in too much gear from the outset, which is why the kit listed has been kept to the absolute minimum. And who knows, they might not take to detecting (I know, it's a weird concept :lol: ) and be left with a load of gear to dispose of.

Experienced detectorists like your good self have it down to a fine art, learned over the seasons, and are in pole position to give advice regarding any questions which we hope you, and others like you, will pass on to newcomers. Hope? What am I saying? I know you will :D :thumbsup:
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Oxgirl
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I’m famous for carrying too much, although I’ve gone minimal now. I would however add tissues, a pen and bit of paper, a couple of plasters (and a hat if it’s hot).

In the car I have a box with spray wound cleaner, bandages, a multi tool with penknife, sun tan lotion, a torch, spare headphones, spade, battery charger, bottle of water, woolly hat, loads of gloves ... and the kitchen sink :lol:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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figgis
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Beginners, do not listen to this woman, for that way madness (and backache) lies :thumbdown:
Pete E
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Not wanting to stray too far away from the concept of beginners kit one item I think needs to be considered is decent footware.

In the summer, I see people wearing trainers, but I prefer something with a sturdier sole. I find any footware with too thin a sole to be uncomfortable to dig with and they tend not to last very long as the spade will break up the sole.

Sturdy boots are therefore my recommendation, or even wellies depending on the weather, just ensure don't have steel toe caps!
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Oxgirl
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figgis wrote: Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:17 pm Beginners, do not listen to this woman, for that way madness (and backache) lies :thumbdown:
If a pack of tissues, a pen, a plaster and a bit of paper gives you backache you shouldn’t be detecting :Luv Ya:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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figgis
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Beginners, by all means listen to this woman for she knows of what she speaks :thumbsup:

So does Pete.

:lol:
Pete E
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Just another thought for beginners re spades..

Some people use the term "spade" and "shovel" interchanginably, but this is wrong and for what we do, you really need a spade....

Most folks don't use a full size spade, but rather one with a narrower some times longer head...There are a variety of names/styles, but anything termed a border, ladies, or rabbiting spade should be fine...

Avoid anything termed a drainage or Newcastle spade unless you can try them first as they are often very heavy.

Other styles to avoid are the various folding army entrenching tools or copies there of...

Which ever spade you get, remember it's for digging and not levering big iron or large rock's out of the ground! Trying to lever something obviously stuck will sooner or later result in the spade breaking- don't ask how I know this! :roll: :oops: :oops:
Dave The Slave
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I travel light, when on the ground.
Beach = Detector, plastic spade as I only detect dry and pockets.
Inland= Detector, SS Border spade, bag, inc spare batteries, pen, paper, camera and mobile, poly bags for detector control box & grips, blue poly bags for gridding. Bottle of water.
Detector has pin pointing facility which is sufficient.
Have not carried a trowel since busting the handle off one years ago trying to prise out a deep horse shoe.
Tend not to eat.
Couple of chocolate bars left in the boot after lockdown lifted liquefied in 3 hrs. :thumbdown:
Cheers all, :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Oxgirl
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Dave The Slave wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:46 am
blue poly bags for gridding
I’m intrigued Dave - how do you use them?
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
Dave The Slave
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Oxgirl wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:55 am I’m intrigued Dave - how do you use them?
Blue is more visible to me in stubble than red.
One bag for each corner of grid, when grid completed take the 2 furthest bags to mark out the next grid.
Works for me.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
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Oxgirl
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Dave The Slave wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:13 am Blue is more visible to me in stubble than red.
One bag for each corner of grid, when grid completed take the 2 furthest bags to mark out the next grid.
Works for me.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
Dave.
Clever! I am gridding an area today so will try that :thumbsup:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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Kenleyboy
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I try and keep what I carry to the bare minimum , can't be doing with bags and bits hanging off me all day . Summer time I use my flyfishermans vest , a sleeveless jacket with a vast array of pockets . Deep enough pockets to carry pinpointer and trowel in one , drinks bottle in the other while the rest of the bits and bobs are distributed amongst the rest of the pockets .
In winter then I use my well seasoned and ancient Barbour jacket , does the same job as the vest but a lot warmer . If I go on a club dig then I will take a small anglers shoulder bag other than that I prefer to travel as light as possible .
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Easylife
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A detector and spade are the only absolute essentials, the rest is optional and even camo gear is not a mandatory requirement. ;)

Over time you will no doubt modify your equipment to better suit you and arrive at your own perfect set up to make detecting the most pleasurable with any minor niggles resolved. :thumbsup:

Personally I don't carry a trowel as I find that my spade is all I need. It was quite cheap but is very solid, weight is okay for me to carry but I normally just drag it around anyway. I have modified the blade shape with an angle grinder and added an additional foot plate higher on the shaft for those really deep holes. As said there are many different types of spade available. Some opt for the short mini-digger spades but the downside of them is that you will likely end up digging on your knees or getting a bad back unless you are maybe young and fit?
Whether strong boots or soft shoes just depends on what suits you best. A spade will normally eventually damage most footwear (I've wrecked loads) unless they have a built-in digging plate, but start out with whatever you already have and see how you go, but steel shanks or toe-caps can cause false targets on the detector. :(
As has been said there is really no need to initially buy all of the optional gear and bling, but you may decide to add some if you find that you are taking to the hobby and have places to search. :thumbsup:
D2 - 13"x11" coil - audio only.
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