How to use a ground metal detector correctly

In the study and mastering of the principles of operation of the metal detector, its operating instructions and practical exercises in the field will help. But what parameters of the device are needed for specific scenarios of its use, and what legal nuances there are – we will consider in the material.

Types of ground metal detectors
Ground metal detectors are devices designed to search for metals hidden in the soil (ground). Depending on the modification and technical characteristics, with their help, they reliably determine the places of occurrence of various types of metals (ferrous, non-ferrous and precious), hidden in the soil at different depths.

By type, ground metal detectors are divided into two categories:

classic models, which are an electromagnetic search coil mounted on a rod. As a rule, this type of device is an independent device that helps to quite accurately determine the location of the metal in the ground;

pin-pointers, which are auxiliary devices that help the user to more accurately localize the location of the metal within the area indicated by the main device or in the excavated soil.

You can read about methods of searching for metal objects in the ground, algorithms for determining the type of metal and other significant technical characteristics of metal detectors in the guide for choosing a device.

Scenarios for using a ground metal detector
Let’s leave the options for using metal detectors for industrial and military purposes beyond the scope of the material, and analyze various scenarios for using them in private hands.

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Before purchasing a metal detector, you need to clearly formulate for yourself the purpose of this purchase. Indeed, based on it, it is easier to determine the capabilities and required characteristics of the device, and ultimately with the model itself. There are several scenarios for using a metal detector in everyday life:

participation in the search movement. An important mission to find the unburied bodies of the dead soldiers, every year attracts a huge number of volunteers to its ranks, striving to make a feasible contribution to the common cause.

The places of past battles are simply packed with iron, so devices focused on the search for black metal are suitable for this mission. The main thing that they should be able to do well is to reliably determine the presence of metals at depths of the order of 1.5–1.8 m . To search for iron, such devices do not need high operating frequencies. But if the search work is carried out in a swampy area, you should think about purchasing a device with a waterproof coil .

Metal detector Teknetics ETEKPRO-SKDMinelab VANQUISH 340 metal detector”Hobby” application. Searching for artifacts hidden in the earth, like any hobby, most likely will not bring any profit and is unlikely to recoup the costs of organizing expeditions, but for such a category of search engines this is not necessary. The search process itself is important, which entails a change in “scenery” and occupation, complete unity with nature, even for a few hours.

Seekers of coins and other household items of past eras need to have in their arsenal a device with a high operating frequency or a multifrequency apparatus. The device must confidently determine the occurrence of small objects at a depth of 0.5 m . The presence of a pin-pointer will also be useful for this type of activity.

Metal detector Garrett ACE Apex 6X11

commercial search. In the USSR, the collection of scrap metal was mainly carried out by the pioneers, driven by the ideas of building a brighter future and at the suggestion of “senior comrades”. Now it is an established type of activity that sometimes brings quite acceptable profit or additional income. If you put earnings on iron at the forefront, then a simple and inexpensive device is suitable for searching for it, since good discrimination and great depth for small goals are not needed to search for ferrous metal.
A small target is a coin-sized metal object.

On the contrary, there is an opinion among those looking for the “blackguard” that the cheaper the device, the faster it will pay off and start making a profit.

Bounty Hunter Junior metal detector

The general rule for all use cases is as follows: “The best device for finding metals is the one that finds it at the depth to which the finder is ready to dig.”

Whatever the scenario of using a metal detector, it is important to understand that “go out” (the slang word for excavation) is the final stage of any search operation. It is preceded by many days, or even months of painstaking preparation: studying archival maps and documents, communicating with local old-timers, studying the area, etc. And it is for this prelude to the process, and not the ephemeral possibility of getting quick money, that many “diggers” love their hobby.

Legal aspects of using a ground metal detector
Although the purchase and ownership of a metal detector is absolutely not regulated in any way and is not limited in any way, nevertheless, the process of using it is fraught with a number of restrictions that you need to be aware of. After all, as wisdom says: “Ignorance of the laws does not exempt from responsibility for their violation!”

First of all, this applies to search locations. Any excavations are prohibited at sites of cultural or archaeological value (fortified settlements, burial grounds, burial mounds, etc.). The list of such objects can be found in the Register of Cultural Heritage Objects , which is constantly updated with new locations.


Secondly, restrictions are imposed on the objects themselves extracted from the soil. Everything that is over 100 years old is of archaeological value and cannot be extracted from the cultural layer of the soil without the participation of archaeologists or the presence of an Open Sheet (a special document giving the right to excavate) at the “digger”. As practice shows, it is practically impossible to get it for an ordinary citizen without education in the field of archeology, history or museum affairs.

For violation of the rules for conducting a search, there is an article in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation with a very real punishment in the form of a fine, or even imprisonment for up to six years.


If the actions of the seeker are not seen as a criminal offense, then his actions can be qualified under part three of Article 7.15 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, which provides for a penalty in the form of a fine in the amount of 2,000-2,500 rubles with confiscation of the obtained items, and, more sadly, tools and equipment. used in their search and extraction from the earth.


So, for example, a harmless search for coins in a forest or on a plowed field, in the place of a long-disappeared village, can turn into quite serious troubles. Coins of the Russian Empire definitely fall under the prohibition to extract from the ground without the participation of archaeologists, and already next year, the same restrictions will begin to apply to early Soviet coins (affectionately called “soviks”), since their minting began in 1921. Those. next year, the first Soviet coins will be 101 years old, and they will be classified as archaeological treasures.


The solution to the problem could be the licensing of search engine activities, when a permit is purchased for a small fee to conduct search and excavation in places not included in the Register. As it is, for example, implemented in many European countries. But, unfortunately, at the moment, there is not even any progress in this direction on the part of the law-making bodies.


Therefore, in existing realities, it is more or less legal to collect scrap metal and search for artifacts that are less than 100 years old in public places (beaches, roads, etc.)

Don’t forget to follow the seeker’s unwritten code. Firstly, any search actions should be carried out only after obtaining permission from the owner of the land plot. Secondly, strictly observe the rule of a real digger, which says: “Always fill the hole you dug!”

Compliance with these simple rules will allow the owners of land plots and local residents, who are always wary of “strangers” on their land, not to enter into conflict. Only in this way the search for artifacts will turn into an exciting adventure, and not walking through a “minefield”.