All Comprehensive Guide To Metal Detecting

Metal detecting is cultivated as a hobby for ages. 

People who love to explore the past choose to develop metal detecting as their hobby. 

They sense a strange sense of thrill in finding out the secrets of the past that have not seen the light of day yet. Some people who love collecting old coins also practice metal detecting.

 Most importantly, metal detecting is not just a hobby; it is also a form of exercise for many. In this article, we will let you know everything you need to know about metal detecting, so if you are in two minds whether or not to cultivate metal detecting as a hobby, this article is for you to read.

Importance of digging while metal detecting

Since metal detecting is all about extracting something buried underground and has been there for ages, digging is considered an essential skill if you wish to cultivate metal detecting as your hobby.

 Here are a few reasons that specify why digging is considered so crucial while metal detecting.

Firstly, Not knowing to dig might leave you empty-handed even if you can detect something under the ground with the help of your detector. It is all about extracting the material. There is no fun in metal detecting if you are not digging.

Secondly, If you do not polish the skill of digging, you might end up damaging the material that needs to be extracted. And, if you find the material is expensive, then it brings in a lot of disappointment in people and leaves them frustrated. That later becomes the reason behind their loss of interest.

And, finally, if you are not well accustomed to the skill of digging, you might end up wasting your time and energy. 

Three essential tools for digging

Digging Knives

Digging knives are used in metal detecting to create plugs in a way that the grass is not harmed in the ground. Every digging knife comes with specific features, but out of many different features some of the most common features are – 

Firstly, the knives are made of stainless steel. 

Secondly, knives often come with a holster. 

Thirdly, knives have serrations on both sides. 


One of the most common tools used in metal detecting is a trowel. It is basically a hand tool used to dig in metal detecting. 

You can use a trowel to smooth a particular area and extract mall amounts of materials. It is essential because immediately after digging a particular surface, you need to smoothen a dense surface. 


Showel is a tool that is used for digging. It can also be used to lift materials. It is essential in metal detecting because you need to move bulk materials in a lot of cases. 

Showels are generally small hand tools that can be hand-held. The blades are broad, and the handle is medium length. 

Showels are challenging because they are either made of sheet steel and hard plastic. 

Why are showels important in metal detecting

Metal detecting is a hobby that includes lifting heavy materials. Showels are essential because they can easily be carried from one place to the other. 

So you can easily have a shovel along with the other necessary equipment. Another reason why showels are essential is that while extracting materials, you need to lift heavy material and move them from one place to another. 

The broad blades of the showel help lift the heavy materials easily and move them as and when required. 

The short handle attached to the showel provides a firm grip, and the metal blades provide adequate space for the objects that are lifted using the showel. 

Seven important points to keep in mind while selecting a showel for metal detecting

Handle Length

The first thing that you need to keep in mind is the length of the handle. Usually, the length of the handle is short, because of which the grip is firm.

 The comfort level of showel greatly depends on the length of the handle. If the handles are long, you may find difficulty balancing the showel when lifting heavy materials. 

Check the grip:

When you are working with a showel it is important that the grip is firm. 

To ensure this you need to see if the end of the showel is well-shaped. It has been observed that showels with a T-shaped handle have a better grip compared to regular showels. 

You can also consider buying straight and ball handle showels. 

Sturdy, Prying:

The next thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the showel needs to be sturdy.

It is a key point because you require a strong showel to extract heavy material from the ground. 

If the showel is not strong enough then it might break or harm the material inside. 

Sharp and Serrated:

Make sure the showel you choose is serrated at the edges. Sharp and serrated showels will help you dig easily. 

Showels that are not serrated or have blunt edges are not good for metal detecting. 

Size of the Blade:

You also need to make sure the showel you choose for metal detecting has broad blades, and the size is right. 

This is important because broad blades provide adequate space that can hold the materials. 

And if the size of the blade is not right, you may end up causing damage to the hidden treasure.

Most importantly, if you chose a showel with short blades, you need to double the effort you require with the right sized showels. 


You also need to make sure the weight of the showel is right for you. It is neither too light nor too heavy. If the showel is heavy for you, then it may tire you after a few digs. You may also find it uncomfortable when lifting heavy material. So make sure your showel weighs exactly what you can handle. 


Showels are available at different prices. So it is important to choose one that fits your budget. We suggest you should make a budget and then stick to it. 

Make sure the showel you pick meets your specifications and doesn’t let you overshoot your budget. You can check online stores for the availability of showels in different price ranges. 

Importance of hand showels in metal detecting

Metal detecting is a hobby where people extract materials from deep inside mother earth. 

The pleasure lies in excavating. Therefore it is important that you are digging using the proper equipment.

 A hand-shovel is the perfect equipment for metal detecting because the sharp serrated edges make it easy for you to dig the ground and make a neat hole without causing any harm to the grasses or the tiny plants surrounding the area. 

Moreover, showels have broad blades that make it easy for you to carry heavy metal extracts and the short handle provides a firm grip reducing the chances of accidents. 

Hand showels also reduce a considerable amount of time spent when digging with any other equipment.

The size of the blade is just right, and there are lesser chances that it may cause harm to the material hidden inside the ground. 

And, most importantly, you can easily carry a hand showel with you when traveling because they are petite and light in weight. 

Features that make hand shovel a must use while metal detecting

Length and the Shape of Blade – Sharp Tip

Multiple features make a hand shovel special. 

Out of the main features that make a shovel essential for metal detecting, an essential feature is the instrument’s sharpness.

The length and shape of the blade help to dig with ease without putting in much effort. The sharp tip of the shovel makes it unique. 

Comfort of Handle and of the Grip 

The second most important feature why most people opt for a hand-shovel when they get into metal detecting is their comfort. 

The short handle makes the shovel comfortable. And makes it easy for you to use it for hours. 

The handle provides a firm grip because of which the shovel doesn’t easily slip from your hands. 

Serrated Edge

The serrated edge of the knives helps in the cutting of roots. So it becomes easy to clean the ground when metal detecting.

You may find it necessary when digging in tropical areas where there is a dense growth of plants. It also helps you clean hedges. 


The metal handle of the showel makes the showel strong and easy to use. The strength in the handle allows you to lift and move heavy materials easily from one place to another.’

Make sure the handle is fixed firmly to the showel when buying it. We suggest not to buy a showel where you feel the handle is loosely attached to it.

Best Digging Tool Review

Lesche Standard Digging Tool & Sod Cutter (Right Serrated Blade)

If you are fond of nurturing plants then the Lesche digging tool can be the ultimate digging tool for you. Even if you have cultivated a hobby of metal detecting this tool can prove to be highly useful. So if you are planning to go on a camping trip over the next weekend dont forget to carry one of these along with you. The sharp blades that are about 7 inches long and the belt handle makes it an ideal weapon that can be carried easily when you are planning an outdoor trip. 

Key Feature

  • It is the most popular digging tool. 

  • It is an ideal digging tool for nursery

  • The blades of this digging tool are about 7 inches long and about 1 ¾ inches wide. 

  • The grip of this digging tool is good because the handle has a belt holder.

  • Because this digging tool is manufactured in USA it is of superior quality.

What We Like About Product:

  • The right serrated blades help us shape our plants with precision. 

  • The belt handle makes it convenient to use.

  • It can be used while landscaping. 

What We Don’t like:

  • Because the tool is made in the USA , usually people who are not from USA don’t get it. 

  • This tool cannot be used to dig heavy materials. 

Lesche Sampson Pro-Series Shovel with T-Handle for Metal Detecting and Gardening

The Lesche Sampson pro-series shovel has a specially crafted T-Handle that makes the shovel ideal for metal detecting and gardening. People find it convenient to hold because of the handle. Another reason why this particular shovel has gained immense popularity over the years is because it is neither too heavy nor too light. These shovels are durable and perfect for both gardening and metal detecting.  

Key Feature

  • The Leche Sampson Pro series shovel is made of steel.

  • The grey color makes the shovel look subtle and elegant.

  • The pro shovel is 1.75 pounds which means it is perfect for long hours. It doesn’t weigh too heavy on the wrists. 

  • The shovel is about 14 inches long which makes the shovel easy to carry. 

  • The edges of the knives are pre-sharpened that makes it easy to cut. 


What We Like About Product:

  • The steel of the blades are of premium quality. 

  • These knives are highly durable. 

  • The shovel can be easily carried because of the portable size. 


What We Don’t like:

  • The T-Shaped handle is quite long and takes up a lot of space 

  • If you are using this shovel in congested areas it can cause difficulties while you move the shovel. 

EPG Pro Special Metal Detecting Hand Trowel Shovel with Depth Markers and Rubber Thumb Grip

If you are fond of metal detecting and looking for a suitable hand trowel shovel then this tool is exactly what you have been searching for. A hand trowel shovel help you in metal detecting. The best thing about this particular hand shovel is that knife has depth markings that helps in aiding metal detectors. 

Key Feature

  • It is a specially designed tool used in metal detecting
  • It can be used to mark depths. 
  • It has a rubber thumb grip that makes it convenient to hold. 

What We Like About Product:

  • The tool has a firm rubber handle which makes it convenient to hold.
  • It is about 11 inches
  • Perfect for metal detecting

What We Don’t like:

  • You can purchase this tool from online stores but sometimes it is unavailable in the online markets. 
  • This tool is quite big compared to other metal detecting tools which makes it a little cumbersome for people who are not used to the tool.

ROOT ASSASSIN RA-002 Carbon Steel Shovel, 32-Inch, Red

The root assassin carbon steel shovel is something that you are going to need whenever you want to cut through the roots of the plants. It is an essential gardening tool which is a must if you are planting trees on hard soil. The serrated tips of this shovel is what makes the shovel very useful as you can cut through the soils easily. 

Key Feature

  • The root assassin steel shovel makes it convenient for you to accomplish your goals while gardening.
  • If there are obstructions in the soil,  the roots are deeply ingrained. The root assassin carbon steel shovel can effectively cut through the roots making their way through the obstructions in the soil.
  • The handle of this shovel is extremely sturdy and comfortable
  • The digging spade has a pointed spade that will allow you to dig deeper.
  • The handle is D-shaped which allows you to hold the shovel firmly.

What We Like About Product:

  • The shape of the handle gives us a firm grip
  • The pointed tip allows you to dig deeper
  • The carbon steel shovel comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee which allows you to replace the shovel anytime you want to.

What We Don’t like:

  • If you are ordering this shovel online it may sometimes arrive a little late from the expected time of delivery.
  • Some people experience problems with the blade.

Garrett Edge Digger with Sheath for Belt Mount

This tool is an extreme necessity if you are heading for metal detecting. The Garrett edge digger with sheath for belt mouth with a strong base and wide teeth makes the tool perfect for cutting the soil. It is handy and the sharp edges of the blade makes it easy to cut through the roots. So, if you are planning to go for metal detecting dont forget to carry one of these tools with you. 

Key Feature

  • It is a well built good quality metal detecting tool
  • The blade has a thick coating
  • The handle has a solid grip which makes it less slippery. 
  • The teeth of the blade have serrated edges. 
  • The pouch of the digging tool is handy. 

What We Like About Product:

  • It makes metal detecting in grassy areas convenient
  • The serrated edges help you cut through the grass easily. 
  • The pouch of the digging tool is handy. 

What We Don’t like:

  • The edge of the tool is a bit thick which may require a little sharpening. 
  • It is a little expensive.

How do you determine when to use a small trowel or large shovel?

Most people are confused between a trowel and a shovel. 

A trowel is basically a gardening tool that is used to loosen the earth’s soil. In most areas, if the ground has not been provided with adequate water, it may cause the soil to solidify.

You may use a trowel to loosen the soil and extract minor materials from the earth. 

It can also be used in metal detecting to dig the surface of small land areas and smoothen the surface. 

What Type of Digging Tools is Used for Hard Ground?

There are times when you land up in hard ground while metal detecting. The formation of soil becomes hard due to sedimentation and lack of water. 

Usually, to loosen the hard ground, you can either use a hand showel or a land mooer. Hand showels are used when metal detecting. 

They are used to cut the soil and lift heavy materials from one place to the other. 

People mostly prefer them because the showels are extremely tough, and at the same time, they are lightweight and easy to carry. 

You can also use a trowel to loosen the hard ground. Trowels are smaller than a hand showel. If you are digging a particular area, then you can use a trowel; it loosens the hard ground and makes it easy to dig. 

Usually, people use a trowel before they use a hand showel to dig the firm ground. You can find trowels and showels of different sizes. 

Tips for Metal Detecting Shovel and Trowel

Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind while buying a shovel and trowel. 

  • Make sure the shovel you are buying has sharp serrated edges so that you can easily cut clear plunges.
  • The handle should be either T-shaped or round so that you can hold it firmly.
  • The blades need to be broad to hold a considerable amount of mud or heavy metal extracts.
  • Also, make sure the weight of the showel you are using is right for you. So that you can work using the showel for long hours.


Similarly, while buying a trowel, you need to ensure that the material is good quality stainless steel so that it lasts long, the edges of the trowel are sharp, and it fits in your budget. 


Metal detecting is not just a hobby; it is also a form of exercise for many. Since metal detecting is all about extracting something buried underground and has been there for ages, digging is considered an essential skill if you wish to cultivate metal detecting as your hobby. 

The three essential tools that you cannot do without are digging knives, showels, and trowels. You need to ensure these tools meet your specifications, are sturdy, and will last longer, and most importantly, they will fit in your budget while buying these tools when you are heading for metal detecting.