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In the Corner with Dan Hughes

Feb 17, 2011

What's the best way to dig up the coins you find with your metal detector?  That's a trick question, because even the experts disagree on the answer.

This show discusses digging tools and techniques, and it names by name one tool that is highly respected, and a copycat tool that probably won't hold up for you.

Here is the video that goes with this program.

After you watch the video, scroll down that page and click on the first article, Recommended Metal Detecting Accessories

There you will find photos of a couple of the tools mentioned in this podcast, and more information about detecting accessories.

If you would like to leave a comment or tell us what tools you prefer, click the Comments line and leave your message.


If you enjoy these podcasts, you will doubly enjoy the new edition of my book, The Metal Detecting Manual.

Joe Downs
over eight years ago

Good advice Dan, I use the tools you talk about except the screwdriver. My main tool is a Craftmans garden knife or as I call it a "sod-cutter", very durable. what I do with my tools (tip), is spray paint the handles bright orange or wrap bright orange duct tape on them, it makes them easy to see if you set it aside or drop it. also on my hunting knives, you don't want people or Cops freaking out at the sight of knives.

Dan Hughes
over eight years ago

Sorry I wasn't more clear about the use of shovels - my point was that using a shovel in a schoolyard or park is the fastest way to get metal detecting banned in your town.

Shovels are great - in fact the tool of choice - in the woods when you're digging deeper relics.

And if homeowners allow it, and you can use them without tearing up the grass, have at it. I even had a homeowner get his lawn tractor out of the garage and use it to pull a 12-foot pipe out of his front yard - leaving a gulley that had to be seen to be believed!


over eight years ago

I posted this response at FMDF, but Dan asked me to come post it here too. You can read Dan's reply over there if he hasn't reposted his reply here too :)

Great podcast as usual, got me thinking of a few things I'd like to mention.
My 4 cents-

1) In addition to just "being scary looking", knives like that would often be illegal in some parks, as I know they are in some parks near me. Glad you mentioned the garden digger, though I've never met one I really like.

2) Instead of a screwdriver as a pry by, I actually use a nail puller. I forgot my digger one time, and that was all I could find in the car, but I've been using it ever since. It can be helpful for getting stubborn rocks or roots out of the way, though do be careful, as it's easy to scratch coins if you're not careful.

3) Worth mentioning is the Planter's Buddy 7-in-1 from Lowes. It's not great, but it's cheap and readily available, and slightly stronger than your typical trowel.

4) Last but certainly not least, I couldn't disagree more that shovels have no place in metal detecting. Now *obviously* I'm not saying you should EVER take a shovel to a park or schoolyard, or for that matter to a private home of someone you've cold called. That said, in the woods or fields where you don't need to be neat, they're wonderful. But even in some yards they can be a great tool, if it's your yard or someone you know closely. I can cut a nice wedge with a shovel same as a knife, and do so quicker, deeper, and with a more intact root system on the grass if the flap is pried back carefully. A deeper plug means less chance of someone accidentally dislodging it once it's returned. It would be my weapon of choice (except for a Lesche, which I don't yet own), except for the psychological factor of "he's tearing up our school/church/home with a big ol' shovel!" So use shovels with caution, but don't rule them out.

over eight years ago

That's a nice podcast Dan, great info for beginners re: "leave the shovels home or save them for the deep, deep woods".
For digging I'm using the Wilcox All Pro N0.102 stainless steel model. I take a file to it every so often to keep it sharp.