Four Metal Detecting Myths Debunked

Guys who metal detect are viewed as weirdos

Someone actually told me that one day when I mentioned metal detecting in a park. I said “Why would we be viewed as weirdos?” Their reply was “Because alot of people see those guys as weird guys walking around the edges of the parks and digging in the dirt for pocket change like a homeless person.” I’m not so sure that everyone views us as weirdos, but my experience has been that onlookers are more curious about what we are doing than they are about thinking that we are weird.

Metal detectors have been around for over 50 years, but still some people have never seen one. Most people that I have encountered while out detecting have been kind, inquisitive and over-all welcoming of my presence in the parks. Especially after they see all of the trash items I’ve removed. I make it a habit to show the trash being disposed of properly so that onlookers can see that we provide a service to the community. I have yet to have anyone tell me that they thought what I was doing was weird!

Guys who metal detect are bums or homeless people who need money for lunch

This myth would be funny if it wasn’t true in some cases. Some people view metal detectorists as scavengers or homeless people looking for money for lunch.

I heard of a case where a guy was detecting in a park and jokingly told an onlooker that he was looking for lunch money. When he got back to his truck there was an envelope on his windshield wiper and inside was a $5.00 bill. He enjoyed lunch and a large drink at McDonald’s, but he did get a chuckle out of the whole ordeal because he wondered if she really believed him.

The truth is, even a lower level machine is expensive. You can expect to pay around $300 or more for a good entry level machine, $70 for a decent digger, $100 or more for a pinpointer, $8.00 for batteries etc. Sure, a homeless guy could scrape up enough money for all of this, but why when it would be so much easier to just ask for some change on the corner. The equipment that we carry is not cheap, and that nice pickup truck that you saw us drive up in wasn’t either.

We’re not scavengers, we are guys with a hobby that piques our investigative interests in historical items and coins. There’s a big difference 🙂

Metal Detecting tears up parks and public places

Most metal detectorists know that the fastest way to get thrown out of a park or to get our hobby banned is to leave holes all over the place. We all start out in our own backyards and perfect our digging technique before we venture out to public places. We take pride in leaving the parks in better shape than how we found them by digging proper plugs and always putting the dirt back with as little trace of our presence as possible because that is one of our Metal Detecting Code Of Ethics.

Metal Detectorists disturb archaeological sites

A whole article could be written about this subject alone. For this blog, the point I wanted to make on this topic is that most hobby metal detectorists hunt public playgrounds, schools, ball fields and private property / homesteads. The average metal detector gets around 8 to 12 inches of detection depth, so most targets are retrieved from the topsoil layer in most instances. In other words, the average detectorist is not out there disturbing archaeological sites. Are there bad apples in the bunch? Sure, there’s always those that have to push the envelope and give others a bad name, but most of us are respectful ambassadors of our hobby.

Any metal detectorist worth his weight in dirt will abide by the Metal Detecting Code Of Ethics With respect to items that are found that are of historical significance by reporting the discovery of items of significant historical value to a local museum in accordance with the latest legislation of his area.

In most instances metal detectorists have been an aide to archeology with hundreds of cases of historical items in museums having been found by metal detecting hobbyists around the world.

About Ozarks

I enjoy Metal Detecting in The Ozark Mountains and surrounding areas where I primarily detect for relics and coins. I have tested and used over 20+ metal detectors as a dealer and Company Sponsored 'Pro Staff' Product Tester. Previously Senior Editor of Detecting365 Metal Detecting Magazine for 7 years. I have authored over 200+ articles published on multiple metal detecting websites and magazines. I have real world experience testing metal detectors in the field and enjoy teaching others how to become better metal detectorists. Questions? Shoot me a contact email! Check out my Recommended Metal Detecting Supplies here:
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3 Responses to Four Metal Detecting Myths Debunked

  1. Awesome site! I am an avid treasure hunter and sell some equipment in Kansas. I would like to discuss linking back and forth if you have room for another Blogroll friend. My blog is . I am just getting started but plan on keeping it up for years to come. Let me know, thanks! Josh Turpin Ph. 913-907-4656

  2. Clark Rickman says:

    Awesome post. Sadly some treasure hunters out there don’t do is any favors as far as image is concerned.

    Can I have some money for lunch?

    • Ozarks says:

      I hear ya… We just have to remember that the sport or hobby is bigger than we are and that we all have a responsibility to the hobby to be good ambassadors. If we ever meet up I’ll see that you get some lunch money….lol I am enjoying your site!

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