Clueless about those pesky picks.

Tom Emery

Full Member
Nov 9, 2021
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I've noticed different people using different picks for prospecting. Is there a best pick ? Different designs for different conditions? Wood handles vs. Metal? I'm gearing up. I want something stout... lightweight would be good, but durability is paramount.
Any suggestions or opinions are are appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
 
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Lanny in AB

Gold Member
Apr 2, 2003
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Alberta
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Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
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The Estwing Big Blue Geo/Paleo pick is a sure winner when you need to dig through a lot of damp, compacted cobble/clay packed rock. I've used it for years, one tough pick that gets you down to the bedrock where you need to get. Great steel that lasts.

Other picks do different jobs, and I have ones with the wide end that are great when you need to get dry material out of the way/out of a hole in a hurry (the Estwing Big Blue does not excel at that).

Glad to see you getting involved in the fun of chasing the gold.

Good luck, and all the best,

Lanny
 

Lanny in AB

Gold Member
Apr 2, 2003
5,481
5,925
Alberta
Detector(s) used
Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
The Apex pick looks like it was made from an automotive leaf spring.

View attachment 2002360

Automotive leaf springs are made out of great steel that lasts, and because the steel is quality, you can restore a nice edge after you dull it.

Don't know if these Apex picks use automotive spring steel, but I had a buddy that made picks for years from leaf spring steel, and he always sold out--he sold them down in the desert where lots of gold digging was going on.

All the best,

Lanny
 

eyemustdigtreasure

Silver Member
Mar 2, 2013
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California
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Fisher Gold Bug Pro
Tesoro Cibola
Nokta Pointer; Phillips SHS5200 phones
Nokta Macro SIMPLEX
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Mine is a 18" wood handled landscaper's pick/adze,
that is cast iron - don't recommend on serious hard rock work....it reduces itself over time - I've had to sharpen it often thru the season.
Cheap tho, around 20-25 dollars when I got it.
 

leadnugget

Full Member
Jul 29, 2006
220
558
arizona
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gpx6000
gp extreme
gold monster 1000
nokta simplex
i have 4 or 5 picks, but my 36" hermit pick gets used the most. it can move a lot of dirt fast.
i have been using mine to pry bedrock apart and its developing cracks close to the welds, ill weld the cracks.
the Apex pick is better for busting up bedrock.
the other pick, 43" in the picture is something bill southern sells. it is a shovel that has been nicely cut and rearranged
into a pick. the pointy end used to be the spine of the shovel. it works very good and very light. i wish it had a finer tip
for getting into cracks.
 

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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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Mine is a 18" wood handled landscaper's pick/adze,
that is cast iron - don't recommend on serious hard rock work....it reduces itself over time - I've had to sharpen it often thru the season.
Cheap tho, around 20-25 dollars when I got it.
Hello Mr Dig,
Yeah, I've got a pick ax. I've had for about 20 years. I'm not sure I want to go hiking with it. I figure to save 10 lbs. at least with a dedicated prospecting pick.
Thanks.
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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i have 4 or 5 picks, but my 36" hermit pick gets used the most. it can move a lot of dirt fast.
i have been using mine to pry bedrock apart and its developing cracks close to the welds, ill weld the cracks.
the Apex pick is better for busting up bedrock.
the other pick, 43" in the picture is something bill southern sells. it is a shovel that has been nicely cut and rearranged
into a pick. the pointy end used to be the spine of the shovel. it works very good and very light. i wish it had a finer tip
for getting into cracks.
Since I am a complete idiot when it comes to picks, would you tell me which is which using the terms left or right. Thanks. They both look pretty business like.
 

oldkoot

Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
438
528
East of snowflake Arizona completely off grid
Detector(s) used
Mine-Lab X-Terra 705 with three coils
5x10 hf,9 inch 7 mf and 6 inch hf

Garrett AT pro
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I did notice that bunks is just selling the head only not sure he has any of the heads but if you are seriously thinking of getting the hermit pick it might be a way to go you might try giving him a call hes a pretty nice guy to talk to and vary knowledgeable about gold searching
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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The Estwing Big Blue Geo/Paleo pick is a sure winner when you need to dig through a lot of damp, compacted cobble/clay packed rock. I've used it for years, one tough pick that gets you down to the bedrock where you need to get. Great steel that lasts.

Other picks do different jobs, and I have ones with the wide end that are great when you need to get dry material out of the way/out of a hole in a hurry (the Estwing Big Blue does not excel at that).

Glad to see you getting involved in the fun of chasing the gold.

Good luck, and all the best,

Lanny
That thing LOOKS like it will bust up rock. Little pricey but should last for years.
The Estwing Big Blue Geo/Paleo pick is a sure winner when you need to dig through a lot of damp, compacted cobble/clay packed rock. I've used it for years, one tough pick that gets you down to the bedrock where you need to get. Great steel that lasts.

Other picks do different jobs, and I have ones with the wide end that are great when you need to get dry material out of the way/out of a hole in a hurry (the Estwing Big Blue does not excel at that).

Glad to see you getting involved in the fun of chasing the gold.

Good luck, and all the best,

Lanny
Not sure if my reply got through. Looks like a dedicated rock pick. Does anyone sell them through this website?
 

oldkoot

Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
438
528
East of snowflake Arizona completely off grid
Detector(s) used
Mine-Lab X-Terra 705 with three coils
5x10 hf,9 inch 7 mf and 6 inch hf

Garrett AT pro
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Since I am a complete idiot when it comes to picks, would you tell me which is which using the terms left or right. Thanks. They both look pretty business like.
I think the left or right is referring to which side you carry the pick on and which hand you dig with not really sure though you are not an idiot at least you are asking the only dumb question is the one you do not ask

I believe Bunk hand forges his picks in his shop and makes them all by hand, I have busted up some pretty tough rocks with mine and the pointy tip has never even de formed
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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I did notice that bunks is just selling the head only not sure he has any of the heads but if you are seriously thinking of getting the hermit pick it might be a way to go you might try giving him a call hes a pretty nice guy to talk to and vary knowledgeable about gold searching
I'm hoping by the time I get all my ducks lined up (sometime next Spring) I will have gotten one. I'm going to keep checking back.
Thanks for the info. I'm going to call the guy.
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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I think the left or right is referring to which side you carry the pick on and which hand you dig with not really sure though you are not an idiot at least you are asking the only dumb question is the one you do not ask

I believe Bunk hand forges his picks in his shop and makes them all by hand, I have busted up some pretty tough rocks with mine and the pointy tip has never even de formed
No , I was referring to the picture that someone posted. I'm not sure which is which. He just refers to the 43" one. I don't know if 43" is the longer or shorter of the two picks pictured.
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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i have 4 or 5 picks, but my 36" hermit pick gets used the most. it can move a lot of dirt fast.
i have been using mine to pry bedrock apart and its developing cracks close to the welds, ill weld the cracks.
the Apex pick is better for busting up bedrock.
the other pick, 43" in the picture is something bill southern sells. it is a shovel that has been nicely cut and rearranged
into a pick. the pointy end used to be the spine of the shovel. it works very good and very light. i wish it had a finer tip
for getting into cracks.
Which is which?
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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Nov 9, 2021
171
238
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I think the left or right is referring to which side you carry the pick on and which hand you dig with not really sure though you are not an idiot at least you are asking the only dumb question is the one you do not ask

I believe Bunk hand forges his picks in his shop and makes them all by hand, I have busted up some pretty tough rocks with mine and the pointy tip has never even de formed
Called the number the
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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Called the number the
My phone is messed up. It keeps sending messages before I'm done. Any way...Called the number on one of the internet webs, and got his wife!
Seems like they got the last digit wrong. Talked for a bit. She's a hoot.
 

oldkoot

Sr. Member
Jan 18, 2017
438
528
East of snowflake Arizona completely off grid
Detector(s) used
Mine-Lab X-Terra 705 with three coils
5x10 hf,9 inch 7 mf and 6 inch hf

Garrett AT pro
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
No , I was referring to the picture that someone posted. I'm not sure which is which. He just refers to the 43" one. I don't know if 43" is the longer or shorter of the two picks pictured.
sorry miss took what you were asking LOL
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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Where did you pick up your Apex? I have an 18" one that I love & thinking about a longer one to go with it.
I just went to my magic phone and went to Google and typed in Apex picks. At least that's what I think I typed in. It might have been "gold prospecting supplies". It happened so long ago, like yesterday.
 

russau

Gold Member
May 29, 2005
6,628
5,726
St. Louis, missouri
Mine is a 18" wood handled landscaper's pick/adze,
that is cast iron - don't recommend on serious hard rock work....it reduces itself over time - I've had to sharpen it often thru the season.
Cheap tho, around 20-25 dollars when I got it.
Even if you buy a cheap pick with soft edges you can always get a weld shop (or you can weld them yourself ) with "hard facing electrodes ". I have done this in the past on some of my home made picks!
 
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Tom Emery

Tom Emery

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Which is which?
Hello Mr. Nugget,
I just went to the Bunks site and ordered a Hermit pick. He only wants to ship the "head", not the handle, due to excessive freight charges. I'm okay with that. I'll go to one of the old timey hardware stores and pick up a hickory ax handle and then whittle it to fit into the head and then start digging to China.
 

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