For Newbies...Why to Detect in AM, Go Slow & Low and Dig All Target Signals !


Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2007
Georgetown, Ohio, USA
Detector(s) used
Teknetics Gamma 6000,
Tesoro Bandido II µMax and
Compadre, White's Classic II,
Garrett Ace 250
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Greetings !

This one's for metal detecting newbies....a copied & pasted post I did on another website a couple of years ago and thought it was worth repeating here. Hope it helps !


Hi All ! :hello:

I know it's been said hundreds of times "hunt in All Metal mode and dig all target signals, so as NOT to miss something good.", and with the possible exception of experts like Digger27, I believe this is good advice for the rest of us and I'll just add that we should exert a high degree of patience, moving our coil slow and low. This is especially appropriate for metal detecting newbies until they acquire perhaps hundreds of hours and years of detecting experience.

With Dave's permission, I have copied, pasted & colored below an excerpt from one of his essays at Dave Johnson's Essays titled: Discrimination mode Sensitivity and Depth to emphasize the statement he makes that offers a supporting reason for why we should follow the above advice, especially during our formative years in metal detecting.

I also made a list of nonferrous metals below Dave's paragraph and included some of the items you could miss using too much discrimination.


Discrimination mode "Sensitivity" and "Depth"

The effects of discrimination "Discrimination" between different metal objects is done using a different set of signals than the ones used for detection. Since the overall purpose of discrimination is to eliminate response to certain classes of metal objects beginning with metallic iron, magnetic iron minerals in the ground will tend to make nonferrous metal signals look more like ferrous, increasing the probability of their being rejected by the discrimination circuit. Some machines provide data on the amount of iron mineralization, so with experience you can estimate the depth of effective detection and discrimination on that site.

A few nonferrous metals listed here for your reference
aluminum.....tokens, sporting goods, etc..
copper.........pre-1982 cents and some '82's.
lead............civil war bullets.
nickel..........nickel coins.
tin...............toy figurines. and sporting goods.
zinc.............zincoln cents.
brass...........bullet cases and relics.
gold.............nuggets, coins and jewelry.
silver...........coins & jewelry, etc..
platinum.......rings and other jewelry.

The above list gives you an idea of all the good targets you might possibly miss by setting-up your machine with too much discrimination. My suggestion would be to hunt in AM (no disc.) and dig it all until you get too tired and start losing patience, then tune-in some discrimination to relieve yourself of digging the majority of trash. I know this is hard , but just accept that you might miss some good stuff. There's always a new day when you're rested and can go back over those areas again ! (See following paragraph.)

Here's a great post by Digger27. It's a long "novel" of his , but really worth your time to read, as it will impact you with the importance of hunting those previously hunted places again and again, using All Metal and Going Slow & Low with the coil. I'm mainly referring to the lower half of this post.

Hope you get something from this.

Teknetics Gamma 6000, Tesoro Bandido II µMax and Compadre, Whites Classic II, Garrett Ace250 and Pro-Pointer AT, Vibra-Probe 570, Cen-Tech Pinpointer, Lesche Digger, Tabdog Digger Replica, RatphonesMax Headphones, Janster Coin Probe.

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