When you are able to get extra depth with your metal detector, you are more likely to find older relics (which may be more valuable than others nearer the surface), as well as targets that are too deep for other detectorists to find. It makes searching seemingly hunted-out sites productive again. To increase the depth at which you are detecting, and better recognize when you find a deep target, you should do some practicing in your test garden. Here are some tips to test out before you start digging deeper.

Turn Up the Sensitivity Setting

Increasing sensitivity will definitely help you detect at greater depths – under the right circumstances. The thing with sensitivity is that it’s a double-edged sword. If you run it too high, it can actually reduce your target identification capability, and drive you nuts with alerts in heavy iron or very trashy spots.

Adjust Ground Balance

If you have a detector that allows you to set your ground balance, setting it correctly is helpful in dealing with the mineralization in the ground you are searching, allowing you to detect at greater depths.

Swing Closer to the Ground

Swinging your detector’s coil as close to the ground as you can, increase the depth at which you’re detecting. This may seem like a rather obvious tip, but you would be surprised how many detectorists lose sight of how high their coils are when they are paying more attention to their swinging motion.

Reduce Discrimination Setting

Often, deeply buried, desirable targets are read wrong by detectors for numerous reasons. If you are running too much discrimination, you won’t hear or see the false readings. When you reduce to discrimination to the lowest you can stand (you will hear alerts for everything), and examine every deep signal closely, watching for a jump into the desirable range as you swing, then you may just be over a deeply buried target and not just another nail.

Know Your Detector’s Settings

It’s important that you read and know your detector’s instruction manual thoroughly. Your detector may have particular settings that will allow you to find deep targets.

Try Different Swing Speeds

The readings your detector emits may be different depending on how quickly you are swinging it. For example, some detectors get a much clearer reading on deep targets when it is swung moderately fast, rather than a slow swing. This is one of the reasons that practicing in a test garden is so helpful – you can experiment with different speeds to see how your machine responds.

Use Headphones

If you are not using headphones with your detector, then you are almost certainly missing some deep targets. You are likely distracted by outside noise and don’t hear quick or faint alerts.

Additionally, when you are hunting a site where you suspect there are deeply buried items, try covering up your detector’s display and going by sound only. Sometimes, deep targets will signal with only very subtle changes in the audio. Not seeing your display will force you to listen more carefully to the sounds coming from your detector. This is another reason that you need to have a good set of headphones on when you are trying to locate deeply buried targets.