You need a metal detector to give you a good target, but once you’ve found that signal, you’ll need more than your detector to retrieve it. You’ll need sturdy hand trowels, digging knives and shovels at your disposal.
You don’t want to try to get by with the rigid plastic hand trowels you see advertised for a dollar each. On the surface, this might sound like a great deal. You could buy a handful of these and keep them in your vehicle or in your metal detecting bag and you’ll always have one handy when you need one.
You should scratch that plan. I’m living proof those hand trowels won’t work for metal detecting. I used those for more time than I care to admit when I first started detecting. I could only dig three or four inches into softer soil with them.
If I tried to dig in hardened earth, they snapped like a dry twig. I left a lot of great targets in the ground because I had no way to retrieve them. At the first sign of compacted dirt, tree roots or gravel, I was out of the hunt.
I knew there had to be a better way, so I did my research, took the plunge and ordered new digging tools. I’ve been happily hunting ever since, despite facing the toughest of digging conditions. If you are trying to figure out which digging tools would be good additions to your metal detecting arsenal, here are five suggestions.
Lesche T-handle Shovel
If you can’t dig your target with this shovel, you’re out of luck – it’s not coming out of the ground without having machinery involved. This Lesche shovel may cost a little more than you want to spend, but it cuts through gravel, tough dirt and tree roots like nobody’s business.
It has a serrated blade, which slices right through anything that gets in your way.
Lesche Digging Knife
For smaller digs that are only a few inches below the surface, all you need is this digging knife. This bad boy is one of the stars in the world of metal detecting because it’s one tough tool. It has a 7-inch blade that is 1 and ¾ inch wide. The saw-tooth edge on the side of the blade cuts straight through roots, while its rubber handle protects your hands from feeling the stress of the dig.
This knife will last you for years, which makes it well worth the money you’ll spend on it.
ML Toos Hori-Hori Digging Knife
This unit comes with a handle that has a non-slip grip, which is good because you don’t want a knife this powerful slipping around during a dig. It has a depth scale and a serrated edge to cut through anything you encounter.
It costs approximately half the price of the Lesche digging knife. If you can afford it, you should consider getting the Lesche, but if your budget won’t allow it, the Hori-Hori knife is a great substitute.
Garrett Metal Sand Scoop
If you spend a lot of time detecting on beaches, this scoop is a necessity for you. Instead of digging frantically through the sand, you can simply scoop some into this contraption, which is basically a bucket with holes. The sand filters through the small holes, while your metal targets stay in the bucket. Once you try it, you’ll never want to do a beach hunt without it.
Wilcox 12” All-Pro Digging Trowel
This is a quality trowel for a reasonable price. This stainless-steel trowel has a 2-inch wide blade that has a pointed tip to help break through hard ground. The bright red handle is a nice touch because when you run off in excitement to show your hunting buddy your big find, you’ll be able to locate this trowel when you come back to the dig site.