Metal Detecting Trowels, Diggers & Spades
Choosing a Digging Implement
The digging implement you choose must be suitable for site you are going to be
metal detecting on. On a ploughed field or on the beach your choice of
digger is not as important, you aren't going to do any
meaningful damage to anything, even if you are using a full
sized spade (something we would never recommend).
Diggers for ploughed fields
The best digger for a ploughed field has to be the mini
spade. Pinpoint your targets carefully and then dig wide of
your target to minimize the chances of causing damage to a
coin or artefact with the blade of the spade.
Diggers for the beach
The best digger for the beach is probably the long handled
scoop, particularly if you plan to spend a lot of time
detecting in the surf. But any kind of sand scoop will work
just fine. Mini spades are very good for wet sand and hacking
away at hardpack, they also work very well in conjunction with
a plastic sieve, available from any garden center.
The best all round digger
The best all round digger is probably the
Black ADA Invader type digger (pictures of the design at
the link). The Invader type digger consists of a long handle
with a slim, foot assisted, blade. The only environment this
type of digger doesn't really work is on dry sand.
Back in the good old days, before the country went
completely insane, a great many metal detectorists would carry
a knife as part of their standard equipment, particularly if
they were going to be searching in woodland or around trees. A
knife would be essential for cutting through the small roots
you would inevitably encounter.
We do not recommend detectorists carry knives. If the
police catch you with it, even though you have a perfectly
reasonable, legitimate reason to be carrying it, they can and
probably will arrest you for it. Sentences for carrying knives
are very severe, it just isn't worth the risk.
Alternatives to knife carry
Lots of diggers nowadays have root rippers, a serrated edge
on the digging blade specifically designed for cutting through
roots, not as effective as a knife, but will not land you in
hot water with the local constabulary.
Another alternative is a small hand trowel with a good
sharp digging blade.
Manufacturers of Metal Detecting Trowels, Diggers and Spades.