One of the worst parts about having a niche hobby like metal detecting is not being able to find information when you need it. For any niche hobby these days, online forums are the best places to ask questions and learn from the people who have been doing it for decades. But not all forums are created equal, and it’s important to know which ones are worth your time and which ones are just trash finds.
1. Friendly Metal Detecting Forum (http://metaldetectingforum.com)
Friendly Metal Detecting Forums is the second largest metal detecting forum on the web with an outstanding 261,360 threads, 3,083,598 posts, and 52,465 members.
This is a classic forum in the sense that it is run on the vBulletin platform. As a result, the forum looks fairly modern, but still has the same recognizable statistics such as birthdays and who’s currently online. The Friendly Metal Detecting Forum has a huge user base of knowledge, but it still has the feeling of a small ‘friendly’ community.
I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.
- My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
- I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
- When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
- Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.
The user tag1260 recently posted on this forum asking about what the proper way to cut plugs is. His question specifically mentioned not wanting to kill the grass and has already received 19 responses at the time of writing this (even though this post was just written a few hours ago. This kind of responsiveness and communal sharing of information is not rare at the Friendly Metal Detecting Forum and, in fact, is what this forum is known for. And also why this is the first forum on my list.
2. Treasure Net (http://www.treasurenet.com/)
Treasure Net is the largest metal detecting forum at the time of writing this. And while it also claims to be the original metal detecting forum it is definitely the most popular. The site boasts 500,000 threads, 5,400,000 total posts, and 120,000 members.
While this means that Treasure Net doesn’t have the same ‘friendly’ environment as a smaller forum, it also means that pretty much anything you want to know about metal detecting can be found from the huge base of knowledge which is being added to every day.
With this forum, if you can imagine it then there is probably already a few threads and couple dozen posts already dedicated to it and everything related to it. Some people don’t like this because there is no way to stay up to date with even a tiny portion of this gigantic forum, but if you like having more information than you know what to do with then this is where you should be.
Special Mention Website – Metal Detecting in the USA
If your looking for a wealth of knowledge and an experienced metal detector you MUST read Metal Detecting in the USA. J.R. Hoff has dedicated countless hours to build a resource that he freely shares with others.
The site goes into depth regarding civil war era artifacts and has extensive documentation about bullets used during the civil war. Since the history in the USA doesn’t go back thousands of years like other parts of the world, reading about the discoveries here in the USA is more to my liking.
Having the right tools to dig with makes a HUGE difference when Metal Detecting. Digging items quickly allows you to work more ground. I recommend three tools:
- Lesche RS Hand Trowel (link to Kellyco) – This hand shovel ROCKS
- Lesche Ground Shark (link to Kellyco for price and availability) – Essential on EVERY outing for me!
- Lesche Mini Pick If I’m in the woods cutting through roots and digging out rocks.
3. Canadian Metal Detecting (http://www.canadianmetaldetecting.com/)
The Canadian Metal Detecting Forum isn’t as big as the previous two, but it still has a total 601,097 posts, 54,969 threads, and 8,941 members. This forum is obviously directed towards Canadian’s; however, everyone can learn from the conversations had on this site.
There is a ton of good information about relic and coin hunting, and plenty of stories to go along with the tips and tricks you can learn from this forum. This forum might not have the size and appeal of some of the bigger forums, but it still has thousands of active users who are all looking to learn/teach about metal detecting.
4. Find’s Treasure Forums (http://findmall.com/)
Find’s Treasure Forum is self-described as the “internet’s most popular treasure forum” and is the third largest overall. This forum is built on the Phorum platform and is middle of the road as far as user experience in its current form.
However, at the time of writing this the Find’s Treasure Forum was moved to a different domain while a new and improved version is being constructed to replace it. After this new version of the forum replaces the old version the Find’s Treasure Forum will have one of the best user experiences of any of the forums on this list.
Another tip is… Find’s Treasure Forum is known for having a strict moderation and admin team, so it’s best to stay current with the rules and regulations which govern posts on this forum.
5. Detector Prospector (http://detectorprospector.com/)
The Detector Prospector metal detecting forum is owned and operated by a man named Steve Herschbach and is primarily frequented by gold hunters of all sorts. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the Detector Prospector Forum is the best metal detecting forum when it comes to the subject of gold.
The site is also very enjoyable to use as it is built on the Invision platform. The Invision platform is modern and easy to navigate, but, even if the site wasn’t so beautiful, it would still be worth your time for simply the awe-inspiring posts that one can often find here. I’m talking so many gold nuggets that you might start looking into moving to Australia.
A recent post on the Detector Prospector forum by user tnsharpshooter links to a YouTube video that shows him finding a large old gold coin as well as some other colonial finds. This one user has posted 5,835 times since registering 7 years ago, proving the dedication of the members found on this forum.
Warning: If your metal detector isn’t completely waterproof you might not want to scan beaches. When a metal detector manufacturers WATERPROOFS a unit it has been designed to keep SAND, SALT WATER and MOISTURE out. Don’t ruin your machine get a waterproof unit – I highly recommend the: Garrett AT MAX link to Kellyco
6. The Dankowski Metal Detecting Forum (http://dankowskidetectors.com/)
Thomas Dankowski (aka NASA Tom) is the architect of this forum, (Dankowski Metal Detecting)and it is the place where the best minds in metal detecting get together to talk shop. Moreover, these seasoned professionals are always willing to interact with amateur to try and pass on the information they have amassed over the years.
Of course, like on any forum, the occasional silly argument can be found without having to try to hard. But, in its defense even the silly arguments that happen on this forum are going to be well researched and intellectually sound. It’s only because the people on this forum are so passionate that can get caught up in the weeds of discussion so often.
7. American Detectorist (http://americandetectorist.com/forum/)
The American Detectorist Forum is owned by ‘Epi-hunter’ and ‘angellionel’, although an entire administrative-team work in conjunction to keep the forum operational. This forum is relatively small as it has 229,745 posts, 22,500 threads, and 3,807 members. But, don’t let this forum small size fool you, it is still built on the vBulletin platform and therefore it has a top of the class User Interface. Additionally, every month an award is given for the best relic, coin, and jewelry related find for a total of three awards that are given out.
This forum’s home page is actually separate from the main forum in that it is just a website that has a bunch of information regarding finds that have been posted on the forum and also articles that were written by members of the forum on tips and tricks to metal detecting. There are two metal detecting tutorials on this site as well.
If you’d like more articles about metal detecting check out the links below.
- Metal Detecting Digging Tools – Tells you all about shovels, scoops and how to dig a plug.
- Where are the Best Places for a Beginner to Metal Detect? – Just like the title says, this article points the beginner to the highest probability places.
- Can You Metal Detect on BLM Land? – So many people have asked me about BLM detecting I had to write this article.
8. The Treasure Depot (http://thetreasuredepot.com/)
The Treasure Depot is definitely an old school forum in the sense that it looks a lot more like 4-Chan than Reddit. Despite the ancient User Interface, the treasure depot forum has over 1,000 topics, almost 5,000 total posts, and around 15,000 members.
A recent post by user John-Edmonton entitled ‘I really can’t stay (Baby it’s cold outside) I gotta go away (Baby it’s cold outside)’ describes going out on his first hunt of 2020. Even though it was -2 degrees Fahrenheit outside, John was still able to find a total of $3.96 dollars’ worth of change, 16 coins in total.
9. Relichunting.net (http://www.relichunting.net/)
Relichunting.net is a niche forum which deals specifically with the art and practice of hunting relics with a metal detector. This forum has 6 sections, 120 subjects, and 28 categories in total. With only 84 users this is by far the smallest forum on this list, but it is also the most specific.
User FooserPaul recently posted about his finds from a 5-hour hunt. He found a Colonial Buckle, Crotal Bell, and a Fatty Indian Head Penny all in a 100-ft by 100-ft field. To me, this post perfectly captures the spirit of this forum in that it is filled with posts of completely unique finds which are really interesting to learn about.
Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip
David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.