How To Use a Metal Detector Proper Swing Technique

Swing That Metal Detector Like a Boss 

In metal detecting like golfing, correct swing technique can make or break your treasure hunting game. In this article we will discuss some of the common mistakes made by new and experienced metal detectorist alike.


Penduluming is when a metal detectorist allows the coil to lift off the ground at the end of their sweeps. Resembling the arc that a pendulum follows through its swing. This pendulum motion is a more natural motion for the body, making it by far the most common swing mistake seen among those who metal detect. 

To correct this pay attention to your swing and make a physical and mental effort to keep the coil low to the ground at the ends of your sweeps. Some tiems a slight roll of the wrist and shoulder will help you keep the coil low and parallel to the ground at the ends of your sweeps.

Coil Too High Off Ground

Presenting the coil too high off the ground drastically reduces the depth of buried metal objects. This has to do with proximity and metal detection capability. For example if a metal detector can detect a coin sized object 10 inches deep and your coil is 4 inches off the ground, you'll only be able to detect a buried object at 6 inches. However if your coil right on the surface of the ground you'll be able to take full advantage of the metal detectors capability and be able to detect buried metal objects at the full 10 inches of depth.

For best results keep your metal detectors coil as low to the ground as possible. An inch or less above the ground, but not scraping the ground.

Coil Not Parallel to the Ground

If your metal detectors coil is not parallel to the ground or at an angle you lose a lot of detection depth as the coil is pointed more ahead of you instead of straight down into the ground.

Always make sure your coil is flat and parallel to the ground. Pay particular attention when you are transitioning from flat ground to a hill or vice versa. If the hill is upwards you will need to rotate the coil back a tad to match the slant of the ground. If the hills is a downward slope you will need to rotate the coil forward a tad, again matching the slant of the slope. Don't forget to rotate the coil angle back to a flat position once you are back on flat ground.

Moving Too Quickly and Swing Speed

Only move as fast as you can overlap your sweeps. This will vary from detectorist to detectorist and also vary on the metal detectors coil size. Smaller coils require slower speeds while larger coils allow a bit of a faster pace.

Your sweep speed again will vary from person to person depending on physical characteristics such as height, arm length, strength, etc. Generally speaking your swing should take around 2 seconds to go from left to right back to left again.

Wrap Up

We discussed the importance of proper swing technique when metal detecting and the most common mistakes made by most metal detecting enthusiast.

We talked about the importance of keeping your coil parallel to the ground at the end of your sweeps to avoid penduluming. We also talked about keeping your coil as low to the ground as possible to provide better metal detection depth. We also discussed the importance of correct coil angle in regards to the terrain you are detecting. We talked about not moving too quickly, only moving at a speed that allows you to overlap your sweeps. And finally we talked about swing speed, which is typically about 2 seconds from side to side.

Checkout this video from our sister company Bounty Hunter Metal Detectors for more on correct swing technique.