Once you find something using the metal detector, you’ll need to dig it up. For that, you need the best metal detecting tools. Here’s how you find it.
It’s one thing to have your metal detector beeping when you’re looking for treasure in your own yard or at the park. But it’s another thing entirely to get at the item. You’re going to have to dig for it, which means finding the best shovel for metal detecting you can afford.
You can’t just get any shovel from your garage and make do. You’ll have to carry that along, so a typically heavy shovel may not be the best option. and that’s just one of the factors you need to consider.
Best Shovel for Metal Detecting Comparisons:
Metal Detecting Digging Methods
One factor you need to in mind is that you can end up with a messy yard when you dig up the soil in your own lawn. That’s annoying enough for you, but it annoys other people if you make a mess digging up a public yard or a neighbor’s lawn even with their permission.
It’s a good thing there are ways for you to minimize the digging impact so you don’t have a mess and make enemies along the way. Here are some methods you should consider:
- Half-Circle Holes
- V-Shaped Holes
- Cone-Shaped Holes
- Square Plug
- Sod Flap or Plug
1. Half-Circle Holes
You can use a shovel to dig half-circle holes, which lets you take out just a little bit of the ground. You’re then able to check out what’s under the soil. You can dig these holes in the hardened ground, and it’s easy enough to tap the ground back in their original place.
2. V-Shaped Holes
Your shovel may be angled so that you end up with this type of holes. You can dig these holes even in hard soil, and it’ll let you see what’s under the ground. With this type of hole, the hole surface tapers wider as you go down deeper. It’s also easy enough to refill the hole with the ground you dug up, so you don’t end up with a mess and waste time and effort fixing things up.
3. Cone-Shaped Holes
You can dog these holes better when you’re dealing with not-too-hard soils, such as grassy grounds. These conical holes are generally bigger than the V-shaped ones, you have a bigger mouth that can accommodate bigger items under the ground.
4. Square Plug
For this to work, you have to be on well-formed soils with a grassy surface. That way, you’re able to maintain the shape of the hole and afterward, you can put back the soil in the hole you made. When you have a square plug of sod, you’re able to look deeper and see more of a bigger item.
5. Sod Flap or Plug
To make this hole, you pierce the ground about 3 to 4 inches deep along 3 sides of a square. You can then flip this piece of soil up along the undug side. You should use a digging tool for this that comes with a serrated edge.
Different Types of Digging Tools
Actually, a shovel isn’t the only way for you to dig up your buried treasure. The best one among them will depend on the conditions of the ground.
- Sand Scoop
- Digging Knives
1. Sand Scoop
This is what you use on the beach, where you tend to find items buried only a few inches down. The sand scoop as a digging edge, and a screen to sift the sand through. That way, you’re left with the treasure in the scoop.
2. Digging Knives
This is one quick way of digging through hard ground. One of the edges may be serrated so the knife can “saw” through down to the ground. This is great for items buried only a few feet under the soil. It’s also a good option when you’re working in a cramped space (where shovels may not be optimal) or when you need to cut down vegetation along the way.
This is like a tiny shovel, except that you hold up a very short handle. The end is generally pointy, though some models feature rounded tips that tend to function like a scoop. Some of the better models have at least one serrated edge.
This is easy enough to use, and you’re less likely to get in trouble with the law when you carry this to a public park. Some police officers may object to knives in public.
Generally, you won’t have to crouch down to dig up your treasure when you use a shovel. It’s also got the job done faster if the item is buried deep underground. These shovels are often considered the most durable of the digging tools. They may have pointed or rounded scoop edges, and some of the newer models even feature serrated edges.
You just need a model that’s easy enough to carry around for long walks at the park. A conventional shovel that you’ve owned from 40 years ago just won’t do at all.
Why a Good Shovel for Metal Detecting?
Two reasons. One is that it’s easier and faster to use a shovel for digging that to use your bare hands. Treasure hunters have known this obvious fact for hundreds of years. This is especially true with hard ground. With some types of ground, you may not even be able to dig at all with your hands.
It’s safer too. Using a shovel keeps your fingers away from buried shards of jagged glass, iron nails, sharp rocks, or even discarded syringes used by drug addicts.
In many cases, a shovel can do the job when a trowel or a digging knife can’t do as well or as quickly. Even if you do plan on buying a digging knife or trowel, it’s often a good idea to have a shovel too.
What are the Best Metal Detecting Digging Tools?
That actually depends on the digging conditions (especially ground conditions) and your own personal preferences. Instead of giving you vague tips on what to buy, we instead offer concrete recommendations on the better digging tool models you can pick from.
- Hand Shovel for Metal Detecting
- Lesche Digging Tool & Sod Cutter & Free Sheath
- Garrett Edge Digger with Sheath for Belt Mount
- Whites DigMaster Metal Detector Digging Tool
- Lesche Standard Digging Tool & Sod Cutter
- Digging Shovel for Metal Detecting
- Lesche 1V_WWMFG-32-SER T- Handle
- Mini Root Assassin Shovel
- Root Slayer Nomad
- Lesche Ball Handle Heavy Duty Metal Detecting Shovel
- White’s Ground Hawg
- Lesche Mini Sampson 18 T-Handle Shovel
- Ground Shark 40 Shovel
- Folding Shovel for Metal Detecting
- Military Folding Shovel
More Detailed Metal Detecting Digging Tool Reviews
1. Lesche Digging Tool & Sod Cutter & Free Sheath
At first glance, it’s just a knife, although admittedly it’s a rather nice-looking knife and it’s even quite affordable. What really sets this apart is that it is very popular, and it’s very rare that you’ll find a less than pleased commentary regarding its use.
You get a 7-inch chrome-moly steel blade that’s 1.75 inches wide, with a saw-tooth edge on one side. The blade edge cuts through the dirt and the turfgrass, while the serration works wonderfully when cutting roots. It has an ample hand-guard plate, along with a 5-inch handle that’s ringed for a more secure grip.
It’s made in the US, and it even comes with a free Cordura belt sheath. It’s so long-lasting that some people report that it’s as good as new after more than 3 years, and you don’t even have to sharpen it all that often. There’s a reason (plenty, in fact) why just about 19 out of 20 customers love it.
2. Garrett Edge Digger with Sheath for Belt Mount
Now, this doesn’t look like a typical knife at all. That’s because the blade component is actually set below the handle level (when you look at it when it’s on its side). This is meant to dig up the soil and cutting a plug. The “triangle” area at the tip has serrations on one side, and you have serrations on the opposite side of the straight part of the blade. The handle is also ringed and ergonomically curved.
Despite its non-straight design, this is quite sturdy even when you’re dealing with the stubborn ground. It uses steel strong enough deal with the lifting pressure. You do need to sharpen the steel a bit often. It also comes with a nice sheath that attaches to your belt.
3. White’s DigMaster Metal Detector Digging Tool
This knife is another non-straight digging tool with the blade component sticking out from the edge of the handle guard and not from the center. The blade is 7.25-inches, with serrations on both sides. It also has ruler measurements engraved on the blade so you know exactly how far down you’ve reached.
This uses heat-treated steel, which extends all the way to the handle. This makes it super-durable. It has a comfort-grip handle with a thumb guide, and it’s in an orange color so you know right off where to hold it. There’s also a free sheath, and the handle end has a slot for a lanyard.
With the cutting edges on both sides, plus the thumb indentation and the molded grip, digging becomes a lot easier. It’s great for both left- and right-handed users. Even the sheath is sturdy as well.
4. Lesche Standard Digging Tool & Sod Cutter
This is the very same model as the other Lesche digging tool. You have the same blade, handle, design, and length. It’s also made of chrome-moly steel. Everything’s the same except this time the serrated edge is on the right. (The Lesche first mentioned here has its serrated edge on the left.)
Having the serration on the right generally means it’s meant mostly for left-handed people.
When you cut a plug, you generally hold the knife with the serrated edge towards you. That’s mainly because you pull towards yourself for greater strength and leverage. The serrations on the right side of the blade will then point towards you if you hold this with your left hand as you stab the ground.
5. Lesche 1V_WWMFG-32-SER T- Handle
Yes, it’s another Lesche. But then again, this brand is renowned in the industry. Besides, this time it isn’t a knife. It’s a shovel with a T-shaped handle. This is 31 inches long in total. It has a V-shaped tip and the 5-inch scoop part is angled at a wide V-shape as well. The right side of the scoop is serrated for cutting roots.
This is made of aircraft-grade steel, and it’s solid enough to cut down on soil easily. The length is just right, as even a 6-footer can now cut a plug without having to bend over.
Lots of people say it’s the easiest shovel they’ve ever used. You really cut like with a hot knife through butter, and the plugs you dig are shaped well enough that you can just put it back in the hole. It won’t even look like you dug something there.
It’s durable too, with plenty of reports saying that even the ones used constantly for years still work (and look) like it’s only a week old. It’s made in the US. Clearly, Lesche thinks you won’t be buying another metal detecting shovel for a long time.
6. Mini Root Assassin Shovel
This time you have a D-shaped handle, which is typical for most shovels. But this is hardly your typical shovel. Its metallurgical structure has been enhanced for strength and durability. Both sides of the triangle-shaped blade are serrated.
The blade component is quite long with 16 serrated teeth on each side, so you can use longer strokes when you need to cut roots. The serrations alternately beveled on both sides. This means you can cut the roots while digging in or pulling out. The blade is also made from a carbon steel blade.
The folks at Root Assassin even focused on the design of the handle. It’s made of metal covered by rubber and poly-carbonate. It won’t rust or chip.
In total, this measures 32 inches and it only weighs 2.2 pounds. The short length is a concern, though. Some people might like a longer version of this.
How long will it last? Here’s a clue: this comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee. You most likely will never buy another metal detecting shovel for yourself. The only time you will buy another one is to gift them to your buddies, and they’ll certainly thank you for this.
7. Root Slayer Nomad
This is a shovel made by the Radius Harden brand, and it’s a beauty. The price is actually comparable to a Lesche digging knife. It’s been bought by thousands of people, and just about every one of them gives it perfect scores on their customer reviews.
The head of the Nomad model is actually a smaller version of the standard Root Slayer. It’s 30% smaller, which makes it a better choice when you’re dealing with campgrounds, raised garden beds, and small spaces.
But it’s not really all that short since the whole thing is 39 inches long. The tip measures 2.6 inches wide, while the base of the head is 7.5 inches long.
This was meant for gardening at first, but lots of people have already reported that it also works extremely well for metal detecting. The blade is carbon steel with powder coating, with serrations on each side. The shaft is also carbon steel, but this time encased in resin. The handle also comes with a comfy, non-latex grip.
Just clean it after each use and sharpen the blade regularly. If you’re in the US mainland, you’re in luck. You also get a lifetime manufacturer guarantee.
8. Lesche Ball Handle Heavy Duty Metal Detecting Shovel
How many Lesche items do we have on the list? This one is the Sampson, and it certainly deserves its spot. That’s because it’s specifically meant for metal detecting. It’s not a gardening tool that you can also use to dig for treasure.
It’s very lightweight, so you can carry it in one hand while using the metal detector in the other hand. It’s also short enough that some people can hang it on a carpenter’s belt and it won’t touch the ground. It will cut plugs and flaps cleanly, so that you can easily return the dug-up soil back in their proper place. The flange is flat, so it’s easier on your shoe when you step on it. This will last for a very long time.
9. White’s Ground Hawg
This is another shovel that’s meant for treasure-hunting first. It’s meant for heavy-duty work, with 2 serrated edges and a V-tip to that can deal with even the toughest ground. It does well with clay, roots, and even rocks along the way.
This is 36 inches long, so you shouldn’t have to stoop too much to dig. It’s not heavy either, at 2.85 pounds. The blade is 7,5 inches long with a width of 5.5 inches. Get this on the ground, and you get a cube of soil measuring 6 inches wide and 7 inches dee. That’s with just 3 cuts.
The shaft and handle are all in orange, and the T-handle is no trouble to grasp. All in all, try this and you may just have found the ideal shovel for yourself. It’s extremely sharp, the size is nice, it’s lightweight, and it can stand a beating.
There have been reports about how some of these shovels had their metal tubing bend right above the head. If this happens to you, just contact White’s customer support. They’re very conscientious, and they’ll ship you a replacement right away.
10. Lesche Mini Sampson 18 T-Handle Shovel
Some folks don’t mind a mini-shovel, since a small version lets them attach the shovel on their belt or have it in their backpack. This one certainly qualifies, as their Sampson model meant for treasure hunting is now in a much smaller version.
This is just 18 inches overall, as the shaft has been significantly shortened. You may want to use this rather than go with a trowel. This will deal with stubborn soil with less effort on your part. The T-handle is also comfy in your hand.
The trusty blade design remains the same though. It’s 7.5 inches long and 4 inches wide, with serrations on each side. It’s made from aircraft-grade steel, and the blade has been further heat-treated for even greater durability and strength.
Some people also prefer its gray color for the shaft and handle, rather than the orange. That’s because it looks good even when it gets dirty. The gray looks serious even when you have mud clinging to it.
11. Ground Shark 40 Shovel
Some folks (especially if they’re tall) really hate short shovels. Either they have to stoop to dig, or they have to squat down to the ground. These are both rather uncomfortable options for some. But you can use this instead, and you won’t have to stop at all to dig up your treasure.
Of course, its length isn’t the only thing going for this shovel. The blade is uncommonly narrow at 3 inches wide, but it works very well with metal detectors with the pinpoint feature. You won’t have to dig as much soil as other shovels, but this can get deep as the blade is 11 inches long.
This will get through the ground with no trouble, as it has a sharpened diamond tip to pierce through. Both sides are also serrated to get through the ground more easily. The T-handle is easy enough to grasp, and you can then just step on the footpad at the back of the spade to get your weight to help.
Despite its size, this only weighs a little over 3 pounds. The welded blade and handle are rust-resistant and it’s handcrafted here in the US. If you feel it’s too long, you can use it as a walking cane while your other hand handles the metal detector.
12. Rhino Military Folding Shovel
This is a survival shovel that folds, and it’s meant for a lifetime of use. Amazingly, it’s the most affordable digging tool on the list. It’s even cheaper than the digging knives, though admittedly we picked the best digging knives which explain their price.
That price is amazing the closer you look at the features. You can use this like a small shovel when the blade is angled straight. The blade has one side with serrations on the tip and side.
But when you angle the blade at 90 degrees, at the back you also have a pickax for tougher dirt. In this mode, you then have a T-shaped tip.
This shovel only weighs 2 pounds and fully extended it measures 23 inches long. But for easier carrying, you can fold it into its free carry case and it measures only 9 by 6 inches.
As it’s a military shovel, you can also expect this to be tough. It’s made from carbon steel, with a powder coating to protect it from rusting.
The customer support is terrific, as Rhino is a small family business based in California. This shovel is guaranteed for life, with a refund (or a replacement) if you’re not 100% satisfied.
Metal Detecting Digging Tool Buyer’s Guide
It is, of course, crucial that you read the product description and specs regarding any digging tool you might consider for your needs. You have to check their features while keeping in mind that this for use in a construction job. It’s for digging while walking in the park or at the beach.
You should also take note of customer reviews, as they’re generally more objective than marketing blurbs. Customers tend to point out flaws that brands hope you’ll overlook. When you do read these reviews, pay particular to the following factors:
- Sharp Edges
- Handle Grip Quality
If you’re dealing with softer soil, then a small digging tool can work just fine. However, a shovel works better for the harder ground with rocks because its heft lets you penetrate the ground more easily.
You do need something smaller in cramped spaces, when you don’t have the room to swing a shovel comfortably.
You want your digging tool to cut like a warm knife in butter. That’s an exaggeration, but not really. It’s true, though, that you’ll want sharper edges especially if you’re dealing with the especially hard ground.
You’re going to have your metal detector with you, so you can’t really have 2 hands to carry a traditionally large shovel. You’ll want something that’s easier to carry, preferably one that you can clip to your belt. If it’s a bit bigger or heavier, you may carry it in a backpack.
Handle Grip Quality:
The “blade” that cuts through the soil isn’t the only important component of the digging tool. You’ll have to be able to wield it properly. You need a handle that you can grip comfortably, and that won’t slip from your hands even if it gets wet or sweaty. A poorly designed grip can lead to rather unpleasant accidents, and you’ll find things slower and less efficient—and probably a lot less fun.
You do have to mention this, since you might just get the cheapest one, thinking that all digging tools are the same. That’s not quite accurate. You might also go with the most expensive shovel, thinking that the most expensive tools must be the best. That’s not always true, either, though it’s true that you generally pay more for better stuff.
Check out the length of the warranty period. It’s a good sign if it’s longer than the industry average, because it means the manufacturer expects the digging tool to last a considerably long period of time. But you should also read reviews regarding the brand’s actual willingness to honor the warranty. Some brands may put up too many hoops before they replace their defective items. Some don’t even have a customer support department, or its people don’t respond quickly.
Read the reviews too for how frequently people complain about how their tool suddenly broke down after only a few weeks or months of use. If every other customer review complains about a broken component too soon after buying it, you may want to reconsider your choice.
What are Digging Tools?
Metal detectors are the tools you use to indicate the presence of a metal object buried underground. The digging tools are your means of moving the ground so you can uncover the item. These can be shovels, trowels, or even knives made specifically for digging.
What Tool do You Use to Dig a Hole?
That depends on your location and your circumstances. A digging knife makes a lot of sense for some people, since it’s very compact and lightweight. Plus, most coins are detected only a few inches under the ground. Some do prefer a trowel (especially in public parks where a knife may alarm some folks), while for challengingly hard terrain a shovel may be your best hope.
How to Make a Shovel?
You don’t. Sure, you can make one as part of your DIY garage adventures. But if you want a shovel that you’re certain will be safe, effective, durable, and comfortable to use, you’re better off buying one of our best shovel for metal detecting digging tools. It’s for your own good, trust us on this. Or you can watch this video.
Just be careful when you’re digging, okay? That’s especially true when you use a digging knife. Be aware of what you’re doing so you don’t hurt yourself.
Also, mind your manners when you dig. First, ask for permission when you’re digging in a friend’s back yard. They may not take it kindly when you just dig too many holes all over the gorgeous lawn. Check too if you’re permitted to dig in public parks. (In the US this is generally allowed, but you may want to be sure).
Then when you dig, don’t just fling the soil all over the place. Be mindful of your surroundings, and be careful that you don’t flick the soil at some poor bystander walking by.
Set the soil you dug up aside at the same general area, so you can easily put it back in the hole you created. The first rule of dealing with public property is simple—leave a place as neat as when you found it. What is your opinion about best shovel for metal detecting digging tools reviews, please leave a comment below.