How to Make a Detectorist Happy on Christmas

So if you’re stumped as to what to buy your metal detecting family member, friend or significant other for Christmas, or any other holiday, check out this post.

They’re a hard bunch to buy for, but luckily I have the inside scoop on what they like (or need), for their endless wanderings in search of that elusive “Pot O’ Gold”.

From stocking stuffers, to the humorous, to gifts with the “YES!” factor, I’ve included a wide variety, and surely you can find something to please them. There are also certain things they can never have enough of, or would like to have more of, so don’t worry about them already having one.  Having two or three of some of these items will just make their arsenal all the more awesome.

I’ve included helpful links for you, or you can just search the products online.


SHOVEL:  Don’t just go out to Home Depot and pick up a garden shovel thinking it’s “good enough” and expect to see excitement in their eyes. It’s got to be a detecting shovel. These are T-handled and long (about 30”).  They help cut a good plug, or depending where or how it’s used, help to dig a quick, deep hole. There are many kinds of shovels.  Plain or serrated edge (for sawing through roots).  There are also some that come in different colors, which a female Detectorist might appreciate.
Violet Nemesis Illusion Shovel available @ Kelly Co


CRAFT KIT:  I found this Treasure Chest craft kit while shopping for xmas gifts for my granddaughter.  I was intrigued, and they were Buy-One-Get-One-Free, so of course I used that as an excuse to obtain one for myself.  I’m very proud of my finished product.  Side note here:  Don’t use the paintbrush that comes with it, it sucks.  I had to repaint the whole thing.  Also, I Mod Podged the finished product so the stickers wouldn’t peel off.

Available @ Melissa & Doug-Click here to purchase


PINPOINTER:  They range in price from about $80 and up. Don’t buy a cheap one.  It’s a necessary item, and an inexpensive one will not perform well.  Think brand name. The most popular one seems to be the Orange Garrett, also known as the Garrett Carrot.  I use the Garrett Carrot and the Land or Sea.  Haven’t had a problem with either.

Land or Sea Pinpointer available @ Gold Digger Metal Detectors

Garret Pro Pointer AT available @ Gold Digger Metal Detectors


METAL DETECTOR ROBOT:  For the Detectorist who has everything, except this.

It’s remote controlled, and as the description notes, “your friends will be amazed”.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this product yet—it seems kind of silly.

Robot available @


LESCHE:  Also known as a digger, or a digging tool. It’s a hand held digging tool, great for lawns, or getting targets out of difficult places. Again, go with a good brand name here (like Lesche).  There are many on the market, and each manufacturer seems to have their own “swag” version with their logo on the sheath, but in my opinion, it’s mostly just an advertising tool.  Quality is important, so go with the tried & true here.  No one wants their digger breaking or bending on them.  You can get one with the serrated edge on the left or on the right.

Available @ Streeters Treasure Hunting Supplies or

Gold Digger Metal Detectors


HOMEMADE GIFT:  Steal one of your beloved detectorists prized horseshoes, and a railroad spike.  I’m sure they have some squirreled away somewhere.  Clean them up and assemble as in the photo. You may need someone who welds to help you with this. Add paint, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a thoughtful gift.  You’re welcome!




BACKPACK:  Especially handy if your giftee is a woods hunter. Get one big enough for gear, but not so big it’s a nuisance. It’s also helpful if it’s got a computer sleeve on the outside that can be used to slide a shovel into. If you want to be really creative, sew some of those detecting patches he or she has been collecting onto it before you wrap it, or fill it with detecting supplies.

Garrett Backpack available @ Amazon



FISHING/DETECTING VEST:  Speaking of patches… where else to put them but on a detecting/fishing vest?  This seems to be a metal detecting must have in the attire department lately. The patches are cool as heck, but your hobbyist needs a place to display them. No place better for that than to sew them on a fishing vest.  And if you’re  going to get “him” a vest, please sew the patches on it for him. I’ve seen guys staple or screw them on. Not cool.
Fishing vest available @ Dicks Sporting Goods


ELECTROLYSIS KIT:  Go to the hardware store and purchase a few packages of alligator clips, black electricians tape, and a piece of steel rebar. Then go to a department store and get a good sized glass bowl. On the way home, stop at the grocery store and pick up lemon juice, a pound of salt, and a few boxes of baking, or washing soda.  You can also purchase a transformer, but it’s not necessary, because he can use the cord off some old cell phone charger, or other small appliance that meets electrolysis voltage requirements. I suggest wrapping it all up in a basket with a big bow on it. He (or she) will know what it’s for, and be touched that you put so much thought into it. **Note—these are things needed for performing electrolysis.  Knowing how to use them is up to you or them.  Perform electrolysis at your own risk. I assume no responsibility for any accidents or them burning down the house. Instructions for performing electrolysis can be found readily online.


CLEANING KIT:  Purchase plastic bowls or storage containers in various sizes. Go to the hardware store and get some brass and/or stainless steel brushes.  Hit the drug store up for Q-tips or make-up swabs & toothbrushes.  Grab some vinegar, toothpicks, lemon juice & Magic Erasers (these are great for coin cleaning) at the grocery store.  Put it all together, and TA DA-now you’ve got another basket of cheer!

Brass Brushes available at Harbor Freight


ANDRE’S PENCILS:  For coin cleaning. You can get these on Amazon for between $20 and $25, depending on seller and/or shipping method.  Of course we’re never supposed to clean our coins (if their valuable), but if not, then they’re great fo cleaning up old coins & relics—also makes a great stocking stuffer.

Andres Pencils available at Amazon




CAFE PRESS:  There’s loads of metal detecting merchandise just waiting to bought on Check it out.




:  What’s better than a magazine full of relics and coins, other than finding them all yourself?  Not much. American Digger is THE MAGAZINE for diggers. I’m also the Northeast Field Rep for them, and not only do I encourage you to subscribe, I would still do so even if I wasn’t affiliated, because that’s what a great publication it is!  Do they already have a subscription? Extend it another year, they’ll be thrilled. Seriously, they’ll like that.  Click here to subscribe



:  It’s a detecting thing. No one’s really sure why exactly, it just is. Rumor has it that camo  gives you the edge, but I’m not so sure about that. Whatever type of camo item(s) you get, if you’re going to purchase say pants and a jacket, just makes sure it’s matching camo. This is more one of my pet peeves than a rule. It’s just so wrong to wear digital camo pants with a  Mossy Oak leaf patterned jacket.  Ugh.

And yes, that’s me, back in the day, posing in my mismatching camo for the cover of The Searcher magazine to go along with my somewhat humorous article about Metal Detecting and Camouflage.

Check out the accompanying article here



DISPLAY CASES:  These are excellent gifts for those who like to show off their finds. Reasonably priced too, and you can never really have too many of them.  They also come in various sizes. One tip I’ve learned is to fold paper towels and lay on the inside bottom of the case, until you get to a thickness that will allow your finds to stay put against the glass, and not move around.

Available at Amazon



DREMEL TOOL:  This is a fun item for those who like to experiment with their finds. You can buy various attachments for more fun.  I’m sure he or she will try them all. Again, no liability assumed here. Mess around with your finds at your own risk.

Dremel Tools available at Lowe’s



NIC-A-DATE: By Nic-A-Lene. You can find this at Wizard Coin Supply for $5-$6 or on Amazon reasonably priced. But what is it?  It’s this fantastic little bottle of a chemical (probably acid), that will make the worn dates on a Buffalo Nickel appear like magic. It really works, and we all want to know the darn date!  You can ruin the value of the nickel if you use it, but if you can’t see the date, it probably doesn’t have any value to begin with. Think stocking stuffer.

Available @ Wizard Coin Supply




:  A must have yearly publication/book for the Detectorist. It’s like a coin Bible.  Chances are they’ve got something, or lots of things they could look up in it.  Gives descriptions, dates, and current coin values. Most of us want one every year, because we do, that’s why.  Last years book just ain’t the same. It’s just a detecting thing.  Can’t really explain it.

Available @ Wizard Coin Supply



FINDS BOX:  Some type of small plastic box, sectioned.  Should be small enough to be carried out in the field.  At home finds box can be much larger, also should be sectioned, and if you’re nice, you’ll cut foam out to fit in the sections for us. Just sayin’.

This Garrett one is perfect for daily digging, and comes with foam in it already.

Available @


ROCK TUMBLER:  Single barrel, double barrel, doesn’t really matter so long as it’s capable of cleaning up that clad enough to be accepted at the bank or Coin Star. Helpful to get some type of medium to go with it, like small aquarium gravel.

Check out for a huge selection



FINDS POUCH:  Fairly inexpensive, and having more than one is preferable. Beach hunters will like the ones with netted bottoms for the sand.  I have a half dozen of them, and I’m always looking for more.  Kind of like shoes & pocketbooks.

The Gray Ghost by Detector Pro seems to be the most popular at present.  Designed by hard core, lifelong detectorist’s themselves, who really know what’s needed in the field.

Available @ Amazon


BOOKS:  Any book about coins or relics.  Revolutionary & Civil War relic books make a thoughtful gift, depending on where you live, and what your dectectorist is hunting for. 

Relic Quest is a great all around relic book by Steve Moore of Garrett Metal Detectors.
Available @



SAND SCOOP:  Got a beach hunter in the family?  There are a variety of scoops available.  Hand held, long handled, short handled, etc… prices vary widely.


Check out the for a huge selection



:  Available at the App Store. Great app for finding property and property owners. Tells you if an area is state owned, National Forest, Etc… Also tracks your movement—great for those who get lost easily. You can purchase by state, or get the whole country. Subscription required.  

Check out On X Maps for more info or to download



RENAISSANCE WAX:  Formulated in the 1950s by the British Museum, which was looking for a way to keep steel and iron from rusting, and copper from tarnishing and corroding.

Seems aptly named for shining old stuff up. I hear it works wonders on old buttons.  One of the few things I haven’t tried yet.

Available @ Amazon



NAVAL JELLY: Slather it on rusty things to um, well, get rid of the rust. Works decently.  Smells a bit though. Another great stocking stuffer.

Available at Walmart




CREAM OF TARTER:  aka Potassium bitartrate, can be mixed with lemon juice or white vinegar to make a paste-like cleaning agent for metals such as brass, aluminum or copper.  Just take that dusty old spice bottle off the rack, wipe it down, and put a bow on it—you never use it anyway, and it’s great for cleaning stuff .  I found this works great on old aluminum religious medals, or tokens, or any old aluminum item in general.

Available in grocery stores, or hiding way in the back of your kitchen cabinet.



HEADPHONES:  You can detect without them, but if you do, people will be very annoyed with you.  So make sure they’ve got a good set of headphones (and a back up pair), just in case.  There’s nothing more annoying than detecting with someone who refuses to wear headphones.  And my personal opinion is that Detector Pro makes the best.  All my well known manufacturers headphones broke within months, but my Detector Pro Rattlers have lasted me almost a decade.  Yes, I’m plugging Detector Pro—they make a good product.
Available at


SHOVEL HOLDER:  This is a handy item which your attaches to your belt, and has a holder for a T-handle shovel to slide into.  It’s a fantastic little invention that once they get used to it, they won’t want to live without.  Saves a Detectorist from the arm fatigue of having to carry their shovel around all day.  The machine itself is heavy enough.

Available at Amazon



METAL DETECTOR:  We can never have too many of those, and yes, they are expensive. If you don’t want to break the bank, some options would be the Nokta Simplex—it’s lightweight, waterproof, about $300, and a darn good machine. They’re very popular right now, so if he (or she) doesn’t have one, you can’t go wrong. There’s also the Minelab Equinox, 600 or 800.  The 600 is less expensive, about $650 compared to the 800 which is about $ 850, and is also lightweight, waterproof, and extremely popular.  You can find these machines, and many others at:

and many other online retailers…

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Hunting!



13 thoughts on “How to Make a Detectorist Happy on Christmas

    1. Wine and a subscription to YouTube so you can watch super fab finds like Indian nickels being sensationalized. I also got you a bottle of Bourbon and some Tums for after you watch them 🙂

  1. So Glad to see that one of your recommended detectors was the Nokta Simplex. I just bought one to give to a friend for Christmas and other than read on-line reviews I relied on the advice of a seller in TN that is close to my friend’s home. Hope he enjoys his first machine. Maybe I’ll join him in the hobby, too. Really enjoy reading your blog!

    1. Don’t hesitate on the simplex. It’s got a price point that makes it easy to get into the hobby. So glad you like the blog. I had some problems with it for a while, but fingers crossed that It’ll be running smoothly from now on.

  2. Happy to see that you recommend the Nokta Simplex. I just bought one as a Christmas present for a friend and may get one as my first machine as well. Really enjoy your blog.

    1. The Nokta is a great little machine. I have one myself, and have done quite well with it. Can’t beat it for the performance it gives you for the price. Easy to use too.
      Glad you enjoy the blog. Hope my humor brings a smile to your day while also being informative.

  3. Hi Diva:
    You always hit the spot, Great stuff, and all with that gentle but dare I say, barbed, humour of yours. What do I want for Chrissy? Well, a lady heiress who owns a Scotch distillery, and a roman villa site next to a trout stream and who’s hot, hot, for septuagenarians would do it for me. Mind you, my good lady might think otherwise!!!!!!!!!!

    All the best for Chrissy and 2021. Thanks for a great site.

    1. Thanks For the kind words John. It’s not always easy to find humor in the hobby, but I try.
      I don’t know what a septuagenarian is, and I’m feeling too lazy to type that long word into google right now, so I’ll assume it has something to do with age. I truly do hope you get your Christmas wish though, after all, you’re not asking for much 🙂
      Happy Christmas to you, and I hope you find lots of “treasure” and an heiress in 2021.

      1. Hey Diva:
        Thanks for bringing that RENAISSANCE WAX to my attention. It’s great stuff. Certainly good for shining up old stuff…Yeah, I might even rub it s few old coins too….

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