Treasure Tactix | Beach Detecting Techniques

Treasure Tactix | Beach Detecting Techniques

Beach Metal Detecting Tips

What is Gridding and when should I utilise it? 

Gridding is when the operator of a metal detector scans an area in a back and forth pattern (in a grid formation) with the intent of detecting an area thoroughly and leaving minimal targets behind.

The alternative to gridding is what I call “scouting” which essentially entails zig-zagging across, up and down the beach in search of “hotspots”. These hotspots are generally where coins, sinkers, and other dense objects are all relatively shallow or classified in a fairly small area.

These areas can often be identified by exposed rocks or structures that aren’t normally there. They can also be “low spots” and “cuts” in the beach where sand has clearly been removed, but the bottom line is that sand movement is key to finding large volumes of targets.

Gridding is appropriate if you already know the most popular areas of the beach but scouting is more useful if you don’t know the beach that well.

In most cases start by scouting in hopes of finding a heavy target and then begin gridding to see if there are other heavy targets in the area.

I have often scouted in wet sand, found a coin or sinker, and then started spiralling outwards in a kind of grid formation to find a number of heavy targets very close by. It is amazing how often one dense target precedes a number of other dense ones!


- Dragging a shovel or similar on the beach can mark where you have been if you want to grid an area off completely.

- Gridding from different angles i.e. north-south firstly and then east-west very often yields more targets especially if they are deeper!

I chose the above image for this article as it proves an excellent example of what can be found in a hotspot at the beach. This haul was discovered whilst I was out detecting with a friend in one EPIC day of treasure hunting!

The four antique gold items at the front (pictured above) were all found within just one square meter from each other! There were also another two gold rings from the same square meter found by my detecting buddy just moments before.

The diamonds/stones also found were spotted by eye in the same hotspot, and are fake - despite initial hopes!

My techniques used on this day included a combination of scouting for hotspots, followed by then gridding the hotspots thoroughly... and it massively paid off!

Thank you for reading and happy hunting! - Ed.

What do you guys think? Do you use these methods - or maybe others? Let us know in the comments below!

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