These are some of the frequently asked questions about digging tools for metal detecting: T handle or ball handle shovel, the serrated side… So that you make the best choice.
T handle vs ball handle
Some think that one of the advantages of the ball handle shovel is that it can be carried using a hammer loop that you attach to your belt. That way you have a free hand and you can metal detect easily.
But, T handle shovels also have their own carriers too. They may have a belt loop or rugged clips for belts or for pants.
This way, the shovel is in your side for quick access. I think this is better than a shoulder strap holder.
So this is not an advantage for the ball handle shovel.
On the other hand, the ball in the handle will hurt your hand after a few digs. Wearing gloves will ease the pain a little bit. But, it is still not good for your palms.
The T handle is more comfortable. And you can use your body weight to dig holes. With the ball handle shovel, this is not a good thing to do.
To wrap up, the T handle is better than the ball handle shovel. It crushes the competition.
Serrated sides: left or right?
The serrated edge helps cutting roots easier. Some tools have two serrated edges. Others have only one serrated edge: either on the left or on the right. Which one is best for you?
In my humble opinion, the serration side doesn’t depend whether you are left handed or right handed.
The serration should be on the leading edge. If you like cutting plugs clockwise, pick a digging tool serrated on the left side and vice versa.
Do you use a trowel or shovel?
If you will metal detect in public places like a playground, shovels may not be the best choice.
So, you use the handheld digging tools to cut neat plugs. You don’t want to let the park looks like a minefield. This won’t be good for you and for the detectorists community.
If you go to a remote place like a forest, you can use your shovel. You can dig deeper and easier. And you will have more torque to flip the plug easier. And you will bend less often.
Of course, you will have to kneel anyway to use your pinpointer and to recover the buried metal object.
In conclusion, a trowel could be used alone in public places. It’s better to use a shovel with a trowel in other spots.
Mini or a full-sized shovel?
The mini shovel is for public spaces like parks to avoid drawing attention out in the public eye. They are easier to carry. You can also try the folding ones.
With full-sized spades, you do not have to bend. You can dig comfortably. Longer shafts give you more leverage.
This video will tell you more information about:
*The best alignment of the shaft and the blade
*The foot ledge that won’t cut your shoe when you are digging
*The blade width and length
*The blade’s shape