View Full Version : Anyone have/use a metal detector around the farm?

May. 4, 2011, 02:34 PM
I've been wondering if I should get a metal detector for use around the farm.

- Flood damage to fencing can pull hardware out of the fence posts, then we have to search for said hardware so it doesn't end up in a horse's hoof

- Many times, barn construction, no matter how careful the worker is or how many times he/she is told, results in the "missing" nail, screw or tool.

- And lastly, for fun! It's an old old property, and it's in the flood plain, so the potential for interesting things to have either come to the surface OR floated in is high.

As with so many things -- I see them advertised for $50 up to several thousand. Does anyone have one to use at the barn? Any recommendations (brand, features, price range, etc.)? Thanks.

May. 4, 2011, 02:39 PM
Not sure, don't have one, but from what I have heard, I believe that the more expensive like 200 or 250 ones really are better at finding things under the surface, so if you are looking for that old box buried under the chestnut tree, you could miss it with an el cheapo.

Not sure how the el cheapos work with surface things like nails, but I would want to be able to get things a few inches under the soil, too, because in one winter the frost will heave them to the surface and next spring, Sproing! It in your horse's frog.

Hope others can give better specific advise.

May. 4, 2011, 02:44 PM
You can buy very large magnets on a broom stick sort of thing at the hardware store. They are built to pick up loose nails & stuff from construction sites :).

Tom King
May. 4, 2011, 03:23 PM
The trouble with a metal detector for finding dropped nails is that you have to be directly over the bit of metal for it to beep, and then you have to still dig to find it.

A 2' wide magnet, from Northern Tool, can cover much more ground quickly and it picks up the hardware to be disposed of.

I have a middle of the range metal detector that I bought for finding surveying steel rods. It's handy for finding buried nails in old lumber too, but I'll use the magnet for dropped nails and screws. The magnet goes on the trailer when we are building fence. The battery is taken out of the metal detector until it gets used once every few years.

May. 4, 2011, 05:23 PM
I bought the magnet on wheels at Tractor Supply. Makes me SO glad I have mats where the horses go in my 70 y/o barn. Nasty little rusted nails coming up where hay is stored. :eek:

May. 4, 2011, 06:13 PM
I've seen the strong magnets on what looks like a broomstick. I was leaning toward the metal detector because I figured not everything would be steel, i.e. may not be attracted to the magnet. But it is a good idea for the short term anyway...

May. 4, 2011, 06:19 PM
We bought one on a whim. Took it down by the pond beep beep beep dig dig dig....

Hello, sardine can.

yeah around the barn we use a magnet on a stick.

Wanna buy a metal detector???? LOL