Why To Use Small Coils In Trashy Areas?

When you’re out metal detecting in areas with a lot of trash, using a small coil can make a big difference. Small coils, typically between 4 to 6 inches in diameter, are designed to focus on smaller sections of the ground.

This makes it easier to distinguish between valuable targets, like coins or jewelry, and unwanted items, such as bottle caps or nails.

In trashy areas, where there are many metal objects close together, a small coil can help you pinpoint good finds more accurately, saving you time and effort.

Another reason to use small coils in trashy areas is that they offer better maneuverability and precision.

With a smaller detection area, you can navigate tight spaces and get closer to obstacles like rocks or tree roots.

This allows you to thoroughly search areas that might be difficult to cover with a larger coil. Plus, small coils are lighter, making them more comfortable to use for extended periods.

Overall, using a small coil in trashy areas can enhance your metal detecting experience by improving your chances of finding hidden treasures while avoiding unnecessary digging.

Small Coil

What does it mean? Before diving deeper, let’s clarify what we mean by “small coil”. 

Typically, these coils range from approximately 4″ to 8″ in diameter for some detectors. 

They’re compact, making them ideal for specific tasks.

The Trashy Area Challenge

Trashy areas are those terrains littered with multiple metal items.

Think of places like parks, old house sites, or campgrounds.

Here, you can find soda can tabs, nails, or other metallic debris. These junk items pose a significant challenge, often masking more valuable finds.

Why to use Small Coils in Trashy Areas?

Here are the key reasons why small coils are the champions of other metal detector coil types in such challenging zones:

  • Target Separation:
    Small coils have a tighter detection field. This means they can differentiate between closely spaced metal objects. In trashy terrains, this is invaluable. You’ll detect a coin even if it’s right next to a soda can tab!
  • Maneuverability:
    Their compact size allows them to move around obstacles with ease. Whether it’s between rocks, roots, or amidst thick grass, small coils navigate effortlessly.
  • Pinpoint Accuracy:
    When you get a beep on your detector, you’d want to know exactly where to dig. Small coils offer precise pinpointing, ensuring you dig at the right spot and not waste time.
  • Less Overwhelming Signals:
    Larger coils can get overwhelmed with multiple signals in trashy areas. Small coils, on the other hand, pick up fewer items at once, making the detection process more manageable.

Making the Most of Small Coils 

To fully harness the power of small coils in trashy areas:

  • Go Slow: Take your time to scan the area. Move slowly to ensure you pick up even the weakest of signals.
  • Overlapping Swings: Ensure your swings overlap a bit. This makes certain that no ground is left unchecked.
  • Stay Low: Keep the coil close to the ground for optimal detection.


While bigger coils have their rightful place in open terrain and for detecting deep targets, the agility and precision of small coils cannot be ignored, especially in trashy areas. 

So the next time you’re heading to a site littered with metal junk but believe there could be valuable treasures hidden, arm yourself with a small coil. 

Your chances of success will multiply, and you might just unearth a find that others have overlooked!

Howard rockse

Hey there, I am Howard a deeply committed individual who likes to share my knowledge and insights in this field, having spent over ten years as a metal detectorist.

My experience with GoldXtra has allowed me to provide trustworthy and informative advice to both new and experienced metal-detecting enthusiasts. I’m committed to assisting others in exploring and enjoying the world of metal detecting with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have.

Howard Rockse
Senior Content Writer at GoldXtra

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