Hi everyone! I recently had the opportunity to read and review a new book, The Metal Detecting Bible by Brandon Neice. Some of you may know Neice by another name, Dr. Tones from the popular YouTube channel Dirt Fishing America. I'll just say up front, I love DFA's videos, so I jumped at the chance to review his new book.
It is primarily an introductory text, but I was very impressed with the variety of topics covered. All the "newbie" questions are covered well enough to help you cut through some of the hobby and technical jargon, and start getting the most from your detector on day one. For someone just starting out, or in the first few years of detecting, I would highly recommend it. For those of us that have been around the detecting block a few times, you might not get quite as much out of it - but the humorous tone keeps it fresh and interesting, and it was still a fun refresher course.
Niece's background shows through in the book, with a definite emphasis on "treasure" - namely old coins, and prospecting. There's nothing wrong with that, and in fact the prospecting chapter and discussion of prospecting gear was more thorough than I have seen in previous introductory texts. I would love to see a follow-up book from the author with the same engaging style of writing, and a more in depth look into the prospecting niche of the detecting world that many of us know little about. The flip side, of course, is that the author's background in treasure hunting provides less information for aspiring relic hunters (vs the other various subsets of detecting). I would like to have seen a nod to us Civil War guys and gals, with a few leads for research (regimental histories and the Official Record, for example), how to identify and dig out huts and fire pits, and a using the terrain to look for potential camps. The discussion of coinshooting, jewelry hunting, and prospecting are all sufficiently detailed, and the techniques discussed are applicable to all hobbyists.
No matter what area of metal detecting you're interested in, there's a lot of good stuff in The Metal Detecting Bible. In particular the first three chapters (basic principles, tools, and techniques) should be required reading for anyone picking up a detector. If you're new to the hobby and want a head start, or you've been considering a detector and want to know what's involved, it would be worthwhile to give this one a read. Happy hunting, y'all!