And You Won’t Get Warts…

Nothing going on here at the Amesbury house except rain and more rain. Ready to build an ark and load it with two bottles of every brand of red wine. Here’s hoping you are finding neat things and making YouTube extravaganzas! In the mean time here’s a throwback…


…how’s your piffwanger?  Do you have the latest model? The one that just came on the market?  The ‘new and improved’ model that replaces the one you have now? The one that costs a hundred bucks more and makes your piffwanger obsolete? I mean damn, who wants an old piffwanger? Does the new product’s promotional ad or YouTube vid get your juices flowing? Are you thinking about maybe dipping into the rent money or maxing out the ole credit card so you can get that Piffwanger Pro everybody’s talking ’bout? Well welcome to marketing 101.

Look, no matter the category, the product or the business, it’s important that manufacturers come out with new piffwangers as quickly as possible because they, their distributors and their dealers don’t want you to be satisfied with your current piffwanger. Yup, they want your money again and in order to get it they created buzz words like new and improved, enhanced, leading edge, state of the art and of course the ole suffixes like Max, Pro, Master and Roman numerals like II, III, IV for the brain-dead.

Years ago you could work your way through the numbers until you became a professional…..

And what constitutes new and improved? Is it something that really sets it apart from the piffwanger you have now or is it just a different color, different shape or does it now come with a rubber grip, new label or longer warranty? Will the new piffwanger perform some new function or is it advertised to just perform better (as in go deeper)?

And of course the ultimate marketing ploy….get someone famous to use it. I mean if Mike Trout hits home runs with that piffwanger it must be pretty damn good, or if Steph Curry can shoot all those three’s wearing those red and white piffwangers they must be why. Of course we all know, down deep, that Mike Trout could hit all those home runs with a broomstick and Steph Curry could hit three’s all night wearing sandals.

Prospector Gary Earl is trying to keep with all the latest piffwanger accessories though I will give him this….no camo or snake boots. Thanks Gary….

If you’ve followed this blog you know I recently put up a few Q & A posts with well-known detectorists. The final question I asked each was “If you could pass along one or two words of advice to other detectorists, what would they be?” Here are their answers….

Allyson Cohen (Detecting Diva) “Stick to one machine. It’s kind of hard to learn a machine if you’re always switching them up. Do you see successful detectorists showing up at every hunt with a new machine? “

Todd Hiltz “Best advice I can give is for people to stick to one machine. Learn that machine like the back of your hand. Sleep with it, shower with it, do whatever you want with it but listen to everything it tells you and you will be very successful with it. You don’t need 5 different machines!”

Bob Sickler“Looking backward, I would have been better off staying with one detector and upgrading only when it became an advantage. Today I am the wiser and happier…”

Bob Buttafuso “Number one is to learn your unit. As I have always stated, the machine is only as good as the user using it…. “

Dominique Da Silva Ivy “Location is very important. Good finds are tied to where you are and what you are looking for. Research your area and touch base with seasoned people who detect in your state. And, most importantly, learn your machine! I don’t care if your machine cost you 200 dollars or two grand – learn it and learn it well. Once you speak its language, it will tell you where the finds are….”

My point with all this, and yes I’ve talked about it numerous times, is that you should be spending your time and money finding a great place to hunt and not getting caught up in the hype. So get out there, have fun and play with your pifffwanger. You’ll find neat stuff and trust me you won’t get warts or go blind….





Filed under Metal Detecting

23 responses to “And You Won’t Get Warts…

  1. wendell

    Good advice, I’m not able to use the two detectors I have right now. Maybe in July. Or, should I say piffwanger?

  2. Good advice! I’m getting old and more and more crabby as the day goes on…I’m not sure even what part of the hobby, sport or competition I’m even in anymore. I do know that owning multiple machines, especially on social media, and even if you barely know how to use one of your seven or eight machines properly at all, being cool and hip and current in the hobby, despite never really practicing the hobby is all the rage.

    Currently, the big thing in social media for a certain metal detector model (a hint; the name was also taken by FORD for one of it’s trucks, just to show you how off course this stuff is getting) that is de rigueur right now, as we speak, is an EXCITING new RED-COLORED carbon fiber shaft, to replace that suddenly démodé black colored carbon fiber shaft that originally came with said machine as few weeks ago. Zonkers!!! Social media people are milling about like ant’s in a kicked-over anthill, going on about how THEY just ordered this amazing shaft and should be receiving it ANY DAY now!!!! I almost spit my coffee all over the darn table when I read this, and Patti was asking me if I needed to go back to the hospital. I said no, because there is no cure for this sort of thing, other than the hobby finally being outlawed.

    Does this amazing piece of tubular carbon-fiber IMPROVE any aspect of the machine. depth handling, balance weight? Not a chance, but you will be elevated to the cool heights of “fashion detecting,” and even though you can’t walk the walk, you can certainly talk the talk which seems to be the goal of a lot of “fashion” detectorists nowadays, with the very latest, most current machine in their closet. No mud on it of course…don’t want to get it dirty!! I am continually amazed some people have cash for this sort of thing in a hobby where looks and self-promotion outweigh performance and knowledge. But then, being crabby may cause me to misinterpret the “new” norm in what’s left of the pastime.. But I don’t think so.

    • I wrote this a while back Jim but I still feel the same. Having to have the latest and the best goes away as you age and forgive me, ‘wise up’. Oh and living on a fixed income helps too.

      Hi to Patti and hope you’re on the mend my friend….

      • I am doing much better now, Dick, thanks for asking! Patti says “Hi” and she told me earlier today to just quit worrying about what goes on in the metal detecting hobby nowadays. She’s right, of course. Yea, the fixed income thing…I’ve been memorizing the taste of food lately, so when I can no longer afford it, I can at least remember what it tasted like…can’t eat a metal detector that’s for sure 🙂

      • “can’t eat a metal detector that’s for sure”…. Ah, indeed, indeed. Therein lies the answer – the truth (and you’re not even close to my age).

        AND for crissakes listen to Patti!

  3. Tony

    One thing Dick, the older machines seem faster to find silver then new machines that go slower.
    Recently two guys with older Whites kicked everyone’s butts. They flew around the site and scooped up a few silvers before the slower newer machines got warmed up! Yikes! I might have to buy an older machine to keep up.

  4. Tony

    Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me! Maybe I’ll need to take some Doan’s Pills for my backache and a few vitamins to get me moving faster.

  5. Frank Blazi

    My Dad told me if I played with my pifwanger too much I’d go blind.
    I answered, can’t I just play with it until I need glasses?

  6. john taylor

    yeah? well i ain’t alone dick! i got you for company!
    together, we can lick the world! ehe! he! ehe!
    have another merlot! on second thought,i am recinding the offer
    of the “village idiot” carving the entrance door to the barn in coventry,vermont!
    i am gonna let YOU do it ,instead! there! ehe! he! ehe!


  7. john taylor

    in addendum:
    the “right reverend” is STILL waitin’ on his 20!
    says he needs it for the “collection box!’ to help
    the “great unwashed!” such as yourself!
    and the lord said: “let he who is without sin,
    let him cast the first stone!”


  8. gurnie

    Hi Dick A well timed article now that Minelab has broke the news about the Vanquish. The newest and greatest version of maybe nox 800.. Not knowing anything about the detector, looks like some will be switching out machines.. I’m still using still using that Explorer XS I bought almost 20 years ago. It works. I have been reading your articles long time and had to chime in on the Pifdinger [ fluff buggy ] gurnie

    • The Vanquish – bada bing, bada boom!! Guess time will tell. If it’s really good they can have a Vanquish II or Vanquish Pro.

      You also realize Gurnie that you are the exception using a twenty year old machine and “reading” articles…nobody does either today. Thanks or the heads up on the new Minelab and don’t be a stranger here.

  9. New people are coming into the hobby. New people will always fall for the sales BS, but, tragically, they don’t know it’s BS!! How can they?

    That’s why these newbies are no threat to established hunters. There’s only one way to learn this hobby, in my case, beach combing, and there’s no shortcut to success that will be found on yootoobe.

    You can’t buy experience on the cheap.

  10. john taylor

    perhaps! but you can certainly make an “ass” of yourself digging “craters” in well kept parks! that is what some of these “ass wipes” are doing! this action in turn, creates a ‘ton” of animosity towards the hobby in general, and “shovels” in particular. it isn’t just “nit wit” newbies, it’s veteran hunters who should know has to have “common sense” when digging public turf. getting “pitched” is a giant pain in da ass, especially if you are trying to do the “right thing” and ya get tossed as a result of “other” people’s apathetic actions! ..” lose” the sampsons in parks!..use ’em in woods or farm fields only! i’m just sayin’

    (p.s.) dick! the reverend is ‘frugal” not cheap, as in “thrifty” just sayin’


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