Matt is a professional painter who enjoys fishing and metal detecting on the weekend for old coins and rings.
Lesche Metal-Detecting Spade
When you metal detect, you dig a lot of holes. That's why it's so important to use a shovel that's comfortable and digs well. When I first got into this hobby, I used a shovel that came in the bonus pack with my Garrett AT Pro metal detector, but after using it only one time, I knew I needed to switch to something else.
I went ahead and bought the serrated spade from Lesche for which this review is based on. If you're a metal detectorist, you're likely aware of the Lesche diggers. I own two metal-detecting shovels, one being this spade, and the other being a T-handle digger, both from Lesche. I use the T-handle digger more than this one for a few reasons.
I have mixed feelings about this digger. I still use it to treasure hunt in certain places and situations, but I'll explain what I like and dislike about it.
The serrated blade on the Lesche digging tool is very sharp and cuts through dirt—even rocky dirt—easily with some force. The blade acts like a saw, slicing through grass without making much of a mess.
Gloves are a must with this tool if you're going to dig dirt plugs all day; otherwise, you'll end up with blisters for sure. What I don't like is constantly crouching on my hands and knees to cut dirt plugs. This tool makes it more fatiguing than using a long-handle shovel designed for metal detecting. With my t-handle shovel, I can easily cut the plug and flip it open while standing up, reducing time spent kneeling.
I can dig deeper plugs with my metal-detecting shovel. I've also scratched my finds more using this spade. You have to be careful because the sharp blade jabs into the dirt like a knife. I dinged a couple of silver coins, retrieving them with this digger.
The small size of this digger is nice for metal detecting curb strips and private-property permissions where a full-sized shovel might freak people out. I use it sometimes at new property permissions.
This digger also comes with a sheath for your belt loop, so you don't have to carry it around all day like you would a regular shovel.
The red rubber handle on mine came loose after using it only a few times, which was annoying because the handle would slide up and down when cutting plugs. I fixed it with some glue, but it was still disappointing that the handle came loose at all, especially after using it only a few times.
Not long after using this digger, corrosion started forming on the blade. I washed off the dirt and dried it after every use, but it still corroded. The corrosion isn't horrible, but there are some rust spots on the new blade.
Pros and Cons of the Lesche Spade
Can ding your finds
Good for curb-strips and permissions
Causes blisters if you don't wear gloves
Can be carried on your belt
Harder on body to dig on hands and knees
Less obvious than a full-sized shovel
Doesn't cut as deep as a foot-powered full-sized shovel
Is the Lesche Digging Tool Worth It?
This metal detecting spade is sharp and cuts open dirt plugs, but it's a lot faster and easier to dig holes with the T-handle Lesche shovel. After using both multiple times, I can definitely recommend that shovel over this handheld one. It's so much easier on my back to push a shovel into the ground with my foot than it is to crouch down and saw open the dirt with my hands using this spade.
The T-handle shovel cuts deeper plugs too, and as a result, the object I'm retrieving usually ends up inside the plug. When I used the handheld digger in the past, the object was often still in the ground and not inside the plug. Then I would have to dig deeper to recover it. Retrieval is faster with the long handle shovel.
I still use the handheld digger on occasion. For those who might feel uncomfortable metal detecting in public with a larger shovel, the handheld spade is a good option. The sheath is nice too because you can swing your metal detector in one hand without having to hold onto your shovel in the other hand. The price for this digger is also reasonably priced if you're new to the hobby and don't want to spend more for a larger shovel.
© 2018 Matt G.