A week ago, I made a stupid mistake.  I left my Lesche “Relic” metal detecting shovel at an old house.  When I returned, it was gone.  This review describes other relic-hunting shovels I’ve owned and why now, I’m in love with the Sampson.  Here’s the story.

I was pissed to see $60 walk away to be used in someone’s flower garden, but I was never really happy with that metal detecting shovel for coinshooting.  What I found in using it for hundreds of hunts are wrapped up in this pros and cons list:

Lesche Relic and Metal Detecting Shovel

Lesche Relic Shovel

Owned this for months and used it for many hunts.  It would be reasonable to say that I bought the wrong shovel for coin shooting.  But it was recommended for just that.  I made it work for a long time


  • strong as hell.


  •  It was heavy (I’m already hauling an E-Trac)
  • Interference – on the shovel-side swing – you have to carry it high.
  • Still needed to carry my hand knife everywhere for precise digging.
  • Hard to get through tough roots without slamming.

Lesche Ground Shark Metal Detecting SHovel

Lesche Ground Shark Metal Detecting Shovel

I also had the Lesche Ground Shark – and I *hated* it.   I can’t see how any detectorist would want this shovel for any reason.  It looks good in the catalog, but it just fails as soon as you start using it.  Here’s the pros and cons.


  • Didn’t look like a shovel from more than 15′ away.
  • Tough as hell.
  • Easy to dig deep holes (smaller blade concentrates foot power)
  • Awesome for planting bulbs.
  • Heavy
  • Blade was curved so that the resulting plug was around 5″ in diameter.  (far too small)   You cannot dig a clean 8-9″ plug with this thing in my experience. 
  • Same detector interference issue.  Lots of metal on this thing.
  • Pointed end increases chances of a scratch if your pinpointing is off.   Stub ends leave flat bottomed holes.

Sampson T-Handle Serrated Metal Detecting Shovel  (Winner!)

Lesche Sampson 31-T Handle Serrated Metal Detecting Shovel

Lesche Sampson 31-T Handle Serrated Shovel

So…I sold the Ground Shark,  swallowed my pride and bought a Lesche Sampson 31″ T-Handle Serrated from New England Metal Detectors.  And I have FOUND the perfect shovel for coinshooting typical conditions.


  • LIGHT and compact.
  • No interference when carrying the shovel at your side.
  • Property owners see it as a special tool to protect their lawns (not a big shovel.)
  • Super easy to dig even in tough roots.
  • Strong.
  • T-handle for carrying and pounding plugs down.
  • You can do precise digging with it on your knees.
  • You can go without a hand digger and be okay.


  • Expensive at around $65 shipped.

Last thing… New England Metal Detectors shipped my stuff fast and I’m quite pleased with their service.

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Check out my other equipment reviews.

Metal Detecting Shovel Painted Yellow

I actually painted one of mine high visibility (John Deere) yellow for the woods!