One of the most important tools for me to take treasure hunting is a digging tool.
There's a whole bunch out there, tried most of them. Still my favorite is a knife, for coin shooting its quick and neat.
Only problem these days when hunting in public, some may get a bit nervous when they see me with it. I try to keep it
from view most of the time....most passer-bys would never notice it. I have also had the police watch me digging while they ate their
donuts and drank their Timmies (Tim Horton's Coffee), never had a problem.

The major problem I have with knives, is the blade gets dull after about 50 holes and needs resharpening after every hunt. I do carry a back up knife or two in case in the car.

I did come up with a way to make the sharpness of the blade last longer by incorporating another digging tool. A tool I purchased at Lee Valley Tools, didn't know if it was going to last a season or not. Did give it a good workout. It is now one of my key digging tools.  Initially I will dig out the plug with my knife, then scoop out the dirt from the hole with a narrow trowel tool that has a b lade that  is 7-3/4" long and about 2" wide. Made of stainless steel sold by Lee valley Tools. It works beautifully, very strong and worth every penny.

When it comes to knife like digging tools, there is one that seems everyone likes, as long as you don't buy the cheapy ones. It's the Hori-Hori knife. There are a number of them made by different companies so quality will vary. Still one of the best digging tools.........It still looks like a knife, a big knife , a dangerous weapon which in some localities it might be considered a weapon, or at least at first glance which could get the user in trouble using out in the public. They are about 13" long overall.

I really wanted a good Hori-Hori knife, just didn't like the length but, wanted something to do the same job. After extensive searching, I have found a smaller Hori-Hori digging knife. Thought it will be the ideal tool for coinshooters and  treasure hunters. Unfortunately, you can't buy them in North America. The Japanese manufacturer of this Hori-Hori, is known for its very high quality cutlery and tools. It is not a cheap Chinese product. Had to buy a min. of 12 units in order to try them.

Click on images to view a larger size

The Mini-Hori is a beautiful product, stainless steel blade, light weight, strong and sharp!
Feels natural when holding in the hand and can be manipulated about easily.

Overall length 10 1/4"
Blade length 5 1/4"
Blade width 1 5/8"
Slightly concave blade

Ground Testing:

The soil was damp but, not soggy and still able to compare it against my regular digging knives, and I do hunt and dig in soil conditions like this. All I can say is WOW, I may have to retire my digging knives or use them as back-ups......Used the Mini-Hori on the next couple hunts and it cuts beautiful plugs in only a few seconds!!  As long as you don't use the Mini-Hori as a prybar, it will serve anyone well.

After a season's worth of digging plugs, the Mini is best used in soils that are not hard and compact. It works excellent for plug cutting, fast and doesn't need resharpening. Only drawback is the weaking of the metal at the handle from constant flexing will cause the blade to eventually snap off. If used just to cut a plug, no issues. Using the Mini along with the trowel above, make an excellent combo for the detectorist.

This Mini-Hori is more like a precision tool than a tool that you cannot  use with brute force and nor use it as a prybar, like you can with the full size version Hori.