How to Use a Metal Detector

When using a metal detector, you should stand in a comfortable position and retract or extend the stem. This allows the coils to hover right above the ground when you’re holding the unit. From here, you should walk slowly as move the detector from side to side.

It’s imperative to keep the search coils parallel and close to the ground. This is because raising this machine during a sweep can generate a false reading. Continue sweeping the specific area in narrower paths when a target is identified with a beep. From here, you should move in a circular motion to isolate the target.


How to Use a Metal Detector as a Beginner

The best place to start as a beginner metal detector is to understand the features and settings available on this device. As a beginner, you should place a great level of importance on understanding these settings. This helps you become more comfortable with your machine and limits the time you’re likely to waste. Hence, the higher your chances are of finding some real treasure.

The Features to Look for in a Metal Detector for Beginners:

  • Operating Frequency – Approximately 7 kHz
  • Weight – Lightweight
  • Notch and Discrimination Mode
  • Depth Indicator
  • Ground Balance
  • Search Coil (waterproof is preferred)
  • Target Identification


It might be challenging to find the right metal detector for you. It’s always helpful to understand the best metal detector brands before deciding on the right product.

That’s why we have prepared a list of the 10 best metal detector kits and 15 best metal detector brands for your convenience.


How to Use Metal Detector Settings

Each detector is different, but most machines have the same key settings which are:


#1 Detection Mode

Modern metal detectors are generally equipped with preset detection modes that focus on specific types of objects. Some of the most common detection settings include jewelry, coins, relics, and various types of metal.


#2 Discrimination

The discrimination setting included in the design of a metal detector allows you to filter objects you don’t wish to locate. An example of this would be if you’re in an area with lots of trash. You can set your metal detector to ignore any traces of iron.


#3 Ground Balance

Different can contain trace amounts of metals. These metals can occasionally trigger a metal detector. This ground balance setting can be used to ignore metals under a certain threshold, which might be useful if you find yourself getting constant pings for metals in the soil.


#4 Sensitivity

The higher you set the sensitivity of your metal detector, the more this machine is going to find. However, this isn’t always what you want. An example would be if you’re in an area with many pipes. In this case, a lower sensitivity would be better.


Preparing Your Metal Detecting Kit

When you start using your metal detector, you’re going to want to use the following items while performing activities with this machine:

  • Durable gloves
  • Coil cover
  • Headphones
  • Digging Tools


Choosing Your Hunting Ground

  • Land surrounding resorts
  • Private land
  • Public schools
  • Private land
  • Woodland
  • Public parks
  • Beaches
  • Churchyards
  • Vehicle parks or campsites


How to Use a Metal Detector to Find Gold

Detecting gold nuggets require a metal detector with high sensitivity. This is because gold nuggets are relatively small, which is why having a highly sensitive metal detector can be helpful. You can get two different types of metal detectors for gold hunting.

The pulse induction (PI) and very low frequency (VLF). You’re going to need a higher operating frequency than other VLF metal detectors if you want greater sensitivity to locate small gold nuggets. Moreover, a search coil can help offer enhanced sensitivity to finding smaller pieces of gold. In addition to this, it’s also helpful to use this metal detector in areas where gold nuggets are typically found.

This includes:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Alaska


Some gold detectors that you can use include:

  1. Fish Gold Bug (Entry-level)
  2. Garrett AT Gold (Mid-level)
  3. Fisher Gold Bug-2 (Mid-level)
  4. XP ORX (Mid-level)
  5. Makro Gold Kruzer (High-end)
  6. XP DEUS with GoldField Programming (High-end)
  7. Garrett ATX (High-end)


How to Use a Metal Detector to Find a Lost Ring

The first thing you need to look at when searching for a lost ring is the area you’ve lost it. If you’re on the beach, we have mentioned below how to use a detector on the beach.

However, you’re going to apply an alternative approach to searching for this lost ring in a different setting. In most cases, you’re going to want to set your ground balance to even.

This can help you trace all types of metal, which ultimately works to locate a lost ring that’s made with metal. The higher the sensitivity, the better.

However, this might be time-consuming if you’re in an area with a lot of metal, so you should use the intensity of this setting sparingly.

Keep in mind that platinum and white gold rings are more difficult to locate, so you might need to spend more time searching. With that being said, you must know how to read a metal detector to ensure you’re on the right path to locating your lost ring.


How to Use a Metal Detector to Find Property Pins

  1. You’re going to want to start this process by using a good-quality metal detector and begin digging. At this time, the market should be around six to 10 inches below the surface. In some cases, these might have a colored cap with numbers located on the top. This process is similar to finding a septic tank with a metal detector.
  2. From here, you should use your survey to understand what distance the back stake is concerning the front stake. Use a tape measure to get an accurate measurement of this distance.
  3. After doing this, use your metal detector as a tool while you’re digging.


How to Use a Metal Detector on the Beach

The first step to using a metal detector on the beach is to get the best type of device with the appropriate features. Searching for treasures in wet sand is going to require you to have a waterproof metal detector. This detector should also be designed to ground balance the irons and minerals in saltwater. Otherwise, your machine is going to generate excessive and constant noise interference or false signals.

Features included in metal detectors for use on beaches:

Multi-frequency detector Ground balancing Sensitive coils
Helpful for putting multiple frequencies to use and accurately discriminating against junk items. Yes – to help eliminate false signals from iron and minerals in saltwater. Yes – preferably waterproof for detecting on the wet sand.


How to Tune a Metal Detector

There are specific elements that you need to consider when tuning your metal detector. These are:

The Sensitivity Setting Enhancing the sensitivity of your metal detector is going to help you detect much greater depths when placed under optimal circumstances.
Swinging Closer to the Ground You should tune your metal detector by swinging the coil as close to the ground as possible, as this enhances the depth that you’re detecting.
Reducing the Discrimination Setting Tuning your metal detector can help you reduce the false. You can do this by reducing the discrimination to its lowest setting you can stand while still hearing alerts for everything. From here, you should examine each deep signal closely. After this, you’re required to watch for any jumps in the desired range as you’re swinging the detector.
Incorporating Headphones Using headphones while detecting allows you to pick up on all deep targets. Without these earphones, you’re likely to get distracted by outside noises and miss faint or quick alerts.


What is the Best Frequency for Metal Detectors?

The best frequency for a metal detector is anywhere between five kHz and 15 kHz. This is the perfect range for most general-purpose metal detectors and helps beginners manage and tune their metal detectors.

The majority of average-priced metal detectors are equipped with a frequency of approximately seven kHz. You should consider this frequency before making a purchase. The frequency you require is also dependent on what you wish to be detecting, so you should keep this in mind. Here is our list of the 10 best metal detectors to help you choose.


Can I Use My Metal Detector Anywhere?

No, you can’t use your metal detector anywhere. If you wish to metal-detect on property that isn’t your own, you’re required to have written consent from the landowner before you perform this activity.


What Makes a Good Location for Metal Detecting?

One thing that makes a location good for metal detecting is if this area has been used by people for a long time. This could include gardens, parks, beaches, and other places where people have lived or continue to live (or have now abandoned). The reason for this is that you’re likely to find more lost items.

However, you shouldn’t only be limited to places that might have housed many people. Fishing areas, rivers, creeks, and lakes are always great hotspots for uncovering treasure. However, you should also avoid metal detecting on any government-owned land. If you don’t have the owner’s consent before you begin metal-detecting, you could be sued for damages and be charged with a criminal offense.

Man using clicking and using on metal detector at beach
So, what did we talk about on this page?
Shimon Leizerovich
Shimon Leizerovich
I like to Find Gems and Treasures Around My Area, So Enjoy From My Biggest passion, Metal Detecting. I fall in love with the Metal Detecting area, and it connected with me to another hobby I had as a child, that to find gems and "treasures" around me and my area.