Difference Between Motion and Non-Motion Metal Detectors

Metal detectors have been advancing over time. One mistake that detectorists often make is failing to understand the technological concepts of the device.

If you do not understand how your particular device works, then you will no doubt face difficulties getting results. Before purchasing a metal detector, you should be familiar with the functions it provides.

The difference between motion and non-motion metal detectors is a topic that a detectorist should know. If you are unfamiliar with this, then this article will provide the best possible answer for you.

Motion Detectors

In motion detectors, you need to move the device back and forth to generate an electromagnetic field that identifies the metal item.

Therefore, you will only receive a signal if you continuously move the device. These devices are readily available in the market and come in both pulse induction and VLF technology.

You can also read this article, Pulse Induction vs VLF Technology, for more information and which one is best.

Motion detectors are popular among consumers due to their high-depth potential.

Non-Motion Detectors

As the name suggests, non-motion devices do not require unnecessary swinging to transmit a signal. You only need to be close to the target, and it will indicate the presence of the metal.

These detectors have been less prevalent in the market due to a higher preference for motion detectors.

Differences between Motion and Non-Motion Metal Detectors

Motion Detectors

Depth: Motion detectors can send and receive signals deep in the ground better than non-motion devices. They have a greater depth range.

Technology: In recent years, motion technology has become more advanced than non-motion technology.

Discrimination: Motion devices have special features like ferrous and nonferrous detectors, filters for rejecting iron, and ID filters.

Weight: Since you have to move the device repeatedly, it can be strenuous and tiresome for your muscles. However, separate pin-pointers with non-motion detectors are now available, eliminating the need for constant swinging.

Display: Motion detectors have different ways to show information, like analog, digital, 3D scanners, and graphs.

Warranty: Only branded motion technology devices provide a warranty.

Non-Motion Detectors

Depth: Non-motion devices have a weaker depth range compared to motion detectors. If the target object is not within proximity, it may go undetected.

Technology: Non-motion technology has been around longer, but it may not have advanced as much as motion technology.

Discrimination: Non-motion detectors may not have the same discrimination abilities as motion detectors. They may lack features like discrimination mode or notch filters.

Weight: Based on older technology, non-motion devices are generally heavier.

Display: Non-motion devices typically feature analog displays with audio output or needle-moving displays. But now advanced devices have digital displays.

Warranty: Non-motion-branded devices are less common, so it is advised not to purchase duplicate products as they may not come with a warranty.

Manufacturers now make hybrid devices that let users switch between motion and non-motion modes. This mode is often referred to as pinpointing mode and is embedded into the detector.

While pin-pointer modes do not offer maximum depth, they serve as a substitute for non-motion detectors. This way, you can activate the non-motion mode without switching the entire device. Hence, it provides a competitive advantage over separate motion and non-motion devices.

If you prefer hunting deeper surfaces and already own a hybrid detector, you can simply activate the motion mode to achieve better depth.

To locate the target metal accurately, you can switch to non-motion mode. However, if you don’t want to invest in a hybrid detector, bringing a pin-pointer with you can serve as an alternative to a non-motion detector.

For optimal metal detecting experience check out our guide on metal detecting.


We hope that by now you understand the difference between motion and non-motion detectors. The difference is that motion detectors are based on more advanced technology, while non-motion detectors are based on earlier technology.

If budget is not an issue then you opt for motion detectors simply because they provide more features then non-motion detectors.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *