Do Metal Detectors Really Work? 

We believe the most exciting sound for metal detectorists is the heart-pounding beep of their detector! And the anticipation of discovering treasures.

Do some people still doubt whether metal detectors work or not? We understand your confusion, and today, there are various devices from different brands available on the market.

Do metal detectors work, or is it just a fake? All these kinds of questions are relatable and normal. Well, we are here to solve these puzzles, so you won’t be confused.

Yes, metal detectors work! However, not all of them work as well as you might imagine.

If we talk about evidence, you can find unlimited discoveries all around the globe. People have conducted research and found objects from earlier generations.

Even if you only look at the evidence from the last two decades, you will find various items proving that metal detection is accurate and works well.

Although some people find treasures worth millions, most of the items are worth billions of dollars. We will delve into the details to clear up your confusion. Let’s start this article.

Let’s Find Out: Do Metal Detectors Really Work? 

Technologies In Metal Detectors That Work

Very Low Frequency (VLF) – These devices are used for discovering coins and relics. In short, this technology is used for hunting small-sized objects like coins, weapons, bullets, jewelry, etc.

Pulse Induction (PI) – This technology is often used to detect large-sized objects, such as treasures. Both of these technologies utilize coils or devices with coil work.

Their depth of potential is limited. Don’t expect that with these devices, you can detect objects at depths of 1 kilometer or 100 kilometers. They work within their actual capacity and provide you with the best results.

Which Metal Detectors Do Not Work?

Long-Range Locators

These devices consist of antennas and falsely claim to have depth capabilities. This is pseudoscience, and there is no technical logic behind these devices. These devices do not work at all.

Dowsing Rods

These devices also do not work, and there is no technical explanation behind them. They do not employ any transmitting signals or technology. Some people believe dowsing rods work, but it’s a false statement.

Counterfeit Products

These devices are not originals but replicas of branded devices. Although they may resemble the original, they are not genuine and do not work. If you bought an American product and it doesn’t work, it might be a fake.

This is another reason why people start believing that metal detectors do not work.

Why are people confused about metal detectors working?

It may sound too good to be true – Who wouldn’t want to earn money from a hobby they enjoy in their leisure time? Just by using metal detectors, you can discover gold and historical items. We believe this hobby is worth the time and effort.

Reasons Behind Confusion

Negative experiences:

  • Negative experiences spread faster through word of mouth than advertisements. Some people complain that metal detectors are a waste of time because they never find anything.
  • However, they might have used replica devices or long-range locators and may not know how to use metal detectors. They may not have learned about metal detector settings or how to detect on various grounds. 
  • It could also happen that the area they searched had nothing beneath it. In short, people get confused by hearing about the bad experiences of others.

Unrealistic expectations

Some individuals expect metal detectors to provide a depth of 100 meters. When they use the metal detectors but can’t find anything, they get discouraged and think the technology doesn’t work.

Metal detectors won’t find treasures on the first beep; it takes time. Finding trash, bottle caps, and other useless things is possible.

Having such unrealistic expectations is wrong. It is better to manage your expectations. Check out the metal detector depth comparison chart to get an idea about the depth range.

Do metal detectors work? The scope of metal detectors in reality:

Limited depth

An 11-inch coil, which is a hardware component of a metal detector, cannot provide a depth of 12 meters. Its maximum depth potential is 1 to 1.5 meters.

It can’t detect objects beyond that depth. That’s why people feel discouraged when they realize it can’t go as deep as they wanted.

Clear your doubts about How deep metal detectors can detect.

Limited discrimination

If you have multiple metals and want to filter out trash items, it is possible to do so. However, some individuals only want to hunt for gold and expect their device to beep when it finds gold. 

However, gold is often buried underground, and its composition, carats, or mixture with other metals is unknown. It is difficult to determine at what level you can discriminate to only detect gold.

Gold with impurities has a composition that varies, making it hard to tell apart. If you eliminate all other metals, there is a chance that you may also miss gold items.

This is one of the reasons why people get confused about metal detectors. We recommend turning off metals that are found in higher quantities in your area.

For example, if iron is abundant, you can turn off the iron setting and skip major trash elements.

Limitation of target objects underground

Metal detectors can only find objects that are already present underground. If there is more trash in the area you are detecting, you will find more trash.

Similarly, if there are more relics in your area, you will find more relics. This concept applies to every location. Therefore, metal detectors can only work with objects that are already in your area.

The learning curve of the device

Many people do not want to invest time in learning about the system and operation of the metal detector. As a result, they often fail when they start using it practically.

We recommend reading books and journals and joining metal detector clubs to gain knowledge.

Ask as many questions as you can before using the device practically. Sometimes, people lack knowledge and mistakenly damage the device.

Manufacturers recommend spending about ninety hours learning how to use your device, getting to know your land, and understanding the device settings.

You will learn to differentiate between sounds that require digging and sounds that can be ignored.

Inappropriate device

If you buy the wrong device, like a coin and relics detector instead of a gold nugget detector, you won’t find specks of gold.

Coin detectors can only detect coins and antiques, and they do not penetrate signals deeply enough to detect treasures. Your purpose must align with the capabilities of the device you choose.


Do metal detectors work? Based on the above article, we believe that all of your questions have been answered. We recommend purchasing original metal detectors from authentic dealers to ensure accurate results.

Buy a device that suits your needs and purposes. It is advisable not to place too much reliance on gadgets.

When purchasing equipment, exercise caution. Instead of relying on long-range locators and fake gadgets, do your homework and purchase original, branded devices.

Ensure that the device is used only for its intended purpose, as it may not work well for other uses.

Also, learn about the depth potential of the device. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Thank you.

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