Types of Metal Detector Sensors

Types of Metal Detector Sensors

There are various types of metal detector sensors available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose.

But knowing what sensors you are going to need according to your objective is key to metal detecting so you don’t waste your budget on things you do not need, and that can be better utilized to necessary tools of the trade.

Keep in mind to research various types of metal detector sensors so you can better understand the sensors you are going to need.

A metal detector consists of hardware components, and one of these components is the sensor, which emits signals underground.

The coil is a type of sensor, and there are different coils for different types of metals. In this article, we will discuss the various types of metal detector sensors.

Coil Technologies:

Coils play a crucial role in metal detectors. If the coil does not meet the requirements, an expensive metal detector becomes pointless. There are essentially two metal detector coil technologies:

DD Technology:

DD coils consist of wires arranged in the shape of a “D” or an inverted “D” loop. The advantage of DD coils is their ability to provide high-quality discrimination.

These coils are designed to distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous objects due to their double-loop configuration.

Depending on the device, you can either differentiate between ferrous and non-ferrous objects through tone variation or completely ignore iron. In both cases, DD coils offer reliable and accurate discrimination.

The downside of DD coils is that they provide less depth compared to mono coils. Depth becomes a compromise.

For instance, if we compare an 11-inch DD coil to an 11-inch mono coil, the mono coil offers a depth of 4 feet across all metal modes, while the DD coil provides a depth of 3 feet with discrimination. The depth potential depends on factors such as size and ground conditions.

Mono Technology:

Mono coils consist of a single loop. The advantage of mono coils is their ability to provide maximum depth due to the single-loop design. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates deeper into mono coils compared to other types of coils.

The disadvantage of mono coils is the lack of proper discrimination as compared to their DD counterparts. These coils detect all types of metals.

If your device supports a discrimination feature, it will be weaker and less reliable compared to DD coils. Mono coils cannot authentically discriminate between ferrous and non-ferrous items.

Coil Sizes:

The size of the coil depends on your requirements and purpose.

You can learn more about metal detector coins here.

Coils for Gold Nuggets:

If you intend to detect gold nuggets, selecting a small-sized coil is important. Small coils are effective for detecting small target objects, as large coils are unable to detect such small objects.

Small coils serve two purposes: detecting gold nuggets and searching in trashy areas.

Coils for Coins:

For coin hunting, a standard 11-inch coil is commonly used. As coil size increases, the likelihood of missing small-sized objects also increases.

Coils for Relics:

Large-sized coils, typically ranging from 15 to 22 inches, are used for finding relics. These coils are not suitable for detecting small objects like gold nuggets and coins.

Relics, such as statues, utensils, jewelry, and weapons, tend to be relatively larger in size.


When purchasing a coil, ensure it aligns with your specific requirements and intended purpose. Each coil has its pros and cons, with two technologies available: mono and DD.

Mono coils operate using a single loop, providing remarkable depth but lacking discrimination capabilities. DD coils utilize two loops, offering strong discrimination features at the cost of compromised depth.

Coils come in various sizes. Small-sized coils are ideal for gold nugget detection due to the small size of natural gold nuggets and their effectiveness in trashy areas.

Standard 11-inch coils are suitable for coin hunting, while large-sized coils ranging from 15 to 20 inches are preferable for relic detection. As the size of the target object increases, the coil size should also increase.

Now we hope you understand what things to look out for when finding the right coil for your metal detector. Keep us updated on your progress and good luck on your journey.

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