Types of Metal Detector

Types Of Metal Detectors

Are you planning to buy a metal detector and are confused about which one to choose from a wide array of devices available on the market? Also, are you unable to figure out which metal detector is best for your needs and what differences they have from each other since they all look the same?

Worry not! In this article, you will find out about different types of metal detectors based on technology, functionality, and usage. By the end of this article, you will have a clearer understanding of the kind of metal detector suitable for you.

Before investing in a metal detector, thoroughly research the available types and find one that suits your needs. This way, you can invest in the best possible device, saving time and avoiding wasted money.

Before you dive into the world of metal detecting, it’s wise to do some research. Check out the various options and choose a detector that meets your needs.

This step is key to finding the right tool without overspending or ending up with something that doesn’t fit your treasure-hunting style or requirements.

Most Widely Used Types of Metal Detectors

We will divide metal detectors into three different types for better understanding:

  1. Based On Technology
  • VLF (Very Low-Frequency Technology)
  • PI (Pulse Induction Technology)
  • GPRS (Ground Penetrating Radar System)  
  1. Based On Functionality
  • For Gold Nuggets
  • For Coins and Relics
  • For Treasure Hunting
  1. Based On Usage
  • For Hobby Purposes
  • For Security Purposes
  • For Industrial Purposes
  • Based On Technology

VLF (Very Low-Frequency Technology)

VLF is the most common type of metal-detecting technology available in the market for laymen. It is an entry-level detector built for hobbyists and is perfect for jewelry, coin, and relic seeking.

VLF (Very Low-Frequency Technology) Metal Detector

VLF technology is derived from BFO technology, i.e., Beat Frequency Oscillation. It is the more advanced form of BFO. Nowadays, BFO has become obsolete, and you will hardly find it in the metal detector market. It can only be found in very old devices with outdated technology.

It is the basic technology used in most of the basic detectors available in the market, which have motion and non-motion modes. The metal detector can find gold nuggets, coins, and relics with different devices. Some devices are made just for coins and relics.

VLF technology includes both single-frequency and multi-frequency devices. Devices that only work at one frequency don’t do as much as devices with multiple frequencies. Devices with multiple frequencies can find different things at different depths.

However, one downside of VLF technology is its limited depth potential. It does not provide enough coverage of the underground area; instead, it operates at shallow depths.

Learn in-depth about High frequency metal detectors based on VLF technology.

PI (Pulse Induction Technology)

Pulse induction technology is an advanced metal detector technology. It can detect deeper and cover more ground than VLF technology. It supports intricate hardware and can handle big coils, whereas VLF technology is incapable of doing so.

Stability issues have been resolved in PI metal detectors, unlike VLF detectors, which had many stability issues. VLF detectors become noisy in mineralized grounds and unstable when trying to increase depth. On the other hand, even if we increase the depth with PI technology, the device remains stable and provides reliable output.

Metal detectors have better technology now, and you may find more improvements that make them easier to use.

Old pulse induction metal detectors cannot differentiate between different metals very accurately in comparison to VLF. People would prefer VLF technology for discrimination purposes. 

However, thanks to advancements, PI technology now also offers a  better discrimination option.

For example, a Canadian brand recently launched a detector with a gold detection program in the market for gold treasure hunting. It can accurately discriminate gold from all other metals, which was not possible with previous detectors.

Know the difference between Pulse Induction vs. VLF.

GPRS (Ground Penetrating Radar System)

This technology is not solely used for metal detection purposes but is also employed in various other fields. However, GPRS also plays a major role in metal detection applications. GPRS is used to discover underground anomalies.

GPRS can detect metals such as gold, silver, or bronze. It can also find gemstones like ruby, emerald, sapphire, and more.

Additionally, GPRS can tell if there is water or empty spaces underground. In short, GPRS technology can detect anything that is not part of the ground.

GPRS technology offers greater depth potential than PI technology due to its larger frequencies. These devices are very expensive.

They are mainly used for geophysical research or professional mining. Professionals need to interpret data, analyze it, and conduct surveys with these devices. They are not simple metal detectors.

A simple detector sends a beep, and as a result, you dig and find an item. It’s a very straightforward system. GPRS technology is hard for regular people to understand.

It’s mainly used for big research projects. Proper surveys are required, followed by data analysis and interpretation. After mapping the surveyed area, we use this process to decide where to dig.

  • Based On Functionality

Now we will list metal detectors based on their functionality. When categorized by functionality, there are three types of metal detectors:

For Gold Nuggets

Gold nuggets are naturally occurring fragments of natural gold. These small objects range in size from grams to milligrams. Some metal detectors are specifically designed for detecting these gold nuggets.

Learn about the metal detector frequency for gold and refer to the metal detector frequency chart for more details.

For Coins and Relics

If you are looking to find coins or relics, you need to make sure that you have the best metal detector for coins and relics to assist you. Coins are small pieces of flattened metal authorized by an authority for use as a trade denomination. 

Relics are historical objects like old utensils, statues, or important metal items from a specific time. When picking a metal detector, think about how deep it can detect, how sensitive it is, and what frequencies it uses for finding coins and relics.

For Treasure Hunting

For treasure hunting, you need to select a metal detector that can detect at greater depths. When treasure hunting, you search for big things like coin collections, relic collections, and large chests. If you have a specific target object size or a particular type of relic in mind, choose a detector accordingly.

To detect metals effectively, you need to use the right frequency for each type. Having a clear understanding of this information will enhance your hunting skills. 

  • Based On Applications 

Different types of metal detectors are commonly used nowadays. The designs and technologies of metal detectors vary depending on the application.

Several features need to be considered when selecting a metal detector for a specific use. Here are some examples:

For Hobby Purposes

Some people have a hobby of seeking coins and relics. For treasure hunting, you can take metal detectors to beaches, parks, or any other recreational places.

You can also take them to places where you believe gold prospecting can be done or where there is a fairly high chance of finding relics or coins.

 Entry to mid-level devices for hobby purposes is available in different shapes and sizes. These tools are easy to use and have adjustable arm support for your comfort while hunting.

For Security Purposes

Metal detectors used for security play an important role in ensuring people’s safety. These detectors help in scanning for concealed weapons such as guns or knives.

Detectors are used to secure homes, businesses, and busy areas such as airports and metro stations. Walkthrough gates are one example of such detectors.

For Industrial Purposes

Metal detectors are used in various industries. Food-grade detectors scan before or after packaging to ensure there are no metal contaminants present in the cartons.

They are also used to prevent accidents. Broken grinder pieces or any kind of metal can harm customers and compromise their safety.

 In the pharmaceutical industry, metal detectors are used to ensure there are no metal components present in any medicine. The textile industry utilizes metal detectors to prevent needles or needle pieces from being present in fabrics.


The choice of the most suitable metal detector depends on your requirements. This article provides valuable information to help you make a better decision on how to choose a metal detector according to your requirements. 

The market has different types of metal detectors with different shapes, sizes, and technologies. These detectors have special features for customers’ needs. Selecting the right metal detector for your needs is critical in maximizing its performance.

Leave a Reply

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