What Are Metal Detectors Used For?

Metal detectors are a great tool for people who want to find things like coins, jewelry, and other treasures on the ground. Almost anyone can use one and they come in all different sizes! Metal Pursuits has an excellent article about the best metal detectors for coins, be sure to check it out.

Metal detectors are handheld devices that detect the presence of metal nearby. It’s typically used to find buried metals such as coins, jewelry, and other valuable items. Metal detectors are also used by law enforcement and security personnel to locate weapons or other contraband hidden on people entering restricted areas.

This article will focus on common hobby uses of metal detectors.

How Does a Metal Detector Work?

A typical metal detector has four parts: the control box, the search coil, the headphones (or speaker), and an optional display unit. The search coil is the part that actually detects metals. It’s typically a loop of wire that you move over items or people to see if it beeps, signaling a metal object is nearby. The signal from the search coil can be detected by your ears through headphones or amplified and turned into an audible sound through a built-in speaker. In some models, this signal can also be read on an LCD screen.

What Are the Different Types of Metal Detectors?

There are three common types of metal detectors: land, water, and gold. Each one has a different purpose to fulfill. Land instruments are designed for archaeological digs or detecting buried metals in soils. Water models are perfect at finding materials underwater such as lost fishing gear, coins, jewelry, and other items accidentally dropped in water bodies such as lakes and rivers. Gold detectors are typically used by prospecting enthusiasts who want to find metals like gold nuggets hidden deep underground.

Most people don’t need all three variations for their hobby use unless they’re seriously into treasure hunting. People will choose from among the different kinds based on what they plan to search for most.

What Are the Different Types of Metal Detector Uses?

People use metal detectors for a variety of purposes. Some people choose to search for old coins or other metals underground while others want to go hunting for gold nuggets in areas where they believe there might be deposits.

There are many reasons why someone may choose to buy and use a metal detector:

Treasure Hunting – Some people enjoy using their metal detectors during vacations to find hidden treasures! You can usually find lost relics at beaches and parks.

Locating Buried Metals – People use them to find gold, silver, coins, jewelry, or other valuable things that are hidden beneath the ground. Many people also use them when doing farm work because they can be used to locate metal objects such as broken belt buckles in fields or rusty nails buried in wooden fences.

For Security Purposes – Law enforcement officers sometimes carry metal detectors with them to check for weapons or bombs on suspicious individuals entering restricted areas. They can also use it to search through luggage at airports and train stations looking for drugs or any other illegal items someone may try to bring into a country without being caught. Metal detectors have saved many lives by preventing dangerous items from getting onto airplanes.

Regardless of the purpose, all individuals who use metal detectors must first learn how to properly and most effectively use them. One error could result in missing valuable items that were buried on the ground or failing to find anything at all because they’re using it improperly. It’s important to note that although it can be fun trying out different hobby uses, you should always abide by local laws when using your detector in public places. You don’t want anyone accusing you of trespassing or any other wrongdoing.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Metal Detector

Here is the list of advantages for using a metal detector:

  • Relieves boredom and stress: If you are bored and stressed, there is no better way of relieving this than going to the beach with your metal detector. With each day that passes by, new treasures await to be discovered. You will surely forget all your worries and frustrations when you find those precious metals. Adults that suffer from depression experience an immediate lift in their spirits once they start detecting at the beach as well. It allows them to go back in time while searching for things buried under the sand or in the water.
  • Exercise your mind: Another advantage of using a metal detector is that it helps exercise some part of your brain as you get to think of strategies on areas where the device works best and also warns when you’re close to other metals lying around in the area.
  • Learn history: Metal detecting involves exploring history, it helps to get to know more about past happenings and how this can be connected with your present living and the things we have in our environment.
  • Discover some hidden treasures: While this is not the main factor that drives people to use metal detectors, there’s something addicting about finding gold coins or ancient jewelry buried beneath earth for many years. It gives you a high feeling of satisfaction when you find one after hours of looking. 
  • Relaxing hobby that helps you de-stress after a long day at work or school: Working hard on a daily basis is not fun at times as you can end up feeling stressed out with all the challenges and pressure that come along with it. A metal detecting hobby can help you avoid getting to this state of mind by letting some of those things that plague your mind from work go for a while as you concentrate on another activity like finding old coins or lost jewelry in an area where someone else might have already done so earlier.
  • Finds coins and other collectible items for profit: One of the main reasons why people start using a metal detector is to get money by selling their finds. With any luck, you’ll come across a piece of jewelry such as necklaces or rings that were lost some time back and can be sold at a very good price for profit. Some have reaped good sums from recycling them while others sell them as scrap metals to junk dealers.
  • Increase knowledge about coins used ages ago: Those who have a high interest in coins and collectibles of different eras can benefit from this hobby as they get to learn more about the coins used many years ago. For example, if you’re an antique coin enthusiast then being able to detect them through metal detectors will make your knowledge on the subject far better than those who don’t do it. 
  • Keeps you fit: Exercising is vital for our well-being so getting to move around without feeling tired using a metal detector will help get your heart rate going. It’s also a good way of improving your lung capacity which helps boost your immune system and keeps it strong. Being physically active is crucial as it can save you from many illnesses that come along with not having proper nutrition or getting enough sleep at night. 
  • Puts you in touch with nature: Being out in nature is good for both your physical and emotional health. It’s a great way of getting some fresh air while being surrounded by its natural beauty such as beautiful flowers or trees. Nature is also calming since it gives off positive energy which helps clear the mind from stress. Metal detecting can help bridge this gap between us and our planet Earth by helping improve our relationship with it, a truly wonderful experience indeed!
  • Improve your relationship with your family: Metal detecting can be a fun way of spending time together as you all go out and enjoy what nature has to offer while having fun in the process. It doesn’t cost anything (except for accessories) so you won’t have to worry about keeping track of money or expenses when getting started either, making it one of the cheapest hobbies around! Some may even find that they become better at communicating with each other as they share their knowledge and opinions about what they find while also having a good time in the process.
  • Improves your reflexes: As previously mentioned, exercising is very important for keeping healthy but metal detecting can be a great source of exercise too. The reason being that you’ll need to move around within the area you’re searching so it will give you some exercise no matter where you are. It can also make you more aware of your surroundings as well since many times there may be hidden objects that look similar to those uncovered by metal detectors too which will help improve your reflexes in this way.

Here is the list of disadvantages of using a metal detector:

  • Metal detectors cannot help you if you need to find non-metal objects such as living organisms, diamonds, and jewelry that are made from nonmetallic materials.
  • Metal detectors can only be used on land surfaces since their sensitivity decreases when they are submerged in water.
  • They also have limited depth detection ranges which may not allow you to locate buried items deeper than three feet deep into the earth.
  • There is also no guarantee that your search will provide useful results especially if you are in an area that has already been scoured by other treasure hunters.
  • The cost of renting or buying a metal detector is fairly high which is why most people don’t own one especially if they’re only going to be using it once or twice.
  • You should also take into consideration that some private landowners do not allow trespassers into their property so make sure you ask permission before you use your metal detector on someone else’s land. 


Chasing after buried treasures might seem like fun but there are many things that you need to learn before you start hunting. You should study about the different types of metal detectors available in the market, how they work, and what kind of features are contained in each product. Applying what you’ve just read is essential if you want to have a fun time using your new instrument for treasure hunting or any other purpose.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.