Types Of Metal Detectors (Detailed Comparison)

Types Of Metal Detectors

Getting started with metal detecting can be tiresome as you need to be considerate about few things. Choosing the right metal detector for you would be your top priority. Nonetheless, you must be concerned with some accessories but the metal detector is the foremost thing to search for. Before choosing the Metal Detector you must consider these three things. What type of detector will be best for you? Which places do you want to use? What will be your potential targets?
It must be kept in your mind that a metal detector is no better than the person using it. So you should be fully aware of the type, location, and targets of the metal detector to match its efficiency with your skills. In this article, we are going to share with you the main types of metal detectors to help you getting started with metal detecting.

 My Top Pick Metal Detector 

Hurried enough? Here we have our top pick for you. if you are a beginner or seasoned professional looking to hunt treasures in the most diverse places Very Low Frequency (VLF) machines will be the best choice.

VLF detectors are some of the best metal detectors available in the market they have a wide range of uses and are capable of detecting almost any Metal buried ANYWHERE.
There are various categories in the VLF detectors such as VLF Gold detector or underwater detectors so be sure to match your detector with your quest.

  • Beat Frequency Oscillations.
  • Very Low-Frequency Detectors
  • Pulse Induction.
  • Industrial Metal Detectors.

Types of Metal Detectors

Beat Frequency Oscillations:

These are the most primitively of the metal detectors. These are very simple and easy to operate. It is considered weak as it is made up of only one copper coil rolled around a steel or iron ring.
Its detection depth is around 2 feet. The difference in the oscillations of the two coil generates a frequency which is detected by headphones.

When the detector is in the vicinity of metal item an interference will be produced in frequency which will be heard through speakers indicating the existence of the potential target. These metal detectors are no longer in demand for professional metal detecting or by hobbyists. But these are still in use, in the cheap, low quality handheld metal detector or toy detectors.

They were once very famous but now they are replaced by more sophisticated types.
Once very famous, Vintage BFO detector, is no more than a curiosity nowadays and is used for collection rather the detection.

Very Low-Frequency Detectors:

These are the most cherished metal detectors nowadays. These are equally in use by the novice and the seasoned metal detectors. These metal detectors are extremely accurate and highly sensitive.
Its main components are two coils. One is a transmitter and the other is a receiver. The receiver amplifies the singles generated by the transmitter and therefore these detectors can capture the slightest rays emitted by the buried metal items and amplifies them to indicate the potential target type.

These detectors usually have the discrimination control as steel and iron generate low power fields which indicate trash on the display while other precious metals generate high power fields. These detectors can detect items with a low pulse and therefore can find gold. Have a look at our top VLF Gold Detectors here. VLF metal detectors can find iron, steel, relics, jewelry, coins, and gold. With VLF type Metal Detector, the metal detectorist is more likely to have found the treasure he has been looking for. Among the most popular VLF detectors are the widely acknowledged Garrett’s ACE Series, Fisher’s F Series, and the costlier Garrett’s AT series.

Pulse Induction:

These are the most innovative metal detectors and work on the theory of echolocation. These contain one or more coil working as one. A short burst of current passes through the coil which is then reversed as a magnetic field. This magnetic field generates an electrical field that interferes with the buried metal objects nearby.

The most common pulse induction detectors are the Pinpointer detectors. They may be used to search for relics, gold, and treasures but they are more commonly utilized at checkpoints for firearms and weapons detection.
These are highly-priced and therefore are limitless only for professional use. They can distinguish external noise from the produced sound alarm sent as a signal of metallic objects’ presence nearby.
Garrett Pro-Pointer is the world leader in handheld pinpointer metal detectors using pulse induction as their working technology.

Industrial Metal Detectors:

These are the common security detectors and cannot be used for finding treasures. These are either handheld or walk through detectors. These are mostly used by law enforcement agencies and security personnel.
Here you can find our list for top handheld metal detectors.
Industrial detectors are better-called door frame detectors and are often placed at airport terminals security passing and courthouses.

Their working principle is based on electromagnetism. Their huge size is potentially the biggest barrier for their use in treasure hunting but they can effectively deter the criminals trying to invade the secure buildings with weapons.
In addition to these types, metal detectors are also classified into various categories based on their potential target and location.

These are popular types of Metal Detectors:

These detectors may be operating on the same working principle type such that they all may be VLF type indicators.


Choosing the right type of metal detector will be confusing as you must be familiar with your needs and pursuits.
If you are professional metal detectors looking for hidden coins and relics VLF type indicator will be yours go-to a device such as ACE 400 or some other mid-range metal detector.
If you are a gold hunter, then your choice should be a VLF Gold detector such as Garrett AT GOLD or Fisher Gold


If you are a law enforcement agent a pulse induction handheld pinpointer such as Garrett AT Pro or Garrett super Scanner V will be the best match for you. But if you want a large scale security check you must go with an industrial metal detector.

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