How Far Down Can A Metal Detector Detect?

How Far Underground Can a Metal Detector Detect?

Metal detectors are used to locate buried objects such as coins or jewellery. They operate by sending out electromagnetic waves into the ground and detecting the reflected signals from the object. The object’s closer to the surface, the stronger the signal received.

A metal detector can detect metals at depths ranging from several inches to over 100 feet. This depends on the type of metal detector being used. For example, a handheld metal detector can only detect items within a few inches of the surface. On the other hand, a submersible metal detector can reach depths of hundreds of feet.

What does depth Mean?

Depth refers to how deep an item is in the earth’s crust. Items found below the earth’s surface are called “subsurface” items. These include coins, jewellery, weapons, etc. Items above the earth’s surface (i.e., not buried) are called “superficial” items. Superficial items include gold nuggets, silver bars, and gold coins.

What Affects the Detection Depth?

Two main factors affect depth detection: 1) the size of the detected object; 2) the material density making up the object.


The larger the object, the easier it will be for a metal detector to find it. A large coin may have more mass than a small one, making it easier to detect. However, if the coin has been heavily worn down, it may no longer be detectable. In this case, a smaller coin would be better because it would be less likely to detect the metal detector.


The denser the material makes up the detected object, the deeper it will be located. Gold, for instance, is much harder to detect than lead. Therefore, a gold detector with a higher sensitivity rating should detect gold at greater depths than a metal detector with a lower sensitivity rating.

Types of Metal Detectors

Handheld Metal Detector – These detectors use an antenna coil that picks up the electromagnetic waves from the metal object. The coil is connected to a radio receiver which amplifies the signal before sending it to a display unit. A typical handheld metal detector ranges about 3-6 inches, depending on the sensitivity setting.

Submersible Metal Detector – These devices have an internal battery pack that sends out the electromagnetic waves while also receiving them back. The battery pack is submerged in water and is connected to the rest of the device via electrical cables. The detector then processes the information and displays the results on its screen.

Magnetic Field Metal Detector – These types of detectors work similarly to handheld metal detectors, except they do not need any external power source. Instead, they rely on the earth’s magnetic field to pick up the signals. As with handheld detectors, these units typically range about 3–6 inches.

Parts of the Metal detector and their function:

Antenna Coil: It receives the electromagnetic waves and converts them into electric impulses.

Radio Receiver: It processes the signals and amplifies them for further processing.

Display Unit: Displays the detected item.

Battery Pack: Stores energy required to send the signals

Waterproof Case: Protects electronics from moisture 

How Far Down Does a Metal Detector Go?

The maximum distance that you can dig with your metal detecting equipment depends on the size and weight of the equipment. Most metal detectors weigh about 25 pounds (11 kg), so you shouldn’t be able to dig holes over 10 feet deep with them.

Most standard metal detectors have a maximum depth setting that allows you to set the maximum depth range that the detector can go.

If you plan to dig a hole that’s longer than 15 feet, consider buying second deep detectors. It’s best to buy two metal detectors because one won’t always work well.

The depth that your metal detector will detect varies based on the model you purchase. However, most models can detect objects between 1/4 inch and 2 inches below the surface. Some models can even detect objects deeper than this if the conditions are right.

The best way to determine how deep your metal detector will be capable of detecting is to test it in shallow areas first. If you find that it detects well in those areas, you can move onto more challenging areas where the metal detector may not perform well.

How Deep Can You Dig With a Metal Detector?

Two main factors affect how deep a metal detector can dig: the frequency of the transmitted wave and the sensitivity setting.


The higher the frequency, the better the detection capability. Most metal detectors transmit at around 300 kHz (300,000 cycles per second). Higher frequencies allow for greater penetration into the Soil.

Single Frequency: Single frequency metal detectors are designed to detect one specific frequency. Therefore, they cannot detect multiple frequencies simultaneously.

Muti Frequency: Multi-frequency metal detectors are designed to detect different frequencies simultaneously. Thus, they can identify multiple objects at once.

Sensitivity Setting:

The lower the sensitivity, the less sensitive the detector becomes. Lower settings make it easier for the detector to receive weak signals from the metal object.

Try testing it in different locations if you want to know exactly how deep your metal detector can go. It’s possible that one spot could be too hard or soft for the detector to penetrate. In such cases, you might want to adjust the sensitivity setting so that the detector can still detect the metal item.

Does ground balancing affect depth?

Ground balancing refers to adjusting the sensitivity level of your metal detector. This allows the detector to pick up weaker signals from buried items. Ground balancing also helps reduce false positives caused by nearby metallic objects.

However, there are some situations when ground balancing does not work. For example, if you use a single-frequency metal detector with low sensitivity settings, it won’t detect any buried metal objects. Also, if you have a multi-frequency metal detector with high sensitivity settings, it will only detect larger targets like pipes and rebar.

How does the Coil Size and Type Influence the Detector Depth?

Coil size and type influence the depth that your metal detector can detect. A larger coil is usually used for detecting more significant objects. Smaller coils are usually used for smaller objects.

For example, coil diameter of 10 cm (3.9 inches) can detect deeper targets about 3 inches deep. A coil diameter of 15 cm (5.9 inches) can reach objects about 6 inches deep.

A coil-type affects the depth that your metal detectors can detect. Flat coils are typically used to detect small objects, while round coils are used to detect large objects.

Does discrimination affect depth?

Discrimination is the ability of the detector to distinguish between similar metals. If you’re using a metal detector without discrimination, it will detect all types of metal. However, if you’re using a metal detection device with discrimination, it will only detect certain types of metal.

In other words, discrimination makes it easier for the detector’s electronics to differentiate between various types of metal. Discrimination increases the depth that the detector can detect.

What Does Frequency Affect Metal Detection?

Frequency determines the range of metal detected by the detector. High frequencies allow the detector to detect metal objects that are closer together. Low frequencies allow the detector to find metal objects that are farther away.

Frequency also influences the depth that the detector detects. Higher frequencies allow the detector to reach deeper into the ground. Low frequencies limit the depth that the detector reaches.

How Mineralized Soil impact the Metal Detector Depth?

Mineral level, mineral content and soil condition affect the depth that the detector finds—the more mineralized the Soil, the less distance the detector can detect metal objects.

If you need to dig holes in mineralized Soil, consider using a hand auger instead of a power drill or shovel. Hand augers are much faster than power drills, and they don’t cause as much damage to the surrounding area.

If you need to dig holes in hardpan soil, try using a backhoe instead of a shovel. Backhoes are better at digging holes in hardpan soil because they create less noise and vibration.

How does Wet Ground impact the Detector Depth?

Wet ground and dry ground affect how deeply the detector can detect metal. Wet ground reduces the amount of metal the detector can detect compared to dry ground.

When you’re searching the wet ground, you should wear rubber boots or shoes to protect yourself from getting muddy. You may want to bring along a pair of gloves too.

You can also reduce the noise created when using a metal detector by wearing earplugs. Earplugs help prevent hearing loss.

You can also use a magnetic compass to track where you are going. This way, you’ll know which direction you’re facing.

How do you increase the level of depth and search range?

The best way to increase your metal detector’s search range and depth is to buy a new model with advanced settings—the more sensitive the detector, the greater its depth and range.

You can also improve your detector’s performance by improving the quality of the components in it. For example, you can replace the battery or charge the capacitor.

You can also improve the performance by changing the frequency. Changing the frequency improves the depth and range of the detector.

Are there detectors that can go feet deep?

Yes! There are metal detectors that can detect metal objects up to 30 feet below the surface. These detectors are called submersible detectors.

However, these devices are expensive. You should consider buying one if you plan on searching for ancient coins or other valuable items.

Also, they are heavy and bulky. They don’t fit easily in your pocket.

If you want to explore the depths of the ocean, then you need a different kind of metal detector.

Can I Use My Metal Detectors During Rainy Days?

Metal detectors are designed to work in dry conditions. In rainy weather, water tends to interfere with the electronics inside the detector. This could cause false readings.

Water also damages the electronic components in the detector. It may even short out the circuit board.

To avoid this problem, you should store your metal detector in a dry place when it rains.

Also, make sure that you clean the detector regularly. Dirt and dust can damage the electronics in your detector.

How Much Money Do Metal Detectors Cost?

Metal detectors come in all shapes and sizes. Prices vary widely depending on what features the detector offers. When purchasing a deep-seeking metal detector, there are many things to consider, including price, size, weight, detector performance, and the type of detector you prefer.

Metal detectors are available in stores and online retailers like They usually cost anywhere from $50-$500.

What’s the deepest metal detector you can buy?

There are several types of deep metal detectors. Some deep metal detectors are designed to detect gold, silver, copper, etc. Other mid-range metal detectors are designed to find coin targets. Still, others are designed to detect deeper treasure.

Some metal detectors can detect metal objects as deep as 100 feet. However, most metal detectors will only detect metal objects up to about 10-15 feet.

Some metal detectors are designed to detect metal objects buried under 20 feet of Soil. If you’re planning on digging a hole deeper than 20 feet, then you’ll probably need a metal detector that has a higher sensitivity level.

Most metal detectors have a sensitivity level between 1-10 grams per square meter (g/m2). A few metal detectors have a sensitivity of 0.1 g/m2.

The sensitivity level determines how well the detector detects metal objects. Higher sensitivity levels mean that the detector will detect smaller objects faster.

Is it possible to detect treasure while using a metal detector?

Yes! Treasure hunters use metal detectors to search for lost treasures. The best way is to use a metal detector with a high sensitivity level.

You can use a metal detector to find coins, jewellery, and other valuables. You can also use a metal detector for relic hunting.

If you’re looking for lost treasures, you should purchase a metal detector with a higher sensitivity level.

What Are the Best Metal Detecting Tips?

When using a metal detector, there are some essential tips that you should follow to get the most out of your experience. Here are some of the best metal detector tips:

Know Your Equipment: Before heading off to a new location, ensure that you know everything about your equipment. Make sure you understand how to use the controls, set the sensitivity level, and operate the unit. This will help you avoid making mistakes during your hunt.

Be Prepared: Always carry extra batteries, a spare coil, and a few tools. The last thing you want is to lose your metal detector because you forgot something important.

Know Where You Want To Search: When searching for buried items, it’s always best to search an area that has been searched before. This helps you avoid accidentally digging up someone else’s property.

Always Be Careful: Never assume that the ground is safe. Even though you think you have found nothing, keep looking until you are confident.

Use a Metal Detector with Caution: A metal detector is only effective if used properly. Please don’t treat it like a shovel. Please keep it away from water sources and other potentially dangerous objects.

Don’t Overlook Small Items: Some people overlook small items like coins, jewellery, and rings. These items can add up quickly.

Use Common Sense: Avoid digging holes in your lawn or garden. You don’t want to damage anything while trying to find treasure.

Learn How to Read Maps: If you plan to travel to a new place, learn how to read maps. Knowing where you are going will help you navigate safely.

Never Dig Without Proper Permission: Ask permission before you dig. Most people won’t mind, but others may not appreciate being disturbed.

Never Use a Metal Detector While Driving: Using a metal detector is extremely dangerous. Not only do you risk damaging your vehicle, but you also put yourself and others around you at risk.

If you have any questions about metal detecting, please feel free to ask us! We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Last words

Metal detectors are great tools for finding hidden treasures. However, they are susceptible instruments. It’s easy to make mistakes when operating them. Follow these metal detector tips to get the most out of your hunting experience.

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