What a metal detector can and cannot find


Metal detecting will open a world of excitement and outdoor adventures for you. Newspapers as well as television reports confirm that you can find a fortune as long as you buy a good metal detector. Finding treasure right after buying an electric instrument is very possible, but you should also be prepared for disappointment. In your quest, you will come across various items, like beer cans or silver foils, but the hobby is worth the effort because you can find money and valuables as well. Metal detectors such as those reviewed at bounty-hunter-metal-detector.com are all-purpose which means that they can locate just about anything. However, are there any metals that a metal detector cannot identify?

What a metal detector can detect

A metal detector, such as the Bounty Hunter, is able to detect all types of metal. These fall into two categories: ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous refers to any metal that is attracted to a magnet. Ferrous metal is the easiest to detect owing to the fact that it has magnetic properties. If the metal is conductive, then the chances of locating them are high. Even though they rust when exposed to air and water, ferrous materials are still easy to find. Examples of ferrous metal includes pins, staples, and screws. The second category, non-ferrous metals, refer to metals that are not magnetic, like copper, aluminum, brass and lead. Some electric instruments can even locate manganese.

What a metal detector cannot detect

Metal detectors work based on electromagnetism. This basically means that they emit time-varying electromagnetic fields and listen for waves coming from conductive items. The most difficult metal to detect is stainless steel. The reason why the instrument cannot located it is that is has poor electrical conductivity. Stainless steel, by definition, has low magnetic permeability, which means that it does not produce a signal strong enough to be identified. Other items that a metal detector will not locate are gemstones, pearls, bones, diamonds, paper and stone figures.

You cannot set the metal detector to find only gold

Taking into consideration that there are too many variables with exact alloys and sizes, you cannot set the device to located only one type of metal. A large piece of gold may read high on the display, while a small piece can read very low. In addition, there are metals that have almost identical characteristics and read the same. Even the most sophisticated electronic device will make some mistakes from time to time.

Discrimination feature

The only way an electronic instrument can tell the difference between is thanks to the discrimination feature. The discrimination setting will allow you to filter unwanted items. The metal detector can differentiate between metallic alloys. Since the signal received from any given metal object has its own characteristic phase shift, it is possible to distinguish between them. A silver dime will always cause a larger phase shift than, for instance, aluminum. This process is called discrimination. So, if you want to avoid paper clips and screws and focus you attention on iron or gold, you can.