Anatomy of a Metal Detector

The anatomy of a metal detector is pretty basic but it is nice to know the vocabulary when getting to know your metal detector.

A common metal detector

Anatomy of a Metal Detector


The stabilizer is a feature that helps counter balance the weight of the metal detector for easier operation. Many different types of stabilizer can be found on metal detectors but be wary of the weaker designs as these have been know to break.

Control Box:

The control box houses the circuitry, display, speakers, batteries and controls for the metal detector. The weight, location and balance of the control box contribute to its ease of use. On some metal detectors the control box is worn on the body rather than on the metal detector’s housing. This make the metal detector much lighter and easier to use but is only found on more expensive metal detectors.


The backbone of the metal detector that supports the search head and control box. It is usually adjustable so that is can be set at a comfortable height.

Search Head:

The search head is the actual mechanism that senses for metal objects in the ground. It should be adjustable so that a proper angle between the shaft and search head can be set. The search head should be set in parallel to the ground. Search heads are usually called coils or search coils.

There are 2 main types of coils: the DD or double d type and the concentric. The DD type coil sends out a wedge or knife blade shaped transmission signal which makes for good coverage and separation. The traditional concentric coil sends out a tighter cone shaped transmission for greater depth and easier target pinpointing.

Search Coil Types

The size of the coil usually goes, the bigger the coil the more coverage and ground it will penetrate but the more disturbance you will pick up. However, there are different qualities of coils that you will see reflected in the price tag of the coil. Usually, it is best to start off with the coil included with the metal detector as this coil is tuned for the particular detector.

Once, you knowledge and experience increases then it is wise to start experimenting with different sizes and kinds of coils. Depending on the environment you are in and the type of detecting you are doing certain coils will be better than others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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

Real Time Analytics