A Beginner’s Guide on How to Use Metal Detector Settings

So you’ve purchased a metal detector and are ready to go treasure hunting. Metal detecting isn’t difficult, but certain best practices should be followed. In this article, I’ll teach you how to set up your equipment, locate a hunting site, and receive your first signal.

Understand your detector and its settings.

It may seem self-evident, but it is vital to know your detector’s settings and functions. The more familiar you are with your machine, the less time you will spend and the more likely you will locate a genuine treasure.

The instruction guide is the best place to start. At home, go through each setting on the machine until you understand how it works and how it may be altered. YouTube is also an excellent place to explore for more visual and in-depth instructions.

While each detector is unique, most of them have the same basic parameters. These are some of them:

1. Sensitivity

The more sensitive the detector is, the more it will find, but this isn’t necessarily what you want. For example, if you live near a lot of pipes, a lower sensitivity is usually preferable.

2.Mode of Detection

Modern metal detectors frequently feature pre-programmed detection modes to target specific objects. Coins, jewels, antiquities, and metals of many kinds are commonplace.

3. Discrimination

You may use the discriminating option to filter out things you don’t want to find. You might, for example, adjust the detector to disregard iron if you’re in an area with a lot of rubbish. This enables you to distinguish between items that are more likely to capture your attention.

3. Balance on the ground

Trace levels of metals can be found in soil, which can occasionally set off a detector. The ground balancing option tells the detector to disregard iron up to a particular level if you’re receiving continuous pings for iron but nothing when you dig.

Examine your device.

It’s also a good idea to do some tests on your device before going to a real search location. Gather a variety of metals and bury them at varying depths. Sandpits work well, but any place where you have permission to bury a few objects would suffice.

Make sure your detector picks up all of the things once they’ve been buried. Experiment with the various parameters, particularly sensitivity, discrimination, and ground balance, to observe how they alter the signal and the type of metal identified.


If you’re testing jewelry, be sure you don’t lose it. You might wish to attach floss to the object to make it easier to find.

Gold-hunting settings for a metal detector

As devoted enthusiasts, finding gold is arguably the most satisfying thing that can happen to us! One gram is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, so this will put money in your pocket!

Can Gold Be Detected by Metal Detectors?

Because of its strong electrical conductivity, metal detectors can detect gold! On the other hand, regular equipment will not assist you if your gold target is too tiny or is located in heavily mineralized soil. Instead, you’ll need a gadget that can function at high frequencies while still being able to discriminate well.

If you’re well-informed and fortunate, this may completely transform your financial situation! Imagine coming across a 50-ounce gold nugget or a gold ring set with a jewel. That would be incredible!

It’s fascinating to learn about the qualities that your device should have to pick it up. If you don’t, you won’t have a chance… Especially if you were working in difficult terrain.Furthermore, you should be aware of the potential sites where this non-ferrous metal might be found. As a result, you will not be wasting your time.

What are the best settings for a metal detector when looking for gold?

One of the most frequently asked questions is what metal detector settings are required to discover gold.

You do not require a conventional setting for this, so simply start swinging. In reality, it usually necessitates you being slightly aware of the noises you’re hearing and making the required modifications whenever it’s appropriate!

There are, however, certain basic settings with which you should begin. I’ll use the Garrett AT Pro as an example, just since it’s one of the most popularly used metal detector brands:

  1. All Metal, Disc 1, and Disc 2 are the three options available. In this scenario, simply keep pressing the mode button until you reach Disc 1 as your primary mode. It’s comparable to the all-metal mode, except that it filters certain ground reactions.
  2. Set Irion’s discriminating to roughly 35 and see where it takes you! If you believe there is more rubbish than you anticipated, you can boost the value to 44. If you don’t think there’s any true iron garbage out there, you may go as low as 30 or even below!
  3. Increase the sensitivity to the maximum setting and, if necessary, reduce it slightly.

What should my metal detector’s setting be?

Consider the sensitivity setting in the context of driving an automobile. You’ll automatically drive the speed limit or a little faster if you’re driving on a clear day with a straight and empty road. You won’t be able to drive at full speed or even the speed limit if the weather or road conditions are bad.

Metal detecting is the same way. Maintaining full boar sensitivity isn’t always a good idea. More treasure won’t be found if the sensitivity is pushed up. The higher the sensitivity, the more likely it is to detect undesired reactions. The increased sensitivity means you’ll have a better chance of picking these up, whether there’s a radio station nearby or the ground is heavily mined.


The sensitivity of your detector, also called gain on earlier devices, determines how far it will penetrate the earth. Getting the appropriate setting will require some trial and error. Your machine may have an automatic mode.

Otherwise, increase the volume till you get a lot of interference. Drop it after that until you’re getting more precise signals. Metal targets will have apparent signals, but dealing with undesired interference can be a pain.

In summary,

Sensitivity requires stability. If you’re getting a consistent signal, you’re at the right place. If it isn’t steady, your ears will inform you. Feel free to experiment with the settings and try going higher, but there’s no use in excavating everything if the setting is on high.

This is a typical error made by amateurs. It’s thrilling to hear the sounds of underground metal. The less fascinating those signs get, the more holes are excavated. It becomes tedious and sad when all you discover are wrappers or scrap metal.

This is where sensitivity is required. If you turn it up, your detector will alert you every time it detects a tiny particle of metal. Because it may be so tiny, it’s not uncommon for it to miss what it’s looking for. Trust your hearing and the signals made by the detector.

How to Detect Gold Using a Metal Detector

If you wish to locate gold using a metal detector, you need to learn more about metal detectors and the types of items they may find. To begin with, a metal detector may locate gold nuggets if it includes ground-leveling characteristics as well as the option to find gold, among other things.

When you buy a new metal detector, the first thing you should do is read the owner’s handbook. After you’ve finished reading it, go back to the beginning and read it once more. The key to detecting gold with a metal detector is to understand it.

Take the time to learn all there is to know about it: how it works, how to tune it, how to ground balance it, and so on. One thing that all excellent nugget hunters have in common is a thorough study and expertise of their equipment.

If there is one secret to discovering gold, it is to look for it where it has already been discovered. When metal detecting for gold, look for areas where nuggets have already been discovered. There has been plenty of gold found in some regions, but not in quantities large enough to be found using a metal detector.


This can be seen in several of the gold-bearing states in the eastern United States. Although some locations have yielded gold, it has only been in the form of dust and microscopic flakes. If you want to use a metal detector to locate gold, look for regions that have previously produced nuggets.

Don’t just metal detect on the spur of the moment. It’s a frequent misconception that simply because gold was discovered in a certain region doesn’t mean you could be anywhere in that region, put on your metal detector, and start digging for nuggets.

Getting down to business

Find out where the old-timers used to work. Look for historic placer tailing piles, which are mounds of boulders piled by hand beside a watercourse by miners. Look for those prospects on the incline of the slope where someone dug. Look for pail line dredges or massive hydraulic pits that have been dug up. Look for dry washer heaps left behind by the old-timers if you’re in an arid area.

Anything that indicates that gold has previously been discovered in the region is a solid indicator that it could be found now. Early prospectors were excellent at detecting gold, but they lacked metal detectors, so you have a possibility of discovering gold that they missed.


It’s time to start metal detecting once you’ve discovered a promising location. The first step is to adjust your metal detector’s ground balance to the mineralization in the soil. You already know how to do this since you read your owner’s handbook.

If you’ve identified a nice spot that early gold prospectors used, there’s a high possibility you’ll get a strong signal from your detector soon and dig up a rusted nail.

You’ll go a few steps and get another strike, resulting in the discovery of another rusted nail. After a few more steps, you’ll dig out 10 additional nails, an old beer can, four little unidentifiable fragments of iron, and a piece of birdshot. You’ve learned about the modern-day prospector’s menace.

This is where mastering your metal detector’s “language” will pay off big time. Even those who are quite skilled at locating gold nuggets with a metal detector still unearth a lot of garbage.

It’s just an aspect of the game, and it’s something you’ll have to cope with to some degree. Learning your machine, on the other hand, will significantly reduce the amount of digging you must do.

Expert tip:

Excellent selectivity should be able to separate most of the non-ferrous targets you walk over with your detector, either by creating a different tone than gold or by entirely blanking them out. If you want to succeed, you must master your machine and understand how different types of garbage sound when compared to gold.

Another word of encouragement: you’re on the correct path if you’re excavating little chunks of lead. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between gold and lead. While this might be aggravating if you’re in an area where gunshots and birdshots are everywhere, you should consider it a positive.

Wrapping up

You’ll be able to locate a little bit of gold if you can detect a small fragment of birdshot. It might take a long time and even hundreds of pieces of rubbish before you locate that first piece of gold, but if you persevere, you will be rewarded.

Gold nugget metal detecting is perhaps the most difficult sort of metal detecting, and it’s certainly not like digging up pennies in the park. Heavy mineralized ground is common, and metal trash is frequently littered around. Still, there’s a strong possibility that if you find your first gold nugget, you’ll be obsessed with life. Best of luck!

The best 5 Metal detectors for gold finding are:

1. Gold Monster 1000 by Minelab

This gadget transforms novices into specialists with its totally autonomous operation and an easy-to-use, high-performance detector. Coils, battery choices, and shaft combinations are all available for the Gold Monster 1000. This is the detector you’ve been waiting for if you want exceptionally sensitive gold performance at a low price.

2. Waterproof Gold Metal Detector Minelab SDC 2300

The Minelab SDC 2300 Metal Detector brings you a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to finding gold nuggets. This gadget is small, waterproof, and built to withstand the most extreme situations. When utilizing the Minelab SDC 2300 gold detector, gold nuggets that have not been located on land or underwater will have no chance.

3. Metal Detector Ger Detect Gold Seeker

This technology for detecting gold and coins underground is the quickest, easiest to use, most contemporary, and most accurate. The ability of this device to calibrate with the soil ensures that it is unaffected by any signal caused by moisture in the ground, mineral rocks, soil containing mineral salts, or solid ground. Furthermore, this gadget uses two different ways to distinguish between precious and non-precious metals.

4. Waterproof Gold Metal Detector Garrett ATX Extreme PI

This metal detector is suitable for searching for artifacts in highly mineralized soils, prospecting for gold, and hunting on land. Perfect for coin and jewelry hunting on land, at the beach, and in shallow water—enjoy Xtreme performance without the Xtreme price! This one-of-a-kind ATX detector is the epitome of a multi-frequency pulse induction detector.

5. Waterproof Garrett AT Gold Metal Detector

This was created to detect small gold nuggets in the most difficult prospecting situations, such as shallow water hunting. The Garrett AT Gold has a True All-Metal Mode and runs at a high-frequency ideal for gold prospecting. Prospecting is best done in all-metal mode since it gives the most depth and sensitivity.

Is it possible to locate gold with any metal detector?

The answer is simple: it depends on the type of gold item you’re looking for. In reality, if you’re seeking golden jewelry, you won’t require special or dedicated equipment. The reason for this is that rings, earrings, necklaces, and other gold-based jewelry are alloyed with other metals that not only increase their electrical conductivity but also make them larger.

As a result, even devices with low frequencies would be able to detect them. For example, if you take a ring and read the indication on it, you can find a ring with a value of $10,000! This indicates that just 40% of the ring is made of gold, while the remainder is made of other metals.

The most significant signs are usually around 20K, indicating that more than 74% of the yellow metal is present!However, it is a somewhat uncommon occurrence. The second situation occurs while dealing with gold nuggets! In reality, if the nugget is of sufficient size, you won’t need any special equipment to discover it.

However, the bad news is that, in the vast majority of cases,

  • Nuggets are very small pieces of meat.
  • They’re discovered in dirt that’s been heavily mineralized.

So, to deal with tiny targets, you’ll need a detector that can function at a high frequency and can distinguish between trash and undesired metals (to deal with particles in mineralized soil). When I say “high frequency,” I’m referring to a machine that can run at 15 kHz or even higher, up to 40 kHz!

Frequently Asked Questions about Metal Detection

Do you have a question for us? It’s possible that the answer can be found here. Here you’ll also find troubleshooting advice. Take a look at it.

What Causes Erratic Noise from the Metal Detector?

It might be anything from repeatedly jolting and jostling the search coil to electromagnetic interference (EMI). Here are a few things you can do to fix it.

  • Examine your battery. If required, replace it with a new one or recharge it.
  • Stay away from EMI sources.
  • Balance on the ground.
  • If you have one, move the Noise Cancel option to a quieter channel.
  • The sensitivity should be reduced.

False Signals: What Are They?

False signals are signals generated by the detector that imply it has identified metal when there is none in the ground. When particles like iron oxides and salt create a reaction in the detector, this happens in mineralized soil. Ground balancing is a common solution for canceling out these ground signals.

It works by matching the metal detector’s ground balance to the ground’s phase measurement. It may minimize some but not all noise in highly concentrated soils, which is generally acceptable to the user. If not, lowering sensitivity may be your only choice.

Is it easy to use a metal detector?

They’re quite simple to operate once you’ve learned the ropes, but getting there takes time, practice, and dedication. Metal detecting is sometimes referred to as a pastime, and like with any activity, the more you practice, the better you get.

Detectors with automated functions are easier to use for novices in terms of user-friendliness. It takes the challenging performing techniques out of a beginner’s hands. High-end detectors typically have extra, complicated settings that require reading a long user manual to understand.

These detectors have a steep learning curve and are designed for intermediate and advanced detectorists who want to develop their skills with the detector and maximize its capabilities.

Is it safe to use metal detectors with pacemakers?

Although pacemakers are intended to be immune to electromagnetic field interference, this is not always the case. Let’s have a look at the metal detector.

It produces and emits a narrow, concentrated magnetic field that is formed and emitted within inches of the search coil, so it’s best to keep it on the ground where it belongs and away from the pacemaker. A detector’s magnetic field is also weaker than many other magnetic field sources to which we are exposed regularly.

What Metal Detectors Are the Best?

The sort of metal detector you use, the target, and the terrain all have a role. When searching for gold in the desert, a dive detector will not suffice, and an entry-level coin detector will not be able to withstand the trials of Punalu’u Beach, a black sand beach.

So, the best metal detector is the one that is suitable for you, even if it isn’t the one that everyone else prefers.

The following are some of the most popular models recommended by well-known brands:

  • White’s Spectra V3i
  • Minelab CTX 3030
  • Garrett AT Pro


Purchasing a metal detector is only one part of the process of getting into the pastime. You’ll soon discover that you’ll need additional equipment to operate it efficiently. This entails obtaining the appropriate tools for the work.

You’ll need to dig up, pinpoint, and seal your holes, in addition to using a metal detector to find valuable goods. Is it a sand scoop or a good shovel that you require? What type of pinpointer should you use? Knowing what will complement your hunting style and how to optimize your success when using your metal detector is essential.

Remember that learning how to sweep correctly is equally as vital as knowing the finest hunting grounds, knowing the laws and regulations, and completing your homework on all things metal detecting. Let’s get started and enjoy practicing!

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