Do Metal Detectors Detect Aluminum Foil & How Do Metal Detectors Work

Metal detectors are electronic treasure-hunting equipment, but you might be wondering what types of metals they can detect and whether they cannot detect certain metals. Non-ferrous metals such as gold, brass, zinc, and aluminum foil, as well as ferrous metals such as carbon steel and cast iron, can be detected by most metal detectors.

The sort of metal detector used might sometimes determine what kind of metal it can find. And for the question do metal detectors detect aluminum? Yes, although a newbie may find the device difficult to use because it may require some device configuration.

The sensors on the device will need to be adjusted when detecting a non-ferrous metal such as aluminum.

This is normally accomplished by using one of two pre-programmed modes. Without the adjustment, it will be difficult to detect aluminum, which means you may end up collecting aluminum cans, kitchenware, and other fragments.

Metal detectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of capabilities. If you’re new to treasure hunting and don’t know much about metal detectors, it’s best to start with a basic detector and upgrade as your knowledge of the equipment grows.

How do metal detectors work?

The search coil transmits an electromagnetic field into the ground, which is how metal detectors function. Within the electromagnetic field, all-metal objects will become activated and retransmit their electromagnetic field.

The search coil of the detector picks up the retransmitted field and produces a target response, which alerts the user.

The device beeps when you find a metal object, and depending on the metal detector, you can go deeper. A battery in the top of the metal detector powers the transmitter circuit (red), which sends energy down through a cable in the handle to the transmitter coil (red) at the bottom, making the metal detector buzz as you arch it over hidden treasure.

The transmitter coil generates a magnetic field all around it as electricity runs through it. An electric current flows through the metal object due to the magnetic field.

The magnetic field causes electricity to travel around the receiver coil and up into the receiver circuit (blue) at the top, causing a loudspeaker to buzz and alerting you that something has been detected.

Read also this: 14k Gold Value Per Gram: How Much is a 14k Gold Necklace Worth at a Pawn Shop

Can a Metal Detector Detect Aluminum foil

Aluminum is one of the non-ferrous metals. Aluminum may be detected by almost all metal detectors. The metal detector can identify aluminum when used properly, but how do you know if what you collected is aluminum and not scraps?

If you’re not sure it’s aluminum, there are some telltale characteristics to check for. With metals that are softer and more flexible than others, look for hints of shining, silvery tones. Also, re-apply the magnet test to your metal; what did you find, non-magnetic? If you answered yes, it’s aluminum that you just discovered.

Aluminum is a treasure-trove! The worth is one of the reasons detectorists hunt for it. Because, aluminum has resistance to corrosion properties, so, you don’t need a replacement any time soon.

Do metal detectors detect gold

Gold nuggets are typically detected by all metal detectors; however, some are more sensitive to and specialized for gold. The Minelab GPZ 7000, and white metal detectors, for example, may make gold hunting much easier.

Gold is another non-ferrous metal; however, not all metals can detect gold. Detectors are important to consider since there are two basic ways to detect gold. They are Very Low Frequency (VLF) detectors and pulse induction (PI) detectors.

Typically, to find Gold, you must go where there are large deposits of gold. Metal detectors can be used to prospect for gold in new regions, but don’t expect to find much in areas where gold has never been discovered.

What metals cannot be detected by a metal detector

Objects, particularly buried metals, are detected using a metal detector. Gold, aluminum, tin, and scrap metal are all possibilities. A metal detector, however, will not detect certain metals such as diamonds, stainless less, glass, jewels, or pearls.

Most metal detectors will miss any element with low to non-electrical conductivity. This holds for non-magnetic components as well. Furthermore, even if the metal possesses conductivity, it may not be noticed if it has an excessively small size.

Because steel has weak electrical conductivity and low magnetic penetration, it is one of the most difficult metals to locate with a metal detector. This means that a metal detector will not be able to detect and identify steel because it does not produce a strong signal.

Unless they are set in a metal fitting, precious stones, including diamonds, are difficult to be detected by the metal detector. Metal detectors are unable to detect these objects because they are non-metallic.

In some circumstances, the same mineral indicators that are used for gold also work for diamonds but that of a diamond is not always easy unless you use a special diamond detecting device.


Metal detectors use electromagnetic to detect non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and gold. Even though the primary function of a metal detector is to find buried metals that may be a ‘treasure’, not all metals can be detected.

Stainless steel is the most difficult metal to detect. Its weak electrical conductivity is the reason why the device is unable to locate it. Because stainless steel has a limited magnetic penetrability, it does not discharge a strong signal to be recognized.

Note that different metal detectors are appropriate for different types of products. For gold hunting, use a detector with a frequency that has been fine-tuned for increased sensitivity. Some objects are difficult to detect with a metal detector; however, this is dependent on the equipment in question.

You should use the correct device whether you’re looking for gold or aluminum. Some recommended devices include the Garrett PRO AT, Minelab, and White metal detectors.          

Picking the right gold or aluminum prospecting equipment, in general, necessitates considerable study. If you are a beginner, you may want to consider metal devices such as Bounty Hunter Platinum, Bounty Hunter Titanium, Fisher F4, and Garrett Ace 300.

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