Common Metals That Set off Metal Detectors

Metals That Set off Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are the fascinating machines that detect the presence of nearby metals. They can be used to find the metals which were embedded deep down thousands of years ago. Isn’t that amazing? Well, it’s not that simple as you think. There are numerous metals that can embark the metal detectors. This can be reliable in most of the situations. But, if you are trying to find out a selective metal then, this can be the biggest con of metal detector.

So, if you want to avoid setting off your metal detector then you need to grasp how to use a metal detector effectively. You need to dress appropriately and also keep in mind the environment in which you are going to hunt.

How Does a Metal Detector Work?

A metal detector contains a coil. When electricity is passed through that coil a magnetic field is generated. When the metal detector is moved over the metal, a second magnetic field is generated. This second magnetic field is picked up by the metal detector. The metal detector has a receiver coil that connects to the loudspeaker. When the detector is moved over the metal, electricity flows through the coil. Due to this beep sound is generated in the detector.

Metals That Set off Metal Detectors

So, what type of metals set off metal detectors?

  • Ferrous Metals

Ferrous metals generally contain iron and steel. They are very conductive. They can get easily attracted to a magnet. Due to these properties, they become easily detectable by simple metal detectors. Metal detectors generally contain a search coil. These metals tend to increase the inductance of the coil which makes them easily detectable by any simple metal detector.

So, if you are planning to use a metal detector you have to keep a check on the items like screws, nails, clips, staplers, etc.

If you are planning to use a metal detector in some constructional area, then you have to consider the leftover materials. So, these are very common occurrences if you would like to use a metal detector in a busy area. That’s why in order to avoid these metals it is recommended to use a metal detector at a remote location.

  • Non-Ferrous Metals

Non-ferrous metals do not contain iron. They are non-magnetic and are highly corrosive. Though they are non-magnetic they are excellent conductors which make them easily detectable. Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, copper, gold, and silver. So, we can say that it’s really difficult to detect specific metals in busy places, as these metals are really common in busy places. The metal detectors can easily go off by sensing the candy wrappers, foils, food containers. All these items are made of aluminum which can hardly be avoided at busy places. So, if you are planning to use a metal detector in a residential area then you have to consider all these items. They will surely make your detecting process more difficult if you are in search of some particular metals.

One way to avoid this is to make sure that you are searching somewhere the use of aluminum is really less. Some of the manufacturers have changed their packaging materials but there are still who are using aluminum.

  • Clothing

You’d be surprised to know that the metal detectors can be easily set off by the clothing accessories. It can include jewelry, caps, glasses, hats, earrings, etc. so make sure that you are not wearing any of these items. There are some manufacturers that don’t use the real metals in all these accessories. So, this will help you to some extent. You can dress according to the requirements while going on the treasure hunt. But you can’t control what other people wear. So, the only solution to avoid this situation is to avoid searching in crowded places. This will help you to have a better time using your metal detector.

  • Coins

The coin is one of the most common items that can easily set off the metal detector. The chances of detecting coins have become less today as most of the people have started using credit and debit cards. So, the chances are there that you would be able to find a really old coin. The coins that were buried thousands of years ago have a higher concentration of real metals. So, that is worth a lot of money.

  • Stainless Steel

These metals vary from magnetic to completely non-magnetic. The conductivity of stainless steel is generally low. Due to this, it is a poor metal detector. They only have 1.5 to 2 times the surface area of ferrous metal to be detected by the metal detectors. Generally, stainless steel is not detected by the metal detector. But, sometimes properties are modified by some machining process which makes it detectable by the metal detectors. The non-magnetic stainless steel which is not detectable by the metal detectors is of types: 302,304 and 316.


Due to the advancement in technology many complicated and advanced metal detectors have been launched today. They can detect almost all types of metals whether they are ferrous, non-ferrous or stainless steel. They can track metals even in small concentrations.

Hence, an exemplary way to avoid your metal detector set off falsely is to use a metal detector in non-crowded places. You need to move on to any remote location. Make sure you don’t carry anything that hinders your metal detector’s searching process. Keep a check on the common metals like aluminum, coins, etc. that easily set off the metal detectors.

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