How to Tune a Metal Detector

By Martin Adamovic
Tune your metal detector
metal detecting image by Joy Fera from

You recently got your hands on a metal detector and you are ready to begin hunting. Now you need to tune your detector and learn to match the different sounds with the objects that they represent. Once you have done this, you will be ready to hit the ground running and start hunting.

Power the detector on. This is done by turning the "Fine Tune" control to the midway point.

Set the "Coarse Tune" dial. Hold the head of the detector parallel to the ground, leaving a space of about 5 cm between the head of the detector and the ground. Turn the "Coarse Tune" dial all the way to the right until you hear a sound and then turn it slightly back to the left until the sound almost completely fades away. This will put the detector in what is called threshold, which is the most powerful setting for the detector.

Lower the head of the detector until the sound fades away completely. Once the head of the detector is elevated, the sound will come back.

Move the head of the detector back and forth in a curved motion with the search head as close as possible to the ground. Listen for a short sharp sound. This sound means that a small metal object has been identified. If you hear a longer sound this means that a larger object has been detected. The strength of the sound fluctuates depending upon the depth of the object.

Practice using the detector. Experiment with the different settings and become familiar with the different sounds the detector produces for different readings.

About the Author

Writing in both Spanish and English, Martin Adamovic has been covering psychology, marketing, lifestyle and sports since 2009. She has served as a sports journalist for a variety of mobile sports applications in Europe, including General Mobile and Bravo Game Studios. Adamovic holds a B.A. in Spanish and business from the University of Colorado and is currently studying law.