What Do the Numbers on a Metal Detector Mean?

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As an avid treasure hunter, I’ve always been fascinated by the elusive quest for hidden treasures. Metal detectors are indispensable tools in this pursuit, but understanding their intricate workings can be quite challenging. One of the most intriguing aspects is deciphering the enigmatic numbers that appear on the display.

What Do The Numbers On A Metal Detector Mean

Each number on a metal detector represents a specific target conductivity range. Conductivity measures how well a material allows electricity to flow through it. Different types of metals have varying conductivity levels, which the detector translates into numerical values.

Understanding Conductivity Ranges

Every metal detector has a predefined range of conductivity values, typically from 0 to 99 or 0 to 100. The lower numbers, such as 0-20, usually indicate ferrous metals like iron and steel, which are highly conductive.

Mid-range numbers, such as 20-60, often represent non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, and silver. These metals have intermediate conductivity levels. The higher numbers, such as 60-99 or above, generally indicate highly conductive metals like gold, platinum, and lead.

Interpreting the Numbers

When using a metal detector, it’s crucial to understand how to interpret the numbers displayed on the screen. If you encounter a low number, such as 10, it likely represents an iron object. Mid-range numbers, such as 45, may indicate aluminum or copper. A high number, such as 90, usually suggests a highly conductive metal like gold or platinum.

However, it’s important to note that these are general guidelines. Different metal detectors may have slightly different conductivity ranges, and environmental factors like soil conditions can also affect the readings.

Tips and Expert Advice

To enhance your metal detecting experience, consider the following tips and expert advice:

1. Calibrate Your Detector: Calibrating your metal detector before each use ensures accurate readings by aligning it to the ground conditions.

2. Learn Target Discrimination: Most modern metal detectors offer discrimination features that allow you to filter out unwanted metals like iron and focus on more valuable targets.

3. Use a Pinpointer: A pinpointer helps you accurately locate buried targets by emitting a stronger signal when in close proximity.

FAQ on Metal Detector Numbers

Q: What does a number of 50 usually indicate?

A: A number of 50 typically suggests a non-ferrous metal like aluminum or copper.

Q: What is the highest possible number on a metal detector?

A: The highest possible number varies depending on the metal detector, but it usually ranges from 99 to 100, indicating a highly conductive metal.

Q: Why do different types of soil affect metal detector readings?

A: Soil conditions can influence the conductivity of the ground, which in turn affects the readings on the metal detector.


Understanding the numbers on a metal detector is essential for successful treasure hunting. By deciphering these numerical values, you can identify the conductivity ranges of different metals and narrow down your search. Remember to calibrate your detector, utilize target discrimination, and consider expert advice to maximize your chances of finding hidden treasures. Are you ready to embark on an adventure filled with the thrill of discovery?

What Do The Numbers On A Metal Detector Mean


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