metal detector ground balance

How to Ground Balance Your Metal Detector? (Step-By-Step)

ground balance your metal detector

Ground Balancing is one of the most important features on a given metal detector! To be able to take advantage of it, you need to:

  • Understand its purpose.
  • Learn how to use it properly!

This is actually the goal of this Post … By the end, I will make sure you make the most out of your detector using correctly this important feature!

What does Ground Balance mean?

When your metal detector starts ground balancing it simply scans the ground, understand its nature and composition (for example, how heavily mineralized is it) so your machine will adapt and avoid giving you false signals due to conductive particles!

This feature will also allow you to increase the depth at which you can search for the valuable metal objects …

… It is extremely useful on the mineralized ground that has salt, especially in the wet sand.

In addition, since the mineralization impacts identifying small targets. You can correct this using the ground balance feature, which removes unwanted ground signals that respond so that you can hear the target signals. It removes unnecessarily distracting noises.

To sum up, the primary purpose of this feature is to cancel the impact of conductive particles and allow the machine to produce signals only when it finds non-ferrous target signals.

Ground Balancing Types

There 3 Types (Manual, Automatic, Tracking) that you should know about, each one has its Pros and Cons …

… Let’s break that down!

1. Manual ground balance

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro

The manual Type allows you to manually adjust the ground balance until you start hearing little to none out coming signal!

A good example of a machine that has this feature is the Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro (Check it Here on Amazon).

Pros Cons
Offers a reasonable degree of control Could be difficult to use for beginners.
Easy to raise and reduce the detector coil by a few inches
Help you detect small or deep nuggets especially if your detect can operate of higher frequencies

2. Automatic ground balance

Garrett AT Pro


Here you give the control to your machine to scan the ground and decide the best ground balance settings without human intervention.

It is an easy and straightforward way to apply this kind of adjustment.

A good model that has this feature is the Garrett AT Pro (Check it Here on Amazon)

Pros Cons
No human intervention to adjust the ground balance Track even the faint gold signals to keep ground signals at bay
Sense mineralization levels and adjust automatically Cannot track the small or large gold that buried in-depth
Perfect for beginners to use
Exclusively best to use in the places where ground mineralization varies.
No more fiddling with the controls of the manual unit

3. Tracking Ground balance (Preset ground balance)

Minelab Equinox 800

In this case the detector will keep on adjusting as you move on in the field! This is more of a real time way that will give your machine the ability to continuously decide the best setting to apply …

The Minelab Equinox 800 (Check it Here on Amazon), which is by the way my favorite machine, has this powerful feature.

Pros Cons
Adapt to the conditions of the soil and environment Not able to detect the precious metals that are deep inside the ground
Best for hunting coins and relics
Adjust the ground balance settings that are perfect for your place

Difference between Discrimination and Ground Balance!

Ground balance is a sort of discrimination that will remove unwanted effects due to mineralization!

There is a balance point found where the ground effects are not too negative or positive…

… Indeed, if you set the positive ground, it would gel with the materialization similar to the target.

On the other hand, if you set for negative ground, the detector will see the discrimination with the ground and would not produce any signal and rather stay silent.

The main reason for using discrimination is to filter out the unwanted and junk iron targets when searching for gold and valuable finds. The main drawback is that the pull tabs, along with the screw caps, would give the same type of response for few coin types!

When is it recommended to utilize Ground Balance, and when is it not?

When you are going for the treasure hunting in the places which are famous for minerals, you should use the ground balance feature!

In fact, it would cancel out the mineralization impact found on the ground where you are scouting for the metal.

The metals vary from soil to soil and location to location. The mineral composition would be high in a large area.

However, if you are dealing with a clean ground like fields, then there is no need to utilize this feature! Just by setting a minimum level of discrimination you will be going just fine.

Do PI Detectors have Ground Balance Option? Why?

Generally, Ground Balancing is a feature that you will find in mid-end to High-end VLF detectors.

The principle of ground balance in Pulse induction (PI) detector would be different from that of the very low-frequency detectors …

… It can find the target that is underlying in-depth compared to the VLF detectors. If you are planning to search for the deeper targets, then PI would be much better.

The Pulse Induction detector would produce the periodic magnetic pulse when it finds something on the ground. When transmitting the pulse, the receiver would be OFF and will turn ON when the transmitter would get Turn OFF.

The quick response with the change in the magnetic field noticed in the ground will prevent the receiver from getting turned OFF at this time.

Though there are high magnetic responses in the ground, you can accurately find the target, unlike the other metal detectors. It won’t respond to the ground issues. It can be used even in rocks.

Do you need to use this feature underwater?

If you are detecting for valuables such as gold or relics in shallow water or diving underwater, then you must utilize this feature!

On freshwater, this feature won’t be that big of a deal, since the mineralization there is quite low … However, if you are dealing with the beach and/or saltwater then you should use it, especially the Tracking Type.

Example: How do you Ground Balance the Equinox 800?

Here is the step by step procedure that you can follow to set the manual or automatic ground balance in Equinox 800 model.

The prerequisite to set this feature is to find the clear ground.

By the way, this would be the same for the 600 as well!

  1. Factory reset the metal detector.
  2. You must turn ON the machine by doing long press.
  3. Make sure to set the volume up so that you can hear the threshold of the ground balance.
  4. Cancel the noise

1. The manual way of ground balancing

  1. From noise cancellation, tap the settings button. You can see the ground option.
  2. While holding the detector, you must push it up and down. You can observe the change in pitch.
  3. Tap the plus button and bob the detector. Keep on pushing and releasing the plus button. You can see where the sound does not change when you are bobbing.
  4. You can notice the change.
  5. Use the minus button; you can back go for setting to observe the change.
  6. Hit the pinpoint button to lock the settings of the ground balance

If you want to reset the ground balance settings, you must turn OFF the machine.

2. An automatic way of ground balancing

  1. Set the threshold
  2. Go to settings and select G.B.
  3. Hold accept and reject button as you are pumping the detector coil; when it stops moving, you freeze the auto G.B. .You are ready to hunt now.



This feature could be a little bit complicated to understand, that’s why I wanted to make things sound as easy as possible! Hope this short post was quite helpful …

… Finally, if you don’t know it yet, Beach Detecting is by far the most profitable aspect of the hobby, that’s I’ve put together this Complete Beach Detection Guide! Check it out, you will learn some gold-worth info.

About the Author

Carissa Harmer

Carissa is the huge metal detecting enthusiast that loves collecting coins. She is also highly interested in other treasure hunting activities like magnet fishing and gold prospecting/panning.