sensitive metal detector

Most Sensitive Metal Detectors! (+ How They Actually Work?)

most sensitive metal detectors

Metal Detecting is really fun and enjoyable, yet it presents few challenges that you need to deal with! One of these challenges is the targets you want to find that are either very low in terms of electrical conductivity or very small in size or even both …

… For these kinds of targets, you will need to use a metal detector that’s more sensitive than usual!

In this post, I list 5 sensitive detectors that you should consider!

Most Sensitive Metal Detectors

1. Minelab Equinox 800

Minelab Equinox 800

The Equinox 800 (Check it Here on Amazon) is a solid detector packed with several cool technical features.

It has excellent sensitivity levels re-enforced by its multi-frequency detecting capability!

It is an all-terrain and all-purpose and can work in any condition even in highly conductive soil. In fact it can operate on quite high frequencies (20 kHz, 40 kHz)

The detector’s multi-IQ technology allows you to search the same location using 5 frequencies simultaneously.

Indeed, it has five single frequencies:

  • 5 kHz
  • 10 kHz
  • 15 kHz
  • 20 kHz
  • 40 kHz

It comes with a double D smart coil, which is waterproof and has excellent sensitivity towards small objects, especially when you are doing a shallow search.

The coil is also able to easily search through highly trashy locations.

The device has a range of sensitivity options ranging from 1 to 25. A clear LCD display allows you to change the operating frequency, search mode, as well as other features.

The preset search programs that come in the Equinox 800 include:

  • Park Mode: allows you to search in any location of recreation with a lot of trash.
  • Beach Mode: This search mode is ideal for searching underwater, on dry sand, and wet sand. This mode can be used only in Multi-IQ (That is, all the frequencies at the same time)
  • Field Mode: This mode is best for detecting artifacts and jewelry in a clean environment.
  • Gold Mode: This one is useful for searching gold nuggets in highly mineralized soil. For that it operates on 20 kHz and 40 kHz.

This model is my favorite and I would always recommend it not only for seasoned users, but also for beginners.

2. Garrett ATX

Garrett ATX

The Garrett ATX (Check it Here on Amazon) is High end metal detector for sure!

It allows you to search efficiently in all kinds of conditions without needing to change the search coils or the settings for each new search.

It is highly stable, sensitive, and efficient especially if you are dealing with difficult ground conditions.

It comes with 13 different sensitivity settings, and its 12-inch Double D search coil has enhanced this feature which allows it to pick up the smallest gold nuggets.

Below some of its features:

  • Comes with mono deep seeker search coil that is 20 inches wide
  • It is topped with a hard case that is manufactured as per military standards
  • Powered by rechargeable AA alkaline batteries
  • Completely waterproof and can be submerged to the depth of up to 10 feet (3 meters)
  • Cones with motion and non-motion modes
  • Superior ground balance system and you can use the detector anywhere from saltwater to highly mineralized ground without having to switch your search modes or change coils
  • A fully collapsible shaft that allows you to use the detector either with the shaft fully extended or fully folded

If you are serious about the hobby, or intending to try treasure hunting or gold prospecting, than I highly encourage you to opt for the ATX.

3. XP Deus

XP DEUS Metal Detector

XP Deus (Check it Here on Amazon) is a VLF Fully Wireless multi-frequency detector!

This one is my second favorite model after the Nox 800 (I just love devices that bring a technological touch!)

Anyway, this wireless machine has the following features:

  • Weighs only 2 pounds
  • It comes with a Double D 11 inches search coil that is waterproof
  • The shaft has a foldable design
  • The stem can be folded to allow for better portability and storing
  • Headphones are functional in any weather and can be charged through a USB connection
  • Completely wireless technology
  • It operate on several frequencies, but only one frequency can be used at one time. The frequencies include:
    • 4 kHz
    • 8 kHz
    • 12 kHz
    • 18 kHz

If you are going to search for smaller targets, than you should start by setting the sensitivity level to 99 (the highest) and then keep reducing this level until the detector stops sounding off with false signals.

If you find that the device is becoming unstable while you are searching, this indicates that the search conditions have changed. You can then adjust the sensitivity settings again to cut out false signals and chatter.

4. CTX 3030

CTX 3030

The Minelab CTX 3030 (Check it Here on Amazon) is a high-performance detector that is designed for use across all terrains and weather conditions.

The model is not cheap, that’s why, unless you’ve already have some previous experience, you should not go for that one.

It comes with a huge range of advanced features that are not found in most detectors. It is a well-balanced machine that is durable, but a bulky device to use.

Weighs 5.2 pounds with the lithium-ion battery pack. The major weight is in the control pack, which makes it feel comfortable to hold and operate. The weight is also evenly distributed along the stem of the detector.

It is a waterproof detector and can be submerged to a depth of 10 feet or 3 meters. However, it is not suitable for diving, but it is excellent to hunt at the beach, in rivers, creeks, and other water bodies.

The detector comes with many options and settings. For example, there are many customizable audio tone profiles, ranging from a single tone to more than 50 conductive tones. There are also four audio types, including pitch hold, smooth, long, and normal.

It also comes with Minelab’s FBS technology, which combines multiple frequencies between 1.5 to 100 kHz to allow you to find deeper targets. This combination of several frequencies cuts out mineralization and also provides a more accurate target ID.

The detector has both manual and automatic sensitivity modes. You can also easily adjust the sensitivity level through the Quick Menu option.

The CTX 3030 is an excellent detector for relic and coin hunting, and it is mainly known amongst detectorists for its excellent separation, and target ID. This allows you to find your targets with much higher accuracy regardless of what type of land you are hunting on.

5. GPZ 7000

Minelab GPZ 7000

Minelab’s GPZ 7000 (Check it Here on Amazon) looks similar to the CTX 3030, but the features of the two detectors are very different. Here are the specifications of this model:

  • The technology used is Zero Voltage Transmission (ZVT) this allows to operate on solid depth that can reach 70 inches underneath the ground.
  • 14″ x 13″ super DD Configuration of search coil with coil cover
  • Comes with a wireless headphones
  • Full-color LCD display screen with backlight
  • USD interface to connect to a computer for software update
  • Detecting modes: Gold Mode, including high yield, general, and extra deep.
  • All metal discrimination
  • 1-100 audio tone
  • Automatic and manual ground balance
  • Li-Ion rechargeable battery pack
  • 8 hours of battery life on a single charge
  • Built-in GPS
  • 32 kilos weight

The GPZ 7000 sensitivity is bullet proof, it is known for its depth penetration that can pick even the smallest of gold nuggets that most other detectors are unable to detect.

What is Sensitivity on a Metal Detector?

This metric is the measure of the detector’s ability to find a specific size and type of metal target. The higher or better the sensitivity of the detector, the smaller the irregular-shaped metal targets it can detect.

Sensitivity, though, only determines the detector’s ability to respond to the weakest electromagnetic fields that are generated by conductive and ferromagnetic targets. This can range from non-ferrous targets to the mineralization in the ground.

By increasing the detector’s sensitivity level, you will be able to instruct your detector to let you hear even the weaker audio responses that are being emitted by very small and deep targets located within the detector’s depth penetration capability.

When should you adjust Your Detector’s Sensitivity Level?

People usually set the sensitivity control on their machine to the maximum level!

This often does not allow the detector to function at its maximum capability. You need to adjust the sensitivity controls when the detecting conditions change…

…For example, the presence of power transformers near where you are hunting, heavy ground mineralization, and even nearby radio stations are all reasons to lower your sensitivity.

Even though you may experience a minor loss of depth, you may actually be losing many good targets than you think if you are listening to the constant false signals and chatter due to high sensitivity.


I really hope this short post has answered your questions and gave you the information you were looking for! I am glad you are at certain point of your detecting journey looking for these kinds of details …

… This simply means that you are actually in the hobby which is a good thing in my opinion.

Finally, I highly invite you to have a look at these detecting tools! You will get to know all the gear you will need to make your hunts much more successful!

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.