6 Mistakes while Adjusting the Settings of Metal Detectors

Metal detecting is a fantastic hobby that allows enthusiasts to discover hidden treasures beneath their feet.

However, getting the most out of your metal detector requires proper adjustment of its settings. Unfortunately, many beginners make mistakes while adjusting the settings of metal detectors.

People often wonder why their metal detector is not working as intended when it is not correctly configured. It can often lead to many headaches, which is why it is crucial to know what settings to adjust before you start metal detecting.

In this blog, we’ll discuss six mistakes while adjusting the settings of metal detectors people make when adjusting their metal detector settings and how you can avoid them.

You can also read about other common mistakes in metal detecting.

Common mistakes while adjusting the settings of metal detectors.

Here are 6 common mistakes while adjusting the settings of metal detectors:

  1. Ignoring the user manual
  2. Over-relying on default settings
  3. Misusing the discrimination feature
  4. Neglecting sensitivity settings
  5. Not calibrating for ground balance
  6. Forgetting to test the adjusted settings

1. Ignoring the User Manual

  • Mistake: Jumping straight into using the metal detector without reading the user manual first.
  • Solution: Always read the user manual that comes with your detector. It provides invaluable information about the features present in your metal detector and how to adjust the metal detector settings for optimal performance.

2. Over-relying on Default Settings

  • Mistake: Assuming that the factory settings are perfect for all conditions and types of search.
  • Solution: While default settings are a good starting point, they may not be ideal for your specific location or what you’re looking to find. 
  • Adjust settings based on your environment and target objects to maximize the performance of your metal detector.

3. Misusing the Discrimination Feature

  • Mistake: Setting the discrimination too high causes the detector to ignore valuable finds.

  • Solution: Start with a lower discrimination setting and adjust upwards. This way, you won’t miss potential treasures while filtering out unwanted metals.

4. Neglecting Sensitivity Settings

  • Mistake: Keeping the sensitivity either too high, leading to false signals, or too low, missing out on deeper targets.

  • Solution: Start at a medium sensitivity level and adjust based on the ground conditions.

    If you’re getting too much noise, reduce the sensitivity; if you’re missing targets, try increasing it a bit.

5. Not Calibrating for Ground Balance

  • Mistake: Ignoring the ground balance setting, results in poor detection depth and false signals, especially in mineralized soils.
  • Solution: Use the manual or automatic ground balance feature of your detector, especially when searching in areas with high mineral content. 
  • It helps the detector differentiate between natural minerals in the soil and metallic objects.

6. Forgetting to Test the Adjusted Settings

  • Mistake: After adjusting settings, not test the detector to ensure it is working as expected.

  • Solution: After making any adjustments, always do a test sweep. You can use some coins or other metallic objects to check the detector’s responsiveness and accuracy.


Correctly adjusting your metal detector’s settings can significantly enhance your treasure-hunting experience and make sure that you don’t make the mistakes while adjusting the settings of metal detectors that people usually make.

Trying to go metal detecting with an incorrectly configured device can lead to a lot of frustration later on. Be sure to research first about what settings need to be adjusted according to the ground you are going to be metal detecting in before going on an adventure.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you familiarize yourself with your detector and its settings, the better your results will be. 

Be sure to check out your device’s specifications and features list first to make sure that your metal detector is compatible with the ground sensitivity and allows the detection of your target metals.

Always be patient, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time.

Howard rockse

Hey there, I am Howard a deeply committed individual who likes to share my knowledge and insights in this field, having spent over ten years as a metal detectorist.

My experience with GoldXtra has allowed me to provide trustworthy and informative advice to both new and experienced metal-detecting enthusiasts. I’m committed to assisting others in exploring and enjoying the world of metal detecting with the same enthusiasm and dedication that I have.

Howard Rockse
Senior Content Writer at GoldXtra

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