Pros and Cons of a Large Coil in Metal Detection

Pros and Cons of a Large Coil in Metal Detection

When it comes to metal detection, the size of the coil plays a significant role in determining the effectiveness and efficiency of the device.

Large coils, typically defined as those exceeding 9 inches in diameter, offer several advantages and disadvantages that metal detector enthusiasts should consider before making a purchase.

One primary advantage of a large coil is its increased coverage area, allowing users to scan larger areas in less time.

This expanded coverage is particularly beneficial in open fields, beaches, and other wide-ranging environments where efficiency is paramount.

Additionally, large coils tend to provide greater depth penetration, enabling users to detect buried targets that may elude smaller coils.

This makes them ideal for treasure hunters and relic enthusiasts seeking to uncover deeply buried artifacts or valuable items.

However, despite their advantages, large coils also come with certain drawbacks. One notable disadvantage is their reduced sensitivity to smaller targets, such as coins and jewelry, especially at shallow depths.

The larger detection field of a large coil can make it more challenging to discriminate between multiple targets in close proximity, leading to increased instances of false signals and a potentially frustrating hunting experience.

Moreover, large coils are generally less maneuverable and can be cumbersome to use in areas with dense vegetation, rocky terrain, or confined spaces.

Therefore, while large coils offer distinct benefits in certain scenarios, users should carefully weigh these advantages against their specific metal detecting needs and preferences.

Advantages of Large Coil

There are different types of coils however, large coils are often seen as the powerhouses in metal detecting, and they come with a set of significant advantages.

  • Deep Searching: 

These coils are specifically designed to penetrate deep into the ground, ensuring that deeply buried treasures are not missed. 

Their larger size allows for increased depth penetration compared to smaller coils.

  • Vast Coverage: 

The broad diameter of large coils enables them to scan larger areas in less time. 

This makes them particularly well-suited for searching open spaces such as beaches, fields, or expansive landscapes.

  • Detect Bigger Items: 

Large coils excel at detecting larger objects, relics, or caches that might go unnoticed with smaller coils. 

Their increased sensitivity and coverage area makes them more effective at locating sizable targets buried at greater depths.

  • Reduced Time: 

When covering vast landscapes like beaches or fields, the expansive sweep of a large coil can save considerable time compared to using a smaller coil. 

This efficiency allows detectorists to cover more ground and increase their chances of making valuable finds.

  • Clearer Signals for Deep Targets: 

Large coils often produce clearer, stronger signals for deep-seated objects. The increased surface area of the coil allows for better target detection and identification, making it easier for detectorists to distinguish deep targets from surrounding soil or debris.

Cons of Large Coils

However, with great size comes a set of challenges to consider.

  • Increased Weight: 

The sheer size of large coils often results in added weight, which can lead to quicker fatigue during extended use. 

This can be a significant concern for detectorists who spend long hours searching for treasures.

  • Less Precision: 

While large coils excel at detecting larger items buried at greater depths, they may not be as effective at pinpointing smaller, near-surface treasures. 

This limitation can result in missed opportunities for finding valuable items in shallow soil layers.

  • High Ground Interference: 

The wide reach of large coils can sometimes amplify the effects of ground mineralization, leading to potential false signals. 

This interference can make it challenging for detectors to distinguish between genuine targets and environmental disturbances.

  • Less Maneuverable: 

Large coils are less maneuverable than their smaller counterparts, making them unsuitable for navigating tight spaces, rocky terrain, or wooded areas. 

Detectorists may encounter difficulties when attempting to use large coils in environments that require precise movement and agility.

  • Overwhelming for Beginners: 

The size and weight of large coils can be overwhelming for beginners who are just starting in metal detecting.

Novice detectorists may struggle to handle and control large coils effectively, potentially leading to frustration and discouragement.

The importance of Coil sizes in Metal Detectors can’t be denied. I suggest you should do proper research about coil sizes.

Is Bigger Coil Always Better? 

Before you decide to go big, consider the terrains you frequent and the type of treasures you’re after.

Large coils shine in open spaces and when you’re on the lookout for deep treasures

However, in cluttered areas or when hunting for small relics, their size might be a hindrance.

Also, learn about the Pros and Cons of Small Coils to clear your concept better.


Large coils in metal detecting are akin to broad canvases in painting; they allow for expansive sweeps and deep searches.

While they offer considerable advantages, especially in open terrains, it’s essential to weigh these against their inherent challenges.

Being informed about what a large coil brings to your detecting adventures will ensure that each hunt is both effective and enjoyable.

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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