How Do Pulse Induction Metal Detectors Work?

Before we try to understand how pulse induction metal detectors work, we are going to take a look at the different kinds of metal detectors there are.

Essentially, there are three main types of metal detectors:​

  • Beat Frequency Oscillation
  • Very Low Frequency​
  • Pulse Induction

Read on to find the main differences between these detector types:

Types Of Metal Detectors


Beat frequency oscillation are popular metal detectors, used mainly in electronics stores. They can be used to look for items that are located around 2 feet underground. They also use copper wire coils like all other types of metal detectors. It is just that they have two different coils operating at different frequencies.

Very low frequency metal detectors are the most commonly used metal detectors. This is in part because they are among the first types to be invented. Also, their technological advancements make them highly effective. A very low frequency metal detector uses two coils to send and receive magnetic pulses to detect metals from under the ground. Read this article to find out how VLF detectors work.

Finally, there are the pulse induction metal detectors, which are not as common as the very low frequency and beat frequency oscillation metal detectors. Pulse induction metal detectors are pricier than the other two types and they are employed specifically for the purpose of looking deep into the surface for gold, relics and treasures.

Once you've learned how a Pulse Induction metal detector works, check out our review of the best metal detector.

Components Of PI Metal Detectors


Transmitter and Receiver Coil

The process of transmitting and receiving signals is important to understand how pulse induction metal detectors work. Just like the other types of metal detectors, pulse induction metal detectors also use copper wire coils. The only difference is that they typically have just one coil for both transmitting and receiving the signal.

Control Block

The next component that will help you understand how pulse induction metal detectors work is the control block. This is the area that manages the entire metal detector. It can consist of a microprocessor, which sets the adjustment parameters. The operator has control over the microprocessor so that the operator can define the necessary parameters.

The current flows through the transmitter, making it emit an electromagnetic pulse. As the current is reversed, the transmitter becomes the receiver. The processor makes the transmission and reception of pulses more stable by making sure they don’t overlap. This results in the signal received by the metal detector more reliable.

Other Concepts



While taking a look at how pulse induction metal detectors work, it’s important to consider how it discriminates between the different types of metals. While a pulse induction metal detector can detect metals deep underground and pick up signals of anything metallic, they have a disadvantage when it comes to metal discrimination.

As effective as they are in detecting metals, pulse induction metal detectors cannot successfully discriminate properly in the variety of metals. That being said, the fact that they are able to detect any kind of metals effectively makes these detectors vital for high security buildings. The larger versions of pulse induction metal detectors are used for security purposes as they can detect even the tiniest of metal objects right away.

Ground Bala​​​​nce

The next concept to understand is ground balance. When you use metal detectors on the ground, the ground contains certain minerals that can be detected by the metal detector’s receiver. That can result in inaccuracy when it comes to receiving signals from the target object.

A pulse induction metal detector has settings that allow you to recognize ground signals and filter them out so that the metal detector is able to look through it and find target objects much more accurately.



Understanding the different parts of metal detectors helps to understand how pulse induction metal detectors work. The fact that pulse induction metal detectors are much more accurate and capable of searching deep underground makes them pricier than the average metal detectors. But those seriously looking for gold out there and have a dime to spend will know that these detectors are worth the investment.

​For more information, check out our articles on how to read a metal detector and where you can go for metal detecting.

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How do VLF Metal Detectors Work - November 1, 2019

[…] employed to look deep into the surface for gold, treasure and metal relics from the past. Read this article for more information on how it […]


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