Ground balancing your metal detector


Metal detectors are electronic instruments designed to detect metal that have been developed in the 19 century. The fact is that metal detectors have a wide range of applications, including military personnel and personal use for people who only want to use these instruments to look for precious metals. Metal detectors are designed to excel at one type of hunting or the other, but it still can be used for various purposes. All metal detectors have some form of ground balance, a discrimination feature that can significantly impact what is found in the ground. So, what is a ground balance and how can you properly use this feature to ensure optimal performance?

Ground balancing

As you will learn from the reviews published on, ground balance is a common feature amongst metal detectors that is set to cancel the effects of mineralization. The amount of minerals present in the soil varies according to location. This basically means that the mineral composition in the soil can be expected over a large area. Without the ground balancing option, your metal detector would detect all the minerals in the soil, which means that you would not be able to see through them. If the detector is set with a positive ground balance, then it will immediately react to the mineralization, whereas if the instrument is set with a negative ground balance, it will rule out the ground and go silent. The conclusion is that if you want to find objects which are not natural in the soil, you should find the balance point between the two extremes.

Learning the difference between preset, manual and automatic  

There are three major types of ground balance: preset, manual and automatic. It is important to draw attention to the fact that some metal detectors feature a combination of the three. The most common type of ground balance is factory preset. This means that the electric instrument has been adjusted to a particular range, thus enabling you to adapt to various soil conditions and environments. While it will work fine for most coins and relic hunts, it will considerably affect your ability to detect precious metals located deeper in the ground. Automatic ground balance does not function in the same way as preset functions. To be more precise, auto ground balance allows you to sense mineralization levels and adjust accordingly. The only issue is that problems still arise, even with the most advanced models. It causes confusion and it is not as clear as manual ground balance. Manual ground balance is the most accurate one, but your detector must have this feature built-in so you can ground balance it.

Ground balancing instructions

Choose an area where you can practice, such as the garden. You should practice on this soil before taking your metal detector to the beach or the woods. Once you have made sure that there is no metal around, turn the detector on for all metallic objects. You should set the metal detector to a point that you can hear. If there is no humming, you should turn up the threshold until the faint humming fades away and stop immediately. You should find the settings within the menu on the LCD screen. Take note when the humming faints or gets louder. When the humming fades completely, move the ground balance into the positive direction; f it increases, in the negative direction. You should repeat this operation until the sound is at a similar level from air to ground.