How to Make a Metal Detector Out of Household Items

How to Make a Metal Detector Out of Household Items
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Did you know that you can build a metal detector by using objects that may already be in your home? Metal detectors are expensive and sometimes are hard to use, but by making your own, you can end up saving money, have a smaller metal detector, and can use it to find objects.

It should be noted that homemade metal detectors are harder to make, and if you build them wrong, you may not get the results you want. So, you should always educate yourself before attempting to create your metal detector. Keep reading if you’re really interested in learning how to make a metal detector out of household items.

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Creating a Metal Detector

Building a metal detector can be educational for you and your children. While you could go the route and create a metal detector from a kit, it requires you to know how to connect electrical circuits, and it could be dangerous for you and your family to do such activity because you can create a spark or fire if wired wrongly.

A more straightforward way to make a metal detector is by using something that has a magnetic field on it. Thus, you can use your calculator and radio to create a homemade metal detector.

Calculator and Radio Metal Detector

First, you need to find a calculator and a radio. You will need to tune the radio and set it to the highest bandwidth AM settings, but make sure that you are not on a station as this could cause interference. You should only be able to hear static and no feedback from other stations.

Next, assemble the top of the detector. You’d need to turn the calculator on and position it back to back with the radio. You can use tape or adhesive or even glue to stick the two together. Just make sure that both are secured to each other without the chance of them slipping apart.

Thirdly, tape the devices into position and check to see if the calculator and radio are emitting a constant tone. If you do not hear a clear sound, then you won’t be able to use it. Once you have them emitting the right sound, then you can tape them onto a rod.

Fourth, attach the devices to the board. You can use a broomstick, pole, ruler, or anything that would work for holding it against the ground. You can use duct tape or glue to attach it to the shaft, or you can also use zip ties if you don’t want to use tape or adhesive.

Fifth, you can now test the metal detector on some household objects. This can help you determine if the device is working correctly or not. Test it with a silver spoon, jewelry, coins, etc. The faster the detector picks up the object, the better it’s going to work outside.

Using a Smartphone as a Metal Detector

If you are not a DIYer and you want to save time, an alternative is to use your smartphone. First, download a metal detecting application from the app store. By downloading an application, you can program your phone to pick up on objects.

Next, move your phone over metals or objects that contain metals to test if it’s working. Follow the instructions for the application and test if it works. If the application is not picking up on objects, then you would need to switch to a better app.

Third, watch to see if the magnetic field changes since the application will work by detecting changes in magnetic fields. If you pass over an object that the metal detector can pick up, you will notice that the field will change on the screen. Use this to find objects.

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While building a metal detector or downloading an app may seem ideal, you’ll need to remember that these homemade metal detectors aren’t designed to withstand harsh environments or be exposed to dirt, water, or any other severe weather conditions. You should always consider the fact that these metal detectors are designed to give you an approximation of where an object may be, not an exact location. They also aren’t as reliable as newer metal detectors on the market.

Do not expect to detect metals that are further down in the ground. Please weigh the pros and cons of making a metal detector versus purchasing one.


Metal detectors can be fun to build and easy to use. You can save a lot of money by making your metal detector versus purchasing one in the store. If you’re looking for a fun and educational family activity, then building a metal detector could be for you.

However, homemade metal detectors are only suitable for simple jobs. You shouldn’t expect them to be as accurate as regular metal detectors. You may also need to readjust the homemade metal detector from time to time to make sure that it’s working correctly. Hopefully, this has answered how to make a metal detector out of household items.

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