Can Metal Detectors Detect Copper?

Can Metal Detectors Detect Copper?
Detecting copper

Yes, metal detectors can detect copper. However, it depends on a variety of factors. These factors include the depth, type of detector you’re using, and the frequency of your detector.

Copper relics aren’t the most popular target metal to detect for. But, I’ve had my fair share of unique copper finds.

 It can definitely be a fun target to go for if you’re looking to switch it up.

Copper is a bit different from detecting aluminum or detecting lead. However, it is still one of the best metals to look for.

What is the best metal detector to detect copper?

The best metal detector to detect copper is based on detector frequency, price, and circuit type

Based on my experience in detecting copper, you’ll want to go for a metal detector with a wide frequency range. This is sometimes represented on metal detectors by different ‘modes’.

Some companies will market material specific detectors with a very high or low frequency. 

Although it SEEMS enticing to step up your equipment game this way, in general I’ve found they aren’t worth the money

As a long time hobbyist, I like to try new models when they are released. However, I usually prefer a mid-range metal detector for copper over any of the high end professional ones. 

Look, I’m all for balling out on a $3,000 metal detector believe me (my wife not so much).

BUT

Mid-range metal detectors are designed with two key objectives in mind.

User interface and versatility.

If you’re an experienced treasure hunter or hobbyist, by all means an investment in a professional copper metal detector can be worth it. 

However, I much prefer the mid-range ease of use that just involves grabbing your gear, throwing it in the truck, and knowing you can quickly hit any type of terrain you want that day with the press of a button.

Best beginner metal detector to detect copper

The best beginner metal detector to detect copper is the Garrett Ace 250

The Ace 250 has been a market leader since 2005 and there’s a reason for it.

It gives you a TON of value for the price.

This tried and true metal detector hosts a LCD screen, multiple search modes, discrimination options, a depth indicator, and a pinpointing function.

As an entry level metal detector for copper, it really can’t be beat.

Best mid-range metal detector to detect copper

The best mid-range metal detector to detect copper is the Garrett AT Pro

This is one of the best mid-range metal detectors for any metal. I would definitely recommend the Garrett AT Pro to anyone who’s looking to step up their game without breaking the bank.

The Garrett AT Pro shares the same advantages the Ace 250 does for detecting copper but, with a few sweet upgrades. 

First and foremost is durability

The AT Pro is waterproof up to 10 feet and is an all-terrain metal detector. The overall product is just simply better made in my opinion. 

It’s tough to tell from the photos, but as soon as you take it out of the box, you can see no expenses were spared in production. 

In my opinion, this is one of the most important factors for mid-range metal detectors for copper. 

I’ve tried out a number of mid-range models that have the same production quality as their entry level counterparts, and simply don’t warrant the price tag bump. 

This means a longer lasting product that can withstand the elements. 

Believe me, my AT Pro is going on 4 years of sand, dirt, rocks, and saltwater, and somehow I still haven’t had any issues with it. 

One other feature worth mentioning is the automatic and manual ground balance toggle. I’ve also found the target identification (TID) and pro audio mode features come in handy from time to time. 

Best mid-range metal detector to detect copper

Best professional metal detector to detect copper

The best professional metal detector to detect copper is the Minelab CTX 3030.

Time to bring out the big guns. 

The Minelab CTX 3030 is considered the mack daddy of the Minelab product line. And there’s a reason for it.

This thing is a BEAST.

Take basically every bell and whistle you could possibly want in a copper metal detector, combine them, and you get this piece of mechanical art from Minelab.

With a list of features too long to write, some of the honorable mentions are its durability, multi-frequency detecting options, and FeCo discrimination features.

However, the highlight of this bad boy in my book is the integrated GPS and PC mapping capability. This lets you record and map your exact metal detecting routes and upload them to the computer. 

As a hobbyist, I couldn’t be happier with this addition. It lets you see every location you’ve gone to, record notes about your route, and provides an awesome way to consolidate all of your metal detecting data.

Best place to go metal detecting for copper

Best place to go metal detecting for copper
Best place to go metal detecting for copper

The best place to go metal detecting for copper is rocky terrain with native copper. The largest concentrations of native copper can be found in Michigan and Arizona. 

I’ve always had my best luck detecting copper near old abandoned cliff mines or rock quarries. 

Can you go metal detecting for copper at the beach?

Yes, you can go metal detecting for copper at the beach. The best beaches to go metal detecting for copper are in the Northeast in New York, Maryland, and Massachusetts. 

The best copper finds are typically old war relics. This is why the Northeast beaches stand out when it comes to copper detecting.

metal detecting for copper in creeks
Metal detecting for copper in creeks

Can you go metal detecting for copper in creeks

Yes, you can go metal detecting for copper in creeks. Creeks are one of the best places to look for copper relics or native copper nuggets. 

I’ve found multiple civil war era copper bullet casings in creeks. They can be difficult to navigate but I’ve always found them worth it in the end.

Can you go metal detecting for copper in the woods

Yes, you can go metal detecting for copper in the woods. The best places in the woods to go metal detecting for copper are near abandoned mines. 

Can you go metal detecting for copper in the woods
Metal detecting for copper in the woods

I have a love hate relationship with detecting in the woods. It’s hosted some of my best finds BUT, probably my highest number of days getting skunked too. 

The secret to metal detecting in the woods for copper is to target any old man-made structure. This will definitely increase your chances of finding copper relics.

How deep can metal detectors detect copper?

Metal detectors can detect copper at a minimum of 3 feet deep. Any entry level metal detector or above should be able to reach this depth.

If you’re looking for something deeper, you will need a metal detector with an accurate depth indicator. Higher end models can detect copper up to 10 or even 15 feet deep.

What is the best detector frequency to detect copper?

The best detector frequency to detect copper is 10 kHz – 20 kHz. The exact frequency to detect copper will vary based on the type of detector you’re using, the environment, and what you’re looking for.

Multi-frequency metal detectors are generally the best option when targeting copper.

Is metal detecting for copper worth it?

is metal detecting for copper worth it
Is metal detecting for copper worth it

Yes, metal detecting for copper is worth it. Copper relics and native copper nuggets fetch high prices making them worth the trouble.

As a hobbyist, I keep a fair amount of copper finds for my collection. However, if you do decide to sell any copper relics you can expect a solid return.

How to identify copper when metal detecting?

The best way to identify copper when metal detecting is to use an ohmmeter. At room temperature, copper’s resistance is 1.7 x 10^-8 ohm-meters. 

A faster way to identify copper in the field is to use a high powered white light.Copper will have a clear reddish-brown hue under these conditions. 

How to identify copper when metal detecting

I prefer the quick and easy method in the field and then like to run more accurate tests at home. 

What can you find made of copper when metal detecting?

what can you find made of copper when metal detecting
Find made of copper when metal detecting

Items you can find made of copper when metal detecting are native copper nuggets, copper jacketed bullets, and copper pennies.

My most memorable copper finds are Celtic chisels and axes used by Native Americans. 

FAQ

Can metal detectors detect copper wire?

Yes, metal detectors can detect copper wire.Copper wire is typically found within 3 feet of the surface. 

Can metal detectors detect copper coins?

Yes, metal detectors can detect copper coins. Copper coins can be detected up to 10 feet below the surface depending on the type of metal detector you use.