Can Metal Detectors Detect Aluminum?

Yes, metal detectors can detect aluminum. 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.

metal detectors detecting aluminum
Metal detectors detecting aluminum

Searching for aluminum is quite profitable. It’s definitely one of my go to targets if I’m looking to sell my finds. 

A majority of what you’ll find is electronics that have a high resale or recyclable value.

Aluminum is a bit different from detecting copper or detecting stainless steel. However, it is still one of the best metals to search for.

What is the best metal detector to detect aluminum?

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

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

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 aluminum over any of the high end professional ones. 

Look, I’m all for splurging 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 aluminum 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 aluminum

The best beginner metal detector to detect aluminum 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 aluminum, it really can’t be beat.

Best mid-range metal detector to detect aluminum

The best mid-range metal detector to detect aluminum 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 aluminum 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 aluminum. 

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 professional metal detector to detect aluminum

The best professional metal detector to detect aluminum 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 an aluminum 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 aluminum

The best place to go metal detecting for aluminum is the beach. Beaches are one of the most common locations people drop aluminum products. Examples include cell phones, bike parts, and other electronics.

I’ve always had my best luck detecting aluminum near beaches that get a lot of foot traffic.

Can you go metal detecting for aluminum at the beach?

metal detecting for aluminum at the beach
Metal detecting for aluminum at the beach

Yes, you can go metal detecting for aluminum at the beach. The best beaches to go metal detecting for aluminum are in tourist destinations such as San Diego, Tampa, or Maui.

Aluminum is present in consumer electronics. This means target beaches with the highest number of visitors you can to increase your chances of good finds.

Can you go metal detecting for aluminum in creeks

metal detecting for aluminum in creeks
Metal detecting for aluminum in creeks

Yes, you can go metal detecting for aluminum in creeks. However, creeks typically are not the best place to find aluminum.

If you are metal detecting for aluminum you want to target areas with a high number of visitors. 

Can you go metal detecting for aluminum in the woods

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

Can you go metal detecting for aluminum in the woods
Can you go metal detecting for aluminum 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 aluminum is to target any old man-made structure. This will definitely increase your chances of finding aluminum materials due to the higher number of visitors.

How deep can metal detectors detect aluminum?

Metal detectors can detect aluminum 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 aluminum up to 10 or even 15 feet deep.

What is the best detector frequency to detect aluminum?

The best detector frequency to detect aluminum is 4 kHz – 8 kHz. The exact frequency to detect aluminum 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 aluminum.

Is metal detecting for aluminum worth it?

metal detecting for aluminum worth it
Metal detecting for aluminum is worth it

Yes, metal detecting for aluminum is worth it. Electronics and some aluminum products can fetch high prices making them worth the trouble.

If you find aluminum products that aren’t worth selling, you can always take them to a recycling center. These centers melt aluminum and resell it on the commodity market giving you a back up plan to make detecting for aluminum worth it. 

How to identify aluminum when metal detecting?

The best way to identify aluminum when metal detecting is to use an ohmmeter. At room temperature, aluminum’s resistance is 2.65×10^-8  ohm-meters. 

A faster way to identify aluminum in the field is the magnet test. Simply hold up a handheld magnet and see if the object is drawn to it.

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

What can you find made of aluminum when metal detecting?

Items you can find made of aluminum when metal detecting are cell phones, laptops and tablets. These objects all contain aluminum as part of their circuit boards.

Metal detecting for aluminum

My most memorable aluminum finds are celtic chisels and axes used by native americans. 

FAQ

Can metal detectors detect aluminum wire?

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

Can metal detectors detect aluminum coins?

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