What is a search coil
The searchcoil is a vital part of your metal detector. It is the flat, typically circular disk, which generates a magnetic field and senses metallic targets in the surrounding environment. It is located at the end of the stem and is connected to the control housing via a cable normally wound around the stem. The size and depth of the magnetic field is determined by the shape and size of the searchcoil. Understanding the purposes behind the various sizes and shapes of searchcoils will empower you with the ability to choose the best searchcoil for each application.
The detection depth of a searchcoil, as a rule-of-thumb, will be approximately equal to its diameter, for a coin-sized object. However, as a searchcoil’s size increases and its field pattern becomes larger, the field pattern becomes less concentrated and begins to miss small objects. For a coin-sized object, this effect becomes noticeable when using searchcoils larger than about 15” in diameter. Since the field generated by a large searchcoil is larger, deeper and less concentrated than a small searchcoil, it is the best choice when hunting for targets that are usually large and deeply buried, such as caches or relics.