If you want to build a metal detector, we’ve got you covered. We’ve collected a list of the 19 best DIY metal detector plans from around the internet.

Scroll through our list below and check out the free blueprints. Assembling your own metal detector can be a great hobby or school project. Building your own metal detector is fun and educational.

This could be a fun project for a young hacker to learn basic electronics. And then hunt for buried treasure in their backyard. Many people get addicted to metal-detecting.

You’ll see them waving their detectors around the beach, hunting for lost necklaces and sea-wrecked coins.

Many love it for the adrenaline rush of a lucrative windfall. While others peruse it because they love history- hunting for Civil War relics like old war revolvers.

19 DIY Metal Detector Plans

19 DIY Metal Detectors

1. The Simple Cardboard Metal Detector Project

The Simple Cardboard Metal Detector Project

Metal detectors can be useful in many situations, but they tend to be expensive. Don’t let that stop you from treasure hunting.

Thanks to this simple plan you can build a metal sensor by yourself. There is a list of the necessary materials that you’re going to need, instructions and videos to help you. Maybe the most challenging part of the project is building the coil, but you can use a web calculator for air coils.

Or buy a coil online if you don’t want to bother.

As a finishing touch, you can make a cardboard handle for your hand-held metal detector. The builder recommends that you read everything you can find on metal detectors before you start.


2. The Arduino Metal Detector Wand Plan

The Arduino Metal Detector Wand Plan

If you love searching for hidden treasures, you’ll need a metal detector. Then you must take a look at this free metal detector plan. The detector not only looks cool but it has five separate search coils.

Unlike an ordinary metal detector, this one doesn’t use sounds to alert you to the presence of metal. When you hit metal the coil closest to the object will light up to make it easy for you to locate the object. The main part that you require is an Arduino Nano ATmega328.

The builder provides you also with instructions, video, and diagrams on how to make a single coil metal detector. But he warns that you should be careful with the length of the hook wires.


3. The Simple Outdoor Arduino Metal Detector Blueprint

The Simple Outdoor Arduino Metal Detector Blueprint

What’s great about this metal detector design is that you need a 5V battery to power it, and it doesn’t require so many components in contrast to other plans.

Just an Arduino microcontroller, a capacitor, resistors, diodes, a metal detector coil, LED lights, and a speaker. If you wish, you can also add headphones so that you can hear the signal. The builder recommends that you use a selfie stick to mount the board, coil, and battery because it’s adjustable and light.

He also provides you with some explanations on how metal detectors work and how to use them properly. And remember that you shouldn’t keep the coil near metal more than five seconds.


4. The Arduino Glove Metal Detector Build

The Arduino Glove Metal Detector Build

If you tend to lose your rings or earrings often, a simple metal detector can save you countless hours of floor crawling.

And this plan will help you build one with its detailed instructions and helpful tips. What’s more, this is not your usual metal detector.

The Arduino and the protoboard are mounted on a glove, so you’ll have your personal glove sensor. You just need to hook the device to a 9V battery, and you’ll be ready for jewelry searching in no time. The builder recommends that you use a speaker, not a buzzer to hear the sound better.

There is also a video that shows you how the detector works. P.S., if you’ve got some serious tech-savvy, consider building a DIY oscilloscope– they have lots of useful applications in your electrical engineering endeavors. 


5. The DIY Metal Detector Design

The DIY Metal Detector Design

A DIY metal detector can be useful on many occasions and in 19 steps this instructable will show you how to build one.

However, the builder warns that you shouldn’t expect a commercial metal detector and that you mustn’t expect to find gold with it.

There is a video that explains almost everything for those of you that don’t want to bother reading through the whole instructable.

Also, if you happen to encounter troubles, the builder has provided solutions to the most common issues. But keep in mind that he is an amateur in electronics so consult a professional if you hit a wall.


6. The Eco Friendly Metal Detector Idea

The Eco Friendly Metal Detector Idea

If you want a metal detector that will help you narrow down on the place to dig, you can try this plan.

The metal sensor has four coils which can pinpoint and detect coins at about 7-10 cm depth so if you lose your keys, for example, in the garden, you can find them easily. But that’s not the only thing special about this sensor.

It features a color touch screen, auto-calibration, four different screen modes, a USB rechargeable power pack, and the ability to adjust the frequency and the pulse so that you can customize your search.

There are detailed instructions and pictures for all nine steps, plus a list of all the necessary materials for this bold project.


7. The Velleman K7102 Metal Detector Project

The Velleman K7102 Metal Detector Project

To build this DIY metal detector, you need Velleman K7102 kit, solder, a buzzer, a 9V battery, and some tools.

There are instructions to help you solder the components in place and do everything from making the coils to testing the detector.

The instructions are very well-written, so this could be an excellent project if you want to get more familiar with electronics.

However, if you want to put the buzzer, you’ll have to do it on your own because there are no instructions for it. And remember that this is not a professional gold metal detector so don’t expect so much out of it.


8. The Ultra Portable Metal Detector Plan

The Ultra Portable Metal Detector Plan

If you are looking for a way to build a cheap metal detector, then this is the plan for you. You need an NE555, a 1mH coil, capacitors, a speaker, a pressure button switch, and a 9V battery. Optionally, you can get a 3mm LED light to show when the device is searching, a potentiometer to adjust the volume and a 330R capacitor.

Another great thing about this handheld metal detector is that it’s ultra-portable and you can take it with you wherever you want.

You can hot-glue the circuit inside an old toothpaste case with the coil glued on top. Then you only have to push the button, and you’re ready for metal searching.


9. The Home Made Metal Detector Blueprint

The Home Made Metal Detector Blueprint

Understanding how metal detectors work and what’s the best way to build one might be difficult for someone with little understanding of electronics.

That’s why the builder of this homemade metal detector strives to provide you with exact measurements and answer any questions you might have.

There are well-written instructions on how to build the coil and some tips for electronics beginners. Read them carefully before you start putting the detector together. For the handle, you can use a PVC pipe.


10. The Energizer Battery Powered Metal Detector Build

The Energizer Battery Powered Metal Detector Build

Building a cheap metal detector is not such an impossible task as you might think. In just two steps you can create a simple metal sensor.

It’s not going to work on the beach, but you can use it to find small metal objects around the house. You need a 9V battery, a 9V battery connector, a 100ohm resistor, LED lights, a switch, and a metal sensor. The builder advises you to test all the components before you solder them.

There is a video that shows you how the metal detector works, and there is a diagram on how to assemble the circuit.


11. The GreenPAK Pulse Induction Metal Detector Design

The GreenPAK Pulse Induction Metal Detector Design

Are you looking for a plan to build a pulse induction metal detector? Then you’ve got luck. This design will help you make a pulse sensor in five detailed steps.

The advantage of this pulse detector is that it works for non-ferrous metals.

Moreover, you can use it underwater. To build it, you’ll need a GreenPAK Development Kit to create a custom IC so that you can control your PI metal detector. There are instructions and diagrams to help you and some videos you can watch to get the hang out of the process.


12. The Upcycled Calculator Metal Detector Idea

The Upcycled Calculator Metal Detector Idea

You might think it impossible but you can make a portable metal detector by using a calculator.

You’ll also need an AM Radio and some tape, and that’s all. You just tape the radio and the calculator together, and you’re good to go.

The calculator will start beeping when you get near any metal. However, some users have tried the plan, and they state that it doesn’t work at all and that it’s a waste of time and money. So read everything carefully from top to bottom before you attempt this metal detector plan.


13. The Recycled Smartphone Metal Detector Sensor Project

The Recycled Smartphone Metal Detector Sensor Project

For those of you that don’t want to bother with complicated constructions and don’t have any knowledge of electronics, this metal detector design is just the thing.

The excellent thing is that you won’t have to do any soldering or assembly. In fact, the only thing that you’ll have to do is download an app to your phone, and you can use it as a simple metal sensor.

But what’s the secret? Well, the application uses the built-in magnetic sensors on your phone and when you move the phone around the magnetic field will fluctuate.

The app is available both for IOS and Android, but it won’t work if the magnetic sensors in your smartphone are broken or damaged.


14. The Cheap and Simple Metal Detector Blueprint

The Cheap and Simple Metal Detector Blueprint

To make this cheap metal detector, you need a 555 IC that you can easily find. You also require a 47k resistor, two 2.2 UF capacitor, a 10 UF capacitor, a 10 MH inductor, a speaker, and a power supply – 6 to 12 v.

When it’s finished, the detector will detect not only metal but also magnets. However, the builder doesn’t go into many details regarding the building process, so this plan is more suitable for someone who is very familiar with electronics and metal detectors.


15. The Metal Detector Glove Build

It will be cool to have a glove that functions as a metal detector, right? Well, now you can have one thanks to this plan. However, there are no instructions on how to build this glove metal detector. The only thing that you have is a video so make sure that you watch it carefully.

You’ll need a fingerless glove and a small metal detector, which you’re going to connect to the glove. This plan is perfect for those of you that love to experiment.


16. The DIY Beat Frequency Oscillator Detector Design

The DIY Beat Frequency Oscillator Detector Design

What are BFO metal detectors? Well, they are detectors which have two oscillators producing a radio frequency.

And you can use this plan to build yourself a BFO detector. You just need a power source (9V battery for example), capacitors, resistors, transistors, and an 8-ohm speaker.

You can find all these part by taking apart a transistor radio. If you want, you can also use headphones instead of a speaker to hear the signal better. There are plenty of instructions on how to make the circuits and the coils and some tips for those new at electronics.


17. The Urban Prospecting Detector Idea

The Urban Prospecting Detector Idea

Are you dreaming of finding oil on your property? Then this sensor design might come in handy and help you fulfill your dream one day.

It features a modified metal detector with a combustible gas sensor, which will allow you to scan the ground and find pockets of oil and toxins. And all this won’t cost you a fortune – you can modify the detector for less than $100.

You just need a used metal detector, a TIF 8800 combustible gas detector, gauge wire, some tools and you’re ready to begin. There are detailed instructions on how to remove the metal sensor and then add the gas one in its place.


18. The Neodymium Metal Detector Stick Wand Idea

The Neodymium Metal Detector Stick Wand Idea

You might have heard that building a metal detector is hard and requires a lot of skills. Well, then you haven’t seen this sensor design which will blow your mind with its simplicity. You just need a neodymium magnet (you can find one from a hard drive), a screw, a nut, an umbrella handle, and cable ties.

Of course, you can’t expect this simple device to function as a gold metal detector, so don’t go treasure hunting. But it works wonderfully for bolts and screws, and it will be perfect for those of you that tend to lose tiny metal parts while working.


19. The Colpitts Oscillator Wand Project

The Colpitts Oscillator Wand Project

This free detector design will help you build an Arduino-based metal detector, which can be more useful than a tradition BFO metal detector.

The builder uses a toy weed whacker for housing the metal detector parts. It features a trigger button, a side button to set a fixed frequency, a battery compartment, a speaker, a motor with LEDs, and a circular head. The metal detector also has several sensitivity settings because the builder adds a potentiometer.

On the lowest setting, it can pick cans, iron tools and other large objects, which are a few inches from the coil. On the highest setting, the detector can pick up small items like keys, bolts, and coins. There are detailed instructions regarding the building process, including a video and explanations on how the metal detector works.


Where To Go Metal Detecting

If you’re looking for buried treasure with your new DIY metal detector, check out this list below. It contains a bunch of different areas to go to if you want to find something with your metal detector.

Where to go metal detecting
Picnic Areas
Recreational Vehicle Parks
Amusement Parks
Carnival Sites
Swimming Areas such as Lakes and Rivers
Seaside Beaches
Sand, Dirt or Grassy Parking Areas
Old Home Sites
Old School Sites
Children's Summer Camps
Fishing Camps
Hunting Camps
Under Grandstands and Bleachers
Under Ski Lifts
Old Military Bases
Old Campgrounds
Roadside Produce Stands
Around any Resort Area
Stock Car Speedway
Small Circus Grounds
Winter Sledding Spots
Ice Cream Truck Route
Old Railroad Rail Lines
Rivers and Waterways
City Drains
Airport Public Viewing Areas
Bus Stops / Roadside
Grassy areas in general