Most treasure hunters find that long-range gold locators just don’t work for them. I even have several long-range locating tools myself, but I find that they don’t work for me. It just doesn’t work despite several accurate tests I’ve already run.


Long Range Locator L-Rod Dowsing Tool


The most common LRL tool is the “L Rod Dowsing” gold detector. The traditional L Rod dowsing tool consists of two separate rods shaped like an “L”, hence the name “L Rod”.


To use an L-rod dowsing tool, the operator must hold the shorter bent part of the rod like a pistol. The rods should be held not so tight where the pointers should be able to rotate freely. Don’t walk while detecting. It is important to stand still at one point before detecting.


The pointer on the L bar will indicate which direction to go. Therefore, the operator must follow the instructions to the point where the two rods cross each other. If this happens, it means that the target is just below or below the operator’s place.


Besides the L Rod dowsing tool, there are actually many more designs with different methods on how to use them. However, they all rely on the same concept to detect a certain target regardless of their designs.


Improvised long-range locators


Today, a large number of makeshift long-range locators are being introduced to the market. They are now equipped with electronic circuits where manufacturers claim improves tool precision.


The device operates at a specific resonant frequency, the most common explanation for the tool upgrade. An electromagnetic signal is emitted through the antenna or probe, which acts as a magnet attracted to the target object.



On the hobbyist market, this is the most common type of metal detection technology. This type employs two coils, one for transmission and one for the reception.


Electrical currents are transmitted to the ground by the transmitter. Metallic targets within this range will generate their magnetic field. The receiving coil detects this type of response, which sends an analyzed signal to the control box.


If the metal detector has this feature, you will receive this information visually as a target ID on a visual display and always as a tone, beep, or series of beeps.


The price of a VLF metal detector

Because it is the most basic, albeit highly advanced, the technology of the three main types, it is frequently found in the budget and entry-level markets. They can be as cheap as $ 100 or as expensive as $ 1000 for the most advanced models.


Pros and cons of VLF



Easy to use




Long battery life




Various variations



Limited to a single frequency


Mineralized soils have a lower yield.


Metal detectors with multiple frequencies


VLF metal detectors have a limited capacity because they can only operate at a single frequency. However, multi-frequency sensors appeared to overcome this inherent design flaw.


This is the ability to use multiple frequencies at the same time. For example, it can detect small and large elements at different depths simultaneously using calibrated frequencies.


However, multi-frequency should not be confused with selectable frequency. Frequency selectable metal detectors are often marketed as multi-frequency metal detectors, but they are not. Instead, they provide multiple frequencies, but they can only be used one at a time.


Some multi-frequency detectors are only capable of multi-frequency operation, while others are capable of both multi-frequency and selectable operation on the same detector. True multi-frequency operation will not be available for all selectable frequencies.


The cost of a metal detector with multiple frequencies

The great benefit of being able to detect with multiple frequencies means that they will be more expensive. They will usually start at $ 600 and go up to $ 1000. There are very few, if any, less expensive exceptions.


Pros and cons of multifrequency

Multiple frequencies


Selectable frequencies


Increased depth detection


Better handling in mineralized soils




Various variations



More expensive than VLF


Efficiency may depend on signal analysis and processing.


The consumer is not always made aware of multiple frequencies.


Metal Detectors Using Pulse Induction (PI)


This detector technology is distinct. Instead of two separate coils, a pulse induction metal detector employs a single coil that both transmits and receives electrical currents.


These currents are released in pulses at rates ranging from 100 to several hundred pulses per second. The pulses are obviously very short in duration, lasting only milliseconds.


These currents are released in pulses at rates ranging from 100 to several hundred pulses per second. The vibrations are very short in duration, lasting only milliseconds.


The time it takes for the field to recede and collapse is measured when the field current is transmitted. Longer reflected pulse delays indicate that metal has been detected by the detector.


Cost of a pulse induction metal detector

On the hobbyist market, PI metal detectors are at the top of the line. Unfortunately, they are costly, frequently beginning at $ 1000 and easily exceeding $ 2500.


They are designed specifically for gold prospecting and beach hunting. However, due to the highly mineralized soils commonly encountered when prospecting for gold or in or near salt water, these are two of the most difficult types of metal detecting activities.


As a result, PI detectors are not the most cost-effective of the three types.


Pros and cons of pulse induction

Immune to mineralization


Deep depth detection


Excellent for prospecting for gold.


Excellent for beach hunting.





Poor discrimination