Can You Find a Phone with a Metal Detector?

Photo of author

Cory Haasnoot

Updated On:

Chances are that you’ve stumbled across this article because you’ve lost your phone and need
some help with the search. If you’re unsure of whether you can find a phone using a metal
detector, that’s understandable. The sheer volume of information out there can make this
difficult to determine. Luckily, I’ve done all the research and will share my findings with you in
this article.

You can certainly find a phone with a metal detector. Virtually all phones have metal
components inside them that can be picked up by a metal detector. If your metal detector
works properly, it can be used to find a phone.

Keep reading to find out more about using metal detectors to find phones, which metal detectors
are the best, and other helpful information.

Can Metal Detectors Detect iPhones?

Gray Apple iPhone

A metal detector can easily detect an iPhone. This is because there is metal throughout the

iPhones are made up of the following metals:

â— Iron
â— Aluminum
â— Titanium

Iron makes up 14% of an iPhone’s total mass, while aluminum, makes up a more hefty
percentage (24%) of the phone’s total mass. Aluminum is so abundant in iPhones because the
outer cases of iPhones are made of aluminum. Titanium is also present in iPhones but to a
much lesser extent. There are even more metals present in iPhones, but the aforementioned
metals are the most substantial.

Since an iPhone is made of so much metal, it would be easy to detect with a metal detector.

Can Metal Detectors Detect Android Phones?

Android phones can also be detected using a metal detector. Just like iPhones, Androids are
made of metal, though the metal content of a given Android could differ greatly from
another Android. This is because Android produces a very wide variety of phone types with
different configurations.

Still, this doesn’t change the fact that, if the phone is made of metal, the phone can be found
using a metal detector. Plus, virtually all modern phones have some amount of metal in

So, if you have misplaced your Android phone, you can try using a metal detector to find it.

How to Search for a Phone with a Metal Detector

Man Metal Detecting on the beach.

Now that you know that you can find phones with metal detectors, let’s get into just how to
search for a phone using a metal detector.

While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use a metal detector, there is a right way and a wrong
way to do it.

Get Familiar with Your Metal Detector

If you’ve just bought your metal detector, you are in a great position. Pull out the owner’s
manual and get to reading. Each metal detector is different, so your best bet at getting
accurate readings is to read those instructions.

If you don’t have an owner’s manual, don’t fret. You can use other resources, like YouTube to
help you learn how to get your metal detector set up.

Let’s look into a few standard metal detector settings.


When metal detecting, you use the discrimination setting to filter out objects that you don’t
want to find. If you are unsure of exactly what your phone is made of, you may not want to filter
out anything. Also, make sure that your metal detector isn’t already set to filter out metals like
iron or copper (both of which are found in cell phones).

Detection Mode

Newer metal detectors have preset detection modes that you can choose. For instance, it
can be set to find:

â— coins
â— jewelry
â— other objects

Knowing this is important so that your detector isn’t set to find metals that aren’t present in


Metal Detector Control Panel Pointing to The Sensitivity Setting

The metal detector’s sensitivity is extremely important. The higher the sensitivity is, the more
metal your detector will find. Most people think that having a higher sensitivity is better, but
this is not always the case.

For example, if you lost your phone in a place that’s above underground pipes and you put your metal detector sensitivity on high, your metal detector will pick up those pipes and you may not be able to differentiate between the pipes and your lost cell phone.

Ground Balance

The ground balance is yet another important detector setting. The setting increases the depth
of detection in the mineralized ground– yes, there are detectable traces of metals in the ground
that you’ll need to consider.

When you go out to look for your phone, the metal detector could ping for iron (which is a component of phones) when really it’s just picking up iron from the dirt. In this case, you’ll want to adjust the ground balance setting to decrease the chances of this continuing to happen.

Take Your Metal Detector Out for a Test Drive

Many decide not to test out their metal detector, but to minimize metal detector problems, it’s
imperative that you test your metal detector.

Take a couple of metal items outside and bury them. Then turn on the metal detector and
see if the metal detector picks up your items. Use this opportunity to really familiarize yourself with the metal detector’s settings.

Learn How to Swing Your Metal Detector

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with your metal detector and you’re sure that it works
properly, it’s time to get swinging!

Here are some tips to help you get the perfect swing:

  • You want the search head of the metal detector to be as close to the ground as possible
    without actually touching the ground.
  • There should be about 2 feet between yourself and the detector.
    As you walk with your metal detector, swing the detector in a half-circle, on each side of
    you. Make sure that you’re swinging it about 1 foot on either side.
  • The speed at which you swing the detector is important. Slowly is best. Give the detector
    time to do its thing.

Will a Metal Detector Damage a Cell Phone?

Many wonder whether a metal detector can damage a phone, but there’s nothing to worry about
in this case. A metal detector won’t damage a cell phone.

Metal detectors work by putting out a Radio Frequency (RF) signal, and people who aren’t
savvy in this subject area may think that this could be damaging to a phone. However, a Metal detector’s RF signal is not strong enough to do any damage to a cell phone.

Dropping your phone or accidentally hitting it with the metal detector is much more likely to
damage your phone. As long as you’re careful in these respects, your phone will be fine.

Choosing a Metal Detector for Cell Phone Detection

Metal Detector Search Coil

There are a few things to consider when choosing a metal detector for cell phone detection.

Consider these:

â— Search Location
â— Your Weight Threshold
â— Cost

If you dropped your phone in a lake or will be searching for your phone in the rain, you’ll need
a special metal detector. This underwater metal detector by GLGLMA allows you to search for
your phone in the rain or up to 30 meters underwater.

You must also consider how much weight you can comfortably swing back and forth. If
shopping online, look at the specifics of any metal detector you’re considering and note its
weight. You can find metal detectors that weigh as little as 3 pounds!

Metal detector costs range from under $100 to over $10,000, and when shopping for your
detector, you may find yourself thinking that a more expensive metal detector is generally better.
That could not be further from the truth, especially if you only need a metal detector to find

Make sure that your detector has these minimum features, and you’ll be good to go:

â— A sensitivity mode/knob
â— A discrimination mode/knob
â— Operating Frequency of 5-10kHz
â— Waterproof capabilities

This SAKOBS Metal Detector meets all of these requirements and more at a price point of around
$100, you can’t beat that!

Conclusion – Can You Find a Phone With a Metal Detector?

Now you know all about phones, metal detectors, and how to find a phone using a metal detector. All that’s left to do now is to power up your metal detector. All that’s left to do now is to power up your metal detector and get to searching!

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will be happy to answer them. Until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!

Photo of author

Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

8 thoughts on “Can You Find a Phone with a Metal Detector?”

  1. I’m glad I found your post. I learn 2 things here. First, we can indeed find our phone, what ever it is, Android or iPhone, with a metal detector. The other thing is even more important and it’s that metal detector’s RF signal is not strong enough to do any damage to our cell phone.

    My wife and I run a little hotel and visitors often report losing their phone in the surrounding areas. So maybe having a metal detector could be a good thing for our business.

    • Having a metal detector does come in handy. You never know what you might lose or what others might lose and you can help them out with a metal detector. To find a phone with a metal detector you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a metal detector any cheaper model detector will do. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I am very happy that I was able to find this post that you have written here about metal detectors and I have to be grateful because you did a very wonderful job in putting this together too. I didn’t think that the metal detector will come just in handy to be able to help me detect just Incase my phone is lost. I also like the fact that I will be able to also use the filter too.

    • Glad I could help. Metal detectors can find all sorts of lost items. A good metal detector does come in handy. You never know when you might need one. Thanks for reading!

  3. Wow, I never thought of using a metal detector to find a cell phone! But now that you explain why it works, it does make sense.

    Thanks for describing the process, too. Many years ago, we had a metal detector. I’m not even sure where it is now. In fact, it probably disappeared with some of our moves. But I may need to get another. They are certainly fun to use and can be quite useful. I might not need it to find my own cell phone, but I might find another someone else lost. Or perhaps something else of value.

    Is there a model or brand you recommend? I’d want to find one that worked well, with a good reputation, but not too costly.

    • Hi Diane,

      Garrett makes some excellent metal detectors that are suitable for whatever level of metal detecting you are at. If you want a dependable metal detector that is easy on the pocketbook I would suggest the: Garrett Ace 200 

      You can pick up the Garrett Ace 200 at Amazon for under $200

      If you are looking for something under $100 I would go with the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV which is also available at Amazon. Either one of them are great starter metal detectors but if you want some more features the Garrett Ace 200 would be the way to go.

      Thanks for commenting and good luck if you decide to try your hand at metal detecting!


Leave a Comment