Do Metal Detectors Detect Mini Liquor Bottles?

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Cory Haasnoot

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Metal detectors, like most things, come in various shapes and sizes. On the market, there are several choices of brands, sizes, and models. While for most things, brand and price are the main features one compares, for metal detectors, one should prioritize the frequency. Although it is possible for a metal detector to sense a mini liquor bottle, several factors such as coil size, frequency, and target conductivity can affect the outcome. 

Metal detectors can detect some mini liquor bottles. However, it depends on several factors, including: 

  • Type of metal in the bottle
  • Amount of metal in the bottle
  • Brand and strength of the metal detector

Although a metal detector can detect small amounts of metal, mini liquor bottles can go by undetected if you are not using an appropriate frequency.

Generally speaking, metal detectors are extremely sensitive sensors and can detect almost anything. However, different frequencies, coil shape, and size, and even depth of target can cause one to skip over a metal object. 

Mini Liquor Bottles and Metal Detectors

Pile of Mini Liquor bottles and a metal detector

For the most part, mini liquor bottles are primarily made with a plastic or glass body with a choice between plastic or metal caps. Despite some having metal caps, mini liquor bottles can be hard to detect because of how small the amount of metal is. The conductivity of the metal in the mini liquor bottle is another possible factor as to why it was not sensed by the metal detector.

Mini liquor bottle caps are usually made out of aluminum. This material can be detected by most modern metal detectors. But, even if the mini bottle had a metal cap, the materiality of the soil, the depth of the target, the type of metal, and the brand of the metal detector are all components that could affect the outcome.

All of these conditions make it impossible to be sure that one’s metal detector will sense its target, especially if it is underground. There are too many details to take into account to say with certainty that a metal detector will always detect these mini targets. 

However, getting a metal detector with a higher frequency can help improve one’s chances of always detecting their target. When choosing a metal detector, it is crucial to take frequencies, brands, and coil sizes into consideration.  

How Much Metal Sets Off the Detector?

There is not an exact number for this question but it is believed to be set off by an approximate amount of 10 grams. However, depending on the frequency of the metal detector, as little as 2 grams of metal can set it off. This is directly related to the type of metal detector coil that the detector is using as well as its size and operating frequency. 

Search coils transmit an electromagnetic field that targets metal and resonates back, however, depending on the shape, brand, and size of the coil, the electromagnetic field will be shaped differently. The different field shapes in an electromagnetic field can affect the depths that the emitted waves reach. Detector with lower operating frequencies can reach deeper than the higher ones. 

Generally, larger coils have more depth and can detect tiny objects while smaller coils allow objects such as coins or mini bottles to go by undetected. The amount of metal that sets off a metal detector is not a set number, there are only approximations, but the coil and the frequency of the detector are determining factors. 

Some brands have metal detectors with more sensitivity and are set off by any coin-sized amount of metal.

Brands That Can Detect Mini Liquor Bottles

When buying a metal detector, one must know what criteria they want. Metal detectors come in a variety of models, brands, shapes, and sizes. Each has its own features and advantages. Here are some brands that can detect mini liquor bottles, if they have metal in the cap:

Garrett ACE 200 Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil

(ideal for coin hunting, dry beach hunting, or freshwater hunting)

Metal Detector with Waterproof Search Coil and Carry Bag

Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories

(with 5 different search modes to choose from)

Garrett Ace 400 Metal Detector with Waterproof Coil and Headphone Plus Accessories

DR.ÖTEK Lightweight Metal Detector

(with sensitivity adjustment)

DR.ÖTEK Metal Detector for Adults Professional, Pinpoint Metal Detector Waterproof Gold and Silver, Higher Accuracy, Bigger LCD Display, Strong Memory Mode, 10" IP68 Coil, Upgrade DSP Chip

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

( with 3 modes of operation and ground balance reset)

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector

All of the metal detectors listed above either have various modes of operation or a minimum of 6.5 kHz (kilo hertz) operating frequency. Hertz is the designated unit of frequency in the International System of Units and represents one cycle per second. For example, a metal detector with a frequency of 10 kHz can emit and receive approximately 10,000 times per second. 

As previously mentioned, metal detectors with larger coils and higher frequencies are the best option for finding smaller objects. For finding mini liquor bottles, the higher the frequency, the better. 

Fun fact, with the appropriate coil, a metal detector can reach up to 100 kHz.

Can a Detector Coil Change?

Search coil

Technically speaking, if the coil is what determines the level of sensitivity a metal detector. So wouldn’t a coil upgrade also improve the metal detector? In an ideal world, the coil change would be a significant improvement, but that is not the case. Coil replacements are made for specific brands and models. 

When buying a replacement coil for a metal detector, one needs to ensure that their replacement matches not only the brand but also the model. The only real differences there can be between the original and the replacement one are the size and the shape.

Additional to having different brands and models, detector coils also come in different shapes and sizes. Since target sensitivity and depth are directly related to the size and shape of the coil, changing the size or shape can lead to slight changes. 

Handheld vs. Walk-through Metal Detectors

Walk Through Metal Detector

Handheld metal detectors tend to be less sensitive because of the levels of dirt they have to go through. They are nowhere near as powerful as a walk-through metal detector. One was made for security checks while the other simply looks for metal objects underground. 

Even though they can both be sensitive, the walk-through metal detectors tend to be the more consistent one of the two. This is a result of not only coil size but also the soil composition of the ground being searched and the metal in the target. 

Furthermore, it is interesting to think that a larger metal detector is able to detect smaller objects than smaller ones. Although these two use the same technology, they are used and were made for different activities. 

Understandably, the walk-through metal detector, which is used for security checks has a higher sensitivity and more depth. Whereas the handheld detectors are used for lower stakes. Beach cleaners and treasure hunters are the number one buyers. 

If your metal detector didn’t detect a mini liquor bottle with its original coil, it is probably not worth upgrading or changing the coil simply to detect the small aluminum cap. 

In Short 

Metal detectors differ in capacity and sensitivity. While some can detect coin-sized pieces of metal (which is approximately 2.3g), others cannot detect anything less than 10 grams. So, most mini-liquor bottles will remain undetected unless you have a very powerful device. Of course, if they have no metal in them, you’re out of luck. 

Lastly, the material can also affect how successful this stealth mission is. For example, iron has a higher conductivity than gold and bronze, which makes it more easily detected. 

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

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

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