How to find nails in a wood with a metal detector

What’s the Best Metal Detector For Finding Metal in Logs?

Metal debris and nails have been a significant headache for folks working with logs, whether for sawmilling or woodworking. Screws, nails, and several metallic objects can become embedded in trees over time, and they can cause severe damage to your gear when cutting them down. Sure, you can detect and remove the ones on the surface, but the ones embedded in the tree are the problem.

Therefore, you need a suitable metal detector to help you detect these pieces of metal and remove them. Unfortunately, there are many options in the market, and picking the best device can take a lot of work. So in this article, we’ll show you the best metal detectors for finding metal in logs.  

metal detect in wood
metal detect in wood

The Best Metal Detectors for Finding Metal in Logs

Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector – Best Metal Detector for Finding Metals in Log

I have been lucky enough only to experience minor damages while cutting trees, thanks to nails and barbed wires in logs. But the idea of sharpening my blade after every few minutes while working can be pretty irritating. Therefore, my search for the best-valued metal detector for finding metals in trees led me to a local sawmill owner. He introduced me to Bounty Hunter Land Ranger.

And after thorough research online, I realized that only a few metal detectors in the market could rival the Bounty Hunter Land Ranger when finding metals in logs. This metal detector uses state-of-the-art tech to pinpoint the exact location of metal buried inside the logs. It has a 4-tone target ID and 99 points of target-ID resolution, guaranteeing success every time you scan a log for metal debris. (source)

Another thing that stands out is the programmable target discrimination feature that helps you detect the exact type of metal you’re seeking. For instance, it can help you detect silver and block things like aluminum foil and nails in logs.

Therefore, you can easily detect all the nails embedded in a log before cutting it and even determine its exact location. Remember, knowing the precise position of the nail can help you navigate the power saw’s blade around it or remove it before cutting the log.

The device weighs around 2.4 pounds, making it highly portable; therefore, you can take it everywhere you go. Plus, the fact that you can collapse it into three parts (the search coil, lower shaft, and S-rod) means that it’s easy to transport.

It has an 11-inch DD-waterproof searching coil for maximum accuracy and an adjustable length. Its unique LCD outputs numerical and visual depth indicators that help you stay on top of your search.


  • Brand: Bounty Hunter
  • Material: Metal
  • Battery required: Yes
  • Color: Black
  • Power source: battery powered


  • 5-year warranty
  • It can detect up to a 10-inch depth
  • Value for money
  • It features a pinpoint mode with depth indicators

Looking for more information on the Land Ranger Pro? Check out what others are saying and current prices with this shortcut link πŸ‘‰Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector


  • Not the best option for gold detection
  • Not beginner-friendly

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5

Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector – Best Budget

If you’re working with a tight budget, you should look for an affordable option like the Bounty Hunter TK4. The Bounty Hunter is an exceptional metal detector that can do more than detect metal in logs. So don’t let its price fool you; this metal detector is a great tool everyone must have when cutting trees.

Like most metal detectors, it does have three discrimination modes (2-tone audio mode, discrimination mode, and the all-metal mode). (source) The best option is the all-metal mode, which emits a beep whenever it detects metals.

On the other hand, if you love detecting silver or gold, you can use the discrimination mode that lets you ignore certain metals. Therefore, it can save you a lot of time; unfortunately, we don’t need this mode when cutting logs.

Another critical reason it stands out is that it’s easy to use. It has switches that can help you select the discrimination mode and a knob for adjusting your device’s settings. It also comes with an option for changing sensitivity.

Its screen is also simple; the key features on display include a needle detector and low battery indicator. The needle indicator helps with target strength, which is unnecessary when detecting nails in logs.


  • Brand: Bounty Hunter
  • Power source: battery powered
  • Material: Metal
  • Color: Black


  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • It can also help with silver and gold detection
  • Adjustable length

Looking for more information on the TK4 Tracker? Check out what others are saying and current prices with this shortcut Amazon link πŸ‘‰ Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector



Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5

Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector – The Most Versatile

Suppose you’re looking for a versatile metal detector to help you in your metal-detecting exploration. In that case, you should try the Garrett AT Pro. Even though it’s costly, it is the best solution for detecting a metal-ridden log. Its superb depth and high resolution make it the best option for scanning logs and several other hiding places.

To get you started immediately, it comes with headphones and PROformance DD Searchcoil. And to help you zero in on the metals in the log, it has a reliable electronic pinpointing feature. Another thing that helps it stand out is that it is submersible to 10ft; therefore, you can use it in various conditions. 

With these unique features in this metal detector, you will be able to use it with more than just wood materials like logs. Another thing that stands out is its battery, which can never disappoint you. Most folks who have used this metal detector claim that it’s the best option for examining massive logs with minute metal debris.

But with its unique audio mode, you can detect even the subtlest change in your target response. Therefore, you have a higher likelihood of accurately detecting metals. If you’re looking for a metal detector that can take your hobby to the next level, you should try the Garrett AT Pro. (source)


  • Brand: Garrett
  • Power source: Battery powered
  • Color: Black


  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for detecting a massive log for small pieces of metal
  • High accuracy levels
  • Ideal for beginners

Looking for more information on the AT Pro? Check out what others are saying and current prices with this shortcut Amazon link πŸ‘‰ Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector


  • Costly

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5

Factors to Consider When Picking the Best Metal Detector for Finding Metal in Logs

The metals embedded in logs can cause more damage than good to the power saw. It can cause minor damage, like bending the blade, and in the worst-case scenario, it can damage your tool’s edge. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to pack a reliable metal detector.

Unfortunately, picking the right option can be pretty challenging, so here are a few things you have to consider when choosing the best metal detector for finding metal in a log.

Type of Metal Detectors

Two different types of detectors vary in weight, size, and price that can help you detect metal debris. The two most common types of metal detectors folks use for detecting metal in logs are:

Metal Detecting in the Woods
Metal Detecting in the Woods

Metal Detectors With Long Extension

These metal detectors come with a long stem that helps you accurately detect the exact position of the metal. They also come with a screen with more than enough features to help you determine the depth of the metal.

Therefore, if your main goal is improving your metal-detecting hobby while cutting the tree, then you should try metal detectors with stems. After all, they have more than enough features to help make your work easier and more fun.

Handheld Metal Detectors

Even though they’re affordable, portable metal detectors can still help you detect some metals in the log. There are several types of handheld devices, the most common ones being those used for security purposes in airports. Unfortunately, they are not ideal for nails; they work perfectly with knives and guns.

The other reliable option is the pinpointers, generally used with a standard metal detector. A great example of a handheld woodworking metal detector is the Lumber Wizard-5 nail finder. The handheld detectors are reliable but can only detect nails a few inches deep.


Other than the type of nail finder, the versatility of these devices also matters. A handheld device may be better when dealing with thick logs. Remember, you can also use some devices underwater; therefore, the condition of your destination matters. You can use it to detect nails in the timber under any given weather condition.


Generally, metal devices tend to either vibrate or produce an audio signal when they detect any type of metal. Therefore, you can pick the kind of alert system that you need. An audio signal can be pretty effective than vibration, especially when working in a noisy environment. Remember, some devices have earphones that can help you work.


Because it’s costly, it doesn’t mean it’s effective and way better than the budget options. You can find an affordable option that can outperform all the high-end options. Therefore, you should research and purchase an option within your budget.

Final Verdict

We all love our woodworking equipment and can do anything to protect them from work-related damage. The main issue is usually a damaged blade, thanks to nails embedded in the log. But with a suitable metal detector, you can remove the nails before cutting the logs. 

πŸ‘‰Hey David here the guy behind this website. Check Out My Favorite Metal Detecting Equipment Below πŸ‘ Recommended

Nokta Ultra
Nokta Simplex ULTRA πŸ‘ˆ Awesome Machine!

When asked what I recommend, the πŸ‘‰ Nokta Simplex Ultra stands out. Perfect for beginners, it’s waterproof, includes wireless headphones, and offers five functional modes, growing with your detecting skills.

Lesche T Handle Shovel picture
Lesche T Handle Shovel digs through everything

The next thing you need is a great shovel, believe me when I say you’ll dig more knowing you can dig FASTER. The nearly bullet proof Lesche T- Handle Shovel is the most comfortable heavy duty shovel I’ve ever used.

I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting
I love the CKG Sand Scoop for Beach Metal Detecting

Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.

Minelab Equinox 800 amazing Metal Detector
Minelab Equinox 800 amazing metal detector

If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME , get the industry standard metal detector. The Minelab Equinox 800 IS THE BEST. Okay it’s not cheap, but your finds are going to increase with this machine.

David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.


  1. Amazon contributor, Bounty Hunter Land Ranger Pro Metal Detector, accessed November 15, 2022.
  2. Amazon contributor, Bounty Hunter TK4 Tracker IV Metal Detector, accessed November 15, 2022.
  3. Amazon contributor Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector, accessed November 15, 2022.
  4. Amazon contributors, Lumber Wizard 5 Nail Finder Woodworking Metal Detector, accessed November 15, 2022.
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