Falcon MD20

The Falcon

The Falcon MD20 metal detector is widely know for it’s ability to find gold. It is one detector that will find the gold that all other detectors miss.

Reasons for Buying the Falcon

One of the main reasons that I purchased the MD20 is the fact that it’s lightweight (12 ounces) and very sensitive for both placer and lode gold recovery. It’s an easy addition  to your backpack and is great for testing washes in the drier southwestern US for the presence of fine gold. I love to explore for new gold areas with my metal detectors and sometimes an area is simply devoid of detectable nuggets with any of what I’ll call “stand up” metal detectors for a lack of a better term, like the Gold Bug 2 or Minelab SDC 2300. I also say this preferring to use the MD20 either sitting or kneeling on the bedrock. That’s why I often refer to the MD20 as a “sit down” metal detector. The MD20 does have a “stand up” handle that you can use however, it’s just more fun for me to use it kneeling for detecting bedrock. The MD20 will quickly and effectively show you if fine gold is indeed in any area. It will find the smallest gold you can imagine. By checking a wash with the Falcon Metal Detector MD20 you can quickly know if there is fine gold and enough of it to warrant returning with a drywasher.  You can also apply the same sample principles to rocks in tailings piles, stringers, outcrops, etc. when searching for lode or pocket gold.

Setup and Operation

The MD20 is easy to setup and use. You just need to read the manual and understand how it works. If you need the manual you can find it on Falcon’s website. One of the most amazing and best features about the unit is that it actually discriminates between gold, copper, silver and hot rocks. It does take practice to become proficient at understanding how the discrimination feature works. In a nutshell if you can move the unit’s probe toward the target and it makes a signal, the target is a metal or alloy i.e. gold, silver, copper, lead, steel, iron, tin, etc. If you hear the signal as you pull away from a target it’s not metal, likely hot ground, oxides or a hot rock. You can swing the probe in your hand just like any other metal detector to find a signal and then use the up and down method to determine if it’s worth keeping or leaving. The probe head (what we would call a coil on other metal detectors) is small however, it is very sensitive. It’s small size is another reason why I prefer to kneel when detecting bedrock with the MD20, it’s just too easy to miss swinging the small probe head over a crevice in the bedrock while standing.

The unit comes with a laminated card that has gold, pyrite and black sand samples so that the learning curve is as short as possible. The probe and 5 foot cable are waterproof however, the control box is not waterproof. You can also buy a handle and a belt holster for the Falcon.

Falcon MD20

First Time Out with the Falcon

I’ll jump to the first time my better half decided to use the Falcon Metal Detector, it’s a more fun story. I gave her a 30 minute course in the unit’s operation and then she began working an area of bedrock with potential. By the end of the day she had recovered half a gram of very fine gold. Having spent years detecting she understood and utilized the same scoop to hand recovery method as she has used with the Fisher Gold Bug 2.

Tips and Tricks

Because the MD20 will find gold so very small you can either recover the gold piece by piece visually or simply toss the material with the target(s) into a sample bag to process later. The latter method being the one that will produce more gold at the end of the day. I prefer to run the Sensitivity position of the probe to the stock “black ring” otherwise the unit can become erratic on the heaviest mineralized areas. For best results I like to allow the unit two to three minutes to “warm up” and stabilize before use. Follow the instructions on how to set the unit up and trust that the unit will find gold in the aforementioned stock setting because it will.


The Falcon Metal Detector is a great unit for everyone, new prospectors and veterans alike. It is one unit that I recommend to new prospectors as it’s inexpensive and will allow you to begin finding gold quickly. Once you begin to find gold and learn how to prospect you can expand your arsenal of gold finding tools as needed. If you don’t have a Falcon you don’t know what you’re missing, literally.