EMF detectors, also known as EMF meters, detect electromagnetic fields and come in two main types, known as single axis and tri-axis. The devices can pick up an electromagnetic field, abbreviated EMF, by monitoring the fluctuation in electromagnetic energy over a certain area. The single axis and tri-axis EMF detectors each have advantages and disadvantages. The type of job the EMF detector will be used for can determine which will work best. Common uses of EMF detectors are to measure EMF fields caused by man-made objects in the area and those caused by the Earth's own natural magnetic field for scientific and research purposes.
The single axis EMF detector typically costs less than the tri-axis. The detector needs more time to take a reading than a tri-axis detector because it can only measure one dimension at a time. The device needs to be turned to read the other dimensions. A beginner may prefer this device because it will save him money and allow him to decide whether or not a more sophisticated EMF detector is required to meet his needs.
Tri-axis EMF detectors cost more than single axis detectors but provide more accurate readings. Since the detector can record all three dimensions at the same time, it does not need to be turned and takes readings much faster than the single axis. It will usually offer more features and an increased range of sensitivity.
Typically, EMF meters measure AC currents. Gauss meters, a type of EMF detector, measure DC currents. AC currents are usually man-made and DC currents are natural magnetic fields, though this can vary. Both single and tri-axis detectors are available for measuring AC or DC currents.
When choosing an EMF meter, a potential buyer should consider the meter's predicted accuracy, the range of currents it can detect, and whether he wants to spend the extra money on the faster tri-axis model. Extra features include helpful additions such as a light that flashes when a change in current is detected or playing a sound to indicate the change. A detector that measures different sensitivity levels can help pinpoint exactly what the source of the electromagnetic field is.
One of the most popular uses for EMF detectors is among paranormal investigators who claim the detectors measure EMF fields created by supernatural presences. Skeptics argue that the detectors are simply picking up electromagnetic fields from man-made technologies or the Earth's magnetic field. Those who believe in the paranormal typically report that EMF readings are higher in areas rumored to be a site of paranormal activity.