HD7 ‘Hoodlum’ Handheld Metal Detector

The Hoodlum is a small handheld metal detector that can be used for a number of roles including searching people and detecting potential IEDs. These devices have been in service with police and security forces in the UK for many years at vulnerable points like airfields. On operations they were quickly adopted for similar roles and then transitioned across to be used by EOD teams. The standard production colour is black; however, a sand version of the device was specifically procured for use in Afghanistan as part of OperationHerrick. It is one of these we are looking at today: 

The manufacturer’s details provide the following information: 

The HD7 is a hand-held metal detector for security and Counter-IED operations such as target confirmation and tactical personal area search as well as person search and similar screening applications. It is designed to withstand extended periods of use in harsh environments while providing a high level of sensitivity. 

Primarily designed for use by military and police forces for :- 

  • Person Search 
  • Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) operations 
    • Target confirmation 
    • Safe route 

The HD7 is rugged and simple to use. The detector is weather resistant and is manufactured to meet relevant UK Defence Standards and carries the CE mark. The HD7 is in service in police forces and armed forces in NATO and other countries.

The device has an on switch on one side of it, pushing forward turns on the device and a green LED indicates it is working: 

The device can be put into three modes with different methods of indicating it has detected metal, it can either beep, light up or vibrate: 

A belt clip is provided on the rear: 

To prevent the tool being lost, there is a coil cord: 

With a Velcro loop to allow it to be secured to a Molle vest: 

This can be seen here in this illustration from the manufacturer: 

The Hoodlum uses a 9V battery in the handle to provide enough power for 40 hours use: 

This example is unissued so came in its storage box: 

This is labelled on the outside: 

The Hoodlum itself is wrapped in bubble wrap to protect it: 

A leaflet is provided explaining how to use the Hoodlum: 


  1. I used similar ones a lot, pretty much on a daily basis.
    I used to hold it over my head to get a test ‘beep’ before using it.
    People were convinced I had a metal plate in my head but it was the button on the top of my uniform ballcap setting it off 🙂
    Always keep them guessing, you never know when it might come in handy.

  2. We were using them on what was supposed to be quick a search one time and a senior manager couldn’t seem to get it through his head that it was pointless scanning someone’s feet while they were standing still since the rebar in the concrete floor would set the detector almost off every time and result in a lot of detailed searches for no reason.
    Made for a long day, even if I did find something after getting the individual to lift their feet one at a time…

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