This long and informative review will provide the reader with the most important insights about all the top brands of pinpointers and the most popular models of each brand. With this review, anybody will be able to tell a good tool from awful and save their money and time by spotting the best one for particular situations and locations.
A metal detecting pinpointer is a hand-held tool that is used for more accurate and correct location of the target. Pinpointer is not included into each and every kit, and to be honest, it is not necessary in every situation. However, in many cases, a metal detector pinpointer becomes super handy in locating small objects. If the detectorist cannot spot the target accurately, it means he will need to dig a huge hole, which takes time and effort, and sometimes, it can be totally impossible due to peculiarities of the soil. A pinpointer metal detector is used to find where the object is, exactly, and dig it out quickly.
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
Minelab Pro-Find 35
White’s Bullseye TRX
Quest XPointer (Waterproof)
Minelab Pro-Find 15
Bounty Hunter Pinpointer
A Pinpointer is a metal detecting tool used to locate the target when digging for a treasure. The Pinpointer is also sometimes called a probe. The role of the Pinpointer is to save your time when you actually recover your find. Think of it as a tiny additional metal detector that you can stick into the pit you’re digging, to exactly locate the find without having to dig a crater.
The probe can locate the find at a distance of an inch from the ground, and you can use it to scan the sides and bottom of the pit to make sure you haven’t missed the find. Normally, the section of terrain where you have supposedly detected something with your metal detector is scanned using the Pinpointer before you actually start digging. If the Pinpointer detects anything, you know it is immediately below the surface of the ground. If the Pinpointer can’t detect the find yet, you know it must be deeper than an inch, and you can start digging. The best way is to make three rectangular cuts in the soil or grass, to lift the piece of the sod out, and flip it over to the fourth side that hasn’t been cut. The Pinpointer can now be used to check out the pit and the pieces of sod to determine where the find is.
Electronic probes/mini detectors come in two types: hand-held and detector-mounted. The hand-held types are very useful to look for coins during recovery in sandy or extremely dry soils. Some of the probes can be stuck directly into loosened soil or sand without having to dig first. The sensitivity of the most of them is also adjustable and this is important to calibrate the unit for your application. Some units have a very thin stainless steel probe that is designed for sticking it directly into the soil without digging a pit.
Electronic probes/mini detectors are those tools that can be very helpful, but you don’t necessarily need one if you are a newbie. I would suggest you first gain some experience in this hobby before considering obtaining a Pinpointer. Some detectorists claim they can’t search without them, and that they save up to two thirds of the recovery time with them. Others claim that the usefulness of probes is overrated and not worth the effort and money. Think of borrowing one from a friend or a club member, and try it out before you decide to invest in one. Maybe it is not your thing.
Regardless of whether you decide to use metal detecting pinpointers or not, get out there and enjoy the hunt. That’s what it is all about.
Some brands include pinpointers into their kits with the top professional level machines. However, usually this piece is not added to the kit and one has to buy it separately. It often makes sense to take one of the same brand as the main metal detector is. However, the detectorist may have a pretty basic on-budget machine that works fine for him, while the pinpointer can be more expensive, and this makes sense.
If you are still not sure if you even need a pinpointer, perhaps you should check out the main benefits of detecting with it:
If this tool is so cool, how to choose the most convenient and efficient model for localizing? Here are several the most important criteria to keep in mind when buying a pinpointer:
This one is the most recent update of the Garrett Pro Pointer model. The AT means the tool is functional on all terrain and also under water. The equipment functions under the rainstorm, and the depth of reach under water is up to 10 feet, which is cool.
Since the item is suggested to be used on complicated locations, the company changed its color to bringt orange, to prevent the user from losing sight of the item. The new color earned the nickname “Garrett Carrot”. Another benefit is three levels of sensitivity, from low to high, giving more chances for accurate localization.
This item is light and handy to use, and the promised battery life is 30 hours of uninterrupted performance. Now it is totally clear why this item takes the first place in our long review.
Minelab is one of the more reliable and reputable brands on the global scale, so little surprise it makes some great tools. This one has a cool feature of five sensitivity modes, allowing accurate localization of targets on mineralized and non-mineralized soils alike. Another pro of this particular item is that it recognizes iron very well, preventing you from digging out bottle caps and other trash.
The signals are given either in audio or vibration, which can be chosen by the user. Vibration is totally awesome for underwater search. The item is easy to carry, and waterproof enough to perform at the depth of 10 feet.
What is great is if you occasionally lose it underwater (or anywhere at all), it has a “lost” alarm, so you will easily find it. Although many of its features have already been copied by Garrett, it is still an excellent tool to use.
This instrument is among more expensive ones that are available on the market today, however, it is totally worth the money it costs. XP MI-6 shows excellent performance, and every buyer will be absolutely happy with it. It is waterproof and can function on the depth of up to 20 feet, which is already pretty impressive.
In its main functions, this item repeats the other best pinpointers on the market. It should be underlined that it fits the XP Deus metal detector perfectly.
They were created for each other and perform in unbreakable harmony, like pizza and beer.
The pinpointer can be charged via USB as well as the detector. Moreover, it is possible to use XP MI-6 alone with headphones, it will still bring lots of cool finds. It is also stylish, ergonomic, and comfortable to use.
This pretty handy and convenient item promises 20-25 hours of constant performance without recharging, which is very decent. It is powered by the two AA batteries, which can be actually considered a standard today. It also provides three sensitivity levels, from low to high, therefore the user will be able to adapt the sensitivity depending on the location conditions.
Fisher F-Pulse works with pulse induction (from which we in fact have the name of the item), is waterproof and can be used on the depth of 6 feet. It is provided with a powerful flashlight, which is a definite advantage. As for the signals, the user can choose either audio mode, vibration mode, or both at the same time.
As you can see, this is an average decent high quality instrument. It has basic standard specifications, and nothing really fancy. However, it also does not have some outstanding disadvantages, and this is the reason why it is so high in our rating. The feedback about it is very positive, so with time, perhaps, it will take the top places in ratings.
While XP MI-4 is obviously the younger brother of XP MI-6, it somewhat gives way to it. Despite the fact that handy and ergonomic design is similar to the more expensive model, and the basic functions are the same, XP MI-4 cannot be connected to the XP Deus metal detector, which is a disadvantage for owners of this machine.
It can be an advantage for owners of other brands, though, because without this possibility, XP MI-4 is much cheaper.
Another factor that influences its price is the type of plastic it is made of. The material differs a bit, and the product is still of very high quality, but the price is lower. Isn’t that cool? So, if you do not need an accessory to the XP Deus machine, you should consider this pinpointer, as it is functional, handy, but much more on-budget.
This is a very decent tool with a bunch of features you will be happy with. It has audio and vibration signals. It is powered either with two AA batteries or one 9-Volt battery. It is provided with LED light, pretty powerful. If you occasionally lose it, it has “being lost” alarm. You can replace the shell on it. Also, it has a ruler with inch markers, which is cool.
The tool is waterproof and can operate on the depth of 10 feet. The company gives two years warranty for this pinpointer. It is completely automatic, suggesting one button operation; you just press to turn it on and off, and if you forget to turn it off, it will turn off automatically.
The only disadvantage of this tool is a comparatively high price; and yet, if you can afford it, you will be happy with it, starting from your first search with this tool.
Another bright carrot on board! However, this carrot is very supreme, since it can be used underwater on the depth of 200 feet! Obviously good for diving, and numerous buyers state that it functions well even in muddy waters, because its flashlight is powerful enough.
The best thing here is that it works well on mineralized and non-mineralized soils, but most importantly it works in salty water, and does not send any false signal in such environment. With ergonomic design and super easy turn and search principle of work, it is one of the most comfortable tools to work with.
The main disadvantage is the battery that is rechargeable, but cannot be changed when loses its functionality. The built-in battery is certainly perfect for such deep underwater search, but considering the price of the tool, this is definitely a disadvantage. But for this fact, it is one of the best tools under water, and good enough on the ground.
This one is very much alike to the Garrett Pro Pointer AT, both in design and also in terms of features, however, it is considerably more budget-friendly.
One of the best things about this item that many users underline is that it never gives a false signal, even if you operate it without general accuracy.
You can even stick it into the ground and press to locate the find. The LED light in this tool is very bright, which is much more handy compared to other models.
So, why is it by the end of the rating then? Firstly, the company gives only one year of warranty. Secondly, the item is not waterproof, which significantly decreases its functionality if you want to stick it into the dirt. But generally, it is affordable, reliable, and pretty accurate, so you can totally give this Chinese tool a try.
The Pro-Find 15 model is the most recent update of the main and the bestest Minelab Pro-Find 35. Well we can’t say update, because Pro-Find 15 is definitely more primitive. It is not waterproof, and it is even not recommended around wet weather. There are no fancy features like all those complicated super settings. One of the most outstanding features is switch between the audio and vibration mode; and that is generally all.
Despite the fact this pinpointer is very simple, we should remind that it was created by the Minelab, which means the buyer will find excellent quality, reliability, seamless performance, plus stylish and comfortable design.
This particular instrument will be perfect for beginner detectorists who want quality but lacks experience for more complicated settings and functions. If you want to give a try to your first pinpointer, and the main criteria is quality and reliability, this is your best option.
This tool is very handy to use underwater and also in wet conditions generally. It is fully isolated, and the depth of function is 10 feet. The drawback is that it can be used on this depth only for 30 minutes and then taken out, but overall, this is only a minor problem.
There are several sensitivity settings; the highest modes gives the most efficient performance, but lower modes also work pretty decently. The signals include audio, vibration, or combination of both modes.
Another drawback of this very tool is its price; it is not cheap at all. While some users state the price is reasonable considering all the features offered, we do not see a sound reason to compare its with products by Garrett or Minelab. At least yet. This is a high quality machine, though, and if you have no better options for a better price, you should definitely take this one.
This pinpointer is one of the cheapest among those available on the market. It is also very small and lightweight. The instrument is powered by one 9-Volt battery that is promised to last for several sessions. This is one of the reasons for such an affordable price. Sensitivity levels can be adjusted, as well as signal mode – audio or vibration – can be chosen by the user. It is super easy and handy to use, with stylish and reasonable design. All its features meet the standard requirements in terms of quality and technical specifications.
This particular tool is a perfect choice for any newbie detectorist. However, for those who has more experience in this hobby, and who expects some advanced features, this instrument is not good enough. It offers decent quality and easiness of use, but you will not find any fancy stuff about it. In case you can afford a better tool for more money, you should go for a more expensive one.
There are a lot of low-budget pinpointers on the market that can easily compete with the original Garrett, Minelab, XP and other famous metal detecting brands. For example, Garrett Pro Pinter AT and Minelab Pro-Find 35 are affordable, but in terms of performance the quality exceeds the price.
RM RICOMAX Pinpointer
These pinpointers cost is around $30-$50 each, and I think you will agree that it is a super affordable price for a pinpoint. At the same time, they provide all the basic functions that help to find smaller goals. They will be useful for newbie treasure hunters, and professional detectorists alike, because these items are low-budget, handy, and easy to use.
Basically, these pinpoints operate in the dynamic mode, which allows you to easily determine the distance to the target. Pinpoints work in 2 modes: sound mode and silent mode (vibration). For ease of use, manufacturers also add lighting, so you can continue to search in conditions of poor visibility. What else can one desire?
As a rule, the manufacturers add pinpoint accessories to the kit. It can include a battery, a convenient case to carry the pinpointer on the belt, and a cord prevents you from losing the pinpointer in the darkness, or from dropping it into a hole. It seems that this is more than enough for an item costing up to $50.
As it becomes clear as the result of this review and rating of the top metal detecting pinpointers, each model and each brand has its own specific features, and even similar technical specifications do not mean the tools will show similar performance. The rule of the product being better if it is more expensive does not work in this case, since for different users, different performance is expected; therefore, on-budget items may turn out to be fully satisfying in certain conditions. If you are ready to purchase a pinpointer to push your treasure hunting further to a more advanced level, take advantage of this rating.
Hi detectorists! I’m Michael Moore, founder of this website, and a dedicated treasure hunter since 2013. If you want to be posted about the most recent news and updates in metal detecting, releases, and trends, subscribe!