Garrett ATX Review

Garrett ATX Metal Detector
Very Good
Metal Detector
  • Country USA
  • Released -
  • Warranty 2 year
  • Additional
  • Headphones included

Best for

  • Gold

Garrett ATX is an all-terrain, all-purpose metal detector that enables the treasure hunter to hunt down different targets under different conditions. The combination of features in this metal detector makes it equally efficient on land, on highly mineralized soils, underwater, and in salt water.

While the settings and tuning are of medium-to-expert level complexity, the learning curve will not be too steep. Moreover, ATX Garrett will serve the detectorist for years, enabling them to grow and develop their skills without the need of buying a new metal detector every other year.

Rating Explanations
All Purpose
Key Features
Easy to Use
Reviewed by
Michael Moore
  • waterproof up to 10 feet, can be used for underwater search
  • 5 compatible search coils for versatile operation on various terrains for various targets (open and closed coils)
  • 25 Discrimination modes for razor-sharp discrimination
  • collapsible shaft for convenient usage and transporting
  • can be powered by rechargeable or AA alkaline batteries
  • no LCD display making it harder for the user to work with the detector signals and settings
  • no VDI for target identification
  • software cannot be updated online, meaning no bug fixes can be expected
  • the metal detector is really heavy and lengthy search sessions can be challenging
  • powered by no fewer than 8 AA batteries
  • Technology: PI
  • Number of frequencies: -
  • Frequencies: 730 pulses per second
  • Search Coil: 11"x13"
  • Search Coil Type: DD
  • Waterproof: Up to 10 feet (IP68)
  • Updatable Software: No
  • VDI (Target ID): No
  • Search Modes: 2
  • Search Mode Types: Motion, Non-Motion
  • Ground Balance: Automatic Ground Tracking
  • Pinpoint Mode: Yes
  • Audio Tones: 3
  • Batteries: 8 AA batteries required
  • Length (min-max): 20"-68"
  • Weight:6.9 lb
  • Warranty: 2 years

Garrett ATX Key Features

Pulse Induction Technology

730 pulses per second create a powerful electromagnetic field that magnetizes the metal objects underground; making the machine able to identify the decaying level of magnetism.

DD Coil

The optimal search coil configuration that shows itself well even on the most complicated locations and mineralized soils.

Auto Ground Balance

Allows the user to search effectively without manually tuning the machine every time when soil mineralization differs.


Up to 10 feet is good enough for basic near-the-banks diving.

5 Compatible Coils

There are five coils that are fully compatible with Garrett ATX - from smaller to bigger, and of various designs - to make the performance really versatile and suited to every fancy.

Garrett ATX Overview

Garrett ATX Pulse Induction metal detector was released back in 2013, and it is still highly popular and in demand among metal detectorists all over the world, which means its high quality and functions that meet the needs of many treasure hunters in various environments. The majority of functions and features of Garrett ATX are still up-to-date, and while software might have been updated a bit, overall this is a decent and powerful machine.

One of the outstanding things about Garrett ATX is its military-style design and feel. It is heavy, but sturdy, and rather damage-resistant. Absence of LCD display makes it even more durable and bump-proof. The machine has 2 years warranty by the manufacturer.

garrett atx overview

Garrett ATX can be powered by 8 AA alkaline batteries, or by rechargeable batteries, which is always an advantage since recharging may not be an option in the field or during long trips. However, at the same time this is a huge disadvantage, since 8 batteries are kinda expensive, plus you need 8 more spare ones. Regular batteries work 10-12 hours, meaning you will need a new set roughly every search session, and this will cost you money.

To avoid wasting money on battery sets, you can get yourself the RnB Power Plus recharger that can be charged from mains and shows 40 hours of work. But you will need two of those for Garrett ATX, so it is up to you to decide whether this investment is worthwhile.

Garrett ATX is a powerful combination of effective functions and some unique features. If you want to find out more about each feature and be able to form your own informed opinion, check out this detailed Garrett ATX metal detector overview.

Control Box

Control Box in Garrett ATX lacks one of the most convenient things in modern metal detectors – LCD display, which makes it harder for the user to manage the settings and to identify the targets. But of course one will get used to it with time.

garrett atx controls

Instead of the LCD, you will get a set of buttons and signal strength indicator lights. In other words, some visual signals are provided by the control box, but to interpret the signals, the user will have to rely on the audio more. There are primary controls and secondary controls available via the buttons.

Primary Controls

Primary controls are accessed by directly pressing single buttons. Primary controls include Power Switch On/Off, Power On indicator, Headphones connector, Signal Strength indicator, Low Battery indicator, Threshold Plus or Minus indicator, Frequency Scan, Iron Check, Retune, Pinpoint mode On/Off, Sensitivity level, and Factory Reset. For more information, please check Manuals.

Secondary Controls

Secondary controls for Garrett ATX are accessed by pressing the combinations of buttons on the control box. The combinations unlock Shift button to access secondary controls, Shift indicator, Volume, Ground Tracking, Ground Balance, Motion and Non-Motion Mode switching, and Discrimination segments control.

Search Modes

Search modes for Garrett ATX should be discussed separately. Since this is a pulse induction tool, there are no frequency changes. Also, it has 25 discrimination settings, so strictly speaking, there are no search modes here. There are detection modes – motion and non-motion.

The motion mode means that the tool will send you clear signals when the coil is on motion, that is, you have to walk around or swing the coil around the place. This is how detecting is usually done. However, considering that the piece is pretty heavy, and also considering that conditions of the search can be complicated, Non-motion mode can come very handy at times. In non-motion regime, the coil should be more or less still to get a clear signal.


This mode requires the search coil - or the target! - to be in motion. So, the user has to scan the location moving the coil around, or the target may be moving, for example, with the water flow during underwater search.


For this mode to be efficient, the detector should be more or less still, and the target should not move. It is good to scan complicated grounds, shifting the coil from one position to the next, and checking what’s down there.

Garrett ATX Features

This metal detector has several outstanding features that make it more versatile and handy compared to many other metal detecting devices within the same category. Here is the list of all features to take advantage of:

Iron Check

Iron check is a nice little feature created specifically for double-checking whether the spotted target is iron or not. Of course you’ve got Discrimination, but soil conditions can be different, and additional test is never too much, especially when some serious digging is expected.

Iron Check feature only works with the compatible DD coil. To check the target, move the coil to the side of the target, press and hold the Iron Check, and move the coil over the target in flat swings. You can change position and check the target from a different angle, but keep the swings flat. If the target is iron, the detector will give a grunting sound. If the target is non-ferrous, the detector will give normal tones or even stay silent.

Garrett ATX Search Coil / Coils

garrett atx coils

The search coil included to the basic kit by default is 10×12 inches, elliptic DD configuration. Due to its shape, configuration, and size, this coil is pretty much universal and works well on most terrains and with most targets. However, there are other compatible coils available – open and covered.

Mono Coil

This smaller 8 inches mono coil provides outstanding sensitivity on small targets. It will also be useful on highly littered locations when more maneuverability is needed from the coil. You can also use it for tight areas due to its size. The coil is really lightweight and easy to manipulate.

Garrett ATX Deepseeker Coil

This 15×20 inches Deepseeker coil is perfect for spotting bigger targets and targets located on greater depths. One of the best things about this large search coil is that it reduces response of the metal detector to small debris on any depth. It is not that easy to manipulate, but it covers a larger area per sweep and reaches deep underground.

Garrett ATX Settings

This metal detector is not the easiest in operation, but starting it is really simple. When you tune the settings at the very beginning, take advantage of the minimum Discrimination level at first, to check how it works for your particular location. Set Sensitivity, Threshold, and Volume, before you do the Frequency Scan and the Ground Balance.

If you are going to search in salt waters, there are three options for you to avoid the noise and false signals caused by highly mineralized water. The first option is utilizing Discrimination by increasing Discrimination level until response from salt water is totally neutralized. For Garrett ATX, the Discrimination level is usually between 3 and 7. The con of this method is that your metal detector will not show low conductivity targets such as gold and jewelry.

The second option is to utilize Ground Balance. To get the best results, give the detector time to ground balance when you move to the next patch of the beach or seabed. The con of this method is that the detector will give a low tone response to any target. The third option is to use Default Ground Balance, enabling you to see all the targets, but getting all the noise from the salt water. To use this option, retune the metal detector by Factory Reset.

Garrett ATX Problems

Garrett ATX is a high quality metal detector proper for many terrains and showing decent performance with many targets, however, there are several problems many users underline. The very first problem that has not been much of an issue just a few years ago, but which comes forward these days is inability to update Garrett ATX software online, meaning the manufacturer won’t provide newer versions of the software and won’t fix bugs if any appear in any particular machine. Against the background of other brands that offer updatable software even for beginner-level machines, this is a huge disadvantage.

Another problem is that the metal detector is really heavy; at least it is twice as heavy as the majority of machines on the market. While it may seem not a big deal for some users, other users find it inconvenient to manage for long hours.

And eventually, some metal detectorists in different countries inform the community on forums that they have problems with the telescopic stem spinning freely and cannot be tightened. Neither the manufacturer nor the dealers give any sensible comment on how to solve this problem.

Tips & Tricks for Garrett ATX Users

garrett atx preview

When using Ground Balance for land search or for underwater search in salt water, Ground Balance can reduce maximum possible depth of reach, and some interesting targets can therefore be missed. In order to avoid missing them, the metal detector can be reset to Factory Default Ground Balance. This method is acceptable only if the soil or seabed is comparatively stable in levels of mineralization, and if the detectorist is sure of their skills. To reset the Ground Balance, hit Factory Reset or Ground Balance to the air.

In case the user starts digging and the target disappears, it is not a metal detector bug. Most likely, what responds as the target is a small mineral deposit, or decomposed iron. When the detectorist starts removing the dirt, the deposit shifts, and the response disappears. This is something to keep in mind when digging, in order to not waste time on false targets.

Garrett ATX Accessories

There are a bunch of accessories for Garrett ATX, most of them are open or closed coils and various small details. However, there are three accessories that might be more interesting for a detailed discussion.

Garrett ATX Kit & Packages

There are several variations of packages available for Garrett ATX, offered by the manufacturer. Please keep in mind that different dealers may offer enhanced packages and kits on their platforms. But these are the packages offered by Garrett.


Three Deepseeker Packages

and every Garrett ATX Deepseeker package includes:

Garrett ATX Manuals

Before getting yourself an ATX Garrett metal detector, reading some Garrett ATX reviews is definitely a good idea, but you can also check out the actual manuals for the machine, made by the manufacturer. Reading the manual may be a bit more boring, but the info provided will for sure let you assess your skills and decide whether the functions offered will meet your needs.

Download Garrett ATX User Manual


How to Use Pinpoint Mode in Garrett ATX?

Pinpoint mode is necessary to spot the buried target exactly and make sure it is where you want to dig it. Pinpoint mode will not replace the Pinpointer tool, especially if the target is small and there is a lot of trash around. However, Pinpoint mode will make your digging more efficient.

To use the mode, place the coil to the side of the suggested target; keep the coil on the ground or slightly above the ground. Press and hold the Pinpoint button, and then sweep slowly over the target, keeping the coil on the same distance above the ground. Move the coil in a grid pattern, and move around the target, to locate the highest audio and LED lights signal.


Garrett ATX is one of those versatile metal detectors that will be a great buy for most hobby detectorists. The machine adjusts itself to all terrains and works well with most targets, even on highly mineralized soils or in salt water.

While the settings and tuning are for experienced treasure hunters and not really for newbies, this metal detector will allow even experienced users to grow and expand their skill.

Garrett ATX Metal Detector

Garrett ATX Good metal detector for gold nuggets


Michael Moore

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!

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