My thoughts/experience with pinpointers
Welcome guest, is this your first visit?
Results 1 to 3 of 3
Like Tree3Likes
  • 3 Post By Knipper

Thread: My thoughts/experience with pinpointers

« Prev Thread | Next Thread »
  1. #1
    Jan 2005
    Rochester, Minnesota
    Minelab Explorer SE, Minelab Excalibur II Troy Shadow X-5
    33 times

    My thoughts/experience with pinpointers

    I've been detecting since 1976, when a "pinpointer" was a probe thrust into the ground to try to touch/locate the coin. When pinpointers first came out, I was fascinated with them, and since then, I've been a bit obsessed with them, purchasing nearly every brand that offered one. I own many...too many. But I've changed my mind about what I prefer since I bought my first one.

    Originally, I was looking for depth...LOTS of depth. Now, I look for stability, as in no, or very very minimal falsing. I don't want any extra blips beeps or squeaks when I'm trying to find the coin in hole. I've determined that if I can get a solid 1 1/2" on a dime, I'm more than satisfied. After all, most detectors now have a depth gauge built in to their pinpointers which will give you at least a pretty accurate reading for depth. So, you know how far to initially dig and expect to find the coin...maybe even not dig as far as the gauge says, to avoid damaging the coin with your trowel or screwdriver. Having reached the approx. depth, out comes my pinpointer to show me the right direction to finally recover the coin, with more precision that the detector itself can give (you can seldom fit the coil into the hole, and if you can, your plug is too big!) It's here that I want stability. If I'm close to the coin (within 2") I'll be happy. But I don't want falsing to confuse me and waste time).

    There are two basic types of pinpointers: Pulse induction and TR(?) set at a given frequency. Pulse induction ignores mineralization and can detect quite deep. However, they play hell with multi frequency machines, or maybe even those with just one frequency. I was frustrated by this until I tried a very low tech solution....turn off the detector when you start to recover the coin! After all, your going to use the pinpointer to locate the target in the hole, and there is no reason to leave your detector on during this stage. When you finish recovering the target, reach over and turn the detector back on, and by the time you stand up, it will be ready to go! Most machines I know of will start up at the same settings it had when you turned it off, so no "wasted time" with this low tech method. I don't mind it at all! On the "TR" type of pinpointer, this is less of a problem, but one may still experience some cross talk, so use the low tech method on those too.

    So, here are my thoughts on some of my favorites and not so favorite:

    Makro (or Nokta) pinpointer: Not great depth (2" on dimes, more on others in high sensitivity (4) setting) but rock stable with no falsing I've observed. One goes with me on every hunt, along with a random second "favorite" brand just for fun and cross checking or testing. This and the F-Pulse, along with the TRX are my "go-to" pinpointers. In my top 3 favorites.

    White's TRX: This has "tip only" detection but has great depth...probably in the top two for pinpointer depth. I rather like the tip only, because this pinpointer is so sensitive, you will find your target in a pile of dirt using just the tip, as fast as a pinpointer that detects the length of the shaft, and deeper, too. My only issue is that on sensitivity "4" setting ( yes, there is a button code sequence that allows you to change sensitivity that is not stated in the manual...) it is too sensitive, and falses quite a bit...almost useless. Being able to detect a shallow coin at 3 1/2" before you dig, is irrelevant. I keep mine on three, and if I get falsing, I'll change it to 2. Overall, a very good pinpointer, in my top 3.

    Garrett AT-Pro, or "the Garrett Carrot": A very good poinpointer...great depth and adjustable sensitivity...stable, if you have one that works! Research has shown me that maybe 1/3 of all units end up going back to the factory for repair or adjustment. Falsing, erratic behavior listed as the culprit. My unit has been stable, and I feel lucky considering the reports of others.

    Fisher F-Pulse (Same as the Teknetics 'Tek-Point': A pulse induction unit that gives extremely good depth and ignores ground minerals. Plays havoc cross talking with some machines, but the "low tech" method solves this to my satisfaction. Rock stable, with one factor you may want to check. My normally stable F-Pulse decided to go crazy all at once. Re-tuning it, or re-setting it didn't fix the problem. When I took the cap off (breaking battery contact to reset it) I noticed the tension spring in the cap that made contact with the battery was compressed down into the cap. So, I stretched it out a bit and problem solved! It wasn't the circuitry, it was intermittent battery contact. This is something you might want to check for first, before you send an erratic unit of any brand in for repair. This is one of my very best favorite pinpointers. My poor hearing could stand a few more decibels from the audio beep, but with the vibrate on as well, I have no complaints. Great depth along with of both worlds. In my top 3 favorites.

    Mars Pinpointer: about $40 less than most pinpointers, but again....ROCK SOLID with no falsing....even when pushing or twisting the tip! Depth is about 1 1/4" on a dime, more on larger coins and nickels. I would not feel out-gunned with this unit at all. Again, I want stability over depth.

    Minelab Pro-pointer 35: Perhaps my biggest disappointment! This pinpointer touts 6 levels of sensitivity. However, settings 1 or 2 give no more than 1/2" worth of detection. Settings 4, 5 and 6, are so unstable that the unit sounds off in mid air by just slowly twisting your wrist, or angling it up or down. ( I hate instability!) That leaves you at level three for any kind of stable use, and with that setting expect a depth of around 2" on a quarter. Not bad, actually, buy why all the other useless settings? I have two of these, and they both act the same way, new out of the box. The model 35 also features a different audio/vibrate response when iron is detected. However, you must get WITHIN 1/2" or sometimes even touching the iron/nail to get the "iron response" signal. I find this unacceptable. Perhaps released into the market before significant testing was done to perfect it.

    Deteknix Pinpointer: I have an older model with features not found on units made today. Medium depth, Pulse induction, but again, very stable. Depth about 1 1/4" on a dime, more on larger coins and nickels. A good value for the money. Again, I don't need super depth if it isn't stable!

    I haven't bought any of the very cheap Chinese pinpointers, as most reports state they don't last very long, so no opinion here.

    Also, I almost never detect in the rain, or submerse my pinpointer in water. Most I've listed are at least "water resistant" and some state "submersible", but these features were not a factor for me when deciding what to buy. When detecting in bad weather, I'm more concerned about lightning than I am about a waterproof pinpointer. I don't like the idea of risking damage to a $125 piece of electronic equipment, regardless of how long you're able to keep it in water at a given depth.

    Well, those are my thoughts and opinions on the pinpointers I own, based on field use and testing, and 43 years of detecting experience. Stability over depth, price not a factor if it works like its supposed to, and support from the manufacturer if you get a bum unit (which happens for every brand). Luckily, I've not had to go that route, and feel I have some very good units to use, and a variety of brands to choose from.

    Last edited by Knipper; Jul 04, 2019 at 04:44 AM.

  2. #2

    Jul 2019
    3 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Xp mi-6 is the best I've owned.

    I also thought the minelab 35 was poor, but probably the best build quality

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    Oct 2014
    Garrett: AT Pro, AT Gold & Infinium; Minelab: Explorer SE, II & X-terra 705; Simplex; Tesoro: Tejon & Outlaw; White's: V3i & DFX
    33669 times
    Relic Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Thank you for the very well thought out post!

    IMHO: I have found the Whites TRX and the Garrett models to be very good quality.



Home | Forum | Active Topics | What's New

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Similar Threads

  1. Pinpointers which is better
    By woodrat in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: Feb 09, 2015, 10:40 AM
  2. pinpointers
    By joekidwell in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: Dec 04, 2014, 08:17 PM
  3. IMAGES provoke thoughts, first thoughts
    By Frankn in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: Aug 22, 2012, 09:11 PM
  4. Pinpointers
    By Diggins in forum Metal Detecting
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Mar 17, 2008, 05:49 AM
  5. Pinpointers?
    By King-John in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Mar 21, 2007, 10:18 AM
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.3.0