Fisher F5 Review And Finds Post

Cal_Cobra

Bronze Member
Oct 3, 2008
1,057
1,589
Northern California
Detector(s) used
Minelab EQ800 & Makro Multi Kruzer, the rest are collecting dust...
I was considering getting the Fisher F70 (and still may) but bought the F5 as I really liked the design of the F5 with it's awesome user interface, ability to ground balance to salt, and the real time ground data display (ground phase, magnetite meter, ground balance, confidence meter). I believe these features are something no other metal detector manufacturer is currently doing, so Fisher is going in the right direction in my opinion.

To test the F5 out I spent a few days at my parents house who live in a community founded in the 1860's built around a large fresh water lake. During the Victorian era it flourished with both lake front resorts, as well as mineral "health" spring resorts, so I thought it would be a great place to test the F5 with a variety of hunting conditions.

Excited to try my new machine out, the first place I hit was the town center from the late 1860's to the 1960's. The first target was a clad quarter about 6" down, properly ID'd with the correct depth indicated. After a couple of hours of finding 1960's and newer coins, as well as a large piece of rusty iron about 8" deep with a coin tone, and a small piece of aluminum roofing/siding also about 8" deep, I was just about to pack it up and try another site, when I hit a small 10' square patch that started producing wheat pennies, along with a few relics (old skeleton key, art deco ink pen top, etc). I was excited to start pulling wheats, hoping silver was close by, but it wasn't to be. The wheats were 1924S, 1929S, 1942S, 1946, 1957D. I hunted several other areas of the park, and no more older coins appeared. The park has had several renovations, so I suspect that the soil has been moved around a lot, except possibly this one spot under an old evergreen tree. To double check the F5, I went back over the wheatie spot with my Sovereign using the 8" Coin Search coil to see if it missed anything, and the only thing the Sovereign found that the F5 didn't sound off on, was a big rusty iron bracket which the Sovereign sounded off with a high coin tone.

Shown on an 1890's map was a Victorian era water front resort (actually built right over the water) close to my parents house, so my next trip was to this spot. I turf hunted for a while and found quite a few modern coins. Then I headed to the beach, and within 10 minutes I found a 1918S Mercury dime about 6"-7" deep in the wet sand. Not far from the Merc I found a broken Victorian era ring with a glass stone. I uncovered several other relics (old brass gas lighting valve, old celluoid pocket knife cover with a metal tag that reads "Endicott Johnson Shoes", etc) and more modern era coins from the area.

The next place I hunted was a friends house built in the 1940's that has a very small yard. Found two clad dimes, and then a 1942 Mercury dime came out of their yard about 4" deep.

Next I decided to try an old swimming hole on the lake. When I was hunting the wet sand beach the machine ran stable, and I was popping out coins left and right. Copper pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters hit really hard (as do lead fishing weights). Found my first Sacagawea dollar about 8" deep. After about an hour of hunting the beach and finding lots of coins, I got a really nice hit. I dug it, and found my first gold ring!!! It's a thin 14K gold young ladies "15 Anos" ring (Hispanic celebration for when young ladies reach 15), it was about 7" deep. Also found was an old "Kastmaster ACME Tackle Co." copper spinner.

I really enjoyed fresh water beach hunting, although currently the lake is having an issue with low oxygen levels (due to low water levels and an infestation of weeds), which is causing the carp to die off. There's thousands of dead and decaying carp littering the shores, and the water it nasty and really stinky, so I decided not to go into the water until that's cleared up. I'll go back to the swimming hole area, although I plan to try my Sovereign with the 12.5" Sun Ray and 15" WOT to look for deep jewelery.

The ground seems to be fairly mild there, and there's little to no EMI, so I was able to run the gain at full strength almost the entire time, with the lowest setting at 9. I was also able to run the threshold at +7 - +9 most of the time, and the machine was stable. Although the machine has three different frequencies you can select, it ran so stable I never had to try it, although I suspect in the Bay Area that will be a useful feature as my Coinstrike has a hard time in some spots with heavy EMI.

The manual states that you can run an audible threshold hum, but I was never able to hear it, even at full threshold. I mainly ran four tones (I'm not positive what advantage you'd have running less?), and ran the disc at 25, to mask iron and small foil.

The ground balance worked awesome. In disc mode I would pump the coil 1" - 6" a few times, and within seconds the ground balance and phase numbers would lock, then simply hit the phase lock button and it was ready to go. I was concerned that its lack of a volume control might be an issue, but it sounded fine through a set of Sun Ray Pro Golds. Actually I thought the audio data was excellent, with the various tones being very distinct (although I'd still like to hear a threshold hum).

The pin-pointing is outstanding. At the loudest audio signal I'd dig a rectangle shaped hinged plug slightly larger then the size of the inner coil oval and (almost) without fail the target was inside, and right around the depth it indicated.

Oddly it had a tough time differentiating between modern pull-tabs and nickels. Often when it would give a good nickel hit, but I would recover a modern pull-tab . That got me thinking that perhaps when it was telling me it hit a pull-tab, perhaps it was really a nickel, so I decided to start digging all pull-tabs while turf hunting. Sure enough, several pull-tab hits were indeed nickels. (Note - checking the manual after hunting indicated that modern pull-tabs do read under nickels, but not vice versa ).

I found that small rusted iron (small'ish rusty nails mainly) would sound off as a good high coin hit (dime/penny or higher).

The manual, although somewhat short, is well written providing good explanations of all the controls, and displays. It provides a lot of technical information about ground balancing, magnetite and how it affects metal detecting, as well as the ground phase and lots of other useful information.

Conclusion:

What I liked - All and all the F5 is a great detector, it's fun, easy to use, light weight and powerful. Powered by two 9V batteries will provide 40+ hours of use. The detector weighs less then 3lbs with batteries, so one can swing all day without fatigue, and the Fisher "S" rod design is also very ergonomic, further contributing to it's usability. The controls are very well laid out, all knobs are easy to thumb, and logically arranged (no menus to fumble through). The large display is easy to read, and provides the user with valuable useful data. The F5 hits hard on coins, and jewelery and it's pin-pointing is first class. The real time ground data display is great, as you can easily see if one has moved into a different type of ground and in 5 seconds can re-balance the detector to match the current ground conditions.

What I didn't care for - When coins or other metal objects (even pull-tabs) are close to the surface, the machine goes into an overload mode. I didn't care for this, as anything from a pull-tab to a coin could be under the coil and the only way to find out what it is, is to dig the target. I can understand if there's a hub cap an inch under the ground, but pull-tabs and coins? It does have a propensity to give false positives on small rusty iron, I need to do further testing on this, as perhaps the threshold can eliminate or minimize this phenomenon.

All finds (over $10.50 in change):

Finds.jpg

Wheats (1924S, 1929S, 1942S, 1946, 1957D) and Mercs (1918S and 1942D):

Wheats-n-Mercs.jpg

GOLD in the hole!

InTheHole.jpg

F5 Close-up and 14K Gold Ring:

F5wRing.jpg

14K Ring and Victorian Era Partial Ring:

Rings.jpg

Nice way to end the day:

ClearlakeSunset.jpg

HH,
Brian

 

Silver Fox

Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2007
485
5
New York City, USA
Detector(s) used
Bounty Hunter Land Star
Cal: Thanks so much for your extensive and informative review of the Fisher F5, a detector that I was considering acquiring from the moment it was announced. I had retired from detecting around 2005 or shortly before and had reactivated myself to the hobby this past January. I got hot to trot and went through 4 or 5 detectors and presently own a BOUNTY HUNTER LAND STAR. I didn't develop the old zeal that I enjoyed from the late 1970s to when I retired and this was due to the fact that I could no longer hunt in my favorite hunting grounds, NYC's Central Park. So when I settled on the LAND STAR I made only sporadic visits to Riverside Park and just before the onset of summer, I sort-of retired again and I have no idea when I'll go detecting again.

However, my interest in the F5 didn't diminish until I forgot about detecting/detectors. Just now I received a TNET notification of a post by an F5 user which alerted me to your review. I enjoyed reading your comments and you've renewed my interest in the F5 and I may sell my LAND STAR and acquire an F5 just to have in case next spring or summer I decide to spend a few hours lost in thought while I detect.

One thing I'm curious about. Although you took the F5 to that community where your parents live, you didn't mention detecting the areas prior to the F5. Have you? If No, why not? Actually, if you had then there would have been nothing left for the F5 to find! Looking forward to your reply.

Silver Fox
 
OP
Cal_Cobra

Cal_Cobra

Bronze Member
Oct 3, 2008
1,057
1,589
Northern California
Detector(s) used
Minelab EQ800 & Makro Multi Kruzer, the rest are collecting dust...
  • Thread Starter
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  • #3
Hi Silver Fox,

I've hunted a bit at my parents with my Coinstrike and did OK, but there's so many places to cover and only so much time (I'm still a working stiff after all :walk:

I just started metal detecting in January, so I'm still a noob really. The summers up there are killer (as in so hot they'll kill you), so now that it's cooled down, and the lake level is low, I'll be heading up there a lot more to hunt as the city parks where I live are well hunted (hunted out) or have been redeveloped so the original turf is gone.

There's several Victorian era resort spots I want to hunt, and then there's the lake hunting. I really want to research where all of the 1920-1960's swimming holes are up there, those have to be gold mines. I know the F5 won't go as deep as my Sovereign because I have much larger coils for it (I have the 12.5" DD and 15" DD coils for it) so I'm planning a trip up next weekend to do more lake hunting (at the same spot I found the gold ring, might as well see if there's deeper stuff and I've already scrubbed the trash) in hopes of more gold and silver.

I'm hoping that Fisher comes out with a smaller coil for the F5, as in trashy areas that 10" coil is a bit much, but overall I'm really happy with it. It's easy as pie to opperate and so light that you can swing all day.

I hope you get back into hunting. I bet Central Park was an awesome place to hunt. Is it completely off limits ?

I like to hunt Golden Gate park in San Francisco (I live about an hour away). It's hard hunting, but there's still enough oldies being found to keep going back.

HH,
Brian
 

Silver Fox

Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2007
485
5
New York City, USA
Detector(s) used
Bounty Hunter Land Star
Cal_Cobra said:
Hi Silver Fox,
[snip]
I hope you get back into hunting. I bet Central Park was an awesome place to hunt. Is it completely off limits ?

I like to hunt Golden Gate park in San Francisco (I live about an hour away). It's hard hunting, but there's still enough oldies being found to keep going back.

HH,
Brian
Hi: That area sounds like a detectorist's paradise. If I had access to it I'd definitely come out of retirement! If you can't get a smaller coil for the F5, just simply hunt in ALL METALS and dig everything and you'll probably come up with more keepers than using a smaller coil.

Central Park was the place to hunt. I removed thousands of old and new coins, silver coins by the hundreds, as well as all kinds of jewelry, etc. It was never detector territory but there was a period up until 2000+ where you could go in there and the Rangers wouldn't bother you unless someone complained of badly covered digging areas. Sometimes you'd see groups from other states and they probably created the problems that eventually got the Rangers to enforce the Rules and Regulations which did not prevent metal detecting but digging. So you could walk around all day swinging a detector but you couldn't retrieve anything.

I was "caught" a few times but I always told a "white lie" claiming I was an out-of-stater and they would just tell me to stop and they left. I also left. The worst part is that I live half a block from the park and I know there's tons of coins, etc., never to be recovered.

The other parks produce a silver coin or two but you gotta work a lot of territory to find 'em although you still wind up with modern clad and very little jewelry. My best find in another nearby park was a man's 14KT ring with a beautiful tourmaline and just the gem was appraised at $200 plus the gold. And last year while detecting but finding it by just looking I found a bling item, an 8-ounce, 14KT figure of Jesus. If I hadn't been detecting I would have never been in that section of the park.

My LAND STAR is a damn good detector but it was the F5 which got me hot and bothered more so than any other detector out there. I don't want an all-digital detector so the F5's knobs turn me on. And the fact that it can be used on salt water is an added bonus. Although none of the reviews I've read mention any salt beach detecting.

Thanks for the info.

Silver Fox
 
OP
Cal_Cobra

Cal_Cobra

Bronze Member
Oct 3, 2008
1,057
1,589
Northern California
Detector(s) used
Minelab EQ800 & Makro Multi Kruzer, the rest are collecting dust...
  • Thread Starter
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  • #5
One thing that's interesting about the all metal mode of the F5 is it gives you four different tone options like in disc mode.

I haven't used AM mode on any of my detectors because they sound off all over the place, and I find I'm mainly digging trash.

Brian
 

Silver Fox

Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2007
485
5
New York City, USA
Detector(s) used
Bounty Hunter Land Star
Cal_Cobra said:
One thing that's interesting about the all metal mode of the F5 is it gives you four different tone options like in disc mode.

I haven't used AM mode on any of my detectors because they sound off all over the place, and I find I'm mainly digging trash.

Brian
That feature alone is worth its weight in gold! Normally, one would like to detect in ALL METALS as then one wouldn't miss anything. But as we know, that mode opens you up to all of the garbage so having "warning alarms" offers the best of both worlds. One might not find it necessary to hunt in DISC.

Yes, you definitely have sold me on the F5 and I'll be keeping my eyeas open between now and next Spring for a good deal whether in the classified forum or at eBay or even Craigslist!

Silver Fox
 

ReidMan

Full Member
Jul 16, 2008
238
116
Hampton, VA
Detector(s) used
F75 main, Infinium water, TDI red dirt, 1266x if I feel like digging iron.
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
The F5 is sweet especially for the price the biggest drawback I see is no coils. just the stock coil nothing else.
 

lms7652

Jr. Member
May 19, 2006
57
0
One thing that's interesting about the all metal mode of the F5 is it gives you four different tone options like in disc mode.

So nobody is confused. It does have 4 different tones in all metal, but it still sounds the same on all targets. You can just vary the pitch of the sound. It will still make the exact same sound on a piece of iron or a silver dime. It would be nice to have different tones for different metal types in all metal.....
 

Silver Fox

Sr. Member
Dec 8, 2007
485
5
New York City, USA
Detector(s) used
Bounty Hunter Land Star
lms7652 said:
One thing that's interesting about the all metal mode of the F5 is it gives you four different tone options like in disc mode.

So nobody is confused. It does have 4 different tones in all metal, but it still sounds the same on all targets. You can just vary the pitch of the sound. It will still make the exact same sound on a piece of iron or a silver dime. It would be nice to have different tones for different metal types in all metal.....
I'm confused! Does it have 4 different tones in AM or not? 4 different tones sound like 4 different pitches to me, not just one sound across the board as is "normal" on AM. My old Teknetics Mark I Ltd had the same sound on AM but you could vary its pitch but not four different pitches. So, please, tell us if the F5 has 4 different tones on AM or just one that can be adjusted.

I wonder why this kind of progress hasn't been made. Surely, it can't be that mind-boggling to the various company techs.

Silver Fox
 

SaginawIan

Hero Member
Jun 1, 2006
679
12
Detroit, Michigan
Detector(s) used
Fisher F75, Tesoro Tejon, Tesoro Mojave.
Good question - does the F5 have 4 tones in AM mode? Specifically, low for iron, High for coins? Etc?

This seems like a SUPER feature if it does.

Ian
 

lms7652

Jr. Member
May 19, 2006
57
0
It does not have different tones for different metals in the AM mode. It is one sound for all targets. It has a pushbutton that will seem to change the sound to a different pitch only. So you will have the same sound for all targets but you can vary the pitch is the best way I can describe it.
 

lms7652

Jr. Member
May 19, 2006
57
0
Let me try this again. In the AM mode a piece of iron will sound exaclty like a silver dime and vice versa. There is only one sound that the detector will make in the all metal mode. It will not sound high tone on a coin and low tone on a piece of iron. So you basically have 4 different pitches you can select from. And whatever pitch you select that is the sound that is heard for all targets. Hopefully that makes sense.
 

Shenandoah Digger

Full Member
Nov 22, 2006
226
8
Virginia
Detector(s) used
Tried almost everything made since the late 60's
I know that the Xterra 70 has different tones in the all metal mode. You select as many as you want. 1,2,3,4, or 28. Not sure of any others.
 

oldbill

Full Member
Mar 25, 2006
196
0
Maybe it means 4 different tones (pitches) if so this is only for prople with different hearing> Bill
 

Shenandoah Digger

Full Member
Nov 22, 2006
226
8
Virginia
Detector(s) used
Tried almost everything made since the late 60's
Dead wrong on that Willy. The Xterra 70 can operate with any number of tones in all metal, just like in disc. In prospecting mode it runs in one tone only with an adjustable pitch. If that's not the case, I must own the only one that operates like that.
 

w242

Greenie
Jan 25, 2005
13
0
I have recently used a Bounty Hunter 4" gold nugget coil on my F5
and the results are amazing! 8)
 

Willy

Hero Member
Aaargh! I don't consider the 'all-metal' mode on the XT70 to be a true all-metal mode as in the so-called prospecting mode. It's AFAIK a zero disc. mode. We're basically talking terminology here, I suppose. With any other detector, throughout the years, all-metal refers to a true all-metal unfiltered mode. Just take the very tiniest piece of metal that the 'prospecting' mode will sound off on and then try to find it while in 'all-metal' mode. That generally shows the difference between all-metal and zero disc. Regardles of what Minelab wants to call it, I still refer to all-metal as the single channel unfiltered mode not the zero disc. mode. I've seen it that way for soo many years that I can't see any reason to change now. ..Willy.
 

Shenandoah Digger

Full Member
Nov 22, 2006
226
8
Virginia
Detector(s) used
Tried almost everything made since the late 60's
Guess you don't have one. The Xterra 70 in all metal will respond to all targets that the prospecting mode will, just not as deep. If you take one of the disc patterns, adjust it where nothing is disced out, it will still disc out tiny iron. BUT that same tiny iron will still respond in all metal. The all metal mode on the 70 is not just a disc pattern with no targets rejected. Try one sometime. You'll like it. I had one of the first ones that came out, and probably use it 10 hours a week. I know the machine.
 

Willy

Hero Member
Actually, I had an EXterra70 for about 3 years and used it for both coin/ring/relic hunting AND prospecting. I also DID test it with really small sub-grain gold in both the true all-metal (prospecting) mode and the zero disc (all-metal) mode and noticed the difference. And no, the so-called all-metal WON'T respond to all targets that the 'prospecting' mode will, or it would have picked up some of the small gold that the other mode did. What that effectively does is introduce a bit of disc. into the works insofar as some targets will not be picked up. It might be considered 'splitting hairs' but can make a difference when prospecting and going after the really fine stuff. For the most part, it doesn't really make much of a difference (a lot of people aren't too concerned with extremely faint signals or super tiny stuff), but it's good to know. ..Willy.
 

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