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Speed up target recovery time and spend more of it looking for good finds.
If you don’t already have a pinpointer, you need one.
If you’re looking for an upgrade, go with one that has been ranked and rated by the masses as an excellent buy that proves itself on land and in the sea.
If you’re not sure where to start, this buying guide shall be your ultimate resource. By the end, you’ll know what a pinpointer is, how to identify valuable features, and why you need one.
This is what you want to look for (the 3 Ds)
Detecting Performance: adjustable sensitivity, easy retuning
Durability: rough terrain ready, hard shell, replaceable shell
Die-Hard Battery: battery capacity, low energy consumption, auto turn-off
More on these towards the end of the article
Best Metal Detector Pinpointer
What is a pinpointer? It’s essentially a mini version of a full-size metal detector, but it has the advantage of being handheld so you can pinpoint a target’s exact location.
What are the benefits?
- Find exact location
- Faster target recovery
- Easier target recovery
- Avoid damage to target
- Dig smaller holes
- Handheld and compact
- Spend less time digging
- Spend more time detecting
Who needs a pinpointer?
Everyone. From beginners to seasoned detectorists, a pinpointer can benefit everyone. The nice thing about pinpointers is they’re not very expensive. You can buy a very good model from an authoritative brand for less than $200. They can even be as cheap as $50.
However, you must learn to identify the features you’ll need for your type of metal detecting. If you’re an underwater hunter, a brightly-colored, waterproof pinpointer will be the order of the day. If you need to pinpoint in high-mineralized soils, perhaps pulse induction will serve you best. Get the gist?
Pinpointers are not made equal. Here, you’ll see a lineup of some of the best models at a range of price points with various features from multiple brands including the big dogs and the underdogs. Happy hunting!
Best Metal Detector Pinpointer Reviews
1. Minelab Pro Find 35
- DIF TECHNOLOGY. An essential part of your detection tool kit, the PRO-FIND 35 finds coins, rings and gold with speed and accuracy. Equipped with Detector Interference Free (DIF) technology to reduce interference with an operating metal detector.
The Pro Find 35 is the latest pinpointer from Minelab. With tech that no other pinpointer has, it may be the best model you can currently buy.
Pros & Cons
✔️ DIF technology
✔️ Ferrous Target ID
✔️ Adjustable sensitivity
❌ No adjustable volume
The Pro Find 35 has DIF (Detector Interference Free) technology. This means you won’t have any false signals from your detector because your pinpointer is too close or on your person. It has a closed-circuit system that disengages the coil and the battery to guarantee that no currents are generated.
The 35 will alert you to ferrous targets in the ground with interrupted chirping audio. For this feature to work, it must be within ½” proximity to the object. It also has a Lost-Alarm feature that will help you find the pinpointer if lost by emitting a long beep every 10 seconds if it’s left on within three minutes. After five minutes, it will automatically power off.
It has five adjustable sensitivity levels, is waterproof to 10 feet, and has a battery life of 30 hours. Unfortunately, you can’t adjust volume levels, but you can rely on the vibration feature that will intensify as the probe gets closer to the object. Detection tech in a mini handheld – Minelab nailed it.
2. Garrett AT Pro Pointer
Warmly nicknamed the “Carrot,” it’s not hard to guess why. Its bright color means you can see it underwater at a depth of 20 feet. Let’s hope your metal detector is submersible, right?
Pros & Cons
✔️ Retune button
✔️ Lost Pro-Pointer Alarm
✔️ Adjustable sensitivity
✔️ Auto power-off
❌ One button operation
The carrot pinpointer has decent features to offer but its one-button operation makes things more difficult than they need to be. But, if you can learn how to use it correctly, you’ll get the hang of it.
The AT stands for All Terrain, and as such, it’s great for pinpointing in many types of ground. However, saltwater seems to be a challenge. The retune button may come in handy as it shrinks the detection field to recover objects faster in mineralized ground.
The neat thing about its lost alarm is the fact that it will chirp loudly for a long 60 minutes at which point it will automatically turn off to conserve battery life. It has three adjustable sensitivity levels, a Stealth mode which is a vibration-only feature, and proportional audio for target detection.
It has a great design with a ruler measurement in both inches and centimeters to judge the depth of a buried object. It also features a scraping blade and LED light for faster, visual digging. The AT Pro Pointer has many fans and you may quickly be counted as one too.
3. Fisher F-Pulse
Pulse induction on a pinpointer? Why not? The F-Pulse proves you don’t have to overspend to get high-end tech in a handheld metal detector.
Pros & Cons
✔️ Pulse induction
✔️ Adjustable LED light
✔️ Lost mode alarm
❌ Extremely sensitive
The F-Pulse is an excellent, high-performing pinpointer. It has great detection depth with pennies often found at 3.5”, and as a pulse induction pinpointer, its ability to eliminate signals from ground minerals is a great asset. Just press the tip into the ground and retune for ground phase match. This also means that saltwater hunting is within your grasp, especially as it’s waterproof up to 6 feet.
The F-Pulse is extremely sensitive, and in most cases, this is a good thing. However, with its adjustable sensitivity, you may find that the highest setting may cause constant falsing. This is a defect and Fisher Labs will address this issue. It’s warrantied for 24 months from the date of purchase, so be sure to contact them if you have any issues.
The LED light is adjustable, so you can adjust its intensity for the setting you prefer. Of course, you have both audio and vibrate indicators, lost mode alarm after five minutes, and 2x AA battery operation (not included). Fisher covered all the basics plus some. To have PI tech in your hand at this price, the F-Pulse lives up to expectations.
4. Kuman KW30
- With Multifunctional PVC Waterproof Case: The waterproof bag features three waterproof zippers, which can keep out water, snow, dust, sand, and dirt etc. extreme condition.(Please conduct a waterproof test whether the waterproof bag is well before putting it on the metal detector, any problem, please contact us)
Interestingly, a generic brand has impressed detectorists with its budget KW30 pinpointer. It’s cheap, land-based, and most importantly, it works.
Pros & Cons
✔️ High operating frequency
✔️ Automatic tuning
✔️ Audio & vibrate
✔️ 360° detection
✔️ Easy to use
❌ Not waterproof
This pinpointer may be an underdog but it’s proved its salt to buyers. It’s incredibly easy to use and can be handled by children as young as 4 years old. Adults will appreciate its 12 kHz frequency, automatic tuning, and both audio and vibrate indicators.
It does not have a lost alarm feature, so be sure to connect it to the included hanging wire and holster. It takes a single 9V battery for operation that is not included. While it is weather-resistant, it is not waterproof, so no submersion allowed.
It has 360° detection, it’s capable of accurately homing in on your object with side-scanning. With its detection depth of 0-5 cm, you may have to do some pre digging based on your metal detector if your target is buried deeper.
For a budget pinpointer that provides accurate pinpointing detection, it will be worth buying if you’re land hunting.
5. RM RicoMax GC-2007
- 🌞🌞 [3 Sensetivity Levels For 360° Area Of Detection] - There are three sensitivity levels with different flashlights (3 LED lights), ratio audio and vibrate alert to the different distance between the sensor and objects. The closer they are, the louder it sounds and the green LED lights to flash one after the other. Avoid lots of unnecessary digging. Spare your time outdoors for a memorable treasure hunting!
RicoMax is known for providing competitive quality at the cheapest prices. Their new GC-2007 model pinpointer does the job with additional indicators that makes it a winner.
Pros & Cons
✔️ 3 indicators
✔️ 360° detection
✔️ Easy to use
❌ Not waterproof
The GC-2007 is a lightweight and compact pinpointer that is cheap, easy to use and is suitable for detectorists of all ages. Its price of under $50 means it’s a pinpointer that’s worth trying out for all your land-based detecting. It has an increased detection depth of 3.5” which is much better than some competing budget models.
To help with target detection, it has three indicators: audio, vibrate, and lights. The maybe-new-to-you feature is the lights. One light is lit when it hits a positive signal. Two means you’re getting closer and three means you’re on it. With 360° detection, you can side-scan and detect the object’s exact location for faster recovery.
While the GC-2007 may claim to be waterproof, it’s not. It’s weather-resistant and the tip can be submerged, but do not completely use it underwater. It might not have all the fancy upgrades of premium models, but it has the basics and pinpoints its target effectively – that’s what counts.
6. Treasure Products Vibra-Tector 740 PI
The Vibra-Tector is kind of unconventional for a pinpointer. It’s long, weighs a pound, and has a 4” search coil on it for what is supposed to be a small tool. That’s because this is no ordinary pinpointer. It’s basically a tiny metal detector made to do big things.
- 4” searchcoil
- Made in USA
While pinpointers are designed to be additional tools to aid a full-size metal detector, there really isn’t anything stopping you from using it as a substitute metal detector when you’re in a bind. Sure, you’ll be on your knees, but where it really shines is with the fishes.
The entire 17” unit is submersible to 100 feet. Diving anyone? It actually covers some good ground, and its effective depth detection is between 4-6”. Not too bad, right?
Since it’s made for diving, it alerts the user via light and vibration. The closer it is to the target, the faster and brighter its signals get. Change out the 9V battery with ease. It’s tool-less and the battery compartment is accessible by removing the rear handle knob.
With pulse induction as the technology that drives it, it can be used anywhere. Of course, this type of quality and tech will tip the budget towards the high end. Typically, the best stuff worth having will cost a pretty penny, but even so, as a must-have accessory for a diver, it’s invaluable.
What to Look for in a Metal Detector Pinpointer
It’s not too difficult to choose the right pinpointer based on its inherent function. The hard part lies with determining what features you find necessary and how much you want to spend. Let’s break it down here.
Most pinpointers are under $150, so it’s a justifiable cost considering all its benefits. There are some higher-end models that can cost twice the price, so be sure to judge what additional performance features it offers that you can’t find on a model that costs between $130-$200.
Pinpointers under $100 are entry-level, have basic features, and can be used by young children. They’re typically not submersible, lack lost alarm features, and may be prone to falsing because of use with metal detectors in proximity. However, they are the most affordable and they provide between 0-3” depth detection.
Those above $100 should have adjustable sensitivity, lost alarm mode, are submersible, and may have a manual retune button for ground balancing.
This is almost a non-issue because the concept behind pinpointers is that they should be portable, compact, lightweight, and handheld. While they may vary in size and weight, they typically stay around 10” long and under 10 oz in weight.
Cheap pinpointers may have no ground balancing/retuning feature. They may be fine for use in quiet, low-mineralized ground, but they may behave erratically when ground conditions change like at the beach around saltwater or with high concentrations of iron.
If the pinpointer comes with a retune feature, this can be very helpful for detecting in multiple types of ground. You should place the tip to the ground and press the retune button to match the pinpointer to the ground phase. This will improve pinpoint performance by shrinking the detection field to home in on an object. Retune is seen on pinpointers with a price point usually above $100.
The battery type will vary between models and manufacturers, but battery life seems to be universal across the board. Most pinpointers will provide anywhere between 20-30 hours on the high end. They almost always have an automatic shut-down feature to help conserve battery life. If storing your pinpointer away for longer than a week, it’s best to remove the batteries to prevent leakage and accidental battery drainage from powering on unexpectedly. Not all budget models will come with batteries included, so be sure to research what battery type you need prior to buying.
One Button Operation
It’s a no-brainer. Pinpointers are supposed to be easy to use with minimal features to enhance target recovery time to spend more time detecting. This comes hand in hand with one-button operation. The only downside is that you must learn how to use the same power on/off button for adjusting sensitivity, retuning, and any other features it may have. This may increase the learning curve, but once you have it down, it should be second nature. Make it easy on yourself and read the manual.
Etched-in ruler measurements, LED flashlights, built-in scraping blades, and vibration mode are convenient features to have on a pinpointer. The idea is to minimize carrying extra gear with you if your pinpointer can do it all. Whether those extra features are worth it, it’s up to you to judge.
Many pinpointers will come with accessories. This can include but is not limited to cases, batteries, lanyards, lanyard attachment loops, and holsters. While many included accessories in metal detector packages can be mediocre in quality, the accessories that come with a pinpointer seem to work just fine for their intended purposes. With how affordable pinpointers are, you can always replace inadequate accessories with better-quality ones, but it’s important not to judge a pinpointer’s performance based on the extra gear included.
Do you Need a Pinpointer for Metal Detecting?
Your metal detector may have an electronic pinpoint mode, but it can be harder to precisely pinpoint an object’s exact location with a full-size search coil. Depending on the type of search coil, it can also be harder for beginners to master. A handheld pinpointer makes things easier, especially in small, tight, rocky areas. You can also use pinpointers along walls. A search coil can also accidently damage your find whereas a pinpointer may not. It’s always a good idea to have a pinpointer on hand even if you don’t intend on using it. It’s better to have one and not need it than need it and not have one.
How Much is a Pinpointer?
Compared to metal detectors they’re relatively cheap. Entry-level pinpointers are under $100 and there are many quality models from authoritative brands within the $100-$200 price range. It may seem like an expensive accessory when you’re tacking on that extra cost onto the purchase price of a metal detector, but a pinpointer will eventually pay for itself. The benefits outweigh its price point.
Are Cheap Pinpointers any Good?
Cheap pinpointers do their job of homing in on an object. While they may be seen as mini versions of a metal detector, their primary design is to shrink the detection field to locate a target easier and faster than a metal detector. As far as accuracy, budget pinpointers perform in their primary function. The difference between cheap and expensive ones will be additional features such as depth detection, waterproofness, retuning, additional technology, etc.
What is the Best Waterproof Pinpointer?
It depends on what type of water you’re detecting in. Most waterproof pinpointers will perform excellently in freshwater conditions as long as minerals don’t interfere with performance. But, salt water can affect a pinpointer the same way it affects a metal detector. To have the ability of tuning to saltwater for maximum underwater performance, you should consider the submersible Fisher F-Pulse due to its pulse induction technology. The Garrett AT Pro Pointer is submersible to 20 feet, and you may be able to adjust settings and retune to saltwater.
Pin Your Find with a Pinpointer
A pinpointer has many benefits, and once you start using one, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it.
It’s an essential tool that has been proven to save time digging and spend more of it detecting.
Use your metal detector to cover more ground and filter out junk and use your pinpointer to home in on the good stuff and bag it.
So, do you really need a pinpointer? If you must ask, read again from the top.
Everyone else, happy pinpointing!
- Best Metal Detector Reviews – Our 10 Favorites
- 8 Best Metal Detectors For Gold Nuggets
- 6 Best Underwater Metal Detectors – (Under $200 to $1,000+)
- 7 Best Metal Detectors For The Beach
- 6 Best Metal Detectors For Coins
Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API