If you’re looking for an affordable metal detector that is suitable for both older children and adults, you’ll need to look for a starter machine that works well for the entire family. The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is one such metal detector that is easy to use, falls within budget, and most importantly, detects metal.
The Tracker IV is a simple and straightforward metal detector, but what it does have is well worth noticing. With its analog meter display, 2-tone audio, and adjustable features, this Bounty Hunter will serve as the family detectorist.
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Price
❌ Worst Feature: Lacks “Entry-Level” Features
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Coins, Jewelry, Relics, Silver, Beginners, Older Kids
- 2 Tone Audio
- Target Strength Meter
- 3 Search Modes
Our Verdict: While the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV’s simplicity may turn some intermediate and expert hobbyists away, it is what will attract beginners, families, and older children towards it. It has great sensitivity, a 2-knob interface, and it comes at a very low price. If you’re on a tight budget for a single machine that’s to be used by everyone in the household, the Tracker IV fits the bill and is up to the task.
Who is the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV Best Suited to?
The low price is the major feature that will attract starters and beginners, and with its low price comes a simple, analog interface. Its target strength needle meter provides visual identification of a detected metal, and seeing it move will bring satisfaction that you’ve hit something. It’s also easier to see in various conditions when comparing it to bright sunlight and LCD screens – great feature for users with various vision problems.
It’s also a decent weight of 4.2 lbs, and its stem is adjustable to achieve comfort for each person who uses the Tracker. Young children may struggle with its weight, but older children should find it easier to wield. Of course, starter adults will quickly learn the basics of the craft without overspending on their budget.
How Does the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV Perform?
The Tracker IV is a single frequency VLF metal detector that operates at 6.6 kHz. It’s not sensitive enough to pick up the smallest gold nuggets for prospecting, but it does well enough for coins in the 6-7” depth range. Various other items can be found with the Tracker, but with its 8” concentric searchcoil, it won’t be as great at separating objects as DD coils. However, with its other adjustable settings, you’ll be able to pull up valuable finds and older kids will find pleasure in finding anything at all.
Features & Benefits
As established during this review, the Tracker IV is a very affordable metal detector. Priced within the $100 range, it has all the basics covered for such a low-cost model, but it does lack some features that entry-level models have that start in the $200-$300 budget. It does not have an integrated Pinpointer, manual ground balance, or a digital Target ID scale. However, to have All Metal Mode, Discrimination, adjustable sensitivity, and the ability to plug in headphones certainly makes up for it.
2 Tone Audio
There are two tones in this model: low and high. The two tones are only available in the Tone search mode. Iron is rejected and no sound will emit for these objects. Low tones may indicate small items like nickels and jewelry and high tones may indicate copper, silver, and brass. You may also hear a broken tone which identifies trash items and pull-tabs.
Target Strength Meter
The Tracker IV has an analog system that uses a needle meter to indicate signal strength of a detected object. It’s rather course since it doesn’t provide an actual conductivity reference of the target, but it gives you somewhat of an idea of the type of metal buried based on the needle’s position on the scale. However, this is a motion metal detector, so it must be continuously in motion to detect signals.
There are advantages to using this type of meter. It’s highly visible in bright sunlight. Many users with vision problems have no issue using the meter, and even some hard-of-hearing users appreciate the visual display of the moving needle.
3 Search Modes
The search modes on this Bounty Hunter are not object specific, so there is no Coin, Relic, or Jewelry modes. However, you do have All Metal Mode which has no discrimination as it will provide one audio tone when it detects any type of metal. This mode is especially helpful when you want maximum depth.
Tone Mode eliminates signals for iron and provides both high and low tones for all other metals. The other mode is Discrimination mode where you can use the discrimination knob to further eliminate unwanted metals, especially if you’re specifically after coins. The best way to use this feature is to run a coin test first. Nickel, being a naturally low conductive metal, is a good benchmark to set your discrimination knob for coin hunting in high trashy areas like the beach or at the park. Run the searchcoil over the nickel with discrimination all the way down. Dial up the discrimination slowly until you hear a signal and use this as a benchmark for coin hunting. Discrimination mode only uses one tone.
Preset Ground Balance
If you’re an expert detectorist, you’ll find this feature at a disadvantage as it can be extremely limiting when hunting in various soil conditions. However, preset ground balance is expected at this price range and for those new to using metal detectors. Ground balancing is usually a source of frustration for beginners, and having it preset eliminates the need for a user to have to mess with it. But, you can’t use it in highly-mineralized soils or areas with a lot of salt, i.e. the beach. You also won’t be able to further fine-tune the metal detector to any ground signals that may cause excessive noise/chatter. Fortunately, you can play with the adjustable sensitivity to help dial out some of that noise.
Lacks “Entry-Level” Features
This disadvantage is not a reason to pass up the Tracker IV as it has everything it should for its price. However, it does lack some features that you would see on comparable entry-level models, but the price for that is a higher cost. If you’d rather spend a little more for upgraded features, look for digital Target ID displays, manual ground balancing, iron audio, notching, and pinpointing.
Where is the Bounty Hunter Tracker IV Made?
The Tracker IV is made in the USA as are all Bounty Hunter metal detectors. It comes with a 5-year manufacturer warranty which is a great protection plan for a metal detector that comes at such a low cost.
Can You Use the Tracker 4 at the Beach?
You can use the Tracker 4 metal detector at beaches with white sand. Beaches are great sources of finding lost jewelry and coins. However, with single frequency and no manual ground balance, you won’t be able to effectively use the Tracker on wet sand, black sand, or in the surf. The included 8” searchcoil is waterproof, so you can use this in shallow freshwater areas, just be careful not to get the control box wet.
Do You Need Headphones to Use the Bounty Hunter Metal Detector?
You do not need headphones to use it, but it’s highly recommended that you do. There is an external speaker that emits audio tones but there is no volume adjustable knob. Headphones are not included with the buy. To adjust volume, you’ll have to purchase headphones separately that are compatible with a ¼” jack.
Can the Bounty Hunter Detect Gold?
The Tracker IV will absolutely detect items with gold in it like jewelry and coins, and it will detect large gold nuggets if you’re lucky to come across them. However, small gold nuggets are often found in highly mineralized areas where the metal detector is likely going to experience an extreme amount of chatter. With no auto or manual ground balance, you won’t be able to reduce the interference or eliminate those signals to effectively detect gold. Not recommended for gold prospecting.
The Bounty Hunter Tracker IV is not a kid’s toy. While it’s very easy to use, adults and older children will appreciate its adjustable sensitivity and discrimination, All Metal mode, and 2-tone audio features. It’s designed to be an affordable option for those not willing to spend over 100 bucks or for kids that may lose interest down the road.
The Tracker’s high performance and value has made it an extremely popular metal detector in the market. The masses have agreed that it’s a Choice product and is well-worth the buy.
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Last update on 2020-03-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API