If you remember the old Fisher F2 metal detector that was a leading model for several years, then you’ll be happy to be informed of its upgrade, the Fisher F22.
For an entry-level model priced around a couple hundred bucks, it has some serious features that has automatically made it a popular buy. With a low price, new searchcoil design, and upgraded detection modes, the F22 packs some serious value in a small, lightweight package.
What could make it better? It’s waterproof. How’s that for ya?
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Target ID Indicators
❌ Worst Feature: No Manual Ground Balance
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Gold, Silver, Coins, Jewelry, Beginners, Intermediates
- Target ID Indicators
- Iron Audio
- New Searchcoil Design
Our Verdict: At its price point, the Fisher F22 is a perfect beginner or first-time metal detector buy. Made in the USA, multiple above-entry-level features, and its extremely lightweight design makes it suitable for various applications in the hands of all types of metal detecting amateurs.
Who is the Fisher F22 Best Suited to?
The F22 is an entry-level metal detector that is best suited for novices and beginners. It’s a set-it and get detecting kind of machine that is extremely easy to use. Its many features also allow for easy interpretation via the audio and information displayed on the LCD screen. While it is a basic metal detector, its upgrades allow a beginner to fine-tune their detecting skills so they can move on to a more advanced machine when they’re ready to take things to the next level.
How Does the Fisher F22 Perform?
The Fisher metal detector uses VLF technology where you have Continual Wave single frequency. This model operates at 7.69 kHz which is right within the Goldilocks zone for depth and sensitivity. As far as its capable detection depth, there are many factors that can determine its ability to penetrate the ground and acquire good target signals. With some knowledge of that under your belt, you can expect coin-size targets to be detected up to about 9”. Larger targets have been found at 12” and deeper.
The F22’s functionality is further expanded due to its ability to be submerged underwater. You can take your treasure hunting to the docks, lakes, and other freshwater areas.
Features & Benefits
Target ID Indicators
Perhaps one of the most helpful features for users is a Target ID display. While estimated size and depth values may be displayed on the screen, the type of metal of a target is usually interpreted by audio and the training of the user. The Fisher metal detector has two types of Target ID indicators: category filed by number and a 2-digit numerical system.
The Target Category ID feature is displayed by a numerical scale with “FE” to indicate iron. The category with numbers 2-5 indicates the target could be gold and numbers 6-9 indicates it could be silver. Gold flakes will fall under the FE scale, small gold items in 2 & 3, and larger gold items under 4 & 5. You can further identify the type of coin based on these numbers. The Silver Target ID numbers will relate U.S. coins as follows: dime-6, quarter-7, half-dollar-8, and dollar coin-9.
The Target ID also measures the conductivity of the target with low numbers representing items like iron, foil, pull-tabs, and nickels. Mid-range numbers will indicate items such as pull-tabs, jewelry, and zinc coins. Higher numbers usually mean copper, silver, and relics. You will also have an estimated depth scale to provide an idea of how deep your treasure is buried.
FeTone is the name of the Iron Audio feature on the Fisher metal detector. Take note that this is not typically seen on an entry-level unit. How it works is it allows the user to adjust the volume of ferrous targets – iron-containing targets. Through settings 10-20, iron audio will vary from silent to maximum while non-ferrous targets will always be at maximum volume on settings 10-20. Settings 1-10, iron signals will be as loud as non-ferrous signals.
While it will perform well on dry sand or as far as the towel line at the beach, it’s not designed for saltwater use. This is a flaw of all VLF detectors.
The Fisher F22 is incredibly lightweight at 2.3 lbs. Its dimensions are collapsible dimensions are 22 x 8 x 5” but the shaft length is adjustable. Its lightweight and compact design is suitable for treasure hunters of all sizes and age, preferably ages 10 and older.
To be clear, the searchcoil and shaft are waterproof, so you can detect within shallow water environments. The control box and where the searchcoil cable connects to it is not waterproof. However, you can use the Fisher F22 in inclement weather, but do not submerge the metal detector. It should also be stated this is not designed for use on wet sand or saltwater environments. You’ll find that it will become extremely noisy as it becomes overloaded with salt and even iron oxide signals.
New Searchcoil Design
The 9” searchcoil included with this metal detector was specifically designed for the F22. It’s a triangulated elliptical concentric waterproof coil. Its size is a great choice for detecting smaller items, and its shape lends itself to tight spots.
The Fisher F22 has a Pinpointing feature! Activate it by pressing the PP designated pushbutton to determine the exact location of your target. You’ll know when you’re right on target when you hear audio tones at its largest and the depth indicator reflects the smallest illumination segment.
Not only does the Depth Indicator provide an estimate of how far down your treasure is, it can also give you an idea of the size of a coin. One illuminated segment could mean a coin that is less than 3” from the surface. Two segments could mean it’s between 3-6” deep, and three segments could indicate it’s buried up to 9” deep. However, three segments can also mean that the target is very large and buried very deep. To get more information, look to the Target ID indicators to get more information on the target before you dig.
No Manual Ground Balance
The ground balance is factory-set, so there is no auto or manual adjustable settings. However, it does have Ground Cancellation that includes proprietary circuitry to cancel out ground minerals that would interfere with positive detection signals.
Where is the Fisher F22 Made?
All Fisher metal detectors are made in Texas, USA. They may have both USA and imported parts, but it’s assembled in America.
What Size Batteries does the Fisher Metal Detector Take?
The F22 requires 2x AA batteries to function. It can provide 25-30 hours of operation. Using headphones with the F22 will extend battery life as much as possible.
Does this Metal Detector Detect Gold?
The Fisher F22 can detect all types of metals including gold. It’s especially good at detecting gold jewelry, and while gold nugget and flake detection can be indicated via the Target ID indicators, positive detection may largely depend on size, ground mineralization, and depth.
There is no specific Gold Mode, but the F22 features both discrimination settings through Notch and Custom modes. The pre-programmed detection modes are: Artifact (no discrimination), Jewelry, Coin, and Custom. Using manual accept and rejection in Custom or notching in any of the four modes will allow you to hone in on gold versus unwanted metals.
Can You Use Headphones With the Fisher F22 Metal Detector?
Headphones are not included with the Fisher metal detector. It has external audio, but it can be used with headphones as it has a ¼” output connection that allows use of stereo headphones. The connection can be found under a water-resistant flap. When plugging in the headphones, external audio will be disabled. This allows for private detection when hunting in a public place and enhanced audio interpretation of tones.
What is the Warranty on the Fisher F22?
The F22 metal detector is covered by a 5-year warranty provided by Fisher Labs. The warranty takes effect from the purchase date to the original owner as it is not transferrable. You must also provide proof of purchase to make a warranty claim.
The Fisher F22 may be entry-level, but it has many features that you won’t see on its competitors in the same price range. With the ability to discriminate, detect size, depth, and type of metal, and go hunting in shallow waters, the F22 is as well-suited to newbies and intermediate hobbyists alike. Priced at an attractive price point, it would make a great beginner metal detector or an all-purpose unit for all amateurs looking to find some treasure. Lightweight and compact, you won’t ever have to leave it behind. Picnics, hikes, and exploring just became even more interesting.