The Fisher F44 metal detector is the upgrade to the F4. It has new features that puts it above all other entry-level metal detectors in the market with Ground Balance, Iron Audio, All Metal Mode, and much more.
It has multiple Target ID modes that will help you identify what your target is before you dig. Due to its very lightweight design, this metal detector will keep you out in the field longer than ever before.
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Auto & Manual Ground Balance
❌ Worst Feature: Not for Wet Sand/Saltwater Use
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Gold, Silver, Coins, Jewelry, Relics, Beginners, Intermediates
- Auto & Manual Ground Balance
- Iron Audio
- Backlit Display
Our Verdict: The Fisher F44 has some impressive features for an entry-level metal detector. Its price jump from the F22 is worth it for the Ground Balance, All Metal Mode, and backlit display. To get more treasure and less junk while sticking to a budget, the F44 fits the bill.
Who is the Fisher F44 Best Suited to?
The price and easy-to-use interface attracts beginners and treasure hunting amateurs. It has tons of value, and it comes with a 5-year warranty from the American brand. Although beginners will find this metal detector a very worthwhile investment, it has advanced features that will certainly please the intermediate hobbyist. It will help beginners to improve their detecting skills while also keeping intermediate users interested. If you’re deciding between the F22 metal detector and the F44, this model should be at the top of your list. The extra features for the extra hundred bucks is more than worth it.
How Does the Fisher F44 Perform?
Many metal detectors are often intimidating to use as the demands for performance are high. However, the Fisher F44 has a very user-friendly interface that allows you to get out and hunt with ease. It’s a VLF metal detector operating at a 7.69 kHz frequency. Its frequency range is within the sweet spot of balancing out sensitivity with depth detection. You’ll be able to detect your target of choice with its multiple features and decent depth detection abilities.
It’s also a weatherproof metal detector, so hunting in inclement weather conditions will pose no issue as the control box is also somewhat waterproof. The only environments the F44 will struggle in are environments with high salt and iron oxide areas such as wet sand and saltwater.
Features & Benefits
Auto & Manual Ground Balance
This feature is typically seen on mid-range to high-end metal detectors, and even with that said, it’s still not seen on many mid-range units. To have both the option of setting ground balance automatically and manually is a feature worth noting on an entry-level metal detector.
While the F22 has factory-set ground balance, this model has Ground Grab Computerized Ground Balancing. The Ground Grab feature is an automatic process that measures the phase of the ground signal. The screen will display a two-digit number that represents the ground value and Ground Grab will automatically set the ground balance to match it to essentially “cancel” out ground minerals to enhance positive detection of good targets. It will not automatically ground to soils with a ground value of less than 40. Ground Grab can only be used All Metal mode while manual ground balance will carry over into the other detection modes.
The F44 metal detector has an Iron Audio feature called FeTone. It allows you to adjust the volume of ferrous targets, like iron, without affecting tone volume of non-ferrous targets. The volume settings start at 0 where all detection signals will be silenced. Volume settings from 1-9 will provide the same level of volume for ferrous and non-ferrous targets. At setting 10, non-ferrous objects will be at max volume while iron will be completely eliminated from audio. Settings 11-20 will keep non-ferrous objects at max volume as ferrous objects will steadily increase in volume.
Having a backlit display is extremely helpful when hunting in low light and after dark. It has 0-5 brightness settings with the highest setting draining the most battery life. During the day, the backlight is not visible, so it’s best to keep this feature turned off until conditions change to preserve maximum battery life.
Like the F22, the Fisher F44 is super lightweight, weighing only 2.3 lbs. This is incredibly convenient when hunting for several hours at a time. To reduce fatigue, the lightweight frame has an S-shape upper shaft that allows for maximum ergonomics. When the S-shape is done right, it provides underarm counterbalancing weight that improves comfort and reduces strain. However, S-shape rods can be difficult to obtain maximum compactness when collapsing the assembly.
The Fisher metal detector is a weatherproof unit. The control box can be used in less than ideal conditions but is not designed to be submerged. The included 11” searchcoil and the shaft can be submerged under water but be sure the coil connection to the control box and the headphone jack is not.
All Metal Mode
The F44 has four discrimination modes: Jewelry, Coin, Artifact, and Custom. It has an additional detection mode, All Metal mode, and it does not have any notch (discrimination) settings as it provides detection signals for all types of metal.
Target ID indicators will provide a value for target size, depth, type of metal, and conductivity. The Target ID scales are very easy to interpret and a beginner will quickly catch on.
Not for Wet Sand/Saltwater Use
All VLF metal detectors will have decreased performance in these types of environments. While it should do just find before the towel line at a beach on dry sand, particularly that of white sand, it will start to behave erratically in wet sand, black sand, and seawater. The increased mineral content in these environments will overload the VLF system and cause it to become noisy and inadequate to operate. While some users may push the system into these conditions, sensitivity must be decreased, and manual ground balance performed to try to eliminate interfering signals and reduce the chatter. However, this can also reduce signal performance on good targets with these settings.
Can the Fisher F44 Detect Gold Nuggets?
The F44 can detect gold, and its Target ID scale allows for signal measurement of various types of gold such as flakes, nuggets, and jewelry. However, while it may perform especially well for finding small gold items like rings or larger nuggets, it may struggle with small nuggets. You will want a metal detector with a higher operating frequency for prospecting or a gold-specific metal detector.
What Accessories are Included with the Fisher Metal Detector?
Unfortunately, an owner’s manual is the only accessory included with the F44 and its 11” searchcoil. Headphones, searchcoil covers, cases, and additional searchcoils must be purchased separately. The entire cost of the metal detector goes into its quality. Remember, Fisher Labs metal detectors are made in the USA.
What is the F44’s Maximum Detection Depth?
Maximum detection depth is determinant by many factors. However, the Fisher F44 is a surface exploration metal detector that can find items like coins up to 10” in neutral soil and larger objects even deeper.
The 6-segment Depth Indicator is calibrated for coin-size objects and segments are filled from top to bottom. The more segments that filled up, the deeper the object is buried. One segment indicates the object is less than 2” deep. Three segments indicate it’s less than 4” deep, and all six segments indicate it’s more than 6.5” deep.
For objects that are not coins or coin-sized, the Depth Indicator scale will still relay a response, but it will require more information to determine what type of target it is and how deep it’s buried. For example, if all segments are filled up, it could be coin that’s buried as deep as 10”, but it could also indicate a larger object buried even deeper. You will have to use discrimination modes and the pinpointer feature to further investigate the target.
Fisher metal detectors have been a favorite brand for many buyers for several years. They’re often said to have faster recovery speed (processing) than another noted brand in the market. As far as this model, it has all the perks that a beginner and intermediate hobbyist could hope to have in an entry-level metal detector at this price point.
It offers tons of value, versatile use in most environments, and it’s compatible with multiple types of accessories. The F44 certainly comes out on top above its competition due to its features that you just don’t see on most entry-level metal detectors.