);

Buyers Guide & Information

5 Best Pinpointer Metal Detectors

Pinpoint your targets easily with these high-quality models for all budget levels.

by JohnL

Many treasure hunters wonder if investing in a pinpointer metal detector is necessary, especially those who already have a full-size metal detector.

Unlike a full-size detector, a pinpointer works to determine the exact location of buried treasure that is detected beneath the Earth’s surface. Other detectors focus on a general area, but these devices are all about complete accuracy and exact location.

If you want to take the guesswork out of metal detecting, it’s time to take this treasure-hunting hobby to the next level with a pinpointer. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about the best pinpointer metal detectors on the market.

Image

Model

Waterproof

Operating Frequency

Check Price

Garrett 1140900 Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof...

Garrett 1140900 Pro-Pointer AT

Yes, Up to 10-20 ft

11.5 kHz

Minelab PRO-FIND 35

MINELAB PRO-FIND 35

Yes, Up to 10 ft

VLF (Very Low Frequency)

Makro Pointer Waterproof Metal Detector with Led...

Makro Pointer

Yes, Up to 3 ft

11.6 kHz

White's TRX Bullseye Pin-Pointer - 800-0343

White's TRX Bullseye

Yes

12 kHz

Deteknix Pin-Pointer Metal Detector Xpointer...

Deteknix Xpointer

No

95 kHz

Why Buy a Pinpointing Metal Detector

A pinpointer is a handheld machine that looks similar to a flashlight. It uses the same technology as a full-size metal detecting device, but the compact design allows a detectorist to hone in on the exact location of a buried object. Just consider the small amount of space that a valuable coin takes up when buried in the ground; as you can imagine, finding a small object isn’t always easy.

The good news is that a pinpointer metal detector can help. This special type of detector works to determine the exact location of an object, even down to the millimeter. Using a pinpointer doesn’t just help you to locate an object, though. Figuring out the exact location of an object before digging for your buried treasure is the best way to prevent damage from a shovel.


Features of a Quality Pinpointer Metal Detector

Sound Signal & Alerts

When a metal detector detects an object, it delivers a signal to the user. Each model signals the detectorist differently. Most deliver the signal through a beeping sound, but some use lights and vibrations. Beeping is the most popular alert type, but if you're not fond of high-pitched beeping, there are other signaling options available.

The alert system you choose depends a lot on the search area you'll be focusing on. If you are searching for treasure in a dim or dark location, light signals might be best for you. For underwater exploration, vibration detection works best. No matter if you choose sound, vibration, or light signals, your goal should be to find a pinpointer that delivers stable and progressive signals with no false detection.

Detection Accuracy

The entire point of buying a high-quality pinpointer is to improve your detection accuracy. For the best accuracy imaginable, look for a device that offers a 360-degree detection range. This feature means that you’ll be able to detect an object more accurately and rapidly from any position.

Waterproof/Moisture Resistance

Even if your original plan is to treasure hunt on dry land, choosing a waterproof pinpointer metal detector will come in handy. It's not entirely necessary to invest in a completely waterproof device if you'll be focusing your efforts on land-based hunting, but at the very least, look for a water-resistant detector for added protection against rain and wet ground.

Some pinpointers are completely waterproof to the point where they can be submerged up to hundreds of feet deep. This is an essential feature for SCUBA diving detectorists who plan on searching for underwater treasure. Another helpful feature for diving is to choose a brightly colored pinpointer, just in case you drop it while in the water. 

Sensitivity Levels

Metal detector sensitivity is the device’s ability to detect a specific type of metal. The better the sensitivity, the more capable a pinpointer is at detecting small metal pieces. The best way to understand pinpointer sensitivity is to compare it to a vehicle’s throttle.

Just as you wouldn't drive a car at full speed all the time, you won't always operate your pinpointer at full sensitivity. The sensitivity should be decreased in certain conditions, like areas with heavy ground mineralization. This is why the best pinpointer metal detectors have a wide range of sensitivity adjustment.

Lost Pinpoint Function

One of the biggest perks of using a pinpointer is its small size. Compared to full-size metal detectors, these handheld devices are tiny. They’re lightweight, easy to handle, and small enough to bring along to any potential buried treasure location. The only downside of a small device is the higher risk of losing it. This is why some of the best pinpointer metal detectors come with a lost pinpoint function.

If the device is switched on and remains inactive for a certain period, it will start beeping incessantly. Most lost pinpoint alerts will continue intermittently for an hour before shutting down. So if you ever misplace or lose your pinpointer, you should have no trouble finding it — no need to invest in a GPS unit to find your pinpointer. 

Battery Life

The best metal detector pinpointer comes with long battery life and very little power consumption. Some devices come with rechargeable batteries, while others need battery replacements. Think about how much time you'll be treasure hunting to decide if a more high-tech rechargeable pinpointer is for you. A helpful pinpointer feature is a battery life indicator that lets you know when it's time to recharge.

Price & Warranty

Pinpointers are much more affordable than the best full-size metal detectors. But even with the lower average price, it's still important to set your budget before you start shopping around. These devices range in price depending on battery life, accuracy, and extra features like lost pinpoint function and waterproof design. By setting a budget, you’ll be able to narrow down the best pinpointers for you.

Always check the warranty details before making your pinpointer purchase. Manufacturers offer warranty policies that range from 1 to 5 years, and there’s even one product that comes with a limited lifetime warranty. But don’t just consider the warranty period, also check into the specific parts, pieces, and defects that are covered under warranty.


5 Best Pinpointer Metal Detectors Reviewed

1. Garrett 1140900 Pro-Pointer AT

Our top Pick!

Waterproof

Yes, Up to 10-20 ft

Number of Sensitivity Levels

3

Battery Type

9V

Alert Type

Sound & Vibration

Operating Frequency

11.5 kHz

Warranty

2 years

The Garrett 1140900 AT Pro is our top pick for the best pinpointer metal detector. There are many reasons for this, and this is made more obvious than ever from the thousands of 5-star reviews that this Garrett metal detector pinpointer has received. The main reason we love the Pro-Pointer is that it offers maximum sensitivity for even better detection accuracy. This pinpointer comes with 3 sensitivity levels, so you’ll be able to detect even the tiniest targets.

It also features fast retune, which Garrett explains as a

 “quick button press that instantly tunes out environment or narrows detection field for precise pinpointing of larger targets.”

With retuning, users can more precisely identify targets, tune out mineralized ground, help gauge target size and distance, and pinpoint multiple targets at a time. Another thing Garrett users love about the Pro-Pointer AT is its waterproof design. It can be fully submerged between 10 and 20 ft, and the bright orange color is perfect for added underwater visibility. The official product description says that the device can be submerged up to 20 ft, but anything past this depth should be avoided.

Using the Pro-Pointer AT is easy. The simple single-button operation means that you don't need to be a metal-detecting expert to figure out this pinpointer. Everything from power on/off, retuning, sensitivity adjustment, and stealth mode is controlled with just one button. The pinpointing tip has a 360-degree detection area, making this one of the most accurate pinpointers on the market. 

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Single-button operation
  • Sensitivity adjustment
  • Fast retune
  • Automatic power off

Cons

  • Not ideal for saltwater

2. MINELAB PRO-FIND 35

Runner Up

Waterproof

Yes, Up to 10 ft

Number of Sensitivity Levels

5

Battery Type

9V

Alert Type

Sound & Vibration

Operating Frequency

VLF (Very Low Frequency)

Warranty

2 years

It’s no surprise that one of the best-rated metal detector pinpointer devices comes from the reputable Minelab company. The majority of Minelab metal detector pinpointer reviews claim that this piece of metal detecting equipment is a must-have for all detectorists. The Pro-Find 35 comes with everything you need to accurate pinpointing, including 5 sensitivity levels, audio and vibration alerts, and underwater operation.

The Pro-Find 35 uses DIF technology, which Minelab says

 "eliminates interference with an operating metal detector, when it is switched off, by disengaging the coil's magnetic field. DIF Technology is used in the advanced design of the PRO-FIND Series Pinpointers; it removes false signals and noise, commonly associated with other pinpointers."

The reduced interference not only makes hunting for treasure easier but also much more enjoyable. Similar to the Garrett pinpointer, the Minelab Pro-Find is waterproof up to 10 feet. But instead of just 3 sensitivity levels, this one comes with 5 adjustable sensitivity settings. The additional levels allow a user to precisely adjust the maximum depth and minimum noise in all ground conditions. This sensitivity is easily controlled with the device’s +/- buttons.

You never have to worry about losing the Pro-Find 35; it has a bright yellow design, and if that doesn’t help you find it, the handy lost alarm will. The alarm will start sounding after a certain period of inactivity, so you’ll be able to find it even in long grass or unearthed dirt. Even though this device offers amazing accuracy, there is just one complaint. The audio signaling system should be a bit louder. It’s slightly too quiet and can be difficult to hear without a pair of high-quality headphones

Pros

  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Lost alarm function
  • Holster & lanyard provided
  • Minelab DIF technology

Cons

  • Alert system too quiet

3. Makro Pointer

Best Metal Detector Pinpointer for the Money

Waterproof

Yes, Up to 3 ft

Number of Sensitivity Levels

4

Battery Type

9V

Alert Type

Sound & Vibration

Operating Frequency

11.6 kHz

Warranty

2 years

The Makro Pointer isn't lacking at all when it comes to cool features, but the price is still more than reasonable. This is why the Makro Pointer is the best metal detector pinpointer for the money. Even with adjustable sensitivity control, audio and vibration alerts, and durable waterproof design, this high-quality pinpointer won't break the bank.

The Makro Pointer comes with a 360-degree detection tip that allows you to reach your target more efficiently. If you flip the pinpointer horizontally, you'll be able to scan a larger area. It comes with sensitivity control that is easily adjusted with the +/- buttons. Another cool feature is the LED flashlight that helps to illuminate your search area.

You have 3 options for alerts: (1) audio-only, (2) vibration only, and (3) both audio and vibration. No matter the alert system you choose, you won't have to worry about interference from other detectors. The Makro comes with Coil Interference Blocking so that it won’t pick up the signal of other nearby metal detectors. The best part of all is that these amazing features come at an affordable price. While the Garrett and Minelab pinpointers both come with an IP68 waterproof rating, this takes a step down and is just IP67 certified.

According to Trusted Reviews, the difference between IP67 vs. IP68 is that

 "IP67 means the unit can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour."

The other models were waterproof up to 10 feet, so this is an important consideration. If you plan on spending a lot of time in or near the water, you're better off with the Garrett or Minelab. 

Pros

  • Integrated LED light
  • 3 alert options
  • Coil interference blocking
  • Easy to control sensitivity

Cons

  • Less waterproof
  • Less compact

4. White's TRX Bullseye

Best Waterproof Pinpointer

Waterproof

Yes

Number of Sensitivity Levels

N/A

Battery Type

AA or 9V

Alert Type

Sound & Vibration

Operating Frequency

12 kHz

Warranty

2 years

If your priority on the pinpointer buying checklist is waterproof design, you'll want to go with the White's TRX Bullseye Pin-Pointer. This pinpointer metal detector is IP68 certified, so it can withstand depths of 10 feet for long periods. We love the simple one-button operation that's easy to use both on land and in water.

 “when you’ve located a target and dug the hole, use the Bullseye TRX Pinpointer to precisely ‘pinpoint’ the target. No tuning. Completely automatic. And one of the few pinpointers that can accurately detect small gold…”

It comes with automatic ground balance and tracking for locating valuables, like coins, jewelry, gold, and relics. If you choose to power your TRX Bullseye with AA batteries, you’ll get about 20 hours of battery life. The other option is to use a single 9V battery. Whether you opt for AA or 9V, you’ll love the powerful LED light that illuminates the target, making it easier to see what treasure you’ve stumbled upon. Zeroing in on the target is easier than ever since the detection area is concentrated around the pinpointer tip.

There is just one major flaw with the TRX Bullseye; it doesn't come with adjustable sensitivity. On top of that, it lacks a brightly colored design. If you become distracted from all the treasure-hunting excitement and accidentally drop your pinpointer, the mostly-black outer casing can be challenging to spot. There is a bit of bright orange plastic on this pinpointer, but for the most part, it's entirely black.

Pros

  • IP68 waterproof  certified
  • Concentrated detection area
  • 2 battery type options
  • One-button operation
  • Automatic ground balance

Cons

  • Lacks bright colors
  • No sensitivity adjustment

5. Deteknix Xpointer Orange

Best Cheap Metal Detector Pinpointer

Waterproof

No

Number of Sensitivity Levels

4

Battery Type

9V

Alert Type

Sound & Vibration

Operating Frequency

95 kHz

Warranty

1 year

It can be difficult to find a pinpointer metal detector under $100, especially one that’s high in quality. With the Deteknix Xpointer, you won’t just be getting the best cheap metal detector pinpointer, but also one that offers amazing performance. This lightweight and compact device comes in bright orange and includes a belted holster and lanyard. It looks and operates like the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, but it comes with a much cheaper price tag.

The thing we love most about this affordable pinpointer is its easy operation. There are just two buttons on the device that controls everything, including sensitivity levels and alert features. You never have to worry about receiving false signals from the Deteknix, which is a fantastic feature when sifting through ground that is highly-mineralized.

The Deteknix pinpointer comes with an LED flashlight to help with detecting in low-visibility areas. Although it is water-resistant, it's not entirely waterproof. This is not the model to choose if you're hoping to look for underwater treasure. There's no doubt that this is the best bang for your buck, but you'll have to pay extra if you're looking for a waterproof pinpointer.

As the cheapest model on this list of best pinpointer metal detector reviews, you can also expect the lowest durability. We’re not saying that the Deteknix will break or malfunction, just that the build quality isn’t quite as high as you would expect from reputable manufacturers like Garrett and Minelab. This product is made in China, but if you’re looking for something affordable, it’s a great alternative to the pricier pinpointers.

Pros

  • Affordable pinpointer
  • Adjustable sensitivity
  • Lightweight & compact
  • No false signals

Cons

  • Made in China
  • Not waterproof

Metal Detecting Code of Ethics

Every metal detector hobbyist must follow the metal detecting code of ethics. Minelab, one of the most well-known metal detector brands, offers a complete code of ethics to all customers. “Before beginning metal detecting one must always be aware of the legal requirements for your area,” says Minelab. “This could involve Federal, State, County and/or Local legislation.”

That’s the first step in staying ethical while using your new pinpointer, but there are a few more rules to keep in mind:

  • Respect private property and never metal detect on someone else’s land without permission.
  • Leave everything as you found it - this means filling in any holes you dug.
  • If your metal detector picks up on trash, never throw it back in the ground - discard it properly.
  • If you find anything that could be of historical value, report it.

How to Successfully Use a Pinpointer

Using a pinpointer metal detector is easier than you could ever imagine. This miniaturized version of a traditional metal detector contains a mini search coil on the detection tip. To get started, you’ll hold the pinpointer in your hand, turn the device on, point the search coil end of the detector at your target, and wait for it to signal an alert.

In most cases, you'll use a pinpointer device after you have detected something with your full-size metal detector. Once you know the general area of buried treasure, a pinpointer is a more helpful tool for finding the object's specific location. It's especially beneficial after you've dug the hole; to find the small coin or gold nugget that's hiding in the unearthed dirt, just whip out your pinpointer device.


Care & Maintenance

Just like all small electronics, the first step in caring for your pinpointer metal detector is to be gentle with it.

This is a sensitive electronic, and even the best metal detector pinpointer probe won't last forever - but you can make it last longer by treating it kindly. Most pinpointers come with a hardshell case, and we suggest that you use it. A case offers added protection when the pinpointer isn't being used. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a pinpointer without the metal detector?
It's possible, but it's not common. True metal detectorists use a full-size metal detector to find the general area of buried treasure. Then they use a pinpointer to figure out the exact location. Some full-size metal detectors come with pinpointer technology, but investing in a compact pinpointer that fits in your hand is the better choice. It's easy to use, affordable, and makes metal detection much easier.
Are all pinpointers waterproof?
They're not all waterproof to the point where you can submerge the pinpointer underwater, but all the best models have some form of water-resistance. This means that if you come across the dewy grass, wet mud, or unexpected rain, your pinpointer can handle it. For in-water metal detecting activities like diving and snorkeling, you'll need to choose a model that is 100% waterproof (not just water-resistant).
Can pinpointers be used while diving?
Yes, but as we just mentioned, you MUST find a pinpointer device that is specifically designed for underwater detecting. Take the White's TRX pinpointer as an example; this device has a rugged, waterproof design that is IP68 certified. However, most waterproof pinpointers are only waterproof up to 9 or 10 feet. Avid SCUBA divers know that this is a very shallow dive, so these devices might be better off for shallower snorkeling excursions. If you go past the recommended depth, there’s a chance that you’ll flood the inner pinpointer, rendering it useless. Our suggestion if you plan on underwater detecting is to always be aware of your depth.
How much should I spend on a pinpointer?
This depends on your budget, but the good news is that investing in a pinpointer device won’t break the bank. Unlike full-size detectors that can cost thousands, the average price range of the best pinpointer metal detectors is between $100 and $200.

Conclusion

After thoroughly covering the best metal detector pinpointer reviews, we can say with confidence that no pinpointer compares to the Garrett Pro-Pointer.  It’s fully waterproof and comes with 3 adjustable sensitivity levels, but the feature we love most is the fast retune. With the press of a button, you’ll be able to tune out ground conditions and more precisely pinpoint your targets.

Last Updated on

Top