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Pinpointers are mini handheld metal detectors that are used to find the exact location of buried metals once you got a signal from your standard metal detector. One of the best on the market is the Garret propointer AT.
Using a pinpointer is very easy. As a beginner, you will not face any problem learning how to do that.
Simply turn it on. And poke it inside the ground gently (it is made out of plastic, it is not a digging tool).
If you detect something, you will hear a beep and you will feel a vibration. Keep digging until you recover the buried metal object.
You will know that you are getting closer to the target when the frequency of the volume of the beeps and vibrations is increasing.
The difficulty may reside in adjusting the settings. But if you keep the default ones, you should be fine.
Adjusting the setting need some learning because you don’t have a screen in the pinpointer. You need to learn what is the meaning of every ringtone.
And you have only one button to choose the audio mode, the sensitivity level, Tuning and LED ON/OFF.
Garret Propointer AT
Garret Propointer is a popular pinpointer it is widely known as the Garrett carrot. Simply because it is orange and it looks like a carrot.
The orange color makes it easy distinguishable from the dirt and the mud. This way you will not forget it in the ground.
It runs on a single 9-V battery (included). When it gets low, you will hear a dual tone beep.
The Garrett carrot is waterproof. So when you replace the battery, make sure that its cover is tightly closed to prevent water from getting in.
Also, the cover should be clear of sand and dirt and its o-ring should be lubricated with silicone grease.
It is submersible up to 10 feet. But for a beginner, you do not need to go that deep. In my opinion, 3 feet would be more than enough.
That way you could go metal detecting in creeks or in shallow lakes easily. And if the pinpointer gets dirty, you can wash it with water without a problem.
As I already said, beginners should keep the default settings until they learn how to use the pinpointer well.
But I will show how to adjust some settings that you may need in your first hunts.
You can limit the detection range of the Garrett propointer AT by tuning it.
Simply, switch the device on and move a piece of metal in front of the probe of the pinpointer.
When you are satisfied with the distance, press the button. This way, the pinpointer will only emit an audio signal if the metal object is that close to it.
Tuning also helps to cancel false signals. You can get this type of signals when the soil you digging is full of minerals or trashy iron items.
To avoid that, poke in the probe in the ground and press the power button until these false beeps fade away.
To learn more about the settings of the Garrett carrot, you can read their user’s manual.
Many times detectorists get excited about their findings. Maybe they found a civil war relic or rare coin.
They place it in their pockets, leave the pinpointer in the hole and leave. Then you will find hard times trying to find it.
To avoid that, Garret made sure that their pinpointer is visible and it stands out from the dirt.
That is why its color is orange. Any other visible color would fine like fluorescent green for example. (update: green is not good, because it may be confused with the grass)
Second, you can use a lanyard and a holster that you can attach to your belt and keep your pinpointer to your side.
Third, the Garrett carrot has a lost alarm to warn that you did not pick your pinpointer. You should be able to hear it in close proximity.
Many beginners choose the Bounty hunter because it is super cheap. But it is a bad choice.
The detection range is barely zero. In other words, this pinpointer will not detect anything until it touches its probe.
Pinpointers are made to help us dig smaller holes, spend less effort and recover buried metal quickly.
That is why their detection range should be limited. But it should be a couple of inches not zero.
The bounty hunter pinpointer is not waterproof and it is not water-resistant. So keep it away from water and moisture.
It doesn’t have a flashlight like the other models. The only setting that you can adjust is the sensitivity using a knob adjacent to the probe. The same knob is used to put ON/OFF the pinpointer.
Use this knob to set the sensitivity as high as possible. When you get false signals, lower it a little bit.
The presence of a target is indicated by beeps and vibrations. You cannot mute the audio and keep the vibrations.
The bounty hunter runs on a 9V battery (not included). Be careful when you open its cap. Don’t open it sideways but move it up and forward.
Deteknix land Xpointer
The Deteknix land Xpointer looks like the Garrett carrot. But it is not submersible. Instead, it is weatherproof. This means that some drops of water will not damage the device.
The sensitivity is adjustable. It has four levels to pick from. But tuning cannot be adjusted.
If the pinpointer detects a metal, it will vibrate and emit an audio signal. The closer you get to the buried object, the stronger these signals.
You can pick the audio mode that you want. This pinpointer can vibrate only; emit audio signals or do both of them at the same time.
With the pinpointer, a holster, a lanyard, and four plastic caps will be delivered. But the battery is not included.
It is powered by a 9 V battery. When you hear the low battery alarm, you will know that you need to replace it.
The caps are meant to protect the tip of the probe. Some customers said that these plastic covers were missing.
To be able to look inside the holes to identify visually the buried item, the pinpointer is fitted with a small LED lamp.
The Kuman GP-pinpointer is also very similar to the Garret propointer AT. They have the same shape and color.
Both of them have a plastic scraping blade to move a thin layer of dirt out of the way. And since it is made of plastic, don’t force it. Use your digging tool instead.
Only the Garrett has a ruler to measure the depth of buried metal. This is not a big deal. I do not have to know the exact depth of an item to recover it.
However, the GP-pinpointer has a limited range compared to the Garrett.
It could detect coins. But, it will have hard times to detect small objects. You can see in this video, that it could not detect an anti-friction bearing ball even when it is in direct contact with it.
The Kuman is not waterproof but you still can submerge the lower part of the probe into the water without a problem.
For beginners, this is enough in most cases to metal detect in creeks.
Like the previous model, it has a LED flashlight. That way you can use your pinpointer in low light conditions.
It also runs on a 9 V battery that is not included. But you get a holster and a lanyard.
Using a pinpointer is very easy, you don’t need to be an expert to learn how to use it. Just poke it in the ground. And you will be able to find the exact location of buried metal items.
Adjusting the settings may be a little bit tricky for beginners. Just leave it like that. The default settings are fine.
Avoid the bounty hunter pinpointer. It is not recommended by many detectorists.
The Garrett carrot is one of the best models on the market. But if you are low on budget, you can buy one of the last two models on the list.
They are very similar to the awesome Garrett propointer AT. They are cheaper. However, their detection range is limited and they are not submersible.