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You have been metal detecting for a while or you are interested in joining this hobby.
You made a lot of research and you always see that the users have, in addition to the metal detector, a small device on their side.
After they get an audio signal from the detector, they kneel and grab that device which they call a pinpointer(it is usually orange: the Garrett carrot).
Then they start touching the ground with it. They dig a little hole. And voila!
They recover a buried metal object quickly. And you are wondering…
I have been using the metal detector for a while without a pinpointer. And I am getting good results.
Do I need to buy a pinpointer? Is a necessity or a luxury? Why do these people always use it?
Well, this what I will answer in the following paragraph.
Do I need a pinpointer?
A pinpointer or pinpoint probe is a mini metal detector. It is handheld. It does not have a stem.
You can put it in your pocket or in a pouch attached to your belt. It is lightweight and has a small size.
It usually powered by 9 volts battery. And it has a limited detection range to help the user locate exactly where the buried object is.
What advantages does this device have?
The pinpointer speeds up the recovery of buried metal objects.
Without a probe, you will have to grab a handful of dirt and pass it back and forth in front of the search coil. Then, if you didn’t detect anything, you throw the dirt and…
Then, you grab another handful and you do the same thing until you find the buried object.
This is a hustle. It is boring and takes a lot of time. And you will have to dig a big hole.
With a pinpointer, you don’t have to do any of that and you will save a lot of time.
You only have to touch the location where your metal detector emitted a beep with the tip of the pinpointer.
If it emits an audio response (in some models it vibrates too), dig a little hole. Poke in there the pinpoint probe until you locate the metal and recover it.
If it does not emit a beep, scratch the surface a little bit or dig a hole and spin the pinpointer inside it until you get an audio response.
You should find the buried object quickly. The hole will be small. It is easy and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
Soil hard to dig through
There is another situation when having a pinpointer will make recovering metal objects a piece of cake.
Sometimes you get an interesting signal from your metal detector. You start digging and then…
You find that the soil is infested by tree roots. It will be hard to chop these roots by hand. A digging tool with a sawtooth edge will help you do that.
However as the root gets thicker, you will take more time to cut it. To avoid all of that, you can simply poke in you pinpointer
It can go easily through the roots since it has a small size, locate the object and then recover it.
Digging is also harder when the ground is frozen (check this article about metal detecting in the snow) or when it is full of rocks.
When you try to plug in your digging tool, you hit a rock. And you may end up damaging your tool.
A pinpointer is one of this tools that you do not know how important they are until you start using them.
Once you do. You cannot imagine your life without them.
It is like a cell phone. People used to live normally without it. A normal phone or a payphone was enough.
But, now, it is an important part of our lives. Can you imagine your life now without a mobile phone?
With a pinpointer, you save few minutes here and there at each hole you dig and each item you recover.
At the end of the day, you will save hours and you will hunt more items and you will do less effort.
Preserve the recovered items
After a lot of time buried underground, the object can be indistinguishable from the soil. If you do not know the exact location of relics and coins, you may damage it when you use a shovel or any other tool.
You just poke in your digging tool blindly. And bam…
The metal strikes the metal. And you find that a relic with a great historical value was damaged.
With a pinpointer, you can prevent this from happening.
What I said in the first few paragraphs was listing the benefits that any pinpointer has. But, some models have other amazing features that will make metal detecting even faster and easier.
For example, the Garrett carrot or the Garrett Pro Pointer AT is one of the best pinpointers on the market.
It has a LED flashlight. That will help you see what is inside the hole to recover the buried object.
This feature is also interesting in low light conditions (dusk, sunset, dense forest…).
You do not have to grab a pinpointer with one hand and a flashlight with the other.
You have a free hand to use it for digging.
It also waterproof and submersible up to 10 feet. You can use it while diving, in creeks or in a muddy environment.
The Garret Pro pointer AT has a scraping blade to move the dirt out of the way.
You can also retune it so that you limit the detection range to get more accurate pinpointing.
Its main disadvantage is that you have to adjust all the settings using only one button.
What about the mounted pinpointers?
Some metal detectors are fitted with a pinpointer like the Garrett ACE 300. It is a specialized type of coils attached to the metal detector.
This type of devices has many advantages…
It allows you to discriminate and to notch out unwanted types of metal. The handheld pinpointers, as far as I know, can’t do that.
For those who don’t know what the discrimination is…
It is a feature that tells the detector to ignore certain types of metals. For example, you can set the detector in such a way it emits a beep whenever it detects gold, silver or coins…
And to remain silent if it detects Iron. This feature will save you a lot of time.
The same battery, which powers the metal detector powers the pinpointer.
But it adds some Weight to the search coil. The additional weight is not that big.
But, because you will have to swing the metal detector a lot of time. It will have an impact on your comfort.
In addition to that, it is not small like the handheld one. You can’t place it between the roots of a tree.
The best choice is to have a handheld pinpointer even if your metal detector is fitted with one.
To conclude, a standard pinpointer will
- make Digging easier and faster
- Let you recover buried items in hard to dig through soil (frozen, tree roots, rocks…)
- prevent damaging valuable historical coins or relics with the digging tool
If it has more feature, hunting metals will be even easier and.
If you are still hesitating, borrow a pinpointer from a friend and give it try. I am sure you will love it.
Or, you can get a cheap model to see how things work, you can check out this article to find the best one for you.