PINPOINTING PROBES A survey with pictures of all the different metal detecting pinpointing probes I could find
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As I collected information on which pinpointer I wanted to get, I thought that putting it in a form that permitted easy comparisons might be useful to other people on the same quest. This is only a survey, not a recomendation or evaluation page.
I was able to obtain range information on some pinpointers, but remember that in a pinpointer short range is more desirable than long range.
I couldn't find any pinpointers on the Fisher, Minelab, Tesoro, or Bounty Hunter sites.
The descriptions on this page are from retailers or manufacturers, I haven't personally purchased and tested any of these units except the CP100.
The White's Bullseye has a 5" probe. The blunt end suggests it's not designed to stab into the ground. I tried downloading the manual from the White's site to see if it had a vibration option, but the page wouldn't open. It announces targets with a buzz and vibration. It'll sense gold rings within one inch of the probe, silver and clad coins at two inches and an aluminum can at five inches. One source told me you can take a cover off to adjust sensitivity, another said he didn't think the sensitivity was adjustable. No information on range. ($119.95 retail)
The only probe I found on the Garrett site was this little pocket model. It might work for sweeping over dirt that's been removed from a hole or for objects right on the surface. ($119.95 retail, available for $89.95)
The Tinytec Deluxe has a 6.5" long probe, but I don't know if that's measured along it's entire length or from the front of the handle. It lights and tones when it comes near a target. Sensitivity can be adjusted and set to a maximum range of 1 and 1/2 inches. Auto shut off. The probe and tip appear to be designed to be able to withstand being jabbed into the ground but one source told me it was only intended to be pushed into loosened soil. I read that while the bottom two inches of the probe is sensitive to targets, when the target contacts or is very close to the very tip, the alert changes. A source mentioned that this unit is not intended for wet salty conditions. ($129.95 available for $74)
The Tinytec Ultra Deluxe is the same as above except the probe length is 8.5" inches and it has a vibration option. ($144.95 available for $88)
The Automax Precision V2 pinpointer has an 8.5" probe with sound, light, and vibration alert options. It also has a sensitivity control that would let a user reduce sensitivity to the point where the pinpointer only sounds when the probe tip is right on top of the target. Pinpointers without this option might sound off when the target is still an inch or more away. The probe tip is rounded but the probe is not designed to be pushed into hard ground because the plastic shaft could break. ($138.95 available for $89.95)
There is also a non-vibrating model (no V2 designation), which appears identical to the above. ($129.95 available for $89.95)
The Vibra Probe 460 can be pushed into soil, but only loosened soil and it's not for prying. (I saw one picture that appeared to show the probe as being a loop of wire. The one above shows a flat-ended rod. I don't know if there are two versions.) There are no switches of adjustments, simply point it up for 1/2 second and it turns itself on. Auto turn off after 1 minute. States that unlike other pinpointers, it doesn't respond to targets off to the side of the probe, just the end. Vibration alert only, frequency gets faster the closer the tip gets to the target. I couldn't find out how long the probe is. Completely water proof to 30 feet. ($99.95)
The Compass Auto-Max has a 10" x 3/4" probe that's one of the longest available. However, the blunt end would be difficult to push into hard soil. This pinpointer has a tuner control (I don't know what that is - sensitivity setting?) and a manual on/off switch. Light and sound only, no vibration option. ($119.95 retail, available for $47.95.)
The Depth Master Super Probe has a 4" long by 1/2" diameter probe with a blunt end that would be hard to push into packed soil. There appears to be an adjustable knob but I couldn't find out what it does. Sound and light indicators. No vibration option. ($119.95 available for $99.95)
The CP-100 Coin and Cache Probe is unique in that it has a very thin (3/16" diameter) stainless steel probe that is designed to be pushed into the soil without digging a hole. This is half to one-third the diameter of most probes. Also, the hard stainless steel sides should create less drag than the fiberglass or plastic sides of other probes. It's also unique because it has a discrimination circuit that tells you if you've hit an iron or other metal object. Unfortunately, the description I read didn't say if it indicated iron by not emitting an alert or by emitting a different alert than for valuable metal. This pinpointer only has an audio alert. The frequency is supposed to get higher as the target gets nearer. One statement that confused me was that it is a "direct contact" detector. This sounds like it does something when it comes in direct contact with the object, but the description didn't say what. ($159.95 available for $129)
The Little Wizard probe is suitable for scanning the sides of holes, soil surface, dirt dug out of a hole, and a little light scrapping. t gives off a tone and light LEDs when metal is found. The ad stated that it can detect rebar in concrete, so I assume it has a range of 2 inches if the target is large enough The big selling point for this detector is it's price, only $19.95... and I think that's retail.
In May of 2005 I received an email from Mr. Kenneth Branscome with the following review of the Little Wizard pinpointer:
I have a Little Wizard that I use to find studs by finding the nails that hold the sheet rock to the studs. For this purpose it works very well.
I tried it on a penny and a quarter and a pull tab. It worked great on the pull tab but did not detect the coins at all.
The Little Wizard would not be suitable for pinpointing.
Thanks, Ken! That's useful information. (It's odd that it detects iron nails and aluminum pull tabs yet not the copper in the coins.)
These gun probes are labeled as being Wizard Electronic Probes, but I don't know if they are by the same company that manufactures the Little Wizard above. They come with 5" and 11" probes, have sound or vibration alert and adjustable sensitivity. ($44.99 at http://www.upstatedetectors.com/pages/accessories.htm#probes)
The MD 10s/p probe (http://www.metallocators.com/falcon.htm) has a probe shaft that breaks down into six-inch segments. The probe is water proof and the manufacturer claims it can detect gold flakes as small as 0.01 grains. It operates at 300 KHZ so it shouldn't interfer with VLF detectors. ($199 available for $175)
The Merlin pinpointer is only 7" long. From the picture I'd estimate that the probe is only 3". I appears to be designed for sweeping dug dirt and the sides of holes. ($69.95 available for $61.55 at http://www.metallocators.com/falcon.htm)
This appears to be more of a toy than a field-ready pinpointer, but I'm including it for the sake of completeness. The only thing the ad said about it is that it has a 1 and 1/2" range. ($24.95 available for $21.95 at http://www.metallocators.com/falcon.htm)
The Periscope is the 600-pound gorilla of pinpointers. It has a 14" hardened steel probe that is designed to pierce ground, full metal ID, ground balancing, and provides range and direction to the target. I have heard nothing but rave reports about this pinpointer. All of these features do not come cheap. The retail price is $549.95. (Ouch!) (http://www.downscope.com)
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