Of the latest F series metal detectors from the Fisher Research Labs, the Fisher F44 is the latest and top model.
Specifically, it was designed to be an upgraded version of the already existing Fisher F4. Now, the F4 happened to be sort of an entry-level metal detector with features aimed at pleasing the beginner’s experience; the F44, even though was still aimed at giving beginners an overall astounding experience, has been significantly improved upon, boasting of technical and more sophisticated features such as Ground Balance, All Metal Mode, to name a few.
In this Fisher F44 review, you will uncover the supposed hidden beauty of this detector as detailed information about its features, specifications, pros, and cons will be shared, and its design and performance unraveled in this review.
Let’s get started!
- Fisher F44 Features and Benefits
- Fisher F44 Design and Appearance
- Fisher F44 Performance
- Fisher F44 Specifications
- Fisher F44 Limitations
- Fisher F44 Pros and Cons
If you’re a beginner at metal detecting and are looking for something more sophisticated than the regular detector specifically made for beginners; however, you don’t want it too perfect like the ones designed for an experienced detectorist, then the Fisher F44 should be a great fit.
Perhaps you’re getting to know your onions around metal detecting, and the general beginner’s detector is not cutting the edge anymore; your next level could be the Fisher F44.
How so? Well, let’s get into the review in proper detail.
Fisher F44 Features and Benefits
1. Backlit Display
Perhaps you’re usually busy in the day and only chanced to go detecting at night or for whatsoever reason night detecting suits you, having a backlit display at your disposal will be really helpful.
The brightness setting ranges from 0 to 5; as expected, the highest setting will drain your battery life faster.
This feature is not visible when detecting during the day; so, to preserve maximum battery life, it is wise to switch off the backlit display until a change in condition demands it.
2. Auto and Manual Ground Balance
You remember how we earlier noted that the F44 is an improved version of the F4, designed with more advanced features, right? An example is the auto and manual Ground Balance, which is often found on mid-range and high-end metal detectors. In fact, some mid-range metal detectors don’t feature it. Hence, to have the two features of auto and manual ground balancing is worth a mention.
Why is it worth mentioning, by the way?
The F4 is known to feature ground balance too, but only at a factory-setting level. The F44, on the other hand, features a more sophisticated Ground Grab Computerized Ground Balancing.
What the Ground Grab feature does is automatically measure the phase of the signal received from the ground. The measurement will be displayed on the screen as a two-digit number, representing the ground value.
It doesn’t stop there; Ground Grab will go further to set the ground balance to match the number automatically. To what end? For better configuration and adjustment to detecting in high-mineralized soils; thereby, improving positive detection of desired targets.
Note that this feature will not automatically work in soils with a ground value below 40; more so, it can only be used in All Metal mode. The manual Ground Balance can, however, be used in other detection modes.
The Fisher F44 is lightweight, weighing only 2.35 pounds. This super lightweight becomes handy when you’re hunting for several hours at a stretch.
To further reduce the emergence of fatigue, the frame is designed with an S-shape upper shaft, allowing for maximum ergonomics.
Because of the underarm counterbalancing weight that the S-shape upper shaft provides, you hunt with less strain and more comfort.
The only downside to this is that when you’re trying to collapse the assembly, S–shape rods will face difficulty obtaining maximum compactness.
4. Iron Audio
Have you ever heard of FeTone? It is an Iron Audio feature of the F44 metal detector that allows you to adjust the tone volume of ferrous items (iron, for instance) without necessarily compromising the volume of non-ferrous items.
There are about four levels of tone volume settings: it begins with volume setting 0, where you can’t hear any of the detection signals (I mean, it’s zero after all).
The next level is the volume setting 1-9, where both ferrous and non-ferrous targets emit the same level of volume.
The next volume setting is at 10, where ferrous items, like iron, are completely silenced, and non-ferrous objects are at the maximum volume level.
The last volume setting at 11-20 keeps the maximum volume level of non-ferrous objects while the volume of ferrous objects steadily increases.
5. All Metal Mode
Generally, we say the Fisher F44 has four discrimination modes: Artifact, Coin, Custom, and Jewelry.
However, the detector has an additional mode – All-Metal mode. The advantage of this mode is that it doesn’t have any discrimination setting as it has a knack for and provides signals for all types of metal.
Because you can’t tell the kind of metal being detected at this mode, the Target ID comes to play in providing information such as the type of metal, depth, size, and conductivity. The Target ID scales are not difficult to interpret; hence, even beginners can work with them.
- Artifact mode is where all target categories are enabled; none is left out.
- Coin mode rejects detection of foil and aluminum.
- Custom mode is where the user programs their preferred settings.
- Jewelry mode ignores all iron objects during detection.
It is better to say that the Fisher F44 is weatherproof; preferable to saying it is waterproof because while the control box can be used in poor weather conditions, it is not designed to be submerged.
The shaft and search coil, however, can be submerged underwater.
Use this detector carefully to ensure the parts (like the headphone jack, control box) that shouldn’t be in the water are kept away from it. If you are searching for a metal detector capable of underwater treasure hunting, check our guide on the best underwater metal detectors.
Fisher F44 Design and Appearance
To start with, when you purchase the F44, it will come to you in pieces; so, you’ll have to assemble them. Now, unlike some other metal detectors that also require assembling, you’ll need the help of a tool to assemble the F44.
Although the tool in question here is only a screwdriver; nevertheless, it will require a bit more effort than if you were dealing with other models.
In fact, in general, it should take you more time to assemble the F44 than you would the F4 – one of the many paths where the F44 diverges from its counterpart.
The Fisher F44 is weatherproof; you can use it when it is raining or during bad weather without fear of damage.
The caution, however, is that you should not use it for too long in the water, neither should you submerge it for too long. The headphone jack has a rubber cover with which you can prevent the entrance of moisture or particles.
A significant noticeable feature of the F44 is the 11″ triangulated elliptical concentric waterproof coil. The coil was designed in such a way that it can be used in smaller areas and still picks up signals from objects quite accurately.
Since the coil is waterproof, you can submerge it in water for water detecting, but as earlier opined, not for long. Note that while the lower part of the detector’s stem (which majorly comprises the search coil) can be placed in water, the upper part and control housing is not water-friendly.
It is also noteworthy that the display on the Fisher F44 is larger than the F4. What’s the advantage of a larger display? It implies that the user can view more information about their prospective targets, thereby helping their precision at detecting items.
This metal detector is lightweight (weighing a little over two pounds). With its cushioned armrest and handgrip, you can go on a longer detecting adventure, unlike with some other detectors. You’re unlikely to get tired quickly, having carried it for a while.
Fisher F44 Performance
Over the years, the demands for the performance of metal detectors are on the high increase; hence, making newer models more sophisticated and often intimidating to use.
However, the Fisher F44 is user-friendly with its interface, allowing for easy detection on the field. The detector is a VLF circuitry type detector and has a low operating frequency of 7.69 kHz.
Even though its operating frequency may categorize as low, it’s just within the perfect range of balancing out depth detection with sensitivity. The F44 has decent depth detection ability and features that will enable you to detect your desired target.
A weatherproof metal detector such as this one will make detecting in several weather conditions effective. Still, the F44 will find it challenging to function at optimum level in iron oxide terrains and areas with high salt mineralization, such as saltwater and wet sand. If you plan to go beachcombing, check our article about the best metal detectors for beach and saltwater.
Fisher F44 Specifications
- Operating Frequency: 7.69 kHz
- Audio Identification: Yes
- Search Coil Size: 11″ Search Coil
- Search Coil Shape: Semi Elliptical
- Search Mode: 5
- Audio ID Tones: 4
- Numerical Target ID: 1-99
- Ground Balance: Manual or Auto Ground Balance
- Length: Adjustable
- Circuitry Type: VLF
- Operating Mode: All Metal and Discriminate
- Visual Identification: LCD Screen
- Pinpoint Mode: Yes
- Water Resistance: Water Resistant Detector + Waterproof Coil
- Warranty: 5 Years
The F44 package comes with free bonus items, including:
- Full-sized headphones with dual volume controls and coiled cord
- Full-sized padded metal detector carry bag (with shoulder strap, carry handles, exterior zippered pocket, Velcro detector positioning ties
- Pro series composite trowel
- Pro treasure gloves
- com 1 Year 1 location membership
Fisher F44 Limitations
Generally, all VLF metal detectors have challenges detecting in wet sand and saltwater terrains. While they are expected to perform just fine in dry soils, their performance decreases, and they behave erratically when used in wet sand, seawater, or black sand.
Why? The simple answer will be because such areas have high mineral compositions.
The increased mineral content tends to overload the circuitry system, leading to a noisy and inadequate operation. The chatter becomes too loud for the user to pick up a meaningful target signal.
Although some skilled detectorists (without sounding overreaching) still push the VLF system into these conditions, they do so at the expense of sensitivity. Sensitivity is reduced. The skill comes into play in tweaking the manual Ground Balance to reduce chatter and interfering signals. The downside to this is how signals from good targets can also be compromised.
Fisher F44 Pros and Cons
- Audio and Visual Target ID
- Increased sensitivity
- Ground balance
- Waterproof coil
- Minor hassle with assemblage
- A bit expensive
1. Is the Fisher F44 waterproof?
While the Fisher F44 is weatherproof, it is not completely waterproof. It has a waterproof search coil, but the upper part of its stem should not be submerged. Much more, even though the detector is weatherproof, it should not stay too long in the water, say like a rainy day.
2. Is the Fisher F44 good for saltwater?
This is somewhat a tricky question because while the F44 features both manual and auto ground balancing, which helps the user’s detecting experience in terrains with high mineralization – saltwater falls in this category – it is yet a bad pick for wet sand. However, you will find its auto and manual Ground Balance feature useful in other high-mineralization soils.
3. Can the Fisher F44 detect gold?
Because the Target ID of the Fisher F44 is scaled high enough to allow for signal measurement of gold varieties, including jewelry, nuggets, and flakes, but generally, it is not the best pick for gold prospecting. Check this article for the best gold metal detectors.
4. How deep can the Fisher F44 detect?
There’s perhaps no direct answer here because detection depth is largely dependent on factors such as size, ground conditions, and type of metal. Nevertheless, with its large 11 inches search coil, the F44 should be able to pick up a signal from a quarter buried 8 to 10 inches deep in neutral soil.
For a land detectorist and if you’re looking for your first machine, the Fisher F44 should be the most suitable choice for you.
This metal detector is what you will call an alloy of an entry-level and medium-range detector.
While it features an interface and usage that’s simple enough for beginners to work with, it is designed with features that are quite encompassing for anything a newbie could possibly need. The F44 is also reported to have a faster recovery speed than some other brands of detectors in the market.
For a beginner, one of the challenges you will face while metal detecting is dealing with mineralized soils; I mean, I can imagine having to deal with all the chatter and erratic behaviors of those terrains. You’re likely to get frustrated or simply avoid such areas, but the Fisher F44 solves that problem with its auto and Manual Ground Balance.
While the auto mode helps to reconfigure your machine to each soil automatically, you’ll get the hang of the manual settings in due time as you’ll need it in areas with more complicated mineralization.
The F44’s FeTone feature, including the detection modes, will help you as a beginner to easily discriminate between ferrous and non-ferrous items; so, you don’t have to worry about wasting time digging up undesired items.
Most importantly, fatigue is a general outcome of long usage of some metal detectors in the market, but the Fisher F44 solves that with its ultra-lightweight also designed with features to keep you comforted and conveniently enjoy detecting. It’s supposed to be a hobby, after all.
The F44 detector offers various utilities and is compatible with many different accessories. The Fisher comes out beating its counterpart hands-down because of features it exhibits that you won’t readily find in entry-level metal detectors.
That is all for the Fisher F44 review. I would also advise you to read our article about the best Fisher metal detectors to make an informed decision before buying your new metal detector.
Check out the Fisher F44 price and customer reviews on Amazon and KellyCo.