Are you on the hunt for a metal detector that can work in tougher environments? If so, you’re not alone!
Many novice prospectors stick to simple devices when they’re first getting started with the hobby. While those machines do a fine job in basic soil and other controlled environments, they’re not going to serve you well in areas where there’s most likely to be valuable treasures.
Luckily, the Garrett AT Pro has you covered. It’s a premium detector that’s specifically built with versatility in mind. Thanks to its tough build and high-performance detection features, it’ll help you find those elusive relics anywhere.
With this Garrett AT Pro review, our goal is to help you figure out if this is the right metal detector for you.
We’re going to break down everything this detector has to offer and give you some valuable insight into how it can improve your prospecting game.
- Garrett AT Pro Review – Design, Performance, Features
- Design and Appearance
- Performance Capabilities
- Standout Features
- Garrett AT Pro Pros and Cons
- Frequently Asked Questions
Garrett AT Pro Review – Design, Performance, Features
Garrett, the company behind this machine, has been around since 1964 and is considered to be one of the leading names in the industry.
The AT Pro is one of the brand’s most popular machines. It’s not hard to see why.
It strikes a good balance between professional results and the user-friendly operation consumer-level gadgets need.
The detector has tons of high-tech features that can change the way you search for metals.
Design and Appearance
From a design standpoint, the AT Pro checks off all the boxes. It has that traditional metal detector design. However, all of the components are taken up a notch to create a solidly-built device. The arm cuff that provides leverage as you work in the field is adjustable and fully padded. Meanwhile, a non-absorbant rubber grip is used to give you more traction.
On the opposite end of the metal detector, you have a large DD search coil. These coils are larger and capable of penetrating much deeper into the earth to find metals.
In the center of the machine, you’ll find the control box.
Garrett has done a fantastic job of making the box streamlined for better comfort.
It has an LCD screen that provides tons of useful information as you search. Yet, it’s not overbearingly heavy like some other models you see on the market.
Overall, the Garrett AT Pro only weighs a manageable 3.03 pounds.
The AT Pro isn’t your average metal detector. Within its light and compact build are some high-powered features that are capable of solving many of the common detecting problems you face.
One of the best parts of this detector is that it’s waterproof up to 10 feet! You don’t have to limit yourself to dry soil. This detector will do just fine in lakes, beach shores, and shallow rivers.
It isn’t just the search coil that’s waterproof. The control box is fully submersible as well, so you don’t need to worry about any lasting damage in those tough environments. Check out the full list of the best underwater metal detectors.
The important components are all sealed. Even the exposed metals are treated to prevent oxidation, which is a huge plus. The metal detector has some other features that assist you when you’re searching underwater, but we’ll get into those in a bit.
The Garrett AT Pro utilizes VLF, or Very Low Frequency, technology to search for metals in the ground. This is a technology that you’ll often see in consumer-level detectors.
Essentially, the large search coil on the end of the detector performs a couple of different tasks. It has two smaller coils integrated into the housing. The first coil is responsible for transmitting an electromagnetic field into the earth. When that field interacts with a metal object, the object will produce an eddy current. This eddy current is then picked up by the second coil, which is the receiver coil.
VLF detectors provide a continuous low-frequency signal. They’re very effective at searching for a wider range of metal objects.
The AT Pro has a fully adjustable frequency setting. At its highest setting, it can produce a 15 kHz signal. This is considerably higher than most VLF units on the market, making it a great option for finding objects with lower conductivity levels.
Pro Mode Audio
Whether you’re in your backyard or scouring the shoreline, the Garrett AT Pro makes it easier to distinguish items. This device is equipped with Garrett’s Pro Audio system.
Rather than producing a standard beep like other detectors, this Pro Audio system has a variable tone. It changes based on the item you’re currently detecting. Subtle nuances in the tone’s pitch and volume give you a better idea of the object’s shape and size. It’s like feeling the object with sound. This system is quite unique and may take a bit of time to get used to. However, once you understand how it works, it will make the search process much easier.
Pro Iron Audio
Pro Iron Audio works very similarly to the standard Pro Audio system. It works alongside the notch discrimination system to help distinguish junk metals from those that you actually want to keep. The machine will produce different sounds whenever the detector moves over iron, letting know that the item is most likely junk.
The Garrett AT Pro is one of the more capable detectors on the market. This is due in large part to its many extra features. Here are some of the most noteworthy features that will affect how you search for metals.
Automatic Ground Balance
The biggest challenge you will encounter once you start venturing to other searching environments is ground mineralization. There are minerals in the ground wherever you go. However, some areas have significantly higher mineralization than others.
The problem with ground mineralization is that it affects the overall magnetism of the soil. Those trace metals can trip up cheaper detectors, rending them useless.
With a built-in ground balance system, the AT Pro is capable of overlooking those minerals. It reduces ground noise so that you can focus on finding objects of value.
The cool thing about the AT Pro is that the entire system is automatic. The Fast Track Ground Balance feature will detect the ground mineralization levels and adjust accordingly. It even works in salt water, which is notorious for affecting electronics.
Flexible Notch Discrimination
Earlier, we mentioned that the Garrett AT Pro’s Iron Audio system works alongside its notch discrimination feature. Notch discrimination is a must-have if you’re serious about finding valuable items.
Let’s face it: metal detectors come across tons of junk. There are far more trash metals out there than valuable ones. A notch discrimination filter allows you to ignore those metals. Metal detectors work by analyzing various levels of conductivity. A filter allows you to “notch” out certain segments of the conductivity spectrum. This effectively ignores non-ferrous junk metals. The AT Pro has 40 different levels of discrimination.
Adjustable Sensitivity and Operating Frequency
Overall, the Garrett AT Pro is a very flexible device. There are several parameters you can adjust to get the perfect performance for your environment.
The first is the operating frequency. This machine can generate a signal of up to 15 kHz. However, you can change the frequency based on the metal you’re looking for. Higher frequencies do best for objects with lower conductivity, such as gold.
The great thing about the AT Pro is that you’re not limited to certain frequency settings. It’s fully adjustable, which means that you can fine-tune the frequency how you see fit.
Several sensitivity levels are available, too. There are eight in total. The sensitivity adjustments let you hone-in on tougher metals. Pump the sensitivity all the way up, and you might find objects that other detectors didn’t even pick up.
Garrett AT Pro Pros and Cons
- Waterproof up to 10 feet
- Multiple search modes
- Flexible frequency settings
- Adjustable sensitivity levels
- Powerful notch discrimination filter
- Intuitive Pro Audio and Pro Iron Audio
- Very user-friendly control box
- Good for pinpointing
- Works in a wide range of environments
- Comfortable to use
- Control box can be difficult to see in darker environments
- Higher price tag
- Can take time to get used to complex features
- Doesn’t come with the best headphones
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the Garrett AT Pro good for saltwater?
The Garrett AT Pro is perfectly capable of working in saltwater. Not only is it waterproof, but the ground balance feature can overcome the mineralization challenges that come with saltwater. If you’re planning on beach treasure hunting click here for a list of the top saltwater metal detectors.
2. Can the Garrett AT Pro detect gold?
This detector does a fine job of detecting gold. It uses VLF technology, which is great for finding smaller nuggets. This particular device also has an adjustable frequency that goes up to 15 kHz. The higher operating frequencies are best for metals with low conductivity, such as gold. There are detectors that are specificaly designed for gold hunting – you can find here our comparison of the best models.
3. Which is better Garrett AT Pro or AT Gold?
This all depends on what you plan on using the detector for. If gold is your main target, the AT Gold is better equipped for that job. However, the Garrett AT Pro is a better all-around machine. It’s more flexible and can perform well in more environments.
4. How deep can the Garrett AT Pro detect?
Generally, the AT Pro can penetrate around 8 inches into the soil. However, the adjustable sensitivity levels can help you search deeper. Plus, larger items can respond to the detector from several feet below. It all depends on the conductivity levels of the object.
All in all, the Garrett AT Pro is an excellent investment that solves many of the common hurdles that enthusiasts encounter on the field. AT Pro was deservedly included in our rating of the best metal detectors. Many cheaper units just aren’t capable of working efficiently in environments that aren’t pristine. Issues like ground mineralization and moisture make it nearly impossible to find anything of value.
The Garrett AT Pro has the features you need to solve those problems. First, its automatic ground balance system lets you quickly overcome heavy mineralization. This alone opens up a world of possibilities where you can search.
Secondly, the system is entirely waterproof up to 10 feet. You don’t have to worry about splashes ruining your investment. It lets you find long-lost treasures at the bottom of rivers and streams without any issues whatsoever.
Finally, the detector has several adjustments to help you fine-tune the experience. Thanks to the flexible frequency and sensitivity settings, you can overcome just about any obstacle you encounter.
Interested in seeing what the Garrett AT Pro can do for you?