Whether you’re a seasoned metal detectorist or just getting started with this hobby, there’s one tool that can have a serious effect on your efficiency.
The best metal detector pinpointer takes the guesswork out of finding long-lost items. These gadgets help to narrow down your search area so that you can quickly retrieve the item and move onto the next target.
They’re must-have tools for anyone serious about metal detecting. Of course, not all pinpointers are created equal. To achieve the best results on your search, you’re going to need to invest in the best device that money can buy.
Luckily, we’re here to help. Check out our comparison table below to get a quick low-down of our favorite pinpointers.
Top 5 Metal Detector Pinpointers 2021
1. Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
2. Deteknix Xpointer
3. DR.ÖTEK MT6
4. Minelab Pro-Find 35
5. White's TRX Bullseye
- Top 5 Metal Detector Pinpointers 2021
- What is a Metal Detector Pinpointer?
- How Are They Different From Full-Sized Metal Detectors
- Standalone vs Built-in Pinpointers
- Important Features to Consider
1. Garrett Pro-Pointer AT – Best All-Around Product
This pinpointer is designed with simplicity in mind. While it doesn’t have any sensitivity adjustments, this makes the device very user-friendly. The power button doubles as a retune button. Not only that, but the pinpointer offers three separate detection areas. The probe is omnidirectional, but there’s also a directional tip and a scraping blade.
Read our deteiled Garrett Pro-Pointer AT review.
2. Deteknix Xpointer Pin-Pointer – Best For The Money
This pinpointer operates at 96 kHz. That’s higher than most full-size detectors. Like other items, this offers 360-degree detection. However, the thing that sets it apart is the powerful alert system. It offers both audible alerts and vibrations. Both options work on a ratio system and grow more intense the closer you get to the item.
Thanks to the ratio alert system, this is one of the best metal detector pinpointers for the money. It’s incredibly sensitive and can guide you in the right direction.
3. DR.ÖTEK MT6 – Most Affordable Pinpointer
The coolest part of this pinpointer is the indication system. It doesn’t provide audible alerts, but it will vibrate whenever you get close to a metal object. It doesn’t stop there. A small LED indicator light on the side of the tool will flash different colors based on your distance. Red means that your far away from the item, while white indicates that it’s very close.
4. Minelab Pro-Find 35 – Best For Weeding Out Junk
There are five sensitivity levels you can choose from. This alone is great for fine-tuning the tool’s performance. However, there’s also DIF technology and a ferrous tone filter. The DIF feature is specifically designed to reduce interference with other metal detectors. It’s also good for minimizing noise. The ferrous tone ID system helps you identify metals quickly. A different tone is played when you point the tool at a ferrous or non-ferrous item, allowing you to ignore the junk you don’t want.
5. White's TRX Bullseye Pin-Pointer – Best For Beginners
Take one look at the tool, and you can see that it’s relatively easy to use. There aren’t any complicated settings to fiddle with. Just press the power button and go.
Most of the features on this pinpointer are automatic.
It tunes itself and starts producing electromagnetic waves at 36 kHz instantly. There’s even an automatic shutoff system to save energy and a lost alarm to help you find the tool if you drop it.
Ultimately, this pinpointer still has a lot to offer. Thanks to its simple design and easy operation, it acts as a great introduction to pinpointing for novice metal detectors.
What is a Metal Detector Pinpointer?
As the name would suggest, these devices are specifically made to pinpoint where targets are. While traditional metal detectors can give you a good idea of an item’s general location, the technology they use isn’t really capable of giving you finer details. This is especially true with small treasure buried deep within the dirt.
Pinpointers are highly sensitive. Thus, they’re good for finding small items that could otherwise get lost with larger devices. Furthermore, most models are omnidirectional.
With a large handheld metal detector, you’re using electromagnetism to find objects. The technology is quite effective. However, there is one caveat: it only works when the coils are pointed in the direction of the hidden metal.
With a pinpointer, you have 360 degrees of sensitive detection.
How Are They Different From Full-Sized Metal Detectors
Pinpointers work is the same way that larger metal detectors do. They take advantage of electromagnetism and the conductivity of the metal. When that electromagnetism interacts with hidden metal, eddy currents are produced and picked up by the detector or pinpointer.
That much is the same. However, there are some notable differences between a pinpointer and a traditional metal detector.
The most obvious is the size. Pinpointers are compact and light enough to carry in a pack. They’re only a fraction of the size of their larger counterparts. Thus, they can be used virtually anywhere. Pinpointers can reach into tight spots without sacrificing efficiency. This brings us to the second most significant difference.
Pinpointers are fully capable of being used in the soil. With a traditional metal detector, you’re blasting electromagnetic waves into the ground from above. With a pinpointer, those waves are emanating from all directions.
As a result, you can dig out a plug of dirt, insert the pinpointer, and see where that object is hiding.
Standalone vs Built-in Pinpointers
Many modern detectors these days have built-in pinpointer. So, why invest in a standalone device?
While integrated pinpointing features are better than not having a pinpointer at all, standalone gadgets are considered to be much more efficient.
For one, a self-contained unit has more acuity than an integrated one. Remember, these are highly sensitive devices that are designed to provide precise information about tiny items. A pinpointing feature on a larger metal detector isn’t capable of delivering that same level of precision.
Another reason why many hobbyists prefer to carry a separate pinpointer is that they are designed to get messy. Beyond the 360-degree detection we mentioned earlier, pinpoints are far more capable than large equipment. While water and dirt-proof detectors do exist, most consumer-grade options don’t offer a high level of protection. Thus, those sensitive coils and high-tech detection systems are at risk for serious damage.
Pinpointers, on the other hand, are usually completely sealed. They can be used under the surface of the water, in wet mud, and more.
Important Features to Consider
The best metal detector pinpointer is going to be a frequently used tool in your arsenal. It’s going to be the tool that helps you uncover those precious metals and reap the rewards of your efforts.
The last thing you want to be dealing with on a hunt is an inferior pinpointer. To get a pinpointer that you can trust, consider the following factors as you shop.
1. Operating Frequency
In metal detecting, the frequency refers to the number of electromagnetic waves are being sent and received by your device every second. Operating frequencies can vary across the board on full-sized metal detectors. Some will have set frequency ranges, while others are fully customizable.
Most pinpointers have a non-adjustable frequency range somewhere between 6 and 20 kHz. Some units go up to 90 kHz or more as well. Either way, most devices offer a nice middle point that could benefit you when you’re trying to pinpoint a target.
Let me explain.
Smaller items tend to respond to higher frequencies. This is why so many full-sized detectors do not react to tinier objects. Furthermore, a pinpointer’s frequency range is ideal for finding metals with different conductivity levels. Highly conductive metals like silver copper and brass can be found with an operating frequency of only 3 kHz. Meanwhile, metals with low conductivity need upwards of 10 kHz or more. These metals include tin, platinum, gold, and stainless steel.
Higher frequencies are also great for overcoming ground mineralization. Pinpointers have been known to spot items that were overlooked by larger detectors due to too many minerals in the soil.
2. Detection Area
Earlier, we mentioned that many pinpointers provide 360 degrees of detection around the main probe. That’s true for most of the devices you’ll find on the market, but not all of them. Before you commit to a product, make sure that the pinpointer has this omnidirectional detection. It’ll make a work of difference!
You can get a couple of other detection areas as well. A directional system on the tip of the device operates similarly to the coils of a full-sized machine. It’s great for determining the item’s depth.
Also available are side detection systems. These work like a metal detector wand, allowing you to sweep an area until you find something.
3. Alert Methods
What kind of alert system do you prefer? Audible alerts are the most common. The system will beep whenever it detects metal. However, premium models will take things a step further and change audio pitches the closer you get to the target.
Another option is vibration. Perfect for those who don’t want to listen to beeping all day, the vibration alert systems provide a tactile response to targets.
Finally, there are target lights. They are particularly useful when vibration and audio aren’t possible, such as underneath the surface of the water.
4. Water Resistance
Speaking of water, we always recommend going with a waterproof pinpointer model. They offer much more versatility and can be used in many different environments. Pay close attention to the construction of the device. Watertight seals and rubberized protection are always a good sign.
You should also analyze the tool’s IP rating. Manufacturers use the IP system to let you know the product’s capabilities and limitations.
5. Sensitivity Adjustments
For the most part, metal pinpointers are pretty user-friendly. They have limited buttons and don’t require a ton of setting adjustments to use effectively.
With that said, sensitivity adjustments are a must-have. These adjustments can be used to recalibrate the pinpointer whenever you’re in a new environment. For example, suppose that you want to hunt for the metal in saltwater. You would need to increase the sensitivity to overcome minerals in the soil and water.
Look out for quick adjustment buttons that help you fine-tune the device quickly and efficiently.
The best metal detector pinpointer is an essential piece of equipment that will complete your arsenal. While you can still find metal objects without one, pinpointers can save you a lot of time and headaches.
Instead of digging through the dirt trying to find that elusive item, why not use a pinpointer to determine its exact spot?
These compact detectors can go where no full-sized model can. Whether you’re trying to find some long-lost treasure at the bottom of a dark lake or a piece of metal debris buried several inches in the ground, a pinpointer will help you find it!
Check out our recommended picks and see how much of a difference owning one of these detection tools can make.