In this guide we’ll take a look at the best pinpointers for metal detecting.
We’ve compared ease of use, weight, detecting ability, and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Pinpointing Metal Detector?
More Detailed Pinpointer Reviews
The Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, that’s AT for all terrain, is an improved version of their iconic Pro Pointer that’s been unearthing finds since 2008.
Garrett’s AT upgrade is worth the price point if you’re serious about digging up the good stuff – you can’t go wrong with this piece of kit.
Here’s why it’s my top recommendation.
It’s waterproof for starters, and I mean really waterproof. It can be submerged to ten feet, so you can hunt gold in the creek, rings at the beach, or head out in a torrential rainstorm if you fancy it.
The upgrade from Pro Pointer also involved a color change from murky black to bright ‘power of a thousand suns’ orange – hence the Garrett Carrot tag.
If you drop this eyeball scorching orange pinpointer in the water you can easily find it again.
The same goes if its thrown in mud or sand, and get this – it’ll ‘chirp’ when left on but inactive – so you can find your way back to it by listening.
Moving onto technical abilities, the AT has three sensitivity modes that help you locate targets at greater depth. When you couple these modes with the ‘retune’ feature you get a lock on exactly where that nugget of gold is hiding.
Now, let’s look at the upgraded feature us serious hunters have been bugging Garrett for.
Manual sensitivity. In a world of automatic everything, we needed a pinpointer that did as it was told!
Manual sensitivity adjustment means you can hunt in the highly mineralized ground – just turn it to ‘low’. Turn it back up to ‘high’ when you’re looking for coins and relics in general ground as this will reach deeper into the soil
The AT also has two sound modes – audio and vibrate. I like vibrate because it’s silent and you don’t attract a crowd.
This top-notch pinpointer is pretty lightweight at 6.5 oz, takes a 9V battery, and has a belt loop attachment.
If you can afford to buy the Garrett Carrot, you’ll be rewarded with high-quality reliability.
- Great in all terrains
- Manually adjustable sensitivity
- Hard to find any!
Water hunting enthusiasts rejoice because the Quest XPointer Pro is submersible to 200 feet!
I haven’t actually been deep diving with it, but there are plenty of reviews from professional companies rating its capabilities. It certainly works well in a river or stream, particularly murky waters as the light is pretty powerful.
One of the top features, in my opinion, is its working method pulse induction. This means it works well on mineralized soil and salt water without sending false signals, something the other top makes are prone to.
It’s very easy to use, just turn it on and point. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable ergonomic pinpointers I’ve tried.
In terms of battery, this one is rechargeable. It has a built-in lithium battery that recharges via an included USB. It’s built this way for extra waterproofing.
I have to say, although it’s probably built for divers, the Quest does an excellent job on land too, especially on the beach or highly mineralized areas.
The Quest pinpointer is available in a range of colors but I’d recommend you buy the brightest one to minimize the chances of losing it.
- Waterproof to 200 feet in fresh or saltwater
- Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
- Working method pulse induction
- Great for deep sea diving
- Works well in mineralized soils
- You can’t change the lithium battery once it’s given up the ghost
Minelab was the first company to bring out a pinpointer with manual sensitivity and many of the folk who bought one have stuck with it – and for good reason. It’s a great all-rounder that puts up with rough usage.
Adjustable sensitivity is a great feature on a pinpointer for the reason I explained above. Weren’t you paying attention? OK…
Low sensitivity means you can search in highly mineralized soils or sand. High sensitivity gets you better depth on non-mineralised soils. This pinpointer has 5 sensitivity settings so you can go to town on the fiddling and find something that really suits your ground conditions.
One area that the Minelab Pro-Find 35 really excels in is its ferrous tone ID. This means it will identify iron, which is usually trash such as foil or bottle caps.
If you don’t have a detector that does this (they are pricier) then buy this pinpointer. It’ll tell you whether to bother digging or not.
Switch between audio and vibrate for loud and proud or secretive detecting. The pinpointer vibrates more as you get closer to the target, so it’s great for water searches.
The only issue I have with the Pro Find 35 is that it looks naff. In my opinion, it’s not stylish at all and looks like a kid’s baseball bat.
Still, don’t let that put you off because it does the job at a good price.
Nice and bright so you don’t lose it, and weighing only 6.8 ozs with a ‘help, I’m lost alarm’ Minelab’s offering is still going the distance.
- Waterproof to ten feet
- Adjustable sensitivity
- Ferrous Tone ID
- Not too stylish!
- All its original ground-breaking features have been updated by others such as Garrett
Makro’s pinpointer has the important adjustable sensitivity that’s easily toggled via it’s + and – buttons. This feature means it can pinpoint in wet sand and mineralized soils without faff.
The 360-degree detection tip allows scanning of a wider area. It’s not so great at pinpointing the EXACT spot like White’s pinpointer does, but it does give a good idea if your detector doesn’t hone in especially well.
The Makro has several audio modes, including a silent ‘hunt in peace’ vibrate, and a powerful LED flashlight. Bright light really helps a water search, not to mention dark soils.
One thing the Makro does have that others don’t are replaceable hard shell casings. One of the casings is a standard protection cover for the tip, but the second has a scraping blade.
This is such a good idea because you can use it as a trowel instead of pinpointing with one hand and digging with another. Nifty trick, Makro. I approve.
This pinpointer weighs 8.3 oz and takes one 9V battery.
- Adjustable Sensitivity
- Replaceable hard shell casing with a scraper blade
- Doesn’t have the greatest depth capacity compared to others
- Colored in ‘lose me’ black
Lot’s of folk slate the White’s Bullseye online, but that’s unfair because whilst it does have a few faults I can’t overlook, such as the light which is no brighter than a candle, and the tendency to throw up a fair few false signals, it does one thing extremely well.
Now, you’re probably thinking, of course it does, tell us something useful. But hold on.
The TRX Bullseye is one of the few pinpointers that has tip pinpointing. It doesn’t use the whole head or the body, but the literal tip.
This means you can accurately pin a target to within an inch, and that means less digging time and less faffing about on your knees.
The TRX is automatic. All you need to do is locate a find with your metal detector, dig a hole, and point the Bullseye in the hole. It’ll tell you exactly where to look. If the signal has vanished don’t forget to check the pile of soil or sand you just pulled out.
This pinpointer has an audio mode and a vibrate mode. The vibrations get stronger as you move closer to the target. I like this feature a lot, not because it’s silent, but because it saves time searching. It also helps immeasurably under the water if you aren’t wearing headphones or it’s murky.
It’s waterproof to ten feet, but I’d recommend you tighten the seal well as a few online reviewers have reported leaks.
This is a highly accurate point-and-find device that leads the way if you like an exact location. It weighs a tiny 3.2 oz and takes two AA batteries or one 9V.
- Tip pinpointing for total accuracy
- Automatic - just point and go
- The light is pathetic I’m not going to lie
- Sometimes give false signals in mineralized soils
What is a Pinpointer?
It’s a handheld machine that beeps when held close to a metal target. They are like metal detectors but in small form.
What Does A Pinpointer Do?
Pinpointers are pretty simple creatures. They locate the exact spot of your find.
A metal detector will beep when moved over a target, but trying to locate exactly where a tiny speck of gold or a thin ring actually is in shifting sands, muddy soil, and moving water is the difficult bit.
Some of the best pinpointer metal detectors beep more rapidly the closer its coil moves to the target, but these are expensive machines. A pinpointer gives you that luxury without the massive price tag.
How To Use A Pinpointer
It’s so easy. They rarely have more than three buttons – technology-phobes will get on just fine with a pinpointer.
- Scan with your metal detector until you hear a tone that indicates a target
- Dig the hole
- Whip out your pinpointer to locate exactly where the treasure is
- Grab the treasure
- Do body-popping, twerking victory dance
- Put the find carefully away in a treasure pouch
- Fill in the hole
Do You Need A Pinpointer To Metal Detect?
No, you don’t. You can find plenty of targets without a pinpointer, so if you’re just starting out don’t think about buying one just yet. See if you enjoy the hobby first.
You do? Thought so – bet you don’t like kneeling down to dig though. That’s when the pinpointer hits your wish list.
Pinpointers help find targets quickly by zeroing in on the rough location your metal detector indicates, so you spend less time digging on your poor old knees.
You’re also less likely to damage a find. A pinpointer means you don’t need to shove blades into the ground with added temper. Stabbing around in the dark leads to broken objects which are worth considerably less than intact ones.
Do your homework with a pinpointer and extract that treasure in one piece. Experienced metal detectorists will drive home for their pinpointer if they happen to forget it.
How To Choose A Pinpointer
It’s all down to your budget and interest level.
If you’re not looking to spend a lot the Quest pinpointer is a good starting point.
If you’ve got the bug (welcome to our club!) and Santa is feeling generous this year, go for the Garrett AT. It’s my top recommendation – a sturdy, adjustable pinpointer that doesn’t miss much.
Hold up though because if you’re a precision metal detectorist that enjoys getting it spot-on every time (hands up engineers, I see you at the back), go with White’s pinpointer that will tell you where the target is within millimeters.
Obviously if you’re going in the water you need a waterproof pinpointer, in fact, I’d recommend your pinpointer is always waterproof.
Rainstorms, wet grass, and washing it clean of mud can kill the battery and then you’re back to square one. Makro has a fully waterproof pinpointer you might want to consider.
All of my recommendations are going to enhance your metal detecting hobby, but beware.
Once you have a pinpointer you won’t be able to go without. They make treasure hunting easier, more enjoyable, and boost the chances of a find.
If you’re tempted and know metal detecting is for you I’d say go for it. You won’t regret investing in a pinpointer.