In this review we’ll look at the Garrett AT Pro metal detector.
We’ve compared value for money, features, ease of use and detecting ability
to give you our top recommendations.
In Depth Garrett AT Pro Review
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Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector Review
Want to know all about the Garrett AT Pro before you part with your cash?
You’re in the right place. Let’s take a close look at one of Garrett’s most popular metal detectors.
I’ll start off this review by saying the AT ‘All Terrain’ range is the pricier end of Garrett’s offerings and it contains the AT Pro, the AT Max and The Garrett AT Gold.
The AT range are excellent machines, but Garrett’s AT Pro is my go-to detector.
If I’m heading out for a day’s happy hunting and want to maximize my chances of a find, I grab the Pro. If I’m not sure exactly what terrain I’ll encounter, this is the machine for me.
I keep coming back to the Pro because it’s a proven all-rounder. It tackles mineralized soils and picks up all metals with good discrimination and depth.
If you want a mid-priced reliable machine for all terrains, knock yourself out with the AT Pro.
One caveat though, it’s not suitable for wet sand and saltwater (although dry sands are fine). For salt conditions, you should go for the Garrett AT Max or dare I say the Tesoro Sand Shark.
Let’s get the specifics!
The AT Pro is a tried and tested machine. It was released in 2010 and its never fallen out of favor.
Here are some of its many benefits.
Features and Benefits of the Garrett AT Pro
Working on a single 15kHz frequency the AT Pro will pick up the majority of metal targets be they large or small, iron or gold. I’ve found coins up to six inches in depth so it gets good penetration too.
A single frequency is good for beginners and all-around detecting, but as I say, it isn’t ideal for wet sand or saltwater because it’ll give off extremely annoying ‘chatter’ that blocks decent signals.
Start out with the three easy-to-learn standard modes. These enable you to pick up the detector and go with it out of the box, which is a relief to new detectorists and many experienced ones who don’t like the hassle of customizing each time they leave the house.
Once you’re into the swing of it with the basic modes, and you enjoy tinkering, start customizing with its three advanced Pro modes that give more information on the target and its depth.
Iron discrimination may be the first to try as it helps you weed out Coke cans and nails.
This is a fully waterproof machine which is, in my opinion, essential. Many detectors have waterproof search coils, but not all have a waterproof control box.
One slip and your machine is in the creek or lake, drop it on wet grass in your excitement to dig, get caught in a rainstorm – you see my point.
The AT Pro can be submerged up to ten feet in fresh or salt water so you won’t lose your machine if there’s an accident.
Plenty of audio on the AT Pro makes it a joy to use.
Proportional audio on Pro mode sings a variety of tones (all non-screeching) when it discovers a target. It’s your job to figure out what these audio tones mean in terms of the target shape, conductivity, and depth. Use the clear instruction manual to save time.
Iron audio allows you to pick up iron targets in ground that’s mineralized and contains continuous background iron. It’s an advanced feature for relic hunters sick on unearthing car parts.
What about the all essential ground balancing you ask? Well, the AT Pro has manual and automatic ground balancing – the best of both worlds in fact.
I’ve found it impossible to detect without ground balancing of some kind, and on those days when you feel a bit lazy or under the weather, auto ground balancing is a stress-saver.
However, if you’re on mixed terrain manual ground balancing is customizable to your exact requirements.
The mix of automatic and manual ground balancing is one of my favorite things about the Garrett AT Pro, as it allows greater depth and sensitivity wherever you choose to hover your detector.
Where Is Best To Use The Garrett AT Pro?
AT stand for All Terrain which gives you a good idea about its capabilities. Having used one, I can say this is true – almost.
The AT Pro will effectively search in all soils, sands, freshwater, and trashy areas, but it won’t perform well in salt water or on wet sand.
What Will The Garrett AT Pro Find?
It finds everything metal in the majority of terrains, so it’s the perfect choice for coins, relics, caches, jewelry, and gold.
How The Garrett AT Pro Compares to Other Garrett Detectors
Priced mid-range the Pro holds its own against others in Garrett’s AT range – in fact, it’s the benchmark.
It’s the easiest AT machine to master, but still challenging when you move into the Pro modes.
For detailed comparison to other AT detectors check out these posts:
The AT range has more features than the ACE range (e.g. ACE 200, ACE 300, ACE 400) which is more affordable, for example, the AT’s have manual AND automatic ground balancing, iron audio and waterproofing.
Here is my detailed comparison of AT Pro vs ACE 400.
Bonus2: Minelab’s CTX 3030 is hailed as the ‘king of detectors’ but is priced more than twice the AT Pro. What do you get from that extra cash? Find out what’s better between the AT Pro and the CTX 3030.
The AT Pro is sold with a standard 8.5 x 11-inch DD PROformance coil (PROformance is a Garrett name trademark).
This is the same as other coils offered as standard on Garrett AT machines and will get you started, but the time will come when you want more coil options.
Good news then that you can buy different search coils when you’re ready to specialize! The available coils are:
- 4-inch DD that helps you get into small spaces
- 5×8 inch DD for small spaces but with more target separation
- 5x 9 inch concentric for relatively trash free areas
- 9×12 inch concentric to cover more open ground in a shorter space of time
Other Important Bits
It’s easy to get bogged down in specifics of coils and iron discrimination if you’re looking for the best metal detector, but don’t forget these basic bits of information.
- Weight and length
The AT Pro is adjustable from 43 to 56 inches and it weighs a tiny 3.03lbs.
It takes 4 AA batteries which will give you several long sessions. There’s a handy indicator to say when you’re low on power.
Top tip – keep spare batteries in a zip up pocket!
All Garrett machines are backed with a two-year warranty. It’s a sign of great build and reliability.
What Are The Cons of Garrett AT Pro?
It would be unfair to post a review without saying a bit about what I don’t like, or where it could improve. Fair’s fair, and I don’t want to mislead you.
As I’ve already said, this machine isn’t ideal for saltwater conditions, even though Garrett says you can use it there.
OK, so you can in theory, but the problem lies in hearing signal tones over the hysterical singing and bleeping that salty, wet sand instigates on a single frequency machine.
That’s my main issue, but I also have problems seeing the display in bright sunlight and dusky conditions because it’s not backlit.
Garrett, if you’re listening, please backlight the AT Pro’s display. My eyes aren’t what they used to be.
Overall, the Garrett AT Pro is a sturdy, reliable buy that won’t let you down or embarrass you. It’s an understated top of the range machine – like James Bond’s eternal Aston Martin.