Is a PinPointer Really Necessary For Metal Detecting?

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Cory Haasnoot

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If you are new to metal detecting you have probably purchased a metal detector maybe some headphones, sand scoop, or shovel. You might have even gone out on your first expedition and your metal detector went off signaling a target in the ground. But you dug and dug but could not locate the possible treasure. So you are probably wondering what am I missing? What you are missing is a good pinpointer.

Do you need a pinpointer? No, you don’t need a pinpointer to go metal detecting but using a pinpointer will help you narrow down the precise location of the target that the metal detector has broadly alerted to in the ground.

In this article, we will discuss the uses of metal detecting pinpointers and how they can accompany a metal detector to help you find more treasure faster. I will also show you what my recommended metal detecting pinpointer is and why they are a must-have tool when out metal detecting. I will also explain how to use a pinpointer and some of the situations you might find yourself in that a pinpointer would come in useful.

How Metal Detecting Pinpointers Work

Pin Pointer

Pinpointers are mini handheld metal detectors that have a very small search coil in them that transmits an electromagnetic signal out to a metal object. When the metal object is hit with the signal it transmits back to the pinpointer with audio sound or vibration that alerts you to the presence of metal. They are also automatic and run on just a battery.

How to Use a Metal Detecting Pinpointer

Using a pinpointer while metal detecting makes life much easier and you can find your target much quicker than just using a metal detector. So first you use your metal detector to find the general area that a target may be in. Once you get a hit with the metal detector it’s time to dig in the area that the metal detector hit on. Once you dig a plug of dirt out of the ground you take your pinpointer and point it in the holes and through the dirt plug until you start getting a hit with the pinpointer.

Having a pinpointer while metal detecting helps you find the treasure much quicker and you don’t need to rely on just sight to find the object. Because many times objects are very small and you need the assistance of a pinpointer to locate it.

Do Metal Detectors Come With Built-in Pinpointer?

Some metal detector models come with a built-in pinpointer but you really can’t get into the dirt with a big wielding metal detector search coil. They do work but they are not as handy as having a handheld pinpointer at your disposal.

Where to Use a Pinpointer

There are a few situations that require the use of a pinpointer when metal detecting and they are:

  • Locating target in a hole
  • Locating target in a plug of dirt
  • Getting around tree roots
  • Areas with a lot of vines and bushes
  • Underwater Metal Detecting

Can You Metal Detect With Just a Pinpointer?

Yes, you can use just a pinpointer to metal detect but I wouldn’t recommend it. You would need to be on your hands and knees a lot which could become very uncomfortable over a long period of time. But if you’re just using a pinpointer you will want to grid out the area where you want to detect so you don’t go over spots that you previously searched on. I personally recommend doing the initial search with a metal detector and then getting out the pinpointer to zero in on the target area.

Can a Pinpointer Detect Gold?

Close up of a gold nugget

A pinpointer can find any type of metal there is including gold coins and small gold nuggets or even large gold nuggets. If you are prospecting for gold nuggets using a pinpointer you will want to make sure that you are in an area the gold has been found in the past. You will want to listen for the sound of gold that your metal detector will make which is a very distinct sound. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. Gold coins on the other hand could be anywhere and if you find one you are one lucky person.

Digging DeeperWhat Is The Best Pinpointer For Small Gold?

How Deep Can a Pinpointer Detect?

A pinpointer can typically detect to 1 to 2 inches but the Garrett AT Pro pinpointer can detect up to 10″ deep. This is ok because usually the target object will have already been dug up before you need to use a pinpointer.

What to Look For in a Good Pinpointer?

There are a few things to look for in a quality pinpointer. You want them to have audio and vibration. There are some models that work with wireless headphones so you can better hear the audio signals that you are receiving. Vibration comes in handy when you are metal detecting in a loud area where it would be hard to hear the audio.

Another handy feature to have is sensitivity adjustment.

Having an led light comes in handy if you are searching in low lite areas or it’s dark and cloudy outside. If you intend on detecting around rivers and streams or in them for that matter having a waterproof pinpointer will be what you want to have with you. Not all pinpointers are waterproof so make sure you read the package before you buy.

How Much Do Pinpointers Cost?

A good quality pinpointer will typically cost between $150 and $200. A cheap one will cost around $50. But keep in mind a cheap pinpointer will not last as long as a quality one and won’t have many of the advanced features you might want out in the field like sensitivity adjustment or waterproofing.

Digging Deeper: 19 Best Pinpointers For Under $50 That Work

What is the Best Metal Detecting Pinpointer?

There are many pinpointers on the market but there’s one that stands out and that’s the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT. Also known as the Garrett Carrot because it is orange and looks somewhat like a carrot. This pinpointer has everything you need in a quality pinpointer and then some.

Garrett Pro-Pointer AT

Garrett Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof Pinpointing Metal Detector, Orange

The Garrett Pro-Pointer AT is waterproof up to 20 feet. It has an LED flashlight right on the front so you can see better in poorly lit conditions. It has a scraping blade to more easily sift through the soil to find your target. It has 3 sensitivity settings that help in locating small gold and other smaller objects. It even has a built-in ruler on the side to determine at what depth you are finding your treasure.

This pinpointer also has 360-degree detection. It comes with a belt holster carrying case and a 9-volt battery that’s inserted in the end by unscrewing the cap. Best all-around pinpointer for the money. Well worth adding to your treasure hunting arsenal. Check it out on Amazon by clicking the button below:

Is a Pin Pointer Necessary For Metal Detecting Conclusion

So now you have a better understanding of what a metal detecting pinpointer is. You will also be able to determine if having a pinpointer as part of your treasure hunting gear is right for you. In my opinion, I highly recommend owning a pinpointer. You will find a pinpointer very useful in the quick recovery of treasure.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Until next time Happy Treasure Hunting!

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

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