What is the Best Pinpointer for Metal Detecting?

Marc McDermott

Are you looking for the best pinpointer and want to get the most bang for your buck? With over 10 years of metal detecting experience, our top pick is the Garrett Pro Pointer AT. This all-terrain pinpointer is the newest model from Garrett Electronics, the world leader in metal detector pinpointers.

Here is a list of what I consider to be the top 5 best pinpointers on the market today. Prices can fluctuate, so be sure to check the latest using the links below.

In this article, I’ll explain what pinpointers are, why they’re so useful, and what to look for when buying one.

Let’s take a look at each one of these pinpointers in more detail.

Garrett Pro Pointer AT

What we like:

  • Fully Waterproof and Submersible to Hunt Anywhere
  • Manual Sensitivity Adjustment for Better Depth and Smaller Targets
  • Manual Retune Function for Better Target ID
  • Lost Pro-Pointer Alarm So You’ll Never Leave it Behind
  • Bright Orange Color For Easier Water Hunting

What we don’t like

  • Only one button for all functions which can be hard to learn.

The Garrett Pro Pointer AT is the newest version of the famous Garrett Pro Pointer.

The ‘AT’ stands for all-terrain which means you can use it underwater up to 10 feet which is perfect for creeks, rivers, lakes, and even ocean surf hunting.

You can also use it in mud puddles out in the woods if you’re hunting just after, or during a rainstorm.

And when you get home from your hunt, just run it under water to clean, and you’re done. No more covering the speaker hole with your thumb like on the old Pro Pointer!

Because this pinpointer can be used underwater, Garrett changed the color from black to orange.

SO orange in fact that it’s often referred to as the ‘Garrett Carrot.’

The reason for the bright orange color, of course, is so you can see it under water. So when you want to pinpoint a target in a murky river, you’ll never lose sight of your pinpointer.

The other big advantage of the Pro Pointer AT is that it has three sensitivity modes – low, medium and high.

This allows you to quickly find smaller targets at greater depths.

Another impressive feature is the ability to ‘retune’.

Retuning allows you to shrink the detection signal which allows you to gain an even more precise location of your target – one of my favorite features!

The Pro Pointer AT is lightweight (6.5 oz), has a 30-hour battery life and comes with a two-year warranty.

Read our full review here.

Deteknix XPointer

What we like:

  • Best Bang For Your Buck
  • Will Never False Even When Applying Pressure to Tip
  • Superior LED Light
  • Multiple Color Options
  • Adjustable Sensitivity

What we don’t like

  • Only 1 Year Warranty
  • Not Waterproof

When you look at the XPointer from Deteknix, you might need to do a double take because it looks so much like the Pro Pointer.

It packs a lot of the same features as the Pro Pointer AT, but at a much more affordable price point ($89 vs. $127).

A Chinese-based company, Deteknix makes a pretty solid pinpointer.

One of the best features of the XPointer is that it never falses – not even when you put pressure on the tip.

This is a great feature to have when sifting dirt in the hole. You never have to worry about falsing when you press down too hard which we all do without realizing half the time.

Another superior feature on the Deteknix pinpointer is the brighter LED light.

While all pinpointers have LED lights that shine into the hole, the Xpointer’s light is significantly brighter which is perfect for hunting at dusk, cloudy days, or even in dense woods.

Unlike other pinpointers, the Xpointer comes in different colors – black, orange, camo or gray.

The Xpointer weighs 4.7 oz and comes with a one year warranty.

Makro Waterproof Pinpointer

What we like:

  • Fully waterproof and submersible
  • Adjustable Sensitivity
  • Comes With Protective Covers and Other Goodies

What we don’t like

  • Buttons Can Be Hard to Learn
  • Only Waterproof to 3 Feet

The Makro Pinpointer was released in the fall of 2014 and was the first mainstream, fully waterproof pinpointer.

Based in Turkey, Makro is relatively new to the hobby detecting market and has grown very quickly in popularity.

Like the Pro Pointer AT, it is fully waterproof and has multiple levels of adjustable sensitivity.

It has three different modes for audio (audio only, vibration only and both audio/vibration).

A nice feature unique to the Makro is that it comes with two replaceable hard-shell cases. Think coil cover, but for your pinpointer.

Both cases are intended to protect, and extend the life of your pinpointer. One of the cases is a basic cover while the other has a scraping blade to help sift through the dirt.

The Makro Pointer also comes with a belt holster, finds bag, and a large carrying case equipped with a shoulder strap. Most other pinpointers will only come with a belt holster.

It weighs 8.3 oz, has a 30-hour battery life and comes with a two-year year warranty.

Minelab Pro-Find 25

What we like:

  • Adjustable Sensitivity Using +/- Buttons

What we don’t like

  • Not waterproof
  • Most Expensive
  • Less Depth Than Others

The ProFind 25 from Minelab is another great pinpointer that you may want to consider.

When the Pro Find first hit the market in late 2012, no other pinpointer had the ability to adjust sensitivity – not even the original Pro Pointer.

It was a breakthrough in pinpointer technology because never before could you adjust the settings like you could on your regular detector.

The Pro Find 25 also gave you the ability to switch between audio modes – audio and vibrate or vibrate-only.

This was a great feature to have for hunting in public spaces where you didn’t want to disturb anyone.

Both of these features were later adopted by Garrett (and others) when they released the Pro Pointer AT, making the Pro Find 25 just slightly less attractive.

This pinpointer weighs in at 6.8 oz, has a 30-hour battery life and also comes with a two-year warranty.

Whites Bullseye TRX

What we like:

  • Superior Depth
  • Waterproof to 10 feet

What we don’t like

  • Poor LED Light Brightness
  • Unstable at Maximum Sensitivity
  • Large Blind Spot on Sides
  • More Expensive Than Others
  • No Scraping Blade

The Bullseye TRX from White’s is another favorite pinpointer, mainly due to its superior depth.

In the current market, the TRX will get you the greatest amount of depth.

But with that superior depth comes a few tradeoffs.

It does tend to false quite a bit and can become unstable under maximum sensitivity.

It also has a big blind spot on the side scan functionality which is a major red flag for me.

Lastly, the LED light is so dim that they might as well not even have included it on this pinpointer.

While I hate to be so down on any product, I would skip this one and opt for something with better features and more stability.

Now that you know some of the pros and cons for each, you can make a more educated decision as to the best pinpointer for your metal detecting needs.


What is a pinpointer?

So what exactly is a pinpointer and what does it do?

A pinpointer is simply a handheld metal detector that’s used to laser in (or ‘pinpoint’) your target.

Once you’ve detected a target with your regular metal detector and dig your plug, take out your pinpointer to get an exact location of the target in the hole.

Within seconds you’ll be able to pull your target from dirt – or dig deeper (in the right direction) for those hard to reach silver coins.

Having a pinpointer in your pouch makes recovering targets much faster and easier.

Do you really reed a pinpointer to metal detect?

No, but you’d be crazy not to have one in my humble opinion 🙂

In a way, it’s one of those things that you don’t realize how you ever lived without one until you have one.

Think of it like this. If you could save 5 minutes on average per hole retrieving your target, you’ll save an hour of time on just 12 good signals.

You can then use that earned hour to cover more area, dig better targets, and increase your find count for the day.

So do you really need a pinpointer? Absolutely!

Final thoughts

What if you could walk away from every hunt with more finds in your pouch?

What if your body didn’t ache six days after your hunt from all the bending over, kneeling and squatting while digging?

These are just two reasons you should think about getting a pinpointer for metal detecting.

Choosing a pinpointer doesn’t have to be difficult. Consider the features you want and your budget.

If you do any water hunting, you should go with either the Pro Pointer AT or Makro Pointer.

On a budget but still want quality? Consider the Deteknix XPointer.

Want maximum depth without much concern for falsing? Add the TRX to your tool belt.

I hope this article was helpful. Now choose your pinpointer and get hunting!

14 thoughts on “What is the Best Pinpointer for Metal Detecting?”

  1. Nice reporting on the pin pointers. Having said that may I add another pin pointer from a supplier in NJ USA Called LAND AND SEA pin pointer. It was designed along the lines of Pulse induction, so the unit works well in the ocean, beaches. My ATP by Garrett wouldn’t preform well at all on the beaches of North America atlantic waters. There is a girl SHE DETECTOR in Florida that shows the using of different machines metal detecting and has also reported on the pin pointer. This unit is under 100$, water proof to I think 20 feet, two buttons, and a light . I hope this helps.
    GL HH & God bless

    • Thanks a bunch! I have heard of that but haven’t been able to test it out yet. I’ll update this guide as soon as I test it out 🙂

    • I have one and it works great. Very Happy with it.

  2. Why no mention of either the UniProbe or the VibraProbe products? I use both and find them to be excellent.

    • Hey Mark! Thanks for your comment. I wanted to keep the focus of this article on the more widely used pinpointers. Both the brands you mention make great products, and I’ll likely review them in future articles. Thanks again!

  3. The Minelab can be washed under the tap after use and is water resistant. It has selectible audio/audio and vibrate or just vibrate settings and has an LED light. Minelab customer service is as good as anyones as far as I’ve experienced.

    • Thanks Neil!

  4. The Minelab pro find 35 is the best pointer i’ve come across yet. It also is the only one with iron discrimination. It has amazing depth too.

    • Thanks Andrew. I’m planning to get my hands on one of these soon so stay tuned!

  5. I think you were a bit hard on the TRX and easy on the Carrot. I would rate them in near polar opposite. I see the top 5 being 1. Minelab ProFind 35 (iron tone) 2. Bullseye TRX (for Max depth and interchangeable waterproof shells). It doesn’t have to be run at Max, but it’s there when needed. User replaceable shells are a huge bonus. 3. Gold Digger Land or Sea (Pulse, deep and consistent in highly mineralized areas). 4. fisher F-pulse/Teknetics Tek-point (same reasons as previous) 5. Possibly, maybe the Carrot. It’s just a plain waterproof pinpointer with adequate range. Nothing special about it. Nothing it does particularly better than anyone else.

  6. What are your thoughts on the Fisher F pulse vs the Garrett? Same price, but any advantages on the Fisher? I have a F44 detector and was thinking on staying with the brand. Thanks

    • I haven’t tested the F-pulse yet so can’t say for sure.

  7. Is the garret carrot reliable? I saw a English guy on YouTube who said every one he has owned has stopped working within six months.

    • It’s the most popular and (in my opinion) best pinpoint on the market right now. Garrett has a legit 2 year warranty in case there are issues.

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