Jump to content

Looking For Advice On Starter Pinpointer (too Cheap, Or Not Too Cheap... That Is The Question...)


Recommended Posts

Hey everyone, new to the forum, so please go easy on me as I ask my first stupid question of what is likely to be many...

So I'm just getting back into the hobby after many years (actually decades, but I'm choosing not to use that term out of denial!) 🙂

Back then things were a bit simpler it seemed, either that or I was young and ignorant... Anyway...

I've blown all my "hobby budget" (or technically my wife did buying me a present). Getting the Minelab Vanquish 540 for Christmas to go do some beach hunting this summer...

And I'd love to have a pinpointer to make things a bit easier when digging targets, but realize that I can't likely afford one. Unfortunately things here in NZ come at a premium, and all the "good branded, and known quality" pinpointers, are fairly pricy. 

So I am facing 2 options:

  1. Just suck it up, and wait. The Vanquish has a pinpoint mode, and that is probably good enough to do my first couple hunts. Then I should be able to afford a decent pinpointer such as:
    • Nokta Pulsedive, which is about $200 NZD locally, shipped.
    • Minelab Profind 35, which is about $265 NZD locally, shipped.
    • Gold Century Pinpointer, which is about $99 NZD locally, shipped. (seems like a bit of an "unknown quantity", not much about this brand)
  2. "Cheap Out" and get a random non-known brand, imported one from Amazon, which I can justify now because it's dirt cheap, and then upgrade later on.

What I'm seeking is some input on whether the cheap options are likely to work well enough for some basic beach and park hunting (not diving, maybe searching in surf or wet sand). Are they likely to give enough advantage just through their basic function, to speed up and enhance the hunting experience, considering the cheap price, even though I acknowledge I will likely want a better one ultimately in the future, and considering I do have a detector with a pinpoint mode.

Or should I just stick to the detector only, use it's pinpoint mode, knowing that realistically it will be at least 2-3 months before I'll be able to get a "decent" pinpointer.

Thoughts? Input? Suggestions? Anyone have any actual hands-on experience with one of these? etc...

Thanks in advance!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Steve Herschbach changed the title to Looking For Advice On Starter Pinpointer (too Cheap, Or Not Too Cheap... That Is The Question...)

For Saltwater beaches I've never, in hundreds of trips, ever used a pin pointer. A decent sand scoop is all that's required for the dry sand. For the wet sand or in the water you'll need a whole different, long handled "scoop" and there are almost as many options as there are hunters. Park hunting requires a pin pointer as to not damage or to do as little damage to the turf as possible. Again there are many different pointers on the market. In my 45 years experience, I've found that a quality unit is the preferred road to take. Cheap (inexpensive) Pin Pointers Don't last long and have very poor performance. This is my list of quality Pin Pointers, Garrett Pro Pointer, & Pro pointer II, Garrett Pro-pointer AT (Carrot), Minelab Profind 35, White's TRX, XP Mi6, Fisher F-Pulse, Teknetics Tek-Point. Be careful of units priced super cheap from China, there's lots of counterfeit pointers out there. I haven't used the Makro/Nokta units but many folks like them real well. Their detectors are top quality. Save for a top quality unit and you won't won't be disappointed. Personally for a first pin pointer, The Garrett Pro-Pointer II is a great unit, reliable, fairly inexpensive, with a great warranty. This is probably the most copied, counterfeit pointer out there. Make sure you get the real thing. 

Good luck out there.

Tom

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

My first electronic pinpointer was a Little Wizard II that is normally used to scan lumber for nails.  Used it for at least a couple of years before I updated.    Worked fine for shallow targets, in the plug targets and in the sidewall of the hole targets.   About 2" on a dime....more on a nickle.   You can scan with the flat head for broad locating then turn up on its edge for fine pointing.      

I think they run about 25 bucks.

HH
Mike

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks Tom for the advice.

Looking at some of the other models you recommended:

  • Garrett Pro-pointer II is about $180-$200 NZD shipped to get here in New Zealand
  • Garrett Pro-pointer AT is about $260 NZD shipped to get locally here
  • The XP Mi6 is about $310 NZD locally

Just to give comparisons (relative local price) to the other known models I listed in my original post.

I totally agree that getting a good/trusted device is always the right way to go. Normally I'm not one to cut corners, but under the circumstances I'm just thinking the summer activity rush in beaches/parks will be heavy through Dec/Jan/Feb and into March. Then things start to shift into Autumn mode, still lots of activity, but it starts to reduce from there. And if I want to ride that and do some hunting for the resulting treasures from that activity, I'll want to be out during those months.

IF (and as you've indicated at least for beach hunting, this may not be true) I need a pinpointer to be effective, my assumption was that a cheap one (if it will work "good enough" and last a couple months) might be suitable as a literal "throw away" device, with the full intent of getting a better device in a few months once I can justify the price and go all-in on a nice quality device. And as you've said a pinpointer is pretty critical for park hunting to avoid damaging too much ground. So I guess that's the main reason for this thread, it's not meant to be a "Cheap vs Decent", but more "is cheap suitable in the limited use-case of being a short-term throw-away device that is meant as a stop-gap for a few months". Or am I better off just using only the main detector and it's pinpoint mode (and perhaps not doing any park detecting as a result if that's a consequence of that decision) until I can justify a "real" pinpointer in a few months.

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently picked up the Nokta Pulse Dive pointer. Very well built, hasn't falsed out on me yet like my Profind 35 does.

It is a little less sensitive on tiny stuff like an ear ring or possibly gold nuggets but performs well.

Has a replaceable tip, can add optional coils to it and its rechargable!!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

GW, you mentioned in another thread that you are an engineer and like to tinker.  You also asked about books.  Here's one that covers both bases -- Inside the Metal Detector by George Overton and Carl Moreland.  There's an (early) chapter there on making a pinpointer.  The book is probably going to cost as much as a cheap pinpointer, though.

One thing about some of the cheapos - they are pirated/counterfeit copies of bonafide models.  They would be illegal (for the makers/sellers) if they could be prosecuted (or should I say, if they could stop them in their tracks).  You're safe buying one of those (I'm not saying all inexpensive pinpointers are counterfeits) but you would effectively be encouraging the crooks at the expense of the deserving manufacturers.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, GB_Amateur said:

You're safe buying one of those (I'm not saying all inexpensive pinpointers are counterfeits) but you would effectively be encouraging the crooks at the expense of the deserving manufacturers.

This is a VERY good point, and I'm glad you made me realize it. Thanks!

Also thanks for the recommendation on the book! Yeah building my own detector did come to mind as a fun project, and maybe a logical starting point is a pinpointer lol... Even if the book was the same cost as a cheapo pointer, would probably be a much better way to spend the money! 🙂

Cheers!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everyone, new to the forum, so please go easy on me as I ask my first stupid question of what is likely to be many..  'Welcome' to Steve's Forums, and back into this great sport.

 

I've blown all my "hobby budget" (or technically my wife did buying me a present). Getting the Minelab Vanquish 540 for Christmas to go do some beach hunting this summer... .. The Vanquish 540 is a very good detector.  I've been enjoying this sport for over 55 years now, have a good set of detectors in my outfit, to include a V-540 Pro Pack and a 2nd V-540 is due to be delivered tomorrow.  I'll keep the 5X8 on the one I use the most now and have the 9X12 on the 2nd unit to be at-the-ready for wide-open areas, such as a beach, open grassy park, plowed field, etc.

 

So I am facing 2 options:

  1. Just suck it up, and wait. The Vanquish has a pinpoint mode, and that is probably good enough to do my first couple hunts. Then I should be able to afford a decent pinpointer such as:
    • Nokta Pulsedive, which is about $200 NZD locally, shipped.
    • Minelab Profind 35, which is about $265 NZD locally, shipped.
    • Gold Century Pinpointer, which is about $99 NZD locally, shipped. (seems like a bit of an "unknown quantity", not much about this brand)
  2. "Cheap Out" and get a random non-known brand, imported one from Amazon, which I can justify now because it's dirt cheap, and then upgrade later on.... I have 3 Pinpointer that serve me well.

My #1 most reliable is my Nokta / Makro Pulse-Dive Pointer.  I use it with my Simplex + because it pairs with the headphones, and I also use it with FORS CoRe, FORS Relic, XLT, Bandido II µMAX and Silver Sabre µMAX and F5.  I have the Garrett 'Carrot' AT w/Z-Lynk that I use with my two Apex devices along with my MS3 headphones. 

The 3rd Pinpointer I have is a White's BullsEye II.  Not the same as my two trusted pinpointers, but it works fine and thy have lasted me better than the China-made knock-offs.  I piked up a brand new in-the-box BullsEye II very reasonably, and I have it on-hand to use as a 'loaner unit' for friends and family.

Monte

image.gif.c94d8edaecfce62c312ca3260374a9b4.gif

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

if eBay is an option with shipping to NZ I suggest looking for a used one from the well known brands. You can usually get one for a good price that way. Stay away from the knock offs and Chinese brands. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Glasswalker,( Explain the name)?

   Welcome to the forum! All the pinpointer suggestions given will work great! But a long handled scoop is a must for the beach; more so than a pinpointer! A stainless steel one will hold up longer than an aluminum one, but is a little heaver!

   There is another member of the forum you should talk to from NZ! His forum name is Phrunt (Simon), and he has some stuff in common with you background wise! He may be able to be of assistance to you, being that you two are fairly close to one another! You can personal message (PM) him by clicking on his name anywhere on the forum, and than clicking on the little envelope, in the center of the screen! Good Luck with the new/old hobby!👍👍

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By mh9162013
      I've been debating whether to get a Fisher F-Pulse due to its greater sensitivity compared to my Garrett Carrot. But I wonder about its "closing range." What's that? Let me try to explain.
      Today, I tried using my Garrett Carrot for a full hunt, but had it on maximum sensitivity. I appreciated its extended range as it made it easier to determine if my target was in my plug or hole. However, I realized that the greater sensitivity isn't as useful as I had hoped given the amount of trash where I hunt. So while my Fisher F2 could discriminate out trash, during my dig, my Garrett Carrot might detect a piece of trash before it could get the actual target I was digging for.
      But I confirmed that the greater sensitivity of my Garrett Carrot isn't as useful as I had hoped because of the short "closing range" it had. What I'm referring to is its ability to change its beeping as the poinpointer gets closer to the target.
      For instance, the pinpointer might detect a target 3 inches out. But when it's still 1 inch away, the steadily increasing beeps have stopped and now it's a solid tone. And it stays this solid tone no matter how much closer you get to the target. Ideally, the steadily increasing beeps (what I'm referring to as its "closing range") will continue until the pinpointer is touching the target.
      I see tons of videos on a pinpointer's sensitivity. But none on its "closing range." I'm realizing that having a pinpointer with the ability to detect a coin at 4 inches, but only has a "closing range" of 2 inches may not be as useful as a pinpointer with the ability to detect a coin at 3 inches, but has a closing range of 2.75 inches (assuming this kind of pinpointer even exists). I also understand that the size of the target makes a big difference. With my ring, I may never get a solid beep from my pinpointer even when it touches my ring. Yet when next to a metal trash can, I get the solid beep when the pinpointer is 4+ inches way.
      So my question is: what pinpointer(s) have the best closing ranges? For example, the Fisher F-Pulse has the best (or among the best) range/sensitivity of most major pinpointers on the market. But does it have a correspondingly long closing range, too?
    • By GeoBill
      I recall that there were several people here who were looking for the TRX pinpointer and not finding them in stock anywhere. I was just looking at the Centreville Electronics website and they have them listed in stock for $199 with 2 year warranty. I was able to add one to my cart so it appears real.
      https://www.centrevilleelectronics.net/newunits.htm
      Cheers
    • By Mr Swing king
      Hey everyone! I just upgraded to a nox 800 at the start of the month, moving over from a simplex and pulsedive. I was having trouble getting used to the nox at first and was thinking of sending it back because I couldn't even detect in tot lots. Thanks to some posts on here, it's going a lot smoother.
       
      My question is this, is there a way to pair the pulsedive with the equinox headphones?
    • By SG CT
      This morning I wanted to charge my XP MI-4 pinpointer but couldn't open the knob covering the charging plug. After many fruitless attempts, I contacted XP service at metaldetector.com. In an on-line chat, they suggested soaking the tip in warm water for 15 minutes, then to try twisting to open and even reversing directions a few times. After a few tries, this worked.
      Hope this helps anyone else who might have this problem.
       
    • By Johnny Crunch
      Today was out in a park, shooting coins with a friend. (Between us, got three forties wheats, 1940 Jefferson, a Mercury, and a silver ring) Beauty weather for December: high fifties, sunny. Nice day. In the middle of it all, whilst I was rooting in a hole, my TRX pinpointer started playing a song! I thought it was telling me to change the battery. No, it was playing a weird little ditty. Neither my friend or I could recognize the tune. Anyone have any light to shed on this? I found a YouTube video from 6 six years ago, but I'm not even sure it was the same song... I wish I had thought to record the song with my phone, but I admit I failed to think fast enough.   😞     Oh, White's Electronics, you shall be missed!
    • By GeoBill
      Earlier people were looking for a TRX pinpointer. Centerville Electronics has a refurbished one on their used page for $95 with a 6 month warranty. Already have one or I would have jumped on it.
      Cheers
×
×
  • Create New...