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Fisher 1280X

   (2 reviews)

Steve Herschbach
  • Price: $ 549 Freq: 2.4 kHz Weight: 5.8 lbs Waterproof?: Yes Current?: Yes

The Fisher 1280X metal detector was introduced in 1985 and is still in production. It is a fully submersible 2.4 kHz induction balance metal detector aimed primarily at underwater use. The 250 foot maximum depth makes the 1280X suitable for use while SCUBA diving. Note that as a diving detector both the headphones and coil are hardwired into the control box and cannot be changed. There is a choice of 8" or 10.5" concentric coils at the time of purchase.

"The CZ-21 and 1280X are housed in the most rugged enclosures and each have the same collapsible pole assemblies. A short pole assembly is desired when diving, but full extension is preferred when standing or wading. Both are submersible to 250 feet. The control housing can be easily removed for hip-mounting or it can be chest-mounted with an optional chest harness. The CZ-21 has a reputation for being the best saltwater metal detector ever made, while the 1280X is known for being the best fresh water detector, but both can be used in either environment. The deep-seeking 1280X Aquanaut features turn-on-and-go operation because it automatically tunes itself to the changing conditions. It is very easy to use. No fine tuning, no threshold and no ground balancing adjustments are needed. Turn it on, set the volume, sensitivity and discrimination, and you are set for hours of care-free hunting." Source: Fisher 2016 catalog

Fisher 1280X metal detector

Fisher 1280X control panel

  • Automatic turn-on-and-go operation
  • Adjustable Sensitivity, Discrimination and Volume
  • Audio and Visual Target Response
  • Battery Test Mode
  • Fully Collapsible pole assembly
  • Submersible to 250 feet (76 m)
  • Removable control housing with belt-mount attachment
  • Arm Strap included
  • Uses 8 AA batteries - Up to 75 Hours of Battery Life
  • Available with 8" (20 cm) or 10" (25 cm) Concentric Round Open Searchcoil
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs. (2.6 kg) w/8" (20 cm) Searchcoil or 6.3 lbs. (2.9 kg) w/10" (25 cm) Searchcoil
  • 2.4 kHz Operating Frequency
  • 2 Year Warranty

Official Fisher 1280X Product Page

Fisher 1280X Owner's Manual

First Texas (Fisher) Metal Detector Forum


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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

I used the 1280x for more than 15 years without a problem.  I had the small coil and made a chest mount harness as well as used the belt mount which made swinging the coil much easier due to the reduced weight on the rod.  Although I was told it was not suitable to use in salt water, I took it to Miami and the Hawaiian Islands and was successful in finding more than eight gold rings plus a platinum ring in salt water or wet salt water sand. Once the coil was submerged, the detector stabilized and the signals were smooth and easily identified as either good or bad targets.   Loved the fact that the detector broke down to make the detector very portable for travel.  Sold it last year and the new owner found a gold ring his first time using the machine.

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Steve Herschbach

   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

The Fisher 1280X was my first fully submersible metal detector. It was early days and I did very well finding rings and silver coins in fresh water swimming locations with this detector. The 1280X has an exceptionally low operating frequency of 2.4 kHz (VF or Voice Frequency) that makes it strong on high conductors like silver coins but it is weak on small gold jewelry. The unit is built like a tank, and the ability to chest or hip mount the control box was a plus due to the weight of the detector.

Fisher sold the circuit rights for the 1280X to Detector Pro, who used the circuit in the VLF Wader series of detectors. They are only waterproof to wading depths but are interesting since all the detector electronics is built into the headphone - very light weight compared to the original 1280X.

There are few detectors that have been produced for as long as the 1280X and it is a decent performer, but at this point in the 21st century there are other options available that are likely to be more attractive to most people. This was a top detector in its day and gets three stars from me now only because the 1280X is very heavy and feature limited by today's standards. The main feature of note that still has extra value is the 250 foot operating depth, which means the 1280X is one of the few options available for SCUBA divers.

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