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Tesoro Compadre

   (5 reviews)

Steve Herschbach
  • Price: $ 169 Freq: 12 kHz Weight: 2.2 lbs Waterproof?: No Current?: No

The Tesoro Compadre metal detector was introduced in 2000 and ceased production in 2018. It is a 12 kHz VLF metal detector aimed primarily at coin, jewelry, and relic detecting. Note that the coil on the Compadre is hardwired and not interchangeable. You can choose from one of two coil options at the time of purchase, a 5.75" or 8" concentric coil.

"The Tesoro Compadre was designed with the idea that less is more. This modest machine can do a lot of the same things that its bigger brothers can do. It works great for coin hunting, competition hunting and relic hunting, but it does it without any excess knobs. Switch on the detector and you’re working in a silent search, motion all metal mode. The farther you turn the knob, the more discrimination you can bring to bear on those trashy sites.
The Compadre has it all. One knob simplicity for the beginner and high gain circuitry and the famous Tesoro ED-180 discrimination for the advanced user. If one detector can do all of this, maybe less is more. The Compadre is available with a 5.75" Concentric Searchcoil or with an 8" Concentric Searchcoil."
Source: Tesoro 2007 catalog

Tesoro Compadre metal detector

Tesoro Compadre control panel

  • Operating Frequency    12 kHz
  • Searchcoil Type    Round concentric, hardwired
  • Searchcoil Size    5.75"
  • Cable Length    Approx. 3'
  • Audio Frequency    Approx. 630 Hz
  • Audio Output    1 ½" speaker and headphone jack
  • Headphone Compatibility    ¼" stereo plug
  • Weight (may vary slightly)    2.2 lbs
  • Battery Requirement    One 9 Volt DC (alkaline)
  • Battery Life (typical)    10 to 20 hours
  • Optimum Temp. Range    30° to 100° F
  • Optimum Humidity    0 to 75% R.H.
  • Operating Modes    Silent Search Discriminate

Official Tesoro Compadre Product Page

Tesoro Compadre Owner's Manual

Forum Threads Tagged "tesoro detector"

Tesoro Metal Detectors Forum


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

    I have the compadre with the 8" coil. I've never used the smaller coil type so I cant compare them. I live in an area with a lot of beaches and snow sledding hills. This was my first detector. I was looking for something to hunt rings and jewlery. The Compadre was the least costly, for what I could determine, of the available detectors that worked really good for rings. I wasn't dissapointed. I've found these items easily. I am not a dealer!

    The Compadre has a very accurate discrimination. There's so many rusty nails, bolts and washers around here. I can put the disc. just above Iron and the Compadre quietly searches for targets never making a sound on the iron. This has no ground balance, no sensitivity dial and just one knob. So there's no "threshold" sound. The knob is the on and off and the discrimination. There's no display with target ID. There's only 1 knob and a speaker on the face. I really love that I can still find silver rings and gold rings without hearing constant sounds from iron. I have found targets as small as split shot. With the discrimination all the way off I found half a staple. On a few beaches, we have this black sand that makes it impossible for VLF detectors. But, one day I had an idea to just hunt anyway with no descrimination. Yes, lots of false sounds. However, I found $5 in quarters because the Compadre's analog "sound" made the quarter sound very repeatable. Heck, I did it into the night with just the moon light on the water because it has no screen and I just listened with my earbuds. It has the larger size head phone jack. I kept finding coins about 3" deep. 

   I use the kind of earbuds with earhooks so I could place them a little away from my ear canal. The Compadre is loud and without a volume control. But, hey, its simple!! It works!!

    I also don't mind that it has no interchangeable coil. It takes that decision away. On a day when I just want to enjoy the weather and go hunt the beaches, it's a joy to have no complicated decisions to make like, which coil, did I ground balance, should I change sensitivity. I smile when I reach for the compadre because my next move is walking out the door on my way to have fun with a detector the will find the goods!

     About the descrimination, it is really good. I can set it right where a zink penny is detectable and I can cherry pick for all coins and anything silver. Or, If I just want to hunt for quarters and anything silver, I set it and it's silent until I hit a target. This method works all the way down to iron. Nickles can be ID'd by using a nickle you have to identify the location on your dial then use the "thumbing" method to ID targets. It is a very specific spot on the dial that you will find this way.

    For picking targets out of trash, it's hard to beat. I found a silver dime in a popular spot in the foundation ruins of an old building with all kinds of pipes, nails and bolts. There was only one sound. The silver dime. That's incredible. In fact, you can put the discrimination up all the way and it will still find silver, noooo problem.

    Here's the "thumbing" method of target ID'ing: By simply spinning the knob to discriminate out the target, then slowly turning the knob back until you hear a solid repeatable sound, one can identify a target very accurately and easily.

     I believe, after using the Compadre, my "hearing" for targets became much better. It helped me with "descrimination by sound" on my other detector. The Compadre is my ninja detector work-out unit! Sometimes you can just hear the ground minerals and other small chirps and just know it's not a target. Sometimes I have to throw a coin down or detect the eyelets on my shoes to make sure it's still running!

    This detector has some great abilities. Some no other detector has. Example, if a coin is right next to a pipe of a fence in a park, the coin target will double beep and that's a sign to dig! That double beep also works on tiny stud earings. I can sweep the sand. I mean sliding my coil on the sand, and get a double beep from tiny earings and earing backs. I have several silver earing backs doing this with the Compadre.

   The nuances of the sound from analog gives a great "picture" of what is under the sand. I could hear the ridges of bottle caps once I got good at it. It's hard to believe, but it sounds kind of scratchy but solid like a coin. The shear fun from such simplicity and function can't be found in any other detector for me. It's a great way to begin metal detecting. Kids can use it too. Just turn one knob and off ya go! I have one other detector with a screen and several coils. I use it a lot too. But, the Compadre keeps out performing in trash due to the discrimination. So it has it's place in my Arsenal. That's my take on the Compadre. 

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I just picked up a Compadre in excellent used condition. It reminds me of the Sovereign GT except a whole lot simpler. I’m really excited about this little detector and hope to keep it in my truck in case I see a site that is begging for a hunt. Good luck!

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Mxt Sniper

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I highly recommend this Compadre for tot lot hunting for beginners to experts. It gets the goods. Thin gold Chains, etc, my compadre has the 5.75" coil. Its a great grab and go vlf. Not recommended for deep hunting, its good to about 6" depth.

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Jeff McClendon

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I like the Tesoro Compadre so much that I have owned three of them! I have had two with the smallest coil which I later sold. I liked them just fine but I live in Colorado and depth is always an issue in our highly mineralized dirt. When I heard that Tesoro was in trouble I managed to find the Compadre model that I always really wanted with the 8" doughnut coil. My Compadre goes with me on detecting trips to parks and tot lots where there are lots of fences, metal benches and other metal structures that this detector's coil can get right up next to and not overload. It detects 7" coin sized targets well and like most Tesoros it sounds beautiful on actual coins and jewelry. Those that have no long-time experience with these uncomplicated detectors just don't understand how well they discriminate and how interesting it is to listen to different analog tone responses and learn them. Its just the same pitched tone for every target BUT they sound so different to the practiced hearer. It is refreshing for the detector user to be such and integral part of the detecting process. Your ears are everything when using a Compadre. 

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i have the european version of the Compadre "Mini" it is just over 1 foot long and has a 4" coil. Am just not sure what to exactly use it for as I run a Nox800 and a SDC2300 but had the opportunity to get one at a fair price and detectors that size are rare.


Response from the author:

I made one of these about 15 years ago to use as a pinpointer in conjunction with high power pulse induction detectors. It is too bad nobody picked up on actually making something similar for over ten years. Tesoro did not take the clue. Now there are at least a couple PI pinpointers with 5" coils that are finally serving this little niche market. The Tesoro unit still has an edge though due to having fully adjustable discrimination.

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