Why Are You Using “That” Detector?

Got thinking (now that’s a rarity) about all the metal detecting videos and photos I see online, and in almost every instance I found myself concentrating on the detector they were using, rather than what it was they found.  I thought detecting videos were a nice change of pace when they first came on the scene,  but now they seem to be a dime a dozen, and I just can’t get all that excited any more (please…all you tekkies with cameras, don’t beat me up.  I am a  senior citizen, and as such, expect your sympathy).

Anyway now that I have pissed off a few budding Cecil B. DeMilles, what detector do YOU use and why?  What is it that convinced you it was the one you had to have, the one you couldn’t pass up, the best on the market, hands down? Was it a friend’s recommendation, a review, a video, an advertisement or was it the price?  Was it because you had seen it’s capabilities first hand or because everybody on the internet was singing it’s praises?  Was it because you liked the looks of it or was it because you felt  “you just had to keep up with crowd?

My gut feeling is that it’s probably a little bit of all the above.  You see I’ve been there, done that and plead guilty!  Metal detecting, like any other pastime or sport can become an obsession and we unwittingly become victims of hearsay, word of mouth, advertising and unfortunately a lot of over-the-top hype.  It’s just part of the experience and we learn as a result of it.

The manufacturers know this of course, and spend a lot of money trying to persuade you that  their product is the best, bar none, no matter the price.  When I was working in the industry the buzz words were “new & improved” and “added depth“. Today it seems to be “Pro“, meaning if you use anything less, you just might be an amateur.

I also have a feeling that many of our decisions are based on a “it’s newer and has to be better and go deeper” philosophy.  I can remember every new detector I bought, and I was sure that each was a major improvement over the last.  After all it was newer, it cost more, it looked more complicated and ultimately  it did find coins in those areas I thought were hunted out. How many times have you heard “it was like a totally new site” and “these were coins my old detector couldn’t  sniff out”?

So, now think about it?  Was it really your detector, or was it your positive outlook, your excitement about using that brand new detector or because you had to slow down and pay more attention to your effort?  I know there’s no cut and dried answer, but as I look back I think in my case it was all those things.

Now I know all this is theory and is surely pissing off a few manufacturers, not to mention a few tekkies who just spent a zillion dollars on a new machine, but I am not throwing it out there to discourage anyone.  If it takes spending money to increase your finds, your enjoyment, then by all means do it.  If you have extra cash on hand, get that top-of-the line model, and then send a few bucks to ole Stouty here in Texas.  My beer & wine money is running low.

Someone is bound to ask what am I using and why?  Well, I am using a White’s MXT Pro and an old 6000di Series 2.  I use the MXT Pro because it’s a good turn on and go machine, offers good depth, and I love knobs and switches (and boobs too). I use the old 6000di because it has sentimental value.  It was a machine that found a helluva lot of coins for me back in the 80’s, and it’s still  doing it although at a lesser pace thanks to my inability to get out as much as I’d like. I am a White’s fan. Always have been. I appreciate their products and their customer service.

I would be interested in hearing about what you use and why, and any other thoughts or ideas you might have on this topic.  Hope you will take the time to respond. Lastly, remember that I am getting along in  years and tend to reflect on all kinds of stupd things. Won’t bother me a bit if you file all this under “bullshit”…



Here on Stout Standards I often say a lot of offbeat things, a lot of controversial things, and sometimes use words that offend. I also speak my mind and  leave nothing to chance, so to those of you who take the time to respond and pass on my blog posts to others, thank you. To those of you I piss off or embarrass,  have a good day & Happy Halloween.



Filed under Metal Detecting

36 responses to “Why Are You Using “That” Detector?

  1. For me, my decision was based on my budget, and then on research of the detectors in my price range. I decided on the Fisher F2 based on capabilites and ease of use for a new detectorist. I watched videos and read reviews for about a month before deciding on the F2. I liked that it had a number readout which I thought would help me figure out what the targets were in the ground.

    Now I know that the numbers help, but that the numbers aren’t the end all be all when it comes to detecting. Ultimately, my decision proved to be a good one with the F2. After a few years in the hobby, I feel like I have pretty much mastered the F2 and am now ready to step up a level and start learning a new machine. That machine will probably be an AT Pro from Garrett, which proves that I am not just a brand fan boy, I want what works.

    I want to take my detecting to the next level which is water hunting, so I need a water proof machine, and the AT Pro seems like the one to get the job done without breaking the bank on one of the higher dollar machines.

    I still believe that most of the reviews on the F2 were accurate. I have hunted along side a few different types of machines, and the F2 held it’s own and proved to me that the F2 can find anything any other machine can find except maybe tiny tiny gold, but, it CAN find gold and has found gold for me! I DO believe the thought process of “Get what you can afford first so that you don’t have to upgrade again in the near future.”

    I wish I had done that in the beginning, because now I find myself having to upgrade fairly quickly and start over learning a new machine. I just couldn’t wait to get out there, so I grabbed the first one in the price range of the cash I had on hand. It has found me plenty, and has been a blast, but I guess soon I will find out if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence so to speak…lol GREAT topic for a blog, I enjoyed it!!!

    • What about we older guys who don’t hear well anymore? Find one that you can use, can hear and are comfortable with. New & highpriced isn’t always the answer. I went from a Minelab 3030 to an AT Pro just to hear the doorbells ring. Money can’t but everything. Use what works for you. Thanks.

      • Eric I was tempted to reply to your comment by saying “huh” but refrained. I too am very hard of hearing and find that having food headphones with
        individual volume controls really helps.

        Thanks and don’t be a stranger here.

  2. Rob, thanks for the great reply..well stated.

    Your “Get what you can afford first so that you don’t have to upgrade again in the near future.” is something I hadn’t thought of but it makes some sense. I too can remember upgrading to a new machine years ago and buying a model just because it fit my “cash on hand” situation…even though I really wanted one that was more expensive.

    For those of you not aware of Rob’s blog, be sure to click on his name above. Lots of good stuff there.

  3. Why? Well, the ‘ATPro International’ has found me a small fortune in gold, silver, and coins, a statement that was jumped-on by ‘Warsaw Wally’ who took it to Garrett Inc., complaining about me and their product; and just about everything else connected with treasure hunting. Of course he lacks the moral fibre to say the same to my face!

    So, who is Warsaw Wally? An ineffectual Englishman domiciled in Poland; a self-described sushi fan who rails against collectors, detectorists, and just about everything else that might be construed as capitalism. He is of course an expert on collecting valuable antique Japanese prints, presumably as a hedge against inflation! His mantra being; do as I say, NOT as I do!

    The Council for British Archaeology, incidentally, supports him to the hilt!

  4. Robbie

    I just traded in my Garrett AT Pro on a Fisher F70. The AT Pro is a great detector for the price (they could have sold it for $50-$100 more) and it still would be a excellent for the price detector. I got the F70 because I don’t hunt in water and wanted a lighter detector F70 is 1lb. lighter than the AT Pro). I also have a Fisher F5 that I had bought about a month after the AT Pro and it is another excellent detector. …light and quick response. After researching the F70 I decided to trade in the AT Pro for it…..so far it is great. Found 4 wheats, an IH 3 silver dimes and a silver quarter….in just two outings. You don’t need the best and most expensive detector..just one you can learn how to operate at its fullest potential.

    • Do you think you are doing better because of the new detector, or because you are going through a learning phase and as a result, slowing down and analyzing more?

      • Robbie

        I always swing slow and overlap my coil swings and listen to the sounds more than rely on what is on the meter. In the two outings in 2 areas I have hunted many times before all the targets were dug deeper than usual. Was I more tuned in to where the coins might have been or did the newer detector reach deeper?? It could have been both !!

  5. My first detector was definitely based on budget, but all the other factors you mentioned weighed in my decision as well.

    I was either going to go with a Fisher F2 or the Tesoro Silver uMax. I must have gone back and forth 20 times, but I decided on the Tesoro. In hindsight I am not sure I got the best value, since the offer of free pinpointer and lower price of the Fisher would have been a wise choice. In the end, I was swayed by so many praises of the Tesoro Product and to be honest I have no regrets, since the detector works fine.

    I learned a lot from the baseline model, single tone, simple discrimination VLF Tesoro Silver uMax. I am proud to support a manufacturer that honors quality and offers a lifetime warranty. I actually had the all metal mode switch replaced by them without any problems. By that time I was looking for another, better detector and I wanted to stick with Tesoro, but they were unable to address all the features I wanted in a single machine.

    I had run of good luck and came into some extra cash so when it came time to purchase my next machine I was going to not hold back. I could get a great value from the Garrett Pro, but since I wanted to do some saltwater hunting and it was getting mixed reviews, I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to pay more.

    At one point, after much deliberation, I was asking myself, should I get a saltwater dedicated PI machine (Tesoro SandShark) AND a land machine (Whites V3i) for the same price of the Minelab CTX3030? I had this fantasy about spending more time in at the beach snorkeling up and down the coast, a fantasy that has yet to become reality.

    Long story short, I ended up getting the minelab CTX3030. The engineering seemed leading edge, the processor power much be superior due to all the data it processes and it was a machine that did it all – and it seemed to be competent at going as deep as anyone.

    The irony is, when i first got into this hobby I looked on the websites and saw the CTX and thought to myself, who in their right mind would spend 2500 on a metal detector…I guess I found out.

    • So Jamie, can I count on you sending a few extra bucks? I really am running low on my wine….

      I will never know for sure, but if I were younger and starting out in this pastime, I doubt I could justify spending that much money.

  6. Dick, I started with a $29.95 Jetco Mustang BFO machine, and found a gold class ring in my first five minutes. Other than that, not much.

    Bought a Heathkit build-it-yourself TR detector, no discrimation but otherwise decent for the price and time (1974).

    Traded that for a paint job for my Corvair, and bought a White’s Goldmaster, no disc and 14 (yes, 14!) batteries. Great finds, but too much junk too.

    Got a Compass Coin Magnum 6, great depth and disc but touchy – you had to retune when you went from dry grass to wet grass, or from sunshine to shade. Sure wish Compass was still around!

    Next was a Tesoro Golden Sabre, with a notch filter that let you dig nickels and skip pulltabs. Loved that machine, but felt the depth left a bit to be desired. So got a Fisher 1225X, better depth than the Tesoro. That was my go-to for several years, until…

    I got a Fisher CZ-5 when it came out, which is still my primary machine. Knobs, not pushpads, very easy to set, no “programs” to input, just turn on and go. Super depth, great machine, and lightweight compared to many others.

    My main complaint with White’s is that I don’t like their armrests, believe it or not. Had a couple of Garretts and was disappointed in their depth (didn’t like THEIR armrests, either).

    Never had a Minelab, so can’t speak to that.

    Bottom line, quite happy with my CZ-5 except that it keeps telling me that deep rusted nails are coins.

    • I too wish Compass was still around. I had a Judge II and loved it. Ron Mack was also a good friend to the FMDAC in the early stages. Don’t know what happened to him….

      I also owned a Fisher 553D, and it had a double stacked tuner…talk about fine ground balancing. That machine however weighed a ton.

      I think you will see White’s getting away from the armrest design they currently have, and eventually go with the typical “S” rod design. Just a guess based on some of their newer models (M5, etc..).

  7. dennislennon5

    Hello, my name is Dennis. I am new this year to detecting, this is something I always wanted to do for many years . Last winter I finally was determined to make the leap but I did not know a thing about this hobby or new anyone that did. I was clueless on what machine to get I knew nothing . So I went on line and started to watch videos , I am a outdoors man and knew I would want something tough and water proof . Spent all winter watching and trying to learn . Long story short I decided to go with AT Pro, I used the Standard mode for two and a half or three months going out almost daily . Then I switched to Pro mode, wow talk about being confused . But I was determined to learn it and did. Though I still find the iron disc. still though. I am now into this hobby for a life time ( 62 yrs old ) I do not know long that will be, long I hope . I have found so many cool things it blows me away some times. LOVE IT. Oldest coin 1843 half dime , and having a blast . Thank You.

    • Dennis, thanks for taking the time share your story, and welcome to one of the greatest pastimes going.

      Sounds like you already discovered how exciting it can be to find something lost years ago, and the 1843 half dime is a great find. Hope you will comment again, and keep us posted on how you are doing. Also don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know a few folks here use the AT Pro.

  8. Joe(TX)

    I have a stack of old vintage detectors that I like to use….recently I decided to use my Compass Judge II at my local club annual hunt…I got a lot of stares and Looks but that is OK….I used it because I knew all of the coins and tokens were buried very shallow….also because it runs at 100 KHZ….I figured that I would not run into any radio type frequency interference problems which I was right about……well I just got lucky and won the grand prize which was the Garrett AT Pro….so far I like it….it is light weight and goes off loud on old army type brass which is at least 8 inches down…I also use a Compass XP-Pro ….for a lot of reasons I just like the older stuff….been hunting since 1970 so after all of these years I kinda like them all…..but I have a lot of old school thoughts such as paying old time prices for old time values…..LOL….

    • Joe, sounds like we have a lot in common. I’ve thought about looking for a Judge II on Ebay, but I just
      don’t get out that much anymore. I also used to have a Garrett AT3, which I really liked. One of their first
      waterproof models back in 86 I believe, and while I had nothing to do with the design or construction the AT4 came out when I was working there, and it leaked like a sieve. The housing was plastic instead of metal… We eventually fixed the problem, but there were a lot of unhappy customers, and it was not the best time to be the marketing director at Garrett.

      Keep us posted on the AT Pro…

  9. Dave Wise

    I use my White’s XLT for many reasons.

    .1) I love the user friendly screen and programs. Machines with too many bells & whistles are complicated. I like to keep it simple & that’s what White’s did when they made this machine.

    2) I have become one with this detector. I know what it’s telling me & I think it knows me as well :O) at least it sure finds the stuff I wanna find!

    3) It’s a rugged & well built machine. It has been dropped countless times, gotten rained on, thrown when getting stung up by swarms of yellow jackets and white faced hornets, been in snow, freezing temps and it just keeps on going. Move over Mr Energizer bunny!

    4) White’s customer service is top notch and 2nd to none. I even bought a 2nd used XLT E-Series as a back up in case this one goes down.

    What more can I say? White’s is the best in my opinion.

  10. Big Tony from Bayonne

    My first detector was a used Garrett without a meter. The person who sold it to me said it as a great machine. After several months I decided that I needed a meter and bought a new Garrett. Had I met you when you were finding all of those goodies with the Whites – I probably would have bought one of those instead. I did own a Whites but I didn’t have the patience for notch discrimination and sold it. After I joined ECRDA and watched every month who was finding good targets – I asked what machine did they use – after about a year of this person finding more silver when others were not – I purchased a Minelab Explorer II. My silver totals have gone up since and my gold finds in parks have come up as well. I recently purchased another used Explorer II as a back up.

    • Thanks Tony… Lots of good detectors out there today, but I still think there’s a lot of mental that goes into detecting. To sum it up I think I was determined that each new detector I bought was going to do better, come hell or high water, and as a result took my time learning it. That in turn made me think, made me slow down and yep, helped me find more. Just a theory.

      • Big Tony from Bayonne

        Dick, you are correct – slow is the best – take baby steps if you know an area may have great targets still to be found.

  11. Joe Smith

    My first detector was a Bounty Hunter Lone Star. I bought it to locate my work keys that I lost in waist deep snow. A January thaw found them before the machine did.

    In the course of a year, I found enough clad to pay for the machine. But I seemed to spend too much time looking at that tiny display in determining what to dig, so I went with an analog machine. Listening to the tones has spend up my target location.

    I’ve been running a Tejon with several different coils for the past few years. It took a while to judge the tones, and I have to relearn them each spring. But it’s light, goes deep, has great battery life, and has a lifetime warranty. Tesoro customer service is top notch. No regrets.

    Just scored a toasted 1886 Indian Head Type II with it yesterday, so it finds the goods for me. I would hunt more, but only if the knees let me.

  12. I use the XP Deus.
    1) Because it weighs a smidgen above 2 pounds
    2) Because it’s ridiculously powerful and ludicrously fast.
    3) Because the new 11″ coil is on a category of its own.
    4) Because it has lots of versatility.
    5) Because I got to name it Maurice –due to it’s French heritage (My V3i was Big Bertha).

  13. Nathan

    My first detector when I was a kid in the late 60’s was a Relco TX60. Ive owned and/or at least used most makes and models at one time or another over the years. But Ive always tended to run mostly with Bounty Hunter. Using a Quick Draw II lately. Ive found that for the money, BH just cant be beat. And its such a joy to piss off people with thousand dollar machines when they hunt with me. Hey, not my fault 🙂

    • Nathan, thanks. Understand your feelings completely. It seems that today one must have the latest equipment to be successful and of course they will never tell that they are sorry after the fact. It hurts too much. Go with what you are comfortable with and then take it to where your odds are the greatest.

  14. Joe(TX)

    …..When I was younger I Liked all of the New and Improved Metal Detectors and probably tried most of them at the time…..as time marched on and I aged ….I preferred several supposedly obsolete detectors and I feel it does not matter what anybody else thinks or says…the final word is what I want and what I say…..also with a lot of the top of the line detectors costing $1200. to $2400. and up….I have no desire to spend that type of money….I can go on ebay and find a used detector for a lot less….I have Not paid retail in years……..

  15. Jimnick

    Been detecting for 30 years now…and always bought good old vintage detectors on the 2nd hand market. My oldest one is 30 years old, it’s been a legend here in Europe, the C Scope Metadec II, a no motion detector, with an incredible tone ID. Still works great, but becomes a bit too heavy for my old bones.
    The one I use most at the moment is a good older White’s Classic III SL. That’s the only one I have that can turn battery money into beer money. I live in Belgium. Do you read me?

    • Hey Jimnick….thanks for taking the time to share your story. Nothing at all wrong with the older models. Along with the MXT I also use an old 6000di Series 2. Was a great machine way back when and still is. Stay in touch and I love beer money.

  16. Tom

    I started out in the early 90s with an old Garrett GTA 500 í bought from Kellyco. I’m pretty sure it was the advertising that made me want this particular machine.

    Over the years, I’ve owned the GTA 1000 and the GTAx 1250 as well. There was just something about the Garretts that I was comfortable with. Found lots of silver and even some gold with them.

    This past year though, I caught wind of this new machine, the XP Deus, which had many features that the old Garretts did not. So I saved and saved and finally bought one.

    Now I’m not finding nearly as much with it as I used to with any of my old machines, but I’m still in the learning stages. I do feel that given the same amount of time with this machine as the others, I’m likely to be finding lots more, due to the technology that’s in this machine. Guess I just gotta unlock it first…

    • Something to be said for learning a detector. They have a “voice of their own” and will tell you a lot if you just give them time. I’ve heard good things about the Deus. Keep us posted on your progress..

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