Your 3 Best Metal Detecting Pinpointers: A Honest Analysis

  • By: Chris
  • Last updated on August 14, 2022
  • Time to read: 14 min.
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Don’t get it confused.

Just because you have a brand new metal detector with all the bells and whistles, doesn’t mean you’re prepared.

An essential tool for metal detecting success is a quality pinpointer.

You think just because you have a pinpoint mode on your detector, you can just save a few bucks?

Trust me, it doesn’t work that like.

But not to worry!

In this article, I’m going to give you the best 3 metal detecting pinpointers currently available.

You’ll find out why they’re the best, why you need one, and why you should get one today.

So, without further ado, let’s dig in!

Your 3 Best Metal Detecting Pinpointers at A Glance

Our Pick
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
  • 20 feet deep! That's how far down you can take the carrot for sunken treasure.
  • One button makes each hunt easy. Control everything like retune, sensitivity, audio, and power without removing your thumb.
  • You'll love the convenient exterior. The color makes sure you don't lose it. The LED helps in the dark. And the scraping blade adds some easy depth.
  • Clearly the best option. Easy for you to use, tested for performance many times over. And one of the best industry brands backing it.
Runner Up
Minelab Pro Find 35
  • Make use of the advanced DIF (Detector Interference Free) technology for a cleaner signal every time on your metal detector. Just turn the Pro Find 35 off and it does the rest.
  • You get a new helpful feature to distinguish between ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Saving you time and effort.
  • You can adjust to 5 different sensitivity levels for each kind of ground condition you face.
  • Don't let a little water stop you! You'll get up to 10 feet of submersible detecting range.
Rising Star
  • Own an XP Deus metal detector? Connect this small wonder wirelessly and extend its battery by 60 hours!
  • More advanced tech than other models to boost your power. For full access, must use with an XP Deus.
  • Fully submersible for detecting 19 feet below water. 
  • You won't have to replace batteries anymore with the rechargeable set this pinpointer provides.

Best Pinpointers for Metal Detecting

Best Pinpointers for Metal Detecting
The moment you’ve been waiting for. Let’s look at the 3 best metal detecting pinpointers.

If you’re hunting for treasure, you need to be prepared. And the right way to do that is to have the tools for success.

Any Digger knows that a pinpointer is one of the most important tools you can have.

Not only will it help speed up the process, but it will also help you find things you would’ve missed.

A good pinpointer is accurate, durable, and sensitive enough to detect even the smallest metal objects.

It’s an investment that any serious metal detectorist should make.

So you’ve seen the 3 best options to choose from.

Now, let’s look a little closer and see why these three pinpointers will help you find more treasure than you ever have before.

Garrett Pro Pointer AT

Our Pick
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
  • No more limitations for you. You'll have access to 3 different levels of sensitivity and a fast retune option so all your targets are within reach in record time.
  • You'll agree that there is no better underwater pinpointer option. You can go deeper than other treasure hunters thanks to the increased depth and LED flashlight.
  • Never lose another pinpointer again! I lose mine all the time. That's why you'll love the chirp every 5 minutes of non-use for 60 minutes straight. Wish my keys did that.

Look everyone! It’s our old friend, the Garrett Carrot.

The Garrett Pro Pointer AT is popular. And when I say popular, I mean POPULAR.

No matter where you look, YouTube, forums, TV, and magazines. This orange beauty pops up everywhere.

And not just because of its color.

You’ll Love This

The features and performance that detectorists have come to expect from this Garrett pinpointer, speak for themselves.

impress you with an LED flashlight
I know it’s going to take more than a LED flashlight to get your blood pumping.

I could try to impress you with the oh-so-common LED flashlight, or the nifty ruler molded into the side of the pinpointer.

But you don’t have to fake your enthusiasm for the carrot.

The real difference lies in the 3 different sensitivity levels that make your detection more versatile than others.

The Fast Retune button minimizes your detection field, identifies the size and depth of your target, and ground balance your pinpointer.

Or, I could appeal to the adventurer in you by talking up the fully waterproof depth of 20 feet!

There’s a lot to love about this metal detecting pinpointer.

you'll love it but there is an upgrade
A wireless version of the carrot is available. So if it’s a sticking point, Garrett has you covered.

And if you still aren’t sold, you could check out the upgraded model.

The Garrett Pro Pointer AT Z-Lynk has everything the regular Carrot has, but it’s also wireless.

So whether you’re underwater or in a packed and public place, just link those wireless headphones up and take your digger to a new level.

You Might Not Like This

If you’re wondering why I haven’t gotten to the catch yet, it’s because there isn’t one.

You won’t find anything to dislike about the Pro Pointer AT.

It might be a little more expensive than some models. But for the reliability you get and the demand that already exists, I think it’s a fair price.

  • One button controls everything from volume to sensitivity
  • Waterproof up to 20 feet and easy to see in the deep waters
  • Multifunctional for any situation thanks to the scraping blade and LED flashlight
  • Fast Retune feature will accurately locate and identify target
  • Not wireless but alternate Z-Lynk version is

The Verdict: I think you’ve heard enough. The Garrett Pro Pointer AT is tough, powerful, and full of extras; clearly deserving of our top pick. It pulls its own weight and then some in any situation. The only question left to ask is why haven’t you bought it yet?

Minelab Pro Find 35

Runner Up
Minelab Pro Find 35
  • Find what you're looking for! Between the 5 sensitivity levels, and the ferrous and non-ferrous discrimination, you'll be able to lock in on any target you want.
  • If you like to hunt creeks, rivers, and ponds, this pinpointer is waterproof up to 10 feet. So get going and find even more relics.
  • The Detector Interference Technology (DIF) makes sure you don't cause your regular metal detector to detect false signals when the pinpointer is turned off.

You and I both know that Minelab is worth its weight in gold. They put a lot of work into developing, testing, and manufacturing their products to consistently produce.

Now I’m generally a Carrot guy. But I’m open to changing my mind.

Especially if it’s built by Minelab.

You’ll Love This

What you’ll love about the Minelab Pro Find 35 are the controls and the sensitivity features. Specifically, the 5 levels of sensitivity and the ferrous and non-ferrous discrimination.

While you may not be so picky as to choose what kind of metal you’re looking for (with a pinpointer at least), it certainly has its upside in extremely mineralized areas.

And if you adjust your sensitivity often, you’ll love the Pro Find 35.

controls make it easy to adjust sensitivity
The simple addition of the plus and minus buttons can make adjustments an easy switch.

Its controls make it easy to understand when making adjustments, compared to the Garrett Pro Pointer AT.

Instead of the single button, you have the main power/select button, and the plus and minus buttons.

Why is this important?

Well, it’s far easier than hitting one button six times (!) to cycle through the options, just to lower it a level or two. 

While I like the functionality of this pinpointer and I find it to be pretty accurate, I’ve got some gripes.

You Might Not Like This

you might not like this
There’s a drawback to everything. It just depends on your needs, how big it will be.

The reasons it’s the runner-up to the Pro Pointer AT are three-fold.

First, you might need the jaws of life to get the battery cap off. I’m dead serious.

Forget the fact that it uses a 9-volt battery (why not AA?). But you’ll need to carry around a set of pliers with you just to change the battery on a hunt.

The second issue is more of an annoyance than anything. The speaker holes tend to get clogged up with sand and dirt, making the audio tones hard to hear.

Minelab could have considered a different design for better protection. Or at least changed the location of the speaker.

And lastly, the sensitivity.

too much sensitivity on last 2 options
Be prepared for some extra chirping when maxing out the sensitivity.

You may like extra sensitivity, and so do I. But I don’t know if all 5 levels were necessary.

After level 3, the Minelab Go Find 35 reacts to everything. You’ll be digging for an item a foot deep that you thought was an inch or two at most.

I applaud the power built-in, but it’s very deceiving.

  • 5 levels of sensitivity and ferrous tone ID for choice detecting
  • 3 convenient buttons to easily adjust volume and settings without the need for cycling
  • Globally rated IP68 waterproof design up to 10 feet deep
  • Very difficult to remove the cap covering the battery
  • Too sensitive on the higher levels, causing a lot of chatter and confusion

The Verdict: The Minelab Go Find 35 comes up just short of the best pinpointer. The technology included is impressive.

However, I think the design needs another look from Minelab. This is a great option and better than most. But for me, I’ll stick with my carrot.


Rising Star
  • Who doesn't love a rechargeable battery? Save yourself money over the long-term because this pinpointer comes with a USB charger to have you fully charged for each hunt.
  • Not only is the XP MI-6 waterproof close to 20 feet deep, but it floats too. So don't worry about losing it under water.
  • Unlock a treasure trove of extra power by linking it to your XP Deus metal detector.

The last pinpointer in the top 3 is the XP MI-6 pinpointer metal detector.

I really like this option, but there is a serious drawback in my opinion. But we’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let me tell you what you’ll love about this metal detecting pinpointer.

You’ll Love This

Rechargeable batteries!

If you can help me avoid the rising cost of batteries, you have a supporter for life.

avoid the rising costs of batteries
It’s a simple thing. But saving some cash on new batteries doesn’t hurt your wallet.

This model comes with a micro USB charging cable. Three hours is all you need to get a full charge and start treasure hunting.

The convenient part is that the LED light will flash (just once) when the battery is getting low.

So you’re not left guessing when you have to charge it again.

Even without this feature, your battery life ranges from 10 to 90 hours! The range is due to changes in audio, vibrate, and LED use.

FunctionBattery Life
Audio30 hours
Vibration30 hours
Audio & Vibration20 hours
Vibration & LED10 hours
Audio & Vibration & LED10 hours
Program 7 (ONLY w/ XP Deus)90 hours

You’ve got 6 power settings on the XP MI-6.

The first 3 are low, medium, and high. These 3 presets will use both audio and vibrate for alerts.

The next 3 settings, presets 4, 5, and 6 are the same. Except only vibrate is on, and pitch is turned off.

You’ll also love the fact that this pinpointer is waterproof up to 19 feet underwater. And what’s really nice about using it in water, is that it floats.

So, if you plan on metal detecting underwater, make sure you have the XP MI-6 attached to a lanyard.

Finally, there is a power setting preset 7. Using this preset unlocks a whole bevy of powerful features.

unlock the power of program 7
There’s more power waiting for you. But the only key to unlock it is an XP Deus.

What do you get with preset 7?

  • Extend your battery life to 90 hours for much longer treasure hunts.
  • You get access to 50(!) extra sensitivity levels.
  • Connect wirelessly to your metal detector for a target zoom screen.
  • An automatic anti-interference system kicks in as you connect to your metal detector, and the coil shuts off. This allows your pinpointer to detect at full strength without any EMI around.

Impressive, right?

You might be wondering why this isn’t our top pick. Well, there’s a catch.

You Might Not Like This

To unlock all these amazing features on preset 7, you need to own an XP Deus metal detector.

I love the XP Deus. My brother uses his all the time and raves about it.

But if you don’t have the XP Deus, the MI-6 loses a lot of its luster.

MI-6 loses its luster
The XP Deus restrictions really limit your capabilities. Without it, it’s a pretty basic pinpointer.

It still works accurately and reliably with just the first 6 modes. But because of this restriction, it drops down a few spots in my book.

Another issue that others have complained about is the design of the XP MI-6. I’ve heard plenty take issue with the thickness of this pinpointer.

I can’t say I share the same opinion. I actually don’t think it’s that bad at just a half inch thicker.

But I just wanted to make you all aware, in case you have smaller hands or are a real stickler about the size.

Lastly, the price.

more expensive pricing
A more expensive device isn’t always better. Know what you’re getting with any purchase.

It’s the most expensive pinpointer of the three. If you do use an XP Deus, I’d say it’s certainly worth it.

But without a compatible metal detector, it’s overpriced.

  • The waterproof depth rivals the top pick's depth, plus this pinpointer floats
  • Batteries are rechargeable for a more cost-effective energy source
  • Next-level advanced features are available to detectorists using an XP Deus
  • All the features that make this pinpointer special, are only available to those with an XP Deus
  • Overpriced for the restriction of extra settings
  • The overall design is a bit bulky and cumbersome

The Verdict: You probably already know what I’m going to say. If you own or are going to buy an XP Deus, you won’t find a better pinpointer out there. The bump in power is simply ridiculous.

Without the XP Deus, I’m just not overly impressed. For about the same price, you could just buy the Fisher F-Pulse and metal detect with pulse induction technology.

The Best Pinpointers for Each Situation

Metal Detecting with the Garrett Pro Pointer AT or even the Minelab Pro Find 35 will have you getting consistent results. You’ll be happy with your choice and your treasure!

But, if you want something a little more specialized for a specific target, budget, or experience level, keep reading.

You’ll find the best metal detecting pinpointer for your needs if you haven’t already.

Best Pinpointer Metal Detector for Beginners

Best Pinpointer Metal Detector for Beginners
Just because you’re a beginner, doesn’t mean you should get the cheapest option.

Are you just starting out? Maybe you don’t want to spend a fortune on a pinpointer metal detector until you see if you like metal detecting first.

I get it. I’ve been there before too.

For that reason, I recommend the Garrett AT Pro Pointer AT as the best pinpointer metal detector for beginners.

It’s easy to use and has all the features a beginner metal detectorist needs.

It’s not the cheapest option, but if you end up becoming a long-term Digger, you’ll be glad you chose the carrot.

The reliability you’ll experience along with the comfort of using the most popular device backed by a top brand will have you detecting like a pro in no time.

Best Waterproof Pinpointer Metal Detector

Best Waterproof Pinpointer Metal Detector
If use in the water is important to you, how does using your pinpointer 200 feet under sound?

The best waterproof pinpointer metal detector is the Nokta PulseDive Pinpointer 2-in-1. Because of the extreme depth capability of 200 feet with pulse induction technology, nothing will be hidden from you.

You do have the option of purchasing a Nokta PulseDive without the diving kit. But for the best performance, the 2-in-1 is the only choice.

Best Underwater
Nokta PulseDive Pinpointer 2-in-1
  • You'll rave about the excellent protection you get for treasure hunting underwater (200 feet) with the IP68 rating of watertight casing seals.
  • Pulse induction technology has no equal when you need a more accurate target location in saltwater environments.
  • All the extras a metal detecting diver needs. Hard shell carrying case, detachable scuba coil, belt holster, lanyard, and USB charger for the battery.
  • You'll be able to use your Nokta Makro 2.4 GHz wireless headphones because of the built-in wireless module.
  • Don't forget about the lost alarm after 5 minutes of inactivity, the rapid retune for stability, and the LED flashlight that'll come in handy 200 feet below.
  • The 5 adjustable sensitivity levels will give you options along with the frequency shift.

If you’re interested in a side-by-side comparison of the PulseDive and the Garrett Pro Pointer AT, I took a deep dive into these two pinpointers and compared their strengths and weaknesses.

Best Pinpointer for Gold

The absolute best pinpointer for gold is the Falcon MD20 Gold Tracker. It’s more like a hybrid metal detector than a run-of-the-mill pinpointer.

It has the power of a regular metal detector, operating on a frequency of 300 kHz. And the thin probe casing that lets you detect in smaller spaces, like any other pinpointer.

find gold in a rock
The MD20 is unique in that it can find those hidden treasures no other device can.

The Falcon gives you a chance to explore a whole new level of gold detecting. And being able to spot it will change your technique in an interesting way.

“Gold is most often found in quartz rock. When quartz is found in gold bearings areas, it is possible that gold will be found as well. Quartz may be found as small stones in river beds or in large seams in hillsides. The white color of quartz makes it easy to spot in many environments.”

Motes, J (2022)
Best for Gold
Falcon MD20
  • You'll be amazed at the 300 kHz operating frequency. The MD20 can detect gold particles so small that you may not even see them.
  • If you're in a notoriously gold-rich area, don't forget to check the surrounding quartz rocks. This pinpointer can pick up on small traces of gold, up to an inch within a rock.
  • The probe is waterproof and attached to the control box by a 5-foot cable designed for better reach.

While the probe is waterproof, the control box isn’t. But that’s why they made the Falcon MD20 Gold Tracker with a 5-foot cable length.

You won’t have to worry about those shallow water depths, I promise you that.

If you’re looking more for a traditional pinpointer for gold, the next best thing is the Garret Pro Pointer AT.

As I mentioned above, it’s waterproof, durable, has reliable performance, and adjustable sensitivity for any size of gold nugget.

Best Metal Detector Pinpointer for The Money

Best Metal Detector Pinpointer for The Money
Finding the balance between price and value is a subtle art. That’s why I did the work for you.

The best metal detector pinpointer for the money is the Garrett “Carrot” Pro Pointer AT. No surprise here.

The Garrett Pro Pointer AT metal detector pinpointer is the most popular device for a reason.

It’s an amazing tool that will make your metal detecting journey more enjoyable.

And it’s priced just right so you don’t have to break the bank to get one. Although it’s not so cheap that you limit your results as you grow in experience.

I’ve had mine for years and it still works like the day I got it.

Best Cheap Pinpointer

I get it. Sometimes you can’t get around your budget. But don’t worry.

Best Cheap Pinpointer
Do you have a tight budget? No problem! It doesn’t mean you have to settle for junk.

There are still some good options for you without sacrificing the power of a metal detector or pinpointer, because of the price.

The best cheap pinpointer is the DR.ÖTEK MT6 pinpointer.

This metal detector pinpointer is durable, waterproof up to 32 feet, and sensitive enough to find small objects thanks to the 4 levels of signal strength.

You can use it on the beach, in the water, or in your backyard.

It operates with the use of one button, just like the Garret Pro Pointer AT.

You’ll find that the average depth with the MT6 is between 4 and 6 inches. So, for beginners or those looking to save on budget, it has pretty reasonable performance.

But, as you might expect, you won’t be getting all the bells and whistles a pinpointer over $50 would give you.

For starters, there’s no audio.

no audio for this pinpointer
Vibration and the LED indicator are all you get with this pinpointer. So make sure you can live without the audio.

You may or may not be ok with only having vibration and LED indicators. But for me, I like the option of having a speaker.

You also won’t get the wireless optionality or any sort of discrimination with the DR.ÖTEK MT6 pinpointer.

But if this metal detecting pinpointer is a backup, your first pinpointer, or for a kid showing some interest, it’s a good deal.

Facts About Buying a Pinpointer Metal Detector

Facts About Buying a Pinpointer Metal Detector
Know the facts about buying the right pinpointer.

Buying a pinpointer metal detector can be tricky for some.

You don’t want to rush into a decision without really considering what it is you need. And you don’t want to overvalue every feature, that you find yourself unable to pick one.

So keep reading, and I’ll cover some of the important facts about buying a pinpointer.

Who Needs a Metal Detecting Pinpointer?

You might be surprised to hear that not everyone metal detecting needs a pinpointer.

If you’re just getting started and not 100% sure you even like it, it’s not necessary. You can use your metal detector without one and save some money.

But if you’ve been at it for a while and want to increase your efficiency, or find smaller objects, then I would recommend getting a pinpointer.

In fact, I’d say it’s necessary at that point.

its necessary to have a metal detector pinpointer
If you’re investing in your craft and taking your detecting seriously, a pinpointer is a must-have.

They’re not expensive and will make your metal detecting experience much more enjoyable.

So, if your interest level is more than just a passing fancy, go ahead and pick up a metal detecting pinpointer.

What to Consider when Buying a Pinpointer

There are a few things you should keep in mind when buying a metal detecting pinpointer.

What is Your Budget?

What is Your Budget for a pinpointer
As with buying anything, your budget will play a huge factor in your purchase.

As I mentioned, they’re not expensive. But some models have more features than others and will cost more as a result.

The best way to pinpoint your budget is to weigh your level of interest and experience level.

What is the Primary Terrain You’ll Be Metal Detecting in? 

Are you going to be doing a lot of beach metal detecting? If so, you’ll want a waterproof pinpointer.

You don’t necessarily need one that is submersible because most people don’t metal detect more than waist deep.

But if you plan on snorkeling or diving with your metal detector, then you’ll want a submersible pinpointer like the Nokta PulseDive 2-in-1.

What Objects Are You Interested in Finding?

What Objects Are You Interested in Finding
No matter if it’s gold or silver, knowing what you want to find, can narrow your choice.

This might seem like a silly question. But it’s important because some metal detectors are better at finding certain objects than others.

For example, if you’re interested in finding gold nuggets, you’ll want a metal detecting pinpointer that is sensitive enough to find small objects.

But if you’re mostly interested in finding coins, then any metal detecting pinpointer will do.

How Often Do You Plan on Using Your Metal Detector?

If you metal detect every day, you might want to spend a little more money on a durable metal detecting pinpointer.

How Often Do You Plan on Using Your Metal Detector
If you think there’s any chance this could be a new passion, consider getting a pinpointer to grow with.

But if you only metal detect on occasion, then you can get away with a cheaper model.

Determining where you stand on each of these factors will lead you to the best metal detecting pinpointer for you.

Final Point

When it comes to metal detecting, a pinpointer can be an invaluable tool.

Their purpose is to improve the effectiveness of your metal detecting skills. You’ll see the difference right away when using your new pinpointer as it saves you time and energy.

using a pinpointer will save you time and energy
Your new pinpointer will go a long way in giving your time back. Spend it looking for the next treasure.

And it’ll have you collecting more hidden treasures than before.

Make sure you follow my guide on how to pick the best pinpointer metal detector.

But if you’re still having issues making a decision, you can’t go wrong with the Garrett Pro Pointer AT.

Its inclusion in almost every Diggers’ tool bag is proof enough that it’s one of the best metal detecting pinpointers on the market.

Until next time Diggers!

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