When it comes to metal detecting, a pinpointer can be a lifesaver. This is especially true if you are looking for small pieces of metal that may be buried deep in the ground.
In this blog post, we will compare two popular pinpointers on the market: the Nokta PulseDive and the Garrett Pro Pointer AT. We will take a comprehensive look at these two devices and answer some popular questions so that you can make an informed decision about which pinpointer is right for you.
At a Glance -A Quick Comparison
Don’t have time to read the whole article? Then take a quick look at our side-by-side comparison of these two innovative pinpointers.
- Color: Orange
- Item Weight: 0.41 pounds
- Waterproof: Up to 20 feet
- Detection Depth: Up to 10 inches
- Sensitivity: 3 levels
- Color: Black
- Item Weight: 0.69 pounds
- Waterproof: Up to 200 feet
- Detection Depth: Up to 6 inches
- Sensitivity: 5 levels
Before we go ahead and dig into the specifics of the Nokta and Garrett pinpointers, let’s try and go over a few questions that tend to come up pretty often when someone starts looking into buying one of these necessary metal detecting tools.
Do You Need a Pinpointer for Metal Detecting?
This is a great question and one that doesn’t have a simple answer. In short, it depends on what you are looking for and how deep you think the object might be buried. If you are just getting started in metal detecting, then a pinpointer might not be absolutely necessary but it will certainly make your life easier.
On the other hand, if you are an experienced metal detectorist who is looking for small objects buried deep in the ground, then a pinpointer is an essential piece of equipment. And one that every serious hobbyist has in their arsenal.
What Is a Pinpointer Used For?
A pinpointer is primarily used to help locate small pieces of metal that have been buried underground. It can also be used to find lost coins, jewelry, and other metal objects that might be hidden in a specific area.
Basically, a pinpointer is used to help you zero in on your target so that you can dig it up without having to search a large area. These effective machines work by sending out a signal that is then reflected back by the metal object.
As a response, the pinpointer will give off a beeping sound that intensifies as you get closer to your target.
This way, you will know exactly where to dig and can avoid damaging other objects in the area, or simply save yourself some wasted time and effort.
What Kinds of Pinpointers Are There?
There are two main types of pinpointers: handheld and built-in. Handheld pinpointers are the most popular type as they are lightweight, portable, and easy to use.
They also tend to be more affordable than their built-in counterparts. Built-in pinpointers, on the other hand, are a permanent part of your metal detector. They are an added feature that comes with some of the higher-end models on the market, allowing the user to target a metal object with more accuracy than ever before.
What Are the Advantages of A Metal Detecting Pinpointer?
The first and most obvious advantage is that pinpointers can help you save time. If you are looking for a small object that is buried deep in the ground, then a pinpointer can help you zero in on the exact location so that you can dig it up quickly and efficiently.
This is possible because pinpointers emit a signal from a smaller surface area than a metal detector. In addition, many pinpointers come loaded with features that you can also find in some higher-end metal detectors, like sensitivity and discrimination settings.
Another advantage of pinpointers is that they can help you avoid damaging other objects in the area. When you are searching for something buried underground, there is always a risk of damaging other objects nearby.
This is especially true if you are using a metal detector with a large coil or using a rough digging tool to unearth what you assume is a lone target.
As we already pointed out (pun intended!), with a pinpointer, you can avoid this by zeroing in on your target before you start digging. This way, you can be sure that you are only digging in the exact spot where your target is located.
And last but not least, pinpointers are simply more fun to use! There is something about the challenge of finding a small, hidden object that makes the whole process more exciting. Not to mention, when you finally find what you are looking for, the sense of satisfaction is unbeatable.
Who Makes the Best Metal Detecting Pinpointer?
There is no easy answer to this question as there are a lot of great pinpointers on the market. However, some of the most popular brands include Nokta, Garrett, and Teknetics.
Each one of these brands offers a variety of pinpointers that come loaded with different features and price tags.
But that’s not to say that these are the only good brands out there. When it comes to technology in the metal detecting field, you will consistently see the same names pop up time and time again.
Our recommendation is to read up on the reviews of some different models and get familiar with their features. In the end, you won’t really know what brand or model you prefer until you start trying them out.
A Detailed Comparison
Now that we have some of the basics out of the way, let’s take a more detailed look at two of the most popular pinpointers on the market: the Nokta PulseDive and Garrett Pro Pointer AT.
Nokta PulseDive Pinpointer
The Nokta PulseDive pinpointer is perfect for both beginners and experienced users looking to give themselves an edge when seeking out buried treasure. It features a 3 kHz frequency and can detect metals up to 4 to 6 inches deep.
Plus, it’s also waterproof up to 200 feet with an IP68 rating, making it ideal for use in any environment.
An IP68 rating means that the Nokta PulseDive is dust-tight and can withstand being submerged in water for extended periods of time. To go into more detail: specifically, IP stands for Index of Protection. And the number 68 is actually representing two different things.
The 6 indicates that the Nokta PulseDive casing is dust-tight, and the 8 represents the level of protection against moisture.
And if you’re looking to take your detecting to the next level, the built-in wireless module can transform the PulseDive into an effective scuba detector you can rely on!
So whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro, the Nokta PulseDive is the perfect choice for all your metal detecting needs.
This powerful handheld device is equipped with pulse induction technology and 5 adjustable levels of sensitivity, making it reliable in any type of soil or water. With a weight of just 0.69 pounds, it’s easy to carry around wherever you go.
And for added convenience, the PulseDive features an LED flashlight for night hunting or underwater searches. Plus, it comes with a featured lost alarm that activates after 5 minutes of inactivity ensuring you never lose your tools when on a hunt.
The Nokta PulseDive pinpointer is battery-powered and features a rapid retune button so you can quickly hone in on your target. In addition, it comes with a replaceable hard-shell case to keep it protected from any rough and tumble environments.
And if you’re looking for added peace of mind, the PulseDive also includes a 2-year warranty. Coming with three useful detection alerts (audio, vibration, or both) with LED indicators, it is easy to use with one hand and you’ll know right away when you’ve zeroed in on a target.
I love just about everything that the Nokta PulseDive offers. It’s functional, reliable, and loaded with features that make it a great choice as a lightweight and easily portable metal detecting option. The only downside I’m being picky about is the lack of an attachable underwater coil for a broader detection.
But you can certainly purchase this separately or as part of a bundle if you already know you will need it. Also, I think the buttons could do with a little redesign. They are a bit tough to push down at times and a backlit option would go a long way when I’m using it in the dark.
Garrett Pro Pointer AT
The Garrett Pro Pointer AT is another excellent tool for metal detecting enthusiasts! This handheld pinpointer is fully waterproof up to 20 feet (IP68 rating) and features an orange color design for improved visibility underwater. Also known as the Garrett Carrot, it is preloaded with 3 sensitivity levels, as opposed to the 5 that the Nokta PulseDive comes with.
An added benefit to the Carrott is the Fast Retune function that zeroes in on a target for precise detection with the push of a button.
Its lightweight and compact build also make it easy to take with you wherever you go. Weighing in at just 0.41 pounds, you can trust that the manufacturing is ideal for any situation. For example, every seal on this innovative device is watertight for protection and future use.
One other feature that it shares with the PulseDive is the built-in alarm that activates after 5 minutes of no use. Even better is that the Garrett Pro Pointer AT will automatically shut off after 1 hour of inactivity to conserve battery power.
While there is no volume control adjustability, this pinpointer has 3 alert settings available, including audio, vibration, or audio/vibration options. The Garrett Pro Pointer AT has a detection radius of 2 to 3 inches, making it great for pinpointing targets near and around your search area.
It also includes a woven belt holster and lanyard attachment loop making it ideal for accessibility.
It also features an automatic tuning and ground balance when powered up and an LED light for ease of use in any dark or deep waters.
Finally, the ruler in inches and centimeters molded into the side of the pinpointer lets you judge target depth with precision, which is actually a really simple and useful feature. No matter what your metal detecting needs are, the Garrett Pro Pointer AT is sure to deliver!
The best part about this metal detecting pinpointer is that it can usually detect metal objects as deep as 10 to 12 inches!
As far as the bad news goes? Well, the bad news is that there is no bad news. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many complaints about the Garrett Pro Pointer AT.
In fact, the only thing one might complain about is the less-than sleek orange casing, but it’s that color casing that makes it even more desirable for its visibility purposes.
Which Pinpointer Should You Buy?
You should buy the pinpointer that is more suited to your needs. You can’t go wrong with either of these two options as both are equipped with the most fundamental and important features needed for metal detection.
If you find yourself in more underwater situations as either a diver or someone who often visits the beach, then the Nokta PulseDive is probably your best bet. With a waterproof depth of 200 feet, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about limitations.
On the other hand, if you think you’ll be using your pinpointer in more land-based situations and detection depth is far more important to you, the Garrett Pro Pointer AT is the perfect option with its detection depth of up to 12 inches.
What Is the Difference Between the Garrett Pro Pointer and Pro Pointer 2?
Before we wrap up our comparison, I have noticed that the question of Garrett’s pinpointer differences comes up a lot. Especially the difference between the Garrett Pro Pointer AT and the Garrett Pro Pointer 2.
The most glaring difference between the 2 is the color. The Garrett Pro Pointer is orange while the Garrett Pro Pointer II is black.
Besides the color change, the main differences lie within the features available, which clearly make the Carrot the better superior option.
For instance, the AT is enhanced with more robust sensitivity, allowing for 3 different modes (in addition to the Stealth mode). While the Pro Pointer 2 allows you to retune for consistent ground balancing, the AT doesn’t require that you have to turn the device off each and every time, saving time and energy.
Even more important for some detectorists is that the Garrett Pro Pointer AT is fully waterproof, while the Pro Pointer 2 is not submersible in any way.
Other than these clear upgrades, there aren’t a ton of differences between the two models. Even the price isn’t that drastic!
We hope you enjoyed our detailed comparison of the Nokta PulseDive Pinpointer and Garrett Pro Pointer AT.
These are both great options for any metal detecting enthusiast, but each has its own unique set of features that make it better suited for different needs.
Our recommendation is to always consider what you are using it for and evaluate the features that align with the intended use. This should go a long way in helping you decide which pinpointer is right for you.
And if got a lot out of this comparison, we recommend checking out our breakdown of the best metal detectors for treasure hunting before you go.
Until next time…