Matt is a professional painter who enjoys fishing and metal detecting for old coins and relics.
The Garrett Carrot
Recovering metal detecting finds from the dirt without a pinpointer isn't fun, especially if the target is very small. You're also more likely to damage the object with your shovel if you don't know where it's located in the hole or dirt plug. Having a good pinpointer on hand is a must if you're new to this hobby.
The Garrett Pro Pointer, commonly referred to as the "Garrett carrot" due to its orange color, is a popular pinpointer used for metal detecting. I bought mine together with the Garrett AT Pro metal detector as part of a package deal.
I've owned and used this pinpointer now for about two years, almost on a weekly basis in the summer. This tool cuts my recovery time in half when detecting on land, and I've used it underwater, too.
Is the Garrett Pro Pointer Waterproof?
This model (the orange one) is waterproof. The black one (the Pro Pointer 2) is not waterproof. I waited for the waterproof version to come out before buying my gear because I wanted to be able to use it in the water without any issues.
You can waterproof the Pro Pointer 2 using silicone around the battery housing, but that will ultimately void the warranty if water ends up leaking inside and causing damage.
I've used this pinpointer underwater multiple times without any issues. The seal around the battery compartment prevents water from leaking in. This tool makes it a lot easier to find objects in muck and lake bottom sand. For objects that are hard to pick up with my sand scoop, I can dunk my head underwater with a snorkel mask on and recover the target easily using this device.
There is no volume control, but the beeping sound is loud enough for me to hear when submerged. There is also a vibration-only mode for those who can't hear the beeping underwater.
Sensitivity and Ground Balancing
The sensitivity is very good, but you have to ground balance first, otherwise, it beeps constantly in soil with high concentrations of minerals or black sand, making it difficult to locate your target.
To ground balance, simply hold the pinpointer against the wall inside the hole and press the "on" button. If you press the "on" button while holding it in the air outside of the hole, it will be noisy and won't be ground balanced. I made that mistake when I first started using mine.
I've found the smallest targets with the Pro Pointer, some of which have surprised me. There are three sensitivity settings, which are minimum, medium, and maximum. I leave mine set at maximum. Most of the metal detecting I do is on land, but if you're going to use it in saltwater, using the minimum sensitivity setting will probably work better for you.
There is also a vibrate-only mode that I like to use when metal detecting curb strips and private property permissions. There's no way to turn the volume of the beeping down, so this is a nice feature.
The Garrett Carrot runs on one 9-volt battery, which lasts about 30 hours. Running it at maximum sensitivity all the time or leaving it turned on while detecting will drain the battery a lot faster. I only turn mine on when needed and I always keep an extra battery in my bag. If you do leave it turned on accidentally an alarm will go off after five minutes, which is kind of a cool feature that helps you save the battery life. This feature is also beneficial if you misplace the pinpointer while detecting.
When the battery starts to get low, the normal beeping sound it makes over metal objects completely changes to a different tone, letting you know it's time to replace the battery. I think the battery life is pretty good, although I have nothing to compare it to.
Is the Garrett Pro Pointer AT Worth it?
My Garrett Pro Pointer has taken a beating over the last year and a half of repeated land and water detecting, but it still functions as well as the day I took it out of the box. If you plan to do any serious metal detecting, you'll need a good pinpointer, otherwise you're going to spend more time recovering your targets than detecting. This one has worked great for me without any issues.
I'd like to see a volume control on this pinpointer, but being able to switch over to the vibrate-only mode is actually better for me anyway because the beeping can get annoying in dirt with heavy trash. There is also a loop near the battery compartment where you can fasten a retractable lanyard so you don't lose it while hunting in moving water.
© 2018 Matt G.