A better review of Garret’s AT Pro

20 Oct

I’ve owned and used my AT Pro for about three months now and I have a much better feel for it so I am doing a new review of this detector.

First, let me just get past the known and, in my opinion, overblown bad parts.
The AT Pro is submersible up to ten feet of water.  However, some units leaked and so there is now a lot of talk on the Web about how this is a piece of junk detector. Well that’s a lot of non-sense. If you get a defective AT Pro, send it back and Garrett will either fix it or replace it. Come on, not many all-purpose metal detectors will let you get in the water. A lot of complaints come from people who took the AT Pro to a salt water beach. Garrett says that the AT Pro is not the best detector for that. And yet, they complain when the Pro doesn’t behave like a PI machine in the ocean.

Early on, there were some falsing issues. That’s all in the past. The new AT Pro comes with cam locks to give the unit a very nice solid feel.

Alright then, on to my experiences with this machine.

The AT Pro is not terribly heavy. I have hunted for hours with it and it’s bearable.

I use rechargeable batteries (four, AA batteries) on mine and I can go a week to ten days of daily hunting before I have to replace them.

I don’t recommend that you rely too much on the Target ID. Use it as a guide. After finding a number of silver coins with my Pro, I’ve come to rely on the tonal rather than the visual information. It’s good to use the Target ID as a guide, but the more you use the Pro, the more attuned you become to the tones and what they are telling you. This is especially true on deep targets.

And speaking of depth, I have now officially detected a silver dime at eight inches deep. I have been very careful with measuring the depth of targets. If I even remotely suspected that the coin fell from the side of the hole onto the bottom of the hole, I didn’t record the depth. It was important to me not to fool myself. Unfortunately I did not document the eight inch deep coin visually at all so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Of course, this was in Kansas soil without any Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) that I was aware of.
In deep targets such as the aforementioned eight inch deep dime, the tone is often iffy and very soft and the Target ID is of no use at all. I have now become used to iffy tones that come from good, deep targets. I have been digging silver dimes from seven and a half to eight inches in depth from this particular park for a month now.
It is important to note that I hunt in Zero Discrimination in the Pro mode and that I hunt slowly, with overlapping swings and the coil on the soil whenever possible. Hunting in Zero Discrimination is not bad and the iron signals become part of the auditory landscape and they don’t bother you after a while. This is, in my opinion, the best way to maximize the AT Pro’s depth other than getting the largest possible coil for it.

At first, as you learn the Pro, you will dig lots of bottle caps. Eventually however, you will know how to avoid this by listening to the tones carefully and using the Target ID judiciously.

Another great plus of the Pro is that you can hunt in the rain. I’ve done it. It’s cool not to have to worry about your detector in the water although I ruined my non-water proof headphones the first time I hunted in the rain.

The ability to change frequencies has helped in a couple of occasions when the EMI was bad.

For the price, this detector is hard to beat. It sells for $594 on Amazon.com at the time of this review although you may be able to get it cheaper online from a metal detector dealer.


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