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I am often asked what is the best pinpointer to buy and It can certainly be a confusing subject for those new to the hobby as well as those more experienced detectorists whom until now have managed without one.
So what is the best pinpointer to buy?
Well, of course, that depends firstly on your budget. Pinpointers from the likes of Garrett, Nokta and Minelab are not what I would call cheap. Often costing in excess of £100/$124. This is no small chunk of change to layout on what essentially is quite a simple device. However, you soon realise the value of a pinpointer once you have been using one for a while.
I have used all the well know brands of pinpointer over the years but the one I keep coming back to and which is now my go-to device has to be the Quest Xpointer. Not only is it great value for money at just £69/$85 including holster but it outperforms most other pinpointers on the market.
What makes the Quest XPointer Special?
Most pinpointers use VLF technology to detect targets and whilst this is fine in many situations it does have one major drawback, “mineralization”. In simple terms, as well as detecting the target you are looking for the pinpointer may also detect “hot rocks”. That is rocks that contain more nonconductive or conductive minerals than the surrounding ground. If your metal detector is also prone to detecting these hot rocks you can see where you may have a problem?
The Quest XPointer uses Pulse Induction as its detection method. I won’t go into an in-depth discussion about how pulse induction works, there is a great explanation of the technology by Phil Beck on the Minelab Site that is well worth reading but, in short pulse induction is almost totally blind to mineralized ground. A pulse induction machine will completely ignore hot rocks. This is particularly useful on a beach because of the mineralization caused by saltwater.
As most who follow me on social media will know, I almost exclusively search on the beaches and this is where a pulse induction pinpointer like the Quest XPointer comes into its own. Unlike the many VLF pinpointers on the market, there is no need to ground balance it every time you turn it on and then balance it again if you put it in saltwater. Saves time and no falsing.
Quest XPointer Features
Protection: Splashproof/Heavy rainproof
Weight: 4.7oz or 135g(without battery)
Working Method: Pulse induction
Operating Frequency: 95 kHz
Indicators Audio / Vibration.
Battery life(Alkaline): 8Hrs
Battery Powered by one 9V battery(not included)
Controls: Power switch (On / Off) Mode control
Lighting: One LED beam for dark condition searching
RAIT: Ratio Alarm Indication Technology, Response will be intense when probe close to objects.
Thickness Max 4.5inches / 4.0cm,Min 1.5inches/2.1cm
Comes with Quest holster.
I have tested the Quest XPointer against other pinpointers on the market and in terms of sensitivity, it is amongst the best. On the beach, there really isn’t anything to match it. Where other more expensive pinpointers would either not detect the target or give off a signal when there was no target the Xpointer just works.
There are two buttons on the Xpointer. The first button turns the unit on and the second is for setting the level of sensitivity. You have four levels to choose from plus a vibration only mode.
To adjust the levels, turn on the XPointer, press and hold the SELECT button then briefly press the ON/OFF button and note the number of beeps. One beep indicates level 1, two beeps indicate level 2, three beeps level 3 and one long beep is level 4. Each press of the ON/OFF button (while holding down the select button) will cycle through the sensitivity levels (1 being least sensitive and 4 being most sensitive).
The variable sensitivity levels are useful but I have generally not needed them. The Xpointer is very good at locating the target quickly and efficiently.
As mentioned in the spec, the Xpointer is “showerproof” but not fully waterproof. I have though submerged mine in saltwater from time to time and although I would not recommend it the Xpointer survived and has never let me down.
A 9v PP9 battery lasts at least the specified 8 hrs. Bear in mind that is 8 hrs continuous use and as you would only switch the pinpointer on for very short bursts of time when you detect a target it can easily be days or even weeks before you need to change the battery.
As mentioned, there is no shortage of metal detecting pinpointers to choose from. Most are great but nearly all have the same things against them. They are VLF based so have problems with mineralization and they are, in my opinion overly expensive.
The Quest Xpointer exhibits great performance, a good feature list and at just £69/$85 cannot be beaten on price.
I have been using the Xpointer for about 15 months and it has never let me down. If you are in the market for a high quality, low price pinpointer the Quest Xpointer should be at the very top of your list.
And Now The Really Good News!
You can win yourself a brand new Quest Xpointer in our very easy to enter competition.
All you need to do is take one or more of the following actions, each one of which gets you an entry:
The more you do, the more entries you receive. One entry for each action.
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