In this article, I will present you with twelve of the best pulse induction metal detectors for coins on the market.
And to better help you, please use the interactive guide below, where you can direct compare of the top detectors against one another:
|Garrett AT Max||$$$||Waterproof to 10 feet|
|Fisher F22||$$||9″ Triangulated Concentric Coil|
|Garrett Ace 400||$$$||8.5 x 11" DD coil|
|Minelab Vanquish 540||$||Search Modes: Coin, Relic, Jewelry, Custom, All Metal|
What is PI?
Pulse induction, of PI, uses a single coil for both transmission and receiving. It sends electrical pulses into the ground that generate a magnetic field. Once the pulse ends, the magnetic field will reverse the polarity and quickly collapse, causing an electrical spike. When these pulses hit a metallic object, and the magnetic field is reversed, and the detector picks up the signal. It takes longer for the magnetic field to dissipate when it strikes a target, and the detector alerts the user to the presence of metals.
Pulse induction metal detectors can find objects buried deeper than traditional very low frequency (VLF) metal detectors. They are also inherently immune to the effects of saltwater, high soil mineralization, hot rocks, and black sands. Saltwater is a great conductor of electricity, so these metal detectors work very well in saltwater areas, something VLF detectors often suffer with. PI metal detectors are also better at blocking out electromagnetic interference than VLF machines. Sometimes electrical devices or power lines can cause some interference, but many machines have settings to balance this interference out.
Why Should I Use PI for Coins?
Many PI metal detectors are designed specifically to find gold. But they are equally good at finding coins. These machines can search deeper than many VLF metal detectors and as such they are great for finding coin spills, single coins, or other types of relics or metals. Many areas where coins can be found have highly mineralized soils or are underwater. Most PI machines are waterproof, some up to as much as 250 feet! This makes them perfect for shipwreck diving, where many divers have found thousands of coins. They also have an easier time detecting a coin that is on its side or near another metal object.
Keep in mind that most PI metal detectors are designed for more intermediate or advanced detectorists. If you are new to metal detecting, you may want to do some research prior to purchasing a PI machine.
Below you will find my top 12 PI metal detectors for coins.
The ATX is my favorite PI machine on the market today. This metal detector is a ruggedly built, all-terrain, military grade machine that emits an adjustable 730 pulses per second. More pulses per second means more sensitivity and more accuracy. The ATX is fully submersible up to 10 feet. It has 13 sensitivity and depth adjustments, 25 discrimination settings, 25 settings of audio threshold, Iron Audio, and pinpoint mode.
Because this is a PI metal detector, it is inherently immune to the effects of saltwater and highly mineralized soil conditions. It also adapts to limit electromagnetic interference with push button automatic frequency scanning. The ATX features Garrett’s Fast Track ground balancing and another 4 settings for automatic ground balancing.
The ATX does not have an LCD screen, which is common for PI detectors. The control box is easy to use, and settings are easily adjustable with a series of knobs. The ATX does not have to be in motion to detect a target. It comes with a rechargeable battery pack and detectorists can expect 10 hours or more of use on a single charge. The ATX comes with standard, non-waterproof headphones. Most PI metal detectors are heavier than traditional VLF metal detectors, and the ATX is no exception. It weighs in at 6.9 pounds. Garrett offers a 2-year warranty on the ATX.
- You can read my Garrett ATX review here.
OKM Black Hawk
The Black Hawk was designed for coin shooting, prospecting, and relic hunting. This detector uses a higher power scheme to search deeper in difficult soils. This detector uses an automatic varying Eddy current, which allows the next pulse to be delayed. This makes the transmission coil and receiving coil one in the same. It comes standard with a 14” mono search coil, but the pulse delay means it can be used for larger coils. OKM offers a 5’ by 5’ coil for deeply buried objects, like coin caches, and a smaller, 6.3” coil for small gold.
The Black Hawk comes with a 3D imaging system. This information is displayed on the full-color LCD screen. This imaging system is perfect for finding voids, caverns, caves, tunnels, and ore. This detector emits 110 pulses per second and can be used in motion or non-motion modes. The Black Hawk features wireless technology for use with wireless headphones. It comes with a built in LED lamp and adjustable backlit display for hunting in low light conditions. The Black Hawk has automatic and manual ground balancing and an adjustable stem. It is extremely lightweight, at just 2.2 pounds, but is not waterproof. This metal detector comes with a 2-year warranty.
Minelab’s GPX 5000 features their exclusive MPS (Multi Period Sensing) technology, DVT (Dual Voltage Technology) and SETA (Smart Electronic Timing Alignment). This model can find any type of treasure out there. This versatile metal detector has 8 different timings:
- Sensitive Extra
- Sensitive Smooth
- Fine Gold
The GPX 5000 also has 6 detection modes:
Unlike many PI machines, the GPX 500 comes with a small backlit visual display. It features automatic, tracking, and fixed ground balancing along with 10 iron discrimination segments, adjustable sensitivity, and variable audio control. The GPX 5000 comes with a rechargeable battery pack and 2 different search coils: an 11” round Double-D and a 15” by 12” monoloop coil. This model weighs in at 5.3 pounds. Minelab offers a 3-year warranty on the GPX 5000.
White’s TDI SL High-Q is a fantastic all terrain all purpose PI metal detector. This model has the highest pulses per second of any metal detector I have seen on the market, ranging from 3250 to 3370 pulses per second. The TDI SL High-Q is lighter than most PI machines at just 3.5 pounds. This will cause less arm fatigue and allow users to hunt for longer periods of time without needing additional equipment for hip mounting or chest mounting. Frequency offset is adjustable and ground balancing is done manually on this metal detector.
The TDI SL High-Q operates on a rechargeable battery pack with 8 AA battery backup. It comes standard with a 12” search coil, but there are many options for coils in White’s TDI family of coils. This detector features all metal mode with high or low tone. This model has full-control ground balancing which filters out soil mineralization and the effects of saltwater. White’s offers a 2-year warranty on the TDI SL High-Q.
The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II features Garrett’s proven PI technology with 22 frequencies. This helps users when hunting in saltwater or wreck diving. It runs on a microprocessing system for advanced operating quality. This metal detector is great for finding all types of targets including coins. It does not feature ground balancing but is still immune to saltwater and highly mineralized soil conditions. As with most PI machines, the Sea Hunter Mark II does not have an LCD screen. It is controlled by knobs that alter the audio, threshold, and discrimination. Sensitivity and depth adjustments are fixed.
The Sea Hunter Mark II has good immunity to moderate levels of electromagnetic interference. There are no adjustments to compensate for electromagnetic interference. It emits 750 pulses per second, has 3 search modes, adjustable audio threshold, and a non-motion deep seeking mode. This model features 2 trash elimination modes and is fully submersible up to 200 feet. It comes standard with an 8” mono search coil and the stem is adjustable. The Sea Hunter Mark II operates on 8 AA batteries and comes with submersible headphones. It weighs in at 5.1 pounds. Garrett offers a 1-year warranty.
- You can read my Garrett Sea Hunter review here.
Minelab SDC 2300
The SDC 2300 operates on Minelab’s MPF (multi period fast) technology which incorporates quick pulse induction, switching between transmit and receive signals. Minimal residual transmission signals are present during the receiving cycle which enables clear and sharp detection. Although specifically designed to find gold, the SDC 2300 will absolutely find coins, too. This model is waterproof up to 10 feet, so it can be used to find coins in rivers, streams, and shallow beach areas. The SDC 2300 features automatic ground tracking and automatic noise cancelling.
The SDC 2300 is ruggedly designed and built to military specifications. It is a compact unit, and folds easily to fit into most backpacks or carry-on luggage. The SDC 2300 features 2 detection modes: Normal and Salt, each with multiple sensitivity range settings. This model features audio discrimination in the form of changing pitch and tone. Loud, short sounds indicate shallow targets while quiet, broad sounds indicate large, deep targets. This model comes with an 8” monoloop search coil and can be used with waterproof or standard headphones. It operates on 4 C-cell rechargeable batteries and weighs 5.1 pounds. Minelab offers a 3-year warranty on the SDC 2300.
The TDI BeachHunter offers maximum depth and performance on land or sea. It is fully submersible up to 25 feet and features an adjustable pulse delay. Pulse delay allows users to set the machine for maximum sensitivity for hammered coins or fine gold. The BeachHunter features dual-tone audio, adjustable volume, and adjustable threshold control. This detector, like all PI machines, works very well in saltwater or highly mineralized soil conditions. The control box comes ready to mount on the unit or on a chest or hip mount. When using the hip or chest mounted options, the stem and coil only weigh about 2 pounds.
The BeachHunter comes with a 12” dual field search coil and heavy-duty rechargeable battery pack with 8 AA battery backup. This coil is hardwired giving the machine greater sensitivity and stability. This model features adjustable ground balancing and adjustable gain. It can be used with wired headphones on land, or waterproof headphones underwater. White’s offers a 2-year warranty on the TDI BeachHunter.
Tesoro Sand Shark
Tesoro’s Sand Shark was the first metal detector to use microprocessing technology. This PI machine is perfect for hunting in high soil mineralization and in saltwater. It is fully submersible up to 200 feet, so it is perfect for shipwreck diving. The Sand Shark was specifically designed for coin shooting, relic hunting, and gold prospecting. It features 2 operating modes: VCO (voltage-controlled oscillator) for pinpointing, and Normal mode. VCO emits a louder, higher pitched tone as the coil gets near a target. Normal mode uses one tone. The Sand Shark emits 600 pulses per second and comes with an 8.5” or 10” hardwired search coil. It also had adjustable pulse width.
The microprocessing unit in the Sand Shark is autotuning but does require slight motion to receive a signal. It operates on 8 AA batteries and weighs in at 4.5 pounds. It has an option for hip mounting to reduce weight or for diving. Tesoro used to offer a lifetime warranty, but the company has recently closed with no word as to how these warranties will be honored. So, this model is not being produced anymore but you can still find it for sale through a 3rd party seller. These sellers may offer some type of warranty on the Sand Shark.
JW Fisher Pulse 8X
The Pulse 8X is a well-built, commercial-grade PI metal detector used by diving salvage companies, coin shooters, treasure hunters, military agencies, and law enforcement agencies. The Pulse 8X is top rated by U.S. Homeland Security. This model is fully submersible up to 200 feet and features a massive, 6-foot detection range. As with all PI machines, the Pulse 8X is immune to the effects of saltwater, high soil mineralization, and electromagnetic interference.
The standard package comes with a PVC handle for use underwater, an anodized aluminum handle for use on land, headphones, a carrying case, a spare parts kit, and a hip mount. It operates on a 9-volt rechargeable battery pack with AC and DC battery chargers. The Pulse 8X features 3 search modes. It comes in 2 versions: one with a hardwired, factory installed 7.5” search coil; and one with a bulkhead fitting which allows detectorists to swap coils themselves. The Pulse 8X has visual and audio indicators. These audio indicators are loud enough to hear underwater with no headphones. It features slightly negative buoyancy so it will not float away when digging coins underwater but will rest on the bottom. JW Fisher offers a 2-year warranty on the Pulse 8X.
Garrett Infinium LS
Garrett’s Infinium LS is a great PI metal detector for finding coins. It is fully submersible up to 200 feet and features Garrett’s API (Advanced Pulse Induction) technology. This model, as all PI machines do, works extremely well in saltwater and highly mineralized soil conditions. This detector was designed for coin shooting, relic and jewelry hunting, and gold prospecting. It can be hip mounted to reduce the weight, which is 5.5 pounds. It had an adjustable threshold, 96 adjustable frequencies, and automatic ground balancing.
The Infinium LS features Motion and All Metal Deep Seeking search modes with adjustable PI discrimination. It comes standard with a 10” PROformance Double-D search coil and non-waterproof headphones. The Infinium LS has neutral buoyancy so it is easier to keep on the bottom of water bodies while digging targets. This model emits 730 pulses per second. It does not have an LCD screen and is controlled with knobs. One cool feature of the Infinium LS is it has 4 control housing configurations: hip mount, under the cuff, above the stem, or below the stem. The Infinium LS comes with a 2-year warranty.
Lorenz Deepmax Z1
Lorenz is a German manufacturer of metal detectors, and the Deepmax Z1 is a great PI metal detector for coins. It features stable operation on mineralized soils and saltwater with Lorenz’s Pulse Ground Balancing System. This model features a customized LC display, pinpointer, and rechargeable battery pack. The pinpoint feature uses a logarithmic audio response and intensity bar graph reading. The Deepmax Z1 has a search depth of 9 feet. It comes with a waterproof 14” Double-D search coil, a 40” by 40” Frame search coil, a carrying case, harness, and headphones.
The Deepmax Z1 screen generates a 3D image, giving detectorists an idea of what type of metal they have discovered. This is an all-terrain metal detector designed for coin shooting, finding precious metals, and jewelry. Outside of the European Union, the Deepmax Z1 comes with a 1-year warranty (2-years within the European Community).
The SSP-5100 Deep Seeking metal detector is different than many other PI metal detectors. Instead of the standard stem and coil system, this one comes with a 3-foot by 3-foot square search coil that requires 2 people to operate. This model has a very deep detection range of 13 feet and features a visual target identification system. Detech also sells larger coils for greater search depth, and smaller search coils for targets closer to the surface. The SSP-5100 is great for all types of soil conditions.
The SSP-5100 was designed to find all types of metal. Ground balancing is extremely easy on this model and it gets more sensitive at greater depth than other models. The control box can be used with headphones and it comes with a hip holster for easy use. This model runs on a rechargeable battery pack and can cover a huge search area to find those elusive coin spills quicker than with standard metal detectors. Detech offers a 2-year warranty on the control box and a 1-year warranty on the search coil.
There are also several PI pinpointing metal detectors on the market. These are extremely helpful in narrowing down exactly where your target is. While most PI metal detectors have a pinpoint mode, a handheld pinpointer can more precisely locate a target and means you will have to dig less to find your coins.
The Fisher F-Pulse is one of my favorite PI pinpointers. This pinpointer is waterproof up to 6 feet and excels in soil conditions where other pinpointers fail. The F-Pulse uses 2 AA batteries, has adjustable LED light, 3 sensitivity levels, fast retune, a built-in ruler, and heavy-duty construction. Fisher offers a 2-year warranty on this pinpointer.
Nokta Makro also makes a PI pinpointer called the Nokta PulseDive. The PulseDive is waterproof up to 200 feet and designed to help treasure divers find coins, gold, relics, and jewelry. This pinpointer features 5 adjustable sensitivity levels, an LED target indicator, audio indicator, and vibration indicator. It is also compatible with wireless headphones, which is a feature not many pinpointers have. The PulseDive also has Dive Mode to ensure buttons are not activated by water pressure on deep dives. Nokta Makro offers a 2-year warranty on this pinpointer.
The last PI pinpointer on this list is a line of pinpointers by Treasure Products. This company created the first vibrating pinpointer, and they offer 3 different PI pointers. The first, Vibra-Probe 585, is a tilt on and off pinpointer with automatic calibration, auto of timer, and is submersible up to 100 feet. The Vibra-Tector 740 is also a tilt on or off vibrating pointer with auto calibration and 100-foot submersion depth. This model has upgradable firmware to find targets quicker. Lastly, the Vibra-Quatic 320. This model is also a tilt on or off pointer with built in light and auto calibration. It is submersible to 100 feet and has a full 2-inch detection tip for greater sensitivity and depth.
PI metal detectors are a great option for finding coins. They easily cut through interference from saltwater or highly mineralized soil. They are ruggedly built and most feature knob controls, so they are not extremely complicated to operate. Each detector has its own unique features, and its own pros and cons.
PI metal detectors are typically heavier than VLF detectors, but they make up for this with increased depth and sensitivity. PI metal detectors are great for coin shooters. You will not regret your decision to try one next time you are on the hunt for coins!
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