Are you planning to buy the Garrett AT Pro or are you wondering if it’s better than the other metal detectors in the AT series?
The Garrett AT Pro is one of three metal detectors in Garrett’s All-Terrain line. It’s meant to be a durable and reliable device outdoors, and no, not just in your backyard. There are a lot of similarities between the three, so it’s hard to know which is which. Here, you’ll get to know the Garrett AT Pro in-depth so you can decide if it’s best for you.
Garrett AT PRO - A HobbyKraze review
The Garrett AT Pro was released in 2010. It’s already been a decade but it’s still one of the all-around metal detectors enthusiasts and professionals use. Why? It’s because it lives up to the Garrett name and it has features that allow you to find different types of metal and in different terrains.
The Garrett AT Pro has a digital target ID, pinpointing mode, manual and automatic ground balance, and iron audio. It comes with an easy to use control panel which allows you to track everything, even the battery. For a heavy-duty metal detector, it’s pretty light – around 3.03 lbs.
The AT Pro is known for being the perfect starter metal detector. And even if it’s named that way, you’ll be surprised how long it stays with you that you won’t even notice that it has been a decade since it was first released. If you’re curious about what the Garrett AT Pro has to offer, keep reading for a detailed look at it.
1. Waterproof Control Box and Display
The point of being all-terrain is that it can be used even in creeks and rivers. The Garrett AT Pro makes sure of that by being waterproof up to 10 feet underwater. Even if the search coil is submerged underwater for a long time, it won’t act differently than when it is on land.
Now you might be wondering if it’s okay to use it in saltwater. Garrett claims that the AT Pro can be used in saltwater; however, it only does when the sand is dry. If it’s not, then the iron audio can give off consistent sounds.
As for the control box, it’s also waterproof. This is a big improvement for the AT Pro because not a lot of metal detectors have waterproof control boxes. This means that you can get drenched in the rain looking for treasure without worrying about your control box.
2. DD Proformance™ Search Coil
The Garrett AT Pro uses a double D, also known as DD, search coil. Garrett has its own trademarked technology for its search coils called the Proformance™. The Profromance™ search coil has improved target separation and depth for all kinds of minerals. If you want to be specific with the metals you search, you can easily replace the search coil with other coils from the AT add-on collection like the concentric coil or the sniper coil.
3. 15kHz Operating Frequency
If frequency doesn’t matter, then why would you want to buy the Garrett AT Pro? The high operating frequency, specifically 15kHz, found in this metal detector is one of the features people love about it. If you compare with other mid-range competitors, you will barely find one that has as high a frequency as the AT Pro with an affordable price point.
Because of its high frequency, you can get excellent target separation and you can find small metal nuggets. If you’re looking for gold nuggets, then this 15kHz will come in handy.
4. Pinpoint Mode
Have you ever done a limited sweep of an area and ended up digging the moment you heard a sound? If you have, then that’s not something you should be ashamed of. All beginners go through that, but with the pinpoint mode, you don’t have to.
The pinpoint mode is a feature specific to the latest Garrett metal detectors that will help you make targeted sweeps after a broad sweep. For example, you make a general sweep of the area and then you get to mark your target areas with the pinpoint mode. Now you don’t have to remember where’s the place with the most valuable metals.
5. Digital Target ID
Almost all of the AT metal detectors have a digital target ID displayed right in the middle of the control panel. Sure, this is common to all mid-range detectors, but at least you know that you can easily identify the composition of the metal without digging into the soil.
6. Manual and Automatic Ground Balance
By now, you’re probably taking in all the features of the Garrett AT Pro. You don’t want to miss this feature too – the manual and automatic ground balance.
Garrett AT Pro has an impressive automatic balance that allows you to have more accurate readings when you change from an area of low mineralization to an area of high mineralization. By pressing the ground balance button, the control panel adjusts the sounds it will create when you’re in a high mineralized place such as sand or saltwater. That way, you won’t get annoyed hearing iron audio constantly.
The automatic ground balance is very accurate so you won’t usually have to use the manual ground balance. However, if you’re more comfortable doing it on your own, then the AT Pro is capable of letting you do so.
7. Iron Audio
Do you know how to spot junk and valuable metal? If you don’t, then the AT Pro’s iron audio is going to be your favorite feature. It will help you easily identify if the metal it’s detecting underground is just a bottle cap or real gold. The control box will produce a different sound if what you’re detecting is just a piece of trash or if it’s valuable. Take note, though, that you have to set the iron discrimination first before the iron audio will work accurately.
8. Iron Discrimination
Speaking of iron discrimination, the Garrett AT Pro allows you to set iron discriminations and assign iron audio to help you identify if it’s junk or not. How does it work?
When the digital target ID shows, it tells you how conductive the metal is underground. The nearer it is to 0, the less conductive it gets. Obviously, you want to get those that are more conductive, so if the target ID shows that it’s near 99, then you can set the iron discrimination. Ideally, you’ll be able to set it near 40 (the AT Pro allows for 40 segments) so you know that they’re not junk.
Pros - What We Like!
The Garrett AT Pro won’t be popular and trusted without reason. If you decide to get this metal detector, you get to enjoy these benefits.
For a metal detector with complete features, the Garrett AT Pro is already a good price. The price is affordable enough that even beginners can consider buying it without feeling that it’s too excessive. And when you buy it, you’ll realize that it’s also good for experienced treasure hunters. If at first, it sounds like a big investment, know that the Garrett AT Pro lasts at least five years. It’s not going to sound expensive when you think about it that way.
Are you looking for gold or coins? Whatever it is that you want to find, the Garrett AT Pro has advanced features in it that allows it to detect all kinds of metal. This is where the iron audio, iron discrimination, and target ID all come into place. Because of these features, the Garrett AT Pro can give excellent accuracy in detecting whatever object it is underground as long as it is conductive.
Easy to Use
Confused by all of these terms and features? Don’t worry, the Garrett AT Pro is very user-friendly and it’s beginner-friendly, too. You can attribute this to the control box that has all the buttons labeled nicely. Even if you’re just getting the hang of it, the buttons are easy to understand and use that you’ll be comfortable using it in a week or so.
In spite of having a long shaft, the Garrett AT Pro is very lightweight. It’s not entirely for kids, but it’s definitely something an adult carry around without feeling like their arm’s going to break off. Plus, it only weighs 3.03 lbs so if you plan on scouring a huge land area in the woods, then this is the ideal metal detector. Other mid-range detectors are even heavier than this.
Gives accurate readings and audio
Needless to say, Garrett AT Pro gives accurate readings and detection of different kinds of metal. It’s not the best if you want depth inspection, but with the combination of its discrimination and audio modes, you’ll be able to find significant metals underground. Seasoned treasure hunters use the Garrett AT Pro, so that says something about the AT Pro being reliable.
Can be used in saltwater
Unlike the AT Gold which is not good for saltwater, the Garrett AT Pro is capable of detecting metals even in highly mineralized soil. The only caveat is that it doesn’t work that well as compared to freshwater areas. Nonetheless, if you’re worried that it can’t find gold, it can.
Cons - What We Are Not Huge fans Of!
Included headphones are not waterproof
The Garrett AT Pro comes with a Garrett MS-2 headphones. Unfortunately, even if the headphones are durable, they aren’t waterproof. If you’re planning to get wet searching for treasure, then you have to buy a separate pair of headphones that are waterproof. Otherwise, the MS-2 will get damaged right away.
The display is crowded and has no backlight
This has been a consistent problem with the Garrett metal detectors. Despite the user-friendly buttons and display, there’s still no backlight for the Garrett AT Pro. The problem with this is that if you plan on treasure hunting in broad daylight, you’re going to have trouble reading what’s on the screen. To add to that, the screen is a little crowded too so that doesn’t help.
Not reliable in saltwater
Even if the Garrett AT Pro can be used in saltwater, it’s not that reliable to use. At most, you’ll be able to use it when the sand is dry, but if it isn’t, it’s just going to be a waste of time to look for coins and relics underground.
How is the Garrett AT Pro different from the AT Gold?
If there are two metal detectors that are often compared to each other, it’s these two. When choosing mid-range AT metal detectors, these gadgets are often found head-to-head because they have a lot in common. Some of those similarities are the target ID, waterproof material, manual and automatic ground balance, iron discrimination, and iron audio.
However, if your focus is on looking for gold coins and relics, then the AT Gold is a much better fit than the AT Pro. Taken from its name, the former is able to find gold more accurately. The only downside to it is that you can’t use it in saltwater at all. Even if the sand is dry, it won’t work well so it’s just going to be a waste of time and effort. On the other hand, the AT Pro can still function in saltwater as long as the sand is dry.
Which one is better? If you’re looking at the overall performance, it’s definitely the Garrett AT Pro. This is because the AT Gold is much more focused on being able to detect gold rather than silver. If you’re a beginner and you don’t know what you’re most interested in, the AT Pro is the safer bet between the two.
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
Why is the Garrett AT Pro popular? Simple – it’s reliable and durable all for a reasonable price. It has a lot of proven features in its belt that a lot of metal detectors don’t have. If you will notice, there are only a few cons with buying the Garrett AT Pro and all of them are minor disadvantages. If your priority is to have a metal detector that you can use anywhere you plan to explore, then the Garrett AT Pro is your guy.