Is the White’s Bullseye TRX better than the Garrett Propointer?
First off, the new Whites TRX Bullseye pinpointer is way better than the original Bullseye probe. When compared to the Garrett pinpointer, the TRX is a little deeper even when the Garrett is supertuned.
Both are well built and should last a long time. The TRX is nice because it can be run in silent mode, though I wish that the vibration on the TRX was as strong as the Propointer. I also would have liked the TRX to be sensitive on the side like the Propointer. The only other negative is that the TRX takes a little longer to turn on.
Don’t get me wrong, the TRX is a great pinpointer and I would classify my negative views on this particular review as more preference based than performance. What I personally would like is to have a Propointer that has a silent mode. The TRX comes really close. If you prefer just the tip to be sensitive to metal, then the TRX would be the way to go. Both are great.
How Good Is The Vibraprobe 580 Pinpointer?
In my opinion the Vibraprobe 580 has an advantage in that it is silent and is waterproof up to 100 feet. That it runs silent is helpful in areas where you do not want to draw much attention to yourself. That is one of my complaints when using the Garrett Propointer. I have to tape over the speaker holes or cover them with my finger to make the probe quieter.
Turning the Vibraprobe on and off is a matter of tilting the probe up and after a short time it will turn itself off automatically. The probe is very sensitive rather than up the side which some prefer, but this is not that important to me. It gets adequate depth and performs well enough.
There are two weaknesses of the Vibraprobe that make it less than optimal for me. First, it is very long and therefore more awkward than some of the other pinpointers. Second, causes interference with some metal detectors which can be annoying. However, these problems are not unique to Vibraprobes.
The Vibraprobe does perform well and to be fair, I have yet to find a perfect pinpointer. However, there are some new offerings on the market such as the already released Minelab Pro-Find 25 and the soon to be released White’s TRX Bullseye that might provide the right balance of depth, sensitivity, and silent/audio search capabilities.
Are Sun Ray Probes Any Good?
With several metal detector probes available on the market, it would seem natural to question the value of a probe that can cost you $190 or more depending on the model of metal detector you operate. Five months ago, I would have said that without a doubt Sun Ray probes are worth the price. Now I am not so sure.
My first Sun Ray probe was the X-1 that I ran on an Explorer II metal detector. Boy that probe sure made life easier. I really liked how the sound of the coil reflected the target id of the metal detector and I was impressed by the depth and clear audio signal produced by the X-1 probe. Was I satisfied with the purchase? Completely and I still have no regrets. I would buy an X-1 probe for an explorer any day.
Well, I recently switched to an MXT metal detector and decided to go ahead and get a DX-1 probe because I had experienced nothing but positive with the X-1. Well, to get to the point, I was sorely disappointed by the DX-1 probe. The depth was significantly less than the X-1 and the audio response was not as clear. Additionally, when used with the pinpoint trigger on the MXT, the Sun Ray DX-1 would frequently cut out . I would have to remove the probe from the hole, let go of the trigger and try again to get a good response.
Also, I do not like the excessive length of cable that runs from the Sun Ray box to the control box. Having to wrap it around the handle is awkward and uncomfortable. In a nutshell, it isn’t worth the hassle and so I am going to sell it and probably try a Garrett Propointer. Will have to see.
In conclusion, I can no longer recommend Sun Ray probes as the best pin-pointer option as I believe that they may be better suited to specific models of metal detectors. For the Minelab Explorer series metal detectors, you can’t go wrong with the Sun Ray X-1 probe. For a White’s MXT, I would think twice before buying the DX-1 probe.
Garrett Propointer versus SunRay Metal Detector Probes
Metal detector probes are extremely useful tools for speeding up the target recovery process. While some prefer to go without a probe, I am a huge fan of probes. Though it is possible to pinpoint well with most metal detectors, once a plug is cut and soil starts to move, the target can also relocate. The probe helps prevent wasting time so you can focus on locating more targets.
Metal detector probes come in a variety of styles that span a large price range. A simple metal detector probe from Harbor Freight can be had for under $20 whereas probes from other manufacturers can run more than $200. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Generally, the less expensive probes get minimal depth and in some instances must actually come in contact with a metal object before signaling. Some of the more expensive metal detector probes offer more depth and other benefits. Some of the more recognized probes include the Vibra Probe, Detector Pro Pistol Probe, DetectorPro Uniprobe, Garrett Propointer and Sunray Inline Probes.
I have never used the Vibra Probe, Uniprobe, or Pistol Probe and cannot speak of their quality or performance, though they have received good reports on some of the metal detector forums. I have used a Garrett Propointer as well as the X-1 and DX-1 probes from Sunray and so I will share my opinions of these two types of probes and try to provide a helpful comparison.
Sunray Metal Detector Probe Pros
- Great depth, especially on a Minelab Explorer, which provides 2-3 inches depending on soil conditions. This depth is helpful when recovering deeper targets or if you have to dig from the side to go under a root.
- Because the Sunray Probes are inline probes, meaning that they are connected to the metal detector and are essentially a small coil, they provide a lot of useful information such as target id tones. On a number of occasions while digging an iffy signal, the probe tone would change to iron before actually recovering the target. The probe allowed me to move on without having to dig the extra three inches of dirt.
- Another benefit of the Sunray Probes is that it is difficult to lose a probe that is physically attached to the metal detector and finally, the Sunray probes do not require additional batteries.
Sunray Metal Detector Probe Cons
- Because the Sunray probes are inline coils, the probes can only be used with specific models of metal detectors. This may not be a problem for someone who only owns one metal detector, but at $200 a probe, the cost can quickly add up if you decide to get multiple probes. Additionally, Sun ray probes are not available for every model of metal detector currently on the market.
- A Sunray Probe is mounted to the metal detector and will add weight to that can lead to arm fatigue when used on some of the heavier metal detectors such as the Minelab Explorer Series, Minelab Sovereign Series, White’s DFX and MXT as well as some of the heavier Garrett metal detectors.
- The Sunray probes cost nearly twice that of a Garrett pinpointer.
- There have been several times in which I forgot to switch the probe off and continued metal detecting for several minutes before realizing my mistake. It is frustrating to look back at the ground you just covered, knowing that you are going to have to search it again.
- The probe cable can snag on branches and other obstructions if you are metal detecting in the woods or in bushy areas.
Garrett Propointer Pros
- The Garrett Propointer probes also get excellent depth (1-2 inches) making it easy to locate shallow targets precisely before coin popping or digging.
- Garrett pinpointers provide both an audio and vibrating response to targets that increases as the probe is moved closer to the metal target.
- Because the Garrett Propointer is not an inline probe, it can be used with any metal detector and will not add extra weight to the metal detector as the Garrett Probe comes with a belt holder.
- The Garrett metal detector probe can be purchased for around $130 instead of $200.
Garrett Propointer Cons
- While providing excellent depth, the Garrett Propointer does not generally get the same depth as the Sunray probes. I say generally, because different soil conditions and the ability to manipulate the Garrett pinpointer’s depth vary depending on location as well as the probe itself.
- The Garrett Probe does not provide the target audio feedback information that can be obtained from a Sunray Probe.
- It would be easier to lose a Garrett Probe, though I have not experienced this.
- The Garrett Propointer does require an additional battery.
- The audio signal on the Propointer is louder than I would like when metal detecting in a public location such as a park.
Garrett Propointer versus SunRay Metal Detector Probes Summary
I think that both the Sunray Probe and Garrett Propointer are excellent metal detector probes. As of this writing I no longer use the Sunray Probes as it did not make financial sense for me to spend several hundred dollars for multiple probes especially since I like to switch up some of my metal detectors from time to time to try something new and I do not want to buy another probe every time I make a change.
The Garrett Propointer is working well for me. It gets adequate depth and gets the job done for a reasonable price. I do miss the target id tone features of the Sunray probes, but not enough to fork out more cash. If I only had one metal detector, I would most likely use a Sunray probe if available. I say most likely, because it would in part depend on the weight of the metal detector in question. You really can’t go wrong in choosing a Garrett Propointer or one of the Sunray Probes. They are well-made and worthwhile metal detector accessories.