Garrett AT Pro Information & details:
- LCD Screen with button interface
- Waterproof housing (10 feet)
- Six search modes
- Iron Discrimination (1-40 levels)
- Target ID (1 to 99 scale)
- Ground Balance
- Target conductivity identifier
- 4 AA Batteries
Garrett AT Pro Review & Guide:
This metal detector is popular because it is considered an “all terrain” machine. Think of it as the Swiss army knife of detectors. The AT Pro does have a learning curve but there are three standard modes that are designed to make it a more pick up and go machine. Then when you become more advanced with your machine you can move into one of the the three “professional” modes that provide more customizable features. Many Garrett detectors use an LCD screen with button interface as opposed to knobs that many other manufacturers use.
While this machine is great for dry sand beach hunting, the wet sand and salt water can require some additional knowledge regarding the detector. While I have never owned the Garrett AT Pro, the most common issue with regards to the wet sand and water hunting has to do with heavy mineralized sand (black sand). Here in Southern California there is plenty of it and I have run into fellow detectorists with the AT Pro that say ground balance is key! If you are moving from the dry sand to the wet sand you want to ground balance the machine or else your depth will be affected. Additionally, if you see a big patch of black sand expect the detector to either lose depth or act erratically. This is NOT unique to the AT Pro but rather the technology behind it. Most detectors share this same problem with the exception of pulse induction detectors. Something to keep in mind.
What is ground balance?
Settle down, it’s not that scary. Without getting to technical, ground balancing enables the metal detector to cancel out the negative effects caused by ground mineralization. The detector can now determine an actual target versus the false signals produced from the highly conductive minerals in the ground. If the detector is picking up the conductive signal from minerals in the ground how are you going to know if there is a target in the ground? The answer is you won’t because when you swing the detector all you will hear are the beeps of the minerals (also known as falsing). If you are working a particularly nasty area, some falsing is expected.
Check out this video for some Garrett At Pro tips to help you detect in wet sand. A good habit to maximize depth is to ground balance before each hunt and then whenever you notice a change in the ground (an example would be tan beach sand versus wet black sand). On the AT Pro there is a button labeled “GND BAL”. Now if you are unfamiliar with ground balance just hold the button and the machine will automatically ground balance the machine and show the number that it is set to. Not so bad right? Manually ground balance is pressing the button and using the “notch disc” buttons to move the ground balance number up or down. A common technique is to first auto ground balance the machine and then “tweak” the auto setting a bit. If you are looking for small targets (dimes) move the ground balance down a notch or two. For large targets (quarter+) move the notch a few above the auto settings. Check out the video above on how to ground balance in salt water and wet sand.
Garrett AT Pro Manual:
Need more information directly from the company that made the Garrett AT Pro. Look no further than the instruction manual from the manufacturer. This link is directly from the Garrett website. For more information, have a look at the Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector Manual.
Garrett AT Pro Settings:
This video is a great introduction to beach metal detecting with the Garrett AT Pro. First it describes the difference between Standard and Pro Mode and goes on to give settings that are ideal for the beach. If you are new to using the Garrett AT Pro stick with the Standard mode until you get a feeling for it. Once you have spent some time with the machine, switch over into pro mode for more customization of settings. Iron discrimination is going to be your personal preference but most Garrett AT Pro users stay around 30 to 35. Once you go past 35 you will be able to knock out foils but you may be losing out on the goodies as well.
Garrett AT Pro Beach Settings: Dry Sand
Iron discrimination: 30 to 35.
7/8 or 8/8 Sensitivity
Ground balance once you are on the beach sand.
Why these settings? Pro mode is going to be deeper than standard mode but you will need to get used to the crackle that it makes. Iron discrimination at 30 because while you will be digging up trash it should be mostly foils which can sound similar to platinum and smaller gold rings. Sensitivity maxed if possible because dry beach sand tends (depending on location) to be low in mineralization allowing for increased depth potential. You should only need to ground balance when you arrive at the beach unless you change to the wet sand.
Garrett AT Pro Beach Settings: Wet Sand
Iron discrimination: 0 to 30.
6/8 Sensitivity (you may need to back down the sensitivity based on mineralization in sand)
Ground balance every time you move location. If you go from dry sand to wet sand or wet sand into the water and vice versa.
Why these settings?
The key difference between these Garrett AT Pro beach settings and the ones above are to account for the salt in the water when you move into the wet sand. I believe in lowering the discrimination for wet sand and water because there are so many less targets. You don’t want to miss something good. You will need to ground balance more often as there can be unseen changes in the mineralization of the wet sand (black sand hiding underneath). Also, you may have to lower the sensitivity if you are getting to much chatter.
Where to hunt with the Garrett AT Pro:
You can really hunt with the AT Pro anywhere but be aware of the ground balancing mentioned above. I recommend starting in an area that is not highly mineralized, such as the dry sand of the beach. Work the normal high traffic areas of the beach to get used to the detector. As you get better with the AT Pro start experimenting with the ground balance by going to the wet sand. Start with auto and fiddle with the manual to see what differences arise. Keep in mind for heavily mineralized beaches it is very important to get the ground balance right. Check out more beach metal detecting tips here!
Popular Garrett AT Pro Accessories:
Below are some common Garrett AT Pro accessories that metal detectorists purchase to assist with metal detecting. While the AT Pro is both a land and sea machine, keep in mind that if you beach hunt, get accessories that are waterproof so they don’t become damaged if you drop them in the water while detecting.
Garrett AT Pro Coil Cover
This fits on the bottom of your AT Pro coil. It protects from damage caused by rough sand, rocks, you name it. This is an investment in the protection of your AT Pro. It doesn’t add to much weight to the detector because its plastic. It will fit snug on the coil so don’t worry about it falling of.
Garrett AT Pro Submersible Headphones
The Garrett AT Pro is waterproof so it makes sense to buy headphones that are waterproof to right? Well these fit the headphone plug for all waterproof Garrett detectors. They are a little pricey but all waterproof headphones are. Click here to learn more about Garrett Submersible Headphones. If you have other headphones you want to use think about picking up a AT Pro Headphone Adapter.
Garrett AT Pro Rechargeable Batteries
The Garrett AT Pro uses AA batteries so it makes sense to buy rechargeable ones. The Sanyo Eneloops are by far the best AA rechargeable batteries around, just look at all the positive reviews. These work perfectly with the Garrett AT Pro, and should cut down on your long term battery costs. They charge quickly and have a long battery life which is perfect for detecting. Click here for the best price on Sanyo Eneloop Batteries!
Metal Detector Finds Pouch
With all the goodies found at the beach you are going to need a place to put them so you can continue on your hunt. Metal detecting finds pouches are worn on the waist (most come with a belt) and are designed to hold not only trash items but your keepers in different compartments. Another important feature are “drain holes” so you can quickly rinse out all the sand that is stuck to your finds making clean up much easier.
Wet Sand Metal Detecting Scoops:
A durable, heavy duty metal detecting sand scoop is probably the second most important item to have right behind the metal detector itself. Why? How else are you going to get the targets in the wet sand or even the water. Metal detecting sand scoops come in different materials and different sizes depending on your budget. Some are great for the dry sands of the beach while others are heavier but designed to cut through the thickest wet sand. Have a look at my page dedicated to metal detecting sand scoops.
Where to buy your Garrett AT Pro metal detector?
The Garrett AT Pro is a great versatile metal detector. Its great for beach hunting, relic hunting, you name it. But where can you get one for the best price? The prices of detectors fluctuate slightly due to sales and if you want the best price why not buy from the websites that have consistently low prices. You might as well buy from a place you are familiar with also right? To the right is the best price on Amazon. Below are current Ebay auctions that include both new and used metal detectors. If you found the information useful and choose to buy from either of these sites, good luck in the water!