If you hunt for gold nuggets with a metal detector, then you know that gold specific detectors don’t hit the market very often. Sure, there are multi-purpose detectors that will do a decent job of finding gold nuggets if they are large and the ground around them isn’t too mineralized, but actual gold specific detectors don’t come along very often. In fact, even though people have been using metal detectors to search for gold nuggets for many decades now, there are really only a handful of specialized detectors on the market specifically designed for nugget hunting.
This is why the new Garrett ATX
is attracting plenty of interest in the gold prospecting community. We are always looking for tools that can help us find gold, and this new detector may be an excellent choice. There are a few reasons why this detector looks like it will be a good addition to your metal detecting arsenal.
The most noteworthy feature worth pointing out about the Garrett ATX is that it uses pulse induction (PI) technology, which is highly regarded as the best type of detector in most gold country. The vast majority of gold detectors on the market today are made with Very Low Frequency (VLF) technology, and while they can certainly find gold, they have some serious limitations. The 2 main advantages of PI detectors over the VLFs are their ability to handle highly mineralized ground conditions, and their ability to detect targets at significant depth. The Garrett ATX should be able to do both of these things.
Up until this point, Minelab has almost totally dominated the high-end pulse induction detector market, and are considered by most to be the best metal detectors to find gold nuggets. The main issue is that the new Minelab PI detectors currently retail for nearly $6000, a major purchase for even a serious gold hunter. At less than half that price, the Garrett ATX has the potential to attract many new prospectors out into the field. It will be interesting to see how this detector is received by the experienced gold hunters out there. If it detects nuggets deep, does a good job in highly mineralized ground, and has enough sensitivity to pick up the smaller nuggets it may become a new favorite in the metal detecting community.
The design of the ATX is based off of other metal detectors that Garrett has made to military specification made for locating land mines. It is made from high impact plastic and houses wires internally. It runs on 8 AA batteries and weighs 5.5 pounds. It comes standard with a 10” x 12” DD search coil, but there is also an optional 15” x 20” elliptical and 8” round mono search coils that can be purchased additionally. It is designed to be collapse down for easy storage and transport.
In addition to detecting depths and mineralized ground, it will be interesting to test the discrimination capabilities of this new detector. Anyone who has hunted for gold with a metal detector knows that iron rubbish can be difficult to deal with, as most PI detectors do not discriminate very reliably. If the Garrett ATX does a good job discriminating iron it will have a big advantage in the goldfields.More Metal Detecting Articles:Metal Detecting for Gold NuggetsGold Nugget Detecting: Dealing with Trash & Hot Rocks