Best Waterproof Pinpointer: Garrett Pro-Pointer AT vs. White’s TRX Bullseye

Every detectorist needs to have a waterproof pinpointer. Without one, you are just wasting time. It drastically cuts down on the time it takes to discover your target. The result? Less digging. More finding.

In this article, we are going to compare two of the most popular pinpointers in the history of metal detecting. Both of these machines are excellent, but there are a couple of major differences in how they operate. Let’s take a look…

Preview
Product
Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
White’s TRX Bullseye
Waterproof?
Up to 20 feet deep (6 meters)
Up to 10 feet deep (3 meters)
Battery Life
Up to 30 hours
Up to 20 hours
Warranty
2 years, parts and labor (transferable)
2 years, parts and labor (transferable)
Pros
  • Highly visible underwater
  • Can go twice as deep
  • 360 degree detection
  • Takes 9-volt OR 2 AA batteries
  • Slightly stronger and more accurate detection
  • Only the TIP is sensitive
Cons
  • Ratchet pinpoint off by 1.25″
  • Complicated to toggle sensitivity
  • Requires some practice
  • Not as visible underwater
  • Harder to locate button just by touch
  • LED light not bright enough
Best for…
Underwater Hunting
↓ Read Our Review ↓
Shallow Water Hunting
↓ Read Our Review ↓
Preview
Product
Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
Waterproof?
Up to 20′ feet deep
Battery Life
Up to 30 hours
Warranty
2 years, parts and labor (transferable)
Pros
  • Highly visible underwater
  • Can go twice as deep
  • 360 degree detection
Cons
  • Ratchet pinpoint off by 1.25″
  • Complicated to toggle sensitivity
  • Requires some practice
Best for…
Underwater Hunting
↓ Read Our Review ↓
Preview
Product
White’s TRX Bullseye
Waterproof?
Up to 10′ feet deep
Battery Life
Up to 20 hours
Warranty
2 years, parts and labor (transferable)
Pros
  • Takes 9-volt OR 2 AA batteries
  • Slightly stronger and more accurate detection
  • Only the TIP is sensitive
Cons
  • Not as visible underwater
  • Harder to locate button just by touch
  • LED light not bright enough
Best for…
Shallow Water Hunting
↓ Read Our Review ↓

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Waterproof Pinpointer Similarities

Before we get into the individual strength and weaknesses of each device, we should say this: These are both world-class machines – two of the best pinpointers that are available on the market today. And they have a lot in common…

  • Vibrate and Beep: Both the Garrett Carrot and the White’s TRX will toggle between beep, vibrate, or both at the same time.
  • Rapid Retuning (and Ground Balance): Both devices will retune with the single press of a button. This makes it easy to get a quick ground balance for those hunting sites with especially mineralized sand or excess salt. Also makes it easy to tune out the surrounding environment and narrow the detection field. If you don’t know how to retune to zero-in on your target, make sure to watch a couple of the tutorials on YouTube.
  • Sensitivity Settings: Both devices have different levels of sensitivity, or distance of detection. The Carrot has three levels, the TRX has four. More on that later.
  • Weight and Size: Both are roughly nine to ten inches long, and about nine to ten ounces. And both approximately the same shape. They both have rulers etched right into the plastic surrounding the shaft, so you can see how deep you’re detecting in inches and centimeters.
  • Warranty: Garrett and White’s both offer a two-year guarantee on parts and labor. That guarantee is transferable if you sell your device to a third party.
  • Holster and Lanyard Ring: How to keep your pinpointer secured to your person at all times? Both machines come with a black nylon mesh holster with a velcro belt loop on the back. They’re also equipped with a small keyring-style loop on the butt end where you may attach a lanyard.
  • LED Light: While both machines have one LED light mounted at the top of the probe looking down the shaft, the Garrett AT light is clearly superior to the TRX. If you’re hunting at night, the Carrot can double as a mini-flashlight. But the White’s LED isn’t as robust.
  • Fewer False Positives: Some of the cheaper pinpointers on the market tend to go off if you hit them or drop them. Not these. Both of these pinpointers are built tough, and built to last. They are designed not to give false alerts when jostled or dropped.

That does it for the similarities. How about the differences…?

Waterproof Pinpointer Differences

The Carrott and the TRX were designed for slightly differing functionality. Let’s explore some of the ways they contrast….

  • Waterproofing: Both IP68. While the TRX is designed for a maximum depth of 10′, the Garrett AT can go as deep as 20′. (This must be a relatively recent improvement from Garrett. It used to be 10′ as well. Have a look at their product page for verification.) VERDICT: Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
  • Battery Life: While the Garrett is good for up to 30 hours, the TRX is only good for 20 hours. BUT… the TRX gives you the convenient option of a 9-volt or two AA batteries. (We prefer to use the 9 volt, because of the battery life and general performance of the machine.) VERDICT: Draw
  • Visibility: While the TRX is black with an orange cap, the Garrett Carrot is trademark orange all over. VERDICT: Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
  • One-Touch Multi-Function Button: Both devices boast a single button which toggles sensitivity level, beep and vibrate alerts, and retuning. However, this button is harder to find on the TRX – especially in the dark and while wearing gloves. Garrett recently made their button a little firmer and easier to feel. VERDICT: Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
  • Toggle Settings: The settings on the TRX are a little easier and faster to cycle through. The toggling system on the AT Pro-Pointer are slower and more confusing. VERDICT: White’s TRX Bullseye
  • Field of Detection: This is probably the biggest difference between the two devices… The Garrett AT has a 360 degree field of detection – the entire shaft is sensitive for scanning. Whilst on the TRX, only the TIP is sensitive for scanning. Most people love one style and hate the other. We love both and for different reasons. VERDICT: Draw
  • Ratchet Pinpoint: While both machines alert more intensely as they get nearer to a target, the TRX is better at this. The Garrett will ratchet all the way up to a single contiguous sound (to indicate that it is on top of a target), yet the target will still be a full inch or more away. The TRX will ratchet all the way to the target with much more accuracy. VERDICT: White’s TRX Bullseye
  • Digging: You should never use your pinpointer as a digging tool. The more digging you do, the quicker the plastic shell will wear out. But if you need to lightly brush through some sand or silt while underwater, the AT Pro-Pointer has a scraping blade along the shaft. The TRX does not. VERDICT: Garrett Pro-Pointer AT
  • Distance of Detection: While this depends largely on what substance you are detecting THROUGH – air, water, sand, soil, and let’s not even mention the salt content – the TRX generally detects farther than the Pro-Pointer (when each device is set to their highest sensitivity level). VERDICT: TRX Bullseye
  • Lost Pinpointer Alarm: After five minutes of inactivity, both pinpointers will emit a periodic warning chirp to assist you if you’ve misplaced it. But that alert mode only last five minutes on the TRX before shutting off. The Pro-Pointer will continue chirping for an hour before doing the same. VERDICT: Garrett Pro-Pointer AT

So which device wins?? Read on to find out.

Garrett Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof Pinpointer

The Garrett Carrot, as it’s known, is the gold standard in metal detecting pinpointers. The Carrot is sensitive yet durable and can easily be used out in the field with one hand.

One nitpick about the multi-function button… It can be confusing. You’ll need to memorize the sequences in order to toggle the controls – how many times to press, and for how many seconds. It takes a little practice to become fast and efficient while you’re out in the field. And with a device this large, there easily could have been a turn dial or ink-display screen to help with the user controls.

Having to remember how to navigate each option using only one button can be quite daunting. For example, the likelihood of changing sensitivity settings when you were trying to just do a retune is something to consider before purchasing. This kind of scenario is something you may face frequently, especially when initially getting accustomed to the Garret Pro-Pointer AT.

The Pro-Pointer is fully submersible up to twenty feet, but you have to be sure to keep the seal tightly closed and free of debris. It is even submersible in salt water. Sand can penetrate the seal even without opening it so you have to be diligent in checking the area. Nevertheless, the sensitivity underwater is just as good as in the air.

The two year warranty is a nice bonus. This allows you to have confidence in your purchase. You’ll be taking this metal detector in all underwater terrain types so the added security is a must have. The warranty process is simple: You must be sure to register the product after you purchase it. If you need to return it for any repairs covered under the warranty, you simply fill out a warranty form found on the website and ship the defective product back.

The most common issue reported is the audio malfunctioning. Users report the device to chirp at random times, even when not in use. In some cases, the chirping can even become too weak to adequately hear. Changing the batteries doesn’t seem to solve this issue so it appears to be a defect in the product itself. Though this is aggravating, it is likely something that is covered under warranty.

White’s TRX Bullseye Waterproof Pin-Pointer

The TRX Bullseye is a more traditional pinpointer – in the sense that it only detects at the actual pinpoint. One of the greatest aspects of TRX is its pinpoint precision. The tip has highly concentrated detection capabilities that will allow you to quickly and accurately narrow in on your target. Unlike some of its competitors, the TRX does a fine job at not picking up metals along the sides of the probe.

It also has automatic ground balance to automatically reject minerals within the sand or silt itself. The pinpointing capabilities of this product are top notch. The sensor gets stronger the closer you get and can be quickly retuned for even stronger detection at the tip. You’ll have no question where to look when you use the Bullseye.

The dual battery option allows you to use either one 9V or two AA batteries. This comes in handy because most people tend to have AA batteries laying around if needed in a pinch. The 9V seems to give a slightly longer battery life but either option works great.

White’s TRX is waterproof up to 10 feet. The waterproofing of this product seems to have significantly less failures than other brands that boast the same depth capabilities. As with any waterproof device, you must always keep all seals clear of any debris.

In conjunction with the waterproof feature, there is a tether hook so you can easily attach it to you so that it doesn’t get lost. This is especially nice to have if you’re going to be using this underwater.

Even though the TRX has the two battery options, its battery life hovers around 20 hours on average. This is significantly less than some of its competitors who offer 30 hours of battery. It may be a compromise you make for the ability to use two different battery types but it’s definitely something to consider. Twenty hours of battery life means you’ll be changing and paying for batteries frequently. The TRX already has a slightly higher price tag for the product itself so consider the long term cost to operate it also.

Of course the probe should never be used for digging or scraping. A feature that the TRX Bullseye is lacking is a scraping blade. Other models offer such conveniences, and while it’s a minor design flaw for the Bullseye, it can be a big factor in influencing your decision. The convenience of a scraping blade is something that should have been considered in the design of this product. Just keep in mind that you’ll be carrying one extra tool along with this pinpointer.

The biggest downfall for this is the coloring. Yes, it does have a bit of orange on it but the majority of the pinpointer is black. This isn’t conducive to underwater searching. If you fail to use a tether or this slips out of your hand and goes floating down the river, you’ll have a much harder time trying to find the orange tip than you would if the entire body was orange. Of course you could use some ingenuity and make it more noticeable but you shouldn’t have to do that for an item with a price tag like this.

The Final Verdict

So which of these esteeemed devices gets the TreasureTrackr seal of approval? They both do. Get one of each.

We think that the Pro-Pointer is better suited to underwater digging. And the TRX is better for shallow water and/or beach digging. These are just our opinions – tell us what YOU think!

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