If you’ve never owned a pinpointer, you don’t know what you’re missing. You get spoiled. You begin to wonder how you ever hunted without one. The days of sifting handfuls of dirt in front of your coil are over.
Today, we are reviewing the Vulcan 360, made by Kellyco. We’ll go through each aspect of this mid-tier pinpointer and give you our honest opinion. Let’s get started!
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Design & Appearance
At 10.5 inches, the Vulcan 360 is slightly longer than the leading pinpointers on the market (namely, the White’s TRX Bullseye and the Garrett Pro-pointer). It has a bright orange cap, just like the TRX – making it difficult to lose or leave behind accidentally.
The plastic shell on the Vulcan 360 is smooth, slick, and less than a millimeter thick. This makes the 360 feel somewhat thin and delicate when holding it in your hand. Contrast this with the Garrett Carrot, which has a thicker plastic outer shell with a textured finish – making it feel sturdy enough to endure the harsh conditions of the woods or the beach.
The Vulcan 360 also has a noticeable seam running down both sides vertically, which indicates it may have been fused together using two separate plastic parts. Some other pinpointers have a plastic shell molded from one rigid piece. Pinpointers also have a tendency to wear out at the tip with continued use, so the plastic shell needs to stand up all that scratching and digging.
Like any pinpointer, the plastic begins to wear away over time as you repeatedly poke it into the ground. But the Vulcan is covered by a 2-year warranty.
We don’t like that the Vulcan 360 is made in China. To be fair, some Chinese products are reasonably good quality and very good on price. But when it comes to metal detectors and metal detecting equipment, you get what you pay for. We would much rather pay a little more and have Kellyco manufacture this pinpointer in the United States.
Lastly, the 360 comes with a nylon holster with a fastened Velcro belt loop, and a new 9-volt battery so you can get started right away. One common feature missing from the 360 is a lanyard attachment hole or key ring.
The Vulcan 360 represents a large step up from Kellyco’s Automax series of pinpointers.
It takes a few design cues from the Garrett Pro-Pointer AT: mainly the detection pattern – meaning that not just the tip is sensitive, but the whole lower half of the shaft (probe is 4.25” long) will also throw a signal. Programmed for extreme sensitivity to pinpoint coins, jewelry, gold nuggets and even small hard to find rings. Some hunters love this, others hate it.
The ground balance is automatic when you turn on the device. Unlike many of the major pinpointers on the market, there is no rapid retuning feature – meaning you can’t quickly hone in on a target by pressing the button. This is a major drawback for our style of hunting, where we use rapid retune to zero in on small targets.
A welcome adjustment to the design that was implemented recently – you used to need to carry a jeweler’s screwdriver to get into the battery compartment. Now the cap comes off with a few simple turns of the wrist. This pinpointer – like most – eats batteries – you’ll need a new one every third hunting trip. And 9-volts will run you $6 a pop.
Kellyco suggested retail is $69.95, but you can definitely find it cheaper. In fact, it used to be $120 just a few years ago, so they have brought their price down by almost half. This is approximately half of what a new Garrett or White’s want for their pinpointers.
Customer Service at Kellyco is top notch. They even watch the forums and reach out to users who have questions or complaints about their product.
Performance in the Field
Like many of the pinpointers on the market, all features are controlled by pressing a single button on the shaft. While many pinpointers have buttons that are sturdy and springy, the button on the Vulcan 360 is flimsy and easy to press accidentally. A lot of us hunters wear gloves, which makes it hard to feel for a control button.
On the highest sensitivity level (there are 5), the Vulcan 360 can hold its own with any pinpointer on the market in terms of distance. Excellent depth, very stable, no falsing.
Kellyco claims that its pinpointer is water-resistant (not waterproof), but several users have reported submerging it in creeks or lakebeds without any problem. Bonus: it floats! There is an O-ring, which you’ll want to lightly grease before submerging your brand new pinpointer.
If your style of hunting is anything like ours, you keep your pinpointer holstered on your belt. When you need it, you whip it out of the holster, press the on button, and stick it in your hole all in one swift motion. It only takes a second. But with the Vulcan 360, the start-up sequence takes 3 seconds from the time you press the button. And actually, it’s more like 4 seconds. (We timed it.)
The Vulcan 360 ratchet pinpoint action (both audio and vibration) is much jumpier than other pinpointers, which have a smoother more linear ratchet modulation as the device nears closer to its target.
Summary and Final Rating
The Vulcan 360 Pinpointer is a solid, mid-level tier device. Not as fancy as a Garrett or White’s, but also not some cheap imitation. While we miss the ability to manually ground balance and rapid retune, it does its job admirably – that of finding targets. And recent improvements to the design indicate that Kellyco is listening to their customers’ feedback (and their competitors’) to make a better product over time. For the price, we would highly recommend getting yourself a Vulcan 360. Email us and tell us what YOU think!