12th July 2024

Metal Detecting Pinpointer Probes – GP Pointer – Cheap vs Expensive?

GP Pointer

Way back in the mid 70’s when I first started detecting the whole notion of “pinpointing” centred around keeping your eyes firmly fixed on the centre of the search coil whilst moving it away from the target and then digging in the hope that you had kept watching the same spot all the time. A bit hit-and-miss but generally it worked. These days most detectors come with a pinpoint mode which makes life a lot easier but to make things easier still we have the handheld pinpointer.

The pinpointer has become a staple tool of most detectorists’ tool kits and it is easy to see why. Digging holes and feeling around in the dirt with your hands certainly works but it takes time and occasionally the target is so small it is very easy to miss. With a pinpointer, you can quickly hone in on that elusive target and it is also easier to check for other targets in the same hole. So whilst not essential, it certainly helps.

Probably the most familiar pinpointer out there is what has become affectionately known as the “Garrett carrot” or to give it its proper title the ‘Garrett Pro-Pointer’. I also think it would be safe to say that this is the pinpointer by which others are measured. It is definitely a nice bit of kit and built to Garrett’s high standards however that comes at a cost and quite a large cost at that. In the UK right now the Garrett Pro-Pointer will set you back around £135.00 which is no small chunk of change.

So given the relatively high price of the Garrett Pro-Pointer, it is no surprise that other manufacturers brought out their own versions and all the big names now have one or more pinpointer probes with prices ranging from around £69.00 to £130.00. More choice is always a good thing in my book especially if it saves a few quid.

Enter the Chinese! Ever ones to spot an opportunity, enterprising Chinese manufacturers jumped firmly on the bandwagon and started producing even cheaper versions of the market-leading Garret Pro-Pointer. Many of these can be had for around £20.00 or less. The trouble, of course, is that most of them are not that great. However, amongst the dross of look-a-like “Garrett carrots,’ there are a few exceptions and it is one of those I want to talk about here. The GP-Pointer.

Do you see what they did with the name there? For GP read “Garrett Pro”. Very clever. It even looks… at first glance like the real thing. Imitation is often the sincerest form of flattery but I am pretty sure Garrett doesn’t quite share that sentiment.


Questions about who is copying what aside, what we really want to know is, at a cost of less than £20.00 how does the GP-Pointer measure up against the market-leading Garrett Pro-Pointer?

In terms of build quality, I really cannot fault the GP-Pointer. It is strong and “appears” to be made from the same quality materials that the Garrett is made from. It is water-resistant although not waterproof, and has a flashlight built-in and scraper down one side. Options are…well there aren’t any. It is either on or off and that’s it but then what else do you need?

As far as detection range goes I would say it is not quite as good as the Garrett Pro-Pointer but not far off. The GP-Pointer is around 1-2cm behind the Garrett but then again we are talking about a price difference of around £110.00 and given that you would generally be “probing” around in a hole you have already dug I would say the GP-Pointer stands just as much chance of locating the target as any other pointer no matter how expensive the price tag.

If you can afford it and want the best, go for the Garrett Pro-Pointer. If your pockets are not so deep but you would still like the advantages of a decent pointer you could do a lot worse than spend £15-£20 on the GP-Pointer.

And now you don’t even need to spend that because we are giving one away!

All you need to do to win a GP Pointer is head over to our Facebook Group and comment on the post that links to this article. We will issue everyone with a number. A Winner will be drawn at random on Tuesday 28th February 2023. 


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4 thoughts on “Metal Detecting Pinpointer Probes – GP Pointer – Cheap vs Expensive?

  1. Sad, Any promotion of China’s theft of Tech and the allowing of their Phony crap to move here with little difficulty is Disgusting.. That “GP” pinpointer has cost American jobs.. Families have lost everything due to stolen American Tech by the CCP Chinese.. They rip off, sink the Companies and buy out the Land… This is WAR and Propaganda like this makes me Sick…( my take..)

  2. Whilst I would agree than any theft of tech is reprehensible, whether it be by China or anyone else, there is no point closing the stable door now, when the horse has long since disappeared into the distance.

    It is what it is and unfortunately most people do not have a lot of money these days, so they will want to spend it to best effect.

    With pinpointers the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Do I purchase a $20 GP pointer or a $120 Garrett? The Garrett is better but is it $100 worth of better? Simply put, no it isn’t. And if Garrett think that it is then they need to give a much better reason for people to purchase it other than the fact it has ‘Garrett’ stamped on it and it is built in the USA.

    Garret should perhaps focus on explaining to the buying public ,where the value for money is. Why is their pinpointer worth that $100 difference?

    The biggest problem for companies in the West is that products coming out of China are starting to increase in quality and longevity. And lets not forget that many of the most well known brands actually have their products built in China. We in the West are not totally blameless in all this. We handed them our tech and templates on a platter.

    The GP pointer is out there, it is very well known and pretending it doesn’t exist is not going to help. Explaining why people should pay $100 more for a pointer would help, but so far no one has come up with a good reason for that extra purchase cost.

    I don’t know what the solution is but I do know protectionism never works. Not unless you can produce all those goods yourselves at a reasonable price.

  3. The real crooks are the ones charging $120 for something that costs $20 to make. ok they have to cover development costs, but even so its pretty expensive for a small coil of wire and some op amps.

  4. Pinpointers are a very simple product. Quite why they have been allowed to escalate to the ridiculous prices being asked for them is a mystery. I remember when Quest brought out their Xpointer it was priced at £69 here in the UK. Some may say it was still too expensive but, at least it was pulse induction and worked brilliantly on the beach. It now costs nearly £100! WHY? Luckily my wife still has her original Xpointer and it is still going strong.

    If companies want to charge $120 for a pinpointer that is up to them but I certainly won’t be conned into all that smoke and mirrors marketing BS.

Let us know what you think?