Today I’ll be doing a Garrett AT Pro review for you. Ever since we listed the Garrett AT Pro for sale, it’s consistently been our best seller. I personally have been using the Garrett AT Pro metal detector for almost 5 years now, so I feel like i’m overdue on writing this Garrett AT pro review for you all.
Interestingly, despite having access to all types of metal detectors, I still enjoy using the AT Pro as much as the day I first unpacked it out of the box. It is my go to metal detector if I am going out treasure hunting with the boys and we aren’t sure where we will end up. It really is the jack of all trades metal detector that can handle any terrain conditions, whilst consistently delivering results.
Update for 2020: I now use the Minelab Exuinox 800 (read why here) as my go to detector, but I do still love the AT Pro.
When I first got serious about metal detecting I used to be very critical of Garrett in that they never had any decent mid ranged metal detectors. I just saw no reason to ever upgrade past the entry models, however, when they came out with the AT Pro, all that changed.
Not only is the AT Pro a seriously good metal detector, I think it is possibly the best metal detector on the market when you consider its value for money proposition. There are not many other metal detectors that will provide you such a diverse range of quality features at such a low price.
So let’s get into the review in detail.
How Does it Look and Feel?
The AT PRO is different from many of the other Garrett metal detectors in that it is all black (not a single bit of yellow to be seen). It features cam locks, an extendable arm and is reasonably light weight (1.4 Kg / 3.03 lbs) – I can carry it around for 4 to 5 hours at a time without a break, so it can’t be that heavy. In terms of size, this detector is 42″ to 51″ (1.06m – 1.29m) long – note the difference between the extended and contracted sizes.
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The AT PRO Display
The thing I really love about the AT PRO is the interface. It is so user friendly and simple to use, with all the main information you will need being displayed without having to go searching for it. The first thing that will really stands out on the AT PRO display is the Digital Target ID, which goes from 0 to 99. This isn’t something you will see on any of the previous Garrett metal detectors and it will make your life a lot easier when determining if a target is worthwhile to go after.
You will also notice that the display has a number of push buttons to allow you to easily change the settings (which I will go into more detail later) for your device.
Price and Warranty Information
The Garrett AT Pro is not the cheapest metal detector out there with the standard unit costing around $600. Now to someone that is new to metal detecting, this might seem like a lot, but when you compare it to other detectors with the same set of features, this is a steal.
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There are two main packs for the AT pro:
- Buy the Garrett AT Pro with no extras – 4.7 stars out of 5 (35+ Reviews) on Amazon
- AT Pro Metal Detector
- Non-Waterproof Headphones
- Buy the AT Pro Adventure Pack – 4.9 stars out of 5 (14+ Reviews) on Amazon
- AT Pro Metal Detector
- Includes 8.5″ x 11″ PROformance DD submersible searchcoil.
- Includes Garrett MS-2 Headphones.
- Includes Garrett 50″ Travel Carry Bag.
As with all Garrett detectors, the AT PRO comes with a 2 Year limited parts and labor warranty.
The Garrett AT PRO has a good range of search coils that you can choose from, with the standard search coil being the 8.5″ x 11″ DD PROformance submersible search coil. The DD search coil is one of the best that I have come across and it really makes a massive difference to your treasure hunting.
The other thing that you will notice about the standard search coil, is that it is fully submersible, so you are able to take the AT PRO treasure hunting in water. Note: The standard headphones that come with the AT PRO are not waterproof, so you will need to get a different set if you plan on getting wet.
More AT PRO Compatible Search coils
The following is a list of other search coils that are compatible with the AT PRO.
- 8.5″ x 11″ ACE PROformance DD Search coil
- 6.5″ x 9″ PROformance concentric Search coil
- 9″ x 12″ PROformance Search coil
- 5″ x 8″ PROformance DD submersible Search coil (waterproof)
- 4.5″ Super Sniper Search coil (great coil for getting deeper and for heavily cluttered areas)
Top Garrett AT Pro Features
The best thing about the Garrett AT PRO metal detector is that it comes with a huge range of features at an affordable price. In this section I will detail each of the features and what they will mean to you as a treasure hunter.
The AT PRO comes with 6 detection modes. 3 Standard modes, and 3 Pro modes. The standard and the pro modes each have 3 discrimination modes to choose from Custom, Coins & Zero.
Target Identification (TID)
The Digital Target ID is used to indicate a targets probable identity and it has a range of between 1 to 99.
As an example, if you find an iron object you will notice that the TID number is quite low (generally 35 or under) and the cursor will be on the left of the scale. Conversely when you find a more conductive metal you will notice that the TID number will be quite high and that the TID cursor will be all the way to the right of the scale.
In my experience you will find the following metals in these target ID ranges:
- <35 – Iron
- > 70 – Silver
- >35 & < 70 – Gold
There are a number of variables that can impact on the target identification which you should be aware of before you start detecting. These include:
- How mineralized is the ground?
- How level is the ground?
- How level are you swinging the coil in relation to the ground?
Note: Air tests will produce different results than ground tests.
Pro Mode Audio
When the AT PRO is in standard audio mode it provides a full strength audio response – this means that it will always provide a consistent steady beep no matter the target or the depth of the target.
The Pro mode allows you to hear a lot more about the target, this gives you a lot more information about the type of item you have found. As an example, as you start moving away from an item you will notice that the audio gets weaker, and as you get closer the audio will get stronger.
For both the standard mode and the PRO mode there are different tones that will be produced depending on the type of metal you have found.
- Iron will produce a low tone
- Things like Jewelry, Gold or a Nickel would produce a medium tone
- Silver will produce a high tone, being highly conductive
The PRO Audio mode really sets this detector apart from the cheaper Garrett metal detector models.
High Res Iron Discrimination
The AT Pro comes with high res iron discrimination levels of between 1 to 40. Setting the correct discrimination level is important so that you can avoid picking up things like rusty nails or any other undesirable metals.
To set the iron discrimination simply press the plus or minus button on the iron discrimination menu to set your detector to the correct discrimination level. Remember to not set it too high as you will end up missing metals or items that you will want to be finding.
Another way to eliminate items that you are not interested in finding is to have your search coil over the item and then press the elimination button. This is a bit more of a blunt approach and you will likely miss some good targets, but if you can’t be bothered fiddling with the settings then using the elimination button is going to be for you.
My Iron Discrimination Setting – I generally set the iron discrimination to around 29 or 30 depending on how much iron is around.
The iron audio feature is a great little addition to the AT Pro, this really helps when it comes to identifying what is iron and what is trash. For this to work though, you need to make sure you have your iron discrimination already set.
In short, the way this works is to make a more pronounced sound whenever you run over an item so that you can hear more details about a find. At first you will probably struggle to make heads or tails of the different sounds, but after some time you will know what you have found without even needing to dig.
Something that really sets the AT Pro apart from many of its competitors (even the AT Gold) is that you can use this metal detector ANYWHERE. It doesn’t matter if you are searching in the desert, rain forest, park, stream, lake, beach or ocean – the AT Pro can go wherever you go, and the results will be the same. This is probably one of the biggest selling points of the AT Pro particularly if you like getting your feet wet whilst treasure hunting.
Detector Frequency & Depth
The AT Pro runs at 15 kHz frequency which allows for improved detection of small targets, gold nuggets and jewelry.
When it comes to depth – I have used the AT Pro to find objects up to about 8-9 inches deep, but that really is the maximum. If you need deeper than 8-9 inches you will need to look elsewhere.
Ground balancing is important to setup each and every time you go out treasure hunting in a new location. This will help you to eliminate noise caused by the minerals in the ground. Ground balance can be done either automatically or manually with the AT Pro, both are quite simple and only take a few seconds.
Note: I personally find that ground balancing is critical when it comes to hunting for gold.
Automatic Ground Balancing
To do an automatic ground balance, simply press and hold the ground balance button and then just move the coil up and down above the ground and you will start to see the numbers on the screen start to settle down until it is balanced.
Manual Ground Balancing
To do this manually, you need to press the ground balance button and then move the coil up and down and then press the plus or minus button until you get your detector to a point where you are not hearing an interference from the ground.
I’m not really much of a coin hunter, but I know a lot of people that are, and they all love the coin depth feature of the AT Pro. The coin depth feature can be found on the right side of the metal detector display and it will tell you how deep it believes the coin to be.
It works really well when it has actually found a coin, although if you have found something that isn’t a coin then the depth readings aren’t as reliable.
Battery Condition Indicator
Most metal detectors will come with some form of battery monitoring and the AT Pro is no different. The battery monitoring is quite accurate though and you will find that this particular detector will last for quite a long time even though it is only running on 4 AA batteries.
The Pinpointing is where the AT Pro really shines. Seriously, I can’t speak highly enough about it – it just works, and it works extremely well.
Highlights / General Information
I can give you a fair bit of background on the AT Pro as I have been using it for well over 2 years now. So here goes.
The AT Pro itself is actually really simple to learn and use. If you have used an entry level Garrett metal detector before then using the AT Pro will feel very similar to the others, just with more features.
When it comes to finding things the AT Pro really does a great job. I have found plenty of coins, rings, silver and gold – although unfortunately finding gold is a lot more infrequent than I would like.
The thing that I find most useful with the AT Pro is the Pro audio feature. At first I actually didn’t like it at all, but now I can’t imagine treasure hunting without it. I really like how the multi-tone feedback can allow me to understand what I have found without even having to dig. I also like that it can clearly identify multiple targets within a close proximity to each other, whereas without the distinctive audio you would assume there is only 1 item to be found.
This leads me to one of my main points, and that is that the AT Pro is a detector that will provide you with a high confidence factor when treasure hunting. I hate spending time digging up trash that just isn’t what I’m looking for and isn’t worth my time. With all the features of the AT Pro and a few hours under your belt, you will find that you are only digging when you actually have something of value, and that to me is worth quite a lot.
Finally, some handy hints/Tips:
- Buy rechargeable batteries for your detector. They will save you a small fortune in the long run.
- Gold is difficult to find because of the range it is in. If you want to find gold then be prepared to dig up a lot of junk. You might also be interested in the Garrett AT Gold as an alternative.
Important AT Pro Settings
There are a number of important differences in settings depending on where you are planning on using your AT Pro. So I have put together this list of different settings that you might find useful depending on where you are planning on going treasure hunting.
The first thing I want you to do is switch your AT Pro straight over to Pro audio mode. Forget standard, it’s got nothing on the Pro mode once you get used to it.
General Garrett AT Pro Settings
- Pro Audio Mode
- Iron Discrimination – 35
- Sensitivity – 8
- Note: Don’t forget to ground balance where you are planning on hunting
Garrett AT Pro Settings (Beach Dry Sand)
- Pro Audio Mode
- Iron Discrimination – 30
- Sensitivity – 7 or 8
- Note: Don’t forget to ground balance over the sand.
Garrett AT Pro Settings (Beach Wet Sand)
- Pro Audio Mode
- Iron Discrimination – 20
- Sensitivity – 5
- Note: Don’t forget to ground balance over the sand.
How to Use your Garrett AT Pro
There is a comprehensive manual provided by Garrett which you can find here (Garrett AT Pro Manual)
Videos of the Garrett AT PRO
If you are serious about buying a new AT PRO, then it is important that you see it in action. The following series of 7 videos explains all the main features that the AT PRO has to offer and will get you well on your way to finding all sorts of goodies with your AT PRO.
Known Issues / Problems
I personally haven’t had any issues with my AT PRO, but I have had a few people contact me saying they have had a couple of issues with theirs.
Noise / Chatter
Some people have experienced a lot of noise/chatter whenever they use the AT PRO – particularly in PRO Audio mode. As I said before, I haven’t had this issue, but I have with other detectors. What I recommend is to try and borrow a friends search coil to see if that is the issue. In the past I have seen dodgy coils that will produce a lot of noise.
Another thing to check is that you are not hitting the ground while you are swinging your detector.
I know that I said this earlier, however, please remember that the stock headphones are not meant to be used in the water. The audio jack isn’t waterproof and neither are the headphones, so don’t wreck your new AT PRO by drowning it the first time you take it into the water. Instead I recommend buying specific waterproof headphones.
Garrett Submersible Headphones
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DetectorPro Amphibian for Garrett AT Pro/Gold
$150.00Add to cart
I find that the LCD screen can be a bit difficult to see at certain times of the day, particularly when the sun is directly overhead. This isn’t really that big of a problem, it normally just means I stop for lunch and get out of the hot midday sun. I should note that many of my friends don’t have this issue, so perhaps my display is just getting old.
The next thing with the display is that it can get scratched up fairly easily if you don’t take care of your detector. The simple way to avoid scratches or damage is to continue looking after your device and buy a good detector bag to house it while you are traveling.
My Final Verdict
What’s there not to like? The Garrett AT PRO is a quality metal detector that is priced very well for the feature set that it comes with. Everything is so simple to operate and despite this being what I would class an mid to expert level metal detector, it is simple enough for even beginners to use.
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The main things that I like about the AT PRO is the Digital Target Identification, the PRO audio mode and the razor sharp pinpointing. Each of these features Not to mention the great stock standard DD search coil, which is almost worth the money on its own.
Overall I think that the AT PRO is one of the best metal detectors on the market, particularly when you consider how good it is at detecting such a wide range of different items.