How to Use a Metal Detector Pinpointer: Beginner’s Guide

Some people believe they only require a metal detector and a shovel to start hunting for treasures. You might find precious metals with just the detector, but there are several reasons why you need the best metal detector pinpointer.

One such reason is to pinpoint the exact location of the target your find on the ground as it can save you the hassle and time of digging a wide area. Below is a metal detector pinpointer guide for all beginners.

How To Use A Metal Detector Pinpointer

What is a Metal Detector Pinpointer?

There are two types of pinpointers: Standard Pinpointer Tool and Built-in Metal Detector Pinpointer.

Standard Pinpointer Tool

It is a miniaturized, pointy tool that fits into the hand and resembles a cellphone with an aerial. The device contains a small coil at the pointed end.

It alerts you by vibration or sound when you get close to a metallic object. The pointer fits into the hole where you think there is a treasure to ensure you save time and effort.

It often increases in vibration or sound when it is near the precious metal, and the beeps become more intense. That way, you can easily find the coin, jewelry, or any other treasure.

Built-in Metal Detector Pinpointer

The built-in metal detector pinpointer is present in most modern metal detectors. It allows you to change your device from a metal detector to a pinpointer by clicking a button.

Its sensitivity increases when you get near the metal and produce a constant tone. The sound gets more precise and louder as the coil gets near or is directly over a target. 

How to Adjust the Pinpointer

It is easy to use a pinpointer device, and most come with a straightforward user manual. With that said, it can get complicated when adjusting the pointer because it often comes with just a single button. 

Here are some of the things you need to know to figure out how to configure the pinpointer.


The best models offer adjustable sensitivity that can range from three to five levels. You need to know how each brand of pinpointer is adjusted because they are often different.

For instance, some brands come with +/- buttons that make it easier to make the adjustments. Others have a single button that can complicate the process. 

Single-Button Operation

Some pinpointers come with one button that works for every setting, including on/off, retune, and other adjustments. If that the case:

  • The single press turns the pinpointer on
  • Quick-press calibrates or retunes the pointer
  • Long-press activate the settings
  • Consecutive presses select the vibration or sensitivity or/and audio

Lost Pinpointer Alarm

There is no shortcut here except to find the lost alarm. The pinpointer emits a series of alerts that vary from brand to brand.

The time the alarm remains active also varies from brand to brand, often shutting within five to ten minutes. Some of the best pinpointers can sound the audible alarm for at least 60 minutes.

How to Use a Metal Detector Pinpointer

Adjust metal detecting pinponter

Although metal detectors vary by model, brand, and make, they usually operate following the same principle. Turn them on, point and scan, and get your target.

While every manufacturer provides slightly different instructions, they generally include the following points.

Before Using Your Pinpointer

Here are the first steps that you should follow before you use your pinpointer to locate the target:

1. Find and locate the target using the metal detector

2. Pinpoint the precious metal using the search coil

3. Dig out the metal using your digging tool

4. Search for the precious metal in the dirt you have dug

You do not need to use your pinpointer if you find the treasure after the 4th step. Sadly, some targets are rooted in the ground, while others are hard to pinpoint using the search coil.

That is where the pinpointer comes in handy – to find deeply buried objects or metals in tough and tight spots.  

Using Your Pinpointer

Follow these steps to pinpoint your object’s exact location using your pinpointer.

5. Turn on the pinpointer

Face the pinpointer away from all metal objects and turn it on. You will hear several beeps to show that it is activated and is tuned to ground conditions. 

You might need to place its tip into the sand, salt water, or soil and click the ground balancing button if you are operating in a mineralized area. That button is often called calibrate, retune, or other words based on the model and brand.  

Calibrate your system by tuning down the sensitivity or retuning if it is continuous to experience further ground responses.

6. Scan the Hole

Scan the hole using the tip of the pinpointer and listen for audio. Most systems have a sound that gets louder when you get closer to the target, the beeps get intense, or the pitch changes.