You might want to read this article before reading this review
Usually I am not so quick to do a review of a metal detector but in this case it’s all I’ve been wanting to talk about for days. Also, I have been able to spend a lot of time out metal detecting in the past few weeks, much more than usual, allowing me to feel comfortable enough to do my review. By no means am I any kind of Impact expert yet (stay tuned) but I do have a really good understanding of it.
Putting the Impact together I quickly seen the quality and understood that a lot of thought went into building this machine. Everything to me was perfection. I love the straight shaft design with the cord running inside the shaft. No more wrapping a cord around a shaft and having to deal with that. My fiancé is 5’2” and I am 6’ 3” and I hate when we trade off detectors and have to deal with the cord or when putting them in her car and having to shorten them up for even a short drive then have to deal with the cord when we arrive to our destination.
I really like the angle of the handle and the material used. It’s a hard rubber that is comfortable on your hands and putting the controls right at your fingertips. The shaft locks are like nothing I’ve ever seen used before but I absolutely love them, they work flawlessly and operate smoothly. The arm cuff is great and again, no complaints there.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of the Impact you’ve probably seen it on the stand. They are like nothing I’ve ever seen before on any other detector. I don’t always use it just because it sits nicely without it but I have been out a few times with it now after rain and it really comes in handy. The stand folds down and tucks up out of the way tight to the metal detector when not in use and is very light weight.
Before it arrived I was concerned about the weight. The Impact comes in at around 4 ¼ pounds and with issues with my shoulder I was a little worried it would either be hard for me to swing very long or worse yet, a lot more pain. To my surprise the Impact is so well balanced it gives me absolutely no trouble and I had no issues swinging it even for long hours. I will even go as far to say I have swung metal detector that weigh much less that bother me only after a short time. The Impact might weigh a little on the high side but trust me, don’t let that deter you, It’s a pleasure to swing it.
The Impact has 12 programs that you can customize to suit your needs.
Two non-motion modes (STA) and (STA (D) ) that would be used for cache hunting or looking for larger, deep targets. They are both non-motion modes.
(GEN) and (GEN) (D) are all metal mode programs with a threshold. These are the only two programs that you can use with a threshold. Although they are all metal you can run discrimination with them.
(DI2) (DI3) (DI4) (DI99) – Are all discrimination modes. Two tone, three tone, four tone and a 99 tone programs.
Cog – This was designed specifically for salty, wet beaches and highly mineralized soils.
Deep – this program was designed for relic hunting and is the deepest program.
VLX1 – It is another 3 tone program but it runs quieter. It is a more stable program for high trash areas. Raising the Disc will decrease depth on this program more than others and should be noted.
VLX2- Similar to VLX1 but a 4 tone program that will work well in changing ground.
I have used most of these programs but have spent most of my time in DI3, VLX1 and VLX2. In the really trashy sites I’ve been hunting I find myself mostly using DI3 so far. I have spent all my time so far in sites with heavy concentrations of modern trash and the DI3 program seems to handle it best, I have found myself most comfortable with this program. I’m not a cache hunter but yesterday while detecting an old school that is now a community center, I was asked to find a time capsule buried on the property in the 1920’s. I put the detector in STA mode and I believe I quickly found it but will be back later today with my probe. I liked that I could roughly tell the size of an object in STA and think it would be great for cache hunting.
I’m not going to go into all the settings as this is already getting to be a long review and I still have so much more to say. I do however want to discuss a few of the settings. I would also like to point out each of the above mentioned programs can be highly customized with the settings.
Iron Volume – This is absolutely one of the coolest features ever! Using discrimination can cause a lot of clipped tones, slow down a metal detector and even decrease depth while detecting. At the same time it is difficult to interpret everything a detector is trying to tell you and it will get very noisy not running some kind of discrimination.
Iron volume works in two ways. First, you can set the volume from F0-F5. F0 turns the sound completely off and F5 is the loudest. Let’s assume you’re in DI3 program, 1-15 is where Iron will come in. Instead of running discrimination you can just turn off the audio for 1-15. You can also change your tone break determining just how far up you want to turn off audio or turn it way down.
When I am coin hunting it’s nice to turn off the iron audio completely but when I’m relic hunting I can turn it up to F1 so I just slightly hear the Iron to let me know I’m still in the debris area where I want to be.
It gets better!!
The second way it can be used is even more amazing! Let’s say you don’t want to hear iron (1-15) and you want to notch out foil, pull tabs and whatever else. You notch them out and then you go back to Iron volume and instead of F0-F5 scroll through until N1-N5. N1 will give you the lowest volume on those targets and N-5 the highest. Everything you want notched out instead of notching them out and not hearing them at all but at the same time slowing the detector down, effecting depth, you can turn the volume of those targets down to a whisper!!
For me, this is one of the greatest things about this metal detector. Having the ability to do this is a huge improvement over other metal detectors and sets the Impact apart.
Other settings worth mentioning
Light setting – there is an LED light at the back of the control housing pointing down to the coil. Although I haven’t detected at night with it yet I have tested it and it’s very bright.
Vibrate mode – This is another very cool feature especially for those who are hearing impaired! It can be set from 0-5. At 0 there is no vibration, at 1 it will give you a long vibration over the target, at 5 it is much quicker.
Frequency – The Impact can be run in 3 different frequencies 5, 14 and 20 khz.
My experience and the review
It didn’t take any time at all to start understanding the Impact. I really like how everything is on the screen. It makes it very easy to navigate and understand. You can also take any program and quickly save the settings for that program and just as easily re-set it back to factory.
Once I ran a few coins and other things under the coil to get an idea of how they would read I went detecting. The first time out I was already getting comfortable with Impact. Although I don’t have months on it yet nor am I an expert I can tell you three factors that are important to me that the Impact handles well. It will go deep, the VDI is very accurate and the pinpoint/depth gauge is amazing.
In the first few weeks I have easily found dimes and pennies at 8 inches plus with absolutely no problem. At depth the VDI can get a little jumpy but still very accurate and great tone. Pinpointing is absolutely amazing and most reviews I wouldn’t even mention it but at one particular trashy site I’ve been using to test detectors I have found it extremely hard for other detectors to pinpoint in such heavy trash. In heavy trash I will start to pinpoint and end up a foot away because there are so many targets. Pinpointing with the Impact is incredible in heavy trash, the best of any detector I’ve ever used.
I know I have already mentioned Iron volume but it’s worth mentioning again. In a very trashy site I will notch out most things but coins then turn Iron volume to N1 and just listen for what I want to without crippling the detector by notching everything out completely. I have a few smaller coils to test and I haven’t even used one yet even in the trashiest areas. I believe they will make a significant difference but I’ve wanted to put the Impact to the test with the stock 11 inch coil, It has passed with flying colors even in the most extreme trashy sites.
I am not a big fan of the stock headphones. They actually sound good, are comfortable and if it wasn’t for the straight cord that I found constantly getting wrapped around myself and the detector, I would say they are the best headphones I have seen offered as standard from a manufacturer.
There is one thing I would change. I would like the ability to create my own programs and have the ability to save multiples. The programs that are provided are great and can be modified but let’s take the DI3 program. I would like to have one with Iron volume set to 0. Another one set at 1 for relic detecting and another DI3 with notched targets and Iron volume set to N1.
The good thing is it is very quick and easy to reset a program and quickly make changes but it would be nice to be able to store multiple programs. With that said I can deal with a lot of things I might not like about a detector if it performs well. With the Nokta Impact not only does it perform well but I’m also hard pressed to find anything I don’t love about this metal detector.
Wrap up with a final thought
Every time I get out with the Impact I learn a little more and get even more comfortable with it. I am learning a little more every time out even though I felt like after the first time detecting with the Impact that it was an easy metal detector to understand. As I am out detecting and learning the Impact, each time I find something that surprises me like a dime at 10 inches, small piece of copper wire, that after I dug it up the hole swallowed my Pin pointer or a pellet at 4 inches. Every time the Impact surprises me with its abilities I wonder why I haven’t heard more about these here in the U.S.? Of course I have heard of them and some talk but over the years, and many detectors in my hands, the Nokta impact has been by far the best when you put everything together like price, quality, depth, function, easy to learn and much more.
Stay tuned and in the coming weeks and months you will see more articles from me on the Nokta Impact!
A few videos I’ve done on settings, programs and navigating the Nokta Impact