I wouldn’t call this a review really just some comparisons, initial thoughts and observations. I have not used either metal detector long enough to feel it would be fair to either one of them but I do feel like I have enough time to share what I am about to share. Before I do that I want to make a few things perfectly clear.
- I am new to Texas and so far I have only hunted a few parks and a small field
- I used a Tesoro Outlaw for a month about 3 years ago strictly relic hunting in fields
- I used a Teknetics T2 for a few months, several years back strictly relic hunting in fields
- This current Teknetics T2 is the original classic, in great condition and I know both owners and even with it being an older model there was way less than 20 hours on it. I purchased it from the second owner.
- Outlaw was given to me by Tesoro after contacting them asking to borrow one to do reviews. In my initial contact with Tesoro I explained very bluntly that the reviews, articles and podcast discussions would be honest, good or bad. When Tesoro agreed to send me one and I asked how long could I have it, Nathan told me it was mine, I reminded him that I was going to give honest reviews Nathan said “that’s all we ask for”
- In park A I have about 6 hours in on the Teknetics T2 and 1 hour at park B and about 2 hour in a small field
- In park A I have 0 hours in on the Tesoro Outlaw and 3 hours at park B.
I’m not going to go into much detail here because I will provide links to previous articles at the end. My first 4 hours at park A with the Teknetics T2 were basically a nightmare. It is a chattery metal detector and it was hard for me to make heads or tails of what was going on. I was digging a lot of junk where the Teknetics T2 would tell me over and over again it was a quarter but would jump down to around nickel once in a while and right back to a quarter. The last time out to park A I quit digging those signals and did a little better with it and it wasn’t nearly as chattery as it had been and I thought maybe me first 4 hours on it I wasn’t ground balancing it right. I still wasn’t happy with the depth gauge, to this point I find it about worthless. This evening I went to park B with it and the Tesoro and after an hour of digging 1 quarter and a bottle cap (the only signals that made ANY sense) in a fairly quiet part of the park. I was detecting in 3b, sensitivity started off at 50 ended up at 30, disc 40 and I tried frequency changes and ground balanced 4 different times with no luck.
When I used the Tesoro Outlaw in the fields 3 years ago I was impressed and it became my favorite relic machine hands down. I had never considered it for metal detecting places like parks that are going to have a lot of modern trash. Being new to Texas and struggling with finding old sites out in fields and the fact that it’s summer, my only choice is sights that will have modern trash right now. My first two hours at park B I was surprised at how much chatter I was getting but when I hit a solid signal they stood out. I was impressed how quickly I could turn the knob and have a pretty good Idea what I was about to dig, I even did a video and I called a copper penny in the video. Another thing that I was worried about is even in a park I am looking for deeper targets where silver will be. I was concerned with not having a depth gauge but I quickly learned that by how loud the tone is and how tight the pattern is I was getting good at guessing the depth although I usually guess a little shallower than the target actually is. After trying to use the Teknetics T2 in this park this afternoon I quickly learned why the Tesoro Outlaw was giving me some chatter, the Teknetics T2 sounded possessed again and made it impossible for me to hunt with it there.
Few more things to make clear
I am not judging either machine with such low hours on both. I am definitely not putting the Teknetics T2 down as that would be very unfair as well. Even with so few hours on each machine I did not expect this outcome. I really expected to be way more into the Teknetics T2 having a depth gauge and a VDI screen. I would have never expected I would have a better understanding of what I was about to dig and at what depth with a machine like the Tesoro Outlaw with a single tone, no VDI or depth gauge. Something else I think that is important to say is this. I WANT THE T2 TO BE MY GO TO MACHINE for sites with modern trash simply because it does have a depth gauge, multi-tone and VDI.
Another thing worth mentioning is I dug my second bottle cap in 3b this evening with the Teknetics T2. The first time was at park A and there were also two nails in the hole so I considered it a fluke. Tonight I dug my second one, it read like a perfect quarter even when I turned 90 degrees. When I dug it up I was certain there was more in the hole since it came up so good but it also said my target was at 6 inches and the bottle cap was at roughly 3 inches. I re-checked the hole and nothing. That got me thinking, even though I only have a few hours on the Outlaw I hadn’t yet dug a bottle cap. Later when I switched out the Teknetics T2 for the Tesoro Outlaw I was walking along I got a very choppy, no way you would dig signal and as I looked down there was a bottle cap. I was so impressed that this simple looking metal detector with no VDI, no depth gauge and no processor doesn’t hit on bottle caps!
I want to talk to Teknetics and see about getting the T2 sent in and have it checked. I believe it is working fine but I want to verify that. IN NO WAY am I putting down the Teknetics T2! I am also not comfortable with saying the Tesoro Outlaw is a better machine especially hunting places with modern trash. All I am saying at this point is I am having a much better understanding of it and amazed at how quickly I am learning to identify targets and their depth with the Tesoro Outlaw. With such little time on the Teknetics T2 it would be very irresponsible of me to say I don’t like it or say the Tesoro Outlaw is better for sites with modern trash. I am still going to keep using it and try to learn it better. I might be frustrated and struggling but I’m not giving up!