About eight years back I would talk to someone in Virginia, on a regular basis, who was a relic hunter. He swore by his Tesoro metal detector (I can’t recall which model) and had some amazing finds to back up his claims at how great of a machine it was.
Although I have been metal detecting for over twenty years even way back then most machines had a screen giving you some kind of indication of what you’re digging. That being said I couldn’t really see how I could ever have a need for a machine that looked so simple and didn’t even have a screen.
When I found my love of field hunting I was all about trying other technology. I was having great luck with Minelabs hunting for relics in field sites but they are a little heavy and they are not known for being relic machines. Don’t get upset about that statement! After using many different detectors and trying some of the best known relic machines on the market I personally found my Minelab E-trac and CTX-3030 to be the best I could find. Minelabs aren’t known for being relic machines and I’ve said for a long time the E-trac and CTX are highly underrated and rarely discussed as being relic machines.
I would say five years ago I met a guy with several different metal detectors including Fishers, Minelabs and Tesoro’s. He has one of the nicest collection of Relics, coins and jewelry I’ve ever seen. When he pulled out the jewelry and I asked him how he had come across so much gold he smiled and said with his Tesoro’s. He would go to parks, playgrounds etc. and while turning his disc knob he could tell the difference between foil, nickels and gold! I was seriously impressed.
I still wasn’t sold on the Idea of a Tesoro. At that point I had tried so many other metal detectors for field hunting and I always ended right back with my Minelabs. A year or so later I watched a lady, brand new to metal detecting, hunting with a Compadre. I was watching her pull out nice relics and an Indian in a matter of minutes! Ok, now I want to try one!
Before I start this review I want to share this with you. One of the main reasons, at least for me in starting this website is to have the ability to do reviews. I could never write reviews for the magazines as they have dedicated people for that. There are so many reviews online but for the most part I feel like someone wrote it who skimmed over the manual, did some air tests, metal detecting a time or two with it and they are writing an article like they are an expert. I started this website so I could share real, honest reviews. The good, the bad and after some time with whatever I’m reviewing and feeling like I can actually share something useful.
Finally.. the Review!
My initial reaction opening the box was no surprise to me. To me it looked like a toy from 1970’s that a young kid would have. When I put the Outlaw together though it didn’t feel like a toy. It felt rugged, well-built, yet light. Ok, looks a little less like a toy in my hand. Field hunting was drawing to an end and I was lucky if I had a month to really get some testing in before they started planting, time to get this thing out and give it a try.
.After about two hours of playing with the settings I felt like I was really getting the hang of it and quickly the relics started rolling in. I felt incomplete without a screen at first but it didn’t take me long to understand the machine and start trusting it. The more I used it the more I was understanding it and falling in love. I would often hunt with my CTX then switch over to the Outlaw. Often finding stuff I missed. For me, after trying several other machines KNOWN as relic machines and not being impressed, just made me fall in love with the Outlaw that much more.
Once I felt like I had a good understanding of the Outlaw I went to a field site I had hunted extensively with the CTX and finding several more relics and a large cent in that field. The Outlaw was sniffing out finds in the most iron infested areas like a champ! With three coils/shafts it was perfect for field hunting. I used the 5.75”coil in the highest iron concentrated areas then I would change to the 8” coil around the edges, where there was less concentrated Iron. When I would get out farther where there was little to know Iron I would change to the 12×10 coil and cover more ground quickly.
At the same site I was using the 5.75” coil and I got a nice hit, I dug down about 5 inches and checked my dirt, I wasn’t getting anything with my pin pointer so I started digging more. I got a few more inches of dirt out and I could finally hear it with my pin pointer. I then started digging a little and picking up handfuls of dirt and running my pin pointer over the dirt in my hand. I finally got it out at an estimated 8 inches deep. I struggled, even with my pin pointer to find the target and finally I had it. The find wasn’t anything special at all but it was a piece of copper folded over and it was probably a third the size of a dime and less than half the thickness. I told myself “there is no way this is the only target” eight inches on a quarter with such a small coil would have impressed me. I got up and scanned all around the hole and over it, all I heard was the iron chatter. IMPRESSED to say the least!
I used the Tesoro Outlaw right up until the fields started getting planted then I boxed it up and sent it back as it was only a loaner. I hate to admit this but it was actually a sad moment saying goodbye to it. I told myself I would have one soon then life got in the way and I still have not been able to get one but it is still at the top of my list and before I go back to visit and relic hunt Ohio I will have one!
Lightweight, well balanced
Durable! I am rough on machines when field hunting
This machine will go DEEP!
Lightning fast in even the most iron infested sites
Easy to learn, simple yet very effective
I wrote this article in about an hour right up to this point and couldn’t come up with any cons. I walked away from finishing it for a day trying to come up with a con. I have used a lot of great machines over the years and every machine has its flaws no matter how good they are. When it comes to the Outlaw I’m a little embarrassed to admit I cannot come up with anything. REVISED – I have found something about it that I am not particularly fond of. The headphone jack comes out the front and is not ideal for a straight plug but does work good with a 90 degree plug. This makes me feel better that I could finally find SOMETHING I don’t absolutely love about this metal detector!
If you do much relic hunting I highly recommend adding a Tesoro Outlaw to your arsenal of detectors. Give it a try and I bet it will quickly become one of your favorite metal detectors for relics hunting! If you do purchase one contact me and let me know how you like it!