Minelab Explorer XS review, hammered coin finder!

Minelab Explorer XS Metal Detector

Minelab Explorer XS Metal Detector

My overall rating
Build Quality
Value for Money

Minelab are one of the best and well know producers of metal detectors for many sectors. One of these sectors being the hobby Market and the Minelab Explorer XS is one of the best full band spectum metal detectors on the market.

As a user of a Minelab Explorer XS metal detector I am a little bias, but I can safely say that without a doubt, Minelab metal detectors are some of the deepest, most accurate metal detectors money can buy. It’s a metal detector that is backed up with a company that is second to none in the quality of it’s metal detecting units.

The Minelab Explorer XS has been surpassed by newer Minelab metal detectors but still has it’s place well and truly at the top of it’s game. With newer Minelab metal detectors on the market, the Minelab Explorer XS has an advantage (I certainly see it as an advantage) in that you can buy one of these top rated metal detectors at a fraction of their original price.

At time of writing this a Minelab Explorer XS can be bought second hand from anywhere between £300 – £500. An absolute bargain for a metal detector that has fantastic specification and a quility build.

Minelab metal detectors, the bench-mark in metal detecting

The Minelab Explorer XS was released several years ago now during 1999 under two variations,  those variations being the Explorer XS and the S. This was after two years of research and development resulting in a metal detector that was specifically designed and manufactured for coin and treasure hunting.

These metal detectors were seen as the bench-mark for other metal detectors and the Minelab metal detectors still hold that title today. This is one of the main reasons that Minelab Explorer XS metal detectors are still sought after today.

metal detecting finds uk - silver hammered coinMinelab FBS detecting

The Minelab metal detectors operated on a new system called full band spectrum (FBS). A new technology transmitting up to 28 frequencies into the ground at any one time. These frequencies ranged from 1.5 kHz to 100 kHz and improves both depth and accuracy of discrimination. I have personally found small hammered coins in terrible ground conditions with my Explorer XS, a testament to it’s capabilities.

You can see some of the examples on the silver hammered coins page of this website here at Metal detecting finds UK

Mianelab xs displayMinelab Smartfind

The Minelab Explorer takes the older principals of how discrimination worked and replaced it with a technology called Smartfind. For the first time in the Minelab detectors, the detector had 2D identification which means that targets can be identified by not only conductivity but as well it’s ferrous content. This is a great aspect and enhanced by the tones from the detector transmitted to your headphones. These can be varied and when compared to other detectors can seem a little overwhelming but is something you will soon  become familiar with.

Learning curve but with an out of the box, set up and go function

With the Minelab Explorer XS being such a high specification detector there is a learning curve in it’s use. This will come with time and experience, but the Minelab Explorer XS has an out-of-the-box setting that allows you to start detecting right away and is a real plus point from the Minelab range.

From this setting you can become more adept in its use and personalise it’s settings and functionality. Don’t be put off by this out of the box setting as it will find you material, lots of it.

Ease of use straight out of the box

Straight from the box, be it new or second hand (normally second hand as no longer  produced) the detector feels like a quality product. Assembly is easy and shown via instructions with the detector. The Minelab Explorer XS has been ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use. It can be seen as a little heavy but this is a personal perspective. The cable leading from the control box to the search head is concealed within the shaft of the detector which eliminates the winding of cables around the shaft etc. Something else that other detectors have introduced into their design. The control unit is clear and easily used with the main detecting hand with the functionality of using the backlight to illuminate the screen on darker days. This can drain the power but is good function to have. Usable in all weather conditions and at ease on filed sites as it is on salt wet beaches.

Minelab Exporer XS battery pack

The battery pack is concealed within the upper arm of the detector and helps to balance out the unit. The battery pack is easily recharged via an adapter supplied with the unit. The detector also comes with a battery pack that takes normal batteries that allows you to have a back up if you forget to charge the main battery. There is also a car charger adapter that allows you to charge you battery on the go. The car charger is not supplied with the main unit and has to be bought separately.

Good points about the Minelab Explorer XS

  • Can now be bought for a fraction of it’s original cost, you just need to shop around.
  • FBS detecting with plenty of 3rd party advice, books and information for the detector
  • Excellent functionality and specification.
  • Advanced metal detector but with an out of the box setting so you can start detecting right away.
  • Can be used with confidence on wet sandy beaches as well as field sites and I have certainly used the Minelab Exporer on wet sandy beaches with great success.

Bad points about the Minelab Explorer XS

  • Can be a perceived as a little heavy for some users
  • Lower shaft can start to wobble on older machines (look for this when buying second hand, but replacements can be bought)
  • You will want to use it all the time
  • Can have a large learning curve but comes with an ‘out of the box mode’

Minelab Explorer XS – conclusion

The Minelab Explorer XS is a metal detector for all detectorists, from the new to the more experienced. A metal detector that offers professional specifications and functionality. A detector that can be used straight from the box with a wealth of customisation and personalisation, backed up with the quality manufacture of a first class company, who’s focus is metal detecting products. No longer produced but well sort after, if you can track down a Minelab Explorer XS you will not be disappointed.

Here’s the Minelab Explorer XS in action

Check back soon for a better video as I will be filming the Explorer XS in action on a local beach soon.



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