Minelab Explorer XS

Price: $800
Avg. Score: 4 stars 4.14
Based on 36 reviews

Avg. Durability: 4 stars3.80
Avg. Ease of use: 3 stars3.40
Maximum detection depth

Submit your review for Minelab Explorer XS

Explorer XS - A Good Secondhand Choice

May 04, 2007
I have used an Explorer XS for almost 4 years and have generally found it to be a good machine.

Firstly the bad points: It is heavy, it is hard to learn, the small headphone socket has to be converted to a large one with an adapter and these are always dreadful, pinpoint is poor, iron can sound like copper.

Now the good points: If tuned properly it can provide a lot of target information, it is capable of finding very small, and also large deep targets with just the one coil, build quality is good (I abuse mine disgracefully and generally it takes it), it can be tuned heavily if so desired.

I hunt UK farm sites only, using the XS with a standard Explorer II 10" coil (more on that in a minute) - some are very quiet, some are heavily mineralised. The XS is capable of hunting down very small Roman coins (right down to minims weighing just 0.2 grams), small hammered pennies and (so far), has found me 2 gold celtic quarter staters both of about 1.5 grams in weight. It seems to excel at winkling out small objects which give a characteristically low 'blap', though a slow swing speed is a must in such circumstances. It is chattery in iron soil, and I also find that with low discrimination 'blingy' iron can sound remarkably like a large copper coin. The coin gives a cleaner signal if 'scrubbed' but the similarity must result in lost targets (I don't scrub all targets all the time!)

By way of demonstration I recently detected a Roman site under moderate Winter wheat (March), found 15 Roman 'grots' then bumped into a bloke with a Minelab X Terra 70. He had not found a thing. I demonstrated the presence of the grots by finding 3 within a couple of yards of where we stood. He changed coils (7.5KHz which isn't ideal for grot shooting I do agree), detected until 11pm and got just one 'grot'. The XS would have picked up perhaps a dozen in that time. So the multi-frequency works. - I have found 30 + grots in a day on heavily mineralised Roman sites several times by slowly scrubbing the ground with the XS and listing for that low 'blap blap'.

Other informational 'nuggets': My original XS coil failed after 3 years. Too much abuse. The XS workings suffer in very heavy rain. If the circuits get slightly damp the screen fails but the detector keeps on working (!). I once got muddy water into it, took the case off, washed the board in distilled water, gave it a few days to dry out, then got right back on detecting with it. The default settings should never be used when hunting for grots or small hammered coins - just descrim out the top left hand corner of the screen. Only use Audio 3 mode in the quietest of conditions - it turns the coil into a dustbin lid and the noise will be deafening in trashy soil.

In all the XS is a powerful, very tuneable multi-frequency unit capable of winkling out the small coins found on UK farmland sites. It isn't perfect but at £300 - £400 is a very good secondhand buy indeed.

Overall Rating 4 stars


The best

September 03, 2006
i have been detecing for over 25 years and had all the top detecors that have been made.i had the explorer xs when it fist came out and could not get on with it at all so i sold it and went to the whites xlt which is a great detector and later the dfx which is not as good as the xlt.i had the chance to buy a used explorer about nine months ago and thought i would give it another go.i got some programs of the net for uk ground conditions and went over some of my sites,mostly i search roman and medevile sites.the results were outstanding,i was finding roman ae3s and minims on sites where the finds had almost gone with the other detectors i had used there,and on medevile sites hammered coins are coming up again.when set up right the explorer xs is unbeatable and is the most sensitive detector out there.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Deepest on salt

April 15, 2006
I ve been using minelabs since they were introduced in Europe, back in the nineties. I used the old sovereign on flooded medieval villages and found tens of thousands of dollars worth of items with it. Unfortunately, these sites are not open for detectorists anymore. I use the explorer on beaches now. I am absolutely sure that the explorer is way deeper then the sovereigns, which were top of the bill untill the explorer became available. I have never seen a detector that is as deep as the explorer on salted soil, and trust me, since there is still a lot of very valuable items to be found, dutch hunters used and tried everything on the market to beat other detectorists. You seldom see someone use another brand for more than one or two times! That should tell you enough.
I never use the multifrequency minelabs on inland sites. For those, I stick to my trusted tesoros on iron littered sites or to the minelab advantage, which is very deep too.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Explorer XS

March 12, 2006
I've owned and used weekly an Esplorer XS for two years. I purchased it used because the owner said it was to complicated. It did take me a couple of weeks to gain some confidence. As for the trashy areas, I routinly hunt old ghost towns that are covered with smashed metal cans, literaly layers of them. I've found by using a sniper coil I can find tons of items because other detectorists and their various detectors won't go near the cans. My friend and I who also uses an XS head straight for the spots people tell us are hunted out. We clean up! It a matter of understinding what the machine is telling you. I have two Garretts which are great detcetors in their own right but for an all around detector it's the Minelab for me! Good hunting.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Explorer xs

February 24, 2006
The first day I got my explorer i read the manual and set up a program for finding half dollars only. I went to a site of an old hotel I had hunted for years and immediately picked up a 1919 half dollar at a depth of about 10 inches.
While the programmable functions are great the
discriminator leaves a lot to be desired. Beach hunting in high trash beaches produce many coins but little or no jewelry unless your willing to dig everything.
I like the explorer xs but it was overpriced.

Overall Rating 3 stars



January 07, 2006
I have been using an explorer for two years now. I would not recomend it to anyone. I had much better luck with my Fisher, finding hoards of nails and pulltabs. Unfortunatly I find silver coins at great depths in parks that have been "hunted out" and rings in areas with pulltabs and foil everywhere. So please anyone who wants an explorer, don't get it. Keep digging those highly prized rusty nails.
Thanks again

Overall Rating 1 star



October 18, 2005
The learning curve is HUGE. Overly complicated. Overly heavy. Thumbs down.

Overall Rating 3 stars


Explorer XS

January 04, 2005
I've had same problem as above, go's quiet on iron and just don't seem to get as deep as it should, a CZ5 Fisher really found a lot more old coin's than me.

Overall Rating 4 stars


Explorer XS

November 02, 2004
In iron trash it was quiet but following behind it with other machines that were a little more jumpy in iron I found coins my XS missed. I believe when my XS sensed any iron it discriminated the good targets out with the iron.

The deepest coin I located was a quarter at 7". Maybe in high mineralized soil things would be different but in my area's low mineralized soil my other machines (Fishers) had several inches depth advantage over the XS. I owned it for 16 months and it was slightly better than my DFX but when I tried some Fishers there was no going back.

I'm not bashing this machine, it's a top end unit and has secured a place above most other machines, but there are detectors that are measurably better.

Overall Rating 3 stars


Explorer XS

March 11, 2004
I believe the explorer to be the best all round detector on the market,once you understand it and get it set up right, it's the bee"s knee"s. You must use it slow and low but that applies to any detector, too many detectorists swing way too fast. It took me 8 months to learn, but now its just an extension of my body.

I mainly hunt in constant,iron mask 12,audio 3,volume 10,limits 9,variability 9,gain 8.A lot of explorer users search with too much sensitivity, dont be scared of turning it down, i use 14 quite often and rarely go over 22, turn it down till you have a stable threshold then turn it up another 2.

I always use the 15 inch wot coil and never have any problems. Most of my sites are junky roman and medieval. Just go slow and scrub the soil lightly as you do, 1.5 seconds a sweep till you find a productive area then 3 seconds a sweep when you hit a productive area,your finds rate will increase 3 fold.It"s the tops.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


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