Minelab Explorer II

Price: $1200
Avg. Score: 4 stars 4.33
Based on 97 reviews
Helpful Tips: 3
Avg. Durability: 4 stars4.40
Avg. Ease of use: 4 stars4.00
Maximum detection depth

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Compare to ▼
Blisstool LTC64X v3 $1000
Whites Spectra VX3 $1200
Minelab Xterra 705 $900
Teknetics T2 Ltd $1250
Minelab Safari $1000
Whites Spectra V3 and V3i $1500

OK, here is MY opinion, sigh !

January 07, 2006
I started metal detecting 4 months ago. Started with a XP-GMaxx. A very good machine to start with. Found things the very first day, never stopped doing so.

After a few weeks, purchased a Minelab Explorer II.

Never ever could use it :
1. far too heavy to be fun (you know, fun ? That is what it is all about ; metal detecting, in my opinion : having FUN !)
2. it is EATING batteries
3. pinpointing ? Whàt pinpoiting ?
4. far too difficult to learn. Why spent months on learning a simple & stupid metal detector ? Why lose months of pleasure if you could just be out somewhere FINDING things with any detector ? How about learning to use your next car, bike, pc, gps, mobil, etc for months ? Come on, be serious ! It is just another tool.
5. NO (repeat : NO !) recovery speed. (of course not : 28 signals !) For me, THAT DID IT ; I cannot work without a (fast) recovery speed.

The explorer ii is still here, somewhere. Bought a Minelab X-Terra 50 and started finding things again. I don't think I'll EVER "use" that explorer again...

Why waste time on an Explorer when you can be having FUN ?????????

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Exp II

January 02, 2006
I too read all of these review when I was looking to purchase a new MD. A great many "pros' about the ExpII but the few cons scared me a little... How could so many people absolutely LOVE it and yet, have those who couldn't even work it?

Well, I purchased one on some advice from people I know personally who use them. Here's my take on the "cons"

Heavy machine: Yes it's heavy. So, I bought a bugee harness. I'm 50, no weight lifter, yet I can swing this thing for hours at the park without the harness. The only time I use the bungee is at the beach (mainly so I don't drop it in the water). Between the 7 lb stainless steel sand scoop in my left hand and the ExpII in my right, my arms are lookin' good :)

Learning Curve: Yes, there is a learning curve. But it's only as steep as you make it. If you read your manual a couple of times, get Sabich's book, read the classroom forums, you can make it a lot easier on yourself. I read the manual way before I got the machine. This thing gives you a LOT of information, it just takes a little time to learn what it's trying to tell you. If you don't want to take the time to really get to know a machine, any machine, don't buy it.

Difficult to pinpoint: I don't find that to be the case at all. There are a few tricks that help you narrow it down very accurately. I dig very small plugs and more often than not, my target is right where I thought it was. One necessary accessory (although expensive), is the Sunray X-1. Can't leave home without it.

Plastic: Yes, it's made of plastic, just like everything else. I'm sure if I take care of it, it will last.

Reliability: I have it about 9 months and believe it or not the coil died about 5 months after I bought it. Stuff happens. I sent it to Minelab and they sent back a new coil the same day. Very helpful customer service.

Expensive: Yes :) But in my opinion, worth it. If something were to happen to the one I have, I would do what I could to get another.

Unbalanced machine: The coil mount is at the rear of the coil. This makes it top heavy. Simply shorthening the length of the rod, getting it closer to the front of your toes, makes it a lot better. Not something I think about.

I think that about covers the cons... The pro's? I will have to do that another time. Most have already been mentioned anyway. Bottom line is, if most of the clocks on your electronic equipment at home are flashing "12:00", the Exp II is not for you. If you like top of the line gadgets with lots of useful bells and whistles and awesome performance, the ExpII is one great machine. I know that I've found things with the Exp II that others simple could not find.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


How good or what?

November 08, 2005
As a novice to detecting I got to say useing this machine was rather daunting to say the least,but the end results are worth all the effort,read the books that are available and cds,this machine will out perform the rest.
I joined a club and i can honestly say that its the explorers that find the most on club digs, pinpointint is 100% and easy, there are lighter machines but I use a harnes so no problems there .
Even useing factory settings it out performs all other detectors, ok its expensive ,but you get what you pay for.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Too Much Hype

October 28, 2005
The Explorer II is a good detector not as great as all the hype claims it to be. It's heavy and made out of plastic, very unbalanced and too slow on recovery. It masks targets that are too close to iron and very difficult to learn. It is however a deep seeking silver coin machine no doubt about that but no deeper than my DFX plus the DFX is killer on gold jewelry. I am glad I did not sell my DFX to get the Explorer II since I have decided to keep the DFX instead.

Overall Rating 3 stars


Explorer 2

October 22, 2005
I just received the Explorer 2 a week ago, and I must say I'm really impressed! This detector is amazing! Not only has the best discrimination that I have dealt with, and the best tone ID, and the best 'Target ID' (Smart Find), but it has the best depth too! I'm finding coins in the 9"-10" range with ease, no silver yet, but that's because I'm in El Salvador right now and the park I'm going is from 1980 so nothing really old there. The Explorer is EASY to learn contrary to what most people said, and it becomes even easier if you read the book 'Mastering the Explorer S & XS' by Andy Sabisch, reading your manual thoroughly and watching the Training Presentation video which is included with your Explorer. To make a long story short, if you have the money, and want The BEST machine there is for the job (coin hunting, relic hunting, etc.) get the Explorer; Pinpointing is also very easy once you master it. Oh and you might want to buy the Sunray X-1 Target Probe from 'Sunray Detectors', it has aided me a lot when looking for a target in a deep hole preventing me from scratching it, it's an invaluable tool for me. Hope this helps, you'll certainly enjoy the Explorer, I know I do.

And as for DFX comparison, I haven't owned a DFX but I'm pretty sure both go head to head, and I'm also sure the DFX is a great detector. I've just owned a CL IDX from Whites and was really satisfied for coinhunting purposes, but I upgraded to a Minelab and wouldn't change it for anything.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Explorer 2.....

October 01, 2005
Hi the Explorer 11 is the best so far .Shame it cant pinpoint a bit better But you can't have it all .I have tried it on beach //rivers /all fields /clay to peat all sorts of ground here in the UK ... it just spits out the finds If it's there the explorer will find it..A very good machine: Takes a bit of time to get use to it .......Very good

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Explorer 2 A master piece.

September 08, 2005
Incredible sensitivity , the best sensitivity i have ever seen on a metal detector. This detector has the best discrimination i have ever used on a metal detector . I dig hardly any trash at all but i still find many coins and rings from beaches and inland sites, Sites that have been pounded by other detector users using other brands. This detector is WITHOUT doubt very "heavy on the arm" due to its poor balance it aint really heavy its just not balanced right , i guess some kind of counter weight on the end of the arm rest would be the way to get this machine to balance but not really a practical idea. Minelab should get the balance problem sorted out on the ex3 when it eventually appears.very Good depth. Looks real sleek and very impressive with its flashy screens. If you like playing about with settings and making lots of adjustments this machine is very "customisable" more so than say an xlt Its very clever this detector- a TOTAL credit to its designers . The people who designed this machine deserve a gold medal because its A totally unique powerfull feature packed detector and very clever at finding good targets from within trash.
I really like this machine. No way will i ever sell this detector its a keeper for sure. Anyone who does not like this detector is dumb. I aint sure it would be suitable for beginners though as it is a complex machine to operate to full potential, beginners would be better of with the quattro to start with ,then move up to the ex2 once some experience is gained.

Overall Rating 4 stars


Minelab Explorer....fact not hype

August 03, 2005
I have been detecting a number of years and have owned three different Fisher machines. I still have the CZ-6 as a spare. I have also owned the Garrett 2500, Sovereign, a Bounty Hunter and a couple of other machines. The Explorer XS is the best I have found. The Fisher units find deep coins, the Garrett is a heavy poorly balanced machine that did not fit my detecting needs at all. The Sovereign is a great detector but is also heavy and poorly balanced. Sure the Explorer XS has a steep learning curve but it obviously can be learned by most people. After almost 4 years of use my Explorer XS is the top of the line. I've never owned a White...but a friend does and I think I made a better choice with the Explorer. Good hunting!

Overall Rating 5 stars!


The Best.

July 02, 2005
Ignores Iron better than any other brand. The backlit lcd is a must at night. Incredibly accurate discrimination..... the best. ....I've tried top of the line models from Garrett and Fisher.... lots of cheapos too....this is my favorite.detector

No experience with white's though.

Cons: It is heavy...can't hip mount it....changing coils could be easier

I wish it was water proof

Overall Rating 5 stars!



June 27, 2005
I have been metal detecting since I was about 13 years old I am now 33. So I have a few years under my belt...I have owned Whites metal detectors the whole time. About a week ago I purchased a minelab ex II. So far I think it is a great machine...It is a little heavy with the 10.5 coil. From what I can tell pinpointing is not a problem it is usually right on the money. So far the learning curve is a little steep but I don't mind it. I have learned that when the machine reads pulltab that is probably what it is. I have yet to try all the bells and whistles but like I said I am still learning. I do still like my XLT and will probably keep it. I still have my other detectors I never sell them. But so far so good I just have to take the time to learn the machine and be patient

Overall Rating 4 stars


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