Tesoro Vaquero

Price: $550
Avg. Score: 4 stars 4.38
Based on 76 reviews

Avg. Durability: 4 stars3.79
Avg. Ease of use: 4 stars4.25
Maximum detection depth

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Think carefully before you fall for the hype!

October 09, 2014
After watching '53Silvers videos, and VERY carefully reviewing a few machines with target ID, I was sold on the 'beep and dig' machines. It only makes sense when you understand the properties of analog (Tesoro) machines vs even the best digital TID machines out there.

Analog has the advantage in separating junk targets that are close to trash and signals have subtle differences when you listen - other than the harsh "on or off'ness" of a digital processor. Here's where the Vaquero fails - Target depth. I read and watched raves about the detectors depth and I have zero faith that this machine can find anything with confidence (and by that I mean a strong, repeatable signal) over 4-5". Pennies at 3-4" become subtle, soft tones even at the highest sens settings. You can 'supertune' this machine but say goodbye to the pinpoint feature if you do and you'll eat through batteries like a hungry dog wolfing down a broiled steak.

I've been detecting over 30 years, and completely understand proper ground balancing too, so I'm eliminating user error. I even bought the book "Mastering the Tesoro Tejon and Vaquero" and it didn't offer any real insights to using this detector to it's full potential. It should be confident and capable out of the box. To expect a quarter at 8-9" to ring in loudly isn't asking for much. This thing wheezes at 4" on a quarter, no BS.

WHAT I LIKE - I LOVE the lightweight and the aesthetics and ergonomics. It's well built, quality components and I love the analog controls vs today's touch pads and click wheels. Really gives you a sense of control. Very sensitive to small metals from surface to 2" or so. I found a couple old buttons and lead bullets, but nothing at any impressive depth.

WHAT I HATE - The disappointing depth and lack of confidence the machine has on deeper coins. You really have to LISTEN and listen CLOSELY for anything past the 4" mark. I gave up 2 of the best detectors I've ever used to jump on the Tesoro bandwagon. I'm going to say that most of the fans of these machines have never really forayed out of their Tesoro world to give other machines a try. I really, really REALLY want to like this machine, but I simply have zero confidence in it's ability to find anything greater than 4-5".

Depth on a coin Depth Max Depth: 4 inches on US quarter

Overall Rating 1 star
Durability 3 stars
Ease of Use 1 star
Would you recommend this to a new user? Yes, absolutely!

Capable machine but beware hype.

August 08, 2014
I got a Vaquero hoping to gain some depth over my other detector (a cmpro). This beep and dig unit performs well, has a lifetime warranty and, with practice, will have you out performing most machines in its price range! It does well on tiny gold and obviously does well on coins. I can go out into a cornfield and find anything that anyone else can find. The Vaquero is a well made machine and it can detect coin sized targets at 8" very consistently. As beep and dig detectors go, this is a fine choice. I fond deep coins on every hunt!

You will see a lot of people comparing this to high end machines - this is one of the worst things happening to this nice little detector because it builds up an impossible expectation! The key to digging very deep targets is target separation and with a simple discrimination setup like the Vaquero has, you simply aren't going to get the same degree of separation that people get with high end detectors.
Will you hear the targets? Yes... You won't have any real information on deep targets though. Prepare to dig more deep trash. This is a worthy tradeoff for some people but many read the reviews and don't expect it. I have dug deep dimes that come in as iron and deep nails that come in as nickels.

Depth on a coin Depth Max Depth: 9 inches on US quarter

Overall Rating 4 stars
Durability 5 stars!
Ease of Use 4 stars
Would you recommend this to a new user? Yes, absolutely!

What a detector!

June 25, 2014
All I can say for the previous poster is you need to practice way more and learn your machine before posting bad reviews on a detector that can beat many more 3 times the cost of this one.

This detector is amazing and extremely deep if set up correctly. Super tune it and it is deeper. Power balance it in discrimination mode and it is even deeper than that. Unless I decide I need to get into the water, I won't need another detector other than this one. If you want a great relic machine or a coin magnet then get this one. Sure it don't have those fancy displays but all they do is confuse you anyway and cause you to walk over good targets. It also loves silver and gold. I am confident that if I run over a target with this machine, it will yell at me. Way to go Tesoro!

Depth on a coin Depth Max Depth: 12 inches on US quarter

Overall Rating 5 stars!
Durability 5 stars!
Ease of Use 5 stars!
Would you recommend this to a new user? Yes, absolutely!

The reason i am upset!

December 22, 2013
I don't buy a metal detector every day, and the last metal detector I owned was a Tesoro Royal Sabre, so I know about them. But, WHY IN THE HECK DOES THE NON-MOTION MODE ZERO OUT OVER A TARGET WHEN THE COIL IS NOT MOVING? You know what I am talking about, Tesoro, don't play dumb. The Mayan did not, did it? Why does a metal detector with a ground control not make a good gold machine? Answer: It does not! Shame on you! Tell the truth! I rate this 2 stars for that fact alone.

Depth on a coin Depth Max Depth: 7 inches on US quarter

Overall Rating 1 star
Durability 2 stars
Ease of Use 4 stars
Would you recommend this to a new user? Yes, absolutely!

Vaquero is impressive!

August 29, 2012
About 12 years ago I was seriously into the Hobby (a Dealer even) and ran the absolute top of the line ID machine. I hunted an 1879 property no less than 4 times-and got some good stuff!! Recently bought a Vaquero and went back to the property (moms house) to learn the machine.
Literally the FIRST swing I make turns up a 1920 wheat penny I had missed. Later the same day I hit a 1902 Indian head at about 4 inches. Still pulling coins, spoons, pins buttons and other stuff that I had missed with the ID machine.

Getting more comfortable with the ground balance/setup but still not sure about the pinpoint mode. I have been using the discriminate mode "X" approach and my finds are always in a 6-8" plug.
Overall VERY impressed- the audio 'tells' the tale- and by thumbing the disc knob you can be fairly certain on coins. I am digging it all for now-and REALLY digging this awesome Vaquero!

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Tesoro Trident 11 / giant killer

May 12, 2012
This is my second unit, sold the first one, just had to get another, this machine is a giant killer, at least as deep as the top dollar screen based units, has very accurate disc. which is nice and wide on the iron and recovery is lightning fast, you wont miss anything if you go over it after iron, powerful and deeper still when super tuned, this amplifies the small signals and makes them loud, (can air test a George 111 large copper penny at 21" and gold rings from 13" - 15", no bull) try that with your whites or minelabs, even better with the 12 x 10 d. d. which sees 30 percent less ground effect and gives you around 3 to 4 inches more in depth on all ground, this coil is however a little heavier to swing but not like other large coils.

In disc. mode the machine is silent search and will work on salt wet beaches with this coil, I've had a clad penny at 8 inches or so, the only thing I would improve on is that Tesoro should make a control box with testosterone appeal about it, as I am sure people by-pass this machine because it looks too toy like. I've had someone say , "how can that be as hard hitting as my D F X,? well it is and then some, it just cant be beat, if I could I would rate this machine 8 stars.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


Great Machine!

April 11, 2012
All I can say to the previous posters are that Jim in California must have sold the same detector to Hal in Colorado! My machine is not a gaudy purple, the letters are not smeared, and the knobs are solid and do not have any play in them.

My experience with the Vaquero in the 100+ hours of using it is that it is a light weight, well built, solid machine that has a small learning curve that with patience will bring you great rewards. The main thing that new users must get used to is the ground balancing. I suggest you check out UTube for clear instructions on how to ground balance. The Vaquero is my primary "dirt" machine now and for the forseeable future.

I've owned or own the following:

Bounty Hunter II - Old BFO that worked well but was not very deep.

Bounter Hunter VLF/TR - Same as above, ground balance was hit or miss.

Garrett Ace 250 - a waste of money, not too good, should have invested in a Fisher F2 or a Tesoro Compadre for the money.

Tesoro Silver UMax - Great machine, still use it for tot lots, traveling with a backpack, and is my son's primary machine.

Minelab Excalibur II - Awesome water machine, love the discrimination feature that PI machines do not provide.

One more thing - you can't beat the lifetime warranty of a Tesoro!

Overall Rating 5 stars!



April 03, 2012
Bought a Vaquero for general use:
1. Lettering was smeared, very difficult to read.
2. Very unstable threshold.
3. Wouldn't ground balance properly.
4. Gaudy purple color, Tesoro should have stuck with the brown, bronze theme.
5. Knobs were loose, and had a lot of slack in the adjustment.

I've been metal detecting for 30 years, had 17 different detectors(3 Tesoros), and my Silver Umax (the brown and bronze color)outshines the Vaquero.
Maybe it was a lemon, but Tesoro shouldn't have let that one out of the shop. Doesn'r say much for their quality control.

Overall Rating 5 stars!


My Vaquero

March 24, 2012
I'll be honest, bought the detector hearing all the deep reviews, then went to ground balance it and initially it was very frustrating, I was a die hard fisher 1200x series fan and it just wasn't the same, put the vaq away for a few months, then figured, well, I really didn't give it a fair chance, tried it for 6 or 7 hours, and I've been nothing but amazed since, a wheat penny at 10. 5", civil war button, large cent, and civil war token later all within 4 months, it is by far my favorite and most deep seeking detector now, even over my fisher 1266x, So if your looking for a deep seeking affordable detector, this is a strong candidate, just make sure your ready to give it plenty of learning time.

Overall Rating 5 stars!



March 18, 2012
Tried the Vaquero for a few hours before it quit.
It is very cheaply made, the knobs are loose and a lot of slack in the adjustment, lettering was so smeared, it was unreadable. Got a strong reading, then it quit.
Tesoro new generation of detectors sure don't compare with the older Tesoros. I have two older Tesoros (Silver Umax and El Dorado) and they out perform the Vaquero and are well built.

Overall Rating 1 star


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