Tesoro Outlaw Field Test
By Robert Martensen
Over the past year, I have had 100's of people calling me asking if Tesoro was coming out with a new machine.Allcav on the forums was asked 100's of times as well. My answer was always the same to all of them. I did know that we were working on something and what it was but could not tell the public. I can finally let the public know about Tesoro’s new Outlaw.
The Outlaw is a silent search VLF-motion discriminator which also features a non-motion, all-metal search/pinpoint mode. The three-piece, S-shaped handle makes the Outlaw ideal for traveling or backpacking into a remote site.
Both the 8-inch concentric open center search coil and the control housing are constructed of a special type of plastic designed by Tesoro which not only reduces the weight of the detector, but provides improved shielding from outside electrical interference.
The Outlaw is controlled via four knobs (GROUND, DISC LEVEL, SENSITIVITY and THRESHOLD), one toggle switch (MODE and TUNE) and one pushbutton (auto tune and normal).
The MODE toggle switch allows you to choose which mode to hunt in, i.e., discrimination or all-metal, as well as switch from the motion discriminate mode to the non-motion pinpoint mode. If the detectorist prefers, the pushbutton does the same function. When you push it in, it goes into the all-metal auto and when it is half way out it goes into all metal normal modes. Its position on the face plate makes it easily accessible for one-handed operation.
The Outlaw incorporates Tesoro's High Gain Sensitivity circuitry, which improves sensitivity to low conductivity targets such as gold, brass and lead. This control also activates the automatic battery check each time the unit is turned on.
The Outlaw is the first detector that comes with 3 coils in the standard package. It comes with a 5.75" concentric, 8" concentric and a 12x10" widescan coil. It also comes with 3 lower ABS poles so each coil can have its own lower pole for ease of switching them out.
The area I selected for my field test was an old mining operation that started in the early 1890's called Fain Park. There is still the original home on this property called Massick's Castle. This used to be an old stage coach stop between Prescott and Dewey AZ. There has been a lot of traffic in this area over the years, especially ideal for coin shooting.
The soil here is highly mineralized so I knew even with manual ground adjust for the all-metal mode, there was going to be some loss in depth in the discriminate mode. This didn't discourage me in the least due to the fact that 95% of coins were under a depth of 6 inches. I started in the picnic area first where there was grass.
As in most hunts I do, I found a lot of foil and pulltabs at first. Most of my targets were right in the thick roots only about 1 to 2 inches deep. This made digging a little easier. Especially with the leche digger tool I was using which cut right through the roots easily.
The Outlaw made pinpointing very easy while I was working in the discriminate mode. When I found a target, I would turn my disc level up to see if it was a target worth digging. Then I would slowly push the retune button half way in. This would put the Outlaw in a no motion all metal mode.
Due to a bad thumb from a childhood accident, I found it easier for me to place my thumb on the bezel of the button. This allowed me more control in getting to the halfway point of the retune button and holding it there. Once I found the loudest point, I pushed the retune button all the way in. This puts the Outlaw in the all-metal auto tune mode. Once I got the "PIP PIP", I could place a screw driver in the center of the coil and almost hit the coin or put it right on the coin. I found no need to have a pin pointer with this machine. I was really impressed with its ability to pinpoint and the multi-function of the retune button.
When you want the exact pinpoint, there is a second option I found to be just as easy. If you simply switch the mode switch to NORMAL all-metal mode and then, while hesitating over the target, press the retune button to squeeze it down to the "PIP PIP" signal. We have accomplished the same as above and this just becomes a user preference.
The next location I went to was to see how well the Outlaw would prospect with the 12x10" Widescan coil. I went to an area that I frequent for gold prospecting and have had some luck there. This is some old ground and is hard to get to by truck, but it pays off well.
The first thing I did was ground balance the Outlaw with the 12x10" coil. Everybody who has used a 12x10" coil before knows how it is slightly difficult to ground balance in highly mineralized soil. I was able to ground balance the 12x10" coil fairly easy in this highly mineralized soil.
I was absolutely impressed with how well the Outlaw performed in the Arizona Outback. I didn't get any interference at all and it ran smoothly for me. Pinpointing actually went better than I would have imagined. I didn't find any gold but I did clean up nature with all the gun shells I found.
The Outlaw can be used for many different tasks. I was helping a friend look for his property line pins. Over the years, I guess they were covered up by dirt. I was able to run the Outlaw with ease in the all metal mode to help find his markers. It did not take me that long and the Outlaw found them between 6" to 9".
What I like about the Outlaw is the ease of use and the retune button. I also like the fact that Tesoro has bundled 3 coils with the Outlaw, so you can now hunt in all conditions. I have found a lot of coins and other items during my field test. The depth and sensitivity was very good with the mineralization of Arizona soils.
I think that the Outlaw is a great addition to Tesoro's line up. Tesoro has knocked this one out of the park. The retune button is a must. It is an easy machine to use. The Tesoro legacy has been true since 1980. They have not only provided a sensitive and light weight machine, but added great features that are easy to use and helps you spend more time finding treasure.