Field Test: Teknetics T2 Classic Metal Detector Review

Purpose : I conducted a field test to evaluate the operation, functionality and capability of this detector in a variety of environments and conditions, running all tests from the viewpoint of the new detectorist.

Method : I first read over the user manual and operate the machine in a sterile environment to familiarize myself with the controls and operation. I then research the machine via the Internet and speak to the manufactures’ technical representatives on any specific questions so as to further and deepen my understanding of the detector in order to give it the fairest evaluation possible. Finally, I conduct independent tests as reported below under a variety of conditions on land, fresh water and saltwater beach environments. Specific head to head comparisons with other detectors are avoided in this process so as not to bias my reporting.

Standard Caveat : This field test was designed to generally evaluate the detector strictly from the new user standpoint and was never intended as an extensive metrics driven technical analysis. Secondly, this report is not intended to reiterate the information readily available in the user manual—it’s strictly a report of my personal observations. Finally, the results, as with any detector undergoing field testing, reflect and are dependent upon the specific test environment, particularly where the level of mineralization in the soil, sand and water is concerned. Results of similar tests conducted in other locations can be expected to differ.


Standard Caveat : This field test was designed to generally evaluate the detector strictly from the new user standpoint and was never intended as an extensive metrics driven technical analysis. Secondly, this report is not intended to reiterate the information readily available in the user manual—it’s strictly a report of my personal observations. Finally, the results, as with any detector undergoing field testing, reflect and are dependent upon the specific test environment, particularly where the level of mineralization in the soil, sand and water is concerned. Results of similar tests conducted in other locations can be expected to differ.

Land : Depth and stability in both All Metal and Discrimination mode was very good and responded correspondingly well throughout all sensitivity levels tested.

Sensitivity : This test was conducted in sandy soil using its factory standard ground cancellation function; sensitivity at various settings as shown. The target, a US clad Quarter, was initially detected at the depths listed:

All Metal / Discrimination

Sensitivity Level Lo (1) Med (50) Hi (99)
Depth Detected (inches) 5/2 8/7 11/8
Depth Scale Accuracy +/- +/- +/- (somewhat erratic)
Identity Accuracy +/- +/- +/- (intermittent)

Recovery Speed : The Teknetics T2 metal detector was very fast and in the absence of any iron masking, was able to successfully identify the targets throughout the sweep. In fact, the Teknetics T2 metal detector is one of the fastest entry level detectors I’ve yet tested.

Separation / Discrimination : Ability to detect and identify targets among iron under 3 inches of soil.

Target 2” from a bolt : Quarter-successful; Dime-intermittent

Target with bolt on top : Quarter-unsuccessful; Dime-unsuccessful

Target among multiple bolts : Quarter-detected but intermittent; Dime-unsuccessful

The Teknetics T2 metal detector‘s separation capability under these test conditions was intermittently acceptable and unaffected by sweep speed.

Fresh Water Beach : I tested the Teknetics T2 metal detector in both All Metal and Discrimination mode and found with proper ground balance, I could run the Teknetics T2 metal detector at its max sensitivity level of 99 with only minimal chatter. In the All Metal mode the best result was a successful detection of a quarter at 12” but with no target identification at that depth. In the Discrimination mode, that same quarter was detected at 9” with successful target identification throughout discrimination levels of 0, 40 and 80…lo-mid-hi.

Salt Water Beach and Surf : The Teknetics T2 metal detector performed very well in this environment after ground balance and sensitivity levels were appropriately set. It is important to note that you must establish a good ground balance then adjust the sensitivity level in that order to achieve maximum stabilization. Once the chatter is eliminated or minimized, I found the Teknetics T2 metal detector to be a sensitive deep seeker for this level of machine.

Dry Sand : Once again, ground balance and sensitivity were critically important and when properly set, the Teknetics T2 metal detector performed very well with results similar to the land test.

All Metal / Discrimination

Sensitivity Level Lo (1) Med (50) Hi (99)
Depth Detected (inches) 5/1-2 7/6 11/7
Depth Scale Accuracy +/- +/- +/- (somewhat erratic)
Identity Accuracy +/- +/- +/- (intermittent)

Wet Sand and Surf : I found the best level of ground balance for our particular test beach was manually set within a range of 0-5. When I tried to go above this range, chatter was quickly introduced. Having set the ground balance at 0, I was able to maximize the sensitivity to 99. With those settings, I was just barely able to detect my target in wet sand at a surprising depth of 15” but with no successful identification of the target. Had I not known the quarter was there, I would probably not have dug it based on how very weak the tone was at that depth. At 10” the tone was stronger and at 6” the Teknetics T2 metal detector was able to successfully identify the target as a quarter in that very wet sand. In Discrimination mode, the best the Teknetics T2 metal detector did was detect the target at 6” without successful identification but at 4” the identification was spot on.


General Pros and Cons

Pro

Unboxing and Assembly : Although I was using an pre-assembled demo model, the ease of assembly was very apparent.

Explanation of Capabilities and Function : The Teknetics T2 metal detector manual is extensive and makes for somewhat complex reading in places. The manual ground balance procedures as described in the user guide was the most obvious example. I found the actual process to be much easier when actually performed than when I tried to initially understand it from the book.

Control Panel and Operation : The design, layout and function of this machine is unique, impressive and extremely user friendly. Logical, intuitive, highly efficient and functional are the words that best describe it. The Teknetics T2 metal detector is faster to adjust than any machine thus far tested.

Weight, Water and Weather : The Teknetics T2 metal detector is light, well balanced and swings easily. Although the coil is waterproof, the control box, speaker box and headphone jack are not. Additionally, the placement of the speaker and headphone jack are such that when the detector is placed on the ground or in sand, both are open and extremely vulnerable to dirt intrusion. Care must be taken to avoid getting these controls wet or dirty. A cover for all controls is highly advisable as a precaution against light rain, sand, dirt and surf spray.

Target ID Scale : I found the target identification scale to be generally accurate within a depth range of 4-8” in my test areas. Beyond those limits, the depth scale was somewhat erratic. Test results under different general conditions may vary.

Stability, Sensitivity and Discrimination : As reported above, the Teknetics T2 metal detector is very stable when proper ground balance is combined with an appropriate level of sensitivity. Because sensitivity and discrimination are highly adjustable the Teknetics T2 metal detector performed well throughout a variety of environments.

Operating Modes : Although the Teknetics T2 metal detector offers two operating modes (All Metal and Discrimination) the levels of ground balance, sensitivity, tone and discrimination adjustment within those modes make this a very flexible and capable detector.

Chatter : In both modes, I was able to reduce chatter but it required going to a low level of ground balance… particularly in the saltwater environment.

Frequency Shift : The Teknetics T2 metal detector provides the capability to make minor shifts in the operating frequency to any of 7 choices to eliminate / reduce electrical interference thus counteract EMI induced chatter.

Con

Moisture and Dirt Vulnerability : As with most machines in this price range, the Teknetics T2 metal detector cannot be submerged and should be protected against rain and streams of water getting on the control box, speaker and headphone jack. The placement of the speaker and headphone jack is a design weakness as it renders these two sensitive areas vulnerable to damage when the detector is placed on the ground.

Manual Ground Balance : My only comment here refers not to the process itself but to the instructions as explained in the manual. I personally think this description could be simpler but that is strictly a personal opinion.

Depth Scale : While the Teknetics T2 metal detector is very sensitive and deep for this class of detector, the depth scale is shown only when pinpoint is activated and was somewhat erratic at times during my testing sessions when the target depth exceeded a range of 4-8 inches.


Field Test Summary

The Teknetics T2 metal detector proved to be a highly flexible and solid performer within the various environments and under the conditions tested. With a seemingly limitless number of adjustment settings, one can adapt this machine to a wide variety of situations. The ease and speed with which those adjustments can be made is a major plus for the T2. Don’t let its vast flexibility scare you off however. I found the controls to be very user friendly and easily mastered in a short period of time. I was able to stabilize the Teknetics T2 metal detector in all testing environments by rapidly tailoring the ground balance and sensitivity settings to the conditions present and in doing so, the T2 definitely answered the call. In those cases where I didn’t have the settings right, the T2 chattered up to let me know further adjustments were needed. I particularly liked the manual ground balance function which allowed me to quickly quiet the machine even in the surf and fine tune the sensitivity to a point that was exactly suited to the conditions under the coil. Although not always able to specifically identify the target type and exact depth when the target neared the maximum detection limits, the T2’s tonal detection capability at depths exceed the norm for this class of machine.

For anyone considering the purchase of the Teknetics T2 metal detector, I would highly recommend picking up a protective cover for both the control box and the speaker/headphone box. The speaker box and headphone jack are both open and located under the arm cuff thus susceptible to dirt, sand and water when the machine is put down for any reason. One other suggestion would be to use a good set of headphones when detecting in noisy areas. With the speaker located under the cuff and pointing down, some users may experience a degree of difficulty clearly hearing the tones.

Bottom Line : For under $500 and covered by a 5 year warranty, I found the Teknetics T2 metal detector to be right up there with the better performers in its class. I’m confident even the relatively new user will be able to learn its language and functional operation easily, become proficient with it very quickly and in so doing, productively enjoy this detector for many years.


About The Author
Colonel Dan
Colonel Dan bought his first metal detector in 1970 and was at it off and on as opportunity and Army requirements permitted. He retired from the Army in 1995 after a 24 year career that took he and his family around the world. He then spent 13 years as a Program Manager and Vice President for Science Applications International Corporation entering full time retirement in January of 2008. Now free from career obligations, Colonel Dan volunteered part of his early retirement days formally field testing and reporting on numerous metal detectors and associated equipment for Kellyco. He now spends his time regularly metal detecting central Florida beaches with his full time hunting buddy Gary. Colonel Dan was also a member of the search team that supported a local museum by detecting and recovering many significant artifacts from the Second Seminole Indian War, artifacts that served to verify the location of Ft Lane. Traveling the world, this time as a civilian tourist, avidly detecting the beaches, spending time with his 3 children, 7 grandchildren and close friends, church activities and writing takes up the majority of his time these days.