The Tesoro LOBO SuperTRAQ metal detector works very well.
Make sure your batteries are fully charged before you use it or else it is absolutely useless. They say the batteries can last 18 hours, but out in the field it was more like 10 hours.
It cannot find smaller nuggets (under half gram) in highly mineralized ground because its a VLF. However, all VLF’s have this limitation in ground with a lot of iron content. Its synonymous with your cell phone signal being cut off in a concrete building or tunnel. The iron in the ground is like a barrier to the search coil. So its best to use this detector where there is considerably less minerals in the ground.
I use this detector for finding gold when I’m out in the Arizona mountains.
Ground balancing is simple. Just jiggle it up and down above the ground until the beeping sound is lowered.
When finding targets I hear two different sounds.
1) Single soft beep
If you place the coil directly on a hot rock and pull upwards, you will hear a soft beep, but more like a whine. When going towards the hot rock it will not make any beep.
2) Single loud beep
This indicates metals like trash or gold.
Unfortunately, there is no way to tell the difference between gold and another metal which means you just need to dig all your targets.
Sometimes it randomly beeps twice over gold, iron or steel and then it goes back to a single beep. Not sure what that means, but I suppose its caused by the double coil.
If there was a way of distinguishing different metals by auditory means, then I would be happier.
I compared this to a Whites GMT. The GMT has an electronic meter that shows the probability of iron. However, it did not appear to emit any distinctive audio sounds for metals.
The Lobo is good instrument for detecting gold as long as the gold is closer to the surface. The bigger the nugget the better. A half gram can be detected downwards of about 2 inches in heavily mineralized soil. With less mineralization, it will go much deeper.
I said earlier that this is the secondary tool in our arsenal of detectors. Our favorite is the Whites TDI. We use the TDI to search for targets, then use the Lobo to help pinpoint it. You can read our review of the Whites TDI on our site. We have much luck with this approach.