It’s not easy being the runt of the litter. Always getting pushed around by the bigger and/or older siblings. Just take the Ameritek Minuteman from Teknetics for example. If it could talk, it would actually be screaming for you to take notice of it. It’s feature rich family members the Patriot and Liberator both go deeper, have more options, and cost a bit more. So it is no wonder this Minuteman runt gets ignored from time to time.
That is about to change. Come sit at the adult table little man. You have earned it after this performance.
Coming in at 2.6 lbs and sporting the popular 11 inch DD coil like the other two Ameritek family members, the Minuteman keeps the lightweight and ergonomic feel going. It is really a treat to swing this detector if you have ever had a 3-4 pounder hanging off your shoulder. The 11 inch coil is deep and separates better than it should. It is powered by a single 9v battery which will provide you approximately 25 hours of usage.
Each of the three Ameritek metal detectors have bold and patriotic faces. This Minuteman is no different. The Betsy Ross Flag with 13 stars flies proudly across the faceplate. Half of the star circle wrapping around the right side of the large LCD. Just like the other two - it is a stunning piece of artwork and not something seen on any other metal detector. Teknetics really hit a homerun with the marketing and branding of this Ameritek line.
Turning the detector on brings the large easy to read LCD to life. It immediately cycles through 5 sets of double-digit numbers that are your embedded serial code. Once that is finished you are ready to go. The 0-99 target ID is displayed dead center and is very easy to read. On the left hand side you have a 5 bar depth meter and on the right side a battery life indicator with 3 bars. Top right is the Iron wording that will flash anytime Iron is detected. It flashes whether the audio is on or off. The entire display is a minimalistic approach and works great.
Pressing the Menu button will cycle through 3 options on the bottom of the display from left to right. SENS (Sensitivity) - DISC (Discrimination) - VOL (Volume). They are adjusted with the + and - buttons on the faceplate. SENS is adjustable from 1-10. DISC from 0-79. Volume from 0-20.
The volume is important to take note of as this Minuteman comes with Iron Audio. A great feature for relic hunters who dig iron infested sites. Settings of 0-9 will adjust both ferrous and non-ferrous volume equally. 10 will silence ferrous targets while keeping nonferrous targets at full volume. 11-20 will adjust nonferrous in increasing volume. Meaning you can run the iron audio at a reduced volume, and the non-ferrous targets still hit loud and clear.
The Minuteman is a 3 tone machine. Low/VCO/High. The low tone runs the entire iron range of 0-40. The gold range is 41-79 and is the VCO tone. The silver/clad range will be 80-99 and beep the high tone. Adjusting the DISC will compress the Low and VCO ranges as you raise it. So a thorough reading of the manual is advised to become familiar with the finer intricacies available.
The final button on the machine is the large PP button. It stands for pin-point and when pressed over a target location it will provide a depth readout that is adjustable from Cm to Inches depending on user preference.
So what about the performance of the Minuteman? How good can it possibly be for the retail price of $249.00 and a minimalistic menu? Very good….
Air tests right away push into the 10 inch range on a US Nickel and Quarter. A Dime slightly lower at 9 inches. Very impressive thanks to the large 11DD coil. Knowing not everybody likes air testing, buried coins in terrible Colorado soil were still producing solid ID and tones at 5-6 inches. This is actually very good as many $500-1000+ machine fail to achieve 5-6 inches in my dirt. Expect 8-9 inches from this Minuteman in most soil conditions across the US.
Where this detector REALLY shines is the ability to unmask and separate targets in trash. It really should not do so well to be perfectly blunt. The retail price - the large 11DD coil - it just should NOT work this well. But it does….
Placing nails in a square formation around a US quarter provided little to no trouble for this detector. Even to the point I made an X pattern on top of the coin. Running with 0 disc it produced a VCO and/or high tone on many passes. No, the ID was not perfect and it did bounce a bit with such troubling circumstances. However the tone screamed - dig me. This detector will be a relic hunters dream.
I decided to throw anything and everything at this detector. Pull tabs over coins, pull-tabs and nails next to coins. This detector ate it all for lunch and begged for more. I was genuinely perplexed at how it could not be fooled in some of these situations. It beeped VCO or high tone on many occasions like the trash was not even there. It is almost like this machine was specially made to be in trash. It is really that good.
So there we have it folks. Small on price - small on options and features - BIG on performance. Especially performance in a trashy spots. It may be the runt of the litter - but the Ameritek Minuteman from Teknetics is no child. This is one metal detector that earns it spot at the adult table.