After using the Fisher F2 for a few years, it was a natural progression to upgrade to the Fisher F5. The transition was smooth, and on the first hunt with it I was finding coins in the park.
The design on the Fisher F5 is unlike any other detector on the market. With a combination of buttons and knobs, the Fisher F5 is very easy to do fine adjustments with.
The Target ID screen is very intuitive and presents everything in an easy to understand layout that even includes a “Ground Data” bar that indicates present ground mineralization. That allows you to be able to see when the mineralization in the ground changes so that you can easily make ground balance changes on the fly. As far as I know, that is a feature that you will only find on the Fisher F5 Metal Detector.
The F5 can be both manually, and automatically ground balanced, depending on your preference. Ground balancing is as simple as finding a metal free area, and holding down the Phase Lock button, then pumping the coil up and down as close to the ground as possible while in All Metal Mode until the tone of the detector quiets down. Then Switch over to discriminate mode, and fine tune your settings by choosing which target notches that you wish to include or discriminate out by turning the Discrimination button to the right.
Notice that as you discriminate each notch, a black line will be drawn through the target notch to indicate that targets within that range will be discriminated or ignored.
Ease of Use
The F5 is fairly easy to use, and setting the machine up only took me a couple of minutes or less. Once ground balanced, I turned the Gain up to 85, adjusted the Threshold to a -3 which made the machine more stable in the park’s trashy environment, and a few pushes on the Tones button to set up for 4 tones I was off and running! Within 10 minutes I was finding coins consistently on my very first hunt with the F5.
The F5 can be set up to use either 1, 2, 3 or 4 tones. I prefer using the 4 tones setting in Discriminate Mode.
Using the 4 tones setting, Iron is a low tone, tabs and nickels are a medium tone, zinc is a medium-high tone, and dimes and quarters give a high tone. That was also my experience with the Fisher F2, so it is a familiar setting for me.
There is more to the F5 audio than just the number of tones though! There are some amazing tonal nuances that change depending on the cleanness of the signal, proximity to other targets, tone mode selected, etc. It’s the “little things” that you hear in the audio that help you tell the difference between a quarter tone and a can slaw tone. In other words, there is more to the audio on the Fisher F5 than just a beep!
The F5 also includes a confidence bar that helps determine how “sure” the detector is that the target identified on the Target ID notch is indeed what the detector says it is.
The Fisher F5 operates on just two 9 volt batteries. The battery life is good, and they last upwards of 10 hours hunting time. There is a battery life bar on the display, and the batteries can be ran down all the way to 1 bar without any noticeable depth loss or change in performance. With just two 9 volt batteries, the Fisher F5 remains lightweight and easy to swing during those long hunts. The F5 uses alkaline batteries, however, I have used rechargeable batteries and they performed great with no performance loss.
The Fisher F5 is a very durable detector. It is light-weight, but there is nothing flimsy about this detector! I detect in rough terrain, mountain homesteads and rocky soil and the Fisher F5 stands up to the challenge. I climb hills, slide down creek banks, climb over large downed trees, and detect in tall brush. No matter the conditions, the F5 has proven itself as a durable and well made machine.
Depth and Sensitivity:
The Fisher F5 is a a very sensitive detector. With the Gain knob, you can turn the sensitivity all the way up to 99 in some areas. The Depth is very respectable with the machine being capable of finding 7 inch deep dimes in my soil. Larger targets can easily be found at over 10 inches deep.
The Fisher F5 is an easy machine to set up and customize to your detecting environment no matter what type of hunting you choose to do. The menu settings are very straight forward and right in front of you at all times so there is no wading through menus or backtracking involved. The knobs make it possible to do very fine tuning so you can make precise adjustments that can not be done on most other detectors.
I would recommend the Fisher F5 Metal Detector to experienced detectorists that are ready to upgrade to a mid-level detector that is fairly easy to understand with features that are normally found on more expensive machines. The Fisher F5 is capable of finding all types of treasures, including jewelry, relics and coins and I found myself comfortable using the F5 in just a matter of minutes.
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