I initially bought the Fisher F75 Limited edition for my wife as a replacement to her Garrett GTP 1350 after she pretty much had worn it out in the field. After taking a fall in a creek however and drenching my eTrac, I used this machine regularly until my eTrac was fixed and continue to use it selectively depending on the nature of the site I am hunting. I have approximately 125-150 hours logged on the F75.
Ease of Use
The first thing I want to address about this detector is the learning curve. I absolutely do not consider this to be a metal detector for a beginner. This machine is deep because it is extremely sensitive. The first few times I attempted to use it, I became extremely frustrated. I couldn’t ground balance it effectively, and it seemed noisy with random chatter. I actually thought something might be wrong with the machine. It sounded like a Geiger counter. You can look up many reviews of this machine on the forums and hear how some users actually gave up on this machine, and I can see why.
I referred back and forth with the manual and with all due respect to Fisher that did not really help a whole lot. I’d like to see it rewritten. Perhaps I just missed something, and no offense to Fisher because this machine rocks, but I couldn’t get comfortable with the machine without resorting to some expert help on the forums.
I consulted the forums and found some expert users with the F75 and took their advice about setting the discrimination on like a 4 or a 6, and adjusting the sensitivity and sound settings to reduce the noise. This helped somewhat, but when an expert user recommended that I try the detector on all metal and I did so, my head exploded. Just a couple of hours it finally clicked. In many instances, I am able to turn the sensitivity wide open in all metal without a lot of noise issues.
I never, and I mean never have used a detector where I really feel like I can see into the ground. I mean I can really feel the signals, and the sounds and numbers seem to be always spot on even on deeper signals. And in my opinion this machine is deep – crazy deep with the stock coil – I have yet to try another coil on it. Once I set it up properly, my wife uses it with no issues. She may adjust the sensitivity if it gets noisy.
I found a 1900 Barber Quarter at about 10 inches, then 2 weeks later broke my all-time silver in a single day record with 7 silvers and 35 wheats with the F75 in the yard of a home built in 1904. I found my first 3 Buffalo nickels – deep ones.
The F75 is my detector of choice for sites without a lot of iron/nails or trash, and of course when my wife isn’t using it. I opt for the e-Trac in those instances – in all fairness because I am more experienced with the Two Tone Ferrous capabilities and I have a 5″ coil for it. Also, areas that are not extremely trashy cause the detector to not be noisy in the all-metal mode I prefer to hunt in. I have read where the F75 can be setup to “see through” iron as well but have not tested. I’ll probably try that when I get around to getting a smaller coil for it.
I love the design of the F75.
It is extremely lightweight – so much that the armrest doesn’t even need a strap to help support it like my e-Trac does. It just has a cleverly located switch in “Trigger” position on the underside of the box for pinpointing and ground balance, an on/off volume knob, and a single knob and a button to change the settings.
I admittedly really don’t understand the static all-metal mode and unless I find a use for it don’t see why it is included in the interface. I don’t care for the “notching” discrimination concept. As a result, I rarely use the F75 with discrimination at all. I am happy with that because of the clarity and depth. Correct me if you feel I am wrong, but in my opinion if Fisher made this detector quieter and easier to operate they would kill off its extreme sensitivity and its depth.
Sound: I like the sound on this one. You can set it up where you hear a very pleasant “tick” for each signal accompanied by a number. In all metal mode, I hear different tones for iron and good signals, but it is not unpleasant on my ears. The only gripe I have about the sound on this detector is the pinpointing sound. Seriously? When you pull the handy trigger to pinpoint an object in my humble opinion it sounds like a broken chainsaw noise, especially if you happen to not be using headphones. I actually laughed the first time I heard it. I can get over that though because it’s a relatively minor annoyance.
Batteries: The detector only uses 4 AA batteries. All of my other detectors use 8. This reduces the weight of course. The crazy thing is the batteries seem to last forever, even though the display is backlit all of the time! I usually change the batteries once every 12 hours of detecting even though they are not depleted. Note: This is my experience. If someone doesn’t agree with this, please comment in the comments sections below.
Durability: I take care of my detectors, but I am very hard on them. I trip over them, jump creeks, and do lots of woods and field hunting, sometimes under some ridiculous conditions. The only complaint I can think of is the on/off volume knob fell off one time. Fortunately it fell off in my truck probably from my daughter kicking it in the backseat floorboard on the way to school. I slipped it right back on. If it happens again I might use a drop of light glue. The search coil is very well made, and the thing looks brand new even given my abuse, despite the light weight.
Depth and Sensitivity: As I said before, this detector is extremely sensitive and is great for finding tiny pieces of jewelry and deep items. I found a 1916 (no D) mercury dime easily at a 11 inches deep with sensitivity on 85 with no discrimination. I measured it so I am certain of this one.
The Fisher F75 is incredibly well designed, very sensitive and very deep. We give it a score of 91, only taking off because of what is probably our on failure to master the machine in discrimination modes and in heavy trash. Perhaps with additional work and counsel, we can get there. We gave this detector a perfect 100 rating for batteries, and an almost perfect 98 for weight. We gave it a 95 for depth because it is deep. It scored in the 90 percentile range for its clever design and durability.
I would particularly recommend the Fisher F75 Metal Detector for a very experienced detectorist who is struggling with a disability or condition that makes it difficult to swing a heavy detector. Heck if you put a sling on this thing it would be like detecting in weightlessness. If you are looking for an advanced, deep machine in the $1000 budget range this is your detector IF you are willing to ignore some initial frustration and be patient and learn it.
Dig Deeper: Are you new and trying to select your first detector? Our Metal Detecting Quick Start Guide has some recommendations.