This metal detector has a 10-inch concentric searchcoil that can search as deep as 10 inches below the surface of the ground. Depth is displayed using a series of about a dozen notches. The instruction manual doesn’t translate the number of illuminated notches to inches, but we assumed it works like other metal detectors that display more notches for deep items and fewer for shallow objects. This metal detector correctly estimated the depth only 14 percent of the time, a relatively low accuracy rate in our lineup.
This unit has notching and disclination capabilities, giving you the option to exclude specific kinds of metal while you’re hunting for treasure. It does, however, lack a pinpoint mode button, so you have to do that manually by running the coil over the ground in a series of X shapes. In our tests, the Master-200 accurately detected buried objects 32 percent of the time, the lowest accuracy rate of any metal detector we tested. It did pick up 50 percent of the objects we buried regardless of accuracy, which isn’t bad.
One thing that stands out about the Master-200 is its display screen. Along with a target ID number corresponding to various types of metal, small tabs at the top of the screen also light up to show you whether you’ve found a nail, screw, nickel, soda can pull-tab, quarter and various other common finds. While this is a nifty feature, the screen itself is rather hard to read regardless of the light. Our testers found themselves squinting every time they used it, especially trying to see the small, dark object identification tabs. It also has levels of sensitivity to pick from to make your hunt more successful, but it does lack any volume control.
The Master-200 runs on two 9-volt batteries and is easy to assemble as no tools are required. It weighs 2.3 pounds, making it one of the lighter metal detectors we tested along with the Fisher F22 and Fisher F44, and comes with a one-year warranty. A fabric arm-strap is also included, making it even more comfortable to hold. Most metal detectors require you to buy the arm strap separately. If you’re interested in looking for treasure on beaches, the coil is completely waterproof and can be submerged in sea water or fresh water as long as you don’t get the hardware near the handle wet.