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The All-New Garrett Vortex is Hitting the Market!

The All-New Garrett Vortex is Hitting the Market!

The All-New Garrett Vortex is Hitting the Market!

Garrett comes out of the stone-age swinging the Garret Vortex: a multi/single-frequency detector that is somehow less expensive than detectors they’ve had on the market for nearly 14–years. 

Keep in mind this is a: “First thoughts without using the detector review”, and the Garrett Vortex isn’t due to ship to dealers like us until July, 2024. 

Why Garrett chose to create a detector in the heaviest competitive segment of the market is beyond me. The Vortex will be competing with the Nokta Score series, the Minelab X-terra Elite Series, and the Vanquish series, among others. 

Garrett Vortex Models and Prices

  • VX5 $449
  • VX7 $534
  • VX9 $599
  • The Garret Vortex features worth mentioning are

    • Recovery speed- up to three levels
    • Up to seven different frequency options: Multi, Multi-Salt, 5kHz, 9kHz, 13kHz, 18kHz, 25kHz 
    • Waterproof up to 16ft 
    • Iron Volume
    • 5-tones
    • Up to 3-visual scales: Simple ferrous scale, Complex ferrous scale, non-ferrous scale. 

    Garrett’s cringe-worthy promo video shows supposed metal detecting “pros” swinging their coil 6+ inches off the ground and lifting the edges of it as they swing side to side. 

    Weight & Balance

    The “weight” of the Garret Vortex is 3-lbs, however because the shaft connects behind the center of the coil, like other Garrett detectors, the machine will be very nose heavy. 

    Interestingly, Minelab did something similar with the Manticore, which is why despite being the same weight as the Equinox 700/900 on a scale, it feels heavier. 

    Obviously these engineers know nothing about proper ergonomics or simple physics of moment-arms and they are just out to sell a design and a brand. 

    What is important is how balanced a detector is, not necessarily what it weighs on a scale. 

    Collapsible 

    The collapsibility of the Garrett Vortex is actually quite nice however, and looks good for lugging through thick woods. 

    Garrett Vortex Battery Life

    The rechargeable battery life is 15-hours, which exceeds the 12-hour life of the Minelab Equinox series. 

    Garret Vortex Tones

    I’m not sure if the Vortex tones include an all-tones mode, or more complex audio “pro” mode. I was not impressed by the audio I heard in the promo-videos. I’m also not happy they don’t even have a pitch mode, even the Minelab X-Terra has that. 

    Update: According to Youtube users Garrett Vortex only has 5-tones... Which, if that is true, is entirely unacceptable in todays industry. However, if this is true, Garrett could fix this issue with a simple update.

    Garrett is Charging Customers for Vortex Updates

    Garrett screws the dealers again by allowing users to upgrade their machine at a price. For example, if you have the Vortex VX5, you can make a one-time payment to upgrade your machine to the VX7, or VX9. 

    It’s important to note that all of the machines are the same in terms of hardware and external appearance. 

    This brings me to wonder if Garrett introduced yet an even better upgrade/machine, would that be included in these updates? 

    I’m assuming there is only so much one can upgrade a machine that has a set power-output. Take for instance the Equinox series vs. the Manticore, nothing is compatible between the two because the Manticore has a much higher power output, and different wiring to accommodate that. 

    Garrett Vortex Visual Scales

    Speaking of the Manticore, let’s talk about how similar Garrett's three visual scales are to the Manticore’s 2-D graph. 

    The Manticore’s graph is far more complex. For instance, the shape of the target can determine whether the graph shows you a clean singular dot, or a splattered or leaky ink-blot. The more you swing over the target, the more the Manticore graph learns and shows you about that target. 

    At first glance the Vortex scales impressed me. Upon closer inspection however the Garrett Vortex only shows you dots. Dots that represent a single or multiple targets.  

    This gets confusing because Garrett shows how a single bottlecap can show dots both in the non-ferrous scale and the two ferrous scales simultaneously. This is supposed to let you as the user know that the target is more likely to be ferrous. 

    However, the Vortex can also show you a non-ferrous target like a nickel or dime, and nearby ferrous targets at the same time. 

    How is a user to know the difference? Without the more complex information the Manticore graph gives you (leaking, dripping, splattering) the Vortex scales are too vague to be certain whether you're looking at a ferrous target, or a good target with multiple ferrous targets around it. 

    I’m also confused about why the non-ferrous scale begins at TID 40 and goes to 99. The upper and lower ferrous scales being 0-39. In the VX5 the TID scale simply goes from 0-99.

    I’ll have to read into this more to understand what’s going on here because at first glance it would seem the VX9 compresses its TID scale by 40-points!

    Conclusion

    Overall we know the Garrett Vortex won’t even come close to competing with the Manticore and XP Deus 2, because Garrett didn’t intend to market it like that. 

    We have to wait to see if Garrett releases a more powerful and interesting machine, or if they are just trying to ride a buyer wave and keep their heads above water. 

     

     

    Next article Minelab X-Terra Elite Vs Xterra Pro Vs Nokta Score Series