Fisher Research 1266-x Metal Detector
By Joe Patrick
From Page 9
December, 1997 issue of Lost Treasure

About 15 years ago, a new type of detector was born. It was radically different and the word was out... it was a killer. It had extraordinary depth, but was very simple to operate the consumer demand that followed was unbelievable!

The excitement was in response to the new 1260-X metal detector from Fisher. Nothing, had ever looked, operated or performed like it before it was totally unique! Fishers 1260-X metal detector is easily one of the most innovative detectors ever designed and manufactured!

I find it interesting that during my many years as a dealer and detectorist, I have never taken a 1260-X in on trade, nor have I seen many used ones for sale. Apparently, most 1260-X owners have found no good reason to let their units go!

This says much about the quality, durability and functionality of its design. Perhaps this is the best and most sincere endorsement a detector can ever have... satisfied customers!


Riding on the hot success of the 1260-X, Fisher looked for ways to improve and add additional value to the extremely popular model. This was accomplished a few years later with the release of the 1265-X model. The most notable improvement, was the addition of a dual-range sensitivity control, which permitted increased levels of detection sensitivity when needed. Several other improvements were made including: crystal controlled frequency; increased battery life; higher frequency operation and Zero Motion pinpointing.

Several years later, the model 1266-X was introduced with even more refinement and it is currently Fishers latest rendition of the original 1260-X model.


I have had more than a few long-time, in the trenches detectorists tell me that they believe the Fisher 1266-X is the deepest-seeking detector they have ever used! Thats quite a claim!

Without question, the 1266-X is a deep-seeking unit that has many merits and has produced quite well for its users. In Civil War detecting circles, the 1260-X, 1265-X and 1266-X are almost legendary for their performance and finds. I know several coin and jewelry hunters who do well with them, and I even had a well-known water hunter once tell me how he had one installed in a water-proof housing, because he was so impressed with its performance that he wanted to use one while scuba diving!

What makes the 1266-X so well respected? Well, actually, its a combination of features, but the bottom line is basically: simplistic operation coupled with high performance DEPTH!


With the introduction of their original 1260-X in 1982, Fisher invented the now popular and universally used offset S-pole design. This design provides exceptional detecting comfort and excellent balance. Coupled with their oversized, padded hand grip and armrest, the feel of the 1266-X is quite good.

A no-twist, no-wobble, quick-lock fiberglass-reinforced lower stem is flat on one side, so your coil is always locked in perfect alignment.

A rear-mounted battery compartment, beneath the armrest, effectively counterbalances the units 3.9 pound overall weight. Two drop-in battery packs, consisting of four AA batteries each, powers the 1266-X. An onboard recharge circuit and jack enable optional NiCad batteries to be used if desired. Battery life is estimated to be about 45 hours using Alkaline batteries. A built-in battery test is activated by pushing and holding a front panel push-button. A strong audio tone is heard for new or good batteries, while a weak or no tone indicates the batteries need replacement.

The 1266-X has a unique dual-discriminator design that is selectable by pulling or pushing a trigger switch mounted just ahead of the hand grip. Two front-panel discrimination knobs control the desired discrimination level of the DISC 1 and DISC 2 circuits. In a typical detecting situation, DISC 1 is usually set low, perhaps just high enough to eliminate small iron and nails. DISC 2 is then set, perhaps, to eliminate pull-tabs. When a target is heard in DISC 1 the trigger is pushed forward and held which switches the unit to the DISC 2 setting. If the target is still heard, it should be retrieved. If it is not heard, it is most likely a pull-tab. This is a very simplistic example of how the dual-discriminator function works. With practice, you will find it to be most useful and effective.

At first it may seem commonplace, but, in reality, the dual-discrimination design enables some tricks not easily accomplished with other detectors. For instance, by using both discriminators you can control a single notch width that can be either extremely narrow and highly selective, or very broad. This provides a way to knock out a single type of target or a broad range of targets while still being able to pick up the desirable target(s) you are seeking. I must say, however, that it does take some practice and knowledge of the detector and target conductivity to use this feature effectively.

Pulling and holding the trigger-switch toggles to the Zero Motion pinpoint mode. I prefer this method of pinpointing, although it can be done in either DISC 1 or DISC 2" motion modes.

A front-panel dual-range, push-pull knob controls sensitivity to targets and soil minerals. This control is pulled out and rotated clockwise for normal operation in mineralized soil. For additional depth and sensitivity in non-mineralized soil, this control can be pushed in and rotated to the level of sensitivity desired.


Just recently, Fisher released a new 5 by 10 inch elliptical accessory searchcoil for use with their 1200-X series metal detectors. It is a concentric, coplanar design solidly encapsulated in a lightweight epoxy and is completely waterproof it has a very thin profile, yet is solidly durable!

The concentric coil design maintains excellent sensitivity and discrimination, while the elliptical electro-magnetic search pattern enables it to cover more ground per sweep and eases scanning in tight, confined areas. Another advantage of the elliptical design is its enhanced see-through ability to get between targets, ferreting out good targets amid trash.

I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of the extra ground coverage, as it has proven itself to me many times in the field. Some detectorists may not think a few more inches of ground coverage per sweep makes much difference...but it does! Remember one cant detect it if your coil doesnt go over it! Missing a target by an inch or two has the same effect as missing it by a mile its left in the ground for the next detectorist to find!

Fishers new elliptical coil is available with either a 3 foot or a 7 foot cable and is compatible with the 1225, 1235, 1265 and 1266-X detectors. The suggested list price is $95.


I visited several sites during my field test of the 1266-X and, in each instance, I was able to walk away with interesting finds. The 1266-X proved to be quite effective for coin, jewelry and relic hunting.

At my button field I dug over 30, old military buttons. Many at six to 10 inches deep! Also recovered were some Wheat cents, a sterling silver cruciform, some old printing press type, two pieces of Victorian jewelry, a 1902 Barber dime and a 1927 Mercury dime.

The 1266-X had the punch to pull a few more items from this hard-hit site. The dual discrimination settings required a little experimentation at first, but once I determined where the set points were for the various good and bad items, it was a piece of cake.

The audio signal (tone) of the 1266-X is also something I like. Fisher uses a proprietary circuit called Pulsegate Unipolar Audio Processing. This produces a mildly raspy audio signal that has high harmonic content sort of warmly fuzzy sounding. To an experienced operator, this type of audio helps convey a little more audio information about the targets composition, size and depth.


I have had a chance to use the 1266-X for several months now and find it to be one of the easiest, high-performance detectors I have ever used! It is well-balanced, comfortable to use and backed by Fishers 5-Year Limited Warranty. The 1266-X embodies typical Fisher quality overall...from searchcoil to armrest!

The suggested list price of the Fisher 1266-X metal detector with 8 inch Spider searchcoil is $550. Additional searchcoils and accessories are available.

For anyone who wants an ultra easy-to-use detector with exceptional depth capability, the Fisher 1266-X is a unit without comparison! It is uniquely in a class by itself!

For additional information, contact Fisher Research Laboratory, Dept. LT, 200 W. Willmott Rd., Los Banos, CA 93635. (209) 826-3292, FAX (209) 826-0416. For the Fisher dealer nearest you call 1-800-672-6731. To visit Fishers website, go to:
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