Your new Tesoro DeLeón metal detector is part of a new series of detectors designed to provide you with many happy hours of enjoyment in the most rewarding hobby I can think of—treasure hunting. Ahead of you lie fascinating and exciting experiences as you step into the past— uncovering artifacts lost by past generations, or as you take pleasure in the great outdoors with family and friends searching for precious metals. I wish we could share these experiences with you, and all of us at Tesoro wish you the best of success.

Your Tesoro detector is capable of meeting your needs in a wide range of treasure hunting situations. As with any other metal detector, familiarity with this instrument is probably the limiting factor in determining how successful you can be. I recommend that you read this manual and fully understand how to operate this detector before attempting to use it in the field. As you become more familiar with your detector through practice, your rate of success will increase dramatically.

The DeLeón is a precision electronic instrument that will last for years if properly cared for. Treat it right and it won’t let you down.


Your DeLeón was shipped with these parts:

1 Upper Pole Assembly

Fully assembled, including upper pole stem with handle grip, padded arm bracket and control housing.

1 Middle Pole Assembly With Pole Lock

1 ABS Lower Pole Assembly

Fully assembled, complete with two friction washers, mounting screw, and thumb nut.

1 9 x 8 Concentric Searchcoil With 3’ Cable

2 Battery Packs, Each With 4 AA Batteries

1 Velcro Arm Strap Set

1 Operator Instruction Manual

1 Warranty Card

If any of these items are missing, contact the Tesoro Authorized Dealer where you purchased your detector immediately.

Assembling the DeLeón is simple and requires no special tools. Just install the battery packs, mount the searchcoil on the lower pole assembly, connect the pole assemblies together, wrap the excess cable around the pole and plug the cable into the control housing. Finally, adjust the pole length and searchcoil angle and you're ready!


The DeLeón is powered by 8 AA batteries divided into 2 compartments, which are located in the armrest housing.

Open the battery compartment under the armrest by gently grasping the bottom edge of the door and pulling outward and upward. (The door is hinged at the top.)

Remove the batteries by pressing down on the right side of the 4-pack battery holder so that the left side of the holder will pop up. Pull out the holder and replace the batteries as needed.

When returning the holder, note the position of the spring clips the armrest housing and make sure that the battery pack contacts fit snugly against the springs. Insert the side with the contacts first and then down on the left edge of the battery holder to reseat the holder.

Snap compartment cover to close.

  1. On the lower pole assembly, remove the mounting screw and thumb nut from the pole tip.
  2. Insert the pole tip between the mounting ears of the searchcoil and align the holes of the pole tip and washers with those of the mounting ears.
    Note: The pole tip should fit very snugly into the mounting ears.

  3. Insert the mounting screw through the holes in the mounting ears and pole tip—entering from the side opposite the cable connection.
  4. Install the thumb nut on the mounting screw and tighten by hand.
    Note: Do not overtighten the thumb nut. It should be snug but not too difficult to loosen up.
  5. On the middle pole assembly, depress the two spring buttons and slide the middle pole assembly into the upper pole assembly until the spring buttons click into the holes, thus locking the two assemblies into place. Tighten the pole lock to secure the two assemblies together.

  6. Slide lower pole into middle pole until the spring buttons click into the first set of adjustment holes. Turn pole lock to tighten the assembly into place.
  7. Wrap the cable around the pole leaving enough slack near the searchcoil to permit searchcoil adjustment.
    Note: Do not allow the cable to flop loosely over the searchcoil. Since the detector is sensitive enough to "see" the tiny wires in the cable, a floppy cable can cause false signals as the searchcoil senses the moving wires.
  8. Plug the male cable end into the female connector on the control housing and tighten the cable thumb nut. You are finished!
    Note: You will want to adjust the pole length and the searchcoil angle to your preference.
    Note: We have included an optional Velcro arm strap with your DeLeón detector. To install, remove the backing on the two smaller hook patches and press firmly to sides of arm cup. Adjust strap to provide snug comfortable fit.


The pole length should be adjusted so that the detector does not become uncomfortable or tiring after long periods of use. The detector grip should rest in your hand with your arm relaxed, your elbow straight but not locked, with the pole extending out in front of you at the approximate angle shown in the photo.

You should be able to swing the detector back and forth in front of you—using relaxed shoulder movement—while keeping the searchcoil as close to the ground as possible. This swinging movement is often called a “sweep.”

The searchcoil should not touch the ground during your sweep. The pole length should be adjusted to allow this without having to lift the detector with your elbow or shoulder. The searchcoil should rest about one inch above the ground while you are standing erect. The angle of the searchcoil should allow the bottom to be parallel to the ground.

The pole length is adjusted by loosening the pole lock, then depressing the spring buttons and extending or shortening the pole until the spring buttons click into the set of holes that give you the most comfortable pole length.

To adjust the searchcoil angle, simply loosen the searchcoil thumb nut slightly and move the searchcoil into the desired position. Tighten the searchcoil thumb nut by hand so that the searchcoil will hold in place.


The Quickstart is designed to teach you how to use your new DeLeón. It provides a quick and easy means of learning your detector and the concepts behind all the functions.

You will need the following items:

  1. Your fully assembled DeLeón.
  2. An iron target (a small nail or screw will do), an iron washer, a nickel, a zinc penny (1982 or later), a quarter and a couple of different pull tabs.
  3. A nonmetal table top or counter.

Here’s what you will do:

  1. Check Display Readings in DISC Mode
  3. Perform Air Test in DISC Mode
  4. Adjust THRESHOLD
  5. Perform Air Test in ALL METAL Mode
  6. Perform BATT TEST
Prepare for the Quickstart

Place your assembled DeLeón on the nonmetal surface. Make sure that there are no metal objects near the coil and remove any jewelry from your hands and wrists.

Start with the controls like this:

  1. THRESHOLD, SENSITIVITY and DISCRIMINATE LEVEL knobs turned completely counterclockwise.
  2. MODE switch in the DISC setting.

Check Display Readings in DISC Mode

Turn the SENSITIVITY knob from OFF to about 2-3. In the first couple of seconds, you may or may not hear a slight hum that will fade away and the display will read TESORO, DELEON and DISC. As long as these three screens show up, you can be assured that your DeLeón has started up properly.

The Tesoro DeLeón is a Target Identification Detector or T.I.D. The most important feature is the 1 by 8 character display found on the upper half of the detector faceplate. At this time the only thing that should be showing in your display is the word DISC.

Pass any target over the coil and read the display. The information displayed is unimportant at this moment. After about 6 to 10 seconds, the screen clears and the word DISC will appear again. The DeLeón will clear the display screen after that amount of time so you will be able to visually see a target even if you do not get an audio response. You may want to take some time to try this out.

As you wave the targets, you will notice that the display has three key areas that contain information: the Coin Depth indicator, the 5 segment bar graph area and the 2 digit ID Number. All of the different areas will be used together to determine the most likely identification of the target while it is still in the ground. As you practice, please note that different distances from the coil, orientation of the target and width of sweeps or passes over the coil may produce a variety of slightly different but distinct display readings.

NOTE: A target identification detector is never 100% accurate. If you get a strong positive audio signal when hunting, dig it, no matter what the display shows. Digging the good audio/bad display target will result in better finds over the long run than ignoring those signals.

Starting from the left-hand edge, you will find the COIN DEPTH indicator. This section will let you know the approximate depth of the target. The next section is a 5 segment bar graph. It will show all of the information that the detector saw during the entire coil sweep. Full sweep information is helpful in determining possible treasure/trash masking and odd-shaped iron. The last section is the ID NUMBER. The ID NUMBER shows the peak part of the signal as a two digit number from 0 to 95. Iron reads as 0 and copper and silver coins read 95. All other targets will read somewhere in-between. Take some time to try all your targets and notice the different readings that you get.

The best distance from the coil is somewhere between 4 and 8 inches. If you get closer, you will notice the display will show a series of arrows pointing upwards or the words "LIFT COIL." Either one of these display readings indicates that there is too much signal for the microprocessor to handle properly. When the arrows are showing, the display will show as much information as it possibly can. Once the overload is too great, the display will show "LIFT COIL." Moving the target away from the coil will result in a more accurate reading. When using the DeLeón in the field, lifting the coil will accomplish the same result.

Below are some of the possible readings from various targets. These are not exact and your machine may read slightly different. Take the time to learn the readings and responses for your machine, both in the air test and in the ground.

Small Iron Target (Screw or Nail): You may or may not get an audio signal depending on the size and shape of the target. However, you will get a meter reading.

Iron Washer or Odd-Shaped Iron: Odd-shaped iron targets or iron targets that have holes can fool many machines. As it starts to pass under the edges of the coil, it produces a signal that looks like a silver coin. But as it nears the center of the coil, the signal shifts to a more traditional iron signal. Notice the following two illustrations. In the first, the bar graph shows a small peak in the silver bar and the ID number reads 0. In the second, the bar graph shows iron but the ID number reads 85.

The thing that both of these illustrations have in common is that various segments of the display do not "agree" with each other. This is a sure sign that you are detecting an odd-shaped piece of iron. Notice on the rest of the illustrations that the bar graph and the ID number show about the same information. When the ID number and the graph "agree," you can be sure that your DeLeón is receiving a clean signal.


The all metal circuit uses a single channel to detect various metals. The discriminate circuit uses two different channels, then amplifies and filters them. The detector will then compare the signals and determine whether or not to beep at the target. While there is a great advantage to ignoring unwanted targets, it can make the circuitry more susceptible to interference. A number of outside conditions such as power lines, highly mineralized soil, and wet salt sand can cause interference.

The SENSITIVITY knob is used to raise or lower the power to the operational amplifiers, which changes the gain. Gain is a measurement of how much a signal is amplified. The higher the gain the more depth and sensitivity to small objects a detector has. Unfortunately, any small interference that is amplified can cause the detector to become erratic. The SENSITIVITY control is used to find the best gain setting in any location without letting the detector become unstable.

The SENSITIVITY knob is numbered from MIN to 10 and then has an orange area called the Max Boost Zone. For normal hunting, anywhere in the numbered zone will work very well. However, the Max Boost will allow you to increase the power to the operational amplifiers to the point of overload. This may cause your detector to become unstable and force you to turn the SENSITIVITY knob to a lower setting. An overload situation will not hurt your detector, but it will maximize the gain that is used by your detector. This can, in certain conditions such as low mineralization in the soil, cause your detector to penetrate deeper into the ground and become more sensitive to small targets.

Take some time to try waving targets in front of the coil with different sensitivity settings. Notice that the higher the sensitivity setting, the farther away from the coil that a target can be and still respond with an audio signal.

Perform Air Test in DISC Mode

The Discriminate Mode is used to filter unwanted targets from good targets. The principle behind this is pretty simple. The detector sends out a signal and then receives it back creating a small electronic field. As metal passes through the field that the detector generates, it causes a change in the received signal. The amount of change that each type of metal causes is fairly constant; therefore, we can tune our detectors to miss targets that we don't want to find. The change is based on the amount of conductivity of each target type. The general list of conductive targets is as follows: iron, foil, nickels, gold jewelry, pull tabs, screw tabs, pennies and silver coins starting with dimes and working up to silver dollars. This is very easy to visualize using the bar graph. This list is meant to be a guide only. There is a point that some pull tabs, nickels and gold jewelry overlap. Also, the depth of the target and its orientation in the ground can change the received signal. A coin that is flat to the coil will produce a better signal than a coin that is on edge. Take some time to try different combinations of depths and orientation of your targets and find out how your detector responds.

We are now ready to discriminate targets from each other. We will start with the DISCRIMINATE LEVEL at MIN. Please notice that the DISCRIMINATE LEVEL knob has words that correspond to the items that are discriminated out. While performing the Air Test, notice that your DeLeón will continue to display target data for items that do not respond with an audio signal.

All of your targets, except the small iron, will respond with a good audio signal at the MIN setting. Next, we will turn the DISCRIMINATE LEVEL up to the 5¢ setting. This level is high enough to knock out the nickel. At this time the iron target and the nickel should give no response, while most of the pull tabs, the zinc penny and the quarter will give a solid response. The iron washer may fall out at some point or may give a choppy signal all the way up to MAX. But reading the display should give you the indication that it is odd-shaped iron. Next, turn the DISCRIMINATE LEVEL knob just past the PULL TAB marking. At this time most or all of the pull tabs should not give any audio signal. The zinc penny and the quarter should give a strong signal. Now, roll the DISCRIMINATE LEVEL all the way to MAX. Notice that the penny has stopped responding and only the quarter is still responding. The discrimination will not go high enough to lose most of the silver coins.

This Air Test was designed to quickly show you how your Discriminate Mode works. Each machine may be a little different from all others, so you may want to take some time and try different targets to find the responses of your machine. At a later date, you may want to build a test garden to test your detector in the field.


Flip the MODE switch to the center position. This will put your DeLeón into the ALL METAL Mode. The display screen will show AM. This is the indication that you are now in the ALL METAL Mode. The ALL METAL Mode is used to pinpoint. The DeLeón uses a factory preset ground balance in both the DISCRIMINATE and ALL METAL Modes. This should work fine for most hunting conditions.

To adjust the threshold tone, turn the THRESHOLD knob clockwise until you hear a slight but steady tone. You will have to turn the knob to somewhere between the 10 o'clock and 1 o'clock position to get the best hum.

In the field, some targets may be small enough or deep enough that they will not be able to generate an audio signal by themselves. By monitoring a threshold, you already have an audio signal so changes in volume will be easier to hear. However, if the threshold is set too soft or too loud, small changes in the signal will be hard to hear. Take some time to find the threshold level right for you.

Perform Air Test in ALL METAL Mode

Once you have set the correct threshold hum, you are ready to perform an Air Test in the ALL METAL Mode. Your DeLeón has a VCO style ALL METAL Mode. You will find that as targets get closer to the coil, the threshold tone will get louder and higher in pitch.

Try waving your targets in front of the coil. Start from a distance of 10 to 12 inches away from the coil and slowly work your way closer to the coil. Then try starting from 6 inches away from the left or right of your coil and work your way to the center of the coil. Notice the changes of the audio signal. Your strongest signal will always be closest to the center of the coil. Additional information can also be learned by the signal strength and pitch. A smaller or deeper target will give a less noticeable change in the threshold than a larger or more shallow target will give. Take some time and try all of your targets at different depths to find out how your detector sounds.


Push the MODE Switch to the left most position marked BATT TEST and hold. This will activate the battery test. Release the switch and notice that it is spring loaded and will snap back into the center position. Press the switch back into the BATT TEST position and read the display screen. With fresh batteries, all eight of the display segments will show up. As the batteries lose power, fewer and fewer segments will show. When the batteries are close to failing, the display screen will show the words VERY LOW. It is highly recommended that you change your batteries before the VERY LOW appears on the display screen.


Congratulations, you have just finished the Quickstart for your new DeLeón and in the process have learned quite a lot about your detector. But experience is the best teacher. I would recommend that you get out and practice with your DeLeón as much as possible. Any time spent using your detector will give you valuable experience.


Handling Your Detector

The detector should be held in a position that is comfortable for you as shown in the "Adjusting The Pole & Searchcoil" section in GETTING STARTED. Swing the detector from side to side in about a three foot arc, overlapping succeeding strokes. This motion is called a "sweep." The DeLeón was designed to get maximum depth without the frantic pace required of earlier motion detectors, so go at a pace that is comfortable for you. In fact, trying to hunt too fast may even cause a loss of depth in heavily mineralized locations.

Regardless of which mode you are using, try to keep your searchcoil height constant and close to the ground. Most people tend to raise the coil at the end of a sweep—much like a pendulum—especially if they are in a hurry. Try to avoid this as any increase in height from the ground will cause a corresponding loss of depth.

In areas with well-kept lawns, the easiest way to maintain a constant searchcoil height is to allow the coil to rest on the grass as you sweep from side to side. In rough and rocky areas, it is best not to "scrub" the coil on the ground, as the rocks will act like abrasives and wear away the coil bottom (an optional coil scuff cover will protect against this). Sweep the coil as close to the ground as possible without touching. Hitting the ground or rocks may cause a false signal, much like a desired target would. Sweeping the coil too high above the ground results in a loss of depth.

Pinpointing a Target

When pinpointing a target, the All Metal Mode can offer advantages over the Discriminate Mode, such as no false signals and no need to move the searchcoil to get a target response.

A good method for pinpointing in All Metal Mode is "X-ing" the target with the searchcoil. Remember that the target's response sound is always greatest when the target is directly under the center of the searchcoil. To "X" a target, sweep the searchcoil over the target from side to side and then from front to back until you can identify the center of the X— the spot on the ground where the target response sound is the greatest.

Pinpointing a target in Discriminate Mode is probably best done by "X-ing" as well. Remember that the detector will beep just as the target passes under the center of the searchcoil. Slowing the sweep speed down will help you pick out the center of the X, but remember that the searchcoil must always be moving slightly for target detection.

Another easy method is to sweep the coil from side to side across the target in very short sweeps as you slowly move forward and backward across the target. Slow down the sweep rate and shorten the sweeps until you just barely get a response at one spot. The target will be directly below the coil center at this response time.

Another method of pinpointing in Discriminate Mode is to quickly change to the All Metal Mode to check the target response. Remember that the All Metal Mode is not susceptible to the false signals of the Discriminate Mode and can sometimes give a clearer and more consistent response to difficult targets such as a dime buried next to a pull tab. By switching back and forth between modes and comparing the target response sound in All Metal to the target response sound in Discriminate, you can often better identify the likely location of the target.

Finally, raising the searchcoil during pinpointing can also help by narrowing the response to the target. Practice pinpointing often, and you will soon become more accurate and faster.

Planting a Test Garden

To better learn how your detector will perform in the field, it would be helpful to bury some coins and trash metal junk items in an area that you know is clear of other metal objects, and then try the DeLeón in the All Metal & Discriminate Modes. Check the area in All Metal Mode to be sure it's clear of trash. Then bury the targets at least 1 foot apart and from 2 to 4 inches deep to start. Make a map of the area to be sure you know what each target is and how deep it is. Practice on these targets to familiarize yourself with your detector’s target response. This will also help you learn the proper sweep speed for best operation. This type of practice area is often called a "test garden" or "test bed" and is one of the best tools to help you develop your metal detecting skills.



Basic Care

The DeLeón is a sturdy instrument, but it is not designed to withstand abuse. In caring for your DeLeón there are several important "DO NOTs" to remember. DO NOT use it to pry rocks loose or to beat bushes out of the way. DO NOT drop the machine into water. DO NOT use it unprotected in the rain. DO NOT leave it exposed at night where dew could form on it. DO NOT store it in places that could get extremely hot (next to a woodstove, in an attic). DO NOT leave it in the trunk of a car or in the back of a hatchback-style car where high temperatures could build up. DO NOT store it with the batteries installed as batteries may leak. DO NOT spray lubricants such as WD-40, or any type of cleaners, solvents, sealants or other chemicals into or onto the electronic parts, switches or controls. And finally, DO NOT attempt to modify or repair the detector’s electronics as this will void your detector's warranty.


Protecting Your Investment

Often detectorists are disappointed when their new detector slowly becomes less and less responsive and seems to have lost some of its original peak performance. You can help avoid this from happening to your detector by following these basic care and protection guidelines:


Tesoro metal detectors and genuine Tesoro accessories are sold only through independent Tesoro Authorized Dealers, who are almost always metal detectorists themselves. They can answer your questions about your Tesoro detector, what accessories may be helpful and about metal detecting in general.

See your Tesoro Authorized Dealer for more information and prices on optional accessories.

Scuff Covers

We highly recommend using a scuff cover to protect your searchcoil at all times. The scuff cover for the DeLeón fitted with the 9 x 8 searchcoil is Tesoro Part # SCUF-9x8.


The 9 x 8 concentric searchcoil provided with the DeLeón is designed for best all-around performance. Optional searchcoils may add to your detector's performance. See all the accessory coils.

Smaller searchcoils give better "target separation"—that is, more distinct target response for metal objects buried closely together—which is very useful when hunting trashy sites. Very small searchcoils can deliver the best response and depth to small targets such as fine gold chains with some sacrifice in depth on larger objects. Larger searchcoils give a wider sweep, covering more ground, and provide greater depth especially on larger objects; however, they may not detect some very small objects such as half dimes and will have difficulty in very trashy areas.

Wide scan searchcoils ignore ground mineralization better than concentric searchcoils and may offer improved performance in extreme ground conditions.

Selecting the right optional searchcoil depends on factors such as what you are searching for and search site conditions. No one searchcoil is better than all the rest. Several optional interchangeable searchcoils are available for the DeLeón. They are all easy to mount and require no special tools. See the coils section for a list of these searchcoils with the Tesoro part # and description.

Optional scuff covers are also available for any Tesoro searchcoil.


Most metal detectorists prefer to use headphones instead of the detector's built-in speaker. Headphones help block out background noise (such as wind) and make it easier to hear faint signals. Headphones with a builtin volume control will allow you to adjust the sound volume to your preference.

Operating Frequency 10 kHz
Searchcoil Type Concentric
Searchcoil Size 9 x 8
Searchcoil Family Epsilon
Cable Length Approx. 3’
Audio Frequency Approx. 350 to 950 Hz
Audio Output 2¼" speaker and headphone jack
Headphone Compatibility ¼” stereo plug
Weight (may vary slightly) 2.98 lbs.
Battery Requirement Eight AA (alkaline)
Battery Life (typical) 10 to 20 hours
Optimum Temperature Range 30° to 100° F
Optimum Humidity 0 to 75% R.H.
Operating Modes No Motion All Metal
Silent Search Discriminate

Metal Detectorist's Code of Ethics

  1. Always check federal, state, county and local laws before searching. It is your responsibility to "know the law."
  2. Abide by all laws, ordinances or regulations that may govern your search and the area you will be in.
  3. Never trespass. Always obtain permission prior to entering private property, mineral claims, or underwater salvage leases.
  4. Do not damage, deface, destroy, or vandalize any property, including ghost towns and deserted structures, and never tamper with any equipment at the site.
  5. Never litter. Always pack out what you take in and remove all trash dug in your search.
  6. Fill all holes, regardless how remote the location. Never dig in a way that will damage, be damaging to, or kill any vegetation.
  7. Do not build fires, camp at or park in non-designated or restricted areas.
  8. Leave all gates and other accesses to land as found.
  9. Never contaminate wells, creeks, or any other water supplies.
  10. Be courteous, considerate, and thoughtful at all times.
  11. Report the discovery of any items of historic significance to the local historical society or proper authorities.
  12. Uphold all finders, search and salvage agreements.
  13. Promote responsible historical research and artifact recovery and the sharing of knowledge with others.


Your Tesoro metal detector is covered by a Lifetime Warranty, the terms of which are listed below. If your metal detector should require service, you may return it to the Tesoro factory at the address below.


This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may have other rights which vary from state to state.

This instrument is warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship as long as it is owned by the original consumer purchaser. This warranty is not transferable and is valid only if the warranty registration card has been completed and mailed within 10 days of purchase.

TESORO will, at its option, repair or replace any instrument covered by this warranty, without charge, except for transportation charges, at its factory in Prescott, Arizona.

This warranty excludes batteries, damage caused by leaky batteries, cable breakage due to flexing on body mount units, and wear of the searchcoil housing. Also excluded are instruments which have been abused, altered, or repaired by an unauthorized party.

Under the copyright laws this documentation may not be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of Tesoro Electronics Incorporated, except in the manner described in this documentation.
© 2001 Tesoro Electronics Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States.

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