If you’re new to the world of metal detecting, finding a suitable entry-level device isn’t always easy.
Cheaper models have less-than-stellar performance and are usually limited in features. Meanwhile, premium detectors cost a pretty penny and are decked out with features that are far too complex for beginners.
To learn about the hobby while still getting all the capability you need to find hidden treasures right off the bat, you need to find a good middle ground.
That’s where the Garrett Ace 250 comes in. It’s one of the most popular entry-level detectors on the market. It’s easy to use and has all the necessary features you need to get started.
With this Garrett Ace 250 review, we aim to break down everything this detector has to offer so that you can see why it’s a good fit for novice metal prospectors.
- Garrett ACE 250 Review
- First Impressions
- Beneficial Features
- Detecting Capabilities
- Pros and Cons
- Frequently Asked Questions
Garrett ACE 250 Review
Garrett has been around since 1964 and continues to pump out some impressive gadgets. It’s not just consumer-grade detectors that Garrett produces. Security professionals and military personnel also use the products.
The great thing about Garrett detectors, including the ACE 250, is that everything is made in the United States. There’s no need to worry about quality or support issues. The ACE 250 is a particularly popular detector in Garrett’s lineup. The brand set out to create a device that was approachable to newer enthusiasts while still providing respectable performance that seasoned detectors would appreciate. We’re happy to say that the brand was successful in that endeavor.
The ACE 250 has all the hallmarks of a good metal detector. It’s brightly colored, solidly built, and has a familiar shape that’s easy to use. Overall, the device is well-balanced. On one end, you have an adjustable arm cuff. The control box is located in the middle right above a padded grip.
Thanks to the placement of the cuff and control box, the device is relatively easy to handle regardless of your age and fitness levels. As if that weren’t enough, the total weight of the detector is only about 2.7 pounds.
On the end of the detector is an elliptical search coil. The oval-shaped coil is approximately 9 inches tall by 6.5 inches wide. It has better coverage than traditional round coils, making it a good option around dense vegetation or rocks.
Simple Control Box
One of the things we like most about this metal detector is its intuitive control box. You don’t have to be super knowledgeable about the art of prospecting to take full advantage of what the device has to offer. Thanks to a simple LCD screen and push-button controls, you can get the hang of things pretty quickly. The settings are all laid out in front of you, allowing you to experiment and see what kinds of adjustments can give you better results.
There’s a lot to like about this metal detector. It’s not hard to see why it’s often considered to be one of the best entry-level options on the market. Here are a few features that can make all the difference when you’re searching for hidden treasures.
On average, metal detectors can penetrate between 6 and 10 inches into the soil. The ACE 250 is no different. However, this model lets you know what you’re in for before you even start digging.
A simple depth indicator is located on the side of the control box screen. It will let you know how deep your target is in 2-inch increments. The lowest the indicator will go is 8 or more inches.
Graphical Target Display
There are several ways that metal detectors can identify targets beneath the soil. Typically, these machines analyze the conductivity level of the object to better gauge its composition. Things can get complicated pretty quickly, especially if the machine uses a numerical identification system.
The ACE 250 keeps things on the simpler side. It has a graphical target display, which uses 12 different segments of the conductivity scale. Just keep an eye out on the LCD screen as you prospect. The appropriate signal will light up to let you know what you’re looking at.
As we mentioned earlier, the Garrett ACE 250 has a sizable elliptical coil to cover more ground as you search. That’s not the only good thing about it! It’s also submersible. You can use the detector in a few inches of water without having to worry about damage.
It should be noted that the control box is not waterproof. Only the coil is protected. However, that alone will open up a world of possibilities on where you can search.
Once you find a target you want to dig up, the ACE 250 can help you hone in on the item. It has a built-in pinpointer. This highly sensitive feature gives you a better idea of how deep to dig, which direction to search, and more. It beats having to pay for a standalone pinpointer.
A metal detector is only as good as its detecting capabilities. While the features we went over earlier can do a lot to make your hunt easier, the following considerations will affect how the detector performs. Luckily, the ACE 250 doesn’t disappoint.
The ACE 250 is a VLF detector. VLF, or very low frequency, technology is an easy-to-use and good for finding most metals without any issues. Inside that elliptical search coil, there are actually two separate coils. One is a transmitter while the other is a receiver.
The transmitting coil is responsible for sending out a constant electromagnetic wave. Metal objects will interact with that wave by producing an eddy current, which is then picked up by the receiver.
This particular model runs on a 6.5 kHz frequency. It’s a suitable frequency for finding coins, jewelry, and other metals with good conductivity.
Multiple Sensitivity Levels
Sensitivity settings are a must-have when you’re searching for metals. Larger items will have no problem interacting with the electromagnetic waves the device produce. But what about smaller objects?
If you want to find small items, you’ll need to increase the machine’s sensitivity. The ACE 250 has 8 different sensitivity levels that you can adjust on the fly. You can fine-tune your search experience and make those difficult-to-find objects much easier to find.
Simple Notch Discrimination
Another good feature to have is notch discrimination. This feature allows you to ignore certain parts of the conductivity scale. It’s a good way to save time. Instead of picking up cheap junk metals, you can focus on those targets with value.
The cool thing about the ACE 250 is that it uses the graphical identification system from earlier to create quick notches. When you find an object, you can reject or accept it with a push of a button. Rejecting it will create that notch filter, ensuring that your detector won’t respond to other junk metals in the area.
Available Search Modes
Looking for only one type of metal? The ACE 250 has you covered. There are 5 different search modes available, which come with their own pre-set discrimination filters.
You can set the device to look for only jewelry, coins, or relics. There’s also an “All-Metal” mode with no discrimination. The final mode is a custom mode. You can set the discrimination system how you see fit and save your settings for easy reference.
Pros and Cons
- User-friendly control box
- 5 different search modes
- Graphical identification system
- Depth indicator
- Built-in pinpointer
- Simple notch discrimination
- Submersible search coil
- Adjustable sensitivity levels
- Comfortable to use
- No adjustable operating frequencies
- Not fully waterproof
- Limited target identification
- No ground balance feature
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the Garrett ACE 250 waterproof?
The Garrett ACE 250 has a waterproof search coil. You can search a few inches below the surface of the water. However, it’s not fully waterproof. See the list of top waterproof metal detectors.
2. Can the Garrett ACE 250 find gold?
This detector is capable of finding gold, but only if it’s large pieces. The 6.5 kHz operating frequency is too low to detect most gold objects. Gold has a lower conductivity rating than other metals, so detectors need higher frequencies to find it. Check out this list of the best metal detectors that detect gold.
3. How deep will a Garrett ACE 250 go?
On average, the ACE 250 can find average-sized objects that are up to 8 inches below the surface of the soil. However, you may be able to find larger objects that are deeper than that. This is especially true if you bump up the sensitivity levels.
4. Is the Garrett ACE 250 good for saltwater?
This detector does not perform well in saltwater. Saltwater has high mineralization, which this unit is not equipped to overcome. Plus, the water can cause noticeable oxidation issues on the search coil. If you are searching a metal detector for saltwater or beach hunting read this guide.
Metal detecting is something that should be accessible to everyone! However, most detectors have significant disparities between price, features, and user-friendliness. The Garrett ACE 250 aims to solve those issues by providing you with important features at an entry-level price.
The ACE 250 comes with great features like notch discrimination, adjustable sensitivity levels, and multiple search modes. These are all features that are normally reserved for premium devices that come with a significantly higher price tag.
As if that weren’t enough, the Garrett ACE 250 is built to be as user-friendly as possible. With its simplistic control box, easy-to-read LCD screen, and foolproof settings, the detector is a cinch for anyone to use.
Ultimately, Garrett has created a great entry-level detector. It’s a highly accessible option that’s perfect for novices. Instead of scaring away would-be prospectors with high prices and a bevy of complicated features, the ACE 250 makes it easy to start searching right out of the box. What’s not to like?Click here to check out the Garrett ACE 250 and see how great it is for yourself!