The Garrett ACE 250 is one of the most recommended metal detectors for beginners. It’s a great balance of price against features and performance.
This model is far more capable than common low-cost detectors, but priced well below professional detectors. With a list price of $250 (I’ve found it at 10-15% discounts) the ACE 250 hits a sweet spot. Often called a great detector for the price, this Garrett model includes features normally found only on much more expensive models.
This mid-priced metal detector is a relatively new series from Garrett, featuring some of their leading-edge technology. It’s rugged, and especially good for coin shooting (locating buried coins), with special indicators for American coins that are reasonably accurate. Although there’s a “relics” setting, this model is not especially good at finding the sorts ferrous metals you might look for at historical sites.
An ACE 250 is great for beginners. It’s affordable, but has the features you’ll need for serious hunting. This model is light weight and adjustable, so it’s also a good choice for kids and handicapped people. If you’re just starting out in metal detecting, it’s important to have patience and not get frustrated. You’ll need to spend a little time with the manual and playing around to learn this unit’s settings an sounds. Just remember, the more your learn the more you’ll find.
Garrett ACE 250 Specs
There’s 8 levels of sensitivity / depth adjustments, plus a coin-depth gauge. The 5 modes of detecting include “all metals,” “custom,” relics, jewelry, and coins. An additional pin-pointing mode helps you zero in on a target. The graphic target ID features 12-notch discrimination.
The 250 includes a couple of features you’d normally find only on much more expensive models. The graphic target ID gives you greater target in identifying targets, and the coin depth gauge speeds up target retrieval. The discrimination and sensitivity settings work well for the various targets, and the pin-pointer function works well up to a depth of about 8 inches.
These capabilities combine to result in a metal detector that’s especially good at finding coins (down to 7 to 8 inch depths). With a little learning and practice you won’t be spending a lot of time digging up junk or coming up dry.
The included coil is waterproof, so the ACE 250 is also especially good at the beach and in fresh water. Known for it’s ruggedness, this model comes with a 2- year limited warranty.
Nothing’s perfect, so lets talk about the limitations of this model. Although it’s great for coins, it’s not so great for some materials. The 250 isn’t so good at distinguishing relics from junk metal, so it’s not the best choice if you’re into hunting historical sites. Likewise this model isn’t as accurate or sensitive for gold. The audio output is rather limited (only a few different tones), but along with the display they get the job done. Garrett did make one stupid mistake – there’s no volume control! Though this doesn’t seem to present a problem for most people.
The ACE 250 is great for first-timers and casual hunters. It’s quite affordable and you’ll get a lot better performance than you would from a cheapie. You’ll need to provide your own headphone. Just about anything is ok, but over-the-ear types are best. It should have a ¼ inch plug, or you can get an adapter. You may also want a carrying bag. Garrett provides both these accessories for about $30 each, or you can go for the “Sports Pack” (about $90 more) and get these plus a few other goodies.
This model is easy to understand, especially with the included DVD and easy-to-follow instruction manual. Pay attention to the settings and the sounds you hear and you’ll quickly learn to tell the difference between junk and treasure. As one owner put it, if the Garrett ACE 250 beeps there will be something valuable there.