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Is the Garrett ACE 200 any good?
The 200 is the little brother in the ACE series, but it has its own set of advantages to offer the beginner.
Namely, a few search modes, preset ground balance, and adjustable sensitivity.
To cash in on the entry-level market with a decent metal detector that doesn’t cost a lot, Garrett ACE is the series you want to explore.
To see what you can get that gives you a leg up in the field, here is what you need to know.
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: Price
❌ Worst Feature: Preset features
👌 Ideal For: Shallow Water, Gold, Silver, Coins, Jewelry, Relics, Beginners, Older Kids
Our Verdict: The ACE 200 features a few more features than what is available in the market’s current entry-level offerings. With its extra perks, it’s well-suited to the beginner who desires quality and accuracy in an affordable package.
Who is the Garrett ACE 200 Best Suited to?
The most affordable metal detector in the Garrett ACE series is the 200 model. It’s the most basic, and yet still powerful, metal detector that offers good performance features for the price.
As such, it will appeal to beginners and buyers who are looking for a first-time metal detector for their child. It’s not a kid’s toy as it does have more than average features that will require a learning curve. Beginners will also need to learn about what headphones and accessories they must buy to get detecting with their ACE.
Seasoned hobbyists may enjoy tinkering with the ACE 200 for its lightweight and no-fuss platform, but it will be limiting when it comes to detecting in various types of terrains.
How Does the Garrett ACE 200 Perform?
For a basic metal detector, the ACE 200 has some worthy features that makes it a viable and popular buy among beginners. It’s basic, but not without features that will help a beginner learn the ropes. It has preset settings that limits performance somewhat, but they make it easier for a beginner to use when detecting out in the field.
With its target scale, new hobbyists will learn how to read target IDs of detected items, will understand how different targets can have similar IDs, and will learn how conductive a type of metal is. These are preparatory skills that are required to make fine user adjustments in upgraded models.
It also provides good distinction between the three available tones for easy audio identification. With adjustable sensitivity, a beginner can understand how this feature can be used to improve performance in different terrains.
The ACE 200 is a starter metal detector, but it offers some good growth that a beginner can feel comfortable with without spending too much money upfront.
Features & Benefits
The ACE 200 falls right within the basic and entry-level market, so it won’t have the bells and whistles of one that costs twice as much. It may be worth spending a little extra for a model that features Iron Audio, notching, and included headphones like the Garrett ACE 400. But, even that model has preset ground balance as well.
For the price, your investment is going into the metal detector, so there are no accessories included in the buy. It is more expensive than other basic models in the market, but it has what they lack – digital Target ID, adjustable sensitivity, three search modes, and three tones. That’s a great price for what you’re getting in return.
Digital Target ID
What is Digital Target ID? This metal detector uses digital technology to display a set of numbers based on the item’s metallurgy, specifically, type of metal and conductivity. This provides the user with a fast and effective way at visually determining what the type of target is before it’s dug up.
Target ID is measured on a scale of 0-99. For example, iron targets will have IDs of 21 and lower. They will be associated with a low tone.
Is Target ID always accurate? The simple answer: no. Target IDs can vary depending on the size, depth, and orientation of the target. Small and thin pieces of metal are harder to pick up than larger items, so if in doubt, dig it out.
Three Search Modes
You do have the advantage of having three search modes with the ACE 200: Zero DISC, Jewelry, and Coins.
Zero Disc is an all-metal mode that does not have any discrimination, so it will sound off on all targets that are detected, ferrous and non-ferrous alike.
Jewelry and Coins modes have preset discrimination patterns that are designed to be ideal for finding these types of targets. They mostly ignore iron and other trash items like pull tabs and foil. However, some good targets often read and sound like trash targets, so they may be missed in these preset modes. If a target sounds off with an inconsistent tone, it’s best to go into Zero Disc and check it against your all-metal mode.
The ACE 200 offers three tones: low, medium, and high. It also works in tandem with Digital Target ID. Ferrous/iron targets with IDs of 21 and lower will have a low tone. Targets with low to medium conductivity with values of 21-80 will have a medium tone. High conductivity targets with values of 80-99 will have a high tone.
For as many preset features as you have on the 200 model, it’s nice that sensitivity remains adjustable. This allows you to crank it up high in ideal and quiet soils where maximum sensitivity allows for detection of very small and deep targets.
If ground minerals and electrical interference makes the ACE detector noisy and inaccurate, lower sensitivity to tone down the inaccuracies and chatter.
As an entry-level metal detector for beginners, it should come as no surprise that there are a couple preset features that can’t be adjusted.
Ground balance is preset at the factory which has the benefit of already being ground balanced for average conditions for most soils like parks and fields. However, it is not suitable for wet sand, saltwater, and the minerals detected while gold prospecting.
Another preset feature is notching. You cannot notch in or out certain types of metal. You do have discrimination on the ACE 200, so that will help to balance out the compromise.
What Accessories come with the ACE 200?
The ACE 200 is the only metal detector in the series that does not come with accessories in the standard package. However, there are various packages online that come with a few different things that allows ready-to-go metal detecting out of the box.
If you want to put together your own set of quality accessories, you will need to buy headphones, a pinpointer, tools to dig, a skid plate for your searchcoil, and maybe another searchcoil for covering larger ground.
Will the ACE 200 Find Gold?
The ACE 200 is a VLF single frequency metal detector with a fixed 6.5 kHz frequency. It’s not designed to detect gold as gold nuggets, flakes, and dust require a much higher frequency for detection. However, it can detect gold jewelry.
Is the Garrett ACE Metal Detector Waterproof?
The searchcoil and shaft is waterproof on the ACE 200, but the control box is not. It’s not designed for submersion or use in saltwater environments. It’s also best to avoid setting the detector onto wet grass as you don’t want water to enter the control box and damage the electronics.
However, careful detection in shallow water is not out of the question since the searchcoil is waterproof. If you’re clumsy, it’s best to avoid wet environments all together.
What Type of Headphones can be Used with the Garret ACE 200?
The ACE 200 has a ¼” headphone jack and only offers wired headphone compatibility. If your wired headphones have an 1/8” plug, you’ll need an adapter to fit it to the metal detector. Also, the ACE 200 does not have volume control, so be sure to find headphones that offer volume control to be able to adjust audio volume.
Does it have an Electronic PinPointer?
The 200 does not feature an electronic pinpointer mode. It takes technique and practice to acquire the skills needed to pinpoint with a searchcoil, and it may be easier to do this with a handheld pinpointer anyway. Since it does not have electronic pinpoint, it likely doesn’t offer static all-metal mode that you need to detect a target when the searchcoil is motionless.
The Garrett ACE 200 metal detector may be simple, but it offers more complex features for the price than its comparable competitors. Plus, Garrett metal detectors are made in the USA at their manufacturing facility in Texas. They use imported parts, but it’s assembled and goes through quality control in the United States.
If you’re looking to buy quality where you need it most, and you don’t mind buying the extra accessories you need, the ACE 200 should not only be on the shortlist, it should be at the top.