The Garrett ACE 300 is the perfect example of getting more for less. It has multiple features that puts it in a grade above most entry-level devices that intermediate hunters will appreciate, and yet its interface remains easy to use which is an advantage for beginners.
Included with the ACE 300 are headphones, a weather cover-up, and a coil cover. For under $300, this metal detector has great value for any hobbyist looking for better than average quality at a low price point.
At a Glance…
✔️ Best Feature: 5 Detection Modes
❌ Worst Feature: Factory-set Ground Balance
👌 Ideal For: Coins, Relics, Jewelry, Gold, Shallow Water, Beginners, Intermediates
- 5 Detection Modes
- Digital Target ID
- Iron Discrimination Segments
Our Verdict: For an entry-level metal detector, it has a few more perks than what can be found on competing, inexpensive models. At its price point, it’s one of the better buys that offers tons of value.
Who is the Garrett ACE 300 Best Suited to?
This ACE model metal detector is designed for beginners, but its upgraded features will satisfy the needs of the intermediate level hunter. Between its selective detection modes, its somewhat waterproof design, Digital Target ID, and Pinpoint features, it has a lot of potential to maximize surface exploration metal detecting.
It’s suitable for use in shallow waters, finding coins, jewelry, and relics, and it can also detect silver and gold due to its conductivity values that will be displayed on screen. The trick here in maximizing success is knowing how to interpret the data the ACE 300 provides. Fortunately for you, it’s rather easy.
How Does the Garrett ACE 300 Perform?
The Garrett ACE 300 metal detector is a Continual Wave single frequency device operating at 8 kHz. Its frequency is adjustable by four minor levels that is a feature the ACE 200 does not have. While you may not have use for this function, it’s convenient to have when power lines or other metal detectors in competitions start to interfere.
It’s a surface exploration metal detector that is rated to detect items at about 8” deep, but it has the potential to detect deeper depending on target chemistry and size, the soil, and your settings. However, due to its limitation of having factory-set ground balance, it may not perform well in high-mineralization environments. Used as its design intended, it’s a great all-round metal detector for many hobbyists.
Features & Benefits
5 Detection Modes
The ACE 300 has Zero-Disc, Jewelry, Custom, Coin, and Relic modes. Zero-Disc mode turns on all 12 discrimination pixels with no metal targets being eliminated. This will pick up all types of metals and can also help to identify good objects that are often hiding near trash ones. Custom mode is the only setting where you can save changes by adding or rejecting segments to further customize and increase success rates in finding your target object. While you can further customize Jewelry, Coin, and Relic modes, they will not save once your power down the metal detector.
Digital Target ID
This feature is one that separates the ACE 300 from many inexpensive metal detectors. It measures the conductivity of the target object and displays its value on the screen as long as variable factors allow measurement such as size, orientation, and depth of the target.
The scale ranges from 0-99 with the higher values indicating high conductivity such as gold nuggets, silver, copper, and large jewelry. Lower values represent low conductivity such as small jewelry, iron, and steel. Reading this scale will help the user accurately determine what type of objects are buried below.
Iron Discrimination Segments
While this model does not have the Iron Audio feature like the ACE 400 has, it does have an Iron Masking feature. Many times, iron trash items can “mask” the signal of an adjacent (next to/close to) good target. To avoid missing a valuable coin, you make use of this feature by increasing the iron discrimination that is displayed by the four segment bars on the screen. Make just enough of an adjustment to eliminate iron to detect the good target’s signal. You may find you’re picking up more coins and relics in old hunting grounds that you previously thought you had cleared.
You may not need to purchase a handheld pinpointer if you have an electronic one built into you metal detector. Pinpointers allow for fast recovery of items that you can’t precisely locate with the metal detector. Turn this mode on, listen for the loudest audio signal and watch for the greatest number of segments filled in on the Upper Scale. The Coin Depth Indicator will also give you an idea of how deep it is.
Well, somewhat. The shaft and searchcoil are waterproof, but the control box is not. You’ll only be able to search through shallow water, but if your control box accidently hits the water, you better pick it up fast.
Included accessories such as the weather cover-up for the control box protects your display and the searchcoil cover should be attached during use to further protect the coil against accidental damage.
Factory-set Ground Balance
When your metal detector gets noisy and there’s a lot of chatter in the background, you’ll have inconsistent and erratic signals. This interference can come from power lines, other metal detectors, high-mineralization soils, excessive metallic trash sites, salt, and even from cell phones. When this occurs, it’s important to be able to adjust ground balance, and unfortunately, this capability is not possible on the ACE 300.
While ground balance has been set at the factory and is unchangeable, Garrett hasn’t specified what the setting is.
Can the ACE 300 be Used at the Beach?
Although the searchcoil and pole is waterproof and submersible, the ACE 300 isn’t designed for saltwater use. However, some users have had success by turning down sensitivity settings, staying along the shoreline, and avoiding seawater from splashing on the coil.
This is not a weakness of just this model, but a weakness of all VLF single frequency metal detectors. While they’re not high-performance champions at the beach, they can help you recover some surface-buried treasures. If you plan on using it at the beach, be sure to rinse it down with water to remove mineralization from damaging the coil.
What are the Differences Between the ACE 200, ACE 300, & ACE 400?
Within the series, the 300 is the mid-range detector in quality between the basic, entry-level 200 and the higher-end, entry-level 400. The 400 has Iron Audio, 10 kHz frequency, and an 8.5” x 11” DD searchcoil.
The 200 is simplistic and basic in design with only one Iron Discrimination Segment, fixed notch discrimination, three search modes, four sensitivity adjustments, no pinpoint feature, and it operates at a 6.5 kHz frequency that is fixed. No official accessories are included with the ACE 200 from the brand, but there are multiple package buys from various sellers.
How Heavy is the Garrett ACE 300?
It’s a very lightweight metal detector weighing only 2.8 lbs (1.27 kg). Its length is adjustable from 40” to 53”. Small, average, and large persons will be able to wield the metal detector without issue.
Although its length is adjustable, it’s not a very travel-friendly device as you’ll have to take apart the shaft, disconnect and remove the coil, and basically, unassembled the entire unit.
The ACE 300 is certainly an upgrade from the ACE 200, and there are very few differences between the 300 and 400. While it may be the in the middle ground for the series, it has the most value for the money justifying it as a worthy buy.
With its Target ID, various detection modes, built-in pinpointer, and adjustable settings, it has more than enough for a novice to get started with. Combine quality and decent features together, the ACE 300 will keep an intermediate hobbyist interested and hunting for many expeditions to come.