garrett ace 250To some people, metal detecting is a hobby, an adventure, or a way to make a quick buck. And who wouldn’t want to partake in an endeavor to look for buried treasure and other mysterious items that we may come across? It’s got everything for those who crave adventure, suspense, a mystery that collectively screams excitement.

Regardless, many people yearn for a metal detector for various reasons, which is why it’s a highly sought-after product. Who knows? Maybe you’re someone who wasn’t really into metal detecting because you never understood it but then grew fascinated once you did.

But while there are several metal detectors available in the market, it’s evident that not every metal detector is the same as the other when it comes to function, reliability, durability, and efficiency. That’s why we committed to proper research before we bought the Garrett Ace 250 metal detector. If you’re new to the whole metal detecting world yourself, then the Garrett Ace 250 is the go-to entry-level detector for you.

We’ve written an extensive interview to explain why the Garrett Ace 250 is one of the more versatile metal detectors that will offer more value for your money than you realize.

What Makes The Ace 250 Different?

The Garrett Ace 250 improved significantly from its predecessor, the Ace 150 model. This new rendition was designed to be both reliable, efficient, and treasure hunting, but more importantly, easy to use despite its several features. This is what makes the Garrett Ace 250 highly revered in the treasure hunting community.

Considering how much value it provides users with despite its relatively affordable price tag, it’s no wonder this metal detector has been one of the most sought-after and highly demanded detectors for so many years.

Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
122 Reviews
Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
  • Graphic Target ID cursor
  • Accept/Reject notch for specific target detection and to ignore unwanted items
  • Electronic pinpoint for easy target recovery
  • Sensitivity Control : Adjusts to 8 Levels of Sensitivity for Differing Ground Conditions
  • Continuous target depth indicator

Design

The Garrett Ace 250 is a VLF detector with an operating frequency of 6.5 kilohertz that targets beginners. The frequency is moderate for jewelry or relic hunting and excellent for coin hunting. Unfortunately, it’s much less reliable than the Garrett ace 350, so it offers less sensitivity.

And if you’re thinking about hunting for gold, forget about it as ACE metal detectors aren’t mainly designed to filter highly mineralized soils. Nevertheless, the brand is known for making top-of-the-line user-friendly metal detectors, and this detector is an excellent example of that reputation. And the product accomplishes this without compromising on any of the slew of features that it comes with.

Another excellent design feature of this detector is that it is extremely lightweight, weighing only 2.7 lbs yet very comfortable in use.

If we have one thing to critique the Garrett Ace 250 on, it is its cheap design appearance. But this isn’t that much of a big deal considering the low price tag that it comes with although not everyone will be welcoming of the detector’s dated black and yellow color scheme.

The Shaft

The Garrett Ace 250 comes with a remarkable ergonomic design in a 3-piece S-handle, which features an elbow stand/rest on one side, a 6.5 x 9″ elliptical coil on the other side, as well as a control box above the handle. The controls of the device are within reach of your thumb and finger for quick pinpointing and adjustments when you’re out hunting.

Interestingly, users can easily adjust the length of the handle, allowing it to range from 42″ to 51″.

Large LCD Display‌ ‌Screen‌

The Garrett Ace 250’s large 10-inch display screen is simple to comprehend in that it provides excellent accuracy for sweeping and easy functionality. And given the many features on the screen, it’s a bit shocking why the entire product isn’t priced higher than its official tag.

Some of the best features that you’ll find with this LCD screen include depth indicator, except/reject discrimination, a pinpointing ability, and five search modes. Needless to say, this is one metal detector that offers more bang for your buck that both beginners who can’t afford the more expensive models and experts would love to have.

Now let’s examine these features up close:

Garrett ace 250 ScreenTarget ID

Instead of a numerical targeting system, the Ace 250 comes with a visual target ID cursor comprising 12 segments. The screen also displays a legend informing users whether the target is bronze, silver, gold, or iron as well as an indicator that displays the size of the object.

Although this targeting method isn’t as accurate as a numeral option, it’s simple enough to let us know what we’ve found before we dig a plug out. The labels being larger makes it a lot easier for beginners to utilize than a numerical ID of 0-99.

There are also three levels of audio tone that once you’ve mastered, you won’t have to constantly monitor the control panel over and over again. For instance, iron’s tone is lower than some of the other metals, which when you use all-metal mode, allows you to discriminate between trash items from real items.

Discrimination

Discrimination is a crucial feature for many metal‌ ‌detectors‌ of today that enables users to differentiate between worthless items and valuable items. This is accomplished by turning off segments on the discrimination scale that are unnecessary and then save them into the memory of your device using the “custom” mode.

The DISCRIM pad works well along with the ELIM pad right below it. You can use the ELIM pad to darken or eradicate any of the 12 cursors. As one cursor stopped over each segment, users can either darken or have the cursor on each segment disappear by pressing the ELIM pad.

Unlike most metal detectors, the ACE 250 comes with 12 segments rather than just 5. This only makes searching for precious metals and treasures much more efficient and simpler. The Ace 250 excels in filtering out signals from unnecessary items by using the minus or plus buttons. However, turning off some trash signals isn’t really a good idea as you might end up missing real targets.

Search Modes

The Garrett Ace 250 comes with 4 pre-configured search modes with an additional mode that you can customize to your liking.

  • All-metal: users can detect metals that are both ferrous and non-ferrous. This means the mode reacts to anything that’s metal. It especially helps those who aren’t sure what item or material they’re looking for and will dig through everything so as to not miss but they’re on the hunt for.
  • Coins: this mode can help you look for coins that are made out of non-ferrous metals and ignore pull-tabs, iron trash and other types of items usually found during coin hunts. This option is ideal for hunting around for coins in parks as there’s usually a lot of trash to go through there.
  • Jewelry: if you’re on the hunt for valuable items like necklaces, bracelets, watches, and rings, then that’s exactly what this mode is for.
  • Relics: Unleash your‌ ‌inner‌ Indiana Jones with the relics mode by scanning for metals of low conductivity such as tin, lead, and gold. The only metal excluded from this mode is iron and that’s all.
  • Custom: this mode allows you to customize your own settings and then save them to use for later. If you’re somehow confused with all the settings, you can default them back to what they once were. To do that, just hold the custom button for at least 10 seconds and the device will revert back to the original settings automatically.

Pinpointer Mode

Besides the search most mentioned above, there’s another mode known as pinpointer that gives users a better reading of their target. This is especially helpful for beginners who are not that adept at using metal detectors as well as prevent them from damaging the target once they’ve located it and are digging it out.

When you use this mode, you will continuously receive signals from your target even when the coil stays still. This ensures accurate identification of your target. As you come near your target, the sound of the pinpointer increases and when this happens, you’ll notice the top row of darkened cursors also increase in signal strength. You can also detune the strength of the signal to identify the size of the object by letting go of the pinpoint pad, repressing it, and then hold on to it once the coil’s center closes in on the target’s center.

Given that the pinpointer is embedded into the device, you won’t have to worry about damaging any precious coin as you dig it out using a shovel. 

Sensitivity

Sensitivity is one feature that can either make or break your target. To experienced detectorists, it can either act as a friend or an enemy, like a double-edged sword. The general rule of thumb is that most metal detectors should run at the highest sensitivity settings possible, while still being able to operate smoothly. If the detective runs “too hot”, it can be bad for the performance of your device.

Control Pads

There are six control pads beneath the screen. The three upper ones are for Sensitivity, Discrimination, and Mode. the lower three are ELIM (discrimination), PWR (power) and Pinpoint.

Battery

The Ace 250 runs on 4 AA-size batteries that can offer you a run time between 8 to 10 hours, and 20 to 25 hours if you use new batteries. You can also use rechargeable batteries although this could impact the runtime just a little bit.

To save on money, you can use 1.2V AA accumulator batteries. However, the ongoing rumor around this is that it reduces the voltage supply, which in turn depletes the detection/sensitivity depth. This rumor isn’t actually true and this is because there are four segments in the battery charge scale. When we use accumulator batteries, the fourth segment is the fastest to go out, but the second and third stay on relatively longer than other batteries.

Audio

The housing of the device boasts an external speaker to pick up sounds of your potential target. Or better yet, you can use the ¼ inch headphone jack to insert headphones so you can concentrate on the sounds of your target and block out noises coming from surrounding areas. Sadly, the headphones are not included with the standard package of the device. Fortunately, other package sets include both headphones as well as a pinpointer among other things. Another disappointing aspect of the Ace 250 is that it doesn’t come with volume control. That’s why when you choose your headphones, be sure that they come with a volume control feature and a standard wire to avoid having your wires get tangled up.

The Coil

The Ace 250 is capable of locating targets that are both small and large thanks to its 6.5 kilohertz operating frequency. For smaller targets like a coin, the detector can pick up signals 10 inches into the ground while the depth for larger objects is 20 inches. And from what we can tell from our experience, users are able to enhance these values.

The search conditions mostly depend on the parameters of the soil in certain areas, how users can use their detectors to locate their targets and the oxidation levels of soils.

Ground Balance

Ground balance is another essential function required for metal detectors, and purchasers of the Garrett Ace 250 will find that this function is already embedded onto their devices. What’s more, is that this function is automatically activated when the device is turned on.

The only downside is that users are unable to adjust the settings of the ground balance and will have to accept the average soil mineralization value. Fortunately for beginners, this is a good thing as it isn’t necessary for them to fiddle with the settings of their metal detectors to get the results they want.

Although after some time, users would want to increase the performance of their devices and for that, they’ll want to adjust the settings of the ground balance.

There’s a small coil that comes with the device called PROformance and measures in at  6.5″ x 9″. Despite offering minimal performance and not offering anything special compared to more advanced models, it does result in successful hunts.

Pretty soon, users will start looking up how to improve their devices. To do that they’ll have to install a larger “DD” coil from another brand to upgrade the performance.

The case covering the coil is made of a special plastic that is resistant to impact and wear and is absolutely leak-proof as well. A sensor is attached to the control unit through a solid, elastic double braid wire. And thanks to a threaded‌ ‌screw‌ on the coil,  users can get a reliable connection with the detector’s control unit and promises no phantom signals when the coil strikes an object.

Price Of The Garrett Ace 250

As we said earlier, the Garrett Ace 250 is a relatively cheap entry-level metal detector that offers more value for your money due to some of the features that normally come with more expensive detectors. Features such as notch discrimination, depth indicator, and target ID are some that don’t come along with cheaper models. In short, what you have right here is by far the best-budgeted beginner-level product that can help you get acquainted with metal detecting.

Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
122 Reviews
Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
  • Graphic Target ID cursor
  • Accept/Reject notch for specific target detection and to ignore unwanted items
  • Electronic pinpoint for easy target recovery
  • Sensitivity Control : Adjusts to 8 Levels of Sensitivity for Differing Ground Conditions
  • Continuous target depth indicator

Performance‌ ‌In‌ ‌The‌ ‌Field‌

When it comes to performance, there are only a select few entry-level metal detectors that can match up to the capabilities of the Garrett Ace 250. And it’s not just the assortment of features that the more advanced models come with, but the simplicity of its use and the high sensitivity of the Ace 250 that turns a lot of heads.

But even though it’s impressive, it still isn’t enough to get one over on it’s more expensive siblings. Nevertheless, it offers good value for money and is great for beginners to get familiar with using a metal detector before moving onto the higher-priced models.

Cons Of The Ace 250

Not to take anything away from the Garrett Ace 250 when it comes to performance and price, but like every other device, it does come with its share of flaws and shortcomings.

Poor Coil

While the coil does it come with a pretty good pinpoint feature, and is stable at top sensitivity, it performs rather poorly in detection when it comes to depth and has a small scanning area.

That’s why, to increase the depth users need to purchase a larger DD style coil for better results in depth detection and mineralized soil stability. However, there are also downsides to those coils as they can reduce the accuracy of the pinpoint mode, increase power consumption and add more weight to the detector.

Battery Discharge

If the batteries discharge, false signals will be sent to The Ace 250. Users will be fooled into thinking they’re accurate readings when they’re not. You’ll know when there’s a problem when the metal detector still gives you a signal when you put it into the air. That should serve as an indication that you need to recharge the device. Furthermore, the batteries get half discharged, the detector will start losing its depth of detection by an inch.

Lack of Volume Regulator

Another issue with the Ace 250 is the loudness of the device, which can’t be adjusted due to the lack of a volume regulator. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to that and that is to use sticky tape to cover the loudspeaker. Either that or you can just get headphones that come with a volume regulator. This way, you can hear the signals better, and also save on battery life.

Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
122 Reviews
Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
  • Graphic Target ID cursor
  • Accept/Reject notch for specific target detection and to ignore unwanted items
  • Electronic pinpoint for easy target recovery
  • Sensitivity Control : Adjusts to 8 Levels of Sensitivity for Differing Ground Conditions
  • Continuous target depth indicator

Buyer’s ‌Guide‌ For Those Just Getting Into Metal Detecting

If you’ve just been introduced to the world of metal detecting, you need to be more informed about the type of metal detector that you wish to purchase instead of getting your hands on the first one but you set your eyes at a retail store.

A proper metal detector should at least consist of the following features:

1.   Coil Configuration

The coil is one of the most important parts of your metal detector as it controls several functions such as sensitivity, discrimination, and frequency. You also need to know that a coil should have the following configurations:

  • Concentric oil: while not good for mineralized soils, it does provide excellent pinpointing abilities.
  • Double-D coil: this is great for high mineralized soils and is great for high depths, even when looking for smaller objects.
  • Monoloop coil: this is for pulse induction metal detectors. Not suitable for beginners, but it is highly effective and efficient once you know how to use it.

2.   Coil Size

The size of the coil is directly proportional to the depth of your target. This means the larger your coil, the deeper it is able to scan surfaces for valuables.

3.   Discrimination

Discrimination is essential when you want to distinguish between a precious metal add a trash item. This mode saves you the trouble to dig up garbage and focus mainly on priceless gets like gold,‌ ‌silver,‌ ‌and‌ ‌relics.‌

4.   Ground Balance

Sometimes, you might end up detecting a small amount of worthless metal like iron which could interfere with its ability to look for jewelry and coins. But ground balance helps you bypass this dilemma. Ground balance comes in several types including preset, manual, automatic, and multiple.

5.   Technology

Here are some of the technologies that you need to familiarize yourself with when choosing a detector:

  • Very‌ ‌Low-Frequency‌ (VLF)
  • Multiple frequencies (MF)
  • Pulse induction (PI)

6.   Sensitivity

The feature simply lets you know how much your metal detector is capable of picking up smaller targets or rather how sensitive it is to those targets. This means you won’t miss your chance to look for tiny gold nuggets or priceless coins.

7.   Target ID

Target ID is a great feature that helps you differentiate between coins like a quarter, nickel, penny/dime, silver jewelry, junk/foil or even gold.

8.   Audio Jack

Most metal detectors consist of a jack that you can connect headphones with. This enables users to get rid of any background noise so they can focus only on the beeping sounds of their potential target.

Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
122 Reviews
Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Plus Headphones
  • Graphic Target ID cursor
  • Accept/Reject notch for specific target detection and to ignore unwanted items
  • Electronic pinpoint for easy target recovery
  • Sensitivity Control : Adjusts to 8 Levels of Sensitivity for Differing Ground Conditions
  • Continuous target depth indicator