If you’re in the market for a new metal detector, the Garrett ACE 300 is certainly worth considering. It’s been designed with ease of use in mind, so even beginners should be able to start finding treasures in no time. But does it really deliver on its promise? Let’s take a closer look at this little machine and find out.
Initial thoughts on the Garrett ACE 300
The heir of the ACE 250 model, the ACE 300 is a fantastic entry-level VLF metal detector. The included features and accessories at the $317.59 price point is hard to beat. The pre-programmed modes let you start detecting right out of the box.
The added pinpoint mode will even help you save on the added investment in a handheld option if this is your first ever metal detector purchase. With the option to save a custom discrimination setting, you can hone in on your favorite settings as you learn and gain more experience.
If the ground balance was adjustable, I’d say this option would even be suitable for veteran detectorists. That being said, if you’re on a budget I think this model should still make your list.
This is not a detector for prospectors looking for small gold targets and particles. It’s much more at home as a casual coin, ring, and relic finding option.
Pros of the Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector
- Easy to use with simple controls
- Good range of setting adjustments
- Built-in pinpointer
- The ability to save a Custom discrimination mode
- A good balance of affordability and feature
- Storable headphones included with the detector
Cons of the Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector
- No Iron Audio
- Fixed Ground Balance
- The control box isn’t waterproof
Features of the Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector
The Garrett Ace 300 metal detector is one of the most popular detectors on the market. It offers features that are appealing to both beginners and experienced detectorists. Here are some of the highlights of this detector:
Digital Target ID
Digital Target ID is a process of classifying a target based on its conductivity. The Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector uses this process to identify targets in the ground.
The machine has two coils that are wound around each other. When electricity is passed through the coils, a magnetic field is created. This field interacts with the metal in the ground, causing a signal to be emitted.
The signal is then processed by the machine’s microprocessor, which creates a representation of the target on the screen. By comparing the signal to a database of known targets, the machine is able to identify the type of metal that is buried in the ground.
This information is then displayed on the screen, allowing the user to decide whether or not to dig for the target. Segment-based target ID is an essential component of metal detectors, and the Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector is capable.
This feature is one I often recommend to beginners getting a first metal detector. Pairing the visual target ID with audible tones can help you learn to distinguish metal types and targets more quickly by sound alone.
Enhanced iron check (better iron resolution)
The increased resolution allows for more precise control of how much iron discrimination to apply. This is very useful in areas where desired treasure targets are being masked by iron trash.
As a beginner (and for the rest of your metal detecting journey) you’re going to be digging a lot of iron and trash. Any help in this department is a welcome and recommended addition.
Adjustable Notch Discrimination
The Garrett ACE 300 comes equipped with 12 pixels of discrimination. This feature allows the user to select which types of metals will be detected by the device. By switching on or off certain pixels, the user can choose to ignore small pieces of trash or unwanted items.
There are two primary methods for modifying the Notch Discrimination Pattern. The first is to simply switch on or off the desired pixel. The second is to use the “notch” function. This function allows you to target a specific type of trash or unwanted item.
Coin Depth Indicator
The depth indicator gives you a quick visual of how deep a coin or a similar-sized target is in the ground. This model has a maximum display depth of 8” and shows depth in two-inch intervals. From both personal and second-hand experiences, this depth indicator is generally a dependable one.
Preset search modes
The ACE 300 comes with 4 preset discrimination patterns and one custom pattern that allows you to save a personal setting. There is also a pre-programmed pinpointing mode that lets you better determine the target’s location, helping to minimize hole size and speed up the process
The available search modes are:
- Zero (no discrimination)
The ACE 300 is covered under a 2-year limited part and labor warranty provided by Garrett from the date your purchase the metal detector.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Garrett ACE 300 waterproof?
The Garrett ACE 300 isn’t fully waterproof. It is equipped with a waterproof coil, but the control box where the processing chip is located isn’t waterproof. This is a limitation on all ACE services detectors limiting their usage to shallow streams and areas close to shore.
Is the Garret ACE 300 good for beaches?
While there are better options that are better optimized for wet conditions, the ACE 300 can be used on beaches and in shallow water just offshore.
To detect on a wet, saltwater beach you should look for a metal detector with ground balancing capabilities. This will help adjust for the sand mineralization and saltwater conditions that will cause more false-positive readings.
How much does the Garrett ACE 300 Weigh?
This detector comes in at a listed 2.8 LBS according to Garrett’s product page. Placing it on the lighter end of available options.
Videos covering the Garret ACE 300
This video provides a basic introduction to the Garret ACE 300, straight from the Garrett team. If you want a thorough video detailing the assembly, control, search modes, node discrimination, and more this is the best place to start.
One of my favorite YouTubers, Aquachigger gives a great introduction and comparison of the ACE 300 and ACE 400 models. If you’re torn between the two, this video is an excellent choice to help solidify your decision.
This is a second video from the Garrett team, in this one you’ll learn some of the basic tips to get the most out of your Garrett ACE metal Detector.
Garrett ACE 300 Owner’s Manual Links
If you really like to dive deep with your due diligence before making a purchase, Garret makes it easy to access the user manuals for their devices online. Below is a direct link to see the full details straight from the manufacturer.
Final thoughts on the Garrett Ace 300
After getting into the details of the Ace 300, it stands out as an excellent entry-level option for beginners and moderately-experienced detectorists. This is a straightforward, no-nonsense metal detector that keeps things simple to reduce costs while preserving as much performance as possible.
The 300 has all of the necessities you need to get started in an easy-to-use package without breaking the bank. It also has the features and setting controls to be a long-lasting addition to your toolset if you decide to pick up metal detecting as a long-term hobby.
After getting my hands on this device and the ACE 400, I personally favor the ACE 400 model. The slightly improved performance and iron audio set really complete the device and at the time of writing, you can find the ACE 400 listed online at a $40 markup above the ACE 300.
If you’re just getting started, I would still add this device to your shortlist. While it’s not the cheapest option, the added benefit of a custom node discrimination setting and a digital target ID are great quality of life features when you’re just getting started and iron audio isn’t an absolute necessity.
You’re getting a reliable, well-rounded entry-level detector that doesn’t cut out the quality of life features that can make detecting a more enjoyable experience.