In this review we’ll look at the Garrett ACE 300 metal detector.
We’ve compared value for money, features, ease of use and detecting ability
to give you our top recommendations.
In-Depth Garrett ACE 300 Review
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Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector Review
Garrett’s ACE 300 is Garrett’s middle-priced metal detector in the excellent ACE series. It replaces the discontinued ACE 250.
The ACE 300 is usually available for under $300. That doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on great targets though because it’s packing enough tech and features to uncover all metals in the majority of soil.
You’ll struggle with salt water, wet sand, and highly mineralized soils though as it’s a VLF machine without manual ground balancing.
If however you want a well-priced reliable metal detector with quality build this is the best around for the low-to-middle price point.
Features and Benefits of the Garrett ACE 300
All of Garrett’s ACE range has a simple easy-to-use control box with clearly labeled buttons.
The ACE 300 has mode, discrimination, and sensitivity buttons that work on a ‘plus and minus’ basis, and there’s a digital target ID that lets you know what you’ve found quickly and accurately without digging.
The digital target ID gives you a number from 0 – 99 depending on the conductivity of the metal.
Silver, for example, would register high on the scale whereas brass and iron much lower. Although it varies depending on the ground conditions you can usually tell the difference between coins just by reading the numbers.
This saves a lot of time spent digging for trash. And if you were wondering, gold would usually register between 40-60.
The ACE 300 has an adjustable frequency of 8 kHz and can be tweaked if you’re detecting with a friend (the best days) and your machines are singing a duet, or there are overhead cables interfering with the signal.
The ACE 300 has five pre-set search modes making it easy to search for your preferred objects.
They are no-discrimination, jewelry, coin, relics, and custom. You just press the button and toggle to ‘coins’ for example. The Target ID function will then stay silent when you hit a target with a different conductivity to coins.
There’s also enhanced iron resolution which means you can avoid junk in trashy areas but still pick out the good stuff.
I like custom mode on the ACE series because it gives ultimate control over searches and when the machine is turned off the setting is saved for next time.
Custom mode is great for bleachers and post festivals or sports events where drink cans are numerous – along with loose change and rings.
And putting jam on it – the ACE 300 has an electronic pinpointing function that works in non-motion all-metal mode. This will help you find exactly the right spot before you start digging or scooping.
The control box is not waterproof but the coil is, so you can put it in a few inches of water.
Just be really careful not to slip or drop it as that’s game over for your machine. Be wary of heavy rain and wet grass too.
As well as the graphics display for target identification high-quality audio helps you figure out what lies beneath.
Three tones indicate what metal you’ve found. High pitched noises mean its most likely a coin whereas low tones can signal a nail for example.
The Ace 300 comes with headphones that plug into the control box so you can really concentrate on the tones.
There’s ground balancing on the ACE 300 but its pre-set and you can’t change it.
I think fixed ground balancing is a good idea. It’s really intimidating in the early days and you’ll spend more time fiddling with the controls than experiencing the excitement of a treasure hunt.
In reality, plenty of experienced metal detectorists prefer fixed ground balancing too because it’s quite a faff to adjust it manually.
Where Is Best To Use The Garrett ACE 300?
VLF machines don’t like salt water, wet sand, and highly mineralized ground. This means you should avoid the beach unless you stick to dry sand.
When I say they don’t like it I mean they’ll emit constant false positives, chattering, and squeaking until you can’t stand it anymore.
If you want to search wet sand (and most objects are found on the tide line so it’s a good area to search) go for Garrett’s ATX.
Any other ground is fair game and this top-notch piece of kit will help you find all kinds of metal while ignoring the trash.
What Will The ACE 300 Find?
It’s going to find jewelry including rings, necklaces, and bracelets, coins, relics such as cartridges or belt buckles at a depth of up to 8 inches. Just pop on the correct search function for specific items or go full all-metal mode.
It will find gold jewelry but not nuggets as these are found in highly mineralized soils and you’ll need a pulse induction machine to cope with those conditions.
The ACE 300 comes with the 7 x 10-inch concentric PROformance coil. It’s a good choice because it has decent depth and wide-ranging discrimination capability.
This machine will also fit other coils in the ACE range such as the bigger 9 x 12-inch PROformance or the Super Sniper 4.5 inch coil.
No one coil is better than another, they just better suit your target preference and ground.
How The ACE 300 Compares to Other Garrett Detectors?
The 400 has better iron discrimination including an iron audio signal plus a larger search coil, but they all weigh the same and are similar to operate.
The ACE 300 has all the features of Garrett’s 150, 200, and 250 ACE machines with added target ID and more modes. It just lacks the top-notch iron capabilities of the ACE 400.
Other Important Bits
It’s easy to get bogged down in specifics when you’re looking for the best metal detector, but don’t forget these basic bits of information.
Weight and Length
The ACE 300 weighs 2.8 pounds and adjusts from 40 inches to 53 inches which is comparable with the rest of the ACE series and pretty lightweight even after a day swinging.
You’ll need 4 x AA batteries which can last up to 40 hours. I’d recommend keeping a spare set in your bag just in case.
There’s a two-year warranty on the ACE 300.
What Are The Cons of Garrett ACE 300?
This is a great machine for the price. It’s powerful and doesn’t empty your wallet with too many extra features.
I suppose the lack of manual ground balancing is a con but really for the beginner it isn’t going to be an issue. There isn’t any iron audio either. If lack of iron audio bothers you go for the ACE 400.
As with the ACE 400 the three-part stem is sturdy, but when a larger search coil is attached it can feel a little loose at the joins.
It’s not fully waterproof either, so one accident and you’re buying another metal detector.
I’d recommend Garrett’s ACE 300 to beginners and mid-level detectorists who aren’t bothered about iron audio or searching in wet sand and just want a good quality reliable machine that won’t break the bank.
It’s a great choice and you won’t ever be sorry you bought Garrett quality.