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Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review

Garrett ACE 150 Metal Detector2022 Review

Metal detecting is a great hobby for kids. Not only does it improve concentration levels, but it also encourages them outside to exercise in the fresh air and that’s certainly something all parents are angling for.

But there’s a problem with metal detectors aimed at children – they are toys without the capability to sort trash from potential treasure.

Constant signals that yield nothing lead to boredom and a toy metal detector that ends up in the shed, and then the tip.

On the flip side, there are pricey metal detectors that require delicate handling and no parent wants to hand their child an expensive piece of kit only to see it broken or abandoned.

A good middle ground is the Garrett ACE 150. This piece of kit is a bank account-friendly metal detector from an excellent brand.

I tried out the ACE 150 with my ten-year-old who was keen to find some treasure. We found that the pre-set modes were easy to understand and the more advanced bits were interesting enough to keep his attention,

Here’s our review of the kid-friendly Garrett ACE 150.

Garrett ACE 150 Metal Detector Review

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Ease of Assembly
    Design
    Beginner Friendliness
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4.6

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Our Verdict of The Garrett ACE 150 Metal Detector

I’d recommend the Garrett ACE 150 for kids and adults looking for a cheap starting out metal detector. It’s great value and counts where it really matters – it’s easy to use and finds metal stuff!

It can be difficult to drag kids outside for fresh air, especially when they hit the later years of primary school and into secondary. The lure of their games console is almost impossible to resist, but a metal detector tempts kids outside and for that reason alone The Garrett 150 is worth the price.

We’ll be heading out again soon to find more treasure and leave Fortnite behind.

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Ease of Assembly

Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review-assembly

Max says

I found it fun to put the metal detector together. It was easy to find where the search coil went and where the wires plugged in.

My hands weren’t strong enough to push the washers in all the way so I needed some help and the cable tie was annoying. Otherwise, it was fun to make and the instructions helped a lot.

I like having my own detector and enjoyed putting it together by myself. After I used it, I took it apart and put it back in the box for safe-keeping.

Design

Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review-design

The Garrett ACE 150 is the lowest priced in Garrett’s range but the overall design is the same as their pricier models.

It’s excellent that Garrett puts as much effort into their cheaper metal detectors. As far as I can tell the materials are the same as the more expensive Garrett 250.

1.2 kgs are all this detector weighs and that was great for Max who was able to swing it around for hours without getting tired. It has a padded armrest, padding around the grip and ergonomic design that keeps its components well balanced.

The ACE 150 runs on a 6.5 kHz frequency, the same as the 250, which is a good frequency for coins, jewellery and relics. It’s a bit low for gold, but it will still pull metal objects from the ground as we found out very quickly.

4 x AA batteries are needed to power up which are housed in the control box and easily accessed in the usual way.

The coil is a top-of-the-range 6.5 x 9 inch PROformance coil which is surprising for the cheapest in Garrett’s armoury. It’s possible to upgrade the coil at a later date if your kid really gets into detecting but for beginners (and way beyond) this coil is enough.

The coil is waterproof which is essential here in the UK, but the control box is not. You’ll need to take care in the rain and be sure it’s not dropped in a lake or stream.

I was worried the control box might be a bit difficult for Max to navigate but he said ‘Don’t be stupid’ and just flicked through all the settings like it was his PlayStation menu.

There are 3 buttons (3 less than the ACE 250) and we found that was more than enough information for a ten year to work with.

The buttons are the modes, the sensitivity, and the power on/off. Coin depth, your current mode, and discrimination (what you’ve most likely found) are also displayed.

One gripe is that it’s not backlit which was annoying when the sun came out, but its LED display is shielded by a plastic lip which helped keep most of the sun at bay.

Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review-lcd-screen

Max says

I love this detector. It looks really cool like Bumblebee and like it’s for pros – not a toy for babies. I felt like I had a mechanical arm which pulled me into wanting to use it more. I really like that there are only three buttons and it’s not hard to figure out.

Overall the design was cool and I had fun looking for coins. My arm started to ache after a while, but it wasn’t that bad and not enough to make me stop detecting.

Beginner Friendliness

For kids and beginners, the Garrett ACE 150 is a great choice not least because it’s ready to go without the need to read lots of manual pages.

Kids will appreciate its touch-and-go aspects. Max simply pressed the power button, selected coin mode, and was off down the road searching for money.

Instant results – that’s what keeps a kid interested off the bat!

There are three factory pre-set modes that enable instant hunting. They are:

All Metal – Picks up everything metal

Coins – Picks up metal coins– but drink can tabs too

Jewellery – Picks up metal jewellery is often made from but no iron.

The mode button scrolls through these 3 modes. It’s incredibly simple to understand.

The modes work because the detector is capable of filtering out certain metals. So, its coin mode concentrates on metals that coins are made from, jewellery picks up more precious metals and the all-metal mode rather obviously picks up everything.

Other items displayed on the LED screen are the power button and the sensitivity button.

Max picked coins mode but wasn’t getting many signals in the woods, so he swapped to All Metal and got enough signals to keep him interested for over 2 hours.

On his first trip out, Max wasn’t bothered about the sensitivity button preferring to hunt for coins on the pre-set. On our second trip to the woods, where there were fewer signals, he started to play with the sensitivity, turning it up until it squealed and then down just enough to stop it from making a constant noise.

There’s also a coin depth feature that tells you how far down to dig. It has 2 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch, and 8 inch plus markers. This is handy because it kept mess to a minimum and ensured we weren’t digging more than needed (it’s hard work!).

Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review-ease-of-use

Max says

It’s really easy for a ten-year-old to use!

It doesn’t have many buttons and has an easily understandable screen. I can move the detector up and down and side to side slowly to find lots of treasures.

It’s not as hard to understand as mum’s detector which is a Garrett ACE 250 with lots more buttons.

You can put headphones in it, but if you don’t it will still make a beeping noise so you can find treasure.

I was worried about getting it wet because it is not waterproof and the grass was damp. If I take it to the beach, I will be really careful and keep it dry.

Performance

Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review-performance

We took the Garrett ACE 150 into the garden so Max could get used to its settings. I threw a few coins around for him to find.

What was immediately obvious were the tones. There are three different tones that indicate the type of metals you’ve found.

Low tones are iron, higher for coins and my wedding ring pinged the highest tone. The tones were helpful because it meant Max didn’t have to look at the screen so much, relying on the dings instead. A good target produced a double ding.

Onward to the football fields where he found several 5p coins on a double ding, drink can tabs and small pieces of wire. In the woods he uncovered nails and an old mobile phone, then on our return, he scanned our front lawn and found an old watch face.

Overall, the machine performed very well. It different metal targets and the pre-set modes with sensitivity avoided constant iron and junk signals.

All-metal mode picked up the most, dinging on all of the objects he found.

The dings are quite annoying and there’s no volume so it grates on your nerves after a while, but headphones help. They’re not included, but we found an old pair of wired headphones with a ¼ jack that worked fine.

On the downside there’s no battery level indicator, so we’ll need to take 4 x spare batteries out with us next time. There’s also no backlighting which might be more of a problem in summer. A final niggle is there’s no ground balancing.

On reflection, I think ground balancing isn’t necessary for a kids metal detector or for a beginner either. It’s a nice feature that helps conquer difficult soil conditions, but it’s fiddly and distracting when you just want to spend some relaxing time scanning for Roman treasure troves.

My final gripe – there’s no pinpointer.

Max had to dig a larger hole than necessary to find his target. He found that scanning the removed soil helped locate the find, but there was more mess and faff than necessary.

If your kid enjoys metal detecting I’d recommend buying a separate pinpointer.

Max says

It’s amazing at detecting all metals and I got lots of exciting signals, but if you have shoes that include metal then I would recommend holding the detector pretty far in front of you, so you don’t set it off by accident. Also, if you get too near another detector it will start beeping.

I found a very old and dirty watch face which was really exciting and some money too!

Sometimes the depth detector said metal was 2 inches down, but we couldn’t find it. That was annoying.

Garrett-ACE-150-Metal-Detector-Review-find

Value for Money

I’d say the Garrett ACE150 is great value for money.

Not only does it have premium features and great design that’s used on Garrett’s more expensive models it kept Max entertained for hours. He’s already looking forward to going out again (preferably when it’s warmer!)

If you compare the ACE 150 to kid-specific metal detectors it might look expensive, but this is a proper metal detector not a toy and it’s worth the extra cash to access the pre-set modes that avoid tedious trash. Not to mention its sturdy build and ‘really cool!’ looks.

If you’ve bought a toy detector in the past that was quickly discarded, try again with the ACE 150. It’s easy-to-use, finds enough targets to keep kids entertained, and has enough tech to keep early teens engaged.

Max says

I know the detector cost quite a bit of money and it’s not a toy, so I’ll look after it and keep it safe in my wardrobe. I’m looking forward to going out in the summer when it is warm and finding more money or even some old coins from the Roman era.

Because we detected for a whole afternoon, I would recommend buying it to keep children like me entertained on a walk.

Overall

5 4.6

I’d recommend the Garrett ACE 150 for kids and adults looking for a cheap starting out metal detector. It’s great value and counts where it really matters – it’s easy to use and finds metal stuff!

It can be difficult to drag kids outside for fresh air, especially when they hit the later years of primary school and into secondary. The lure of their games console is almost impossible to resist, but a metal detector tempts kids outside and for that reason alone The Garrett 150 is worth the price.

We’ll be heading out again soon to find more treasure and leave Fortnite behind.

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Product Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Garrett ACE 150 Metal Detector Found Today

Prices last updated: 17 May, 2022

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