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Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review

Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector2022 Review

The Garrett Ace 250 is an excellent beginner’s model metal detector because it has top-notch technology to help you find interesting items, but not so much that it’s confusing and makes you want to give up.

I tested out the 250 and found that overall it’s lightweight, sturdy, and easy to use. I’d recommend it for beginner adults, teens and older children who know their way around a games console. It’s not suitable for young children around primary age.

I tested out the Garrett ACE 250 over a few weekends to see how easy it was for a newbie and how well it performed. Let’s take a look.

Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector Review

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Ease of Assembly
    Design
    Beginner Friendliness
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    4.8

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Our Verdict of The Garrett ACE 250 Metal Detector

If you’ve previously bought a cheap machine and gotten discouraged by the constant bleeping and nothing to be found Garrett will change your mind.

I picked up interesting metals on my first two trips and it can be tuned to filter out the rubbish with little faffing around.

Garrett’s instruction book recommends a bench test and I can say yes, absolutely do that!

Put a coin, different types of jewellery and a drinks can on the floor and run your detector over them before heading out.

This really helped me understand how to use the machine before venturing outside. I buried a few bits too and practised pinpointing.

Some people complain about the lack of ground balancing but for a beginner machine, I don’t think it’s worth the worry.

Keep off heavily mineralised ground and saltwater and use the sensitivity setting to help you out if it’s struggling. As a beginner there’s enough tech to keep you occupied without adding more faff.

The Garrett ACE 250 is an excellent all-round metal detector for beginners, it has everything needed to find treasure and a bit more so you don’t lose interest.

From tech savvy teens to adults of all ages this is a great buy. I’d definitely recommend it and when I uncover that hoard of Viking gold I’ll be sure to update you!

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0786156003699,0333830071200,3023290622704,8088201379639,7129984784683,0641243739625,0610098339243,2009941209280,7123290540537,0670541999783,0798256216879,0786156002777,7861560050910,0043972936151,0786156002715

Ease of Assembly

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-ease-of-assembly

The Garrett ACE 250 comes in a box with plenty of pictures and information. It’s well packaged and would make an excellent gift. When I opened the box, it looked like a pricey top of the range piece of kit. Impressive off the bat Garrett. Nicely done.

This metal detector was so simple to fit together I honestly wondered whether I had done it correctly. It’s intuitive and even though the instructions are excellent they’re really not needed at this early stage.

There are three pieces to join. The coil, the telescopic stem, and the handle. The control box is fixed to the handle already so no worries there.

The coil fits on the stem with a wingnut that screws on by hand. Be aware of the washers here – they have three small points that need pushing into the matching holes. If you don’t do this the coil has no grip and flops about.

Once the coil is in place, the handle slips inside its telescopic stem. There are holes along the stem’s length that click into place to suit your height and arm length.

Finally, the coil connector pushes into the control box plug that has a screw cover to keep it in place and dirt out. Be sure to wind the cable up the length of the stem so it’s not hanging.

The control box takes 4 x AA batteries which were supplied and fit the usual way in the hood of the control box.

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-design-batteries

There’s not much else to say – it was incredibly simple to assemble. Even if you struggle with the simpler bits of IKEA flat pack!

Something to be aware of is that it makes a lot of noise when you first turn it on– I figured this was because I was indoors surrounded by lots of metals. In the garden, it calmed down.

So don’t be alarmed if it starts screaming at you. My wedding ring signalled when I looked over the coil and it sounded like the end of days – at least I know it’ll pick up gold!

Design

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-design

The Garrett ACE 250 is designed for hours of use. It’s lightweight at 1.2 kilograms and ergonomic enough to feel well balanced as you swing it back and forth. It really just feels like an extension of your arm with its elbow rest and padded grip.

The stem is extendable as you’d expect it to be, ranging between 42 and 51 inches. I took it to the local football fields for two hours and barely noticed it. A longer walk through woodland was easy too – arm ache was never a problem.

The coil is waterproof which is essential here in the UK. The coil was soaked in grass dew after I’d used it but it continues to work without issues. However, the control box is not waterproof so I was careful about where I laid it down to dig and wouldn’t want to take it out in the rain.

One thing I did find especially useful in the design was its control box edging. This lipped edge prevented sun glare onto the display and was a great help especially as it isn’t backlit.

Headphones weren’t included in my box, but I found a pair of ¼ inch headphones that fitted the jack port on the control box. You will want headphones or every dog walker and child will be hanging off your coat trying to see what you’ve found

The Garrett ACE 250 operates on a 6.5kHz frequency which is best for coins, jewellery, and relics. It’s not the best frequency for gold – if you’re looking for gold nuggets you’ll need a detector with a higher frequency.

The coil is elliptical (oval) measuring 6.5 x 9 inches so it can fit between objects easier than a full circle coil. I pushed it between logs and beneath benches fairly easily. The instructions say you can upgrade this coil should you want to.

Here’s an odd observation. The control box and coil attract dust and fibres like a magnet. In the dusty car park, the coil became covered in fine dust and at home cat hair and carpet fibres glued themselves on. It didn’t seem to affect its performance though – just something I thought I’d add.

Beginner Friendliness

Overall this is an easy machine to use to the point that my 10-year-old got the hang of it within 5-10 minutes.

But I’m not going to lie, I had to concentrate to get the harder bits in my head such as the discrimination and elimination settings!

I didn’t want to take the paper instruction leaflet out so some memorisation was required, though to be fair, it’s fairly intuitive once you’ve grasped the basic set-up and the machine can be used straight out of the box on its factory pre-sets.

The control box is placed at the top of the handle where your fingers can easily reach the buttons and I was easily able to see the readouts once I’d hit a target. Compared to other metal detectors I’ve seen the buttons are few and simple which is great news for someone that’s easily confused like me.

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-lcd-screen

Let’s get into the details:

The Garrett 250 has 6 buttons on its LED display which is 3 more than the next version down – the Garrett ACE 150.

The buttons are clearly labelled Power, Discrimination, Mode, Sensitivity, Pinpoint, and Elimination (elim).

It also displays the battery level which was very helpful because the Garrett 250 used a good quarter of the battery power over 5 hours. The display also indicates coin depth, the level of sensitivity, and whichever mode you’ve selected.

Power button

To turn it on just press the power button. It beeps a few times to show it’s ready to go.

If you’re desperate to get out there you can go with the factory pre-sets and the machine sorts out the controls for you. I used factory pre-sets on my first outing and found a horseshoe.

Mode selection

The modes are factory pre-set but you can adjust them if you want. Starting out I didn’t bother and the detector worked without any issues. I even found a few things!

Here are the pre-set modes.

  • All metal – this mode picks up everything metal
  • Jewellery – picks up metal jewellery is commonly made from and ignores others such as iron
  • Custom – a programmable custom mode for more experienced detectorists
  • Relics – picks up brass and lead that relics such as wartime memorabilia are made from
  • Coins – focuses on coinage metals

For a beginner like me, these pre-set modes were really helpful. They work because different metals have different conductivity – so the coil picks up a signal and the computer figures out what it’s likely to be.

For example, I picked the coin pre-set which focused the controls on finding metals that coins are made from. It worked – I found 5p almost immediately.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity button increases or decreases the sensitivity of the machine so when I was picking up lots of trash around a football field, I decreased the sensitivity.

There are 8 sensitivity settings from low to high which are controlled with a left to right button pad.

It’s great to have choice over the machine and the sensitivity is an important feature, but I’d say it’s for when you’ve got more experience.

High sensitivity should pick up more, but it was too much for me and it picked up all kinds of imaginary things which I assume were minerals in the soil and every piece of junk going. This is what pros call running the detector ‘too hot’.

Because the ground balance is automatically set, I was able to use the detector and raise its sensitivity until it was squealing like Beyonce.

Once I’d hit the squealing it was a case of pressing the ‘down’ button until it stopped. This gave me the highest sensitivity without interference.

It was pretty easy to achieve and I had plenty of sensitivity on 50% = about 6 on the scale. On the lowest sensitivity, the machine picked up nothing for me.

Discrimination

It’s a great feature on this beginner model as it tells you what you’ve most likely found instead of suggesting it on a 0-99 numerical ID scale found on pro models.

OK, so it’s not as detailed and experienced detectorists might want a bit more information but when it said I’d found an iron object it was in fact a nail that had gotten lost in the deck building process.

Elimination

Works with the discrimination button to help narrow down metals. To stop detecting iron, hover over iron and press elimination to eliminate it from your search.

I used this by pressing the discrimination button and using the + and – arrows to adjust it. When I found a piece of drink can I pressed the elimination button to eliminate that metal.

The great thing about the elimination feature is that it doesn’t have to be used. I was happy to head out using factory pre-set modes and because I am quite lazy with technology, I probably won’t use it too much in future – however, it’s good to know the machine is capable of more.

Pinpoint

Pinpointing is important as I have found out!

The Garrett ACE 250 has an inbuilt pinpointer that saves lots of digging time. Once I got a signal I pressed and held the pinpoint button. The control box showed me when I was close and the target noise became almost constant. This saved plenty of time and mess.

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-finding-treasure

Coin depth

This handy feature indicated whether the find was at 2 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch, or 8 plus inches depth.

When I found the 5p on coin mode the machine showed me it was buried 2 inches. It was actually only a tiny bit beneath the muddy grass. This is a helpful feature because it prevented an 8-inch dig when I only needed 2.

One gripe is that it couldn’t make up its mind on several targets. The indicator kept moving between 2 and 8 inches.

Tones

The 250 has three different tones that indicated what metal I’d found without looking at the display.

If you’re in an area with lots of rubbish you will quickly learn the tone for trash and ignore it.

Iron, which forms most of the trash you don’t want like nails, is the lowest tone. Coins and jewellery are higher tones. The tones are notably different and it’s easy to figure out which is for what metal.

This was a helpful feature because I didn’t have to constantly look at the control box.

Overall, there are lots of helpful features on the Garrett ACE 250, but for a beginner they can be a bit confusing and lead to lots of standing around when you could be searching.

Performance

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-performance

I had lots of fun with the Garret ACE 250. On my first outing, I found plenty of trash on the playing field along with a few coins and an old lighter. In the woods, I found a horseshoe.

I’ve found that holding the coil about an inch above the ground is the best height. Anything higher and it doesn’t pick up, lower and you’re bumping the coil which isn’t recommended.

It’s a good performer and the controls generally do what they say. I love the fact I could just switch it on and go, then later as my confidence improved I adjusted the sensitivity and eliminated drink can tabs.

It’s a beginner’s model but it has plenty enough features to keep you interested for years, even experienced detectorists would find this a productive machine because it finds metal just as it’s supposed to.

I messaged my local detectorists club on Facebook and will head out with them on weekends when I can. I had positive responses when I said I was using a Garrett ACE 250, so the pose value is there if you worry about that kind of thing.

An issue I noticed was that it’s not a friendly detector – it does not like the company of other detectors!

My son was testing a Garrett ACE 150 and when we got closer than 5-6 metres our detectors started screaming at one another like two grumpy cats.

In terms of what it can do I wasn’t disappointed. It’s an entry-level metal detector so I wasn’t expecting big shakes but it surprised me.

Value for Money

In exchange for the price, I found about 85p in real money so it isn’t going to cover the cost at any great speed. However, the fun I had was more than worth it and there are many more trips out to enjoy including a trip to the beach where the 250 should be able to detect on dry sand.

For the price point, this machine has lots of top features – the pinpoint is excellent and lightweight ergonomics made it a pleasure to use.

For a beginner, the factory pre-sets are a godsend. It meant I could piece the machine together and head straight outside, which is the whole point of metal detecting – no one wants to spend their weekends reading a manual!

And probably the most important value for money point – did it find anything? Yes, it did. I found buried coins, an iron horseshoe, a broken earring, nails, and drink can tabs on my first two trips. The Garrett ACE 250 works for sure.

Garrett-ACE-250-Metal-Detector-Review-ease-of-use

Overall

5 4.8

If you’ve previously bought a cheap machine and gotten discouraged by the constant bleeping and nothing to be found Garrett will change your mind.

I picked up interesting metals on my first two trips and it can be tuned to filter out the rubbish with little faffing around.

Garrett’s instruction book recommends a bench test and I can say yes, absolutely do that!

Put a coin, different types of jewellery and a drinks can on the floor and run your detector over them before heading out.

This really helped me understand how to use the machine before venturing outside. I buried a few bits too and practised pinpointing.

Some people complain about the lack of ground balancing but for a beginner machine, I don’t think it’s worth the worry.

Keep off heavily mineralised ground and saltwater and use the sensitivity setting to help you out if it’s struggling. As a beginner there’s enough tech to keep you occupied without adding more faff.

The Garrett ACE 250 is an excellent all-round metal detector for beginners, it has everything needed to find treasure and a bit more so you don’t lose interest.

From tech savvy teens to adults of all ages this is a great buy. I’d definitely recommend it and when I uncover that hoard of Viking gold I’ll be sure to update you!

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Prices last updated: 17 May, 2022

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