Garrett ACE 300 Metal Detector Review

Great entry-level detector at an unbeatable price
Written By: Marc McDermott
Last Updated:

Quality-built and easy to operate, the ACE 300 is an excellent companion for the novice to mid-level detectorist looking for a dependable yet affordable machine. The simplified interface is informative without being overwhelming— unintimidating for beginners while still engaging enough for the more advanced hobbyist.

What we like:

  • Enhanced Iron Resolution
  • Large PROformance search coil
  • User-Friendly
  • Economical
  • Made in the USA

What we don’t like:

  • No adjustable ground balance
  • No Iron Audio

This unit is ideal for finding a variety of treasures, including coins, jewelry, and relics.

It features the coveted digital target ID for more quick and accurate target identification.

The ACE 300 is the upgraded version of the now discontinued ACE 250.

In addition to the Digital Target ID, its new features include a larger search coil, better iron resolution, improved audio, higher frequency, and cam locks on the stem for more stability.


Let’s examine some of the main features of the ACE 300. Below is a brief description of each main feature and its function.

Digital target ID

The ACE 300 features both Digital Target ID and a segment-based discrimination system to identify targets.

The Digital Target ID is a numeral scale from 0-99 which indicates the conductivity of the target. A higher number = higher conductivity.

Consequently, high-conductivity metals like silver will ring up in the 90s, while targets made of low conductivity metals like iron will appear closer to 0, typically from 0-30.

Mid-conductivity metals like gold and aluminum usually appear anywhere in the 40-60 range.

A variety of factors also influences the Digital Target ID, including the size and depth of the target object and its orientation in the ground.

Digital Target ID allows for a very accurate representation of a target object— so specific you can differentiate between copper and a zinc penny just based off of the numbers on the screen.

Adjustable frequency

While not something that will frequently be used, the adjustable frequency is a very convenient feature to have when you need it.

The ACE 300 runs at an 8 kHz frequency, but it can be adjusted slightly if necessary.

This is helpful if you are in a competition hunt where there are other 8 kHz-operating detectors nearby, or when experiencing other interferences from power lines or WIFI signals.

Enhanced iron resolution

The ACE 300 offers more “segments” of iron detection than previous models— twice as much as the ACE 250.

This makes the unit more adept at screening out iron junk targets.

It also improves the unit’s ability to separate trash targets from adjacent “good” targets.

Search modes

Search modes (discrimination patterns) are helpful when you want to limit your focus to specific types of targets (for example coins, jewelry, or relics).

The ACE 300, like the ACE 250, offers five search modes:

  • Zero (no discrimination)
  • Jewelry
  • Custom
  • Relics
  • Coins

The search modes work by eliminating certain segments from the Target ID Scale.

Although they will still appear on the Digital Target ID, targets matching unselected segments won’t emit an audio signal, allowing you to ignore the stuff you don’t want easily.

For example, if you were looking specifically for coins, you would select the Coins discrimination setting, which deselects all of the segments except the ones for the penny, nickel, quarter and dime.

If you were only interested in silver coins, you could then further adjust this setting by manually notching out the segments for nickel, copper, and zinc.

While all of the modes can be changed in this way, only the Custom setting will retain any changes made to it the next time the detector is powered on.

Other features

Some additional features of the ACE 300 include:

  • 3 Audio Tone ID Levels for additional target id (low, medium, high).
  • 8 Sensitivity Adjustments to control depth and avoid falsing.
  • Electronic pinpointing mode to laser in on your target.
  • Depth Indicator which gives you a general idea of how deep to dig.
  • 7 x 10” concentric search coil for good depth and discrimination abilities.

Detector comparisons

The ACE 300 is an entry-level detector.

Let’s see how its features compare to some similar models.

ACE 300 vs. ACE 250

The ACE 300 has replaced the ACE 250 in Garrett’s current lineup.

The ACE 300 has several new features not seen on the ACE 250, including:

  • Digital (0-99) Target ID for even better target ID capabilities.
  • Larger 7 x 10” search coil (vs. 6.5 x 9”) for greater depth and discrimination.
  • Twice as much iron resolution for better discrimination.
  • Cam locks for additional stability.Adjustable frequency for minimizing interference.
  • Higher frequency (8kHz vs. 6.5kHz) for slightly better sensitivity to smaller objects like small jewelry.

ACE 300 vs. ACE 350

The ACE 350 is a discontinued model, replaced by the ACE 400 in Garrett’s current lineup.

The ACE 300 has a couple of features not seen on the ACE 350, including:

  • Digital (0-99) Target ID (vs. segment-based).
  • Pulse Width Modulation audio.
  • Adjustable frequency.

One advantage of the ACE 350 is a larger (8.5 x 11” DD) search coil (vs. 7 x 10”) for better ground coverage and enhanced performance in mineralized ground.

However, the ACE 350’s lack of Digital Target ID means that many prefer the ACE 300.

Not to mention you can purchase the larger coil as an accessory coil to your ACE 300.

ACE 300 vs. ACE 400

The ACE 400 is the next model up from the ACE 300.

The ACE 400 has several features not seen in the ACE 300, including:

  • Larger 8.5 x 11” DD search coil for greater depth and iron discrimination.
  • Iron Audio, making it easier to distinguish good targets from trash.

ACE 300 vs. Fisher F22

A similar model to the ACE 300 is the Fisher F22.

Which one is best seems to be a matter of preference; however, the F22 has a couple of features which the Ace 300 does not, including:

  • Weatherproof control box so you don’t have to worry about it getting rained on.
  • Narrower 9” teardrop-shaped search coil, better for finding good targets in trashy areas since you can get better target separation with practice.
  • 5-year warranty (vs. 2-year).


Let’s explore some commonly-asked questions about the ACE 300.

How deep can the ACE 300 detect?

How deep the detector can detect is influenced by multiple factors, including the size and orientation of the target, ground mineralization, sensitivity level, etc.

The ACE 300’s depth meter only displays up to 8” (marked as 8+”); however, depending on conditions and size of the target, the detector can detect to depths of around 8-10”.

Does it have adjustable Ground Balance?

The ground balance settings of the ACE 300 are factory-set and unchangeable.

How much does it cost?

Garrett lists the ACE 300’s current MSRP at $299.95.

Can it be used on the beach?

Because it is a single frequency, VLF machine, the ACE 300 will perform poorly in wet sand or saltwater. It does, however, perform well on dry sand, and the coil is submersible. 

How much does it weigh?

Garrett lists the total weight of the ACE 300 at 2.8 lbs, a manageable weight for most people.

What’s in the box?

The ACE 300 box contains the detector (unassembled), the 7 x 10” PROformance search coil and cover, a rain and dust cover for the control box, the instruction manual, an instructional DVD, and a pair of Garrett’s Clear Sound Easy Stow headphones (the reviews of these particular headphones tend to be underwhelming).

Is it waterproof?

The search coil and poles are waterproof, but the control box is not. As such, the detector should only be used for shallow water detecting.

What batteries does it take?

The unit takes 4 AA batteries, included. According to Garrett, the battery life of the ACE 300 is anywhere from 20-40 hours, depending on your settings and if you use headphones.

Does it have a warranty?

Yes. Garrett offers a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty from date of purchase.

Final thoughts

The ACE 300 is an excellent entry-level machine with a variety of features seldom seen in such an inexpensive detector.

Reliable and efficient, it lives up to Garrett’s high-quality standards and offers a terrific experience for beginner and practiced detectorists alike.