Why the Garrett Ace 300 is the Perfect Beginner to Intermediate Setup

The Garrett Ace 300 is a great unit to use when bridging between beginner and intermediate metal detecting. This is also a good kit for the beginner who is willing to take on a little bit more as get into the more advanced techniques at a faster pace. It definitely will require more practice than other models that are simpler.

It really is a steppingstone between beginner and intermediate for a few big reasons. The first reason is that it has multiple frequencies that make it easier to detect when there are other detectorists nearby or other interference. Electromagnetic radiation or frequencies that are often given off by power lines can cause interference. So, having the ability to change the frequency really quick makes it easier to detect in more places.

There are some unique features that set this unit apart from the lower models. The biggest difference in the Ace 300 vs the Ace 250 is that the 300 uses both the Target ID Bar and Numbers. Generally speaking it can be really advantageous to use both because the bar will give you a broad view of what kind of metal the detector is finding. But when it uses the number readout as well this makes it easier to detect exactly what kind of metal is below the coil.

The Target ID numbers make it easier to see if you’ve located foil or a coin which often chime in similar numbers. This, of course, all come with practice. It has been said that for any new metal detectorist to get good with their unit, they need to spend 100 hours with it learning how it works with different metals in different soils. 100 hours is a lot of time! It’s quite surprising though how quickly the time goes by when out combing beaches or digging in fields.

The Garrett Ace 300 is not a very heavy machine to operate. Weighing in at only 2.8lbs it’s only .1lbs heavier than the 250 and 200 models. Effectively there is no weight difference between all the Ace models.

One of the other unique differences with the 300 though is that it uses a larger coil of 7in. x 10in. Some people say that this is a good thing and generally I agree with that. Having a larger coil makes it much easier to cover more ground faster. This is good because there are many places that have lots of lost treasure but it can take hours to cover a small area. So anything that can help increase the speed or search area is a welcome addition.

It comes with a concentric style coil. These are the most common ones and are great for search depth and finding targets quickly. They generally will reach down into the soil easier which makes finding targets easier. It will also easily accept a DD coil if you want to upgrade to that.

That being said, it is important to know that with larger coils comes a larger responsibility. Mostly because of how the coils work it is possible that an iron piece of metal is lying next to a gold ring but the larger coil will only sound off on the iron, therefore missing the treasure. As always, my recommendation is to dig every repeatable tone. I have seen first hand where a person dug what they thought was a junk find and ended up finding real treasure instead of junk, or treasure right next to the junk.


If you are wanting to only search for treasures, relics, coins or whatever but not junk then one of the easiest things is to make sure to do the 90-degree check with every target. Basically, this means that once you find a repeatable tone swiping left and right, step 90 degrees to the side of the target and swipe some more. This will give you different numbers on the Target ID which will help identify the target better. Also if there are two targets next to each other this will help identify that there are two not just one in the ground.

Now with all of that info in mind, the coil is only .5in. wider and 1in. longer than the other standard coils found on the lower Ace models. So running into issues with junk hiding treasure and so on are not going to be very common when compared to those other units.

It has the standard 40in. to 53in. adjustable shaft which makes it great to use for both short and tall people. Regardless of that, I still highly recommend each person use an adjustable sling on their metal detectors. 2.8lbs doesn’t sound like much but after an hour, you begin to feel it in your wrist and shoulder and sometimes back. A sling takes the majority of the weight and makes it easier to go for hours without any pain.

One nice feature about the Ace 300 is that it actually has the cam locks on the shaft which helps eliminate any wobble in the coil. Having wobble will give false signals and will drive you mad. The easiest way to test the unit is to lift it up in the air and give it little firm shakes. If the metal detector starts giving signals then you know that it’s loose and can give false signals.

The Ace 300 uses Very Low Frequency or VLF to find metal. This is the most common and a great way to find that lost treasure. It is important to be aware though that it will perform best in dry sand and dirt that is not heavily mineralized. So going to the ocean or lake that has a large area of dry beach would be a good fit and or going into yards and fields is where this unit shines.

It has 5 different preset detecting modes. All metal/no discrimination, jewelry, coin, custom, and relic. So it is good for hunting pretty much everything on dry land except for gold nuggets. It is not designed for prospecting or finding those large chunks of gold up in the mountains like other units are. As long as that’s not what you’re after then the Ace 300 will pretty much do it all.

The coil is submersible and even the shaft is all the way up to the readout box. This makes it nice if there is hunting to be done in streams, lake shores or any other shallow body of water. It is very important to keep in mind though that if the Ace 300 is accidentally dropped into the water it will for sure be a total loss of the readout box. Another reason why it’s good to have a sling. The whole unit is not waterproof or meant for underwater use. It is highly recommended to get an “environmental cover” as well which is a cover that goes over the readout box to keep dirt, sand, water and so on off of the controls and keep unit in good condition.

Don’t try to use this out in the ocean areas where the ground is wet with salt water. It works wonderfully on dry beaches near ocean water but will give all sorts of readings if it goes over the sand that has salt water underneath it. This is simply due to the mineralization of salt water, it will give false readings. Using it in fresh water will be just fine and will work well.

If the ground does happen to be an area that is pretty mineralized then you can use the sensitivity adjustment to help block out some of the mineralized ground. By toning down the sensitivity it will pick up the ground less but still be able to find some of the objects in the ground that are waiting to be found. This is not ground balancing though. It does not have a ground balance option. A ground balancer would allow it to completely disregard the soil and make it much easier to find the lost treasure in the ground.

One of the most useful features of the Ace 300 is that is has a great pinpointer on it. It does a great job of showing exactly where the target is. Once a repeatable tone has been found place the coil outside of the area where the target is. Then while holding the pinpoint option bring the coil back over the target area until it reaches the loudest tone and shows a full Target ID bar. Then turn 90 degrees around the target and repeat. This will give an imaginary “X marks the spot” making it easy to know where to dig.

The Ace 300 will easily detect items up to 8in. in depth. Many other reviews on YouTube show how easy it is to detect things up to 8in. deep with great success. The reviews showed that the Ace 300 is easily able to see how shallow or deep the items are. Keep in mind that if the item is directly on the surface it will still readout at 2in. in depth. Also, larger objects can be deeper than the reader says and smaller objects can be more shallow.

One of the most annoying things that can happen is when there’s interference with the Ace 300. This will most often happen when there are power lines above, power lines below the ground, fiber optic/data lines in the ground, other metal detectors in the vicinity or simply a phone in your pocket. If the readout box is giving lots of different signals all at once then you’ll want to check around for those things. The most common one, of course, is the cell phone in the pocket. Even though it may not be getting a phone call or text, it often is using data and cell service to gather info which can give false readings on the metal detector.

After checking all of those things if it is still getting crazy readouts then you need to use a different frequency. Luckily because this is a more intermediate unit it has the option to select different frequencies to work with. This makes it much easier when working around other metal detectorists or when there are power lines around. There are 4 different frequency modes and following the user manual will show you which mode to use for different situations. Having these modes make it so when you’re having a bad day, turn back into a good day because you can search areas that most people can’t. Most people can’t search it unless they have those special frequency modes. The Ace 300 has an 8kHz adjustable frequency so that you can find treasure where others can’t.

Just like the other Garrett units out there it uses 4 AA batteries. I personally prefer to use the lithium batteries because they simply last so long and I basically don’t have to worry about running out of battery. But since the Ace 300 has a built-in battery meter it makes it easy to know when I need to change out my batteries. There’s nothing worse when you are in the middle of finding good targets and then your unit dies. It’s best to keep some extra batteries on hand so you always know that you’ll never have that happen to you.

To make life easier the Ace 300 metal detector does have 4 levels of iron discrimination whereas others only have 2. This makes it a bit easier to find good treasure worthy targets and less of the junk metal.

It also has custom notch discrimination which makes it easier to block out unwanted targets and just get the good stuff. It is common to find pull tabs, pop tabs, or bottle caps in places such as parks and beaches. Since they are a common item is easy to figure out which numbers corelate to each junk target. For example a pop tab will often be about 64 or 65 for a target ID. So if I am working an area that has a lot of pop tabs and I want to stop picking them up then I can block that out on my notch bar. There are two ways of using the notch discrimination.

Style 1 is how people usually discriminate a notch zone. Let’s say I found a pop tab. When I see that come up on my notch bar I simply scroll to the notch that I want to remove using the up and down buttons. Once there I click the “Eliminate” button which is shown as an “X” on the bottom right of the control box. This will remove the notch so that items such as pull tabs no longer pop up.

Style 2 is a little easier. As I am scanning the pop tab and see the numbers 64 or 65 showing on my screen, I just click the “Eliminate” or “X” button and it automatically notches out that part of the ID bar.

Be advised though, that this will not only discriminate the numbers 64 and 65 but everything that is in that notch. If I discriminate the pop tab on my Ace 300 it will completely block out beeps that come from the 8th notch. That means anything that reads a 57.75 to 66 on the target ID scale will also be discriminated.

Let me explain: There are 12 notches on the notch bar. The target ID numbers go from 0 to 99. Each notch represents a group of numbers that correlate to the target ID. So sticking with the pop tab example, that usually reads as a 64 or 65 as the target ID. The 8th notch on the notch bar will appear if the target ID is anywhere from 57.75 to 66. Here is a table made up to explain that a bit more:

So all of that being said, if I discriminate the pop tab, I will also discriminate anything else that has a target ID of 57.75 to 66, which may not be good depending on what else is in that range.

Because it’s a Garrett, it comes with a full 2-year warranty on parts and labor. This means that for any reason if the Garrett Ace 300 metal detector has issues that are not environmental issues then they will fix or replace it for free. Environmental issues are things like power lines that often make people think their unit is broken when in fact it’s just interference.

All in all the Garrett Ace 300 metal detector is a great unit. It is most often found for sale for about $250 to $280 which is a very fair price. For the lower priced unit it comes with headphones, coil cover, environment cover, and batteries. And the one that’s for sale for about $280 you’ll get all of that plus a nice general carry case which is great for storage and packing it around.

Thanks for checking out my Garrett Ace 300 review and I hope you found it helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions by contacting me and I’d be happy to help where I can.