Garrett Ace 150 Beginners Metal Detector
Garrett Ace 150 Metal Detector Review
Since being a small child I have been interested in the metal detecting hobby, and have procrastinated for years. I finally a couple of months ago took the plunge and went and got myself one from Amazon. I decided to research first and find out what the best beginners metal detector was, before spending money while not knowing if I would stick to it. My research led me to one conclusion that the Garrett Ace 150 was the beginners detector of choice.
I ordered the Garrett machine on the Monday evening and by Wednesday morning it had arrived, I was so excited. I unwrapped and carefully opened the box removing all of the components and placing them on the floor. I say all of the components, however the Garrett Ace 150 only really comes in 3 pieces and is so simple to put together. You have the coil, the pole and the brains (the graphic target display) You simply attach the brains, to the pole and then the coil to the bottom, securing it with a small screw and wing nut. The wire from the coil wraps around the pole in a spiral effect and plugs straight in to the bottom of the brains. Do ensure you have plugged it in properly. You then slot the plastic cover off the brains and place the batteries in (yes batteries were included) It is quite simply as easy as that.
I already had permission at this point to visit a small woodland not far from my house. So please be aware that what I have realized is it can be a job in itself to get permissions, and you WILL need to do just that. So if you have fields near by use Google to do a little research make some phone calls, or even visit the farms and ask permission first. There are other guides on the internet explaining techniques and some even have template permission letters. If you live near a beach it's more simple to use your metal detector you just apply for the crown permit and you will be accepted almost instantly. You are then legally allowed to search the beaches with your Garrett Ace 150. Please read the terms and conditions.
I took a small shovel from my shed, and grabbed the Garrett and headed off to the woodland. I had already researched the village I live in and there is literally tons of Roman history here so I was hopeful. It took me around 5 minutes to get there. I think I was walking a little faster than usual due to the excitement. The Garrett Ace powers up instantly after hitting the on switch, a few beeps are made and you are ready to go. It comes with 3 settings also very simple to navigate between.
All metal mode - Does not discriminate anything metal
Jewelry mode - Discriminates Iron
Coins - Discriminates Iron, pull tabs and nickel.
I chose the all metal mode to start with purely so I could hear the different sounds the detector makes when it has a target. You will quickly get used to these sounds and know the difference between a "trash" target and a double dinger. (the double dinger is a beautiful sound it makes when it has a "good" target) After only a few seconds I was hitting metal all over the place, it is amazing how much metal there is under the ground. I quickly realized that the shovel I had took with me was not the best so if I could recommend any shovel then I would take a look at something like a NATO shovel, it is easy to carry and fold away and has a serrated edge. It makes it easier to get through tough ground and is more comfortable on your feet. So at this point with all metal mode I had dug a few trash targets to test to see if the depth reading on the LCD screen was accurate and In my opinion for a budget detector this was very accurate. Digging a few old rusty nails, I was still happy that I had found metal with the Garrett Ace. At this point though I was eager to find something more interesting so I changed the settings, to jewelry mode so it wouldn't discriminate anything other than Iron, with the sensitivity on full. There is also a simple to use sensitivity control on the Garrett Ace 150. I had been out for around an hour and a half at this point and what I had realized and bear in mind I am a lady (to a degree) was that the comfortable forearm support of the Garrett takes the edge of the weight and gives you a nice balance for the swinging motion. I will include a video example of "swinging" further down. I had watched these before I took my detector out. I was pleasantly surprised at how light the Garrett 150 was, not flimsy light, just light enough to still keep the sturdiness of the machine.
DING DING DING DING.........This was the first time I had heard the double dinger my heart raced, and I don't think I had ever dug as fast. At this point I realized that a Garrett Ace Pro Pointer was a necessity. In a nutshell the Garrett Pro pointer cuts down your digging and locating the target time by around 80% it pin points the "target" in the earth. I will again explain more into that later. So I'm carefully placing the dirt from the whole I dug around the edge (not to close else it falls back in) and scanning over with the detector to see if it's still in the ground. It eventually stopped and I ran it over the dirt I had removed where I heard the sound again, I carefully dissected the dirt and was taking handfuls and holding it over the metal detector coil. Eventually I had the target in my hand, it was coin shaped my heart was racing and I wanted to cry at this point. I'm a lady and I was that excited I actually spat on the dirty coin shaped target to remove the mud! Oh My god I remember thinking it was a ROMAN coin. I knew this because I have always been interested in history and have often read articles and books about the coinage. I had a small bronze coin with a faded worn bust of a Roman emperor with some writing. A coin that was around 1500 years old in the palm of my hand. At this point I knew that I would never give in with the hobby. It was one of the most exciting moments in my life. The coin was not really worth anything in monetary value but to me it was priceless. I continued my day and found a buckle, a lead weight and some other little bits. However I have since returned and found several more Roman coins all bronze.
I eventually after several hours headed home with my Garrett my shovel and my finds and couldn't wait to clean my coin up, there is a great guide of different coin cleaning techniques which I have included below in my useful links.
I have been on several outings with the Garrett and to summarize below is what I honestly think Pros and Cons along with a list of the specs.
Garrett Ace 150 "Brains" LCD Display controls
Body of the 150
Garrett Ace 150 Coil
- Simple to assemble
- Simple to comprehend and to operate
- Accurate, As accurate as some of the detectors in the more expensive range I have been told
- Comfortable to hold
- Fantastic battery life (25 hours my first set of batteries)
- Very good value for money
- No pin pointing feature (the Garrett 250 has one of these)
- Does not perform well in water (although the coil is waterproof the brains are not)
- Multiple targets (The Garrett Ace 150 struggles if there is more than one target in the location you are digging, it still finds them but it gives iffy signals.
Features and Specs of the Garrett Ace 150
- Large graphic target LCD display
- Simple sensitivity adjustment
- 3 levels of Tone Identification
- Clear tone speaker and headphone socket
- Depth indicator
- Simple push button controls with easy one touch and go operation
- Optional interchangeable Ace series search coils
Bench testing the Garrett Ace 150
To summarize I would highly recommend the Garrett Ace 150 if you are a beginner looking to get into the wonderful world of metal detecting, It will literally be one of the best things you ever purchase. Investment wise also for the small price you could potentially, if you are out detecting a lot make your money back from selling your finds on eBay within the first month, and who knows, there have been reports of the Garrett finding "hoards" of coins!!
The Garrett machine competes with detectors twice as expensive and easily performs to the same standards, they also don't lose much value so if it is not for you, and you sell it you won't lose much of your original investment. What are you still here for? Get yourself a Garrett and get out there hunting!