What is the best metal detector for a beginner?
This is probably one of the most asked questions when it comes to new people joining this amazing hobby. Most metal detectors on the market today are loaded with features that once were only available on the most expensive machines. It does make your choice difficult but hopefully the below list will help shed some light on what metal detector will fit you and your needs.
The ACE 200 is Garrett metal detector’s most basic entry level machine. It features a digital target ID, which is a numeric number on the screen that corresponds with the type of metals conductivity of your target. Three search modes, for easy turn on and go operation. It comes standard with a 6.5” x 9” Concentric coil. It weighs in at 2.75 lbs. and has the standard 2 year Garrett manufactures warranty.
PROS – It is super easy to use and a very capable machine. The weight will allow you to use it all day long with little to no arm fatigue. Not loaded with a ton of settings, that could be overwhelming to a newbie. Runs on replaceable AA batteries.
Cons – Does not have a pinpoint mode, might be frustrating for new hunters to find their target accurately. Does not come with headphones. Discrimination is preset and not adjustable.
The Garrett Ace 300 is quite the step up from the Ace 200 with a few key features added. It has digital target ID, 5 search modes including a pinpoint mode to easily figure out the exact location of your target. One of the key features the Ace 300 gives you is adjustable notch discrimination that allows you to tell the machine what type of metals to not detect. It comes standard with a 7” x 10” concentric coil and weighs in at 2.8 lbs. It comes with Garretts standard 2 year manufactures warranty, easy stow headphones, an environmental cover for the control box, and a coil cover. Last but not least the ACE 300 has an adjustable frequency to help with external interference from other metal detectors and or electrical interference.
PROS - Lots of great features and a good price. Comes with pinpoint feature. Easy to use with preset hunting modes. Comes with headphones.
Cons – No Iron audio, a feature that allows you to hear iron targets. Not completely waterproof.
The Ace 400 has some of the best all around features that will help you find more treasure. The iron audio feature helps you know the difference between desirable targets like coins and flat iron objects like bottle caps. The ACE 400 is the first ACE model to come standard with an 8.5” x 11” DD coil. The ACE 400 has adjustable notch discrimination and 5 preset search modes including a pinpoint mode. The Ace 400 includes easy stow headphones, environmental cover up, and has Garretts standard 2 year warranty. More advanced then the ACE 200 or 300 but still very simple for beginners and veteran hunters.
Pros – Iron Audio, Pin Point mode, Adjustable frequency, turn on and go. Easy enough for a beginner but still has features that advanced users need.
Cons – Not multiple frequency, not completely waterproof.
The new Ace Apex from Garrett is their best ACE series detector yet. Boasting a plethora of features that veteran diggers require while still being easy to use for beginners. One of the features that sets the Garrett Ace Apex apart from the other ACE units is Multi Frequency. It has 5 khz, 10 khz, 15 khz, and 20 khz frequencies available in stand alone or hunt in Multi Frequency which uses all available frequencies at the same time. Also included is Multi salt mode which cancels out the negative effects of hunting salt water areas. Go wireless with Apex and Z-Lynk technology. This particular model does not include wireless headphones but has the capability. Never use AA batteries again, the Ace Apex is Garrets first metal detector to include an internal rechargeable battery. Six detection modes gives you the ability to easily choose what detecting mode best fits your needs. The new 6" x 11" viper coil comes standard on this model of the Apex and allows you to cover more ground but still get amazing target separation. Comes with Garrett Metal detectors standard two year manufactures warranty.
Pros - Multi Frequency, Viper coil, backlight
Cons - Not completely waterproof .
The Minelab Vanquish 340 is one of the least expensive multi-frequency detectors on the market. Boasting a ton of features at an entry level price. It has three modes (Coin, Jewelry, and All Metal) that allow for simple turn on and go hunting. Adjustable discrimination allows you pick and choose what you want to eliminate. Three target tones allow you to hear if your target is desirable before you dig. Auto canceling eliminates almost all external interference. The Vanquish 340 folds down into a compact unit for easy travel. Comes with the V10 10" x 7" coil. 3 year manufacture warranty.
Pros - Multi-Frequency, inexpensive, lightweight
Cons - Not waterproof, does not come with headphones, not bluetooth compatible