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Looking for a reliable metal detector? Or are you just starting to be a detectorist? Perhaps inspired by our comprehensive buying guide to detecting metals? Whatever the motivation, you have to be familiar with the Garrett ACE 400. The Garrett ACE 400 is one of the most popular mid-range metal detectors in the market that you can get at a reasonable price. It has a number of features you’ll love, too. Here, you’ll know more about the Garrett ACE 400 and why it’s a metal detector you should consider.
Table of Contents
How Does a Metal Detector Work?
If you plan to be a detectorist, then you probably know how a metal detector works. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for a lot of people, so it makes sense to explain how these things work. You’ll be glad you read this, too.
A metal detector works by emitting an electromagnetic field towards the soil. It does this by passing the electromagnetic field from the control box down to the search coil. The search coil is the one transmitting the field towards the ground. If there’s metal in the range of the field, then it will react to the electromagnetic field by transmitting the same field back.
The metal detector’s coil receives that force and it produces a sound to signify that there’s a metal object. Depending on the type of metal, the sound can differ. Metal detectors also have screens showing what kind of metal it detects so you know if it’s worth it to dig up or not.
Garrett ACE 400 - A HobbyKraze review
Now that you know what you should expect from a metal detector, here’s the Garrett ACE 400’s features.
1. Digital Target ID
The digital target ID of the Garrett ACE 400 gives a range of 0 to 99. This scale refers to how conductive the metal is – 0 if it has nearly lost all of its conductivity and 99 if it is highly conductive. A 0-rated object can be foil (as indicated in the control panel label) and a 99-rated object can be silver.
What’s great about the Garrett ACE 400 is that it has a huge space in the control panel showing the target ID making it very easy to identify even if you don’t hear the sound fully. While it’s not 100% accurate, it does return an accuracy of 98% based on reviews of a number of customers.
2. Digital Control Panel
The place where you’ll find the large target ID displayed is the control panel. The control panel is colorful, with colors making it easy for you to identify the buttons and the range of conductivity. It’s user-friendly simply because all buttons are labeled. You don’t even need to read the manual to understand. It has buttons for the mode, sensitivity, discrimination, iron audio, and the frequency adjustment.
Overall, the digital control panel is neatly designed and it makes it easy for you to understand what it is that triggered the audio on your metal detector.
3. New Iron Audio
One feature of the Garrett ACE 400 that isn’t as good the in older versions of the Garrett ACE is the iron audio. The iron audio is a signature feature of the brand that allows you to have different audio signals based on different iron targets. For example, if the iron audio feature is on, you can differentiate a nail from a bottle cap, or a bottle cap to a coin.
In this way, you get to discriminate between different objects; hence, you immediately know which ones are worth digging and those that aren’t. This will also tell you if the object underground is the object you’re looking for. This is very helpful if your area has low iron trash. Otherwise, the metal detector will just keep on making annoying sounds.
4. PROformance™ Submersible DD Search Coil
The Garrett ACE 400’s search coil has come a long way since its first-ever model. For one thing, it’s now waterproof. You can submerge it into shallow bodies of water. If there’s a metal object you’re looking for in a shallow stream or pond, then this is an ideal metal detector for you.
Take note, though, that this is only for shallow waters. If you try to submerge at least half of the coil, then ready yourself for disappointment. The Garrett ACE 400 is not made for underwater metal searching.
5. Higher Frequency
Compared to the Garrett ACE 300, the Garrett ACE 400 has a higher frequency running at 10kHz. The former only operated at 8kHZ. Now, what does that mean?
In simple terms, a metal detector with a higher frequency is more sensitive to small metal objects that don’t have high conductivities. It has more accuracy in looking for bottle caps and coins. If that isn’t enough, the Garrett ACE 400 also allows you to adjust the frequency depending on your preferences.
6. Search Modes
What’s impressive about the search mode is that it has a total of 12 notches of discrimination. That means that you can discriminate among 12 different objects. Among these 12, 5 are pre-set. Those pre-set search modes are for all metals, jewelry, relics, coins, and custom.
When you use the custom search mode, that’s when you can adjust the discrimination. You can easily adjust them by pressing the up and down buttons on the control panel.
7. Lightweight Design
How different does the Garrett ACE 400 look compared to other metal detectors? If you’re thinking of black and heavy metal detectors, then you’ll love the fact that the Garrett 400 isn’t like that at all. Instead, it’s a yellow metal detector that only weighs 2.9 lbs. It’s not even 2 kilograms heavy!
Pros - What We Like!
High level of accuracy
As a metal detector, the Garrett ACE 400 is highly sensitive to different types of metal. Thanks to its 10kHz frequency, it can detect even small metals with high accuracy.
Compared to other mid-range metal detectors in the market, the Garrett ACE 400 fares just above average.
User-friendly control panel
Metal detectors are technical yes, but do they need to be complicated to use? The Garrett ACE 400 doesn’t think so. With its bright digital control panel, you don’t have to feel intimidated by the many buttons it has. Each button is labeled and the labels are big enough for you to read.
By looking at the control panel, you know that Garrett ACE took into account the whole user experience.
Numerous search modes
The 12 different search modes are very helpful in looking for specific items. Even if you’re not sure what you want to find, you can still adjust the discrimination so you can easily identify what type of metal the detector has found. To make things easier for you, it has 5 presets already.
A lot of metal detectors are heavy. Fortunately, that’s not the case for the Garrett ACE 400. It’s only a few pounds so it’s ideal for short people to use and carry around. But that doesn’t mean that its materials are low-quality.
Garrett ACE is known for making high-quality metal detectors and it’s been in the industry for quite some time now. It definitely has the best materials that will allow their devices to feel light and portable.
Do you want to know what’s the best part? It’s the price. The Garrett ACE 400 is a worthy buy especially since it’s not that expensive compared to its other mid-range competitors. For its price, you also get a warranty and a pair of headphones that you can use for the iron audio.
If you’re looking to start with your detectorist hobbies, then the Garrett 400 is a good starter metal detector especially if you want something that isn’t going to cost a fortune.
Cons - What We Are Not Huge fans Of!
While the design is based a lot on a person’s preference, a number of customers are just not liking the bold color of the Garrett ACE 400. Sure, it’s supposed to give a splash of color to the metal detector, but it only makes the device look like a toy. The color can also give the wrong sense that it’s not that durable.
No ground balance adjustment
What’s a ground balance adjustment? It’s a feature where you can adjust the ground balance depending on the type of soil you are searching on. The purpose of a ground balance is to increase the chances of detection of different metals in spite of the difference in soils. Unfortunately, the Garrett ACE 400 doesn’t have this kind of feature.
Headphones are not durable
Did you know that the Garrett ACE 400 has a pair of headphones included in the package? While more freebies are generally a good thing, they aren’t necessarily high-quality. The pair of headphones that come with the package is one example. It’s not durable at all and the sound that you hear from it is a bit all over the place. At some point, you might find yourself annoyed with the sound that you decide to just take it off.
Not for underwater use
How Does the Garrett ACE 400 Compare with Other Metal Detectors?
Is the Garrett ACE 400 better than its competitors? It’s a yes for some features, but it’s also a no for others.
If you’re looking for a durable yet affordable metal detector until you hit jackpot money big time, the Garrett ACE 400 is definitely an option. It’s one of the best options for mid-range detectors. For its price, it is not made of cheap materials. Plus, it has great customer service that just increases the overall value of the device.
If you’re comparing it to the ACE 350, the ACE 400’s predecessor, then the latter is definitely a big upgrade. It has more improved and new features and it definitely has better accuracy. The new iron audio and the target ID are big improvements that make it preferable, not to mention the ACE 350 being obsolete.
Of course, there will always be better models than the Garrett ACE 400. This device is yet to prove itself to more people because it’s still not the preferred metal detector. It certainly needs a lot of improvement in the design especially its colors. If the overall design looked more serious and heavy-duty, then it might be noticed by those who are looking for reliable metal detectors.
Moreover, the Garrett ACE 400 needs to have a ground balance adjustment. What separates the higher range metal detectors from the ACE 400 is the ground balance adjustment. Without this feature, the latter fails to be an accurate device for various soils. You’re lucky if the soil you’re searching on has low levels of mineralization. But if it has a high level of mineralization, then you can expect the Garrett ACE 400 to be inaccurate.
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
Overall, the Garrett ACE 400 is not a bad choice. For beginners and average users, this metal detector is sufficient in allowing you to find different types of metals in your backyard. There are definitely a few features that it should have had, but that doesn’t mean that it’s totally lacking.
When you’re deciding if the Garrett ACE 400 is good for you, ask yourself if the pros outweigh the cons. It’s going to help if the features of this metal detector also align with what you’re looking for.