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Garrett ACE 400 Vs Fisher F44 Metal Detector - Which Is The Best?
Lets dive into a comprehensive review and put all the myths to the sword and see who emerges victorious!
Table of Contents
A Thorough Comparison
Similar Features of the Garrett ACE 400 and the Fisher F44 Metal Detector
Let’s start with the features of both models and how they compare with each other. Being in the same price range, these two units actually come with more or less the same selling points.
Numerical Target ID
Different metals register differently on the detector, allowing you to figure out exactly what type is underneath even before digging it out. The ACE 400 improves this ability to identify metal through their 0-99 ID scale function.
This indicates if the scanner is humming because of copper, iron, gold, or any other metal – saving you the time of digging through the surface if it’s actually something you don’t want. The Fisher F44 comes with this exact same feature and also offers a 0-99 ID scale.
Adjustable Iron Audio
A lot of valueless things are made of iron – which can be quite confusing when you’re scanning through a trash-filled area. The Iron Audio system basically lets you distinguish between what’s iron and what’s not through a distinctive pitch-tone.
This immediately tells you if the item triggering the scanner is iron, saving you from the process of digging through the rubble. It can be turned on or off, depending on the landscape you’re going through. For example, if there are tons of iron on the terrain, you can just switch off the iron audio to filter out the ghost signals.
The ACE 400 currently uses 4 segments for iron discrimination, allowing users to better separate what’s valuable and what’s not. The Fisher F44 also comes with this particular feature.
Notch discrimination is another valuable feature of both these models. Discrimination is essentially the ability of the metal detector to disregard certain types of metals that usually fall under the “trash” spectrum. This helps eliminate any unnecessary findings and keep you focused on valuable finds.
The function goes hand in hand with notching – which helps create a nice “gap” between two important spectrums. For example, you can choose to discriminate on metals having the conductivity of a nail but still get an alert for any other items below or above this item’s conductivity. Hence, if you have a scale that goes from 0 to 99, you can choose to ignore anything between 20 and 50 and still get signals for both ends of the spectrum.
There’s a slight frequency difference between these two products with the ACE 400 having a maximum frequency of 10kHz. The Fisher F44 on the other hand tops up at 7.69kHz.
Does this mean that the ACE 400 is better than Fisher F44? Not really. Frequency simply tells you the pulse rate of the coil on the search area. At 10kHz, the ACE 400 is the better option if you’re prospecting or targeting gold.
The F44 however is the better option if you’re looking for valuable items on the surface, not necessarily gold. Perhaps coins, some types of jewelry, or other useful items on buried underneath. With just a small difference between the two in terms of frequency, you can go either way without worrying about the results.
Pre-Set and Custom Modes
As mentioned, the ACE 400 comes with 12 available notches with 5 pre-set modes to start you off with prospecting. These 5 preset modes include Zero Discrimination, Jewelry, Relics, Coins, and Custom.
The same preset modes are available via the Fisher 44 Model, along with the custom option.
Both models can get wet without causing problems – but only up to a point. The control box for both the Fisher F44 and the Garrett ACE 400 are NOT waterproof so it’s not a good idea to get it wet – even a few splashes might cause problems to its operation.
This being the case, it’s definitely NOT advisable to leave these metal detectors outside in the snow, the rain, or just overnight.
There are models today that are submersible up to and including the control box – but these are not the ones.
The ACE 400 comes with eight levels of sensitivity segments, allowing you to find even the smallest metal objects within the ID that you’ve set. In contrast, the Fisher F44 has 20 levels of sensitivity, making it equally capable of being triggered by smaller signs of metal. Combined with the Notch Discrimination feature, this makes it possible for users to lock into a specific target and ignore all other signals predetermined to be trash.
When scanning for metals, users often rely on the audio tone to tell them if they found something they actually like. Both the Fisher F44 and the ACE 400 make this process easier by providing distinctive audio tones per type of metal found. This particular setup falls with the custom mode choice.
Preset tones of low pitch, mid pitch, and high pitch are also present for the preset modes such as those for coins, jewelry, and such.
Along with audio customization, users can also adjust the volume on both items in case they’re scanning in a crowded area that drowns out even the headphones.
Both products run on 2 AA batteries with a lifespan of 20 hours or more. The Fisher F44 may drain faster because of the backlight, but this is a small price to pay for the benefit of easily viewing the screen during darker weather.
Both units also come with battery indicators so it’s easy to see when you’re running low on power and need to swap the batteries. Unfortunately, there’s no recharge option for the units. However, you can always buy rechargeable batteries to avoid constantly buying a fresh set.
Pros & Cons Of Both Models
Garrett ACE 400
Differences Between Garrett ACE 400 and the Fisher F44
This is the primary difference between the two units. While the ACE 400 does not come with a ground balancing feature, the Fisher F44 at least comes with a manual one.
Ground balancing is an important feature to use during highly mineralized surfaces. It helps lock onto a target area while ignoring the minerals that might be deeply entrenched onto the surface of the ground. Automatic ground balancing is typically found in higher-end models so to have a manual feature with the F44 is already a plus for its price range.
Both obviously come with discrimination segments – but ACE 400 has more compared to Fisher F44. Specifically, it comes with 12 as opposed to F44’s 9 discrimination segments.
The frequency of a metal detector matters when judging the size of the metal found. Higher frequency units mean they’re more proficient in finding smaller objects underneath the surface. The ACE 400 trumps the Fisher F44 on this one as it comes with a much higher frequency.
The Fisher F44 comes with an 11-inch coil by Fisher while the ACE 400 is equipped with an 8 by 11-inch PROformance coil. The ACE 400 obviously comes with a bigger package which means that you’ll get a larger coverage for scanning with each sweep.
This makes it easier to use on wider areas but in terms of performance, there’s really not much difference.
Weight and Size
Depending on the person using it, these two units don’t have much of a difference in terms of height and weight. The ACE 400 can be extended up to 53 inches and weighs at 2.9 pounds. The F44 on the other hand extends to 40 inches and weighs a little bit less at just 2.3 pounds.
No Pinpointer for Fisher F44
A pinpointer does exactly what the name suggests. It locks into a target and narrow down where you’re supposed to dig. This removes wasted time by concentrating the search to just one part of the ground.
This particular feature is available with the ACE 400 but unfortunately absent from the Fisher F44.
F44 Comes with a Non-Volatile Memory
This non-volatile memory means that the metal detector reverts to the last setting it was put on before being turned off. Hence, you don’t have to reprogram or adjust the parameters each time you turn on the unit. This can save tons of time when scanning or if you’re going through the same terrain over and over.
To wrap it up – your final choice from the two really depends on how you’d be using it. With the exception of ground balancing however, it seems that the Garrett ACE 400 trumps over the Fisher F44 in all aspects.
Hence, if you can do without the Ground Balancing feature – which is true for many beginners – then go straight to the ACE 400 and simply upgrade to a higher model once you understand the ropes of metal detecting.