Should I Buy an Ace 250, Ace 350, F2 or X-terra 305 Metal Detector?

I recently had an email exchange with a fellow detectorist and though that I would post the conversation here in the hopes that someone else might also find it helpful. I will not include this persons name for obvious privacy reasons.

The original message:

“You have a great website. I love the comparison, I was actually considering the 250 or the 350 and your site answered my question very well. I see though that you also recommend the F2 by Fisher over the Garrett 250. Have you ever seen or reviewed the Minelab X-terra 305? It is more money, more around the price of the Fisher F4.
Any suggestions you could make would be very helpful thank you.”

My first response:

“I am glad you found the information helpful. Unfortunately, I have not personally used the x-terra 305 and cannot comment on it. I have used several other mid to high end Minelab detectors that have all performed well.

Not knowing what you hope to find or your budget it is hard to give a good suggestion. Some thoughts, if you were mostly interested in gold jewelry in playgrounds and you were limited in budged to around $200 I would get a Tesoro Compadre as it is more sensitive to small gold items than the Ace or F2. But it is also limited on features that can be helpful in the turf.

If you are more interested in coins and silver jewelry, then the F2 would be my suggestion. If you have a budget of around $350 I would skip the Fisher F4 and instead consider a used Fisher F5 or a used Teknetics Omega 8000. You might have to wait for a deal to come up.

There are likely other good detectors in the lower price range that I just have no experience with. The Ace will work well but the bong sound is annoying and the Ace is a little slow on recovery time. Hope that helps.”

Follow-up message from detectorist:

“Thanks, yes very helpful. I live in Canada so the prices here are a little bit more. For an F4 your looking at $399 at Cabelas. The Ace 350 is $370. There still a lot of snow on the ground so I have time to wait for those good deals you speak of and I will keep my eyes open for the models you recommended.

Though the Teknetics Omega 8000 new is a little out of my price range. I’d like to keep it around $400. Presently I have a bounty Hunter tracker IV which is been a really good all metal coin shooter at the beaches. But I’ve been wanting to up my game at some old homesteads out in the prairies here.”

My response to the follow-up email:

“For homesteads where there might be a lot of old nails and bits of iron junk, I would not go for an Ace. I haven’t used a tracker IV so don’t know how it compares to the ones I mentioned. For a real fast response detector that separates well in the trashy areas, you might save up for a used Fisher Gold Bug Pro or Teknetics G2 (same internals different handle configurations).

Having used Minelab Etracs, Explorers and other very expensive models, the Gold Bug Pro is one of my favorites. I would try and get one with the 5×10 elliptical dd coil to not get snagged on the brush. It works well in trashy areas and has been great at parks and playgrounds.

It is also very light and easy to swing for long hours. A little more expensive but worth the wait. I bought mine used for $350 in excellent condition. A used Whites MXT is also good option. Cabelas is almost always overpriced. I would try to find an online dealer in Canada for a better deal.”

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James Cross

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