The Garrett ACE 250 is an excellent metal detector, but time will come when you want something better. What a hunter will get with the Minelab Safari after using the Garrett ACE 250.
The fact that a manufacturer says something doesn’t mean you’ll get it in practice. For instance, Minelab declares that the Safari metal detector refers to professional-level machines. But true capabilities of this device are actually inferior to those of the Minelab X-Terra 705 in all things, including recovery speed, settings and discrimination accuracy.
Even the FBS technology doesn’t give the Minelab Safari a distinct advantage. Take some copper coins, stack them up and pass these coins perpendicular to the coil. The Minelab Safari will identify them as iron (although it’s copper). The same coins (being stacked and perpendicular to the coil) will be an excellent signal for the Minelab X-Terra 705 at a 3 kHz frequency. By the way, the Garrett ACE 250 also sees them as iron.
Taking the Minelab Safari after the Garrett ACE 250 in hand, you obtain more accurate metal discrimination, accurate and informative. In practice, this results in a smaller number of holes with unwanted finds. In addition, you get a marked increase in target detection depth. What is more, the depth is increased not only due to the coil size. The Minelab Safari also has good abilities to compensate for effects of the ground that very often can underestimate the depth reading. But you’ll be able to see all of this only after sufficient practice. In the first instance, you may appreciate comfort of the Minelab Safari construction.
Both metal detectors have a classical S-shaped shaft consisting of 3 parts. The ACE 250 also has a simple handgrip and, in as little as a year, its foam covering starts spinning around the shaft. Even though the ACE 250 grip performs its functions, the Minelab Safari one is more convenient.
The armrests of both detectors are average, without any noticeable practical advantages. Both can be easily broken down while hunting or transporting.
The coil cable of the Garrett ACE 250 is wrapped around the shaft. It’s very inconvenient. If you wind the cable leaving the loose loops, they will catch on branches and the shovel. When the cable has been already wound, it’s impossible to change the ACE 250 length without its new rewinding (either the cable length won’t allow doing it or the loose loops will appear).
The coil cable of the Minelab Safari is hidden inside the shaft. In practice, it’s a perfect solution (complete absence of the cable can only be better, for instance, in the XP Deus). The cable is protected. You needn’t try to wind it accurately. And the main thing: the detector length can be changed in a second.
You should only open the middle shaft camlock, adjust the length and close the camlock. By adjusting the length you can change the overall speed and quality of search. For example, when on a hilly terrain it’s more convenient to hunt with a medium length; in a hole – with a shorter one, and on flat terrain – the length will provide maximum amplitude of the sweep, thus increasing the search speed.
The Minelab Safari initially comes with an 11 FBS round coil. The coil is perfect, the Minelab Explorer SE PRO and the Minelab E-Trac are also equipped with it. The Garrett ACE 250 coil is average in all parameters – elliptical, 9.5×6.5 inches, Mono type.
Of course, the Minelab Safari coil has a greater detection depth and works better at picking out small finds. But in practice there are always the peculiarities emerging from different sides. For instance, the Garrett ACE 250 with its coil, when in the pinpoint mode, indicates the center of the target more precisely. Having applied the pinpoint mode with the Minelab Safari you can often find a coin not in the center of the hole, but somewhere on the side.