Here’s a comparison: the Minelab Go-Find 20 vs Garrett ACE 250. Both are low-cost detectors and there is nothing good in them… Except finds.
A beautiful photo… It’s my Garrett ACE 250 (by the way, the Go-Find 20 is mine too). And I’ve been hunting with this ACE 250 for donkey’s years. I bought it still in a green box. Will the Go-Find 20 be able to remain operational for at least a couple of years and not to come apart? I’m hazy on that point.
The Garrett ACE 250 is a classical ground search device… An S-shaped shaft dismountable in three parts. A coil cable wrapped around the shaft. The latter has spring clips only (no twist locks). The handgrip is a curve of the upper shaft.
The Minelab Go-Find 20 has a straight shaft, the cable is hidden inside. The detector requires no disassembly/assembly. The handle when released is perpendicular to the shaft. Does the Go-Find 20 have an advantage?
The Garrett ACE 250 handgrip is convenient enough. The only problem is that, with lapse of time, the foam grip started spinning. It can certainly be fixed somehow (for instance, stuck with the glue). But I am not too worried about it. All the more so as now I’m hunting with other detectors.
The Minelab Go-Find 20 handle, being highly positioned, is inconvenient in practice. The device held in hand is swaying. A small armrest enhances this effect.
I’ve never thought I will praise the Garrett ACE 250 armrest. But after the Minelab Go-Find, the ACE 250 armrest will seem to be one of the best. To my mind, the Go-Find simply has no armrest. It’s a small bowl with fixing strap. Without using this strap, it’s impossible to hunt with the Go-Find.
There is one more thing from practical experience with the Minelab Go-Find… Don’t slide out the upper shaft abruptly! Under sufficient effort (or wear and tear) it simply breaks away from the construction.
Absence of twist locks on the ACE 250 results in shaft looseness. It makes itself felt in slight knocking of shaft connections at each sweep. This play doesn’t affect detection quality anyhow… Whereas the Go-Find shaft is a true rattle! It’s wobbling, clattering, squeaking (you can hear this well while watching my video of hunting with this machine). The only advantage is the cable hidden inside the shaft (it’s really a plus).
One more advantage in the Go-Find 20 is a screen. In direct sunlight everything can be seen perfectly, the signs and symbols are simple and large. The ACE 250 screen, in my opinion, is not contrasting enough (may be I need to give it a good scrub?). The upper brow often throws a shadow on graphic target ID scale, so I have to peer at it. I like the Go-Find screen more.
Discrimination. In the Garrett ACE 250 all metals are divided into 12 groups (3 for iron). There are 5 search modes, one of which can be programmed by the user. In the Minelab Go-Find all metals are divided into 4 groups only (1 for iron). And if we regard All Metal mode as a separate program, the Go-Find 20 has 2 search modes (All Metal and Non-Ferrous).
The ACE 250 discrimination is certainly more abundant. And it’s a plus. But… In practice, with the ACE 250 I mostly hunt in the mode rejecting iron only (first 3-4 segments). And I dig all the rest. The Go-Find 20 discrimination mode corresponds to this very mask.
The Go-Find 20 has volume control. The ACE 250 needs it so much! Most attempts to modify the Garrett ACE 250 are associated just with volume control (screen backlight ranks second, making an underwater metal detector from the ACE 250 comes third).
At the same time, the Garrett ACE 250 sensitivity is adjusted in the range of 0-8, whereas the Go-Find 20 has sensitivity adjustment with a 0-3 range. It is not enough for real hunting.
Also, the Minelab Go-Find 20 has no pinpoint mode. A serious drawback! Of course, you may hunt without this mode… But without it, you’ll spend more time on digging out small targets. Though time, when on a hunt, means the number of your finds.
The Minelab Go-Find 20 has a 3.5mm headphone jack. And it’s a plus. You may apply any headphones without adapters. The Garrett ACE 250 has a 6.5mm jack (try to find headphones with such a plug yet! an adapter is needed).
Pay attention to the Go-Find power on/off… I don’t know how it happens, but I got the detector switched on all by itself in my backpack several times.
Both devices are powered by 4 AA batteries. The ACE 250 has the battery compartment located in the control box. The Go-Find battery compartment is in the handle. Its door creaks under the hand while hunting. It’s annoying and makes me want to wrap the handle with any tape.
One more thing from practical experience with the Minelab Go-Find… I’ve paid attention to such fact: when the Go-Find 20 signals that the batteries are discharged (it has such feature), these very batteries appear to still work in the ACE 250.
The main claim to the Minelab Go-Find 20 (not only mine) is little detection depth. For this parameter the coil size is mostly responsible. The Go-Find 20 has a Minelab 8 Monoloop coil. And the most unpleasant thing is that it can’t be removed – one coil for term of life (metal detector life).
A funny thing… The difference in coil size is only 1 inch. Then why has Minelab made a square coil?
There is an important point that should be added. Inexpensive though it is, the Garrett ACE 250 metal detector is based on classical principles. The dismountable parts can be easily changed (in case of breakage), plus the coils that can be replaced. The Minelab Go-Find is beyond repair, the coils can’t be changed.
In my opinion, both detectors are worth their money… Because they both bring finds. And that’s the main thing for a metal detector.
Garrett ACE 250: Recovery speed test
For the ACE 250 it’s really a sad test. It seemed to me even that the cheap Minelab Go-Find 20 had passed it a bit better. Or did I just imagine it?
Minelab Go-Find 20: Recovery speed test
All related to the Minelab G0-Find 20 is here. There is also a video of hunting with this machine; recovery speed test; video review: what I think of the Go-Find 20. All about the Garrett ACE 250 is here.