Fisher F22 vs Garrett ACE 300 (5 Important Differences)

When it comes to entry-level metal detectors, the Garrett ACE 300 and the Fisher F22 are extremely popular choices that will be found at most club meets or when searching online for the best entry-level metal detector.

Both detectors are made in the US and offer excellent international sales and support. The F22 is an upgrade of the Fisher F2 model, and the Garrett ACE 300 is an upgrade to the Garrett ACE 250 model.

In this review, we put the two detectors head to head in a feature comparison to discover five key differences. They offer similar depth and sensitivity, and the key differences come down to price and their individual feature sets.

We cut through the jargon and explain the differences in simple terms without marketing hype. By the time you finish reading, you can be confident in selecting the model that will best serve your needs.

Our Verdict (If you’re in a hurry)

Making a decision between the Garrett ACE 300 and the Fisher F22 is difficult because they are both excellent entry-level metal detector with a good range of features.

We really like the fact the Fisher F22 is weatherproof and can be used in heavy rain without having to rush back to shelter. We also like the ability to customize the tones for each type of target. It certainly makes identifying important targets easier.

Because of its slightly larger search coil, the Garrett ACE 300 is capable of detecting metal slightly deeper than the F22 (1 inch for coins) and can detect coins laying on their side or close together with double beeps.

This one is too close to call, and largely depends on the features you are looking for. If it were our choice, we would buy the Fisher F22 – but that is personal preference

 
best pick - Fisher F22 vs Garrett ACE 300 (5 Important Differences)
 
 
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil
Garrett Metal Detectors Ace 300 Metal Detector, GAR1141150
 
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil
Garrett Metal Detectors Ace 300 Metal Detector, GAR1141150
General Specifications
Brand
Fisher
Garrett
Model
F22
ACE 300
Key Specs
Circuitry Type
VLF
VLF
Coil Type
Concentric 9″
Concentric 7″ x 10″
Size and Weight
Adjustment Length
Fixed
40″ to 53″
Weight
2.3 lbs
2.8 lbs
Detection
Operating Frequency
7.69 kHz
8 kHz
Modes
Jewelry, Coins, Artifact, Custom
ZERO-DISC, Jewelry, Relic, Coins, Pinpoint, Custom
Detection Depth
9″ for coins
10″ for coins
Sensitivity
10 Adjustments
8 Adjustments
Ground Balance
Preset
Preset
Features
Display
Backlit LCD
Backlit LCD
Audio Identification
4 Tones
3 Tones
Target ID
1 to 99 VDI scale
0 to 99 VDI scale
Water resistance
Waterproof coil and shaft, weatherproof control box
Waterproof coil and shaft
Batteries
2 x AA
4 x AA
Warranty
5 years
2 years
Extras
Pinpointing, Split volume control
Cam locks, Pinpointing, ACE environmental coverup

Things to consider before buying

Detection Modes

When you first turn on the Fisher F22, it will be in jewelry mode. In this mode, it will ignore iron and will indicate all other metals. Switching to coin mode will knock out the iron, tabs, and foil segments.

fisher f22 modes - Fisher F22 vs Garrett ACE 300 (5 Important Differences)

When you are hunting for relics or artifacts, the “Artifact” setting can be used to detect any type of metal. This is similar to the ZERO DISC setting of the Ace 300. In this mode, you will need to rely on the tone of the two-digit target id to determine what has been found.

garrett ace 300 modes - Fisher F22 vs Garrett ACE 300 (5 Important Differences)

Garrett has an additional “Relic” mode that ignores iron or ferrous objects. You can manually create a similar setting on the Fisher metal detector by using the custom settings. Having it as a handy shortcut on the Garrett is quite handy.

Both the ACE 300 and the Fisher F22 have a “custom” mode. In this mode, you can enable or disable individual segments to suit your needs.

Holding down the PP button on the Fisher F22 allows you to pinpoint a target using the standard coil. The readout will also show the approximate depth on the two-digit display. The same can be achieved on the Garrett ACE 300 by using the pinpoint button on the control panel.

Both detectors cover a similar set of detection modes. The Garrett has an extra dedicated relic mode that locks out iron. For this reason, the Garret wins this category by a very small margin.

Audio Tones

The Garrett 300 offers a low grunt for ferrous items and a higher pitch for coins and other metals. The ACE 300 will also emit a double beep if you pass over two (or more) coins in close proximity to each other or coins laying on their side. A lot of detectors miss this type of discrimination or indicate them as a single tone.

Unlike the Garrett ACE 300, the Fisher F22 allows you to select your own tones for each of the different metal categories.

The following video shows how one user has configured their tones for each type of metal on the Fisher F22 metal detector.

This is a very powerful feature that really sets the Fisher F22 ahead of the Garrett ACE 300

Search Coil Options

The Fisher F22 comes with a teardrop-shaped 9-inch concentric coil.

fisher f22 coil - Fisher F22 vs Garrett ACE 300 (5 Important Differences)

The teardrop shape makes it more effective in areas with high iron content or trash. It is also fully waterproof and can be used underwater. Just make sure you don’t put the control box underwater – as it is not waterproof and is protected against wet weather.

You don’t have to stick with the stock standard coil. The Fisher model allows you to change coils with larger or smaller coils from the F2 or F44 models. You can also use coils from other manufacturers with the NEL or Detech’s being a popular choice with detectorists. These are if you are looking for a DD search coil.

The Garrett ACE 300 is supplied with concentric 7″ x 10″ PROFormance™ coil. It has slightly better performance when it comes to detection depth. The coil is also a concentric design and can be exchanged for a wide range of coils from other manufacturers. Garrett also has the excellent Sniper coil in their standard range.

Both manufacturers allow you to use third party coils.

Weatherproof

While neither metal detector is completely waterproof, the Fisher F22 is marketed as being fully weatherproof.

In practical terms, this means the F22 can be used in light rain without needing to worry. The same cannot be said for the Garrett ACE 300.

There have been several reports of Garrett owners leaving their metal detectors out in the rain overnight, only to find that they won’t turn on in the morning. If this happens to you, various owners have suggested using a hairdryer or putting the control box in a plastic bag with rice to dry out the circuit board. Our recommendation is to not let the Garrett ACE 300 control box get wet. (The optional control box cover can help protect the control box in wet conditions)

When you look at the Fisher F22, you will notice that the various plugs and batteries have rubber seals that stop water from getting into the unit. It is important to understand that neither unit is completely waterproof, and submersing the control box in water will almost certainly cause the unit to fail.

The Fisher F22 wins this category. The weatherproof design means you can use it in light rain without having to rush back to the car

Volume Control

After a while, the continuous chatter of iron detection can become quite annoying.

Fisher has included the ability to independently control the volume of the ferrous tone on the Fisher F22 metal detector. This increases the clarity of the higher tones emitted by coins and other metals. It also means you don’t need to completely disable the iron tone on the detector as you do on the Garrett 300.

Products Mentioned In This Review

Image Description Coil More Info
Fisher F22 Weatherproof Metal Detector with Submersible Search Coil Fisher F22 Concentric 9" View on Amazon
Garrett Metal Detectors Ace 300 Metal Detector, GAR1141150 Garrett ACE 300 Concentric 7" x 10" View on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Making a decision between the Garrett ACE 300 and the Fisher F22 is difficult because they are both excellent entry-level metal detector with a good range of features.

We really like the fact the Fisher F22 is weatherproof and can be used in heavy rain without having to rush back to shelter. We also like the ability to customize the tones for each type of target. It certainly makes identifying important targets easier.

Because of its slightly larger search coil, the Garrett ACE 300 is capable of detecting metal slightly deeper than the F22 (1 inch for coins) and can detect coins laying on their side or close together with double beeps.

This one is too close to call, and largely depends on the features you are looking for. If it were our choice, we would buy the Fisher F22 – but that is personal preference

Image credits: amazon.com, garrett.com, fisherlab.com