WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Review: Garret Ace Apex Metal Detector

You may have seen people out in parks with their metal detectors, swinging the machines back and forth, back and forth, slowly walking along as they search. You probably assumed they were looking for treasure, but is that really what they’re seeking?

I dabbled in metal detecting with my husband’s machines a little bit while living in Washington state because I like the adventure of looking for old things. But once we moved to Texas, I was more motivated to get out because of the nicer weather. I happened to see the Garrett Metal Detectors booth at SHOT Show and stopped to ask about a lightweight detector since my husband’s machines were a bit heavy and wore my arm out quickly. I spoke with Marketing Director Steve Moore and he suggested the Garrett Ace Apex with the Viper Searchcoil and sent me one to try out. 

Garrett Field Team Member Gypsy Jewels
Garrett Field Team Member Gypsy Jewels (Gypsy Jewels photo)

I tried the Ace Apex out around the house, then out various places with our local metal detecting group. While at SHOT Show, after hearing about my interest in other women who metal detect, Garrett Customer Service representative Adam Lewis had told me about Garrett Field Team member Gypsy Jewels, who lives in Texas as well. She also has a YouTube channel called Zero Discrimination, so I started watching and following her for tips. Then, fortune really smiled on me as I found out Gypsy was holding her first “hunt” in March, sponsored by Garrett.

A “hunt” is where you get to detect for natural items that have been lost over time, but also, “seeded hunts” such as Gypsy’s are where coins and objects are planted by the hunt organizers for you to find. This was our first time participating in this kind of event.

Gypsy Jewels and Nancy Keaton at Gypsy's Hunt
Gypsy Jewels and Nancy Keaton at Gypsy’s Hunt

I used the Ace Apex for five hours the day of Gypsy’s hunt and it wasn’t until about the last half hour that my arm started getting tired. At only 2-½ pounds, it was exactly what I wanted. Also, it has a rechargeable battery, and I was impressed that after using it all day I still had ¾ of battery power left. 

This was the first hunt organized by Gypsy and there were about 50 people in attendance – a perfect size for our first hunt. I met women from online metal detecting groups as well as many other people also interested in the same kinds of other activities we like to do outdoors such as rockhounding and fossil collecting.

While there, I asked Gypsy what advice she would have for women who want to start metal detecting. “I would say the first thing is to do your research. It can really make a difference just to do a little bit of homework and find out what metal detector would be best for you to start with. You can learn so many tips from YouTube. You may have beginner’s luck, but you still need somebody to guide you on how to swing the metal detector, the different settings on your detector, and things like that,” Gypsy says. Of course, she recommends one of the Garrett detectors because she is truly proud of their products, their customer service and the fact that they are made in America. She’s been honored to be a part of testing the equipment and offering her feedback. 

Garrett Memorial Hunt
Garrett Memorial Hunt

Next, we learned the Garrett Memorial Hunt, another seeded hunt, would be held in April in Canton, Texas, another close drive for us, so we attended it as well. It was much larger, with several hundred people (but still a ton of fun), and a lot more women.

I started wondering why other women like to detect. I know why I do – getting outside, looking for small treasures, looking for historical items. But did other women feel the same way?

Jase Robertson, Garrett Field Team Member and Nancy Keaton at Garrett Memorial Hunt
Jase Robertson, Garrett Field Team Member and Nancy Keaton at Garrett Memorial Hunt

I began by asking a few of the women at the Garrett Memorial Hunt. Some had started out by supporting their husbands, then discovered their own joy of finding things. Others liked the adventure, the history, or making new friends from all around the country.

Then I posted the “why” question on the “WOMEN ONLY Metal Detecting” Facebook page. There were so many passionate responses. Here are a few that were echoed over and over in various ways:

  • The thrill of the hunt.
  • Getting outside and in the fresh air.
  • Meeting new people with the same interests.
  • Stress relief.
  • Spending quality time with family.
  • Getting to find something someone lost and returning it to them.
  • The feeling of holding an object held by another a few hundred years ago.
  • Mystery and history, trash and treasure, not knowing which it will be. Speculating on the story of the item and the people who once owned it.
Nancy's Finds from the Garrett Memorial Hunt
Nancy’s Finds from the Garrett Memorial Hunt

What kinds of physical treasures might you find? We found several coins, some modern but many old coins that were planted, as well as some fun foreign coins. I think the most exciting part was finding the planted silver coins. Seeing that bright silver shining in the dirt is absolutely thrilling. A close second to finding silver was the excitement of finding my first planted Civil War objects at the Garrett hunt – a bullet and musket balls! The prizes you can receive are phenomenal as well. The United States Treasure Atlas that I won at Gypsy’s hunt as a prize for a token I dug is fascinating because it shows places where there are rumors of lost treasures and ghost towns that a person may want to detect. 

Finds and prizes from Gypsy's Hunt
Finds and Prizes from Gypsy’s Hunt

As you can see, there are a variety of reasons women like metal detecting, it’s not simply looking to get rich from buried treasure. Whatever their reasons, whatever they are seeking, that is their “treasure.” Do any of these ideas speak to you? 

Nancy Keaton at Garrett Memorial Hunt with Ace Apex Metal Detector
Nancy Keaton at Garrett Memorial Hunt with Ace Apex Metal Detector

If so, you don’t have to go it alone. Join a local club or a Facebook page and meet someone close by that will be happy to help you get started. Then go out and buy your own Garrett metal detector and start searching for your “treasure.”

The MSRP for the Garrett Ace Apex with Viper Searchcoil is $505.82.

  • About Nancy Keaton

    Nancy Keaton is a retired college administrator, president of her local gun club, competitive shooter and freelance writer whose work has appeared in A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League, "American Shooting Journal," "American Concealed," "Northwest Meetings + Events," and other publications. She enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics and interviewing ordinary people doing amazing things. To see a compilation of her writing, check out https://nancykeaton.contently.com.