8 Of The Best Theodolites | Engineer Supply - EngineerSupply

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Best Theodolites

Best Theodolites

Best Theodolites

While compasses and graphic techniques are fine for making sketch maps, only theodolites can give you the accuracy that’s needed for more precise layouts. A theodolite has a telescope that can pivot around horizontal and vertical axes, so it can measure angles along both these planes. These angles are read from graduated circles that are in degrees as well as in smaller intervals of 10 or 20 minutes.

The exact position of the index mark (which shows the direction of what’s called the “line of sight”) between two of these graduations is measured on both sides of the circle with the help of a vernier or micrometer. For longer distances, signaling lamps or heliographs that reflect sunlight can be used as targets. But for smaller distances and for work that’s less demanding, a smaller theodolite with simpler measurement systems can be used.

Here are eight of the best theodolites on the market.

#1: Topcon Theodolite DT-307L with Laser Pointer


This theodolite integrates the same advanced circle reading technology found in Topcon’s high-performance total stations, so you can do more accurate calculations while you’re out on the field. Topcon continues to include high-quality optics and electronics in all their theodolites, and this particular model can endure any kind of wet or dust condition that you may find while you’re out in the field. This will keep you productive regardless of the surrounding weather. This theodolite also comes with the following accessories:

  • Plumb bob.
  • Tool kit.
  • Lint-free lens cloth.
  • Waterproof protective cover.
  • Hard carrying case.
Be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply today!

#2: Leica Digital Electronic Theodolite


This digital theodolite is an economical but sophisticated tool for measuring angles and slopes with a five-second accuracy. It also has a laser plummet for quick and easy setup, a reticle illuminator for a brighter view, as well as many other attractive features.

It’s a great tool for even the most demanding job requirements, and the automatic vertical angle compensator (which can be turned on or off) will make sure you get an accurate reading if the instrument moves out of balance. If the theodolite moves out of the compensation range, it will display a tilt warning in the vertical angle reading space (which can help you to avoid any costly errors).

Both sides of the instrument have back-lit LCD display panels, which will allow you to access functions from either side. And both of them are easy to read, even in low-light conditions. This digital theodolite has a number of other features, which can include:

  • Horizontal angle indicator that can help with faster orientation.
  • Numerous customization options.
  • IP54 Rating for water and dust resistance.
  • NiMH rechargeable battery pack with a charger.
  • AA alkaline battery holder for an additional power option.
If you’re ready to purchase this theodolite, be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply.

#3: Futtura 5-Second Digital Theodolite


This theodolite can give you more accuracy at a lower cost than most of the standard models. It comes with a NiCad battery and charger, as well as an alkaline battery pack. It also has two LCD displays that can be used with a large push-button system. It has flexible mounting options with its removable tribrach, and it will fit any standard 5/8” x 11” flat or dome-head tripod.

#4: GeoMax ZIPP02 2-Second Digital Theodolite


With a vertical compensator and a 2-second accuracy, this theodolite will give you the precision you need for even the most demanding jobs. It has a variety of display modes and measurement units. It’s also easy to operate with only six keys, and it comes with a laser plummet so you can make sure it’s set up correctly. When you purchase this digital theodolite, it will come with the following accessories:

  • Hard carrying case.
  • Tribrach.
  • Rechargeable battery.
  • Charger
  • Alkaline battery cassette.
It also has an IP54 Rating for dust and water resistance as well as a 36-hour battery life.

#5: David White DT8-05LS 5-Second Laser Sight Digital Theodolite with Optical Plummet


This theodolite has a laser beam built into the aperture, so it can be easily and accurately aligned. And the simple, push-button functions will give you precise digital readouts on an LCD display. It also has an incremental encoding system with two digital displays and an automatic power shut-off system. The coaxial tangent and clamp screws will make sighting and alignment easier, and it even has an optical plummet for better point centering.

#6: Futtura 10-Second Digital Theodolite


This theodolite uses rechargeable NiCad batteries (charger is included) as well as an alkaline battery pack. The two LCD displays have large displays, which makes it easier to read. This design allows you to get an accurate reading from either side of the machine. The built-in crosshair, display illumination, and simple push-button operation makes it easy to use. And the removable optical plummet (with its ability to fit flat or dome-head tripods) will give you more flexibility.

#7: SitePro 5 Second Digital Theodolite


The incremental encoding detection system and dual digital displays on this theodolite will allow you to get precise readouts that are easy to read, and the 30x telescope will give you a bright wide field. The built-in 3x optical plummet will allow you to set it up quickly and easily. It also has a 5-second vertical and horizontal accuracy, so you can get precise readings in even the most demanding situation. This digital theodolite comes with a variety of other features, including the following:

  • Automatic power shut-off.
  • Optical plummet for centering of point.
  • Coaxial tangent and clamp screws to make sighting and alignment functions easier.
Be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply today!

#8: Northwest Instrument 5-Second Digital Theodolite


This theodolite has photoelectric incremental encoding that will make sure you get precise results. The horizontal and vertical measurements are displayed on dual-sided LCD displays. And it has a number of other features, which includes the following:

  • A telescope that features erect imaging.
  • An aperture of 45mm.
  • 30x magnification.
  • 4-second resolving power.
  • Stadia ratio of 1:100.
  • Angle measurement with a minimum accuracy of five seconds at 360 degrees.
If you’re ready to pick up one of the best theodolites for surveying, be sure to pick yours up at Engineer Supply.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a modern theodolite?

Best Theodolites

Modern theodolites can be used to measure angles between two visible points on both the horizontal and vertical plane. They’re commonly used for land surveying, but they can also be used for building and infrastructure construction as well as some other specialized applications (such as meteorology and rocket launching).

What is a theodolite used for?

Here are some of the common uses for a digital theodolite:
  • Measuring horizontal and vertical angles.
  • Locating points on a line.
  • Find differences in level.
  • Prolonging survey lines.
  • Ranging curves.
  • Setting out grades.
  • Tachometric surveying.
Theodolites can be helpful for people who work in the engineering field, because it plays a major role in measuring horizontal and vertical angles (which is useful for bearing measurement).

How accurate are theodolites?

Using a theodolite for surveying is a great way to map out an area, because it can measure angles with a great deal of accuracy. When it’s combined with other instruments (such as electronic distance measurers, chains, or tapes), they can help surveyors to create a detailed map of a specific area.

Why do surveyors use theodolites?

Theodolites have a number of advantages, which can include but may not be limited to:
  • Greater accuracy.
  • An internal magnifying optical system.
  • Electronic readings.
  • Horizontal circles can be instantly zeroed or set to any other value.
  • Horizontal circle readings can be taken to the left or right of zero.
  • Repeat readings are unnecessary.
Theodolites have an internal optical device that makes it easier to read circles with much more accuracy than other instruments. And because you don’t have to take as many repeat readings, measurements can be taken more quickly.

How do I use a digital theodolite?

You can use a digital theodolite by performing the following steps:
  • Rotate the theodolite until the arrow on the rough sights is lined up with the point you want to measure and lock the clamp.
  • Use the upper horizontal adjuster (not the clamp) to align the object between the two vertical lights in the sight.
  • Look through the eyepiece, while using the fine adjustment knob to line it up with the object.
  • Look through the sight, while moving the theodolite up and down to find the precise vertical spot on the object you want to measure.
The two coordinates will give you the exact angle between your reference point and the spot you want to measure, but you can also measure the angle between two points by comparing their two measurements or by setting the first point as a reference. If you want a place where you can find the best theodolites on the market, be sure to look at what we have at Engineer Supply.
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