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Top Survey Equipment Brands for Your Next Purchase


When you’re shopping for your next piece of surveying equipment, you’ll see that there are an array of brands to choose from. You might be an expert who’s well-versed in the merits of manufacturers, but if you’re not, you need to know which companies are reliable. Names such as Nedo, Nikon, and Spectra are some of the top contenders — check out this guide to see why.


For over 120 years, Nedo has been a leader in the engineering and surveying equipment industries. The company was founded in Dornstetten, Germany where the brand still maintains its Nedo surveying operations and manufacturing processes.

Nedo is synonymous with quality because of the unique proprietary material and features that are often part of their products. The Nedo survey tripod, for example, features a plastic coating and hardwood construction that’s designed for durability and water resistance.



Spectra was founded in 1846, and its products have withstood the test of time for good reason. The brand is most notable for their reputation for reliability. The company operates a state-of-the-art research and development center to ensure that their products continue to meet the industry’s evolving demands.

Another major benefit of Spectra equipment is its use of robotic technology. Few other survey equipment manufacturers have ventured into this field yet, so the company is in a unique position to bring new innovations to the industry.


Nikon is most commonly associated with photography, but they are a leading name brand in the surveying sector, too. Indeed, Nikon manufactures a wide range of tripods and other equipment that can be useful for surveying. Users enjoy the efficiency of Nikon equipment. Most of the brand’s tools can be quickly assembled and disassembled with very little effort, making them the perfect option for long days spent on site. Nikon is also known as one of the most affordable brands on the market — but that doesn’t compromise the quality of their products.


Carlson Software emerged in 1983 as a leader in surveying software design. In addition to CAD design suites, the company creates tools for collecting data in the field and wielding machine control. Perhaps the most unique offering that Carlson can boast, though, is their highly advanced 3D technology applications.

Carlson utilizes a proprietary 3D algorithm to create real-time representations of survey sites, working in conjunction with your other equipment. This is a valuable resource if you are looking for a more insightful view of a piece of property, and the technology’s potential for future developments — including artificial intelligence applications — is an exciting new frontier, too.


The Swiss have always been known for quality and precision, and Leica Geosystems is no exception. This company is a mainstay in the surveying equipment world due to its invention of the portable optomechanical theodolite. No technology like this existed before Leica’s incredible invention, and they remain at the forefront of equipment innovations.

Leica is also known for its GPS tools that are remarkably reliable. The company's GPS units are equipped with superior satellite geometry and a uniquely engineered receiver design. These features make Leica tools the most reliable option if you need to incorporate GPS into your measurements while you are surveying.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I find the best surveying equipment?


You can find surveying equipment at many stores, but you’ll find the best selection and prices and Engineer Supply.

Does Nikon have a warranty?

Yes! Nikon offers a five year limited warranty on many of its products, including some of the brand’s surveying equipment. Be sure to confirm that a product is eligible for warranty coverage before buying.

Is Nedo a reliable brand?

Nedo is one of the most reliable brands in the surveying equipment industry.

Why do I need GPS for surveying?

GPS can be used in advanced surveying techniques to ensure that the measurements are more accurate. A surveyor will position two GPS receivers to collect data and then use the data to check the survey measurements.

What is the best brand for a beginner surveyor?

There are many reliable brands to choose from when you’re looking for your first pieces of surveying equipment. You can find affordable selections from a brand such as Nikon, and brands such as Nedo offer many newbie-friendly pieces of equipment, too.

Find the Right Surveying and Engineering Tools

Shopping for your next piece of surveying equipment is exciting, but you want to be sure that you invest in a brand that’s worthwhile. When you choose Leica, Nikon, Nedo, Spectra, or Carlson, you’ll be in good shape. Engineer Supply has the top surveying equipment brands. Call us at (800) 591-8907 or shop online.

Best Survey Equipment

Magnetic Locators

If you’re looking for lot lines in an urban or suburban area, there are likely already surveying stakes in the corners of every lot. It’s important to mark your own lines to verify accuracy, but a convenient place to start is with the existing surveying stakes.

A magnetic locator helps you find these stakes. Simply turn on the locator and work your way around the area where a stake is likely buried. These locators detect magnetic signals from buried metal items, so they’ll find a number of other items in addition to surveying stakes. Once you find a metallic object, dig it out to verify it’s a stake.
One of the most convenient, practical locators is the Schonstedt GA-52Cx. This basic model is highly reliable, but doesn’t have all the programmable settings of other locators. Use it to find metallic objects with highly sensitive location technology and a rugged, weather-resistant control panel.


The Pipehorn 800HL detector is one of the most versatile options for locating buried objects. This dual-frequency detector works as both a pipe and cable locator. Connect the transmitter to a buried line to follow an electric, water or gas line buried in the ground. Once you locate and flag these buried lines, switch modes to sweep for unmarked utilities with the tracer wire and tape.


A more portable, high-tech Schonstedt magnetic locator option is the GA-92XTd. This model uses a compact design and versatile control panel for both audio and visual indication. The small size doesn’t mean less power, so you can use this locator to find ferrous items buried up to 16 feet underground. Pack it away in the small, durable case to keep in your truck or toolbag wherever you work.


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