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What is a Magnetic Locator?

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Many surveyors and city employees use a magnetic locator, because they see it being used by another department or someone who has been doing it for a long time. The magnetic locator is used to find ferrous objects under the ground, a body of water, or inside a layer of snow. Some of these objects may include:

  • PK nails
  • Iron pipes
  • Buried metal objects
  • Valve covers
  • Masonry nails
  • Manhole covers
  • Wires
  • Cast iron water or gas lines
  • Valve boxes
  • Septic tanks
  • Well casings
  • Surveyors’ markers
Survey markers or pins are so magnetic that they can be located with this type of device, which is why it could be an important tool while you’re on the job site.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Magnetic Locator

Before you decide to buy a magnetic locator, there are some things you have to consider. Some of these can include but may not be limited to:

  • Price — If you’re concerned about the cost, you also have to think about the unit’s life expectancy. Some locators can be used for 20-30 years, so the price will be spread out during that time.
  • Warranty — Different manufacturers have different warranties. The warranty of the Schonsedt magnetic locator will vary with each model, while the CST magnetic locator will come with a 5-year warranty.
  • Headphones — Using headphones while you’re operating a magnetic locator can be dangerous because you won’t be able to hear other sounds at a construction site or near highways. It’s not always recommended. But if you need to, it's something you’ll have to consider.
  • Cases — Some surveyors say they prefer a softer case instead of a hard one. So if you want a case, you should think about which one you want. Some cases even have shoulder straps, which makes it easier to carry while you’re on the job site.
  • Size and other options — You may need a magnetic locator that’s easy to carry while you’re on the field, but you may also want additional options that will allow you to do more than find pipes and cables. It all depends on what you want to do and where you plan to use it.
Some people recommend you contact the manufacturer every five years to have it calibrated and tested, especially if you’re using it to find UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) or weapons. However, some manufacturers say that regular calibration isn’t necessary. So, it depends on whether you feel this type of maintenance is necessary.

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Quality Magnetic Locators from Engineering Supply!

If you’re looking for quality magnetic locators from established brands, you can find them at Engineering Supply. We’re one of the top places to find professional surveying tools and supplies. So whether you want a Schonsedt magnetic locator or a CST magnetic locator, we have you covered. We’re a Factory-Authorized Dealer for several top manufacturers in the business, because we want to give you the best on the market. Feel free to look at what we have in stock, so you can find the right tool for your specific needs.

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