Magnetic Locators, The Differences and Which You Need.

By Cody Corporation
Magnetic Locators

Magnetic Locators, The Differences and Which You Need.

Underground Locating is an incredibly important part of the construction industry these days. Besides Underground Asset Locators, which help find Underground Water, Gas, Telecommunication and Poly / PVC Pipes which you can read more about, in our article – Locating Underground Assets and What Locator to Use, there is also a sub-branch of Locators called Magnetic Locators, used for locating buried or covered ferrous objects.

On the market today there are a huge number of Surveying Magnetic Locators, these all have slightly different attributes and locate different objects at various depths. Knowing what Magnetic Locator is best for you is a difficult task and can take hours of research to understand the differences between all the models.

This article will break down the common uses for Magnetic Locators within the Construction & Survey Industry and which devices are best suited for Locating what you require.

Magnetic Locating Basics

All the Magnetic Locators we offer at Cody Corp are the Schonstedt Locators, these have been around for many years and are of the highest quality. Usually sold within the Survey & Construction Industry, these devices are in fact also used to locate buried land mines within war zones. With a variety of models to suit your needs, you can be sure that Schonstedt have a Locator just for you.

The most common uses for Magnetic Locators are to detect buried Ferrous Objects Underground. These objects range from; Markers, Pins, PK Nails, Steel Enclosures, Reinforced Tanks, Vaults, Steel Pipe Joints, Valve and Curb Boxes (Shut-Off Valves) and can find ferrous objects up to 5.5 Meters deep.

Magnetic Locators react to the outline of a ferrous metal object to pinpoint its location with precision to these depths. Each model has varying abilities to detect specific Ferrous Metals, Different Levels of Accuracy and to different depths.

The best part about Survey Grade Magnetic Locators is they avoid unnecessary interference from things like Aluminium Cans, Pull Tabs, Wire and other common trash items which are frequently buried in construction sites.

The different models of Magnetic Locators vary in what they can achieve, from depth to accuracy to size & weight you can be sure there is a Magnetic Locator that will serve the exact purpose you require.

These models are as follows:

  1. GA-52Cx
  2. GA-72Cd
  3. GA-92XTd
  4. Spot Locator
  5. Maggie Locator

These units cover everything within the surveying market in terms of Magnetic Locating.

Below are the differences between each model.

 GA-52Cx Specifications

This is the most popular unit from Schonstedt, it has the highest level of accuracy available to a Magnetic Locator with 5 Sensitivity Levels and a headphone jack for even clearer audio. This unit has an Audio only output. It won’t pick up Aluminium, Brass or Copper and uses Schonstedt famous HeliFlux Sensors. With its easy to use 2 control functions, ability is paramount, it allows for 1 handed operation and comes with Schonstedt’s 7 Year Warranty. These features make the GA-52Cx an excellent starting magnetic locator.

This unit has now recently been made an obsolete model by Schonstedt and replaced by the Spot Locator.


GA-92XTd Specifications

The GA-92XTd is the most portable of all the Schonstedt Magnetic Locators, it comes with a pocket holster for easy storage while on site and has a retractable shaft which makes it nice and compact for easy transportation and daily carrying. With the same 4 levels of sensitivity as the GA-52Cx it is as accurate as all the Schonstedt Range of magnetic locators on the market. It also has an Audio & Visual output, a Battery indicator and Sensitivity Indicator for quick reference. These premium features mean the GA-92XTd is the most expensive Magnetic Locator in the range. Again, it comes with the 7 Year warranty behind it and makes the GA-92XTd an excellent Magnetic Locator for constant daily use.


GA-72Cd Specifications

The GA-72Cd magnetic locator operates differently from the other locators in the Schonstedt range. It will produces audio signals that peak in frequency when the locator’s tip is held directly over the target. This is done by having the option of Nulling or Peaking the frequency. Like the GA-52Cx is has only 2 controls which aids in 1 handed operation and allows for extensive ruggedness. This unit is the most Rugged unit and is the most popular unit for detecting UXO(unexploded ordinances) and De-mining applications. It has an Audio and Visual output as well as a Battery & Sensitivity indicator just like the GA-92XTd. Again a 7-year warranty, these features make this unit one of the most expensive magnetic locators in the range, but you can be sure you have yourself an amazing Magnetic Locator.

This unit has now recently been made an obsolete model by Schonstedt and replaced by the Maggie Locator.

Spot Locator Specifications

The Spot Magnetic locator from Schonstedt is the newest unit in their range, it is the cheapest unit in their range and is the lightest magnetic locator in the Schonstedt range of Locators. As an entry basic model for magnetic locators the Spot has only an Audio output and has 5 levels of Sensitivity but does not have a headphone port. This unit is an excellent lightweight alternative to the GA-52Cx which is a more traditional design and weight. With an IP54 Rating and the 7 Year Schonstedt warranty this unit is built to last for many years.


Maggie Locator Specifications

The Maggie Locator is Schonstedt’s attempt to bring a lot of the features of all the previous models together into 1 unit. With both Audio & Visual output’s showing the battery & sensitivity levels, 4 Levels of Sensitivity and a headphone port it has all the features required in a top end locator. With the comfortable pistol grip design like the GA-92XTd it makes it a breeze to locate for extended periods of time. It doesn’t have the retractable rod like the GA-92XTd does, but it is IP54 Rated and comes with the standard 7 Year warranty.


Depending on the frequency of use your magnetic locator is going to undertake depends mainly on which magnetic locator you are going to need or want. Locators like the GA-92XTd & Maggie Locator have a comfortable design allowing for long term use. If you’re working within a budget and will be using the locator sparingly, the Spot and GA-52Cx are more than adequate for your daily needs. All the Magnetic Locators from Schonstedt are quality products which are all serviceable and repairable here at Cody Corporation. Drop into our showroom and have look at all the units on display.

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