A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

Guide To Cable Detectors

  1. Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cable Detector
  2. Brands & Ranges
  3. Recommended Cable Detectors
  4. Accessories
  5. Training
  6. Calibration & Repairs
  7. What is a Cable Detector?
  8. To Buy or Hire?

We hope our guide to cable detectors helps you make the right decision!

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1. Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Cable Detector

One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Accessories

There is a lot to consider when trying to choose the right cable detector for you. Here are some things to consider:

  • Strike Alert – This technology sends an alert to the operator to let them know that they’ve detected something below the surface that is shallow and likely to be struck if work is done. Some cable detectors have this technology but others won’t. If this is something you think would be useful to you, you could consider the gCAT4 or gCAT4+ as they both come with this technology.
  • Depth Estimation – Some cable detectors will be able to locate a cable or pipe, but aren’t equipped with the technology to give an estimate to the depth. If you require this feature on a budget, you might want to consider the CAT4+. However, the eCAT4+ has the same technology.
  •  GPS/GNSS – An internal GPS/GNSS receiver which adds positional data to log records showing not only how the operator was working, but also where the cable detector was being used. This is useful not only for training but also traceability. You should consider the gCAT4+ if this is a feature you require.

2. Cable Detector Brands & Ranges


One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Radiodetection

Radiodetection was founded in 1970 and is now considered a market leader in cable avoidance tools.

Radiodetection have produced the amazing C.A.T4™ and Genny4™ ranges of cable avoidance tools to enable users to quickly and safely find buried cables, pipes and other utilities.

With such a wide variety of cable detectors to choose from, you are sure to find something suitable for you!

Their innovative tools reduce the risk of personal injury and damage to utilities on any excavation job where cables and pipes may be encountered.

Radiodetection have used their 30 years of cable avoidance experience to produce the C.A.T4™ range.

The C.A.T4™ range of cable locators offers quality cable location as standard along with a range of excellent features!

Bestselling C.A.T4™ cable detectors to consider include:

  • CAT4 – A excellent budget option that features all standard features including: avoidance mode and optional strike alert!
  • CAT4+ - A High quality cable detector with many useful features found in more expensive cable avoidance tools. Some of these features include the depth estimation, optional strike alert, SWING warning & more!
  • gCAT4+ - A relatively new product to the cable detection range, the gCAT4+ has a full range of brilliant features including a GPS receiver, Bluetooth technology, depth estimation, strike alert, CALsafe and much more!

View The CAT4™ Range »

Leica ULTRA Range

A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Leica ULTRA Range - One Point Survey

The Leica ULTRA range of cable locators enable operators to achieve ‘best in class’ locating and tracing expectations.

There are two versions of the locators, the Standard and the Advanced

The ULTRA System has unique flexible operating modes to help you easily decide the right mode for your locating application and site conditions. 

Leica ULTRA Features:

  • Can be configured for different project environments 
  • Ambient Interference Measurements (AIM) 
  • Trace utility under an obstruction
  • Signal transmitter remote communication link 
  • Clear operational display 
  • Large clear display with LCD screen
  • Custom frequencies
  • Compass
  • Bluetooth
  • Increase transmitter power output between 5W and 12W
  • Built for the most challenging and demanding environment
  • Selectable Antenna Configurations
  • Direction enabled

View the Leica ULTRA range >>

Leica DD Range

A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Leica DD Range - One Point Survey

The new Leica DD SMART utility locator solution, including the DD230/220 cable locator series, DX Shield software and signal transmitters is the only complete portfolio of detection solutions for utility professionals and anyone who is breaking ground.

The Leica DD SMART utility locator series uses industry-leading digital signal processing to identify underground assets deeper, faster and more accurately than any other system.

    View the Leica DD range >>

    3. Recommended Cable Detectors

    Top Cable Detector

    gCAT4+ Cable Detector - Available at one point survey - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

    Winner: Radiodetection gCAT4+ 

    The gC.A.T4 cable detector includes the StrikeAlert and CALSafe software as standard as well as GPS / GNSS capabilities.

    View Now »

    Best Budget Cable Detector

    Best Budget Cable Detector C.A.T4

    Winner: Radiodetection CAT4

    The C.A.T4 digital platform delivers highly refined locate capabilities, specifically designed to help the operator find more buried utilities.

    View Now »

    Best Leica Ultra Cable Detector

    A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Leica ULTRA Advanced - One Point Survey

    Winner: Leica ULTRA Advanced

    The Leica ULTRA Advanced provides Leica's most advanced precision utility tracing system with integrated intelligent signal processing and unique flexible operating modes, helping you save time and increase operators confidence.

    View Now »

    4. What Cable Detector Accessories Will I Need?

    One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Accessories

    Choosing the right accessories for your cable detector allows you to increase its capabilities and improve safety.

    Accessories to consider:

    • Signal Generator – Signal generators work to produce a signal to allow your cable detector to be traced. You should consider the Genny4 Dual Frequency Generator for a CAT4 cable detector.
    • Signal Clamps – These work alongside a signal generator to identify utilities by applying a generator signal along a pipe or cable. The Radiodetection signal clamp works with the CAT4 range of radio detectors.
    • Sondes – Sondes help with the detection of non-conductive utilities. Radiodetection offer a range of Sondes for the CAT4 range of detectors. The Standard Sonde is a great place to start!
    • Flexitrace– Flexitrace helps to locate pipes, ducts and drains – even when made of non-conductive material such as plastic. Click here to see our cable installation range.
    • Carry Bag – If you want to comfortably carry your cable detector you may consider a carry bag. Both Radiodetection and Cabledetection have released individual bags for their own tools. If you use a CAT4 cable detector, consider the Radiodetection Carry Bag.

    View Our Accessories »

    5. Cable Avoidance Training

    One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - Cable Avoidance Training

    Buried Utilities represent a major hazard to construction workers and poorly planned excavations can cause cable or pipe damage resulting in personal injury, costly repairs and delays. 

    Therefore, it’s so important to have the knowledge you need to avoid these problems and know how to effectively use cable detection tools and other avoidance information!

    At One Point Survey, we offer cable and pipe avoidance courses that cover:

    • Reasons for using locators
    • The theory of locating services
    • Safe systems of work covered in HSG47.

    All courses are conducted to a high standard using comprehensive slide presentations along with video presentations and supporting samples of products and accessories. Classroom sessions are followed by practical instruction performed outdoors.

    Our qualified trainers are all experienced in using cable and pipe locators in a wide range of situations.

    One you complete the course all our candidates are issued with a certificate of competence!

    It’s easy to get in touch and discuss your individual training course:

    Call: 0800 633 5131

    Email: info@onepointsurvey.com

    Find Out More »

    6.Our Calibration and Repair Service

    Calibration and repair service

    We specialise in the calibration and repair of safety equipment including Cable Detectors.

    Our calibration and repair services are designed to be affordable, high-standard and extremely convenient.

    Our goal is to maintain optimum working performance and save you money by preventing costly avoidable repairs or replacement of your equipment.

    We offer a free, no obligation quote and we can offer door-to-door collection and delivery in many areas of the south of England. 

    Call 0800 633 5131 and speak to our service & repair department or email service@onepointsurvey.com 

    Find out more >>

    7. What is a Cable Detector?

    A Buyers Guide to Cable Detectors - What is a Cable Detector - One Point Survey

    A cable detector is a safety tool used for detecting the presence and location of underground services before excavation works begin. Cable detectors allow workers to safely do their job without any major safety issues, injuries or costly damages.

    Cable detectors are made up of two parts; the transmitter and receiver. An electric signal is transferred through a cable pipe by the transmitter and the receiver picks up the signal. This allows the operator to trace the signals path and detect the cable or pipe.

    Buried cables and pipes can present a real hazard to construction workers and every year site workers are injured due to inadvertently striking buried utilities such as electricity cables or gas pipelines. 

    As industry standards get more and more regulated, it makes sense to buy the best and most recent cable and pipe location technology.

    Some popular cable detector ranges include:

    Find Out More »

    8. Cable Detectors: To Buy or Hire?

    One Point Survey - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors - To Hire or Buy?

    If you’ve decided you need a Cable Detector you’ve completed the first step. Next, you need to consider whether it's best to buy or hire your equipment.

    To make this decision you must consider how often you will be using the tool. If you require a cable detector for a long period of time and will use it regularly, it's wise to consider buying it outright.

    However, if you know you will only use it occasionally, hiring may be a better option.

    We offer a hire or buy service of Survey and Safety equipment, including cable detectors and accessories.

    Hiring vs Buying »

    Contact Us

    One Point Survey Contact Us - A Buyers Guide To Cable Detectors

    If you have any queries feel free to contact us.

    One of our experienced team will be happy to help

    Email: info@onepointsurvey.com

    Phone: 0800 633 5131

    Contact Us »