Best Total Station Reviews

Back when I was in college, and working for my family’s landscaping company, we didn’t have robotic total stations or any fancy laser levels other than a standard transit kit. I’m sure shooting grades for hardscaping jobs on construction projects would have been much MUCH easier with all this latest and greatest technology, and I set out to find out which total station brands and models are the best for different types of jobs. Construction contractors and surveyor forums provided a wealth of information, and the models below are some of the most popular models in the industry.

Top 7 Best Total Stations of 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

CST/berger 56-DGT10 Digital Transit with Vertical Tilt Sensor

#1) CST/berger 56-DGT10 Digital Transit with Vertical Tilt Sensor

CST/berger 56-CST302R-RT CST302R 2 Second Electronic Reflectorless Total Station

#2) CST/berger 56-CST302R-RT CST302R 2 Second Electronic

3 Leica Builder 206 Reflectorless Total Station

#3) Leica Builder 206 (6") Reflectorless Total Station

Leica TS06plus 2

#4) Leica Builder 206 (6") Reflectorless Total Station

Maple MPE-825R Reflectorless Total Station

#5) Maple MPE-825R Reflectorless Total Station

Maple Reflectorless 2

#6) Maple Reflectorless 2" Total Station MPE-822R and free Mini Prism

Nikon NPL-322 (5

#7) Nikon NPL-322 (5") Reflectorless Total Station

The Best Total Stations (best brands & models from surveyors)

Back when I was in college, and working for my family’s landscaping company, we didn’t have robotic total stations or any fancy laser levels other than a standard transit kit. I’m sure shooting grades for hardscaping jobs on construction projects would have been much MUCH easier with all this latest and greatest technology, and I set out to find out which total station brands and models are the best for different types of jobs. Construction contractors and surveyor forums provided a wealth of information, and the models below are some of the most popular models in the industry.

#1) CST/berger 56-DGT10 Digital Transit with Vertical Tilt Sensor

  • 5-inch digital transit with vertical tilt sensor for measuring vertical and horizontal angles
  • Large dual-sided LCD for clear readouts; 6-key user interface for simple operation
  • 30X magnification telescope, 450-foot diameter range for larger worksites; 53-inch minimum focus
  • Includes manual, batteries, rain cover, tool kit, lens cloth, and carrying case
  • Displays actual variance in true plumb; 1-year limited warranty

Simple enough for the untrained construction worker yet still more sophisticated and accurate than conventional contractor-style transits, there’s no easier way to plumb walls, set slopes, true forms, or align poles and fence posts than with this digital transit. The transit instantly displays horizontal and vertical angles in bold digits on dual LCD screens on the front and back for easy reading. Rather than manually aligning vernier scales, the DGT-10 automatically measures horizontal and vertical angles using an incremental encoder detection system, making it so simple to operate that anyone at a construction site can use it without special training.

The DGT10 features 5-inch angular accuracy with a vertical tilt sensor that monitors the tilt angle in x-axis (horizontal) for accurate measurements every time. With 30-speed magnification and a 450-foot diameter-working range, the unit is ideal for larger worksites. Accuracy to 1/16 inches at 100 feet ensures precision work when projecting lines or plumbing columns and walls. The DGT10 displays the actual variance in true plumb and quickly and accurately turns back to plumb position.

Dual digital displays and a simple six-key interface make the instrument very simple and easy to use. The DGT10 includes an optical plummet for aligning vertical points for positioning columns, building stairs or decks, or aligning framing. A 30-speed telescope has a minimum focus of 53 inches for work up close. A boon for landscapers and pavers, the DGT10 also features a 1:100 stadia ratio, which, along with the 450-foot working range helps quickly estimate long distances in the field.

More great features include: state-of-the-art glass encoder, 5-second horizontal and vertical readout, auto power-off option, optical plummet, zero resetting, water resistant, sealed construction, removable tribrach for multiple set-ups, built-in battery pack that attaches and detaches by a single action

#2) CST/berger 56-CST302R-RT CST302R 2 Second Electronic Reflectorless Total Station

  • Superior optics capable of 30X magnification
  • Easy-to-target collimator
  • Large dual-sided graphic display and alpha/numeric keyboard
  • Data upload and data-transfer through RS-232 data port or USB
  • SD card interface

This is a factory reconditioned product. Reconditioned generally means that the product has been returned to the manufacturer, who brings the product back to like new condition. Some products may contain cosmetic blemishes. Includes CST302R 2 Second Electronic Reflectorless Total Station – 56-CST302R-RT, Battery Pack, Battery Charger, Plumb Bob, Set of Tools, Software and Cable, Carrying Case, Instruction Manual

#3) Leica Builder 206 (6") Reflectorless Total Station

  • 260 foot range
  • Laser plummet
  • Pinpoint laser accuracy
  • Dual axis compensator for tilt correction
  • Water resistant and dustproof to IP-55 and more

The Leica Builder 200 (6-Second) Reflectorless Total Station combines innovative technology with superior workmanship, allowing you to perform all of your measurements with ease. The Leica Builder Total Station is fast and easy to operate, even without special training. Its’ robustness and versatility have made it a popular choice in numerous fields, such as surveying, construction, landscaping, archaeology, steel construction, and crime and accident scene reconstruction.

#4) Leica Builder 206 (6") Reflectorless Total Station

  • 100,000-point internal memory
  • 1,640 foot range
  • R500 Bluetooth
  • Laser pointer and plummet
  • Built in advanced field and office software 
  • 30-hour battery life
  • Full alphamuneric keypad
  • Dual USB ports

The TS06 total station is ideal for surveyors who need performance with flexibility. Its modular framework lets users add on new features and customize the system as needed.

#5) Maple MPE-825R Reflectorless Total Station

  • Measurement Method: Absolute Encoding
  • Detection Method: Horizontal: Dual Vertical: Dual
  • Effective Aperture: Telescope: 45mm; Object Lens (50mm)
  • Auto Vertical Compensator Type: Liquid-electric Detection
  • Auto Vertical Compensator Range: +/- 3′

MPE-825R Reflector-less (Non Prism)total station is very convenient for distance measurement to hard accessible objects like telegraph poles, dam walls,tunnels, roofs, etc. Reflector-less distance max range is 300m.; 1 prism and 3 prisms max range is 5km./ 6km. respectively. The station has special surveying programs, such as remote height measurement, offset measurement, remote distance measurement, stake-out, resection, area calculation, road design and stake-out, etc. which are necessary to meet the needs of professional measurement and surveying measurement. The absolute encoding disc allows for saving last angle measurement readings if the stations is powered off. Telescope 30X magnification allows for easy targeting of the exact point for measurement. The station has a laser plummet with 3X magnification factor and 0.5m to ∞ focus range . MPE-825R is compatible for use with data collectors running Carlson Software. The total station can be connected to a PC via the RS-232 or USB ports and has a SD memory card slot and and on board memery can store more than 40,000 points (measuring + coordinate data), extendable by SD card. 240×100 graphic LCD on both sides, dimension is (L174 x H207 x W383 mm) . The station comes with 2 rechargeable Ni-H batteries, a battery power charger, communication cable, tool kit, belt, dryer, plummet, carrying case, operational manual, software CD, warranty card. MPE-825R is compatible for use with data collectors running Carlson Software.

#6) Maple Reflectorless 2" Total Station MPE-822R ( New Year Promotion) and free Mini Prism

  • Measurement Method: Absolute Encoding
  • Detection Method: Horizontal: Dual Vertical: Dual
  • Effective Aperture: Telescope: 45mm; Object Lens (50mm)
  • Auto Vertical Compensator Type: Liquid-electric Detection
  • Auto Vertical Compensator Range: +/- 3′

MPE-822R reflector-less total station is very convenient for distance measurement to hard accessible objects like telegraph poles, dam walls,tunnels, roofs, etc. Reflector-less distance max range is 300m.; 1 prism and 3 prisms max range is 5km./ 6km. respectively. The station has special surveying programs, such as remote height measurement, offset measurement, remote distance measurement, stake-out, resection, area calculation, road design and stake-out, etc. which are necessary to meet the needs of professional measurement and surveying measurement. The absolute encoding disc allows for saving last angle measurement readings if the stations is powered off. Telescope 30X magnification allows for easy targeting of the exact point for measurement. The station has an optical plummet with 3X magnification factor and 0.5m to ∞ focus range. Laser plummet is optional.MPE-822R is compatible for use with data collectors running Carlson Software. The total station can be connected to a PC via the RS-232 or USB ports and has a SD memory card slot and on board memery can store more than 40,000 points (measuring + coordinate data), extendable by SD card. 240×100 graphic LCD on both sides, dimension is (L174 x H207 x W383 mm) and weight is 6.8kg . The station comes with 2 rechargeable Ni-H batteries, a battery power charger, communication cable, tool kit, belt, dryer, plummet, carrying case, operational manual, software CD, warranty card. MPE-822R is compatible for use with data collectors running Carlson Software.

#7) Nikon NPL-322 (5") Reflectorless Total Station

  • FREE Tripod+Prism+Prism Pole
  • 2″ and 5″ angle accuracies
  • Prism and reflectorless measurement
  • Fast, accurate EDM
  • Convenient and long-lasting Li-ion battery

The NPL-322 Total Station is an economic, versatile, and easy-touse platform that ensures you get the job done right. Nikon’s legendary optics effectively allow in more light to give you brighter, clearer images. The NPL-322 is available in a 2″ dual face model and a 5″ single face model to meet your specific accuracy needs. Both NPL-322 total station models feature a reflectorless EDM with up to 200 m (656 ft) range. Using the same rechargeable long life Li-ion battery as the Nivo series, combined with low power consumption design, the NPL-322 provides over 11 hours of operating time per battery. You’ll see the difference when you look through a Nikon Total Station even in the low-visibility conditions typical in the field. You’ll see much more detail and much less distortion, especially over longer distances. Better optics help you aim more precisely, and they’re much easier on your eyes – something you’ll really appreciate on long workdays.

Where To Buy Used Total Stations

A lot of total station brands like Trimble aren’t sold by some of the major online sellers like Amazon, but are available on the secondary markets like Ebay. With most total stations costing between $4,000 – $8,000 dollars, it’s also a great way to save money on purchasing quality surveying equipment that still has a long useful lifespan left in it. The largest selection of used total station is hands down the ebay marketplace. Many auctions for robotic total stations are a bid style, and great deals can be had on some of the older models as well.

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