Best Underground Cable Locators

It no more news that it is a really bad idea to perform any kind of excavation work without properly locating the cable in the excavation area. This is because if proper care is not taken, you will likely hit an underground cable and cause severe damage. This is why an underground cable locator is important in this kind of situation.

A recent study by the Common Ground Alliance in the United States shows that there are about 20 million miles of Underground cables all over the country. So it should come as no surprise that the possibility of you excavating an area that has some underground cables is a bit much.

Using an underground cable locator will help you conserve money and time by ensuring that you do not accidentally damage any underground utilities when you are excavating an area. These underground cable locators will also help you accurately pinpoint and measure the depth easily. Its design is also better as compared to general wire tracers. It often comes with a more advanced receiver as well as a transmitter that transmits stronger electric signals.

There are situations when the cable or wire is covered with a pipe or utility tunnel. In this case, asonde is a transmitter powered by a battery which can be used to handle this kind of situation. Thissonde will be pushed into the pipe to serve as a carrier agent and signal emitter while the underground wire locator will be set in the same frequency as the sonde to detect the signals. However, there are some underground cable locators that are specifically designed for sonde detection.  

Apart from ensuring that you are not excavating the wrong area, the underground wire locator can also tell you where the breaks might happen to your cables. So when looking for breaks in your cable lines, you can use an underground cable detector to determine the precise location of the break.

However, you will quickly realize that finding the best underground cable locator for your needs can be very challenging. This is why we have made a list of the best underground cable locators on the market right now.

Noyafa NF-816-C for Pet Fence Wires, Metal Pipes, Telephone Wire, Coax Cable

When we are talking about the best underground cable locators, we can never forget to mention the best underground cable locator on the market right now. Noyafa NF-816-C is the best tool for the job if you want to locate a pet fence wire, coax cable or telephone wires. This incredible tool can help you locate wires underground up to a depth of 2 ft and a length of up to 1000 ft.

Noyafa is very easy to use the tool. Firstly, you have to ensure that the wires are de-energized before you use the underground cable locator. For more efficient performance, you can use copper wire as a link between the soil and the transmitter by pushing it in. For the transmitter, the black cable is grounded while the red cable is linked to the wire that is to be located.

Noyafa is also very affordable, so you do not have to worry about breaking your budget when you choose this underground cable locator for your needs. This amazing cable detector also comes with a headphone to help you hear the readings better.

Ridgid Underground Utility Locator

Ridgid is a very popular name when we are talking about power tool, so it is no surprise that one of their tools has managed to secure a place on our list of best underground cable locators in the market. With a lifetime guarantee, the company has managed to manufacture an industrial-grade underground utility locator.  

Ridgid Underground utility locator comes with three different antennas in two separate lobes which have a 120 degrees separation. It also comes with two extra gradient antennas in separate lobes making a total of 8 antennas on the cable locator. With these antennas, you will be able to detect any signals irrespective of which orientation or angle it is coming from. This device comes with a wand on which all the sensors can be found, and this wand is connected to a big control unit. It is also very easy to use.  

With its amazing LCD screen, you will be able to see the precise location and orientation of the underground cable. The distance to the cable is also shown with the aid of an arrow pointing to it. An audio alert can also be set to notify you when any cable has been located.

Ridgid also features different modes; the line tracer modes which uses both active mode and passive mode with the active mode enabling you to search for specific frequencies while the passive mode enables you to search for any conductive material in the area.

The second mode is known as the Sonde Mode, which enables you to track any pipe that is attached to a drain snake. Just like the active mode, you can search a lot of frequencies ranging from 10 Hz to 35,000 kHz.  

RIDGID 19238 NaviTrack Scout Locator, Underground Pipe Locator and Underground Cable Location Device

RidgidNaviTrackScout Locator is one of the most popular and widely used underground cable locators out there right now, and there is a good reason for that. The SeekTech SR-20 Locator managed to earn a spot on the list of best underground cable locator on the market because of the amazing integration of its features and capabilities.

Some of the amazing features that come with this underground cable locator include its LCD screen that shows you data like the position of the signal, proximity signal, signal strength, guidance arrows and target line with graphic representation. With this kind of display, you will be able to quickly pinpoint the position of underground cables.

Another of its features is the Multi-direction antenna technology that enables you to track all the signals always. This feature helps improve signal strength to search for the target pipe, energized line or sonde. With the aid of a micro-mapping display, you will be able to verify the location of the wires by marking distinctive poles ahead and after the wire to ensure precision work.

With its NaviTrack Scout feature, it will be able to automatically determine and show the depth when the orientation is properly done. Its Sonde mode will help you track sonde in frequencies ranging from 16 Hz to 33,000 kHz. In its Line tracing mode, it has a range of 128 Hz to 33,000 kHz in active search and maintains either 50 Hz or 60 Hz in Passive search.  

KOLSOL Underground Wire Locator Tester F02

If you are looking for the best budget-friendly Underground cable locator, then the Kolsol Underground Wire Locator is the best choice for you on this list. It is designed in a way that it is very easy to use and it functions as such too. And if you doubt this, you can consult its very detailed instruction manual which is very helpful. It has a very lightweight and compact design so it can be moved around easily.

Although this particular underground cable locator will not detect all materials underground, it is more than capable enough to detect various types of wires such as pet fence wires, electric wires and metallic wires.

However, it is very important to keep in mind that this device is not designed to detect live wires although it can detect up to 24 V. This device is mainly designed to detect non-energized or dead wires with single or double strands. So if you have a small cable locating project, this device is the ideal choice for you. It can detect up to 3 ft in depth and has a range of 1000 ft. The device comes with a receiver, an emitter, earphone, kit bag for storage and manual.

Armada Pro290 Underground Wire and Cable Locator

Unlike most of the other underground cable locator on this list, Armada Pro290 has a wider range of uses. One of the things that make it stand apart from a lot of the other cable locators is the fact that it can be used to detect multi-stranded wire. It can also efficiently locate breaks in underground cable connections, so if you are interested in getting a device that will help you with precise locations and measurements when locating underground cables. It can be used to locates cables ranging from sprinkler wires, dog fence wire, swimming pool light wire and dog collar wire.

With an inbuilt transmitter and a handheld receiver, it can transmit and receive frequencies of up to 33,000 kHz. For better grounding, a ground stake is added. And once the grounding is properly in place, the red LED light will light.

TEMPO Communications 501 Tracker II

Although when compared to the Ridgid Underground Utility Locator, the design is classic, its functionality still earns it a place on the list of best underground cable locator on the market right now. Featuring two different units; a receiver and a transmitter to transmit a signal down a cable as well as detecting the signals. This cable detector is very easy to use.

However, in order to use this wire locator, you will have to connect it to one end of the wire or pipe. This means it cannot be used to find wires that you are not previously aware of. But it makes it easier to detect breaks in cable underground wires. It can be used to locate wires in the depth of up to 7 ft in a range of 4000 ft.

Criteria for Buying an Underground Cable Locator

In order to choose the best underground cable locator for your needs, there are a lot of factors you will have to take into consideration. Some of these factors include;

Frequencies, Level of Power and Maximum Depth detectable

These three factors were written together because they are the most important factor you have to consider before choosing an underground cable locator. This is because there are some cable locators that will be able to locate wires and pipes efficiently but are unable to provide precise data on the depth of the cable. If you come across these types of cable locators, it is best that you ignore them and look for a better one.

This is because it is very important to know the precise depth and position of the cables before you do anything. So purchasing a cable locator that comes with both of these features is the best idea.

Another important spec to check when you are looking for the best underground cable locator is the receiver. You must make sure that you choose a receiver that is able to pick up a range of frequencies and work on different power levels.

Internal GPS/GNSS Receiver

The main reason why you should consider this factor is because a cable locator with an internal GPS will make your work much easier. Using a device that comes with this feature will help you get to save the location data of the wire on your log records. This will help you trace the areas where cables have been detected. It will also record the location the device was placed when it was being used.

LCD Screen

The use of LCD Screen is always welcome as it has been associated with more details for the users. Irrespective of the conditions of the weather, you will be able to get precise readings with LCD display. This will make it much easier for you to get the job done while minimizing the risks of any mistakes that might have occurred as a result of bad visibility or missed readings.

Overload Protection

Although the overload protection is not a feature that is necessarily essential, it is still a great idea to have it just in case of any accidents or if you are working in locations that have too many signals.

With this feature, your device will be able to give you accurate readings even if there are high voltage underground cables in the area.


If you are deciding which underground cable locator you want to buy and your choice are down to two types with similar specs, it is better that you go for the one with the better accessories. This is because devices with accessories are generally more versatile. Common examples of accessories that you can find in an underground cable locator are stethoscope, earphones, direction receiver, coupler clamps and transmitter clamp.

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