Survey Instruments & The Great Surveyors That Used Them

Surveying is one of the world’s most valuable professions. Surveyors have helped to create detailed maps of land and sea, as well ensuring that land is ready for development and construction. Throughout the years, our world has seen a myriad of great surveyors and the invention of many helpful survey instruments and survey tools. Here’s a quick look at some notable surveyors and the types of instruments they used.

Jesse Ramsden
Ramsden wasn’t actually a surveyor, but he had a huge impact on the development of survey tools and survey instruments. In addition to developing telescopes and micrometers, he is well known for developing huge theodolites, which were used to survey the whole of Great Britain.

George Washington
Before he crossed the Delaware or served his country as President, George Washington was a humble surveyor. Washington was just a child when he began learning about survey tools and instruments, and was only 17 when he became a professional surveyor. Before, he became a military man; Washington had surveyed as many as 60,000 acres throughout Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson’s father was a surveyor as well as a cartographer, and passed on his love of surveying and mapmaking to his son. While Thomas Jefferson’s career as a professional surveyor was short-lived, only a year or so, he put his skills to work as he designed and built his famous home, Monticello. Additionally, he had a large collection of impressive survey instruments, including a theodolite designed by the aforementioned Jesse Ramsden.

Lewis & Clark
Everyone knows that William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, along with a huge team of assistants and Sacajawea, mapped out and explored the Louisiana Purchase. You might assume that both of these men were skilled surveyors, but that actually is not the case. Clark was never formally trained as a surveyor, but rather learned his skills from his brother, who was a professional surveyor. These skills later were honed during his years in the army, where he also learned to use a variety of survey tools as well as learning how to map detailed maps.

Lewis was neither a professional surveyor nor a mapmaker, but he was skilled at celestial observation and navigation. In fact, one of his main teachers was Thomas Jefferson, who taught him how to use an octant as well as other navigational and survey instruments. He also picked up surveying skills from the leading surveyor of the day, Andrew Ellicott, who helped to survey and plan Washington, D.C.

Andrew Ellicott
Ellicott was the leader of the team that accomplished the initial survey for Washington, D.C. and, as stated above, was probably the most well-known surveyor of his time. He also was part of the surveying team that worked on the extension of the Mason-Dixon line, which identified the borders of Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania. This “line” is actually named for the two lead surveyors that initially created this border, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon. As stated before, he also served as a teacher for Meriwether Lewis, prior to the Lewis & Clark Expedition improving his skills and, no doubt, teaching him to use a variety of survey instruments.

Benjamin Banneker
Banneker is another surveyor who lacked formal training and, instead, taught himself how to conduct detailed and precise land surveys Banneker was the son of a freed slave, and it’s believed that a neighbor, who was a Quaker, provided early instruction to Banneker as well as providing him access to his large library. Eventually, Banneker became part of the team that did the initial surveys for the District of Columbia. He also authored a popular series of almanacs. He was a well-known astronomer and also an inventor, developing a clock that kept time accurately for more than 50 years, among other items.

David Rittenhouse
Rittenhouse worked with Andrew Ellicott on the Mason-Dixon line extension and he also was a noted inventor. He created some of his own survey tools, including highly precise telescopes that are quite similar to telescopes we still use today. He also constructed other survey instruments, including magnetic compasses. Additionally, he was a skilled astronomer, being one of the first scientists to chart the position of Uranus and observing the transit of Venus, which occurs when Venus passes between the sun and a superior planet, which would include any planet other than Mercury, as that planet moves inside Venus’s orbit.

When it comes to Warren Knight, our selection of survey instruments and survey tools includes a Surveyor’s Compass as well as a Forester’s Compass. We also have a Digital Azimuth Device that includes an FM transmitter with a range of six nautical miles. We also produce a variety of clinometers and theodolites. If you don’t see precisely what you need, we may be able to provide you with a custom design. Contact us at any time for more information about our survey tools.

Boresight Devices: Keeping You Right On Target

The boresight is an essential alignment instrument for everything from a shotgun to larger weapons systems. At Warren Knight, the type of boresight we produce is not for the gun hobbyist but rather for military applications. Here’s a quick look at some of our boresights as well as a few other helpful alignment instruments.

Decoy Launcher Boresight
If you have a decoy launcher system, then you need a decoy launcher boresight. This device checks the “clear to fire” condition of the aforementioned system. These systems are used to defend a ship against any anti-ship missiles that have avoided detection. A few of these systems include the Nulka decoy system and the ALEX system, both of which were designed by Lockheed Martin. For our decoy launcher boresight, we customize this alignment instrument to your calibration specifications.

Fixed Video Boresighting Systems
With any type of weapon, accuracy obviously is important, but under the umbrella of military weapons systems, accuracy is absolutely crucial. Our fixed video boresighting systems were designed specifically weapons systems confidence checking and we have several different options, depending on your needs.

The WK-29-5171-M features a unique design that includes a plunger and pad arrangement that secures the instrument inside bore to allow for completely worry-free operation. Through the use of a video eyepiece, the rugged system allows bore alignment in dynamic environments. This particular system was meant for 76mm diameter boresights and this system is available with custom reticle patterns. We also offer a full line of video eyepieces which can be adapted easily to suit your existing equipment.

Our WK-29-5131-M, designed to facilitate fire control alignment and calibration. Misalignment can occur with many combat system elements and this system allows operators to quickly and easily correct this problem. This system was designed to fit inside a 30mm diameter bore.

If you need a boresighting system specifically designed for a 20 mm bore, we also have the WK-29-5123-M, which allows for rapid and accurate detection of misalignment between a targeting system and the firing axis of the gun. With its high-resolution, low-magnification optical system, this system is ideal for dynamic measurement.

Boresight Telescopes
We have several models of boresight telescopes for your consideration. For instance, the WK-29-8050 Boresight Telescope can be used for boresighting applications as well as table and plane applications. Our WK-29-8200 Boresight Telescope is used specifically to align a 7.62 mm machine in regards to the calibration of commander systems. Our WK-29-5393C Boresight Retention Telescope was designed to confirm the retention of boresight alignment of gun systems during the production process, specifically during dynamic testing.

For more information about our selection of boresights, simply go to the section on our homepage marked “Boresights,” and you find more detailed information about each products. If you don’t see exactly what you need, contact us and discuss your specifications. We usually can provide custom design services for most of our alignment instruments, boresights and other equipment.

The Theodolite: 4 Facts You Didn’t Know

If you are an engineer, a surveyor, a meteorologist or a navigator, you may use a theodolite frequently. These handy instruments can measure both vertical and horizontal angles with extreme precision, and while you probably are well aware of that particular fact, you might be unaware of the following facts.

1. Theodolites & NASA
You might know that theodolites are used for rocket launches, but did you know that NASA has used theodolites to boost our capacity for deep-space communication? Theodolites were used to ensure that the huge 70-meter reflectors on the Deep Space Network were measured correctly. Initially, NASA used holographic measurements for this project, but this simply was not precise enough, so engineers were brought in to help and these professionals used theodolites.

As a side note, the Deep Space Network (DSN) includes three ground stations spread 120 degrees apart. One is located in California, one is located in Australia and the third station is located in Spain. This ensures that, at any given time, one of our deep-space satellites is able to communicate with at least one of the ground stations. The DSN is used to support various spacecraft and earth-orbiting missions as well as to explore our solar system and universe beyond.

2. Theodolites Disprove The Flat-Earth Theory
We all know that hundreds of years ago, many (if not most) people believed that the earth was flat. As technology and science progressed, it became apparent that the earth was not flat, but there is still a segment of society that believes that the idea that the earth is round is nothing more than an elaborate hoax.

Flat earthers believe that because the world looks flat, then it is flat. Furthermore, they also believe that space exploration has been a hoax. So, how does one convince a person that the earth is round if they believe that spacecraft are not real and that the world looks flat, therefore it is so?

First of all, it is important to note that will the earth might look flat to us, but the naked eye is incapable of truly viewing the horizon as it is, which is curved. By using a theodolite, you can measure the difference between the horizon line, or line of sight, versus a level horizontal line. With a theodolite you can measure the surface of the earth far more precisely than humans can see, and thus prove that the earth is a curved surface.

3. Theodolites Save Lives
Every time you cross over a bridge, be sure to thank a theodolite. Actually, you should probably thank the engineers and surveyors who used the theodolites, but we digress. Theodolites are essential tools for both bridge construction and bridge maintenance. A theodolite can ensure that the ground is at the proper elevation and slope for construction and a theodolite can be used to gauge the movement of a bridge over time. Of course, theodolites also are used for many other construction projects, such as the building of skyscrapers, homes, schools and much more.

4. Theodolites Make An Artistic Statement
While you might not think about art and theodolites as a matching pair, we’ve seen some beautiful prints of antique theodolites, and have even found a few antique theodolites for sale that would look lovely displayed on a desk or shelf. If you are searching for a gift for that surveyor, navigator or engineer in your life, these might be just the ticket. We even discovered one of our own “antique” theodolites for sale on Etsy, a 1940s version of our theodolite transit with the original wood tripod, which is quite attractive if we say so ourselves.

Of course, at Warren-Knight, we provide more than just interesting facts about theodolites. We have several different types of theodolites available on our website. This includes telemetering theodolites, pilot balloon theodolites, observation theodolites and meteorological theodolites. Our theodolites are suitable for many applications, including calibrating MLS, VOR, VORTAC and TACAN, as well as observational and meteorological purposes.

The Observation Theodolite: A Tool For Many Trades

In general, an observation theodolite is an optical instrument that allows one to measure angles in both the vertical and horizontal planes. There are many different types of theodolites and these devices are used by many professionals to help make important calculations. Here’s a quick look at which trades use theodolites and why.

Surveyors & Engineers
Many different types of surveyors and engineers use theodolites to help them with a myriad of construction and engineering projects. For instance, if you are beginning the construction of a building, you need to ensure that the ground is level and a theodolite can help one measure the slope of a plot of land. Ensuring that the ground is level is also important with the construction of bridges, freeway overpasses and roads. Most of us probably have seen an engineer or surveyor standing in the road or on a construction site looking through a theodolite.

Theodolites also can be used in the construction of mines and other underground structures. Additionally, a theodolite also might be used to measure ground movement and movement over time in a bridge or building. From time to time, most structures need to be studied to ensure that the structural integrity is sound, and an observation theodolite might be used to complete this task.

Predicting the weather is no easy task, but an observation theodolite or perhaps a pilot balloon theodolite can help meteorologists. Theodolites often are used to track the progress of weather balloons. It might surprise you to know that weather balloons still are commonly used devices to help with the prediction of weather patterns. The weather balloon can be used to help determine both wind speed and wind direction. The balloons are filled with helium or hydrogen, as these gases are lighter than air and some can reach altitudes far higher than commercial airlines fly, even up to about 100,000 feet above ground.

Navigation & Aeronautics
While a hobby pilot or weekend sailor might not make use of an observation theodolite, these devices are used on large ships, both military and commercial to help with navigation as well as observing objects in the distance. Telemetering theodolites also are used to calibrate navigational aids such as Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) as well as VORTAC and MLS and several other helpful systems and aids. You’ll find these navigational aids at airports around the world. For instance, VORTAC stands for VHF Omnidirectional Range/Tactical Aircraft Control and provides military pilots with information regarding azimuth.

While there are some portable observation theodolites, our own WK-20-8500 Observation Theodolite has been designed for permanent facilities. This theodolite includes a 21-power main telescope and a wide 4-power finder telescope through one eyepiece. It offers full 360-degree vertical and horizontal circles, and this permits sightings from zenith to 10 degrees below the horizontal as well as the full traverse to the right or to the left.

For more information about this observation theodolite or our other theodolites, go to our home page and click the tab marked “Theodolites.” In addition to the aforementioned observation theodolite, we also sell telemetering theodolites, pilot balloon theodolites and electronic meteorological theodolites.

The Dioptometer & Ocular Refraction

When you hear the term ocular refraction, you probably would guess that this term has something to do with our eyes or eyesight. Ocular refraction, in fact, refers to certain refractive errors in our eyes, which might indicate the need for corrective lenses. A device known as a dioptometer can be used to measure this ocular refraction and help an optometrist or ophthalmologist create a plan to improve your eyesight.

There are several different types of ocular refraction or refraction errors that are associated with eyesight. All of these “errors” are related to the shape of the eye and the eye’s inability to focus light on the retina. For instance, with a person who has near-sightedness, light will focus in front of the retina rather than on the retina. These individuals can see close objects fairly well, but object farther away will seem blurred.

For those who are far-sighted, the light will focus behind the retina causing objects that are close to the eye to appear blurry, while objects farther away might look normal.
Other refractive errors include astigmatism, which can cause objects to look blurry both near and far. Astigmatism is an error caused when the eye focuses light on the retina unevenly. A dioptometer can help an eye doctor determine the scope of each of these three refractive errors.

However, that is not the only use for the dioptometer. This optical tool also can be used to measure as well as calibrate other optical instruments. For instance, one could check the power of a microscope lens as well as the range of focus and the range of magnification. This device also could be used to measure the curvature of lenses as well as testing telescopes for astigmatism.

Some optical devices, such as cameras also might include diopter adjustment. This little dial can be very helpful for photographers with less than perfect vision. Adjusting the diopter will provide you with a more accurate view from your viewfinder. If you’ve ever noticed that what you see differs from the picture that is produced, adjusting the diopter might help. This feature also can be quite helpful if you are using manual focus when shooting pictures, rather than relying on auto-focus. It is important to note that when you want to make diopter adjustments, you should mount the camera on a tripod so that the camera will remain as still as possible.

Our own WK-29-3100 Dioptometer can be used to check the range and make the zero setting of several different focusing eyepieces of tools such as theodolites, range finders, binoculars, spectrometers, telescopes and other optical instruments. Our selection of instruments also includes the WK-29-3500 Millidioptometer, which can be used to set the diopter scale reading for various optical systems. This device also measures the spherical power and astigmatism of prisms.

If you need a dioptometer, millidioptometer or another type of optical instrument, take a look at our selection. In addition to the aforementioned devices, we have alignment telescopes, collimators, marine alidades, theodolites and much more. If you don’t see precisely what you need, our team of experts can create a custom design that meets your needs.

Optical Instruments: 3 Devices That Improve Our World

The human eye might seem like a useful tool, but this organ’s visual capacity actually is quite limited. However, there are many instances when we need to view tiny objects or objects that are far away, so humans have developed a myriad of optical instruments to aid this process.

From simple devices such as a magnifying glass to complex theodolites, optical instruments have helped us explore our world, advance scientific theory; improve industrial production and much more. Here’s a quick look at just a few optical instruments that have made the world a better place.

1. Telescopes
The word “telescope,” like so many of our words is derived from the Greek language. The “tele” portion of the word basically means far, while scope comes from the word skeptesthai, which means to look at. The first telescope was patented in 1608 by German-Dutch eyeglass maker Hans Lippershey, however there were several other individuals also developing this technology at the same time.

The following year, in fact, Galileo Galilei heard about these new inventions and immediately created one of his own, even though he had never seen one up close and in person. While the earliest inventors used the telescope as a way to view distant objects, it would be Galileo who first had the thought to use these optical instruments to view celestial objects.

Of course, today there are many different types of telescopes. At Warren Knight, we sell a variety of telescopic instruments, including alignment telescopes, wye telescopes and boresight telescopes. We also sell high-quality binoculars, an optical instrument that includes two telescopes fitted together, although you might not immediately think about telescopes when using binoculars.

2. Microscopes
While telescopes help us view distant objects, microscopes help use view the tiniest ones. The world’s most powerful microscope, which is an electron microscope, can be used to study atomic structure. Because of these optical instruments, we also have made huge advances in medical science, such as with the study of cells. Of course, microscopes also provide students with the ability to study plant and animal structures at the cellular level.

3. Theodolites
We’ve all seen theodolites, but we probably didn’t actually know it at the time. Surveyors and engineers use these devices to help them conduct road and construction surveys quite often. These optical instruments are capable of measuring angles in the horizontal plane and the vertical plane with impressive accuracy. These tasks help us build and maintain safe roads, allow us to check the integrity of bridges and ensure that buildings and homes are constructed on level ground. These are just a few of the benefits people enjoy because of theodolites.

Theodolites, however, are not just used for surveying and construction tasks, they also can be an excellent tool for a meteorologist or as a navigational aid. At Warren Knight, we offer several meteorological theodolites as well as electronic theodolite systems and an observation theodolite.

For instance, our WK-20-8400 Pilot Balloon Theodolite can be used to measure the angles of elevation and azimuth of pilot and weather balloons. These optical instruments also can be used to measure these angles in relation to aircraft, ships or other moving objects as far as 20,000 meters or greater, depending on visibility. We also produce a telemetering theodolite and an observation theodolite. The WK-20-8350 Telemetering Theodolite can be used for the calibration of navigational aids such as TACAN and VORTAC.

In addition to the Warren Knight products detailed in this article, we sell a wide range of optical instruments, leveling equipment, boresights, clinometers and everything else you might need to keep your world level and aligned. If you need a custom design, we can transform just about any product so that it meets your unique specifications.

The Optical Micrometer & Displacement

At Warren Knight, we’ve been designing and building optical instruments for more than a century. Among the many instruments on our website, you will find high-quality optical micrometers, which can be used to measure horizontal or vertical line displacement. Here’s a quick look at displacement and some facts about our micrometers and how they can be used.

Many people mistakenly believe that distance and displacement are the same. After all, Merriam-Webster lists the definition of displacement as “the difference between the initial position of something and any later position.” That certainly sounds like distance, but distance basically refers to the amount of space covered while displacement is a comparison of where something was initially and where it ended up, which isn’t always the same thing.

For instance, let’s say a person draws a chalk square on a sidewalk and each side of the square is three feet in length. We will mark each edge of the square with a letter as points A, B, C & D. If a person walks from point A to point B, the distance and displacement are the same – 3 feet. However, if a person walks from point A all the way around the square back to A again, the distance would be 12 feet and the displacement would be 0 feet. Of course, you may ask why this is so. The answer is simple, if something starts and ends at the same point, it has not been displaced but it has covered a certain distance.

But what does this have to do with optical micrometers? An optical micrometer measures this displacement, which can be handy in many situations. Micrometers are used by many types of engineers as well as scientists to determine displacement. For instance, if you are calibrating an instrument, you might begin by checking for displacement. If you are measuring changes in a rock formation, you will look at its displacement.

Our optical micrometers can be placed on a telescope barrel or adapted to fit tools such as transits, levels or theodolites, depending on your needs. The micrometers also are available in single axis or dual axis. We also have other helpful tools that incorporate a micrometer. Our WK-51-2200 Spherical Micrometer Alignment Telescope includes two micrometers to allow for precise measurements in two directions perpendicular to the line of site. If you need an alignment telescope without a micrometer, we also carry those as well.

Aside from the optical micrometer, we sell many other types of optical tooling instruments. This includes alignment collimators, theodolites, vertical transits, boresights, magnetic mirrors, dioptometers and much more. We also sell many types of clinometers, leveling equipment, navigation equipment, boresights and surveying equipment. Keep in mind, if the specifications of our optical micrometers or other optical tools don’t quite suit your needs, we usually can provide you with a custom design so if you don’t find exactly what you need, give us a call today.

The Digital Protractor & Beyond: A Look At Protractors

For most people, a protractor is simply a small plastic half circle that they used during a geometry class way back in high school. However, many people use protractors for work and tools such as a digital protractor or electronic protractor ensure that accurate measurements are taken. Here’s an in-depth look at protractors and a few of the handy products that we sell here at Warren Knight.

Protractors, as you probably know, help us measure and draw angles and these angle-measuring tasks are important for construction, surveying and navigation tasks just to name a few. Tools for angle measurement have been around for centuries, but the first official description of a protractor dates back to 1589 when English mathematician Thomas Blundeville mentioned this tool in his Briefe Description of Universal Mappes & Cardes. In this work, the protractor mainly was described as a tool for use in the creation of navigational charts.

These days, there are many different types of protractors, a combination of manual protractors and electronic protractors. At Warren Knight, we sell a wide range of protractors, both those used manually and digital protractors. For instance, our WK-23-1990 Propeller Protractor is a non-electronic protractor that can be used to measure the blade angle of propellers on airplanes. Our propeller protractor is a four-way instrument that measures angles directly between any two planes or a number of planes.

For navigational purposes, we sell two different types of three-arm protractors. These protractors look a bit more complex than a two-arm protractor and this device, not surprisingly invented by a U.S. Navy Captain, allows one to plot ship positions on a map or navigational chart.

Our transparent three-arm protractor makes it easy to see the chart or map underneath the protractor as you plot a course on a map or chart. We also offer a precise three-arm metal protractor with one fixed arm and two movable arms. This protractor includes interchangeable pivot plugs for determining or marking the location of the instrument’s center.

Of course, many of our customers rely on a digital protractor or electronic protractor for their work. These devices feature an instant display for angle, level and tilt, and many of these lightweight tools are battery-powered and can be taken easily wherever you need to go. These can be used for construction tasks, to measure the angle of a saw blade, to ensure that something is level and much more.

Our WK-35-4490 Digital Protractor is lightweight and easy-to-use with a range of plus or minus 45 degrees. A 9-volt battery will power this handheld electronic protractor for about 100 hours. Our WK-35-4445 Electronic protractor includes a digital display and an electronic clinometer. A four-foot cable is included although cable lengths up to 200 feet are available. Our WK-PRO3600 Digital Protractor provides the user with an immediate reading of all angles in a 360-degree range. The design of this protractor makes it easy to use this device with round objects, such as a pipe.

The digital protractor or electronic protractor makes it easier than ever before to measure angles as accurately as possible. If you a digital protractor any type of angle-measuring device take a look at our selection or give us a call today.

6 Interesting Facts About Leveling & Levels

It’s easy to understand why leveling is an important task. From small tasks such as installing shelves to huge undertakings such as the construction of skyscrapers, keeping things level is crucial. Here’s a quick list featuring some fun facts about leveling and some leveling equipment.

1. Leveling & Surveying Go Hand In Hand
There are several branches that fall under the category of surveying, and leveling is one of them. The object of leveling tasks is to determine the elevation of a specific point as it relates to a specific surface, such as sea level or another bench mark. Leveling also relates to the establishment of a specific surface, or datum.

2. You Can Use Barometric Pressure For Leveling
For leveling tasks that fall under the guise of surveying, you actually can use barometric pressure to determine the difference in elevation between two distinct points. For this type of leveling, a surveyor would use a device such as an altimeter or a barometer. Of course, while this is an interesting way to determine these mathematical differences, it is not precisely accurate as barometric pressure changes throughout the day. Thus, this type of leveling is rarely used and often is used as a quick first measurement when more precise calculation will be made in the future.

3. Trigonometry Also Can Be Used For Leveling
There are several distinct types of leveling, including differential, barometric and trigonometric. Differential is the most commonly used method simply because it produces the most accurate results and involves the use of highly precise equipment. Barometric, as discussed above, is rarely used as it is not accurate enough for most applications. Trigonometric leveling, as the name suggests, involves the use of trigonometry. For this type of leveling, we often use tools such as a theodolite, a precise tool which measures angles in the horizontal and vertical planes.

4. Determining Sea Level Is A Complex Process
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that sea level is often used as datum or a bench mark. After all, as we drive along the roadways, we see town and city signs that often include that destination’s elevation in regard to sea level. But how is sea level determined? After all, the water levels change with tides, climate change and other factors.

According to the National Geographic Society, scientists will measure sea levels in a given area once per hour. This data is collected and after 19 years of data has been collected, this information is used to determine the local mean sea level. These scientists also take into consideration any land movement that occurs during this 19-year period. So, the next time you use a level to determine elevation in regard to sea level, consider how much work goes into setting that bench mark.

5. Spirit Levels Are Used By Homeowners & Professionals
A spirit level, which also can be called a bubble level, is the type of level with which most people are quite familiar. These levels date back to the 17th century and are used by carpenters, contractors, masons and homeowners alike to complete a range of tasks. At Warren Knight, we sell precision frame spirit levels that can be used to measure horizontal and vertical surfaces and shapes.

6. Spirit Levels Are Components In Many Instruments
There are many instruments out there that include a spirit level, and an Abney level is one of these instruments. These levels often are used by surveyors, as they are lightweight and easy to take in to the field. They include a sighting tube and a protractor, and our Abney level includes four scales to allow the user to obtain one or more slope readings including degrees, topographic arc, chain age correction and percent of grade.

At Warren Knight, we sell a wide variety of leveling equipment, including electronic digital clinometers, digital protractors, level meters, spirit levels, a telemetric alignment system and much more. If you don’t see exactly what you need, contact us today, and we may be able to provide you with a custom design that fits your needs and budget.

The Inclinometer: Optical, Ball, Vernier & More

Inclinometer. Clinometer. Tilt meter. Level gauge. Call it what you want, this handy device makes measuring angles of slope easy and straightforward. At Warren-Knight, we build and sell a huge assortment of inclinometers, including the following.

Optical Inclinometers
Our optical clinometers can be used for calibration and alignment tasks, as well as machine setting, fire control alignment, boresighting and more. Our optical inclinometers are versatile instruments. Simply replace the standard level vial housing with a special worktable or an auto-collimating mirror, and you can use the clinometer vertically or horizontally as a precision circular measuring table for horizontal use. We have all of these accessories available on our website, including the clinometer worktable and auto-collimating mirror as well as an LED clinometer illuminator and an optical clinometer support.

Drum Inclinometers
If you need a rugged and precise instrument for measuring or determining tilt, then you need one of our handy drum clinometers. A popular choice for aerospace engineers and aircraft manufacturers, our drum inclinometers can be used on propellers and wing surfaces, as well as machine tools, shafts, production fixtures, test tables and much more.

Vernier Inclinometers
These clinometers are so named because they feature a Vernier scale, which is a graduated scale and this scale runs parallel to a fixed scale. These often are used by pipe and steel fabricators as well as engineers. The light weight of our Vernier clinometers makes them easy to take anywhere, which makes it a perfect option for various types of inspectors, such as a quality assurance inspector.

Ball Inclinometers
Our single scale ball inclinometer includes one scale in two ranges, and we also manufacture a dual scale ball clinometer which features two scales and two ranges. Lightweight and durable, these clinometers are readable to 2 degrees at a distance of 12 feet.

Pendulum Inclinometers
Pendulum clinometers are in a class all their own, literally. While most clinometers will use a level vial or bubble, a pendulum clinometer includes a weighted pendulum, just as the name suggests. We have two different models of pendulum clinometers, the WK-23-2070 model and the WK-23-2080 model. Both include the same features and capabilities, but the WK-23-2080 model is smaller in size.

Clinometers, or inclinometers if you prefer, are used for a wide variety of tasks. Mariners and aviators will use clinometers to indicate pitch and roll. Engineers and surveyors will use clinometers for a number of tasks to measure angles of slope or incline, such as when constructing a road or grading land for construction. Clinometers also are used to set the fire angle of guns and other weapons. Scientists will use inclinometers to study volcanoes and rock formations. These are just a few of the tasks that might require the use of a clinometer.

If you need any of the aforementioned clinometers, contact Warren-Knight today. For more than a century, Warren-Knight has been designing quality clinometers as well as navigational aids, optical tooling, surveying equipment, theodolites and much more.