There are an untold number of tripod models available today, so in an effort to simplify the selection process, we have tried to compile a list here that covers all of the basic requirements (price, durability, thread type, etc.) without being too confusing. These are the ones that we stock (along with a few others not listed) and that we feel offer solid quality AND value.


We like to call this the "no apologies" tripod; a robust hardwood extension leg tripod without compromise. No "space age" materials and no plastic, just select North American maple combined with quality metal hardware. The tripod shoes are extra long with larger spurs for greater anchoring power, and feature hardened steel replaceable tips. The leg hinges are self adjusting (no loosening or thightening), and durable nylon bushings provide for smooth operation. The components are attached with bolts, not rivets, for enhanced durability and easier parts replacement. Tripod has standard 5/8x11 thread and extends to 72-inches. This is not an inexpensive model, but if you need a substantial tripod for a total station, heavy transit, or big grading Laser then this could be just the one for you!

SOKKIA 7512-52 heavy duty tripod...............$240.00


This is a great all-purpose tripod for use with heavier instruments such as total stations, transits, and larger Laser models. The leg dowels are fiberglass, and the legs themselves are hardwood. Shoe tips are (replaceable) hardened steel. Pictured is the classic twist clamp style, but this model is also available with a quick clamp. The standard 5/8x11 accomodates most instruments, and the tripod extends to 72-inches. We have tried a number of wood tripods in the mid-price range, and we think this one has the best combination of quality and price.

SECO 5402-10 heavy duty wood/fglass tripod...$135.00


The ALW-20 is an excellent American-made heavy duty aluminum tripod from the Chicago Steel Tape Co. It's larger stature (compared to many competitive models) provides for greater stability, and is fully suitable for any but the heaviest instruments. It features the classic twist lock leg clamp, and the component are bolted together (rather than riveted) enhancing durability and making for easier parts replacement. The 5/8x11 thread accomodates most modern type instruments, and a similar model (ALW-25) is available with a 3-1/2x8 thread for older style instruments such as the 8300, LT8-300 (non-plummet version) and various Bergers, K&Es, etc.\

CST ALW-20 heavy duty aluminum tripod........$135.00

CST ALW-25 tripod, 3-1/2x8 thread.................$155.00


The KJ M-T003 aluminum tripod is made in China, but is heavier and more substantial than many other "budget" models. Solid craftsmandship combine with features such as replaceable shoe points to provide a excellent alternative to other more expensive (but not necessarily better!) brands. We like the twist-lock tripod clamp, but it is also available in a quick-clamp version as well. 5/8x11 fastening bolt accomodates most modern instruments. You will find this a good choice for your basic automatic level or lightweight Laser setup.

KJ M-T003 aluminum extension leg tripod..............$75.00


Smaller current model Berger levels (non-automatic) and level-transits such as the 190B, 200B, and 135B, and an assortment of older models (110C, 143B, 147B, and some Sears/Craftsman as well) require a proprietary 1/2x20 tripod thread. Berger (now owned by CST) is the only company that makes these, so if you need one and can't find it used on Ebay, here it is. While it looks similar to the modern 5/8x11 tripods that are commonly available, we are not aware of any convenient way to adapt one to the other. On the plus side, this is a much nicer tripod than the ones Berger sold through the years either with their kits, or separately. Rugged aluminum construction and a convenient quick release leg clamp provide a solid base for your new or classic Berger instrument.

CST/BERGER ALQC-21 tripod for Berger.......$120.00


Up until a couple of years ago, all small David White Meridian models required the use of a proprietary tripod with a 11/16 x 26 "cup" thread. This includes models such as the 8080, 8090, L6-20, LT6-900, LP6-20, as well as some instruments that David White made for Montgomery Ward. If your DW instrument base has a MALE thread, it falls into this group. More recently, David White (now owned by CST) has changed their design so that new production instruments can be used with the common 5/8x11 tripod (these newer styles usually have a "A" at the end of the model number, such as L6-20A). The original David White 9056 extension tripod is still available through CST, and it's a bit pricey...but hey, that's not our fault! Watch for used 9056 tripods (or the stiff leg 9031, or the funky folding wood ones once sold with kits) on Ebay...otherwise, we've got these!

CST/DAVID WHITE 9056 TRIPOD................Discontinued...sorry!!

SOKKIA 7512-52 heavy duty wood tripod
SECO 5402-10 wood/f-glass tripod
CST ALW-20 aluminum tripod
Page 2....Level Rods!