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Dakota vs Cygnus: Comparison of Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge

In this blog post, you’ll read:Which of Dakota or Cygnus ultrasonic thickness gauges best suits your inspection needs? The post compares these two brands to offer you a better perspective of their applications and help you decide which will be best for specific thickness measurements.

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Ever wonder which of Dakota or Cygnus ultrasonic thickness gauges best suits your inspection needs? 

While the two brands have been known for quality manufacturing and accurate thickness measurements, they are different in more ways than one. These differences define where they are best applied, giving the two brands their uniqueness. Comparing these two brands offer you a better perspective of their applications and can help you decide which will be best suited for specific thickness measurements. 

So, let’s dive in without wasting any more of your time. 


I. Dakota Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


1. About Dakota                                                                         


Dakota Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


Dakota Ultrasonics, a leading manufacturer of ultrasonic equipment, is known for manufacturing quality and precision-based ultrasonic thickness gauges that have grown to become household names in the industry. Their tools and devices are used across various industries, including aerospace, automotive, oil, gas, and power generation industries. 

Dakota ultrasonics’ range of solutions includes other products like ultrasonic wall thickness gauges, coating thickness gauges, tension gauges, counters, bolt stress monitors, etc.

Located in the US, Dakota Ultrasonics is continuously expanding its sales and service locations and always looking to satisfy its customers in the shortest turnaround time possible.


2. Popular Dakota Models


  • ZX-2(MX-2) 




The ZX-2 model is an ultrasonic thickness gauge applicable for measuring the thickness of materials with few variations and hence does not require extensive training to operate. It is most suitable for tubes and pipes, boilers, glass, tanks, etc. They are fabricated to withstand the roughest of surfaces.



  • With its 2 AA batteries present, it weighs about 11 ounces
  • Water and other petroleum products resistant due to their sealed membrane
  • 4.5-digit LCD with seven segments multi-function
  • Dual element, i.e., the ability to transmit and receive ultrasound waves
  • The measured range is from 0.63-914.4 millimeters (0.025-36.00 inches). Range measurement relies on the type of material and the transducer type.
  • Customized transducers for particular purposes.
  • The power source is either a double 1.5V Lithium AA cell, 1.2V Nicd, or 1.5V alkaline batteries. 
  • Automatic shutdown when low battery indicator turns on
  • Temperature operation is from -30 -750C (that is -22-167F)


Price Range: US$ 1375 


  • ZX-3




The ZX-3 combines some of the ZX-2 functionalities but is made better to precisely calculate the wall thickness and level of corrosion of all glasses, metals, ceramics, and almost all rigid plastics. The ZX-3 is also water-resistant. Its measuring range is similar to the ZX-2 but additionally allows for linear optimization over an extensive range. The operator is allowed to execute a 2-point calibration over two samples of known thickness.



  • 4ft waterproof cable with a non-quick disconnect connectors
  • With a standard transducer, the range is between 0.040 to 8.0000 inches 
  • Backlights are adjustable to a Hi, Medium, and Low, including the display brightness.
  • 2 AA batteries are included, which must be rechargeable. And with this, it can be used for as long as 45hr uses
  • It also weighs about 300 grams which is equivalent to 11 ounces.
  • Temperature Operation is also similar to the ZX-2, with a range between 300-750 C


Price Range: US$ 1675 



  • MVX




The MVX ultrasonic thickness gauge renders sophisticated functionalities and an advanced application option. Its display boasts the highest resolution and quality graphic LCD with display options such as B scan, rectified, and significant digits. They are designed with a storage size of 4GB internal memory and a special setup function that permits 64 definable setups for each file.



  • It weighs 13.5 ounces with batteries present and has up to 35 hours of operating time.
  • Working temperature ranges from -100-600C i.e., -140F-140F
  • It’s equipped with single and two-point calibration
  • Special transducers and cable lengths can be utilized for unusual purposes 
  • Automatic power off when idle 
  • 4GB internal SD card drive inclusive
  • Mode selector determines receiving gain control, usually 40dB
  • Velocity ranges from 309.88-18542 M/sec
  • Editable factory setups of up to 64 user-friendly setups
  • Improved linearity is achieved via its built-in dual path correction using selected transducers.


Price Range: US$ 2825



II. Cygnus Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


1. About Cygnus


Cygnus Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


After Cygnus pioneered the multiple-echo technique, it became a known brand in the material thickness gauging world. Established in 1983, with over three decades of coating thickness gauge manufacturing, it has become a household name amongst suppliers in the industry.

Following its successful fabrication, design, and production of the first multiple-echo thickness gauge, the challenge is identified and proffered solution. It also recognizes the need for a handheld device that is mobile. Hence, the commencement of the manufacturing of various Cygnus ultrasonic thickness gauges. Its products are designed to be applicable in the harshest and most unfavorable environments, and its tools are simple to operate.


2. Popular Cygnus Models

  • Cygnus 1 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


Cygnus 1 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


The Cygnus 1 is a safe multiple-echo ultrasonic thickness gauge with a firm yet effortless operation. This ultrasonic thickness gauge can accurately measure metals in a potentially dangerous and unpredictable environment. It is applicable in various sectors such as oil and gas plants, fuel depots, LPG vessels, road tankers, storage tanks, infrastructure and pipelines, dry dust environments, grain processing plants, etc. Its measurements are precise and without the removal of the fore-coatings.



  • The power source lasts up to 12 hours of operation
  • Single crystal probes as its only probe option
  • Designed under the quality standards of the EN 15317
  • -100C-+500C (equivalent to 140F to 1440F) of operating temperature
  • The product’s display is a bright LED display.
  • Three echoes help neglect coating removal, but multiple echoes are deployed for accurate readings.
  • Measures practically all engineering materials
  • Resolution is 0.004 inches (0.1 mm) or 0.02 inches (o.o5 mm)


Price Range


  • Cygnus 2 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


Cygnus 2 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


The Cygnus 2+ hands free, multiple modes ultrasonic thickness gauge, as the name implies, is a sophisticated gauge that combines the three modes for measuring a variety of materials, including wall thickness and other engineering materials. It’s perfect for hull inspection, structural integrity inspection by climbing, dangerously corroded metals with wall pitting, marine structures, etc. 



  • Multiple-Echo mode – 0.005 inch (0.1 mm) or 0.002 inch (0.05 mm)
  • Probe options include Single crystal and Twin crystal probes
  • 3 x AA / R6 batteries power this device
  • It also weighs about 300 g, including batteries
  • Warranty on the probes is six months, and on the gauge, three years
  • Approximately 84 x 130 x 35 mm in size (3.3 x 5.1 x 1.4 inch)
  • The batteries can power continuously for 10 hours measurement duration


Price Range


  • Cygnus 4 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


Cygnus 4 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


The Cygnus 4 is a multi-echo ultrasonic thickness gauge often considered a general-purpose device designed with an intuitive menu that enables users to operate conveniently and efficiently. And like its other contemporaries in this range of ultrasonic thickness gauges, it precisely measures metal thickness without removing the metal coating. Applicable in civil engineering inspections, plant maintenance, shipping, marine inspections, storage tanks, shipping surveys, etc. 



  • 3 AA / R6 batteries power it.
  • Battery life lasts as long as 10 hours of uninterrupted measurement
  • This device is a Dual channel Pulser
  • Weighs about 300 g (10.5 oz) batteries inclusive
  • Warranty on probes is six months while on the gauge is three years
  • With a display screen of 2.4-inch QVGA LCD, 47 X 37 mm
  • Probe options include Single-crystal probes
  • It measures accuracy in the multiple-echo mode of ±0.05 mm (or ±0.002 inch)


Price Range



III. Dakota vs. Cygnus Which is the Best for you?


Dakota and Cygnus have produced highly recommended ultrasonic thickness gages based on the following factors, which have made them rival each other.

  • Material – The two brands have similar materials their equipment can accurately measure. A slight difference might just be the transducer or probe deployed. where one brand utilizes single and dual probes as measuring tools deployed for certain materials, the other concentrates entirely on using a single probe for the precise measurement of these materials
  • Thickness – The thickness of the tools made by both brands has similar features and characteristics. The thickness of the material to be calculated is also a determining factor as to which probe to deploy for what thickness material.
  • Accuracy – The accuracy of measurement for both brands is quite an on-point. However, Cygnus has more sophisticated models for easier assessment of the material tested by the inspecting officer.
  • Durability – the Dakota models offer more durability as they are a combination of primary and sophisticated models which means they can stand the test of time better than the Cygnus models, especially for their basic models. 
  • Price – Both brands likewise offer competitive pricing on the tools and equipment they have manufactured.


➤ Related Article: Krautkramer vs. Panametrics: Comparison of Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge

➤ Related Article: Top 10 Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge Manufacturers



IV. Comparison with Other Brands of Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge: Dakota vs. Cygnus vs. NDT-KITS

While Dakota and Cygnus have both manufactured some of the best ultrasonic thickness gauges, NDT-KITS is yet another great manufacturer giving them a run for their money. 


NDT-KITS Ultrasonic Thickness Gauge


NDT-KITS has been around for more than three decades in the ultrasonic testing solution industry. Their products, including ultrasonic thickness gauge, are well-known for quality, advanced manufacturing equipment, and process, with heavy investment in research and development of innovative solutions for their teeming customer. Their dedication to quality is evident with their acquisition of the revered ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Certification, which assuages every doubt about customers’ quality. 

NDT-KITS is also strategically located in China. They take advantage of the pool of experts and qualified professionals who make up their research and development team, striving round the clock to innovate bespoke designs. Above all, NDT-KITS is customer-centric in all its services, constantly seeking to satisfy their customer with a responsive customer support team available 24/7 to attend to customers’ challenges.



V. Our Pick: NDT-KITS

Selecting a suitable ultrasonic thickness gauge supplier is not the easiest of tasks. We recommend NDT-KITS to you based on their extensive track record of successful delivery of quality ultrasonic thickness gauges to a teeming global network of customers.

Based on their wealth of knowledge and extensive industry experience, NDT-KITS offers bespoke thickness gauge measurement solutions that meet each customer’s requirements without fail. Their understanding of the logistics involved in supplying these tools is exemplary. Since they’ve been doing this for many years, they naturally come with high-level reliability that is almost impossible to match. NDT-KITS’ after-sales support is also crucial as they have a standby customer support team to attend to customers’ inquiries before, during, and after the delivery of customers’ orders. Turnaround time at NDT-KITS is awesomely reduced to offer a customer the best service in the market.




If you, as a customer, have tried both the Dakota brand and the Cygnus brand and remain unsatisfied, then your best bet is NDT-KITS.

The Dakota brand is a trusted brand, and so also is its rival, the Cygnus brand. Nonetheless, NDT-KITS still stands heads above shoulders with them regarding quality manufacture and turnaround time during delivery. Still, we leave you to be the judge of that. But to save you time, energy, and funds and keep your budget afloat, we recommend you go for the best.

So now that you have this information, what’s your next move?

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