About Us

Over 50 years of focus on locating equipment

has allowed Pipehorn® to create world-class products known for their accuracy, simplicity, and durability, all at an exceptional value

At Pipehorn, users head our product development efforts solving problems specific to detecting and maintaining underground utilities. It’s all we do, and we try to utilize that collaboration better than anyone.

We call Birmingham, AL our home for all sales, support, distribution, and manufacturing. While many companies operate all over the world, we believe housing all business activities under one roof creates efficiencies and leverageable expertise that is uncommon in many industries; enabling us to best serve our customers.

We believe that expertise in an area, properly applied, should result in simplicity, not complexity. At Pipehorn, we are intentional in our process to apply the right technology to the right problems with expert craftsmanship creating a suite of products that are unmatched in our industry.

We hope you feel the difference in every purchase, in every customer service interaction, and every time you use our products.

History of Pipehorn

The original Pipehorn was invented & patented in 1968 by Tom Humphreys, an Alabama Gas Company engineer, to solve the problem of locating cast iron pipe. His invention was the first to deploy ultra-high frequency (better technology) for many “unlocatable” situations, the first to create a stand-up locator (more ergonomic), and the first to create a pitch change to indicate signal strength (greater accuracy). He truly built a “better mousetrap” for locating. Tom was involved with Utility Tool Company almost from the beginning as they collaborated to develop other products in the early years of Pipehorn.

From this legacy, Utility Tool Company has developed, manufactured, sold and supported Pipehorn® equipment for 5 decades! Our company has evolved over the years and experienced strong growth in size without sacrificing our focus on you, our customer, and problems you need solving.


Accuracy. Simplicity. Durability. Value.

These words define our focus and goal in every endeavor as a company. Think of these as building blocks that make up who Pipehorn® is and what we produce.


As a business, we want your experience interacting with Pipehorn to be simple and easy. Whether buying from us or receiving support, we are committed to the process being simple. We feel the same way about the operation of our equipment. We expend considerable expertise to make our products simple to learn, easy to use and highly effective.


Your job occurs under difficult conditions, and your tools need to work every time you need them. We build our products to perform when needed using aluminum housings, hand-wired connections, high-impact transmitters, minimal switches and no moving parts; all, of which, are designed to allow you to do your job with confidence that your Pipehorn® will work.


Every activity related to how we run our business and how we manufacture products is focused on accuracy. Without accuracy, errors occur! With accuracy comes predictable results and with predictable results our customers may locate and maintain underground utilities with confidence


We are a privately held business (a small business by most definitions). We understand the value of a Dollar (or Euro, or Yen, or Pound) and the absolute requirement to yield the highest return possible. Our internal business processes, our manufacturing techniques, and our sales approaches are all designed to give you the highest value possible.


It is impossible to do anything without highly skilled people doing their best in their prescribed role. Your role is to use our product, while ours is to provide you with a valued tool and the support you need to do so successfully. The Pipehorn® business model allows our engineers, manufacturers, sales, and support teams to maintain total focus on you, the end user. That’s what makes us unique. We’re here to help

We are excited to have been a part of the fabric of Birmingham, AL and the industries we serve for the last 50 years and look forward to more to come!

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