Land surveyors rely on metal survey markers to identify specific locations.

Survey markers are often referred to as survey washers, as they most commonly feature a large hole in the center. This hole is used for a survey nail to go through, nailing the marker into the ground or surface.

This permanent survey tag allows for property or state boundary lines to be labeled, district limits to be identified, and any other marking necessary.


Surveyors use them to mark specific locations. A nail permanently affixes the marker directly to the ground or surface.

Many surveyors use nails made from magnetic material, as this can make finding markers later on much easier. For example, if the same site needs surveyed after a few months, a quick magnetic scan will lead them to the markers they have already put in place.

These markers can be made with any hole size necessary, to accommodate for various nail types.

Each state has their own set of regulations and guidelines. This can range from tag sizes and materials, to the information required to be marked.

Data on these tags can include license number, company information, or any other information necessary.


With constant exposure to weather and wear, durability is a key element for this type of identification. These markers are permanently left outdoors, leaving them vulnerable to all conditions.

Survey tags need to be produced with a durable material and process to ensure they remain legible. Metal is the most commonly used material as it provides the highest level of resiliency.


Stainless Steel

One of the most durable options, stainless steel is a popular choice for this application. Stainless tags are resilient to weather as well as wear and tear from outdoor exposure. These markers will last for decades, effectively a permanent solution.

Anodized Aluminum

Anodized aluminum is another popular choice, as it provides some unique customization properties. The material itself can be produced with a solid color.

This means surveyors can color code their markers for various purposes. This can be used to distinguish different property, city lines, or even company/department branding.


In addition to metal substrates, sometimes plastic washers are used instead. These are suitable for less permanent marking, as they will not have the same lifespan as their metal counterparts.

Surveyors might use plastic markers if they will only be used for a single day and then discarded.

Marking Processes


Selecting the right process is key in any application that requires a long-lasting mark.

Stamping uses a press to create a durable impression. These characters are indented in the metal material.

If custom information is required, a custom stamp can be produced. This allows for a large volume of the same design to be produced efficiently.


Survey tags can also be marked using the etching process. This selectively exposes the metal material to either a laser or chemicals, creating a slight indentation in the substrate.

This allows for greater customization, however it loses the level of durability afforded by stamping. When left in harsh conditions, the etched design will wear away over time.

Photo Anodization

Another solution for survey tags, photo anodization is highly durable and fully customizable.

This special process embeds information directly between layers of anodized aluminum material. This sealed design is protected from wear and fading. The photo anodization process is rated for 20+ years outdoors. Worrying about durability is not a concern.

In addition to resiliency, the process also allows for full custom designs. Different information can be included on each tag as well. This is without the requirement of creating a new custom stamp each time. The tags can also be produced to any shape or size, accommodating for various regulations.


Metal survey tags are used to accurately mark locations for surveyors. Their washer-like shape allows for a nail to attach them to any location necessary.

Custom information can be added to mark specific locations, or provide survey company info.

Durable metal material means that the survey markers will last for many years, even though they are exposed to harsh environmental conditions.