What Equipment Do Private Investigators Use?

The goal of a private investigator is to find evidence to help support their clients’ claims or suspicions. However, if this was an easy task, then the client would save their money and find the facts to aid in their case themselves. In addition to being discreet, confidential, and trustworthy, private investigators need to be creative and critical in their thinking. Most cases take time, thus requiring patience and a unique approach to ensure you are able to obtain the necessary information and results.

Private investigation is like solving a puzzle, and each bit of evidence is a piece of that puzzle. However, despite investigators’ own personal skill sets, they understand that additional support is needed. That’s where equipment and technology come into play. The best investigation agencies, such as Top Tier Investigations, understand that a full arsenal ensures that results can be obtained quickly and effectively. Therefore, let’s take a look at some of the common pieces of equipment that private investigators choose to keep on hand.



This might feel like a stereotype, but there’s a reason this piece of equipment is so commonly associated with private investigators. The role requires discretion and covertness, ensuring that they are not exposed by the subject of their investigation, thus potentially placing their client in a compromising position. To be able to see what’s going on in real-time without getting too close, binoculars are your best option.



Documenting potential evidence is the main task of a private investigator. Therefore, cameras are crucial. Having a handheld camera with a long-range lens can be beneficial for stakeouts while you’re sitting in your car or in a room. Since these types of cameras are large but capture images at a greater distance, they are best while you are stationary and out of sight. That’s why many private investigators will opt to have a second covert camera. Small and more discreet, these cameras allow private investigators to document the subject of their investigation at a closer range without drawing attention to themselves.



Many private investigators opt to carry a small tripod on them, allowing them to set up their camera anywhere, including in their car. Investigative work requires patience, so rather than holding a camera at a specific angle for hours, allow the tripod to do the work!


Power Bank

Private investigators are constantly using their phones, GPS, and other electronic devices. Eliminate the worry of being left stranded by carrying a power bank on you, allowing you to charge your devices on the go.

Tools for private investigation including camera, smartphone, laptop and binoculars


As individuals, we often turn to our phones for navigation. However, as a private investigator, it’s a good idea to have a separate GPS device. Not only will this allow you to save battery on your phone or allow you to use it simultaneously, but you can also link it to any tracking devices you have placed, such as to the vehicle of a cheating spouse.


Tracking Device

In Canada, you are required to have the consent of the owner of the vehicle to place a tracking device on it. This can be beneficial in cases of infidelity, as your client will likely offer their permission, knowing that their partner will be driving their car. By having a tracking device on you, you can attach it to the vehicle as soon as you come in contact with it, thus minimizing any potential for losing track of it in the future.


Tire Repair Kit

This one may seem unrelated to private investigation, but any investigator worth their salt knows that there’s nothing worse than being unprepared. Private investigators rely a great deal on their vehicles to allow them to track their subjects’ movements, speak to witnesses, and gather evidence. A flat tire can put them behind by hours and delay the investigation. By having the necessary tools, you won’t be slowed down on the job.


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