Updated: Oct 12, 2016
Infrared Thermometer Reviews - Best Infrared Thermometers:
- What is an infrared thermometer?
- Benefits of using an infrared thermometer
- How much do infrared thermometers cost? Which should I buy?
Are you looking for a new infrared thermometer? You have come to the right place because we offer reviews and a general buyers guide on the IR (infrared) thermometers. These thermometers are used across all industries including food safety, electrical and industrial, automotive, fire and insurance inspections, home inspections, HVAC systems, asphalt work, and quality control in manufacturing.
A non-contact infrared thermometer is a measuring device that measures the temperature on all types of objects at a distance. Just point the temperature gun at an object and pull the trigger - within seconds you will get a reading on the LCD display. The infrared thermometers with laser guides are very accurate and most have wide ranges of temperature measurement. Some are mounted, but we will focus our article on the portable, or handheld infrared thermometers. The top brands are Kintrex, Fluke, Extech, Raytek and Thermotech and almost all are available on Amazon.com. Prices range from about $40 to $120 for most models.
The video below shows the basic functions of an infrared thermometer so you know what to expect:
Infrared Thermometer Buying Guide
The top selling model on Amazon is the Kintrex IRT0421 which gets high praise from experts and homeowners alike in reviews. Other leading models are the Fluke 62 Mini Infrared Thermometer and the Extech 42500 which both rate very high in this field. In a technical category like infrared laser thermometers, we tend to trust reviews much more than in general categories like basic thermometers.
Professionals that use these measuring devices have to rely on them to do their jobs most of the time, so accuracy is a must and measurement range is important. We found several reviews for the Fluke 62 on Buzzillions and other leading comparison sites which rate it #1 or #2. The only brand that consistently ranked as high was Kintrex or Raytek. Although some publications say the ThermoTech Infrared Non Contact Digital Laser Thermometer is good, we found too many postings on consumer websites like Amazon that say otherwise.
The most important features to consider are accuracy, wide temperature range, ergonomic handle, response time, viewing port, and distance to spot ratio. An auto shut off is a nice bonus, but certainly not necessary. We researched other reviews posted on Ocia.net, Webbikeworld.com, and of course on Amazon in their customer feedback section to see which models passed all the tests and came out on top. Check out our findings below with descriptions, prices, and comments. You can browse the most popular infrared thermometers online here.
Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer:
RECOMMENDED - The #1 seller on Amazon is the Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive for this model and the versatility of this IR thermometer are what customers appreciate the most. The measurement range is -76 degrees to 932 degrees fahrenheit and the distance to Spot Ratio is 12:1. You can get both a current and maximum temperature reading and response time is 1 second 90% of the time. An auto shut-off mechanism will turn the non-contact IR thermometer off after it has been sitting idle for 15 seconds. This saves your battery life. Two AAA Alkaline batteries are required to power up the portable IRT0421.
The backlit LCD display, per owners, is easy to read and the infrared sensor is "very accurate" say others. Owners say it works well with automotive diagnostics, food preparation, electrical troubleshooting, and HVAC service. Overall, the ability to measure hazardous objects from a distance is the #1 selling point for the Kintrex. It's capable of measuring the temperature of moving target which adds to its versatile features. Comes with a padded nylon carrying case and belt loop. Homeowners use this infrared thermometer to measure the radiant heat coils in their floors, on their freezers, with computer equipment, and on an outdoor oven that is wood fired. The practical applications are endless and that is why for the price ($45) this is the most popular product.
To check out how to use an infrared thermometer for HVAC, electrical and other needs - click the image below to go to video.
Mini Infrared Thermometer:
RECOMMENDED - The Fluke 62 Mini Infrared Thermometer is another top rated Fluke IR thermometer that is well respected and gives accurate readouts. When it comes to brand names in this industry, not too many names can stand up to Fluke but we gave the Kintrex top billing only because it beats out Fluke on price and reviews are just as positive. The Fluke 62 provides perhaps the best accuracy (better than the Kintrex), but you will be paying almost $80 for it. If accuracy is important, then go with the Fluke.
Owners say it's the ideal tool when needing to measure the temperature in hard to reach, rotating, dangerous, or even hot areas. The wide temperature range (we couldn't get an exact # even from the Fluke.com website) is roughly -40 to 1400 degrees fahrenheit. The handheld infrared thermometer gives almost instant readings and it will hold the readout for 7 seconds. Consumers call the Fluke 62 mini "durable, dependable, and extremely accurate". Not as widely recognized, but just as efficient is the Extech 42500 Mini Infrared Thermometer.
Budget/Value Infrared Thermometer:
For those on a budget, consider the Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer which sells for less than $20. This temperature gun gets above average reviews and has many of the features found on more expensive Fluke and Klein models. The built-in laser provides the user with precise aiming capabilities. The distance spot ratio (DSR) is 12:1. Basic features like auto shut-off and data hold functions are perfect. Accuracy is + or - 2% and results come in the blink of an eye. The tools has positive comments from electricians, chefs, HVAC repairmen and DIY homeowners. We found it simple to use and the data hold function is invaluable when comparing heat loss results over time.
More videos and resources are here on our Infrared Thermometer Resource Page.
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