You may or may not have used an infrared thermometer before, but chances are you’ve at least heard of them. They have a variety of uses, from measuring the temperature of automotive parts, food temperature, water temperature and just about anything else. The unique thing about I is that they measure the surface temperature rather than room or air temperature.
For example, you can just point and shoot the red laser from an infrared thermometer at your car’s dashboard and you will almost instantly be able to tell what the temperature of it is. You can also point it at the air vents in your car to see if the temperature of the air is cool enough. There are many more automotive uses for infrared thermometers, so it’s definitely worth the small investment. Some have different features than others, so that’s why we are going to break down some of the best infrared thermometers to help you know which one to buy.
- Product Reviews of the Top Rated Infrared Thermometers
- What to Consider When Buying an Infrared Thermometer
Product Reviews of the Top Rated Infrared Thermometers
As infrared thermometers continue to grow in popularity, you will begin to see new features hit the market. As of now, we have narrowed down the top five best infrared thermometers that you can consider and will give you some important information about each.
Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun
For being an extremely cost effective infrared thermometer, this one seems to be pretty accurate on everything I’ve used it for. You can easily use it to get readings on your automobile engines or other parts, considering it will read temperatures up to 1,022 degrees Fahrenheit and as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit.
I like this thermometer because you can literally take it out of the box, put batteries in it, and it will work right away. As with any infrared thermometer, there could be a variance in the exact temperature reading, but that depends on how far you are away from your target. The manufacturer recommends that you hold the thermometer about 14″ away from your target to get the most accurate reading. But I’ve tried it a little further away than that and it still seemed to be pretty accurate.
After reading reviews and using this infrared thermometer a few times, it’s easy to see why it’s a #1 best seller on Amazon. I would consider this to be the best one since it works well and the price is nearly unbeatable for the quality you receive in return.
Nubee 8380H Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun
This Nubee infrared thermometer ranks up with the best ones on the market. It’s very easy to use and has some unique features that aren’t found in other similar products. What I like about it is that it has an automatic shut off feature and low battery indicator, so your batteries will last much longer. This thermometer doesn’t quite have the range of temperatures that it will read, since it will go as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit, but only as high as 716 degrees Fahrenheit.
It operates on one 9V battery, which is included with the purchase. Depending on how often you use the thermometer, the battery should last several months before needing to be replaced. I’ve used it for a variety of purposes, including checking the temperature of the surface on my automobile when it’s out in the sun.
Overall, there aren’t many things to complain about when it comes to this infrared thermometer. It gets the job done, and as long as you don’t need to measure the temperature of objects greater than 720 degrees Fahrenheit, then you will be very pleased with your purchase.
Masione Temperature Gun Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer
This Masione infrared thermometer is impressive because of its compact size and accuracy. It claims to be accurate within just a couple of degrees, and most people tend to agree with that, including me. The temperature range of this product is -58 degrees Fahrenheit to 716 degrees Fahrenheit. It definitely doesn’t have the highest temperature range, so it may not be the best if you need it for extreme temperature measurements.
You can also help determine how long your batteries will last in this infrared thermometer. You have the ability to turn off and on the backlight, and it will automatically shut off in just seven seconds when it’s not being used. And it only takes two AAA batteries to operate, which are included with your purchase!
It’s hard to find any bad reviews about this infrared thermometer. The temperature range isn’t as wide as many other similar products, but it is still wide enough for recreational use. It may not be the best if you are a professional needing it for extremely high temperatures, but it is still one of the better values that you can find because of the inexpensive price tag.
Fluke 62 MAX Infrared Thermometer
Many infrared thermometers are plain and simple, but this one has a few bells and whistles that you might find helpful. First off, the temperature range of this thermometer is -22 degrees Fahrenheit to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio, which is means that for an object that is 1” in size, the infrared thermometer should be at a maximum distance of 10” away. On a larger scale, an object of 5” in size can be up to 50” away to get an accurate reading. This is much higher than many other infrared thermometers, so I find it to be a useful feature.
You also won’t have to worry about ruining the thermometer if it gets a little wet since it is dust and splash resistant. The temperature displayed is accurate to +/- 2 degrees when used at the proper distance-to-spot ratio. This product takes just one AA battery, which is included with your purchase. I also think that the ergonomic design of the Fluke 62 MAX Infrared Thermometer is one of the best, so it’s good for professionals to use for all day jobs.
You’re going to pay about three times as much for this infrared thermometer as you would for any of the previous models that we’ve reviewed. However, you are also getting more in return. The distance-to-spot ratio is the key selling point for this one. It’s a quality temperature that ranks high on our list, but the price is tough to justify.
Raytek MT6 MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer
Many professionals purchase this Raytek MT6 MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer because of its proven accuracy and reliability. It doesn’t have as many features as some other comparable models, but it has a large display, which makes it easy to read for people who are constantly moving and checking temperatures. If a mechanic relies on an infrared thermometer like this one, then surely it will be a good fit for you too!
The distance-to-spot ratio on this product is 10:1 and the temperature range is -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. I’ve used it to check the temperature of my radiator, A/C performance and bearings on my truck and have gotten back some great results. It’s easy to see why professionals prefer this infrared thermometer.
If you’re willing to pay a little extra for features, then you shouldn’t have any problem with spending additional money on this infrared thermometer. It won’t break the bank, but it is still a lot more expensive than the cheaper models for recreational use.
What to Consider When Buying an Infrared Thermometer
Now that you have an idea of what some of the top models of infrared thermometers have to offer, we will help you determine what features you need so you won’t have to overpay for things that aren’t important to you.
When you’re measuring temperature spots in your vehicle, you want to have an infrared thermometer that’s reliable and accurate. Most of them are accurate to +/- 2 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s never a bad idea to confirm the accuracy before you use it on something important like your automobile. For example, if you are boiling water or grilling, use a separate thermometer to measure the temperature and then use the infrared thermometer to check it as well. If they are more than a few degrees off from each other, then you will have to keep that in mind when measuring temperature. If it’s consistently off, then it’s possible that you have a rare instance of a faulty product and should return it.
This is possibly one of the most important features, especially when using an infrared thermometer for automotive purposes. The distance-to-spot ratio was mentioned briefly earlier, but having the proper ratio is key in order to get an accurate temperature reading. If you have an infrared thermometer that has a 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio, then you need to make sure you are no more than 10” away from a target that is 1” large. Otherwise, the laser will detect other objects nearby and will throw off the reading considerably.
A 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio is about the average for people working on their vehicles. Sometimes you can’t get too close or too far away from the object because of other parts that may be in the way. Anything more than that and there’s a chance that you will have a hard time focusing on a small target and get inaccurate readings as a result.
When working on automobiles, your temperature range is very wide. Most of the time you will be checking the temperature of an object when the vehicle is running, so it could be cold or very hot. Most infrared thermometers have a pretty wide range that can go as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
As long as you have one that will measure up to around 900 degrees Fahrenheit, then you should be fine for measuring temperature on different automobile parts. The temperature range doesn’t necessarily play a role in the price of the infrared thermometer, so just be sure to look at the specifications when you purchase it to be sure it has the proper range that you need.
This is one of the most overlooked features of infrared thermometers. Of course, you will easily be able to see the screen online, but you may not know how big the numbers actually are in person, or if there’s a backlight until you do some research on it. There’s nothing more frustrating than working on your vehicle in the daylight and not being able to see the temperature reading on the screen because of a glare.
Many infrared thermometers will have a backlight so you will be able to see the screen even when the sun is shining on it. Others will have larger displays with wider numbers so you won’t have to squint your eyes if you don’t have the best eyesight. Some people need a larger screen, but others don’t. This is a personal preference, but it’s also a necessity depending on your situation.
The majority of infrared thermometers have a response time of less than 500 milliseconds. This is the amount of time it takes for the temperature to be displayed from the time you point the laser at the target. If you’re looking for a cheaper infrared thermometer, this is something that you may want to focus on, since the response time could vary. You don’t want to have to wait several seconds to get a temperature reading, because no one has that kind of time to be waiting. Just take a quick look at the response time before purchasing yours, and as long as it’s around 500 milliseconds or less, then you will be pleased with it.
You are now equipped with all of the information you need to make an educated purchase for your infrared thermometer. Most people don’t want to spend a ton of money on one, and you really don’t have to in order to get a quality product. In my opinion, the best value available is the Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun. It has the highest temperature range of all the infrared thermometers that we reviewed, so you will be able to use it on just about anything on your vehicle.
It has the essential features that you need to get the job done for your automotive work. And the best thing about it is the value that you get in return. It’s almost worth buying just because of the great price! Infrared thermometers are extremely convenient pieces of equipment when it comes to automotive work, so use your new knowledge and purchase the best one for you today!