Infrared thermometer buying guide: How to find the best infrared thermometer

How to choose an easy-to-use infrared thermometer that suits your needs.

Advancements in technology have made it easy to measure the surface temperature of just about anything. With an infrared thermometer, you can get accurate temperature readings, from a safe distance, in mere seconds. You can use infrared thermometers in a variety of settings, including homes, kitchens, gardens and across industrial workplaces.

We'll help you compare infrared thermometers and find the right one for your needs.

Compare some of the best infrared thermometers

Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Temperature range Response time (seconds) Operating temperature Battery type Warranty Purchase today
Fluke 62 MAX+
Fluke 62 MAX+
$247.50
-30°C to 650°C
0.5
0°C to 50°C
1 AA
3 years
The Fluke 62 MAX+ includes dual laser targeting with high dust and water resistance.
NDI 180A
NDI 180A
$39.99
-20℃ to 320℃
0.5
0°C to 50°C
1 9V
1 year
The NDI 180A is portable and suitable for both contractors and home users.
NDI KC-180D
NDI KC-180D
$35.99
-30℃ to 250℃
0.5
0°C to 40°C
2 CR2032
1 year
The NDI KC-180D is a mini-thermometer designed for household use, automobile repair and A/C equipment.
Instrument Devices Ti-200
Instrument Devices Ti-200
$1,195
-30 to 1000°C
Not stated
-10 to 50°C
3.7V Li-ion rechargeable battery, 2500mAh, Size 18650
1 year
The Instrument Devices Ti-200 is a professional thermal imaging camera with auto heat capturing.
NDI 180B
NDI 180B
$39.99
-40℃ to 580℃
0.5
0°C to 40°C
1 9V (6F22/6LR61)
1 year
The NDI 180B is affordable, portable and offers a wide temperature range.
Fluke 572-2
Fluke 572-2
$2,160
-30°C to 900°C
0.5
0°C to 50°C
2 AA
2 years
The Fluke 572-2 features a high temperature range and an ultra-high distance-to-spot ratio for fast, accurate targeting.
Comark KM814FS
Comark KM814FS
$209
-30°C to +200°C
0.5
0°C to 50°C
9V IEC 6LF22 alkaline
1 year
The Comark KM814FS is pocket-sized and tailored for quick and accurate readings.
Testo 826-T2
Testo 826-T2
$174.90
-50 to +300 °C
0.5
-20 to +50 °C
2 AAA micro batteries
2 years
The testo 826-T2 is HACCP is suitable for industry food quality control.
Testo 830-T2
Testo 830-T2
$163.90
-30 to +400 °C
0.5
-20 to +50 °C
9V block battery
2 years
The testo 830-T2 is designed for non-contact surface readings in trade and industry.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are infrared thermometers?

Infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns or laser thermometers, measure surface temperature. Most infrared thermometers on the market are gun-style thermometers. These allow you to easily "point and shoot" at the surface of the object or material you want to measure.

Infrared thermometers work by using a lens to focus light onto a detector, called a thermopile. The thermopile then absorbs the infrared radiation and turns it into heat to produce a temperature reading.

Why do I need an infrared thermometer?

Infrared thermometers take surface temperature readings without making contact with the object being read. This removes the danger of burns or scalding. The gun-style thermometers are also extremely quick – an advantage if you needs to quickly measure temperature.

These features can be advantageous in a number of fields, including the following:

How to compare infrared thermometers

Basic thermometers start at around $20, while industrial models with larger temperature ranges can cost $400 or more. When deciding which thermometer to buy, you'll need to consider the following:

How to use an infrared thermometer

Infrared thermometers are generally simple to use. However, you should always read the manufacturer's instructions to help you get the most accurate readings. The general steps to using an infrared thermometer are as follows:

  1. Turn on the power button.
  2. Get as close to the target as possible, while remaining safe.
  3. Point your infrared thermometer towards the target. Most thermometers produce a laser to make aiming simple.
  4. Pull the trigger to get a reading. The reading should be shown clearly on the display.

3 tips for accurate readings

If you follow the manufacturer's instructions, you should get consistently accurate temperature readings. Here are three tips to make sure you get the right reading as often as possible:

  • Check the emissivity setting. Surfaces such as brick, marble, asphalt, paint and plaster all have high emissivity rates. Issues arise when you come to shiny and reflective surfaces such as polished copper, silver or aluminium foil. These have much lower emissivity rates and will throw off your temperature reading if you forget to adjust your emissivity settings.
  • Don't take a reading through another surface. If you're trying to take a temperature through glass or water, it won't work. The infrared thermometers measure the first point of contact, so you would get the temperature of the water of glass, not whatever rests behind it.
  • Be aware of the ambient environment. Readings can be impacted by heavy smoke, frost or fog as well as by drastic fluctuations in the temperature of the surrounding environment. Waiting for calmer conditions might not be ideal, but it could be the only way to get an accurate reading.

If you're ready to buy an infrared thermometer, start comparing your options today.


 

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site