Top 5 Best Infrared Thermometer – Buying Guide (2020 Update)

 

You have probably heard about infrared temperature gun already, as they are handy in a plethora of different applications. The so-called IR thermometer is quite useful in measuring drafts, not to mention hot areas in electrical elements. Some people may even use them to measure the temperature in food storage facilities – no touching or cross-contamination involved.

But on another note, choosing the best infrared thermometer can be a bit tricky. If you are not familiar with this industry, chances are you will pick the cheapest unit on the market, which will barely give you any accuracy. Even if you have used such thermometers for work before, you are less likely to know too much about leading brands and features to look for.

Despite being a challenging task, it is not impossible. You need a little research on what to look for in an IR thermometer based on your personal needs, as well as the top-rated products on the market. If something works for hundreds or even thousands of people, it will probably work for you too.

Your personal needs come in to play as well. Different applications require different types of thermometers. Do you need a thermometer for your cooking venture? How about your business? How about the refrigerators in your grocery store?

So, what are the leading names out there and what makes them so special?


Comparison Table

There are lots of good choices out there and even more bad choices. Most people have no clue where to begin their search. A simple look over the Internet will bring in dozens of brands and hundreds of products. Each of them promises you the world, but only a few can actually deliver. You feel stuck, but there is a way out.

Here are some of the best rated IR thermometers on the market. They are not as expensive as you might think, but more importantly, they bring in excellent value for money. Go through this comparison table to figure out their best features at a glance, then move on for more detailed reviews regarding their features.

Product Name
Best option
Most cost effective
Most accurate
Most versatile
Consumer's favorite
Kizen LaserPro LP300 Infrared Thermometer Non-Contact Digital Laser...
Helect (NOT for Human) Infrared Thermometer, Non-Contact Digital Laser...
Extech IRT25 Infrared Thermometer 12: 1 with Audible Alarm
Infrared Thermometer, SURPEER IR5D Laser Thermometer Gun...
Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun MESTEK Non-Contact Laser Digital...
Highlights

It can be used for more applications and provides almost instant results.

It has a great temperature range and allows access to tight areas.

It is very accurate and rings an alarm when limits are exceeded.

It comes with a probe for cooking applications and feels comfortable.

It is extremely accurate and the automatic shutoff feature is very convenient.

Best option
Product Name
Kizen LaserPro LP300 Infrared Thermometer Non-Contact Digital Laser...
Highlights

It can be used for more applications and provides almost instant results.

Most cost effective
Product Name
Helect (NOT for Human) Infrared Thermometer, Non-Contact Digital Laser...
Highlights

It has a great temperature range and allows access to tight areas.

Most accurate
Product Name
Extech IRT25 Infrared Thermometer 12: 1 with Audible Alarm
Highlights

It is very accurate and rings an alarm when limits are exceeded.

Most versatile
Product Name
Infrared Thermometer, SURPEER IR5D Laser Thermometer Gun...
Highlights

It comes with a probe for cooking applications and feels comfortable.

Consumer's favorite
Product Name
Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun MESTEK Non-Contact Laser Digital...
Highlights

It is extremely accurate and the automatic shutoff feature is very convenient.


Top 5 Ultrasonic Cleaners

Never sacrifice performance for the price. Buy a cheap thermometer that will show three different temperatures within three seconds and you have just wasted your money. Here are the leading names on the market and their best features.

#1. Kizen LaserPro LP300

Kizen LaserPro LP300 Infrared Thermometer Non-Contact Digital Laser...

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Kizen is one of the leading names when it comes to IR thermometers. The LaserPro LP300 brings in the latest technologies on the market and ensures great accuracy. It comes with a superior temperature sensor technology, as well as the ultimate Fresnel lens.

Play around with the settings if you want even more accuracy. For instance, you can adjust its adjustable emissivity 0.1 to 1.0 based on the material or surface you need to check. The rapport for distance and spot is 12:1. In other words, you do not have to be too close to the surface for an accurate temperature. For ideal results, the manufacturer recommends about 14 inches away from the targeted surface temperature.

The temperature range is just as impressive since you can get a wide range that applies to pretty much every operation. The temperature will be accurate between -58 and 1112 degrees F – or -50 and 600 degrees C. Whether you are used to Fahrenheit or Celsius measurements, you can toggle between one option and another with a click. It is an instant conversion.

Temperature measuring is almost instant. It will take you less than 500ms for a result.

Other than that, the device is handheld and lightweight, so it can be used for longer periods of time without fatigue. You can use it in both residential and industrial applications. It comes with an LCD backlight screen that shows the temperature in the dark too. Also, it shuts off by itself in case you forget it. The setting will ensure your battery last for ages.

Make sure you look at the screen from above it. If you try to do it from an angle, it is not really visible.

Things we like

  • Automatic shutdown function to preserve the battery
  • Useful in a plethora of applications, both residential and industrial
  • Accurate measurements in an impressive temperature range
  • Almost instant results

Things we do not like

  • Screen not really visible from too many angles, so make sure you are front-facing it

 

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#2. Helect Infrared

Helect (NOT for Human) Infrared Thermometer, Non-Contact Digital Laser...

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Helect’s infrared thermometer is one of the best looking units on the market, but at the end of the day, you are more concerned about the actual performance. It feels comfortable as you hold it – handheld device – and can be used for hours without any signs of fatigue on your hand.

The buttons for settings and operation are quite intuitive – even if you have never used an infrared thermometer before, you will face no problems at all. They are, however, a bit small, so you might need a day or two to get used to it.

It features a red laser, so you can be sure you hit the right surface for the measurement. The temperature is then displayed on an LCD screen, which is oriented horizontally – a bit unusual, but easy to get used to. The laser ensures you can get the right temperature regardless of how tight the area is.

The temperature range goes between -58 and 1022 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough for most applications. You can use it in your house or in work. The distance to spot ratio is 12:1. If you are not used to Fahrenheit measurements, you can always toggle to the Celsius alternative with a simple button.

The thermometer has an automatic data hold feature and will shut down by itself if you forget it on or you give it too much inactivity. The feature aims to keep the battery going.

Just like most other IR thermometers in this range, it is not suitable for people. Sure, it will check the skin temperature on the surface, but it means nothing – it cannot check your actual internal temperature.

Things we like

  • Good temperature measurement range
  • Red dot laser ensures access to tight and hardly accessible areas
  • Automatic shutoff feature to preserve the battery
  • Can toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements

Things we do not like

  • Not accurate at all on people

 


#3. Extech IRT25

Extech IRT25 Infrared Thermometer 12: 1 with Audible Alarm

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Extech’s infrared digital thermometer is the right option for all kinds of applications, whether you need to use it at home or in a professional environment. It will measure temperatures with no contact at all – between -20 and 371 degrees Celsius.

The laser ensures you hit the right target for the measurement. You can also set the device with a minimum and maximum temperature. If the temperature is out of these limits, you will get an audible alarm and a note on the display. The alarm can be turned off though, but it is on by default.

You can take measurements regardless of the lighting conditions. The display has a white backlight visible in any light. You have automatic data hold and maximum or minimum functionality for easier results.

The thermometer is suitable for a series of applications. For example, you can identify a hot spot on electricity systems, but you can also handle HVAC problems with a simple temperature measurement. The adjustable emissivity is also adjustable, which means it will improve the accuracy as you measure temperatures on different surfaces.

The IR thermometer requires two AA batteries to run. Since it does not require too many resources, these batteries will last for ages – you will most likely take over a few hundred measurements with no issues at all. The batteries are included in the package, so you can use the thermometer out of the box.

It is worth mentioning that the display will provide lots of information, despite its small size. In other words, it will be a bit confusing the first time you use it, but you will get used to it after a day or so. Buttons are quite small, yet they are nicely located to ensure you do not press more than one at once. You might need a day or two to get used to it if you have big fingers.

Things we like

  • Great accuracy on more surfaces
  • Audible alarm when limits are exceeded
  • Does not need too many resources to run, so batteries will last
  • Easy to use without any prior experience

Things we do not like

  • Too much information displayed at once

 

 


#4. SURPEER IR5D

Infrared Thermometer, SURPEER IR5D Laser Thermometer Gun...

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The IR5D thermometer from SURPEER comes with a few different measuring functions and can be used for a plethora of applications. The EMS mode allows checking out the temperature on various surfaces and will adjust the emissivity level accordingly, only to boost the accuracy. On the other hand, the SET mode will only display the measurement in a single scan.

The unit comes with a solid LCD display – quite large and easy to read. It has a backlight, so you can check the temperature in poor lighting conditions too. You can turn this backlight on or off though if you want to preserve the battery.

The thermometer has an automatic shutdown function – it kicks in after six seconds of inactivity. It could be a bit inconvenient if you need short breaks between multiple measurements, but it will keep the battery in good condition for longer.

You can set low and high-temperature limits, so you do not even need to check the screen. Simply scan away and a buzzer alarm will let you know when these limits are exceeded.

The package includes a long probe and a temperature range between -38 and 572 degrees Fahrenheit. The thermometer will read the temperature almost instantly, with impressive accuracy. The probe allows checking the meat temperature, so it makes a good tool for your kitchen. It feels a bit fragile and lightweight as you touch it, so be careful when handling it.

For maximum accuracy, the manufacturer recommends waiting for at least 10 minutes after installing the battery before scanning away. It requires one battery, which is included in the package anyway.

Things we like

  • Quick temperature readings
  • Comes with a probe for your cooking applications
  • Allows setting low and high limits and features an alarm when those limits are exceeded
  • Convenient and comfortable to handle

Things we do not like

  • The probe for meat feels fragile, so it requires extra care when handling

 


#5. MESTEK Infrared Thermometer

Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun MESTEK Non-Contact Laser Digital...

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This might be the best infrared thermometer if you want lots of features and great value for money. The thermometer is clearly not for human use as it will be extremely inaccurate, but it will work in all kinds of other applications – both around work or your home.

The distance to spot ratio has been set at 12:1. What does it mean? The thermometer has a good accuracy over longer distances when compared to others in this segment. It also comes with a sensor to check out the ambient temperature as well for even more accuracy.

The infrared thermometer can be used in a plethora of operations – vehicle repairs, planting, frozen food, barbecues, baking, water temperature, appliances and so on. The adjustable emissivity range floats between 0.1 and 1, meaning you can adjust it based on the material you want to check. Not sure which one to go for? Check out the manual for informative references.

The LCD display is backlit, so you can see data anytime, anywhere. You also have a data hold function, which allows setting minimum and maximum temperatures. When the temperature range is exceeded, you will be notified. Otherwise, you do not even have to look at it.

You can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements, but you also have a low battery indicator and an automatic shutoff function – it kicks in after half a minute. It extends the battery life – batteries are also included. Furthermore, temperature reading will be done in less than half a second.

Using the infrared thermometer cooking for measurements is fairly simple. Simply aim at particular surface temperature and pull the trigger. The temperature will be displayed on the screen almost instantly.

Things we like

  • Automatic shutoff function takes half a minute to kick in – enough to give you time to write temperatures down
  • Low battery indicator – batteries included
  • More accurate than other units in this range
  • Easy to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements

Things we do not like

  • Other thermometers in this range have higher temperature measuring limits

 


What To Look For In A Infrared Thermometer

 

Monitor inspection with thermal Thermometer

Finding the best-infrared thermometer is a matter of knowing what you need and finding the required features in your potential choice. Here are a few standard aspects to keep in mind when researching thermometers. Keep in mind these aspects must be related to your personal needs.

For example, the temperature range is not really relevant if you only check the temperature in a meat refrigerator in your grocery store. At the end of the day, it is not an extreme temperature, so most thermometers will be able to do it.

Accuracy

This is your most important consideration in the process. If the thermometer is not accurate, it is completely useless. Some of these units are used in environments that require extreme precision, while a bit of inaccuracy can lead to a series of complications and issues.

It is worth noting that some thermometers are affected by the surrounding temperature. For instance, if you use the thermometer in a warn environment and then try it out immediately in a cold environment, results will not be too accurate. Instead, the thermometer will need a few minutes to acclimate.

Temperature range

The temperature range is just as important. No matter what you need an infrared thermometer for, it should cover the temperature range that you need. Otherwise, it becomes useless. Different types of thermometers will work for different applications though.

No lens thermometers are more efficient when it comes to cold temperatures. Obviously, you do not want such a model for hot equipment. Standard Fresnel lens thermometers work for most jobs in a middle range, while super-hot temperatures require a Mica lens.

Speed

So, how fast can your potential thermometer read the temperature? Whether it is half a second or over a second, it will not make the difference when you only need a few scans every now and then. But if you need plenty of scans over a short period of time, you clearly want speed.

Generally speaking, a fast thermometer is better than a slow one from all points of view and not just the speed.

Emissivity

When it comes to the emissivity, you practically get to know the amount of infrared energy a particular unit can release at once. Again, different models will bring in different outcomes. The adjustable emissivity level in one thermometer may not necessarily be suitable for certain applications.

The best option? Find an infrared thermometer that allows you to change the emissivity. Adjustments will be small, but more than enough to improve accuracy.

Normally, the emissivity is measured between 0 and 1. When set at 1, it can easily scan many organic materials at an accurate level. The value will not really work for synthetic materials or even metal. This is why you need a bit of adjustability.

Design

The design is usually a matter of personal preferences, yet it can also affect the efficiency of a thermometer sometimes. The rugged design is usually the most common option. For example, many thermometers come with a durable polymer. It is solid and rough, so it can keep your unit safe.

Mica lens thermometers require a bit more strength and protection, as the design also implements a carrying case. You are likely to find stronger materials to prevent lenses from breaking.

Display

Face and neck thermographyA back lit display is not mandatory. It is, however, useful. These days, it is almost a standard in this industry, so it should not really add to the price. If the thermometer does not have this feature, simply move on.

While not always a must, the back lit display allows temperature reading in poor lighting conditions, which may occur every now and then.

Recording

The recording is not always a must, but it comes in handy when you have to scan the same thing over and over again. You will then be able to figure out the average temperature over a certain time.

Some thermometers also allow setting up limits in temperature – minimum and maximum limits. They will sound an alarm if those limits are exceeded. Other than that, you do not even need to look at the temperature.

Type

You could classify infrared thermometers by more criteria, but more importantly, make sure you understand how lenses work and what they do. From this point of view, there are three types out there.

No lens thermometers are excellent for cold temperatures. They are inexpensive, basic and straightforward. Since they do not have a lens, they are obviously small too. They rely on reflective materials to direct the infrared light in order to determine the temperature.

You can scan temperatures one after another without having to wait. However, a lens ensures protection. They do not have it. Therefore, they are not suitable for hot objects.

While reliable, they are not too good on long distance checks, so you need to be close to the object.

On the other hand, Fresnel lens infrared thermometers are excellent for food. They can scan both hot and cold temperatures and they will not cost a fortune. They are more versatile than no lens thermometers but not as good as Mica thermometers.

When switching from one environment to another, they require a bit of time to adjust. After all, the Fresnel lens is based on plastic. This means it will change its shape when exposed to huge temperature changes. The acclimation period is usually a matter of minutes.

Last, but not least, Mica infrared thermometers dominate the market in terms of versatility and professionalism. They are more expensive than other types. Generally speaking, they are more common in industrial environments, yet you might as well buy one for your residential readings.

The higher price is given by the lens. It is quite complex. Based on mineral glass, it is more durable and reliable. It can easily resist major temperature changes, can read extreme temperatures with amazing accuracy and will work over long distances. With all these, such a thermometer will require about 10 minutes to adjust when the temperature changes.


Conclusion

 

Bottom line, deciding on the best infrared thermometer is more of an individualized choice because different units come with different applications and temperature ranges, hence the necessity of identifying your needs first.

The above mentioned IR thermometers are among the top-rated units in this industry. They work for thousands of customers, so chances are you will easily find one that will work for your particular applications as well.

There are tons of infrared thermometer on the market today, but to wrap it up, make sure you know what to look for when buying one. From the accuracy and display to the emissivity and temperature range, pretty much every aspect will have an impact on your final result. A bit of patience will make this venture a matter of time only.


FAQs:

Here are frequently asked questions and their answers to help you understand about the best infrared thermometer:

What is the most accurate infrared thermometer?

There is no such thing as the most accurate infrared thermometer because accuracy depends on more factors. Thermometers that work wonders on soft or organic materials will not be so good on synthetic materials or metal. With these thoughts in mind, you have to purchase a thermometer suitable for your most common applications.

Are infrared thermometers accurate?

Yes, as long as you purchase an infrared thermometer suitable for your applications. Some thermometers are suitable for various materials, while others are more likely to excel at hot or cold temperatures. In other words, your personal needs should lead you in the right direction.

How do I choose an infrared thermometer?

Apart from the above-mentioned considerations, make sure the thermometer is purchased with your necessities and applications in mind. Basically, what works for some people will not always work for you too.

How does an infrared thermometer work?

Infrared thermometers will measure the temperature of an object on its surface temperature. The unit will emit energy, which is then sent back and collected. The electronic system will translate all these details into the temperature reading displayed on the screen.

What is the response time of an infrared thermometer?

Infrared thermometers work much faster than other types of thermometers, so the response time is way better. Generally speaking, you should expect a reading within half a second. Obviously, there are more details that can slightly increase or decrease the reading type, such as the infrared thermometer type.

What is the distance I can take measurements from?

Again, this answer depends on the type of thermometer – more precisely, the type of lens. To determine the maximum distance associated with your thermometer, you need to know the distance to size ratio. Many infrared thermometers can go up to 30 meters or 100 feet in distance, but it depends on the lens and atmospheric conditions.

For example, infrared thermometers with a Mica lens can take measurements from long distances, while no lens thermometers require you to be close to the target for an accurate reading.

Does the spectral range actually matter?

The infrared spectral range varies widely. It can go between 0.7 and 1000μm. Many infrared thermometers will run under 20μm. It is only a matter of cost. The higher this range, the more expensive the thermometer will be. For most applications – both residential and professional, you will not require more than that.

This range is not really affected by the H2O and CO2 in the air, so it will display accurate readings. To help you understand how it works, if the wavelength is longer, the accuracy will decrease as you increase the distance due to the humidity in the air. In other words, since you will be relatively close to the target, do not let this aspect influence your decision.