Best Infrared Thermometer Reviews Guide For 2017

Etekcity Lasergrip Non-contact Digital Infrared ThermometerInfrared thermometers are an excellent tool for chefs, mechanics, and anyone else who needs to quickly know the temperature of something without having to physically measure it.

If you are looking for the best infrared thermometer to allow you to more quickly, safely, and efficiently do your job, then this guide will take you through the step by step process in choosing the perfect infrared thermometer for you. If you need some other tool please don’t hesitate to check Contractor Culture, our other website with more guides for different tools.

If you don’t have time to read the entire guide, take a look at the one model below deemed the best, based on our infrared thermometer reviews.

What is the Best Infrared Thermometer?

One of the most popular and top rated thermometers on Amazon is the Mastercool (52224-A-SP) Gray Infrared Thermometer with a built-in laser.  It has a four and a half star review out of five stars to show for the two hundred forty-three reviews it has received.  It costs $51, which is a fantastic price compared to other infrared thermometers on the market.
The best infrared thermometer Mastercool (52224-A-SP) Gray Infrared Thermometer with Laser

It has a range of -58º to 932º Fahrenheit, or -50º to 500º Celsius, if you prefer.  It operates on a twelve-to-one ratio, and is packaged inside a blow molded case.  The Mastercool has dimensions of 9” x 6” x 3” with a weight of only 1.2 lbs.  All in all, the Mastercool Infrared Thermometer is one of the best infrared thermometers that can be found on Amazon. If you are looking for a quick choice, you can’t go wrong with this thermometer.

Best Infrared Thermometer Comparison Chart

IR ThermometerOur Review
Etekcity Lasergrip 774

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Etekcity Lasergrip 1080

Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Our Review
Fluke 561 HVAC Pro

Fluke 561 HVAC Pro Infrared Thermometer, 2 AA Battery, -40 to +1022 Degree F Range

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Nubee Temperature Gun

Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared IR Thermometer

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
NEtekcity Lasergrip 800

Etekcity Lasergrip 800 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

Our Review
Mastercool (52224-A-SP)

Mastercool (52224-A-SP) Gray Infrared Thermometer with Laser

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Taylor Precision IR/Thermocouple Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple Thermometer

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Maxsio MS802

Maxsio MS802 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Kintrex IRT0421

Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Maxsio High Quality MS803

Maxsio High Quality MS803 Non-Contact Infrared Temperature Thermometer

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review

What is an Infrared Thermometer?

Uses of an IR thermometerSpecifically, an infrared thermometer is a special type of thermometer that infers temperature from the amount of thermal radiation that an object is emitting.  Also called laser thermometers, it can measure this temperature from a distance rather than having to be in a very close proximity to or touching its target.

This type of thermometer is used for things like induction heating, checking mechanical equipment or electrical equipment for hot spots, checking for hot spots while fighting fire, measuring volcano temperatures, and even checking patient temperatures without touching them.

They have a number of industrial uses by doctors, fire fighters, scientists, engineers, and even mechanics.  Professionals like infrared thermometers because they promote safety and accuracy

Types of Infrared Thermometers

There are three different types of infrared thermometers, which are spot infrared thermometers, infrared cameras, and infrared line scanning systems.  These sections will describe each type in depth, but if you aren’t satisfied, you can look for more detailed information online on other pages.

  • Man checks the temperature of a ventilation system while conducting a routine trouble call aboard the aircraft carrierSpot Infrared Thermometers

Also called an infrared pyrometer, these types of infrared thermometers measure the temperature at one spot on a surface, which is a relatively small area.  Typically, they will point a red dot on the area being measured, and aren’t used as much professionally as the other two types of infrared thermometers.

Most spot thermometers are used as house tools to measure anything from ovens and fridges to air conditioners. A great example is the Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with laser targeting.  It costs $29 and has a four and a half star review out of five stars.  With seven hundred fourteen reviews, that’s a pretty solid showing by this spot thermometer.  It has the ability to measure from -76º to 932º Fahrenheit and has a spot ratio or twelve-to-one.  It has an amazing response time of one second, and shuts off automatically after fifteen seconds of not being used so as to conserve battery power.

Specifically, it measures hazardous or inaccessible objects, moving targets, and targets with high temperatures.  The Kintrex has dimensions of 9.4” x 6.7” x 1.5”, weighs a mere 4 oz., and it is powered by AAA batteries.

  • Infrared Cameras

Infrared photo of a dog by NASAInfrared thermal imaging cameras measure the temperature of several points over a large area to create a two-dimensional thermogram, where each pixel represents a temperature.

Compared to spot or scanning thermometers, infrared cameras are used more for bigger areas and is more processor- and software-intensive.  Another difference is that they are much more expensive than spot thermometers.

IR cameras are used for perimeter monitoring by the military or security guards, inspecting and quality measuring of manufacturing processes, and monitoring enclosed spaces with extreme temperatures for safety and efficiency.  The FLIR E4: Compact Thermal Imaging Camera with 80 x 60 IR Resolution and MSX is one of the best thermal imaging cameras on Amazon.  It is an expensive little tool, pricing in at $995, but with a four and a half star out of a five star review, the quality that comes with the price makes it worth every dollar.

It has a 3” 320 x 240 color LCD display that shows the thermal areas that are targeted, it has a 640 x 480 digital camera for storing images, and it has a range of -20º to 250º C, or -4º to 482º F.  It also has a four hour battery life sourcing from a swappable Li-ion battery.  Overall, this is one of the top rated infrared cameras on Amazon.

  • Infrared Line Scanning Systems

Infrared linescanner

MP150 Linescanner
Product and picture of Raytek

Infrared scanning systems scan bigger areas than spot thermometers, but not quite as large as that of infrared cameras.  These types of infrared thermometers are basically spot thermometers pointed at a rotating mirror.

Manufacturing companies involved with conveyors, such as producing glass or metal sheets by sending them through an oven, especially use infrared line scanning systems.  Generally, they are the largest physically of the three different types of infrared systems, and they are typically used for keeping tabs on factory conveyor lines and very hot or very cold sectors of the factory.

Our Top Ten Infrared Thermometer Reviews

1. Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Review

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/Black

The Etekcity Lasergrip is an excellent and affordable IR temperature gun for those who need accurate readings and durability out of their tools. The Etekcity Lasergrip 774 is battery operated, accurate between very large temperature ranges, and has auto-shut off and other features to preserve functionality within safe operating conditions.  Built with user friendliness in mind, it has rapid response time, and is always ready to use when the situation requires it. The backlit screen makes it very easy to see the measured temperature, and switch back and forth between Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature scales.

Pros

  • Durable Construction: Built to withstand both industrial and home use
  • Excellent price point
  • Large temperature measuring range
  • 9-Volt battery powered

Cons

  • Instructions can be vague as to the distance to stand from the object to get an accurate temperature measurement.

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/BlackProduct Specifications

  • Measures in Celsius or Fahrenheit (Range: -58℉~716℉ / -50℃ to +380℃)
  • Built-in laser for precisely aiming; one 9-volt battery (Included)
  • Distance Spot Ratio: 12:1; Emissivity: 0.95(fixed); Response Time: <500ms
  • Auto Shut-off & Data Hold Function & Low Battery Indicator & Backlight Display Selection
  • FDA, FCC, CE, ROHS approved; 2-Year Warranty
  • Product Material: ABS

Review

This is an excellent model with a large quantity of satisfied customers backing it. This would make a great edition to any garage, home or industrial setting. This thermometer comes from the manufacturer in excellent packaging that is sure to withstand the shipping and storage process. The soft black rubber on the handle is said to improve grip and make for easy use when holding it close to a hot object. Once receiving this product, you will find yourself wanting to measure the temperature of random items around your house because of the ease of use.

4.5
Performance
4.5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
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2. Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Review

Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/BlackThe Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 is a durable high quality unit that brags about its high range of thermal response, and its highly rated user experience. This laser infrared thermometer has a response time of less than 500 milliseconds and all this is run off of a 9V battery. The built-in laser makes a great visual reference point to ensure you read the right temperatures and record the correct data. The data display automatically reads out the temperature in real time, or gives you the option to have the thermometer hold the last read data point on the display until you have the opportunity to write it down.

Pros:

  • Robust construction
  • 2 year warranty
  • Temperature range
  • Auto-shut off feature to save battery
  • Accurate within 2%

Cons:

  • No noticeable drawbacks!

Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/BlackProduct Specifications

  • Measures in Celsius or Fahrenheit (Range: -58℉~1022℉/ -50℃~550℃)
  • Built-in laser for precisely aiming; one 9-volt battery (Included)
  • Distance Spot Ratio: 12:1; Emissivity: 0.95(fixed); Response Time: <500ms
  • Auto Shut-off & Data Hold Function & Low Battery Indicator & Backlight Display Selection
  • FDA, FCC, CE, ROHS approved; 2-Year Warranty by Etekcity

Review

The Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 is an excellent model and a great value for those who need a versatile thermometer for use on cooking foods, measuring the temperatures of water or hot surfaces, or other suspect items that need to be measured. The included 2-year warranty makes this a great value for many different situations and circumstances where it could be used. The robust ABS construction makes it able to be used both within a house and out in the work garage.

5
Performance
5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value
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3.  MS802 Review

Maxsio MS802 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer

The Maxsio MS802 thermometer is a great thermometer because of its many features. One of the highlighted features is the setting that gives users the ability to save the max and minimum temperatures that are registered. The dual sensors allow for both Fahrenheit and Celsius temperature recognition, and accurate calibration. The 13:1 ratio of distance to spot size gives you a large diversity of temperature recognition. The MS802 has a  range of temperature recognition.

Pros:

  • Included carrying case
  • Large temperature range
  • Temperature recording function
  • 5 Year Warranty

 

Cons:

  • Cannot take air temperatures, only solid objects

Maxsio MS802 Non-Contact Infrared ThermometerSpecifications

  • NON-CONTACT, INFRARED THERMOMETER features built in laser pointers – Increases the target accuracy (Range:50 – 550 °C -58 °F ~ 1022 °F)
  • MAX/MIN RECORD FUNCTION, allow you test the highest temperature of an area with just a simple of click
  • AUTO SHUT-OFF & LOW BATTERY INDICATOR – Extends battery life for longer use, It also come with an extra 9v battery, 1 x carry case.
  • MICRO-DUAL SENSOR- measures temperature in Fahrenheit & Celsius – Easy to convert reading when needed. Distance Spot Size Ratio 13:1 Fast and easy to reach the target accurately

Review

The included carrying case and 2 batteries make this a top pick out of the box. It’s calibrated correctly and didn’t require much modification to get to function as expected. The five-year warranty helps ensure that the user is comfortable with their purchase and guaranteed by a money guarantee for those 5 years should something go wrong and the device stop functioning. The touch-less laser technology included gives an accurate reading and the visible laser helps illuminate the direction that the sensors are pointing.

5
Performance
4.5
Durability
4.5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4.5
Value

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4. Nubee Temperature Gun Review

Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared IR Thermometer

The Nubee temperature gun is a precision infrared thermometer that has a temperature range of . This range is shifted farther towards the lower end than other thermometers, which can be a huge benefit for those who are trying to measure surfaces that are below freezing. Available in multiple colors and sizes, the Nubee Temperature gun is able to fit many different preferences and criteria required of it. The installed laser pointer can be disabled if desired, or left enabled to show precise location of the measurement.

Pros:

  • Large low temperature range for measuring cold places
  • 500ms response time
  • Backlit display for easy reading

Cons:

  • Lower temperature range makes it less accurate for high temperature situations

Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared IR ThermometerSpecifications

  • Red laser pointer for precise aiming
  • Measures in Celsius or Fahrenheit (range: -50 DegreeC to +380 DegreeC /-58 DegreeF to +716 DegreeF)
  • Auto shut-off & low battery indicator
  • Powered by one 9-volt battery (included)

Review

The Nubee IR is highly recommended within non-contact infrared thermometer reviews. This is due to its economical price and because most users don’t need a super high temperature range, so the mid-level range of this one is adequate.

This model is not intended to be used as a food thermometer, as it is meant for surface temperatures, but its very accurate, and can be used to determine the temperature of a fire, the inside of an oven, or other applications where temperature is a question.

4.5
Performance
4.5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value

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5. Etekcity Lasergrip 800 Review

Etekcity Lasergrip 800 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/Black

The Lasergrip 800 features a precise aiming 16:1 distance spot ratio. That this means is that you can check a temperature of a precise spot at a farther distance than a 12:1 ratio or 8:1 ratio. The included 9V battery makes this unit portable and capable of being taken anywhere. The temperature range of this thermometer is rather large; spanning from . This allows for temperature measurement in almost any situation or circumstance.

Pros:

  • 16:1 Distance Spot Ratio
  • 2 year warranty
  • Large temperature range
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Reading small objects from close distances will not read accurately

Etekcity Lasergrip 800 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/BlackSpecifications

  • Measures in Celsius or Fahrenheit (Range: -58°F~1382°F/-50°C~750°C)
  • Built-in laser for precisely aiming; one 9-volt battery (Included)
  • Distance Spot Ratio: 16:1; Emissivity: 0.95(fixed); Response Time: <500ms
  • Auto Shut-off & Data Hold Function & Low Battery Indicator & Backlight Display Selection
  • FDA, FCC, CE, ROHS approved; 2-Year Warranty by Etekcity

Review

The Etekcity Lasergrip a favorite of those that use it because of its quality build and accuracy, for an affordable price. The 16:1 distance spot ratio proves very helpful when you are trying to measure a very warm object without getting to close to it, or you want to want to measure the center of a pool of liquid without getting in it. The plastic construction makes it durable when dropped, but still very light.

5
Performance
5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value

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6. Maxsio MS803 Review

Maxsio High Quality MS803 Non-Contact Infrared Temperature

The Maxsio infrared temperature thermometer is a wonder of a product with a staggering 30:1 distance spot ratio. This is almost double the ratio that most thermometers in its price and quality standing can say. The large LED backlit display makes reading the temperature selecting certain modes a breeze. This smart device will notify you if you are reading a temperature outside of its range, rather than reporting the value at that extreme. The values for this thermometer’s temperature range are a staggering . A range of this size can be hard to acquire within a model that is still affordable for everyday use.

Pros:

  • Very large temperature range
  • Staggering 30:1 Distance Spot ratio
  • Pinpoint laser targeting

Cons:

  • No noticeable drawbacks!

Maxsio High Quality MS803 Non-Contact Infrared Temperature Specification:

  • Temperature range: 50 – 1050 °C /-58 °F ~ 1922 °F
  • Optical Resolution D:S=30:1
  • Response time <500ms
  • Adjustable Emissivity
  • Included carrying case and 9V battery
  • Accuracy 2(4)

Review

The Maxio infrared thermometer is for those who want to make one purchase and not have to worry about making another purchase for along time. This unit has an included case for storage and to protect it in the long run. This thermometer has the abilities to be used on automotive projects, cooking endeavors, and even checking the safe thermal operation of electronic circuit boards. This thermometer makes a great edition to any workspace and will definitely help in every project you have where temperature is a factor.

5
Performance
5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value

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7. Kintrex IRT0421 Review

Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting

The Kintrex IRT0421 is an excellent model for the hobbyist or someone who needs an accurate temperature reading in a simplistic way. This point-and-shoot laser targeting infrared thermometer has a sleek and non-intrusive outer case that isn’t going to stand out and look like it belongs in a workshop somewhere. The 12:1 distance to spot ratio and a good temperature range add to the value of this device, making it both functional and fashionable. With response times of less than 1 second, you never have to wait long for an accurate temperature readings either!

Pros:

  • Sleek, streamline outer casing
  • AAA battery operation
  • 2-year warranty

 

Cons:

  • Price: Slightly higher priced than its equivalent counterparts

Review

Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser TargetingAlthough slightly pricey, this thermometer is still a great purchase because of its ease of use. It works straight out of the box and doesn’t require any calibration.
It would make a great medical infrared thermometer because of its ability to blend in when compared to the bright yellow and orange industrial IR thermometers that this is compared to.

Having a thermometer that runs on AAA batteries also is a plus, because you are assured of finding AAA batteries more readily and cheaper than you can 9V batteries for other units.

4.5
Performance
4.5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4
Value

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8. Fluke 561 HVAC Pro Review

Fluke 561 HVAC Pro Infrared Thermometer, 2 AA Battery, -40 to +1022 Degree F Range

The Fluke 561 HVAC Pro brings to the table a whole new set of standards that others struggle to compete with. This professional level thermometer comes with several accessories to aid in the temperature measuring process, and a hard case to house those accessories and the device itself. Being powered by AA batteries, spare batteries are never far off. The temperature range of  provides a large area of application for this thermometer. You combine this with the accessories and their respective accuracies of measurement, and you have a device that you can confidently measure a temperature with when in a critical situation.

Pros:

  • Durable hard-sided case
  • -40 to 1022temperature range
  • Available accessories

Cons:

  • Many of the features may be excessive for common use

Specifications:

  • Dual infrared and thermocouple thermometer for noncontact or contact temperature measurement in HVAC/R systems and manufacturing, electrical, and industrial environments
  • Measures temperature from -40 to +550 degrees C (-40 to +1022 degrees F) with an accuracy of + or – 1 degree C (+ or – 2 degrees F) for the infrared sensor and an accuracy of + or – 2 degrees C (+ or – 4 degrees F) or 1% of the reading, whichever is greater, for Type K thermocouple input
  • 12:1 infrared distance-to-spot ratio with laser sighting for pinpointing the measurement area
  • Included Type K thermocouple pipe probe wrapped in flexible hook-and-loop fastener with a 20″ cable takes contact measurements from 0 to 100 degrees C (32 to 212 degrees F)
  • CE mark indicates compliance with applicable EU directives

Review

This thermometer isn’t for those who need to casually measure the temperature of the water in a pool, or the surface temperature of an oven. This thermometer system is intended for those who will be using it for applications where absolute precision is crucial. The included accessories are a nice touch, and additional ones are well explained by the manufacturer to help you ensure you have the right tools for the job. This product is rated among IR thermometers as one of the most accurate infrared thermometers. The price is reflected of this, but once you consider the features incorporated, it far outweighs the price.

5
Performance
4.5
Durability
5
Versatility
4.5
Ease of Use
5
Value

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9. Mastercool (52224-A-SP) Review

Mastercool (52224-A-SP) Gray Infrared Thermometer with Laser

The Mastercool infrared thermometer has many things going for it, and one of the most noticeable is the price. This thermometer has many more features than the price would let you to believe. For one, it ships with a custom molded case that ensures a secure and safe fit. Also the temperature range of  allows for a large range of thermal exposure before the thermometer encounters an error. The 12:1 DS ratio is pretty standard among IR thermometers, and allows for a good balance of distance and precision measuring.

Pros:

  • Custom molded case
  • Free probe/dial thermometer
  • Color display

Cons:

  • Requires getting very close to liquids to measure its temperature

Mastercool (52224-A-SP) Gray Infrared Thermometer with LaserSpecifications:

  • Ranges – 58 to 932 F / – 50 to 500 C
  • Color Display
  • 12 to 1 Ratio
  • Packaged in blow molded case
  • Includes free 52220

Review

This thermometer is an excellent value with all that it brings to the table. What helps set it apart is its independently molded case that fits the thermometer perfectly, and Mastercool’s product support should something go wrong with the thermometer. The included 1” dial thermometer adds even more value to this quality product. The included AAA batteries allow you to pull it right out of the package and start measuring temperatures to your heart’s content. The accurate measurement of this thermometer allows you to never wonder what the temperature of an object is. Just pull out your trusty IR thermometer and find out!

4.5
Performance
4.5
Durability
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Ease of Use
4.5
Value

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10. Taylor Professional Thermocouple Review

Taylor Precision Products Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple ThermometerThe Taylor professional dual temp thermometer is a working example of an IR thermometer that breaks the conventional mold of what IR thermometers look like. This small, portable thermometer has the capability to be both a laser guided infrared thermometer and a probe based thermocouple thermometer. Each has its own advantages, but this comes with one minor drawback. The temperature exposure range on this small device is slightly lacking, but it easily makes up for it in its pocket-sized accurate composition.

Pros:

  • Small, Pocket-sized frame
  • Extendable 4” probe allows for more accurate and precision measurement
  • Adjustable emissivity to compensate for measuring reflective surfaces

Cons:

  • 3:1 D:S ratio
  • Lower temperature range

Taylor Precision Products Splash-Proof Dual Temperature Infrared/Thermocouple ThermometerSpecifications:

  • HAACP Pass/Fail light indicates food safe temperature zones
  • IP65 rated to be splash-proof
  • Infrared Range -67°F to 482°F/-55°C to 250°C. Accuracy +/-2°F or 1°C.
  • Distance to Spot Ratio =3:1
  • Thermocouple Range -67°F to 626°F/-55°C to 330°C. Accuracy +/-2°F or 1°C.

Review

The Taylor Professional IR thermometer may not be the most powerful thermometer, but it is not meant to be. The main purpose of this thermometer, which is worth noting, is to have something that can be stored in any bag or pocket, and pulled out at a moment’s notice to measure the temperature. This is the temperature that a health inspector or someone of a similar profession would carry. They do not have the ability, or the need, to carry a clunky thermometer that has a large temperature range, because they have one specific task in mind that this accomplished by this thermometer.

4.5
Performance
5
Durability
4.5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
5
Value

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Best Infrared Thermometer Brands

Fluke Infrared Thermometers

Fluke is the first of five brands to be reviewed as one of the best infrared thermometer brands.  Their thermometers consistently impress their customers, and leave them happy and satisfied with their purchases.  The Fluke 62 MAX Infrared Thermometer is one of the top rated Fluke thermometers on Amazon, with a four and half star review out of five stars coming from two hundred eighty-one reviews.

It has the ability to monitor electrical, HVAC, mechanical, and automotive systems ranging from -30º to 500º C, or   -20º to 932º F.  It has a ten-to-one ratio, and a neat application it has shows the maximum temperature, the minimum temperature, the difference in the two, and the average temperature of the target.  The Fluke 62 MAX has an IP54 certification for protection against dust or water.  With dimensions of 6.8” x 3.3” x 2.9” and weight of 9 oz. this tool is small but powerful.

Fluke 59 Max+ Infrared Thermometer

Another highly rated Fluke infrared thermometer is the Fluke 59 Max+ infrared thermometer.  It has a backlit LCD display, a ten-to-one spot ratio, and has a temperature range of -30º to 500º C, or -22º to 932º F.  It also is IP40 certified against airborne contaminants.  On Amazon, it has a four and a half star review out of five stars, with eighty-five percent of reviews giving it a four star or higher review.  It follows suite with the rest of Fluke infrared thermometers, in that they may be small, but they are powerful, durable, and very accurate.

Kintrex Infrared Thermometers

Kintrex is another well-established company on Amazon that customers and reviewers love.  Their products aren’t expensive, and they perform efficiently and accurately.   Take for example the IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer.  It has a four and a half star review out of five stars, and for seven hundred two reviews, that’s a pretty great rating.  It costs $44, has a twelve-to-one spot ratio, and a temperature range of -76° to 932° F, or -60° to 500° C.  It even gives the user a display of the current temperature and the maximum temperature of the target.

It has a response time of one second, and it automatically shuts off after fifteen seconds of idleness, effectively conserving battery power.  The IRT0421 has dimensions of 9.4” x 6.7” x 1.5” and weighs 4 oz.  It can measure hazardous or inaccessible objects, moving objects, or objects with high temperatures.  An added bonus is that this type of infrared thermometer runs on two AAA batteries rather than the 9V battery typical of infrared thermometer.  Purchasing a Kintrex lets you know that you’ll find your target temperature in record time and as accurately as possible for a small price compared to other thermometers.

Etekcity Infrared Thermometers

This is a solid brand for those wanting a simple and easy to use infrared thermometer for around the house jobs.  They’re inexpensive yet still accurately display temperatures quickly.  The Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun is one of Etekcity’s top products.  In fact, on Amazon it is ranked as the number one best seller in the Diagnostic & Test Thermometer section.  It has a price of $17 and it has a four and a half star review out of five stars with one thousand seven hundred eighty reviews.  It has a range of -58° to 716℉ or -50° to 380℃, a built in laser for more precision, and a twelve-to-one spot ratio.  The Lasergrip 774 has a backlight display and an automatic turn off function to conserve its 9V battery.

Its dimensions are 7.3” x 3.9” x 1.4”, and unlike many other infrared thermometers, it comes with a two-year warranty.  Another outstanding example of this brand is the Etekcity Lasergrip 800 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun.  Pricing in at $26, it has a range of -58° to 1382°F or -50° to 750°C, a spot ratio of sixteen-to-one, and an auto shut off function to conserve battery, like the Lasergrip 774.  It also comes with a two year warranty like the Lasergrip 774.  It has an LCD display screen, dimensions of 8” x 4” x 2”, and has a cumulative battery life of about fourteen hours from one 9V battery.  All in all, Etekcity is probably one of the brands producing infrared thermometers.

Nubee Infrared Thermometers

Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared IR Thermometer

Nubee, similar to Etekcity, is useful for around-the-house application, such as for the pool, ventilation, cars, and the oven or fridge.  The Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared IR Thermometer costs $15, has a range of -50° to 380° C or -58° to 716° F, and a red laser for precision aiming.  It has an automatic turn off function after fifteen seconds to save battery life when it is not being used.  It has a four and a half star review out of five stars with one thousand four hundred sixty-two reviews to back it up.  It has dimensions of 6” x 3” x 1”, weighs 6.4 oz. and uses a 9V battery.

Another great Nubee product is the Nubee Temperature Gun Non-contact Infrared Thermometer MAX Display & EMS Adjustable.  It prices in at $20, it has a four and a half star review out of five stars, and it has had six hundred forty-nine Nubee infrared thermometer reviews.  It has a range -50° to 500° C or -58° to 932° F.  It uses a 9V battery, has dimensions of 6” x 3” x 1”, and weighs 6.4 oz.  Overall, Nubee is another excellent household brand that provides speedy results efficiently.

Dewalt Infrared Thermometers

Dewalt holds the higher-end and higher-quality infrared thermometers.  Their products are typically more used for more industrial jobs, like in a mechanic shop, in a laboratory, or at a fire station.  Dewalt offers the DCT414S1 12-Volt Max Infrared Thermometer Kit as one of Amazon’s top rated infrared thermometer guns.  It has a four and a half star review out of five stars, and costs $125.  It has a range of -20° to 932° F, a LED red and blue indicator for hot and cold trouble spots, and a three year limited warranty.   It has dimensions of 12.8” x 11.5” x 4.4” and weighs 4.6 lbs.
DEWALT DCT414S1 12-Volt Max Infrared Thermometer KitAlso, the Dewalt DCT414B 12V Max Infrared Thermometer Baretool is another phenomenal product Dewalt has to offer.  It is priced at $89, has a range of -20° to 932° F, and also has the LED indicator that the DCT414S1 has.  It has dimensions of 5.2” x 2.9” x 8.2”, weighs 14.4 oz. and has a three year limited warranty as well.  Both of these products are designed to be heavy-duty, durable thermometers that will accurately perform for years into the future.  Dewalt’s purpose is to bring quality and efficiency to the table, and it does just that.

How Do Infrared Thermometers work?

Laser installment with a warning signInfrared thermometers measure temperature without making contact with the object being measured.  They achieve this by taking advantage of a phenomenon called black body radiation.  Black body radiation is a measure of the vibration of the molecules in an object or substance.

Heat is a function of the movement of molecules, so the temperature of an object is a function of how fast its component molecules are moving.  As the molecules move, they emit infrared radiation, which functions much the same as visible light except that our eyes are not equipped to detect it.

To measure this type of radiation, we need an infrared thermometer. An infrared thermometer usually consists of three basic parts: a lens, a thermopile, and a detector.  When pointed at a source of infrared radiation, the lens focuses the infrared radiation being emitted onto the thermopile, which then converts the infrared radiation into heat.  The more infrared light is focused onto the thermopile, the more the thermopile heats up.  From here, the infrared thermometer works much like a household digital thermometer.  As the thermopile heats up, it converts this heat into electricity.  The electricity in turn is sent to a detector, which translates the electrical input it receives into a temperature for the object being measured and send this figure to a display which the user can read.

How to use an Infrared Thermometer

Many uses of an IR thermometer illustratedMost consumer application gun style infrared thermometers, like those used for home projects and cooking, will have the same basic functionality.  Turn the thermometer on, point it at the surface you want to temp, hold the trigger or read button, and it will instantly give you a temperature.  However, every infrared thermometer is going to be a little different in its operation.

As such, the best way to learn how to use a particular unit is a careful reading of the owner’s manual.  One thing to keep in mind that will be unique to each model of thermometer equipped with a laser guide is how the laser point relates to the area actually being measured by the optics.

With some guns, the laser indicates the center of the area measured, in others it is the top or the bottom.  Some models will have two lasers to delineate the top and bottom of the range. But with all laser aided models, the size of the area measured will vary based on the distance to the surface.

Another thing to keep in mind when reading infrared cooking thermometer reviews and deciding on which model best suits your needs is the optimal optic distance.  Knowing the optimal distance for your particular thermometer will allow you to get the most accurate temperature readings.  Also keep in mind that while they are a quick and convenient way to measure the temperature of food while it is cooking, even the best infrared thermometer for cooking can only measure the temperature on the surface of an object.

Depending on the thickness of what you are cooking, the surface temperature may or may not give you any insight as to the food’s internal temperature. However, for cooking temperature sensitive things like meat, the only way to be certain it is done and safe to eat is with a probe style thermometer.

Infrared Thermometer Applications

A fire fighter using IR thermometer in a buildingBecause infrared thermometers are able to measure an object’s temperature from a distance, they are ideal for situations where the object being measured is sensitive, inaccessible, or dangerous to get close to.  Infrared thermometers are used by energy consumption experts to determine what parts of a structure – from a house to large corporate buildings – are the biggest loss points for heating or cooling energy.

Firefighters use them in determining what parts of a fire are burning hottest and therefore what points on a structure are most at risk of collapse and where they can safely enter.  Infrared thermometers are often used in industrial applications as well, monitoring the temperature of things which cannot safely be contacted, like molten steel, glass, and certain steps in the petroleum refining process.

Ear thermometers – like the ones usually used at doctors’ offices – are just one example of medical infrared thermometers.  A person’s ear drum maintain a temperature very close to that of the person’s core, and so is a reliable and easy way to measure temperature.  However, the ear drum is a very fragile and sensitive organ, and touching it to measure temperature would likely damage it.  Thus, an infrared thermometer – which although it gets very close does not need to touch the ear drum – is the perfect way to measure temperature in this setting.  The most common household application, though, is cooking thermometers.

Man using a DeWalt's best infrared thermometer

Making The Decision

No matter your budget or intended purposes, there are plenty of great infrared thermometers on the market for you to choose from. In your search for the best infrared thermometer, pay close attention to its specs, pros and cons, and of course what others have had to say about it in infrared thermometer reviews. Then go out and buy a great infrared thermometer today!