Infrared thermometers measure the temperature of an object based on the amount of thermal radiation coming off that object. They are serious tools used for industrial, scientific, and security purposes. Depending on the exact IR thermometer model and the environment in which it is being used, it may not display very accurate results. Still, IR thermometers are very useful for maintenance purposes when it is enough to know that the temperature of an object is staying roughly the same. They can also be used when the temperature of an object is too high for contact sensors or when working with moving objects and surfaces.
If you’ve already spent some time looking for an IR thermometer online, you know how easy it is to stumble across low-quality imitations and novelty items that are no match for a good IR thermometer. Below, you will find reviews of the top 10 infrared thermometers that will help you choose a high-quality product that suits your needs.
Many IR thermometers rely on only one laser to provide their measurements, but the Etekcity 1022D model actually has two lasers for improved precision and easy visualization of the exact measurement area.
The thermometer can measure a wide range of temperatures between -58° F and 1022° F (-50° C and 550° C), which is more than enough for all household purposes and sufficient for many industrial use cases. The Etekcity 1022D offers the adjustable emissivity feature, so it can be calibrated to provide the most accurate measurements for different types of objects. You can find more information about emissivity and its appropriate settings in the device’s manual.
The LCD screen of the thermometer is backlit, so you can easily see the temperature readings in the dark or in bright sunlight. There is a battery life indicator so that you’ll always know when it’s time to throw in a new one. The optimal distance between the thermometer and the measurement object is about 14 inches (36 cm). Bear in mind that the Etekcity 1022D temperature readings are only accurate for inanimate objects.
If you need an IR thermometer to measure the temperature of humans or animals, you’ll need one that’s optimized for that purpose. The forehead IR thermometer from Weallnersse is ideal for parents with babies or young children because it doesn’t have to come into contact with a person’s skin to measure their temperature. Using this device, you’ll have precise readings of your child’s temperature without disturbing them with a regular thermometer.
What’s more, there is a special feature that allows you to set a certain temperature limit. If the device detects a higher temperature, it will automatically alert you to make sure that you don’t miss any potentially alarming readings.
The thermometer is equipped with a backlit LED display with large, easy to read numbers and letters. It also comes with a carrying pouch for convenient storage and transport. The device also has an automatic shutdown feature so that it doesn’t waste battery power once you’re done using it.
If you want to use a medical grade IR thermometer that’s officially approved by the FDA, you need to check out this professional thermometer from LinkTemp. It is guaranteed by the manufacturer to conduct at least 100,000 readings, which is quite a lot, even in a household with several kids.
The thermometer provides accurate readings after as little as 1-2 seconds, so measuring the temperature of a constantly moving child or pet doesn’t have to be the nightmare it is with a regular thermometer. The built-in display is backlit and easy to read regardless of the lighting in your environment. The LinkTemp IR thermometer can store the last 32 readings in its memory and pronounce them in two languages, as well as switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. All these features make it a great (albeit a pricey) choice for parents, nurses, and anyone involved in medical activities.
Taking a break from medical IR thermometers, here’s a super portable, yet accurate device from Duratrax. Many IR thermometers available on the market are similar in shape to a pistol so that you can hold them, point them, and press the button/trigger when you want to take a measurement. This is surely convenient, but such devices are often not very travel-friendly. They won’t fit into a pocket and will likely require a significant amount of space in your tool bag or toolbox due to their shape.
On the contrary, this little Duratrax thermometer is a lifesaver if you need a highly portable IR thermometer. You can throw it into a jacket or ever your jeans pocket and forget it’s there because it’s so lightweight and compact. What’s even more impressive is that the accuracy of its readings hasn’t been sacrificed for the sake of portability, so you’re not really compromising on anything with this thermometer. A special mode for detecting minimum and maximum temperatures of a spot as well as an auto-off timer make this IR thermometer one of the most well-rounded and attractive products on the market.
The middle-range Extech 42509 model is professional grade IR thermometer, so it will cost you a pretty penny. However, what you get for the price is well worth it: two lasers for optimal precision, an impressive response time of only 0.15 seconds, and an alarm system to let you know if the temperature has gone above or below certain points.
The Extech thermometers are available in multiple variations with different highest temperature limits and price tags. So, if you need to measure extremely high temperatures, you can choose a more expensive device that can go as high as 4,000° F (around 2,200° C). If you’re buying a thermometer for home use, you can save a significant sum and just get the basic model that can only measure temperatures up to 500° F (260° C).
All models come with a backlit LCD screen and an auto-off timer, but the more advanced features such as two lasers, adjustable emissivity, and alarm system, are only available on the higher-end devices, so be sure to take that into account when you choose the one that best fits your needs.
If you’re looking for all the cool features in one compact, affordable package, the Innens IR thermometer could be your best bet. The device has two lasers to help you visualize the measurement area, as well as the adjustable emissivity feature and the maximum/minimum temperature alarm. It comes in the pistol shape that’s almost standard for IR thermometers and has a built-in backlit display that’s slightly smaller than those of most competitor models but still easily readable in most environments.
Overall, we probably wouldn’t recommend this thermometer for professional use as it is prone to readings that are off by several degrees despite all the advanced functionality. However, if you need an affordable IR thermometer with two lasers and an alarm system, you can’t go wrong with this device from Innens.
The IR thermometer from Klein Tools is probably going to be too much for your average household needs, but it’s a great option for professional use. The IR10 model has two lasers for better measurement precision, an alarm system, and a bright, backlit LCD display. The main selling point of the Klein Tools IR10 is its ability to measure the temperature of bulk substances, such as liquids, air, or gases as opposed to most other IR thermometers that can only measure the temperature of solid surfaces. This type of measurement is conducted with standard K-Type probes. The temperature limit for both IR and K-Type measurements is 1,200° F (650° C).
In addition, the thermometer is dust- and waterproof (IP54 standard) and comes in a soft-touch, shock-absorbing housing that makes it very robust and durable.
Holdpeak has a great offer for customers who need to buy multiple units at once and don’t mind missing out on some advanced features. These thermometers don’t have alarm systems or double lasers, but they come in attractively priced packages of two, and that’s a deal that’s hard to beat. Holdpeak 981° C thermometers have backlit displays (you can turn the lighting on and off depending on the environment), provide the auto-off timer feature, and produce temperature measurements with decent speed and accuracy.
This model wouldn’t be our first choice for professional use, but it is a good option for your basic household needs (and remember that you are basically getting two units for the price of a single one).
This model can do everything an average IR thermometer does, but it has also been fine-tuned to help detect energy leaks. All you have to do is point the device at a wall to set up a reference temperature and then, keep pointing it at different spots to see where the temperature changes. You can choose between three thresholds for temperature changes: 1, 3, and 5 degrees Celsius.
If the temperature stays within the chosen range, the LED indicator on the device stays green. However, once it detects a lower temperature, the indicator will go blue (red in case of a higher temperature) to provide instant, intuitive feedback and indicate an energy leak. This way, you can quickly find and take care of spots that make your heating bills so infuriatingly high. And of course, you can also use the CEM DT-8666 as a regular IR thermometer, so you’re getting a very versatile device at a reasonable price.
The final entry on our list is not a single model, but a series of IR thermometer models with different distance-to-spot ratios. The maximum temperature is the same for the two low-end models and is equal to 716° F (380° C). All further models can measure higher temperatures, up to the last two, which can go as high as 2,282° F (1,250° C). All models except the two basic ones have adjustable emissivity and an accuracy of +/- 1.8%. Every model in the series has only one laser and a backlit LED display.
Overall, the Amprobe IR-700 series thermometers all perform equally well with regard to their respective specifications and limitations. You can’t really go wrong with any of them as long as you choose the right model for your needs.