Nowadays, with the best infrared thermometer, you can measure an object’s temperature from a distance with utmost accuracy.
The two don’t need to be in physical contact. That’s what 21st-century technology offers – convenience. And people from all walks of life love it.
Cooks, electricians, HVAC technicians, mechanics, and even ordinary homeowners use the best infrared thermometer to measure objects’ temperatures from afar.
For example, you can take the temperature of an oven or pan when you are cooking. If you are working on a machine, you can measure its moving parts’ heat without letting it touch the thermometer.
Similarly, some domestic repairs, like fixing a heater, may require you to take temperature readings from a safe distance. The best infrared thermometer can help with all those tasks. But remember, it has to be the BEST.
With so many brands and models of the best infrared thermometer, we have narrowed down your choices to 10. Here’s a comparison chart of the Top 3 of Editor’s Picks of IR thermometers on the market.
Best infrared thermometer
1. Etekcity lasergrip 1080 infrared thermometer
|Editor's Picks||Product||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||Nubee NUB8500H||9.5/10|
|Runner Up||Fluke 568||8.5/10|
|Best Budget Buy||Etekcity Lasergrip 1080||9.5/10|
|Also Great||EnnoLogic eT1050D||7.5/10|
With the ability to measure temperature in the range of -580F – 10220F (or -500C – 5500C), this unit is a good fit for household use. It has a fast response time of under 500ms. That allows you to take temperature readings instantly.
However, its accuracy of ±2% falls short. While it generally gives reliable readings for most objects, it can as well give you a spectacularly wrong value, especially if you are measuring the temperature of an electronic item or moving part.
That is likely (at least in part) because it has a fixed emissivity of 0.95. Usually, if the emissivity is adjustable, you can change it depending on the type of material you are dealing with, which, in turn, increases accuracy.
Speaking of materials, you can only use this thermometer for inanimate objects. So if you want one that can measure people and animals’ temperatures, you may want to shop for another product.
Like most of the e-thermometers on this list, the Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 is suitable for multiple uses around the house. It does well when used to measure the temperature of objects that are not very small and are not electronic appliances.Check Price at Amazon
2. Nubee NUB8500H infrared temperature gun
Within the -580F to the 680F range, this thermometer has an accuracy margin of 2%. That improves to 1% when the temperature is anywhere between 680F and 2120F. It then changes to 1.5% for any reading above 2120F and below 9320F, which means you will get a more accurate reading when the temperature is between 680F and 2120F. Otherwise, for other temperature levels, you won’t really get the most precise measurement.
That, however, doesn’t mean this thermometer is not reliable. You can adjust its emissivity from 0.1 to 1.0 and improve the accuracy of your values. Furthermore, the 12:1 distance to spot ratio is virtually the industry standard.
Perhaps the biggest downside to having the Nubee NUB8500H is that it can neither measure humans and animals’ temperature nor probe the internal temperature of foods.
If you are looking for a unit that can do one or both things, then this is not it.
The simple construction and operation of the Nubee NUB8500H make it great for the ordinary homeowner. You can point it to any surface, shiny or not, and it will give you a reliably accurate temperature reading.Check Price at Amazon
3. Fluke 568 infrared thermometer
Circling back to accuracy, this infrared thermometer is precise to 1%. And it gives minimum and maximum as well as average and differential temperature readings of an object.
Basically, you get plenty of data that can help your decision-making process.
More impressively, it has emissivity settings from 10 all through 100, with increments of 1. That not only gives a lot more control over emissivity but also guarantees accuracy even at long distances.
Still, on distance, the thermometer has a distance to point ratio of 50:1. So if you measure an object that’s up to 1.7 inches wide, you can stand as far as 60 inches away.
While some other thermometers can measure temperatures as hot as 20000F, this one has a maximum of 5000F. The lowest temperature it can read is -400F.
It has a memory feature for storing temperature readings.
When shopping for the best infrared thermometer, you will notice that the Fluke 568 is costlier than most. That’s mainly because of its superior resolution and high accuracy.
Plus, it comes with a carrying case for storing the thermometer and all its accessories, including batteries and user guides.
- The menu is straightforward to use.
- It’s made with NIST calibration that meets minimum federal requirements.
- It can store up to 99 temperature readings.
- It’s highly accurate and has a wide range of emissivity settings.
- It’s easy to move around with because of the carrying case.
- It’s more expensive than most consumer infrared thermometers.
- The -400F – 5000F temperature reading range is smaller than what you can get in other thermometers.
This unit is one of the best-infrared thermometers for industrial use because of its superior features. In addition to high accuracy, it has a wide range of emissivity settings, a high distance to point ratio. It can measure the temperature of pretty much any inanimate object, including shiny surfaces. The memory feature is a welcome addition to professionals, especially those who have to measure HVAC splits.Check Price at Amazon
4. URCERI digital laser infrared thermometer
Its meter is basically always on. You only need to pull the trigger, and you will get the temperature reading. That’s what makes it a straightforward device.
As a matter of fact, the unit has a dual operation. You can use it from a distance when measuring hot, toxic, or hard-to-reach objects; or put it in contact with the object. It all depends on the nature of the thing and whether you want to be close to it.
It has an accuracy of 1.5%, and you can adjust its emissivity from 0.1 to 1.0. That allows you to measure temperatures of many different materials with reliable precision.
The thermometer has a distance to spot ratio of 13:1. What that means is if you are 13 inches away from the object, the diameter of the measurement point will be one inch.
If that’s hard to process, just keep in mind that the higher the ratio, the further off you can stand and still measure the temperature of an object accurately. And with that in mind, the 13:1 ratio is pretty decent, especially for domestic use.
Speaking of application, this URCERI IR thermometer measures temperature from -580F to 14720F (or -500C to 8000C).
While you can use it for industrial work like measuring a gas line’s temperature, that range is ideal for regular household use.
Be warned. This thermometer is strictly for inanimate objects. It won’t measure the temperature of people and animals accurately. Also, it doesn’t measure humidity accurately.
- It can measure temperature with and without touching the object.
- It takes a mere 0.5 seconds to take a temperature reading.
- It turns off after 15 seconds to save battery power.
- It can detect UV leaks.
- It’s simple and straightforward to use.
- It’s very light, weighs just 12.3 ounces.
- It doesn’t perform accurately when taking humidity readings.
- It’s not ideal for industrial use that may require temperature readings of over 14720F.
With a 1.5% accuracy and 0.1 to 1.0 emissivity, it brings a few standard features to the table. Its 13:1 distance to point ratio and -580F – 14720F temperature range is better than most.
The URCERI Digital Thermometer is one of the best-infrared thermometers for domestic use. If you are a DIYer, homeowner, car owner, or run a small shop, it will help a great deal. It’s a bit lacking for industrial use because it can only read temperature up to 14720F.Check Price at Amazon
5. EnnoLogic eT1050D infrared temperature gun
But what indeed puts the eT1050D among the best-infrared thermometers is its performance. For starters, it can read the temperature of an object that is more than 30 inches away. However, the further the object is, the lower the accuracy of this infrared thermometer.
It has a range of -580F – 19220F (or -500C – 10500C). With a built-in alarm, you can set this thermometer to notify you when the reading exceeds the target temperature.
The unit is rated at 1% accuracy, provided you don’t go beyond 30 inches. Emissivity is adjustable from 0.1 to 1.0. Inside the user manual is a table of emissivity to help you set the right values whenever you measure an object’s temperature.
On the downside, the distance to spot ratio is 10:1. That’s less than what you will get in some other thermometers of the same price range.
Also, it tends to be selective on the objects that it can measure accurately. For example, it might not read beyond 12020F when you measure the temperature of steel.
- It shuts off automatically after 7 seconds to save power.
- It can switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings.
- It has built-in memory for storing settings and up to 20 temperature readings.
- The reading accuracy is high.
- The laser and backlight are independent. You can turn one off and leave the other.
- The construction feels cheap.
- You may find it hard to close the battery hatch if you replace the one that comes in the thermometer.
The EnnoLogic eT1050D, Fluke 62 MAX Plus, and EnnoLogic eT650D all have a 1% margin of accuracy.
Out of all of them, only the EnnoLogic eT1050D maintains that high accuracy even with a maximum temperature reading of 19220F.
So if you want a unit that’s very accurate regardless of how extreme the temperature reading is, then the eT1050D is a perfect fit.
The monologic eT1050D makes the best infrared thermometer for home use. If you are an ordinary DIY person, you will love it. This unit will deliver whether you need to measure the temperature of a grill, food, or frying pan.
You can also use it to check for insulation leaks, a cooling system, your car’s catalytic converter, brake system, and many other moving parts that heat up.Check Price at Amazon
6. Tacklife IT-T08 temperature gun
This unit is ideal for regular home use with a measuring range of -580F – 7160F (or -500C – 3800C).
But it will definitely disappoint if you put it to industrial use because then you might need to measure temperatures over 15000F.
Perhaps not the highest accuracy level (since some models have a 1% accuracy) but still reliable for use around the house. You can adjust the emissivity between 0.1 and 1.0. Be sure to check the user manual for the object’s right emissivity whose temperature you are measuring.
This particular one shows a red screen when you try to measure temperature that exceeds 7160F.
The 12:1 distance to spot ratio is typical in many Tacklife. Several models have a lower ratio, so that alone puts this unit up there with the best-infrared thermometer.
It has just one laser point. You won’t see the beam, but you will see a clear dot on the surface of the object whose temperature you are measuring. And if you set the emissivity right, this thermometer will give a reading that is up to 1.5% accurate.
The Tacklife IT-T08 thermometer is not for use on humans and animals. It will also give inaccurate readings on glass surfaces, air, polished metal, and galvanized surfaces.
That’s a big deal breaker if you want a thermometer for measuring the temperature of one of those things.
- The manual contains an emissivity table to guide you.
- The 12:1 distance to spot ratio is better than many other models.
- It’s a very affordable infrared thermometer.
- It comes with a clear color LCD.
- It automatically turns off after 30 seconds of idleness.
- The 7160F maximum temperature reading is relatively small.
- It cannot be used on several objects like glass surfaces, air, polished metal, and humans and animals.
The Tacklife IT-T08 is recommended for DIYers and anybody looking to take temperature readings of things around the house. It might not be ideal for industrial application due to the low-temperature range, but that’s what makes it great for home use.Check Price at Amazon
7. Fluke 62 MAX Plus IR thermometer
It has a 12:1 distance to point ratio, 1% accuracy, 0.1 to 1.0 emissivity, and a clearly backlit LCD display. The one standout feature is the range of temperature that it can measure.
More impressively, for every reading, it gives a minimum, average and maximum value. You can also view the difference between the minimum and maximum. The detailed data is what makes this unit suitable for professional as well as domestic use.
But it’s not all rosy. While the body is generally rugged and stable, the trigger is pretty hard to press. It will tire your finger if you have to press it continuously.
Also, the battery cover has very sharp edges almost all around. You may feel some discomfort when holding this IR gun. You won’t like its user manual either. Rather than giving any practical explanations, it only contains a series of images to “guide” you.
Like most other Fluke infrared thermometers, the 62 MAX Plus can be used for industrial and home applications, including HVAC. It is relatively costlier but more affordable than the Fluke 568. If you don’t have the budget for the 568, you can go for the 62 MAX Plus.Check Price at Amazon
8. AIDBUCKS AD6530D infrared thermometer
Beyond surface temperature, the AD6530D can also measure the internal temperature of food.
It’s equipped with a K-type sensor that’s designed specifically for that purpose.
So if you like cooking meats and other foods, you may find it handy.
Without proper maintenance, it may either contaminate food or get damaged sooner rather than later.
In addition to surface and food temperatures, this device measures ambient temperature, humidity, dew points and can detect UV leaks.
That versatility is what makes the AIDBUCKS AD6530D the best-infrared thermometer for some users.
And with an accuracy of 1.5%, they’re probably justified. However, there are some models like the ennoLogic eT1050D and Fluke 568, which have better accuracy.
The AD6530D does have adjustable emissivity and a distance to point ratio of 12:1. Meaning you can measure the temperature of a wide range of surfaces over a far distance.
This device’s many functions require a reliable user guide that can help you understand how it works.
Unfortunately, the manual that it comes with won’t help with that. It’s poorly written, most likely translated from some other language.
- It offers excellent value for money when you compare functionality and price.
- It comes with a holster for keeping it in position.
- It comes with a very clear display screen with large prints.
- It automatically turns off after 25 seconds of idleness.
- It’s lightweight and easy to handle.
- It could use a better manual.
- It’s prone to inaccuracy when measuring extreme temperatures like ice or a thoroughly-heated oven.
This infrared thermometer is best for use around the house. It’s also ideal for small to medium-scale professional work that doesn’t require you to measure temperatures beyond 14720F. If your work involves HVAC and/or UV detection, you may want to consider this thermometer.Check Price at Amazon
9. EnnoLogic eT650D infrared temperature gun
However, it has a distance to spot ratio of 10:1. That’s slightly lower than the standard 12:1.
Additionally, the fact that it uses two laser beams affects how far it can be and still take accurate temperature readings.
For instance, if you are further than 8 inches, its accuracy is highly affected.
- The adjustable emissivity makes it possible to measure the temperature of various surfaces.
- It’s one of the most accurate when the distance to point is less than 10 inches.
- It has a built-in memory that logs up to 20 readings.
- It comes with a very clear LCD that shows large prints.
- It’s versatile enough for many applications.
- It’s not the most solidly constructed infrared thermometer.
- The battery cover is too hard to open, might snap and break if you force it.
- It’s more expensive than most consumer IR thermometers.
The EnnoLogic eT650D is for DIYers who may need it for cooking or home improvement projects. Whether you are inspecting a freezer, checking the temperature of an oven, finding heating problems in the house, or enjoying the occasional BBQ by the grill, this thermometer will come in handy.Check Price at Amazon
10. BTMETER BT-1500 non-contact infrared thermometer
In case the measuring range offered by the previous units doesn’t cut it, you may consider this particular one.
It has an accuracy margin of 2% and adjustable emissivity from 0.1 to 1.0. While the emissivity is standard, the accuracy could be better.
And you get three temperature readings at a time, i.e., the minimum, average and maximum.
There are some models with up to 1% accuracy. Having said that, you should also know that the 2% accuracy makes sense when the maximum readable temperature is that high.
One of the things you probably won’t like about the BT-1500 is that it’s not accurate when measuring shiny or polished surfaces.
On the bright side, you can use it to measure the temperature of a person. But the reading will be slightly lower.
- The construction is solid with a rubberized grip.
- It has the most comprehensive temperature range of any thermometer on this list.
- It features a built-in flashlight.
- It has a built-in alarm for setting desired temperature level.
- It has a fast response time of under 250ms.
- It comes with one year warranty.
- It’s inaccurate when measuring the temperature of humans and shiny objects.
- It can only measure targets that are larger than the spot size.
The BTMETER BT-1500 IR thermometer has the edge over the rest on account of its superior capabilities. All the others either don’t offer the same distance to spot ratio or high maximum temperature.
Its 30:1 distance to point ratio, coupled with a maximum reading of 2732F, means you can use it to measure extremely hot surfaces at a safe distance.
The BT-1500 has many applications that are geared towards industrial usage. You will find it helpful if you work in the automotive, HVAC, electricity, or any profession that requires constant monitoring of temperature. Its portability makes it ideal for mechanics and contractors.Check Price at Amazon
Types of the best infrared thermometer
Before we even get to the product reviews, you need to know a few things about the best infrared thermometer. Understanding the basics will help you make an informed decision when choosing your thermometer.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the best infrared thermometer can be categorized into three as follows:
#1. Spot infrared thermometers
These contactless thermometers have one or two laser pointers that measure the temperature at a particular spot on the surface. They are typically gun-shaped, so your job is simply to point the laser at the object and pull the trigger. In less than a second, the thermometer will give you the temperature reading.
Most spot IR thermometers are widely used in households. They are great for taking the temperature of foods, ovens, fridges, grills, heating and cooling systems, electrical systems, etc. Having said that, some spot IR thermometers are great for industrial application, particularly HVAC, mechanical and electrical works.
#2. Infrared scanners
While spot thermometers point to a particular (usually fixed) spot, scanners scan a larger area. They are typically used for measuring the temperature of moving objects.
An infrared scanner is a system that consists of one or more spot lasers. The lasers are directed at a rotating mirror, which in turn points to moving objects. By doing so, the thermometer can take the temperature of those objects.
Infrared scanning thermometers are primarily used for industrial purposes. They do an excellent job scanning objects that are placed on a conveyor or web system.
#3. Infrared cameras
To understand how infrared cameras work, you will need a brief lesson in physics. Generally, all objects emit electromagnetic radiation save for those whose temperature is absolute zero. An object with a high temperature glows more when subjected to an infrared spectrum.
To measure the temperature of an object with this technology, you need a device that uses infrared wavelength. That device is an infrared thermal imaging camera. It shows how much an object glows, and consequently, you can use that information to judge its temperature.
Like ordinary cameras, these devices measure the temperature at many points and over a large area. They give data in the form of a two-dimensional image known as a thermogram.
The best-infrared thermometers for an ordinary consumer are the spot thermometer. But if you want one for industrial use, then an infrared scanner could do a better job. Infrared cameras are best for surveys because they capture a large area in an instance.
Buying guide: How to choose the best infrared thermometer
Beyond the type, there are other things that you will need to keep in mind when shopping for the best-infrared thermometer. They include:
- The best infrared thermometer meant for home use can measure temperature from -580F to the 14000F region. Some go higher than that. Still, 14000F is sufficient for regular domestic applications.
- If you want a thermometer for industrial use, you may want to consider one that measures temperature up to at least 20000F.
- When dealing with too high or low temperatures, a 1% margin of error can be considerable. For example, 1% of 15000F is 150F, which is quite significant.
- That is to say, the more accurate an infrared thermometer is, the more reliable its data. Most infrared temperature guns have a margin of error of 1%, 1.5%, or 2%. Anything beyond that is likely to give you wildly inaccurate temperature readings.
- Your device can either have fixed or adjustable emissivity. The best-infrared thermometer is one with an adjustable emissivity.
- Basically, if you can adjust a thermometer’s emissivity, you will be able to measure the temperature of various types of materials accurately. That is because you will be able to tune it (thermometer) to the object’s corresponding emission factor.
Distance to spot ratio
- The DS ratio of a contactless thermometer refers to the size of an object you can measure in relation to how far you are from it. It’s given as a ratio in the form of X:1.
- The best-infrared thermometer should have a DS ratio of at least 10:1. That means you should be able to measure the temperature of a 1-inch object accurately from 10 inches away. It follows that if the object is 5 inches wide, you can measure its temperature accurately from a 50-inch distance.
- The higher the ratio, the further away you can be and still measure an object’s temperature accurately.
Terms of sale
- You can judge the quality of an item based on the manufacturer’s terms of sale. Warranty is particularly of the highest importance. The best-infrared thermometer is one with an extensive warranty and returns policy.
- Most manufacturers offer a warranty of at least one year and a 90-day return window. Those terms absolutely make sense for a product like this.
- You don’t need to spend an arm and leg to purchase the best-infrared thermometer.
- Like any other item, the more you spend, the better the features. But essentially, each best-infrared thermometer will allow you to measure temperature. So it boils down to how much you are willing and able to spend.
The bottom line
In sum, having the best infrared thermometer is undoubtedly a great idea. The best part is that they come with varying capabilities and prices.
You don’t have to break the bank to own one.
Just make sure you know why you need it. Some models are ideal for home use, while others are for industrial applications.
You will find all that information in the reviews above, be sure to make this article your go-to guide.
Read more: Best Digital Thermometers Honest Review 2021