9 Handiest Infrared Thermometers for Safe and Accurate Temperature Measurement
Last updated: Apr 22, 2020
58Hours of Research
An infrared thermometer is a great tool for measuring the temperature of objects without risking burning your fingers and hands. They measure the temperature of your oven, the outside of the meat you’re cooking, or even the charcoal in your grill or smoker all quickly and safely. An infrared thermometer can even be used for more than just cooking, letting you diagnose automotive issues, check your HVAC equipment, or even measure the external body temperature of the people and animals living in your house.
If you’re interested in the best infrared thermometer, there are a few features you should check out. The most important is the measuring range, which tells you the highest and lowest temperature the unit can read, so you know what you can use it for. The accuracy tells you how precise the temperature readings are. Emissivity shows you the capacity of a specific surface to produce thermal radiation. Infrared thermometers have either fixed or adjustable emissivity, which will affect how they measure certain surfaces. The infrared thermometer’s dimensions will tell you how easy it is to carry and store.
Top 9 Infrared Thermometers Review 2020
If you need the best infrared thermometer, but don’t know where to start, check out the information below. We spend countless hours checking out numerous manufacturers and their products, looking into the features each one has to offer and reading hundreds of customer reviews. Then we chose the best models, created a comparison table and added in-depth product reviews. We also wrote up a buying guide to help you figure out exactly what to look for in new infrared thermometer.
If you’re looking for the best non-contact infrared thermometer, the BTMETER BT-1500 is a great choice. Its only downside doesn’t have to do with the thermometer itself but instead has to do with the instructions. These lack some detail due to improper English translations, but once you get the hang of this handy tool, you’ll be glad you made the effort.
This infrared thermometer has a huge temperature range, from -58 to 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit, plus it is accurate within 2% of the actual temperature, so you get nearly perfect measurements every time, no matter what you’re aiming this unit at. These details also allow you to use this thermometer for almost anything, including barbecues, pizza ovens, furnaces, forges, high-end boilers, and even kilns.
There are a bunch of great features as well, including the large LCD screen with a backlight for dark areas, the dual lasers that give you superior targeting at a huge distance to spot ratio of 30:1, and the flashlight to see exactly what you’re aiming the thermometer at. You can also adjust the emissivity for even better accuracy, depending on the materials you’re testing.
One unique feature included with this infrared thermometer is the alarm function. This allows you to set a minimum, maximum, or average value for specific objects. If you test them and the thermometer records a temperature that is out of this range, an alarm will sound. This way, you’ll know if something isn’t at the temperature it’s supposed to be at as soon as possible.
When you’re finished using the infrared thermometer, you don’t need to worry about fussing with on/off buttons, thanks to the auto-shutoff. It also includes a low-battery indicator so you’re never left with a dead infrared thermometer when you need it.
If you’re in the market for the best digital infrared thermometer, the ennoLogic eT1050D may be one of the models to look at first. It has a wide temperature range from -58 up to 1,922 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows you to measure the surface temperature of your food, oven walls, frying pans, cooking oil, and anything else in your kitchen. You can also use it elsewhere to check out the temperatures of your terrariums, air conditioners, car cooling system, forges, or anything else you need to test out.
There are dual lasers on this thermometer that you can turn on or off as needed to help give you precise targeting of any area. You can also adjust the emissivity for even more accuracy, depending on the surface material that you’re aiming at. This can be adjusted between 0.1 and 1.0, which is easy to do using the values found in the included user manual.
As well as adjusting the two features listed above, you can also add backlighting to the display screen, change if from Fahrenheit to Celsius, or set high/low temperatures for any given surface.
There is a couple of unique features on this infrared thermometer. One is the Scan feature, which allows you to scan an entire surface instead of doing spot readings. This scan will record the minimum, maximum, and average reading over the whole area. The Manual Log feature lets you store up to 20 readings as well.
There is also a Lock feature, which allows you to aim the thermometer where you need it to continuously scan a specific area, like your frying oil. You can combine this with the high-low feature so an alarm is triggered when the object you’re measuring reaches the temperature you want and is ready to use.
The best infrared thermometer gun is easy to use and has some great features that make them well worth the price, even if its price tag is a bit higher than expected. The Klein Tools IR10 costs almost $100 but has those little extras that will make you glad you spent a bit more of your hard-earned dough.
First of all, like other infrared thermometers, this one measures the surface temperature using IR emission. It is unique, though, since it also includes a K-Type probe and a jack on the top of the gun that allows you to measure bulk temperatures of liquid, gas, or air as well.
There are dual targeting lasers that give you a more accurate measurement of the area you’re aiming at, plus it has a distance to spot ratio of 20:1, so you don’t need to be right up against the object you’re testing. Both the IR and the K-Type probe have the same measurement range of -40 to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit for added convenience.
The digital display includes backlighting, so you’ll be able to see the screen in low light. The emissivity is adjustable from 0.1 to 1.0, which helps when targeting different types of surfaces. You can adjust the statistical parameters for certain areas, plus set high or low limits, which will set off both visual and audible alarms if the area is tested out of this range.
As well as the included K-Type probe, this infrared thermometer also includes a 9-Volt alkaline battery and a custom pouch. It has an over-mold housing that is soft to touch but durable enough to handle a fall of 9.9 feet. The auto shut-off kicks in when you’re done using to help conserve the battery.
Getting the best cheap infrared thermometer might mean losing some of the features the more expensive models have to offer but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a lousy product. The Lemsa GM-320 comes with a budget-friendly price tag, plus is easy to use and as accurate as some of the pricier infrared thermometers on the market.
This unit has a decent temperature range of -58 to 716 degrees Fahrenheit. It is accurate within 1.5 degrees, with a distance-to-spot ratio of about 12:1. Though the emissivity is set at 0.95, it is still a great thermometer to use when cooking, barbecuing, checking your fridge temperature, or even doing some auto maintenance out in your garage or on the road.
There are three simple buttons located below the LCD screen. One is used to activate the backlighting, one is for the laser, and the last is for choosing either Celsius or Fahrenheit. The screen displays the temperature, the laser sign, and the hold feature, so you always know exactly what is on or off as well as the temperature of the object you’re measuring.
There are also no on-off buttons to fuss with since the trigger activates the thermometer. There is an auto shut-off as well, which kicks in after seven seconds of inactivity, so you won’t needlessly drain the batteries. There are two AAA batteries included with the infrared thermometer, too, so you can use it right out of the box.
This handy tool is lightweight and compact, so you can carry it with you anywhere you go if needed. It has a durable plastic body, so though it won’t handle any rough use, it is still a quality tool that you’ll be glad to have.
The best infrared laser thermometer needs to be as accurate as possible. The Estink Infrared Thermometer takes this into account, adding 12 built-in laser pointers to maximize the distance-to-spot ratio to 12:1, so you always know exactly what you’re aiming at. It also takes only 0.5 seconds for it to measure the temperature, so there is no standing around waiting for temperature readings to show up on the display.
The display itself is a large LCD screen with backlighting that lets you see the screen when working in dim areas. You can adjust the settings as needed, altering the emissivity or choosing between Celsius and Fahrenheit, both of which show up on the display. You can also set a temperature range for a particular surface and when it reaches or exceeds that temperature, the display will turn red.
The buttons below the screen are easy to use, with a mode button in the middle and side buttons that adjust your settings as needed or turn on or off the backlighting and laser. There is a trigger at the front of the infrared thermometer gun that activates it. It also includes an auto shut-off, though this takes 25 seconds to kick in, so it isn’t the most energy-efficient feature.
This model is powered with only 2 AAA buttons, so it won’t cost a fortune to keep it running. It also has a power indicator on the display that lets you know when you’re about to run out of juice, so you won’t be caught unprepared.
Another great thing about the Estink Infrared Thermometer is that it is versatile. You can use it when cooking in your kitchen or out on the grill, plus you can use it for your home repairs or some automotive work as needed.
The Etekcity Lasergrip 774 is a handy little tool to have around your home. It has an abundance of uses, checking the surface temperature of objects when you’re barbecuing, doing some home repairs, or even working on your car out in the garage.
This infrared thermometer is quite accurate, with a distance to spot ratio of 12:1 and a distance of 36 cm between the thermometer and the object that you want a temperature reading for. It has a fast response time, with a large temperature range of -58 – 716 degrees Fahrenheit. It also allows you to choose either Fahrenheit or Celsius.
There are a bunch of great features included with this thermometer. First off, it is quite simple to use. You just aim the thermometer and push the trigger button to activate it. Three buttons below the LCD screen let you choose Fahrenheit or Celsius, the screen backlight, or the laser, so you can set it however you like. It also holds the temperature on the screen for 15 seconds for added convenience.
Other great features include the auto shut-off, the low battery indicator, and the included battery. This thermometer is also quite durable, with a plastic body and a UV paint coating to prevent discoloration or scratches and protect the unit in extreme weather.
The Lasergrip 774 has a pretty small price tag, too, so you don’t need to spend a fortune to get your hands on a decent infrared thermometer. It also has a 1-year warranty to cover any issues you may have with it, so if you receive a faulty model or it starts to have some issues over time, you won’t pay for costly repairs.
Those who need an infrared thermometer for cooking may want to try out the SOVARCATE AS530 model. It comes with both the infrared thermometer and a bonus meat thermometer, so you are fully prepared for any meal you plan to make for your family or friends. You can even use this set in a professional cooking space without spending a fortune.
The infrared thermometer is easy to use, with a simple trigger to activate the infrared measurements. It has a range of -26 to 1,022 degrees Fahrenheit, with a fast response time of 500 milliseconds. It is pretty accurate as well, within 2% of the actual temperature. The emissivity is 0.95 and can’t be adjusted, though, so you won’t be able to measure the temperature of everything in your home or workspace.
There is a built-in laser for precision temperature measurements. The display screen has optional backlighting for reading temperatures in areas with limited lighting. You can also choose between Celsius and Fahrenheit for your measurements. It also includes features like the auto-shutoff and the hold function.
This model is built to last, too. It has an ABS shell with anti-wear resistance to reduce damage, even if you’re using it every day. The grip is also comfortable, even on the most delicate hands.
The included meat thermometer is quite handy as well. It has a stainless-steel probe, a large LCD screen, and a temperature range of -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit. It may take about 10 seconds or more to take a proper reading, though, so don’t expect instant temperature measurements with this little tool, though those measurements will be accurate within a degree. The probe also has a 15-minute auto shut-off.
The Fluke 62 MAX Plus handheld infrared thermometer is lightweight but still quite durable. It is well-built using durable materials that can withstand a drop of up to 9.8 feet. It even includes an IPS4 rating that means it can handle both dust and splashing liquid without shutting down on you. The compact size of this little unit combined with the added clip makes it easy to attach it to your belt loop or store it in your toolbox.
This non-contact infrared thermometer is easy to use, only requiring you to point and shoot for the temperature to show up on the digital display. It can take readings from almost any surface, so you can use it on your oven, grill, motors, compressors, and ductwork. The display also includes backlighting for those dim work areas or when using it at night.
The Fluke 62 MAX Plus has a great temperature range, from -22 to 1,202 degrees Fahrenheit and is accurate to within one degree. There are dual lasers that rotate to pinpoint the edges of the area you’re measuring for increased precision.
As well as displaying the temperature, this model also gives you the minimum, maximum, and the difference between the temperatures of two separate surfaces, plus adds in the average of multiple areas if needed. This helps you figure out any problem areas that need a bit of work. There are also high and low alarms that alert you to any areas that have temperatures outside of the limits you have set.
This model only needs a single AA battery for up to eight hours of power, even with the lasers and backlighting on. Its manual is limited, with mostly pictures instructions and no emissivity values for easy adjustments.
You don’t need a huge infrared thermometer to get the right temperature for your meat, oven, frying pan, or anything else in your kitchen. The Raytek Fluke RAYMT4U proves this, with its lightweight, compact design. In fact, you can fit this little thermometer right in your pocket to keep it close at hand when cooking or doing some home repairs.
This handy little tool also has a simple design for easy use, even if it’s your first time using one of these thermometers. It uses a single trigger for activating the laser and the infrared technology at the same time. You can also select either Celsius or Fahrenheit. The rest of the features are preset and unchangeable. Of course, this means the emissivity can’t be altered, though for regular kitchen and household temperatures, this shouldn’t be an issue.
There is a decent-sized display screen on the back that displays the temperature. The response time for the temperature is fast, so you don’t need to wait around for it to show up on the screen. This screen is backlit as well, though this can’t be turned off, so may drain the battery a bit faster. It will make it easier to read in low-light situations, though.
This infrared thermometer has a temperature range of 0 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. The distance-to-spot ratio is decent as well, at 8:1. There is also a data hold feature for added convenience. To power this little unit, you need only a 9V battery, one of which is included with the infrared thermometer gun.
Another great feature this thermometer has going for it is its durability. Though it is small and light, it is still strong enough to handle daily use.
Fast response time
Can’t turn off backlighting
Doesn’t read temperatures below freezing
Checking the temperature of your food, barbecue, heating ducts, HVAC, or engine parts can be a bit dangerous when using a regular thermometer. That’s where an infrared thermometer comes in. These handy little tools let you check the temperature of pretty much anything in your home, workplace, or workspace quickly and easily, without risking injuries. For more information about what the best infrared thermometer has to offer, read on.
What an infrared thermometer may be used for
Infrared thermometers allow you to take a reading of the surface area of pretty much anything. This is why they are so versatile, with uses you may not even consider. A popular one is in the kitchen when you’re cooking. You can monitor food temperatures as well as the temperature of your oven, frying pan, or anything else you’re using to cook. Keeping track of the temperature of your grill or smoker is another great use for one of these tools. Making soap, beer, bread, or any other household cooking tasks for fun or profit are also handy uses for IR thermometers.
Infrared thermometers can also be used for professional or household maintenance. This includes checking your windows, ductwork, or insulation for leaks, which could result in heating or cooling issues. You can also use them to check out your electrical system. This will help you discover hot spots or other potential issues that need to be repaired long before a failure occurs.
You can use one of these thermometers in your garage as well, to do spot checks on your vehicles. This will ensure that many of the components, like the radiators, brakes, tires, and engine parts are all working properly or if they need replacement.
Some people even use their infrared thermometers for medical issues. You can use it to test the external temperature of a person or an animal, which makes it a bit easier when dealing with smaller children or pets. Of course, it doesn`t help with internal temperatures but could give you a heads-up if someone has a fever or is overheating a bit.
Features to consider while choosing an infrared thermometer
If you’re in the market for a best infrared thermometer gun, there are a few features you may want to check out. This will take some of the confusion out of buying a new IR thermometer, so you will know exactly what to look for to meet your personal or professional needs.
The measuring range refers to the lowest to highest temperatures that the infrared thermometer can measure. There is no right or wrong measurement range, it all depends on what you’re going to be using your non-contact thermometer for. For instance, if you only plan to use this little tool around your home to check out your grill or oven temperature or to keep track of how well your air conditioner is working, the lower temperature range on a model like the Raytek Fluke RAYMT4U will be fine.
Of course, for more advanced measurements, like the ones you’d need when working with machinery or motorized engines, you may need a much higher temperature range than a basic model has to offer. For these types of jobs, you may want to choose a unit like the BTMETER BT-1500, which goes from a low -58 to an extremely high 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit.
The accuracy of your infrared thermometer is very important, especially if you’re using it in certain capacities. For instance, in food service, you need meats cooked to a specific temperature to ensure it is safe to eat. Though the infrared thermometer checks only the external temperature, it can tell you if the temperature of the frying oil, frying pan, oven, or grill are heated to the proper temperature when you’re cooking. This is also a necessity when working with expensive machinery that could be damaged if it overheats.
Not all thermometers are going to be exact, though. They usually have a specification that tells you how accurate they are. For instance, the Fluke 62 MAX Plus states that it is accurate within 1%. Other models may say they are accurate within 1.5% or 2%. The smaller the number, the more accurate they are and the less you need to worry about.
The term emissivity refers to the capacity of any surface to produce thermal radiation. Some surfaces emit this thermal radiation more efficiently than others, though. That’s why some infrared thermometers have adjustable emissivity.
This allows you to change the settings between 0.1 and 1.0, which will help take an accurate reading of surfaces that have lower emissivity ratings. For example, the Estink Infrared Thermometer has an adjustable emissivity, so it will have no trouble measuring the temperature of polished metal or other surfaces that have a low emissivity.
This doesn’t mean that the models with fixed emissivity are bad. They just need to be used on the right surfaces with high emissivity, such as asphalt, walls, tiles, food, or other dark surfaces with no shine to them.
Distance to spot ratio
The distance to spot ratio is usually displayed in numbers, like the 12:1 ratio on the SOVARCATE AS530. These numbers are telling you the measurable surface area that an IR thermometer can read compared to how far away it is when taking the reading. So, the 12:1 ratio stated for this particular infrared thermometer means that it will measure an area of about one inch in diameter when reading it from 12 inches away. The smaller the first number is, the closer the thermometer should be for the same measured surface area, while a bigger number means you can stand a bit farther back.
The farther away the thermometer is when taking these readings, the larger the measurable surface area will become, which will affect the accuracy of the temperature measurement, especially if you’re trying to take a reading on a smaller space. For instance, if you are trying to measure a two-inch area and you’re standing a full meter away, the SOVARCATE AS530 will be forced to measure the temperature outside of the area you`re trying to measure, due to the 12:1 spot ratio. You are forcing it to measure a bigger area, so the outside temperature of that area will alter your results, giving you an inaccurate measurement. Stay within the D:S guidelines to get the best and most accurate results.
The dimensions of an infrared thermometer tell you how big it is. This doesn`t just determine how well it will fit in your hand, though. It will also tell you a few other things, such as whether or not this handy little tool will fit in your pocket or if you can hang it off your belt or put it in a tool belt pocket without hindering your movements. It will also tell you if it will fit nicely in your toolbox or if it needs to be stored in a separate location.
The more often you`ll be using it, the more convenient it will be to have it close at hand, so a smaller model will be much easier to keep on you. A big, heavy infrared thermometer will be a hindrance, though, so It may be best to find a compact model that you can carry easily or fit nicely in a drawer or toolbox to keep it within your reach at all times.
Any tool or device that you buy needs a decent warranty, especially if they have internal components that aren`t easy to fix. The warranty will cover you if it doesn`t work as well as it`s supposed to. When it comes to infrared thermometers, this can include how accurate they are, whether or not the laser works properly, or if the readings are displayed as they are supposed to. If your new IR thermometer isn`t doing its job, the warranty will allow you to get it repaired or replaced at no extra charge.
Not all of the models we`ve reviewed above have the same warranty. The BTMETER BT-1500 only has a one-year limited warranty, which is all right if the issues show up right away. Other units have 2- or 3-year warranties, which gives you a little more time to really test out the infrared thermometer you`ve bought. The best warranty of them all is the ten-year limited on the ennoLogic eT1050D, which is pretty good since most issues will show up well before that ten-year mark.
If you can`t find the warranty listed on the product that you`re considering buying, check out the company`s website or call them directly. This way, if any issues do show up after you`ve bought the infrared thermometer, there won`t be any surprises when you try to get it fixed or replaced with a working model.
There are a few extra features that some infrared thermometers include to make them a bit more user-friendly. Lasers are great to give you precision measurements, especially if you can turn them on or off as needed.
Some models include backlighting on the screen, which make them much more user-friendly when working in poorly lit areas. The screen displays should give you as much information as possible. For instance, as well as displaying the temperature, it should also tell you if you`re using Celsius or Fahrenheit, the emissivity if it is adjustable, or whether the laser is on or off.
Another great feature is temperature settings that allow you to choose an optimal temperature for a specific surface, setting high or low temperatures that it needs to stay within. Then, if the temperature goes out of this specific range, the IR thermometer alerts you, either with some sort of audible alarm or a change in the display. This is especially useful in cooking when you want something to reach a specific temperature but go no higher than this.
A durable shell is also important, especially if you`re working with this handy tool every day. Some sort of rating for dust or water is good to have if you`re using it outside or in some dirty areas, like attics, basements, or garages.
The hold function keeps the temperature on the screen for a set amount of time. Most models also include an auto shut-off, which helps reduce battery usage. Fast response time is a good thing to look for, so you don`t have to stand around and wait while the IR thermometer slowly works its way up to the right temperature.
You may want to check out whether or not the model you`re considering comes with some accessories. Belt clips make infrared thermometers easy to carry around with you at all times without worrying about putting it down and forgetting where you left it. Some models also include a carrying case of some type. These can often double for holsters that you can attach to a belt or tool belt for added convenience, plus keep the infrared thermometer clean and protected when it comes time to store it.
No, you can`t measure the internal temperature of meat or anything else with an infrared thermometer. They are non-contact pieces of equipment and only read the external temperature of any type of surface, including the food you’re preparing. So, though you can use it to check the temperature of the oven or grill you`re cooking the meat on or measure the outside temperature of the meat, you`ll need to use a probe thermometer to get a proper reading of the internal temperature to determine if you`re meat is cooked properly.
You can use an infrared thermometer to measure external body temperature if you want, though their accuracy isn`t as good as a medical thermometer. Most models state that they are accurate within 1 or 2 degree, which is not nearly precise as a medical thermometer. The temperature of your skin will also vary from your internal temperature, so if you are trying to determine if someone has a fever, it may be best to have the person open their mouth and point it down their throat rather than measuring the temperature of their forehead.
This depends on the device. Waterproof devices come with an IP rating that states how well they can handle moist conditions. These ratings have different numbers as well, some for light moisture, some for splashing water, and others for full submersion. Check to see if the model you like has an IP rating to know for sure if it is waterproof.
Infrared thermometers are great tools to have, due to their safety, ease of use, and versatility. Of course, with so many on the market, it may be hard to choose which one is right for you. To help make the choice a bit easier, let’s take a look at our top three choices.
Our favorite is the BTMETER BT-1500, which has a wide measuring range of -58 to 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit and a distance-to-spot ratio of 30:1. It also includes great features like adjustable emissivity, a large LCD screen with backlighting, dual lasers, and a flashlight. It even includes an alarm function, a low battery indicator, and an auto shut-off for added convenience.
The ennoLogic eT1050D is a good model as well, with a large measuring range, a seven-second auto shut-off, and adjustable emissivity. It includes unique features like the Scan, Manual Log, and Lock for hands-free use, plus it comes with a holster.
The Klein Tools IR10 has a 20:1 distance-to-spot ratio, dual lasers, and adjustable emissivity. As well as the IR emission readings for surface temperatures, it also includes the K-Type probe for bulk readings. It even allows you to adjust the statistical parameters and set high-low limits.