Best Gas Detector Reviews 2017

There are quite a number of gas detectors on the market, and if you’re going to be relying on these devices to protect you and yours from the dangers of leaking gases then it’s only imperative that you look for the best gas detector for your needs. We’ve made that task easier by selecting the top five brands with the best gas detectors available. We’ve reviewed one from each here, but you can check them out for more options.
Watch Our Gas Detector Review
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Accuracy
Gooseneck
Gas Detected
Size
Our Top Choice
UEi Test Instruments Gas Leak Detector
UEi is an award-winning manufacturer of superior-quality test and measurement instruments that are both innovative and practical.
It’s a reliable, super-sensitive tool that’s also easy to use. It detects a wide range of gas types, and is light and portable.
It doesn’t come with a protective cover.
Plug-in
50 ppm 
18 inches 
Methane
3.5 x 9.5 x 14 inches; 4 lbs
Best Value
Amprobe Gas Leak Detector
Amprobe is a leading manufacturer of safe, rugged, and reliable test and measurement tools. It’s the ingenious inventor of the first clamp meter and first wire tracer.
This detector stores easily as it comes with a storage box. It’s sensitive, pinpointing gas leaks. It’s easy to use and its batteries are replaceable.
Its manual doesn’t contain full information such as gas levels to consider dangerous.
Plug-in
35-640 ppm
17.6 inches
Methane and propane
11.7 x 8.4 x 3.2 inches; 1.9 lbs
Inficon GAS-Mate Gas Leak Detector
INFICON provides world-class instruments that facilitate productivity and quality in accordance with the highest standards and regulations.
It’s accurate and easy to use. What’s more, it uses regular batteries, its sensitivity is adjustable, and it’s a rugged unit with a carrying case.
Its battery compartment could be better made.
Portable
5 ppm
Info not provided
Methane, propane, butane
15 x 8.8 x 3.8 inches ; 3.4 lbs
SGILE Combustible Natural Gas Detector
SGILE is committed to providing each of its customers with product quality and customer service of the highest standard.
It’s a competitively-priced detector that’s easy to use, functional, and sensitive. It’s also accurate and fast.
It doesn’t have many features, which isn’t much of a problem as it does its job well.
Portable
5 ppm
12 inches
Methane, natural gas, coal gas
8.6 x 6.7 x 2.1 inches; 0.55 lbs
ARIKON Plug-In Gas Detector
Arikon has got the day-to-day life of the average American covered with its large range of goods that are manufactured with the greatest attention to quality and high standard.
This unit provides functional service without the hassle of stocking and changing batteries, and it’s easy to use; just plug it in.
There are isolated reports of false alarms which were promptly handled by its support.
Plug-in
1000 ppm
No gooseneck
LPG, natural gas, methane, propane
4 x 4 x 2.5 inches; 0.35 lbs

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Gas Detector?

Let’s just jump into this, okay? Many of us have been adversely affected, directly or indirectly, by hazardous gas exposure. It’s a real danger, especially today where residential, commercial, and recreational buildings, along with so many other facilities, are powered by gas. We’ve got gas-powered water pumps, gas-powered heating systems, gas-powered electricity, and let’s not forget gas cookers and petroleum fumes. None of these are evil in themselves, but under the wrong conditions, they can have catastrophic effects.

There are two main dangers from gas leaks: the danger of explosion from combustible gases and the danger of poisoning from toxic gases. Combustible gases include methane, propane, ethane, etc. Did you know that nearly 75% of gas resources are combustible? Well, now you do. On the other hand, toxic gases include hydrogen sulfide (commonly called sewer gas), carbon monoxide, and many solvents. These gases can (and often) find their way into our living spaces and the results are usually not pleasant.

Gas detectors are an easy way to ensure your safety and that of those whom you hold dear. They’re basically packaged in two forms:
  • Fixed gas detectors which are designed to be mounted in the area to be protected such as a control room, plants, outdoor piping systems, etc.
  • Portable or handheld gas detectors which can be carried in the hand, duty belt, or clothing. These are usually used in homes, businesses, and generally small-scale settings. They’re usually battery-powered (by a variety of battery types AAA batteries, D batteries, 9V batteries, and so on) and transmit audio and visual alerts when their sensors come in contact with their target gases.

The most important feature in a gas detector is its sensor. With handhelds, there’s need for caution as their sensors are at their tips and certain solutions can cause damage to them. Another word of caution, if you’re using a gas-based sensor, remember to use intrinsically safe flashlights when checking out leaks in dark spaces. There are different types of sensor technologies, so let’s take a look at some of them:
  • Electrochemical gas sensors are mostly used in the detection of toxic gases, and function by allowing the diffusion of gases through a membrane to be chemically reduced or oxidized at an electrode.
  • Semiconductor sensors are made with a gas-sensitive film (usually tin oxide) that reacts with the gases upon direct contact. The film’s resistance is reduced when it comes in contact with the target gas. They’re used to detect toxic gases, especially carbon monoxide.
  • Ultrasonic sensors measure sounds with frequencies that surpass those of the human ears. Gas leaks make such sounds, and these sensors detect the presence of a ‘new sound’ from gas leaks and sound the alarm.
  • Catalytic sensors are used to detect combustible gases and do so by catalytic oxidation of its platinum-treated wire coil with its resistance that’s changed by the heat released.
  • Infrared sensors detect combustible gases by utilizing a system of transmitters and receivers, particularly hydrocarbon vapors.
Though we’ve taken time to go through these, you’re the one who knows what type of detector is best for you. Also, there might seem to be no immediate need for one, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Price
Let’s deal with the important issue of price. The price of gas detectors falls anywhere around $10 to $350 (industrial-level gas detectors actually cost thousands of dollars). There is a wide difference in the range, right? Well, this can be due to the type of technology used, the features of the detector, and the brand. While the cheap gas detectors might seem like a bargain, we’re of the opinion that spending some extra dollars on a good quality detector is a worthy path; after all, you can’t put a price on life, can you?

The sensor is an integral part of any gas detector; without it, there’ll be nothing for the detector to detect with. Depending on the type of sensor tech used, a detector may be pricey or not. The role of the brand is simpler; big names in the industry generally have the pricier detectors while smaller brands have the less expensive ones.

Simpler and more basic gas detectors are generally less expensive than their feature-rich counterparts. Some detectors have goosenecks, some feature ultrasonic or the latest sensor technology; others still are multi-gas devices while others detect one or two gases. All these play different roles in determining how much a manufacturer decides his gas detector is worth.
Features
A gas detector should be able to do two very important things: detect dangerous gases in the environment and alert you to it. If it’s able to do these effectively, then it fulfills its purpose. However, there are more functions that these devices are being designed to serve, which also go a long way in improving their effectiveness as safety devices. Gas detectors have certain basic features that determine how well they’ll serve you.

Here are some of them:
  • The type (is it portable or fixed?)
  • The number of gases it can detect
  • Calibration mechanism
  • The size of the device
  • Display feature
  • Warmup time
  • Indicator or alarm system
  • The length of its gooseneck, if it has one
Shopping for the best gas detector with these in mind ought to make the process a stress-free one.
Construction and Design
Gas detectors employ different sensor technologies. They include metal oxide semiconductors (semiconductors), ultrasonic, infrared (which include point sensor and imaging), catalytic, and electrochemical sensors, which are the more popular ones. Semiconductor sensors detect gases through a chemical reaction that occurs when the gas is in direct contact with the sensor. The sensors of ultrasonic gas detectors pick up changes in the background noise from the environment. Catalytic sensors use catalytic oxidation to detect gases, while infrared detectors use a system of light transmitters and receivers to detect gas.

Of these four, semiconductors are more widely used for commercial, consumer gas detectors and they cover a smaller area compared to ultrasonic and infrared sensors, so they’re more apt for homes and businesses. For larger spaces and industries, the ultrasonic detectors are preferred, especially in outdoor setups.

Multi-gas detectors are those that detect a wide range of gases, and they’re a more recent development compared to other devices that detect one or two types of gases. Your choice of detector based on this criterion will depend mostly on what gases you’re concerned about.

Whether it’s a single-gas detector or a multi-gas detector, you have to take note of its calibration mechanism. Calibration is necessary to ensure the detector’s accuracy and the integrity of the entire system. While a monthly, quarterly, or annual calibration (for more powerful detectors) is recommended for stationary gas detectors, a daily, weekly, or before-use calibration schedule is advisable for portable detectors. While the calibration for some units is as easy as taking it out into clean, outside air before and after use, each detector comes with its calibration process explained. Another piece of advice on this matter is to ensure that stationary detectors are fixed in a place that’ll allow for ease of calibration.
Performance and Ease of Use
Some of the handheld detectors feature a flexible gooseneck that’s as long as 18 inches with sensors in it. Such detectors are able to get into spots that are otherwise hard to reach, and enable you to pinpoint the exact location of the leaks. This is especially useful if you’re trying to save a few bucks (sometimes, a rather large sum of bucks depending on the cause of the leak and the damage it would have caused); plus, it can be a source of peace of mind to be able to tell the exact cause of a leak and determine a correct course of action before a technician arrives (if need be). Some other detectors have a similar mechanism or don’t at all. If all you want is to know whether there’s leaking gas or not, they should get the work done pretty good.

A display feature that tells how much of the leaked gas is in the environment may also come in handy if you’d like to know the extent of the air pollution. Another feature worth discussing here is the indicator or alarm system. While some of them have dual-indicator systems (both audio and visual indicators), others have either of the two. If you’re going to be using your detector in a noise-sensitive area like offices, nurseries etc., all the beeping and sirens from an audio-only indicator system won’t be in your favor; LEDs that go on and off according to the concentration of the gas would be a better option here. There’s an even more interesting option; some gas detectors come with an earphone jack so that your device is allowed to beep to its heart content irrespective of where you are.

Another thing to bear in mind is that some of these detectors have a warmup time. The warmup time is required mostly in semiconductor sensors; it’s the time required for the sensor to get to its chemical equilibrium. What happens during this warmup is that the sensor is pre-heated at a higher temperature, causing a temperature change that leads to the release and absorption of some chemicals by the sensitive surface. This allows for a stable system. Where it’s required, be patient as it doesn’t lessen the efficiency of the detector, but rather improves it by getting it ready for optimal performance.

What is the Best Gas Detector?

When it comes to things as important as gas detectors, we believe only the best is good enough. Therefore, settling for cheap gas detectors that won’t deliver optimum protection is a no-no. Things like sensitivity of a detector are not to be skimped on. With the information you’ve gained from our buying guide, this review will be more enlightening, we hope. So, let’s get down to the individual products.
Our Top Choice
UEi’s CD100A Gas Leak Detector detects and pinpoints the location of gas leaks. It’s got a flexible 18-inch hose with a work light that works in tight areas, and visual and audio indicators with adjustable rates. For a device that’ll accurately test combustion appliances, UEi’s C50 Combustion Analyzer with LCD display and a carrying case is worth checking out.
UEi Test Instruments Combustible Gas Leak Detector with 18 Inch Gooseneck

UEi Test Instruments Gas Detector CD100A


Features
UEi is a family-owned business that was founded in 1954 by Douglas and Betty Kane. Since then, under the management of this family, it has grown from its humble beginnings to become a global brand that designs, creates, markets, and supports choice test equipment that facilitates the professional’s job. Its award-wining test and measurement tools are the tools of choice for home owners, business owners, and professionals seeking test tools that are of high quality, forward-thinking, and practical.

UEi’s CD100A Gas Leak Detector is a 9V battery-powered tool that has the capacity to detect gas as low as 50ppm (part per million). Its 18-inch ridged neck is flexible and has a red LED light at its tip that allows you to reach and illuminate those tight spots during your gas leak checks.

It has both audio and visual indicators; the audio indicator makes ticking sounds when the detector senses leaking gas. The faster the rate of the tick, the higher the concentration of the gas. It has often been compared to a Geiger counter, but for gas instead of radiation. It’s basically a sniffer, comparing good air (clean, outside air) with the air around pipe fittings, gas tanks, and basically wherever there’s a gas leak.

It’s simple to use, as all you have to do is calibrate it by turning the dial in clean, normal air, adjusting the sensitivity until it begins to click. It should be about 2 clicks per second in clean air. Then you begin gas leak detecting. However, it’s not designed to display the levels of gas leaks.

It comes with a headphone jack; this way, if you’re in noise-sensitive area, you still get to use this tool. To ensure optimal performance at all times, recalibrate it regularly. It comes with a manual that lists the gases it detects, some of which are alcohol, jet fuel, propane, methane, acetone, natural gas, butane, thinners, lacquer, etc. Products from this brand, including this gas detector, are covered by a 1-year warranty.

Other great gas detectors from this brand include:
  • The UEi Test Instruments CO91 Carbon Monoxide Analyzer detects CO leaks, measures CO levels, and concentration from furnaces and residential appliances
  • The UEi Test Instruments C155KIT Eagle X Long Life Kit which includes a flue probe, thermal paper infrared printer, true draft probe, two K-type thermocouples, etc., is all covered by a 5-year warranty
Best Value
Amprobe’s GSD600 Gas Detector quickly detects leaking methane and propane gas. It indicates the presence and concentration of gases. Its LED lights offer noise-free indication, and it has an automatic calibration feature. If you want a gas detector with a long extension cord and ultrasonic feature, then check out the ULD-300 Ultrasonic Leak Detector which converts ultrasound from small leaks to sounds audible to the human ear.
Amprobe Gas Leak Detector With 5 Level LED

Amprobe Gas Leak Detector GSD600


Features
Amprobe was birthed in Long Island, New York as Pyramid Instrument Company, in the year 1948. Its current name, Amprobe, was gotten from its first patented product, the Amprobe. It was the first inductive clamp meter and soon, its name became synonymous with clamp meters. Its extensive range of digital multimeters, clamp meters, and industry-specific tools pass through rigorous testing to make sure that they comply with its high standard of quality and safety regulations.

Amprobe’s GSD600 Gas Leak Detector is a quick-responding unit which utilizes a semi-conductor sensor to detect methane and propane gases that are 40ppm and 35ppm respectively- that’s sensitivity at its finest. As a matter of fact, its sensitivity range for propane is 35ppm-580ppm and that of methane is 40ppm -640ppm.

It has a flexible, stainless-steel probe that’s 17.6 inches long and provides you with access to areas that are difficult to reach. To alert you to the presence of methane or propane gas, it has both an audio and visual alert system. It emits frequency beeps that increase in frequency as the concentration of the gas increases; you move it in a parallel line along the leak and listen to the beeps; the points at which it beeps fastest indicates the location of the leaks. Its LED display has a 5-level alarm that shows you how much of the leaked gas is in the environment. The levels, from the highest, are >640ppm, >320ppm, >160ppm, >80ppm and >40ppm.

For measurement accuracy, this detector automatically calibrates itself when powered on; it requires a 60-second warmup time, after power on, before it starts working or detecting any gases. It senses gas in less than 10 seconds after warmup. It automatically shuts or powers off after 10 minutes of inactivity to conserve the life of its 4 AA batteries. It has an indicator that alerts you to its low batteries so you can change them quickly.

Speaking of power, it can also be powered by a 9V power adapter which is not included. For work in noise-sensitive situations such as workplaces, it’s equipped with a headphone jack so that you can plug in your headphones and listen to its beeping without interrupting anyone else. The headphones aren’t included. For ease of storage and transportation, it’s got a carrying case; its sensor also has a protective cap.

Here are some other gas detectors from Amprobe:
  • The Amprobe CO2-100 Handheld Carbon Dioxide Meter monitors indoor air quality, the performance of heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation systems
  • The Amprobe CO2-200 Wall-Mounted CO2 Meter is designed with NDIR technology and measures CO2 up to 9999ppm, relative humidity, temperature, wet bulb, and dew point
Inficon’s Gas Mate Detector locates leaks in combustible appliances. Its 5ppm methane sensitivity is facilitated by multiple LEDs for gas leak alarm. Its auto-zeroing ignores background gases. For a gas detector that’s great for locating air leaks in trucks and buses, check out the Inficon Whisper Ultrasonic Leak Detector with a special internal noise control.
Inficon GAS-Mate Combustible Gas Leak Detector with Auto-Zeroing Feature

Inficon Gas Detector 718-202-G1


Features
The INFICON brand name is actually an abbreviation; its name in full is Instruments for Intelligent Control. It was established in 2000 by a merger in 1996 of 3 vacuum technology companies of international repute. INFICON is a provider of leading-edge instrumentation, advanced process control software, and critical sensor technologies that facilitate productivity and enhance quality in hi-tech industrial vacuum processes. It applies its experience in vacuum technology to the creation and supply of unique toxic chemical analysis merchandise for security, emergency response, and environmental health and safety.

Its Gas-Mate Combustible Gas Leak Detector is ultra-sensitive at 5ppm for methane, which is the main constituent of natural gas. It doesn’t require any calibration, and neither does its field-replaceable sensor.

To use, take it outside to ‘clean, fresh air’ then take it indoors and let it do the rest. If there’s a gas leak and it’s contained in the air, it’ll begin to tick. It’s got a warmup time of a few seconds, so allow for that. Its sensitivity is adjustable with a slow steady beeping as its default setting; when it senses leaking gas, its tick rate increases (the speed at which it beeps) and soon stops. Further adjustment in sensitivity will help you locate the exact source of the leak.

It’s equipped with a small sensor and gooseneck probe tip that allows for checking gas leaks in tight areas. This gas detector from INFICON also features an auto-zeroing feature that allows it to ignore background gases (gases that are not in themselves harmful) present in the environment, so that its sensitivity doesn’t become a problem. Apart from its audio indicator, it’s also got multiple LEDs that indicate the presence and level of leaking gas.

The gases this unit is designed to detect include: natural gas, forming gas (also called Trace-A-Gas which is 5% hydrogen and 95% nitrogen), propane, methane, ethanol, and butane. This detector comes in a quality, durable, hinged, plastic case with slots for the 2 D batteries (it’s a battery-powered device). This way, you get to store the batteries when the device isn’t in use, thus prolonging the lives of the batteries by keeping them from corroding.

The Gas-Mate detector is made in the USA and carries a 3-year over-the-counter warranty.

Other equally great detectors from INFICON are:
  • The Inficon 715-202-G1 Carbon Monoxide Meter is a 9V alkaline battery-powered CO detector with Holster Case
  • The AP29ECO Sampling Probe has sniffer flow and is an accessory to the Sensistor ISH2000 Hydrogen Leak Detector. It allows for automatic leak testing for hydrogen with tracer gas
  • The Sensistor ISH2000 Hydrogen Leak Detector is both manual and automatic, and is an instrument for professional leak detection. It’s for use in medical, industrial, automotive, and aerospace fields
SGILE Combustible Gas Detector is a portable high-sensitivity tester with a flexible “Flexprobe” gooseneck, and audio and visual alarms. If what you want is a great outdoor temperature and humidity detector, then check out the SGILE Digital Outdoor Meter with an LCD display and clock calendar alarm.
SGILE Combustible Natural Gas Detector Portable Gas Leak Detector Tester with Sound Light Alarm Gas Sniffer

SGILE Combustible Gas Detector SE131484


Features
SGILE is a brand that puts quality over anything else. For it, customer satisfaction is key and it ensures that its product range fulfills this. This includes safety and security tools, household alarms and sensors, sports and outdoors packs, and a vast collection of educational and fun kids’ toys.

The SGILE Combustible Gas Detector has a flexible, 12-inch gooseneck probe with a high-sensitivity sensor that works, even in the toughest of conditions, while experiencing the least drift and interference. It’s a basic detector that makes up in functionality what it lacks in features.

It has a dual indicator system (an audio and a visual alarm system). The audio indicator is a siren alarm that goes off when the detector senses gas that’s as low as 5ppm in an environment. Its sensitivity is adjustable, and it requires a warmup time of 30 seconds after which it will instantly sniff out leaking gases in the air.

At 8.8 ounces, it’s a portable unit that’s powered by 3 AAA batteries which aren’t included in this detector. It’s designed to sniff out a wide range of gases which include: hydrocarbons (methane, propane, natural gas, ethane, gas oil, etc.), alcohol (ethanol and methanol), and halogenated hydrocarbons such as methyl chloride and vinyl chloride. This detector can be used by technicians, homeowners, business owners, construction workers, and even miners.
The ARIKON Plug-In Combustible Gas Detector features a human voice prompt, a reliable semiconductor sensor, and a gas concentration digital display. It’s also got an intelligent microprocessor control. If you’re looking for a reliable catalytic combustion detector, then check out the ARIKON Plug-In Combustible Gas Detector with Battery Back Up.
ARIKON Plug-In Combustible Gas Detector With Voice Prompt Feature – Available in 2 Colors

ARIKON Gas Detector ARK-GAS818B


Features
Arikon’s mission is to ensure that the everyday American has the right tools, equipment, or ingredients to complete whatever he or she sets out to do. It understands that its customers are usually well-rounded individuals whose day involves a variety of activities, and its desire is to make the right quality tools that are needed to complete them.

The Arikon Plug-In Combustible Gas Detector is a smart detector featuring a human voice prompt and a microprocessor control. It’s equipped with a built-in siren that will alert you to a leaking gas situation, and has a clearly visible digital display that indicates the concentration of the gas leaked.

It’s also got a hush mode that allows you to silence the device when it’s not necessary; the alarm will, however, reset automatically in 15 minutes. It has a warmup time of 3 minutes, (the voice prompt will welcome you with an instruction to wait for 3 minutes), after which the device will start up and the display will go blank, into idle mode. It doesn’t detect poisonous gases as it’s designed to detect combustible gases only, such as natural gas. It’ll detect natural gas over 1000ppm and at 2500ppm; the alarm will go off and the voice prompt will alert you with this message: “attention please, gas is leaking”.
Arikon makes other detectors too; below are some of them:
  • The Arikon Plug-In Combustible Gas Detector has a microprocessor control and built-in alarm
  • The Arikon Plug-In Combustible Gas Detector has voice warning, 9V battery backup, and a catalytic combustion sensor

Get the Best Gas Detector of 2017!

It’s the end of the review; we do hope you’ve arrived at this point more knowledgeable than you first were. If you have, we suggest you put that knowledge to good use and go find your gas detector.

Our Top Choice
UEi Test Instruments Gas Leak Detector
Best Value
Amprobe Gas Leak Detector
Inficon GAS-Mate Gas Leak Detector
SGILE Combustible Natural Gas Detector
ARIKON Plug-In Gas Detector