Watch Our Infrared Thermometer Review
What are the Best Infrared Thermometers – NCIT Laser Models to Record Temperatures?
We reviewed infrared thermometers that will work in a wide range of circumstances. Knowing it’s important to take into consideration the type of environment you will be using your temperature gauge in, we have covered the gamut in the types of technology and displays used. From body temperatures to mechanical parts to air ducts, the best infrared thermometers give quick, accurate readings on a display that provides the data you need to perform your duties.
Our Top Choice
Affordable and durable, you will be satisfied with your Fluke 62 MAX Infrared Thermometer that can read temperatures up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need more detailed data, try Fluke’s visual IR thermometer with thermal imaging
Fluke 62 MAX Non-Contact Laser Thermometer with Temp Range -20 to +932 Degree Fahrenheit
Fluke is a global brand that specialize in electronic test tools and software therefore they know what they’re talking about when it comes to infrared thermometers. Their products are trusted by professionals including metrologists, computer network professionals, technicians and engineers therefore it’s a safe bet you can trust them too!
This Fluke 62 Max handheld infrared temperature gun is a great tool for electricians, mechanical engineers, HVAC, and predictive maintenance in locating hazardous locations, among many other uses. Durable even if you drop it from 3 meters, dust and water resistant for effective use in any environment, this no-contact thermometer uses 2 laser beams to highlight the exact spot being measured with a 12:1 distance to spot ratio. Small and tough, it does the job, and is comfortable to use with an ergonomic design to fit your hand better.
Let’s take a look at some of the features:
- Large backlit display
- Minimum/Maximum/Average/Difference temperature gauge with high and low alarms
- Degree readings up to 500C or 932F
- Quick response time, 500ms for 95% of reading
- Emissivity: 0.10-1.00
- Optical resolution: 10:1 calculated at 90% energy
- Spectral response: 8-14 microns
- Accuracy reading is within 1.5%
- Display resolution: 0.1C, 0.2F
- Operates with AA battery power
- Battery lasts up to 10 hours with laser and backlight on
You can also get the Fluke 62 Max+ Infrared Thermometer if you need a higher temperature gauge that goes up to 650C or 1202F.
Whether you need a temperature reading in the kitchen, in the garage, or on the job-site, you will be pleased with this Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Infrared Thermometer
. For higher temperature readings up to 550C or 1022 F, check out the Etekcity Lasergrip 1080 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer.
Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Infrared Temperature Gun up to 716 Degrees Fahrenheit
Whether you need a non-contact thermometer for barbecuing, doing home repairs, or fixing your car, Etekcity is a great addition to your tool kit. A super affordable digital laser gun, it has a 12:1 distance to spot ratio and uses a laser to hone in on the exact spot you want to measure.
A backlit LCD screen makes it easy to read in different environments, and it has a low-battery indicator so you always know how much juice it has left.
Let’s see why this product is a #1 Amazon bestseller:
- Measures temperatures up to 380C or 716F
- Built in laser to target the exact spot you want to monitor without contact
- Backlit LCD display
- Auto-off function to extend battery life
- Quick readings
- Accuracy range is within 2%
- Versatile applications for inanimate objects
- Easy to operate, just press a button
- Operates with one 9V battery
- Quickly convert the measurement from Fahrenheit to Celsius
The FLIR E4 Thermal Imaging Camera is much more advanced than a simple infrared thermometer and a great investment for your business or for personal use. If you want some of the features at around half the cost, try the thermal imaging offered by the FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Camera
Flir E4 Compact Thermal Imaging IR Gun with 80 x 60 IR Resolution and MSX
A high performance inspection tool, this no-contact Thermal Imaging Camera takes temperature readings that can determine the exact source of energy loss, structural issues, moisture spots, and overheating locations in electrical and mechanical equipment.
MSX thermal imaging makes infrared readings visible with 4800-pixel image clarity. It’s a handheld device that takes quick and accurate images and temperature readings.
A true feat in modern technology, here is a highlight of the features:
- Rechargeable batteries: Quick-release lithium ion batteries are easy to remove, change, and recharge
- Fast downloads: Rapid image downloading via USB for sharing and documentation
- Quick reports: FLIR Tools software makes it easy to analyze images and create reports for your business
- Accurate measurements: Variable emissivity and reflected temperature parameters for reliable results
- Fast Temp reading: Area box allows you to automatically see hot and cold spots, hunts down extremes in no time
- Light weight and easy to travel with at 1.3 pounds
- MSX technology provides enhanced hi-resolution radiometric images
- Incredible focus, depth, and precision
- Identify the source of clogged pipes, condensation, shower pan leaks and ceiling leaks
- 2 year Warranty coverage on camera, 5 on batteries, and 10 on the detector
When ordering from Amazon this product comes with complementary tools including: Hard transport case, Li-Ion rechargeable battery and replacement battery, Universal power supply/charger with four plugs, external battery charger, USB cable, FLIR Tools software for PC and Mac OS and a User manual.
It is definitely worth a little extra money to get hygienic, fast readings and keep those you care for healthy, which is exactly what this 2-in-1 Clinical IR Thermometer does. You may also like the Santamedical Professional Clinical LCD Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer
which takes forehead readings.
Santamedical 2 in 1 Professional Clinical IR Thermometer for Forehead and Surface
Santamedical produce a whole range of medical products. Their trusted equipment is used by professionals as well as for home-use.
Take temperature readings in less than a second with this Santa Medical IR thermometer. It is easy to read the backlit LCD screen even in total darkness, and get temperature readings in Fahrenheit or Celsius. No need to make contact or disinfect, just immediately take the temperature of another person with infrared technology that goes beyond the surface to gauge internal temperature.
A sleeping baby will not be disturbed by this non-contact infrared thermometer and it is not going to cause any discomfort to a person while they are awake. Able to take over 100,000 readings on a set of 2 x AA batteries, which makes it ideal for public health authorities who need to frequently take vital signs.
Take a look at some more great features of this thermometer:
- Memory of the last 32 temperature recordings
- Adjustable audio alarm to indicate high temperature
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Water resistant
- Takes 100,000 readings on 2 AA batteries
- Won’t disturb your patients/loved ones
- Intuitive guidance system
- Confirms accurate readings and secure positioning alert
- Readings provided in less than a second
- Temperature reading accuracy within 0.3 degrees
RadioShack is a brand you can trust and their Waterproof Pocket Infrared Thermometer is a great tool to get accurate household readings. However, if you are just in the market for a thermometer you can use while cooking, take a look at this Digital Meat Thermometer.
RadioShack Waterproof Pocket Laser Thermometer
A great tool to take with you wherever you go, this completely waterproof pocket infrared thermometer has a lightning fast read on temperatures in an easy to read LCD display. Reading temperatures up to 230F or 110C, this is a good thermometer for the home enthusiast or HVAC repairman for checking such things as temperatures around vents.
Features included are:
- Light-weight design that can clip onto a shirt pocket at 0.8 ounces
- Waterproof for outdoor use
- Measurements displayed in just 1 second
- Easy to read LCD display
- Inexpensive at under $30
- Reads temperatures up to 230F or 110C
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Infrared Thermometers for No Contact Temperature Readings
Thermometers are practical for all walks of life and come in handy for a variety of different situations: checking the symptoms of a loved one when they’re ill, ensuring the materials for your project are the right temperature, or ensuring an environment is safe. But infrared thermometers take it a whole step further, as you don’t have to have contact to get a precise, accurate measurement—making it easier, faster, safer, and more hygienic.
Do keep in mind that there are two broad categories of infrared thermometer guns — ones designed for commercial/industrial use and ones designed for medical uses. While you can take a person's temperature with a non-contact infrared thermometer
(or NCIT for short), the readings may not be completely accurate. However, if you need to get a quick general reading and/or have a lot of temperatures to take, they will serve that purpose.
In contrast, digital laser thermometer that is made specifically for taking the temperature of a human, often called a body infrared thermometer, may be more accurate because of the way they are designed — although the tolerance range is ± 0.3°C/0.6°F
because they read skin temperature, not core temperatures. There are digital body thermometers that can be used on the forehead and ones for inside the ear. These also tend to cost less that ones for commercial use. We have a separate reviews for the different types of medical infrared and digital thermometers
There are also infrared thermometers designed for culinary use
but for taking temperatures while cooking, you can use a regular industrial infrared gun.
In a general sense, all of these types of infrared laser thermometers work
the same way. They emit a beam of light, or non-lethal laser beam, which then sends a message back to the device which provides an output reading of the temperature. We'll talk more about this in a bit.
The biggest differences between the types are the high and low temperature ranges and the durability of the construction. For example, a medical infrared thermometer doesn't need to read extreme cold or hot temperatures and usually have a range of 89.6°–107.6°F. Nor does it need to be built to withstand the types of falls that would be common in a commercial or restaurant setting.
How Infrared Thermometers Work - Food Science
Dr. Kiki Sanford demonstrates how to use an infrared thermometer when cooking. | Courtesy of Dr. Kiki
If you’re on a budget, don’t fret! You can purchase a reliable infrared thermometer for around $30 that will get the job done. At this price, you can expect practical features such as a waterproof thermometer and a good reading range, for example from -27 to 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
At the top end of the price range are thermometers that can cost around $1000 and will come with temperature readings within a 2% accuracy range and can create a visual representation with thermal imaging to show the world in a whole new light. Thermometers at this price are also able to transport the recordings onto other devices using a USB port.
Seeing the difference in prices and features here should warn you to stay away from cheap infrared thermometers—you get what you pay for. While affordable is a good way to go, you should always ensure that the thermometer you choose is of high quality and really offers what you need.
When shopping for a new infrared thermometer, here are a few things to think about to make sure you get the best option for you:
- Temperature Reading – This is the range of temperatures the thermometer can read.
- Display - Some will simply give you a number, while others can display an infrared image.
- Battery Life and Power – All of our choices work off batteries and vary in battery life and battery-saving features.
- Type – Choose from dual pinpoint laser, digital laser, thermal imaging, etc.
- Suitable Environments – Cooking, electrical, plumbing, medical, mechanical, and air are a few examples.
- Response Time – You can expect responses as quick as 500ms to get a reading from the fastest devices.
- Accuracy – Look at the percentage or decimal to check accuracy, e.g. 1.5%.
- Safety Features and Extras – From alarms to temperature conversion.
- Operation Technique – Check how your thermometer should be used—most are as simple as pressing a button!
- Travel-friendly – If you think you’ll want this with you wherever you go, check to see if it’s travel-friendly and lightweight/compact enough to go in your luggage.
- Memory and Saved Data – Some can save numerous readings and others provide a USB port to download the data recorded.
Still need to think it through a bit more? We’ve got more tips and information below!
Advantages and Disadvantages of Handheld Infrared Thermometers
Infrared Thermometer Demo Using the Fluke 63 Handheld Infrared Thermometer. | Courtesy of GalcoTV
Construction and Design
When examining the construction and design of any infrared thermometer, there are a few things you’ll want to pay close attention to. These factors are outlined and explained below.
Determining what you’re going to be using the thermometer for will also determine the range it will need to cover. For example, if it will be used for medical purposes and reading body temperature, then it will not have to read as high as a thermometer for cooking, or even more so for mechanical projects.
There are a variety of types when it comes to infrared thermometers. Let’s take a closer look at each one, so you can best decide which one you need most.
With a dual pinpoint laser
you can find the minimum, maximum, average, and the difference between the two temperatures all in one quick action. A digital laser
is very similar and uses pinpoint spot to calculate the temperature; however, some of these devices boast better accuracy and precision. These can only be used on inanimate objects and not on bodies.
not only gives you a temperature reading, but provides a visual interpretation of the variance in front of you. This can be saved for documentation as well.
Medical/Clinical infrared thermometers
can take the temperature of body areas such as the forehead and even tear ducts to get an accurate reading of the body without contact.
If you know you’ll be using the device outside, ensure that it can withstand different weather conditions and is waterproof. In workshops and working areas, it should be more sturdy and able to be used in practical environments. Each of our top five thermometers is suited to slightly different situations, so take a look at the full range to find the one that suits your needs the best.
Battery Life and Power
All of the thermometers use some type of battery—AA, 9V, or Li-ion batteries—and so can be easily swapped once they are done with. Some of the battery lives last up to 10 hours, while others commit to so many readings off one battery life. You can also choose options that have battery-saving features such as auto-off to save energy and money.
The thermometers will give a statistic for how accurate they are, such as 1.5% or 0.3 degrees accuracy. Once you’ve found their quota for accuracy, we would advise that if accuracy is a priority to you, that you look at the reviews and also read the instructions carefully once you receive your thermometer. This will give you the best chance of finding the accuracy you need and ensuring that you are using it right for the best, most reliable results.
Performance and Ease of Use
Now, we’ll go into some more features to look out for—these relate most directly to the performance and ease of use you can expect from your new infrared thermometer.
The simplest choices just show a number indicating the temperature, which for many is ample information. For thermal images, check out how big the screen will be so you know that you’ll be able to make out the shapes that you need to.
The quickest response quota is 500ms which is pretty darn fast! This is another feature that is less important to some people; but if speed is vital to your job, make sure to go for an option that clearly states the time it takes to display the temperature.
Safety Features and Extras
A safety feature such as an alarm can be a big reassurance in your home. You can set extreme or unsafe temperatures on the thermometer, that will then set off an alarm if the temperature ever exceeds those boundaries.
Some also offer a quick and easy conversion feature so you can swap between Fahrenheit and Celsius without any problems.
A lot of the thermometers simply require a press of a button, but be sure to check first. Especially the slightly more complex devices or reading body temperatures could take a more-tuned technique to get an accurate reading.
If you need to take your new thermometer with you anywhere, consider the weight and size of it. Some are just naturally not suited to travel because of all the other features and details. Some even come with a lid to keep it protected whilst it’s stored away in your luggage.
Memory and Saved Data
If you will need to save the temperature you record… you could write them down each time…or you could get a device that does it all for you! Some of the ones that just offer numbers can save up to 36 readings before deleting the data. On the other hand, the infrared imaging can download the visuals onto another of your devices using the USB port so you can show it in a documentation or report, or just show how cool it is to your friends and family!
Get the Best Infrared Thermometer of 2020!
With the latest in laser-beam technology, there is no need to touch an object to get a temperature reading anymore. Just point and shoot for instantaneous readings that deliver surprising accuracy. Improve your safety while taking temperature measurements, and speed up the process with these infrared thermometers. We hope you’ve found one to suit your needs, but if not, take a look at the other options from these great brands!
Our Top Choice
Fluke 62 MAX IR Thermometer
Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Digital Laser Thermometer
Flir E4 Thermal Imaging Camera
Santamedical Professional Non-contact Temperature Gun
RadioShack Pocket IR Thermometer
Infrared Thermometer FAQs
Where are infrared thermometers used?
No contact infrared thermometers, or pyrometers at they are technically called, are often used in a wide range of industries and environments to record temperatures. They use a built-in laser to scan an object or area and display the temperature on a handheld device. They can read the temperature on a wall, ventilation, food, or weak spots of insulation. They are also useful in reading the temperature of overheated or faulty electrical systems.circuits.
Can infrared thermometers be used on humans?
Yes, infrared thermometers can be used to take a person's temperature with no contact. However, infrared laser thermometer guns may not provide the most accurate readings of the human body (unless it is one that is specifically designed for that purpose) — for this a digital ear thermometer is a better option
. Since they are calibrated to accommodate a wide range, they may be off by one or two degrees which can be a lot in human medicine. However, the demand for these non-contact thermometers in 2020 rose sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Are infrared thermometers accurate?
Non-contact infrared thermometers are fairly accurate when used for the purpose for which they were designed. Depending on the brand and distance from the surface, the thermometer may provide a precise reading. However, there has been controversy over the accuracy of industrial infrared thermometers on the human body, mostly due to the fact that skin temperature is not the same as a person's core temperature. If you need a completely accurate temperature reading, it’s always good to compare with a thermometer that is made especially for people such as a digital thermometer for the forehead
, an ear thermometer or a rectal thermometer.
Are infrared thermometers safe?
Yes. Since infrared thermometers don’t produce any radiation, they are said to be 100% safe. They read the temperature using a laser beam that doesn’t come into contact with the body or item.
How do you calibrate an infrared thermometer?
Calibrating an IR thermometer is easy. To do, mix crushed ice and water in a bowl. Check the temperature of the mixture and should be close to zero Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This ascertains its accuracy.