Best Refractometer Reviews 2017

Due to its simple design and versatility, there are quite a good number of brands with refractometers on the market, and in our usual fashion of making shopping easier for you, we’ve researched and picked 5 top brands with the best refractometers in the market. We reviewed one product each from these five top brands, but have also thoughtfully included links to other models from these featured brands so you can check them out before making your final choice.
Watch Our Refractometer Review
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Size
Use
Standard Unit
Design
Extras
Our Top Choice
Agriculture Solutions Salinity Refractometer
Agriculture Solutions is an online store that deals on agricultural materials and equipment, including high-quality seeds and wheelbarrows.
Wide range of applications. Adjustable eyepiece. Measures Specific Gravity and parts per thousand.
Calibration may be difficult.
8.1 × 3.3 × 1.9 inches; 0.75 pounds
Salt water measurement
Specific Gravity
Dual scale
ATC system
Best Value
Ade Advanced Optics Wine Refractometer
Ade Advanced Optics began as a private label producer for major manufacturers and retailers, and now makes high-quality products with diverse applications.
ATC for accurate readings. Dual scale for measurements in Brix and Specific Gravity.
One little issue is that values may vary slightly between readings.
7.9 × 2.7 × 2.3 inches; 0.4 pounds
Sugar content measurement
Brix and Specific Gravity
Dual scale
ATC system/2-year warranty
Milwaukee Digital Refractometer
Milwaukee sells affordable, easy-to-use, and precise diagnostic equipment which have a wide variety of applications.
Waterproof. Dual-level LCD display makes for easier reading.
Errors may happen after some use.
8 × 5 × 3 inches; 0.55 pounds
Salinity measurement
Parts per thousand/S.G.
Simple user calibration
Yellow LED and 1 PSU resolution
Vee Gee Scientific Handheld Refractometer
Vee Gee Scientific sells high-quality products including those imported from its overseas factories, through its global dealers’ network in a respected partnership.
Optical glass prism in all-metal housing. Measures in parts per thousand and Specific Gravity units.
The eye cups may fall off sometimes.
8.7 × 3.2 × 2.3 inches; 0.75 pounds
Sugar concentration measurement
Specific Gravity/PPT
Non-roll stand
Ambient light
SainSonic Smart Refractometer
SainSonic is a professional open hardware manufacturer with an unwavering commitment to supplying its customers with high-quality products at budget-friendly prices.
1-year warranty. Free copy of “Learn to Brew”.
There have been isolated cases of the conversion table not being included.
9 × 3 × 2.1 inches; 0.5 pounds
Sugar content measurement
Brix
Carrying case
Easy to use/ATC system

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Refractometer?

The refractometer is a high-performance and handy piece of equipment which gives accurate results much better and faster than a conventional hydrometer, and has high resolution and wide range of use. It’s an optical instrument that employs the measurement of the refractive index to determine the salinity of natural and artificial seawater, ocean water, or brackish intermediates. It’s useful in research and clinical laboratories for checking and maintaining stock solutions and dilutions.

Whether you’re into agriculture, food processing, or wildlife management, the refractometer proves to be an invaluable gadget for measuring, monitoring, and controlling the concentration of salt water and brine, especially useful for aquarium and marine applications.

Checking the type of refractometer you’re buying, whether it’s for seawater application or brewing or both, is of paramount importance. There are two basic types of refractometers: one that measures the salinity of seawater and related solutions, and another one that measures the brix of beer wort, wine, honey, maple syrup, and other related compounds. Both categories use the refractive index of the component under scrutiny to produce results.

The measurement unit, design, use, size, and cost are some of the features that should affect your choice - and we’re going to be looking at them more closely shortly.
Price
Having a price range in mind before purchasing any product is the most effective way to approach shopping so you don’t spend above your budget. Because most products in the market have two kinds, the high-end and the low-end, it’s almost impossible not to see an item that falls within your budget range, no matter how low or high it is - and with good features, too.

Our reviewed products come from both high-end and low-end categories (plus some in-between) with emphasis on the quality, irrespective of the price. Whichever product you choose from our review, quality and performance is assured.

Refractometers are priced between $20 and $100, but there are also cheap refractometers we came across while researching. They had many design flaws that may impede their performance, so we ignored them. Our goal has always been to provide you with well-researched information on functional products that deliver value for every dollar spent.
Features
One of the most important features of a refractometer is the unit of measurement, which could be Brix or Specific Gravity units of measurement. Brewers usually prefer to express density in either specific gravity or Plato units, while winemakers often prefer Brix.

Other important features to look out for when choosing a high-performance refractometer include:
  • The size
  • Use
  • Extra features
  • Design and construction
Construction and Design
An ideal refractometer is designed to be pre-calibrated with an easy-to-read scale, durable and compact, lightweight with a non-roll stand, and often come with a carrying case. Some come with dual-scale readings (Brix and Specific Gravity), thus eliminating the stress of trying to convert from one unit to the other.

There are different uses of the refractometer including domestic/professional, aquariums, holding tanks, wine making, brewing, honey production, maple sugaring, clinical applications, and juice making. Most of these processes have refractometers specially designed for them with readings and corresponding units of measurements.

Most refractometers are lightweight, made with aluminum, and handheld. To make its use easier, most of them (and of course all our featured products), have extra features like the ATC system, high-contrast digital display, ambient light, eyepiece adjustment, etc.

They’re battery-operated and can use either the standard AA battery or a lithium battery. The kind of battery you’ll use will largely depend on how often and how long you use the equipment. And since most of them come with a battery level indicator, you’re in no danger of your battery dying on you in the middle of sample testing.
Performance and Ease of Use
Because it’s very light and handheld, a refractometer can be used anywhere and at any time, with no setting up required. All you need to do is place your sample on the sample well, press down the cover, view, and take the reading through the eyepiece.

It doesn’t have any particular battery type that must be used; just about any battery can do, as long as it fits it. But you do need to ensure that the battery can last long enough for what you’re doing.

If, for instance, you’re in the wine making industry, you have to be careful when buying a refractometer. Be sure to pick one that measures in Brix, or one that measures in both Brix and Specific Gravity. You would want to bypass the tedious process of conversion and the possible errors that may arise.

What is the Best Refractometer?

Your reason for wanting this gadget should inform your decision. Knowing that you’ve gone through our buying guide, we expect you’re well-informed now about the different features that should matter most to you in your quest for a quality refractometer. Now, we invite you to take a look at the reviewed products below and make your choice.
Our Top Choice
The Agriculture Solutions Salinity Refractometer is a versatile refractometer that’s calibrated with distilled water. Looking for a more affordable and dual range refractometer? Check out the Agriculture Solutions Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer which features ATC (Automatic Temperature Compensation) for accurate readings.
Agriculture Solutions Agtec Dual Scale Salinity Refractometer for Aquarium & Seawater with Hard Case & Other Accessories

Agriculture Solutions Refractometer Agtec Dual Scale - (1.0 to 1.070 S.G)


Features
Agriculture Solutions is an online store that sells agricultural materials and equipment. It stocks high-quality products for all your agricultural needs ranging from seeds to wheel barrows, and is known for its fast shipping and prompt customer service response.

The Agriculture Solutions Salinity Refractometer is an affordable, high-quality dual scale salinity refractometer that’s used to check and maintain the concentration of salt water and brine. It’s also useful in research and clinical laboratories for checking and maintaining stock solutions and dilutions, and even more so for aquarium and marine applications. It has an adjustable eyepiece that can be rotated for a sharper focus.

Its functional features include:
  • Dual scale to measure Specific Gravity (D 20/20) and parts per thousand (‰)
  • Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) for temperature variance between 50°Fahrenheit to 86°Fahrenheit (10°Celsius to 30°Celsius)
  • Has dimensions of 8.1 x 3.3 x 1.9 inches and weighs 12 ounces
  • Capacity to measure Specific Gravity from 1.0 to 1.070 and salinity between 0-100‰
  • Easily calibrated with distilled water
  • Comes in a hard plastic carrying case with pipette, soft cloth, and calibration screwdriver included
  • 1-year warranty
Best Value
Ade Advanced Optics Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer is an easy-to-read, dual-scale refractometer with Automatic Temperature Compensation. For a more affordable option with accurate and repeatable readings in Brix with the range of 0-32%, check out the Ade Advanced Optics Refractometer with ATC.
Ade Advanced Optics Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer, Dual Scale – Specific Gravity and Brix

Ade Advanced Optics Refractometer BCBI9177


Features
Since its first appearance in the firearms industry and as a private label producer for major manufacturers and retailers, Ade Advanced Optics has continued to deliver to its numerous customers top-notch equipment with a wide variety of applications. Its refractometer has been proven to be more accurate than a hydrometer.

The Ade Advanced Optics Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer is a top-quality, dual-scale refractometer. It’s very easy to read and more accurate than a hydrometer. It also features Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) for accurate readings, measures Brix: 0-32% and Specific gravity: 1.000-1.120, and is made of aluminum. For a gadget of its quality, the cost is unbelievably affordable. This device has dimensions of 7.9 x 2.7 x 2.3 inches and weighs only 0.6 ounces.

Here are other refractometers that might interest you from Ade Advanced Optics:
  • 58-90 Brix Refractometer: features adjustable focus and a zero-adjustment screw for calibration. It’s calibrated and adjusted to read at 68° Fahrenheit, made of corrosion-resistant brass with rubber-insulated grips. Its Brix measurement range is between 58-90%.
  • Antifreeze, Automotive, Glycol Refractometer-C: used for the measurement of ethylene, propylene glycol, and brake fluid. Its scale range is between 32 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be used on transportation vehicles such as cars, tractors, tanks, and ships. It can also check the strength of electrolyte solution batteries.
The Milwaukee Digital Refractometer featuring ATC accurately displays sample readings in one of three measurement units: PSU, Salinity in parts per thousand (ppt), or S.G. (20/20). For a high-end and versatile refractometer, check out the Milwaukee Digital Sugar Refractometer with ATC and a yellow LED display.
Milwaukee Digital Salinity Refractometer with Automatic Temperature Compensation for Seawater Measurements

Milwaukee Refractometer MA887


Features
Milwaukee Instruments Incorporated sells affordable, easy-to-use, diagnostic equipment used in a wide variety of fields and in different applications. With its products built to the highest international standards, prompt and knowledgeable customer service personnel, and excellent warranty coverage - all at superlatively unbeatable prices - this company is poised to become the fastest selling brand in the industry with a wide range of products including testers, monitors, and controllers for various measurements.

The Milwaukee Digital Refractometer accurately displays sample readings in either of three popular measurement units: Specific Gravity, Salinity in parts per thousand, or Practical Salinity Unit.

Its other features include:
  • Dual-level LCD with Primary and Secondary display
  • Stainless steel sample well and prism - all you need do is place a few drops of the sample on it and press the Read button
  • Waterproofed with IP65 for added protection and durability
  • Comes with Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC)
  • Battery-operated with a 9V AA battery which is included, and also has a Low Power indicator
  • Automatically turns off after 3 minutes of non-use to preserve battery life
  • Has dimensions of 8 x 5 x 3 inches
  • The temperature in degree Celsius or degree Fahrenheit is also displayed on the large dual-level display along with helpful message codes
  • Comes in a hard carrying case
The Vee Gee Scientific Handheld Refractometer is constructed with a durable metal body and is calibrated using a tool-free, patented calibration ring and a set screw. For a portable, high-end refractometer for Brix measurement of sugar content and aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) for firefighting, check out the Vee Gee Scientific BTX-1 Handheld Refractometer.
Vee Gee Scientific Handheld Refractometer with Salinity Scale for Seawater

Vee Gee Scientific Refractometer STX-3


Features
Established in 1981, Vee Gee Scientific has been in the business of selling high-quality products including those imported from its overseas factories, through its global dealers’ network. Its customers are always assured of best quality in laboratory equipment and accessories currently available, top-notch customer service team to answer questions and attend to complaints, and fast and accurate shipping.

The Vee Gee Scientific Handheld Refractometer is housed in a durable metal body. It’s factory-calibrated and can be calibrated with distilled water. Calibration is controlled and adjusted with a tool-free, patented calibration ring and a set screw. It’s built with the Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) feature that gives on-the-spot accurate reading, despite variations in the ambient temperature. This tool has dimensions of 1.6 x 1.6 x 7.3 inches and weighs 12 ounces.

Some other noteworthy features include the following:
  • Measurement of salt concentration in parts per thousand (PPT) (0 to 100%) and specific gravity (SG) (1.000 to 1.070) of seawater in the 10 to 30 degrees Centigrade temperature range
  • Ambient light that illuminates the scale; no additional power source required, and its viewed through a monocular, focusable, cushioned eyepiece
  • The optical glass prism is mounted in all-metal housing for quick temperature equilibrium between sample and prism
  • A non-roll stand that prevents the unit from rolling when placed on a flat surface such as a table or bench top
  • The analog Brix scale features a bright, high-contrast display for clear visibility of the boundary and memory lines intersection
  • 1-year warranty on each piece
  • Each unit comes with a zippered vinyl carrying case, a plastic transfer pipet, and an instruction manual
The SainSonic Smart Refractometer is an affordable refractometer featuring ATC, a conversion table from Degree Plato to Specific Gravity, and requires no tools for calibration. For a refractometer designed for the Brix measurement of a wider range of samples, check out the SainSonic Automatic Temperature Compensating Refractometer.
SainSonic Refractometer for Measuring Sugar Content for Beer & Wine

SainSonic Refractometer 011100


Features
SainSonic is a professional open hardware manufacturer. Its business philosophy of “profit is vanity; quality is sanity” is evidenced in its unwavering commitment to always supplying its customers with high-quality products at unbelievable prices. Its range of products includes development boards, sensors, motors, and testing equipment for both the seasoned professional and the first-timer.

The SainSonic Smart Refractometer is a super affordable, easy-to-use, and high-quality gadget that’s ideal for brewing. It measures the sugar content in Brix (0-32%), which is easily converted to Specific Gravity - a conversion table from Degrees Plato to Specific Gravity is included. It features Automatic Temperature Compensation of 10 - 30 degree Celsius and requires no tools for calibration. Free copy of Learn to Brew: Recipe Formulation Made Easy is also included.

Here is another great refractometer from SainSmart:
  • Refractometer 0-100ppt Salinity Tester for Salt Sea, Water, Marine, Aquarium: measures Specific Gravity (D 20/20) and parts per thousand (‰), making it dual-scaled. It also comes with Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC). It’s enclosed in a protective hard case, with a dropper, screwdriver, and cleaning cloth included.

Get the Best Refractometer of 2017!

Now that you’ve read the review to the end, we’re hopeful you’re confident to place your order. Thank you for staying with us.

Our Top Choice
Agriculture Solutions Salinity Refractometer
Best Value
Ade Advanced Optics Wine Refractometer
Milwaukee Digital Refractometer
Vee Gee Scientific Handheld Refractometer
SainSonic Smart Refractometer