How to Choose the Best Infrared Temperature Gun?
Table of Contents
Best Infrared Temperature Guns Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a Good Infrared Temperature Gun?
The usage of an infrared thermometer varies depending on the industry. People need the tool for medical, culinary, construction, and industrial uses, and they all perform differently.
You are looking for the best infrared temperature gun, but you don’t know which is right for you. In this article, we will talk about different aspects you need to consider before buying an infrared temperature gun.
To start with the selection process, you need to figure out the type of infrared thermometer that will best suit your purpose.
12 Factors to Know When Choosing an Infrared Temperature Gun
1. Usage of the Infrared Thermometers
The infrared thermometers can be used in different ways, but you need to purchase the best type of thermometer for every use.
Here are things where you can use an infrared thermometer for:
- Identifying overloaded circuit breakers
- Determining food temperatures
- Identifying faulty terminations in high-powered electrical circuits
- Locating fuses close or at the rated capacity
- Reading a person’s internal temperature
2. Types of Infrared Temperature Gun
These types of thermometers are available in three models, and they are classified based on their lenses.
No-Lens Temperature Gun
No-lens temperature gun is affordable, easy to use, and recommended for cold conditions. They are also quite small as compared to other types of infrared thermometers.
The primary difference lies in the funnel of reflective material to focus the infrared light on a small area. Because of its funnel design, it does not require a resting period when shifting to different environments. But since the lens does not have protection, it is not suggested in hotter environments.
Although the no-lens thermometers are cheap and reliable, they are not accurate for long-distance readings. You need to be pretty close to the subject to get a precise reading.
Fresnel Lens Temperature Gun
The fresnel lens temperature gun, on the other hand, is usually used in the food industry. This type of lens has a narrow temperature range on both ends of the spectrum. A Fresnel lens is cheap enough to be used in restaurants.
But, as compared to Mica thermometers, the Fresnel lens is less versatile. Also, they tend to require some time to adjust each time you move into different environments. The lens is made of plastic, and it changes its shape once subjected to a colder temperature.
Mica Lens Temperature Gun
This type of lens is the most expensive among the infrared temperature guns in the market, and you can find them in industrial settings. The high cost is due to their complex lenses made of mineral glass. Furthermore, the lens is prone to damage as compared to other thermometers. But, they can read even in the environment with very extreme temperatures precisely, and they can easily take the readings even from a distance.
3. How Accurate Do You Want It to be?
This is the most important feature that you need to consider when choosing an infrared thermometer. People use this type of thermometer in a setting that requires accurate reading of temperature. Having inaccurate reading will result in significant problems.
Other thermometers are affected by the surrounding. If you need to change in temperature after using it in a cold environment, it is best to allow your thermometer to acclimate before subjecting it to a warm environment. If you don’t do this, it will do an inaccurate reading.
4. The Emissivity of the Temperature Gun
Emissivity describes the amount of infrared energy a thermometer can release at a time. The emissivity of the thermometer affects its capability to read various materials, and you will get the most out of one that enables you to adjust the amount of energy emitted.
Emissivity is measured on a scale that ranges from 0.00 to 1.00. If the thermometer is set at 1.00, it means it can read organic materials accurately. You might have problems when you need to get the temperature of synthetic materials and metal.
With the use of a temperature gun with an adjustable emissivity level, you can easily control how much-infrared energy to release.
5. Temperature Range is Important
The things you can do with the thermometer can be affected by the temperature. For example, in cold temperature, the best type of infrared thermometer to use is the no-lens thermometer. The no lens temperature gun is not suitable in a hot industrial environment.
For different medium-heat tasks, the Fresnel lens thermometer is enough to provide an accurate temperature.
For reading the temperature in an extreme environment, a Mica lens is what you need. The temperature ranges will be listed on each thermometer.
6. Design of the Temperature Gun
A thermometer with rugged design is more preferred. Fresnel lens and No-lens thermometers are made of a durable polymer, and that is enough to keep the thermometer safe. However, the Mica lens requires a much more durable covering and a carrying case added to their design. The lenses can get damaged easily, and the rugged design will keep it protected.
7. Backlit Display
The thermometer does not need a bright screen. However, it will be much easier to read your thermometer, particularly in bad lighting conditions.
8. The Reading Speed
The thermometer read speed measures the amount of time it takes to provide an accurate reading after initiating the process. In many situations, faster temperature guns are far better, and you should find a thermometer that can read the temperature in less than a few seconds.
This feature is not that essential unless you want to read the temperature continuously. A thermometer that records the previous reading can tell you the average temperature of an object. It will be able to tell you if there are fluctuations in the temperature.
Since most thermometers are susceptible to damage and breakage, a warranty is an essential feature for many thermometers. Fresnel and No-lens thermometers are cheap, so you don’t have to worry if they break. However, with a Mica lens thermometer, it is a costly investment. You should get a warranty if you purchase an expensive thermometer.
11. Things can Affect the Accuracy of Infrared Thermometers
In general, infrared thermometers are far better as compared to surface probe thermometers. That’s because the inherent temperature of the probe has a significant impact on the reading you get when it comes to contact with the object measured.
However, some factors can affect the accuracy of the reading that the infrared thermometer provides.
- Sudden changes in the environmental temperatures, like entering a walk-in freezer
- The inability to see on the transparent surfaces, like some liquids and glass
- Moisture, smoke, frost, dust, fog, or other particles present in the air
12. How to Calibrate an Infrared Thermometer?
Calibrating your infrared thermometer is not an easy process that usually needs to be done by the device manufacturer. Still, you can test if your thermometer is calibrated appropriately at home.
The best way to check if your thermometer is calibrated correctly is to apply the “ice bath” method. Follow the steps below:
- Step 1: In a large glass container, fill it with crushed ice.
- Step 2: Then add chilled water until the water level is around 1-centimeter below the top of the crushed ice.
- Step 3: Stir the ice and water mixture and let it sit for two minutes.
- Step 4: If your infrared thermometer has an emissivity option, you can set it to an emissivity setting of 0.95 or 0.97.
- Step 5: Then hold the temperature gun above and perpendicular to the ice bath surface and make sure that the ice is within the laser circle and the thermometer is at the right ratio.
- Step 6: To know if your infrared thermometer is well-calibrated, the temperature should read the water as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If this is not the case, do the test again. If it provides a different temperature, then you need to contact the device manufacturer.
Are Infrared Thermometers Safe to Use?
Some people are concerned about infrared radiation, as this is part of the electromagnetic wave spectrum. Radiation is known to be harmful to humans as they can cause a burning sensation and irritation in the skin. But the best-infrared thermometer has no radiation.
The infrared thermometer only absorbs the radiation and measures it, but does not contain radiation. Laser IR Thermometers are much different and can be hazardous.
If you take the product lightly, the safety of the product can be compromised easily. You need to give enough attention to some factors, and particularly for babies.
One can use a temperature gun in different ways, but some may not be as easy as the others. There are lots of options available for everybody.
Checking the temperature range of the object is important before you choose a thermometer. It will help you in choosing the appropriate infrared temperature gun.
An infrared thermometer can accurately measure the temperature in a cold environment. Mica thermometers are recommended for industrial settings. The fresnel lens thermometer is best for food purposes.
So, if you are in search of the best-infrared thermometer that you can use at home or work, make sure that you consider the features mentioned above. This way, you will not go wrong.