When it comes to investing in a top tier infrared thermometer you’re going to want to find a model that is reliable and gives you the chance to stay at a safe distance from heat and still get an accurate temperature reading.
To add, the best infrared thermometers out there will give you an accurate reading in just a few seconds and you’ll be able to tell exactly what an object’s temperature is, and be able to monitor as it changes throughout the time you’re pointing the thermometer at it.
As we’re sure you’ll agree, a reliable and robust infrared thermometer is the ultimate tool for any contractor’s toolkit and can make or break a temperature sensitive workflow.
That said, we’ll take a look below at all the best infrared thermometers in Australia and let you know a few things to consider if you’re looking to invest in one.
Why Choose an Infrared Thermometer
Before we dive into all of our top choice thermometers for 2021, we’ll first take a look at why you should consider one of these tools over anything else out there.
To kick things off, if you’re looking to get an instant read of temperature on anything from a material you’re working with, a portion of food or even a metal surface, you’re able to do so with an infrared thermometer. You’re able to think of these devices as a tool that allows a wireless reading of temperature — so you don’t have to be anywhere near the heat source.
In some cases, you’ll even want to make use of these thermometers to get a good look at what your steaks are doing on the grill, for example. All you have to do is point the thermometer at your grill and the steak itself and see whether the temperature is hitting the heights you’d like.
To add, just about all infrared thermometers are effortless to use and have just a few simple user interface options, which means there aren’t too many avenues for confusion here.
A few use cases you’ll find for your infrared thermometer include checking whether materials have reached their maximum sustainable temperature when working with them at work, as well as getting a good look at whether an oven or grill is hot enough to start cooking.
One task that has become particularly easy thanks to the infrared thermometer is getting a good read on whether your home’s insulation is working correctly or not. You’ll be able to test whether areas in the home are too warm or cold and be able to make adjustments here to save power and reduce your emissions.
How These Infrared Thermometers Work
You may be asking yourself how these thermometers work, given that there’s no need for them to touch the surface they’re measuring.
To keep things simple, you’ll be able to use this thermometer to check the infrared energy being emitted from an objected. An object that is hot will emit a whole lot more energy than one that is cold, and your infrared thermometer will detect this.
When you aim your thermometer at something, it will detect and read this infrared energy and convert it into an electrical current that can be easily read. As an example, if something is very hot, there is more infrared energy and thus more electricity to for the thermometer to create.
For the actual reading and detection of the heat, the thermometer essentially uses a series of lenses to get a good reading of the IR energy coming from an object.
To end, these lenses will essentially aim the IR energy back into the device itself where it will be able to convert it into electricity. The tool within the thermometer that does this is called the thermopile.
In all, your thermometer is essentially reading the radiation and electricity coming from an object and using this measurement to determine the level of heat on the object.
Here’s How to Use an Infrared Thermometer
Off the top it’s good to note that just about all infrared thermometers are easy to use regardless of the brand you’re choosing.
All of the models out there typically offer a pistol-like shape where you’re able to aim and pull the ‘trigger’ and get a reading on the object you’re pointing it at. That in mind, using one of these tools will come rather intuitively to most people with little to no learning curve.
When it comes to making use of the thermometer at work or at home, all you’ll need to do is aim the device at whatever you’re looking to measure the temperature of and then pull the little trigger or press a button. The temperature will be the first thing that shows up on the display and you’ll be in the all clear.
Unlike older devices, you’ll be able to do all of this at range, which means you don’t have to be close to the heat source and you’re kept a whole lot safer. No one wants to have to lean right into a hot sheet of metal, for example, and rest a thermometer down on top of it.
That in mind though, you will need to keep a few points in mind when it comes to getting good use out of your new trusty thermometer. We’ve outlined a few of these below for you.
The Distance from Target
One of the first things you’ll have to keep in mind is that these IR thermometers aren’t all-wireless like a smartphone. You will still need to stay within a specific range for the tools to work properly.
In general, there is a distance set out on the product and also a standard to be mindful of.
In many cases you will find that there is a 12:1 ratio on most thermometers out there which means that you’ll be able to measure a 1-inch diameter on a material from 12 feet away.
However, this ratio is going to change based on the model of thermometer you’re using.
In all, when you’re making use of your thermometer this is one of the more important things to keep in mind.
You’re going to want to be able to get a reading that’s accurate and going to give you the measurements you want. If you aim your IR thermometer from too far away, you’ll be getting an incorrect reading which might upset a workflow, or just burn your food.
Not Everything Can Be Measured
A second point to keep in mind is that not all materials can be measured by an infrared thermometer and that means you’ll have to look elsewhere for some temperature information on these things.
Sticking to the basics, you’re not going to be able to get a reading from materials that reflect IR energy. There are a few of these out there, and in the building trades, this will mean you’ll have to invest in a different type of thermometer.
A few of the materials you’ll not be able to measure including transparent plastics, glass as well as water and other similar materials. The thermometer’s IR sensor will simply not be able to pick anything up coming from these materials and you’ll be left with an error reading or a blank screen.
With all of those points out of the way, we’ll now get into what helped to build the list of our winning infrared thermometers and which features we took into consideration to get you the best models out there.
All of our ratings and experiences were either tested first hand or were an amalgamation of reviews and feature assessments to make sure our readers are getting access to the best information on these products as possible.
We’ve outlined a list below of all the top features we looked for in our thermometers to get you the best ones — take a look.
What to Look For in a Thermometer
Here are some of the more essential features to consider when investing in your new infrared thermometer. Keep in mind you’ll always want to make a choice based on your own personal workflow and requirements, however the below considerations are a great place to start.
A Wide Temperature Range
Off the top one of the more integral considerations you’ll need to think about is selecting a thermometer that is able to read as wide of a temperature range as possible.
You’re not going to want to see your device ‘bottom out’ at a high or low end because the sensor inside is unable to pick up on an ideal temperature range. That in mind, you may also need a wide temperature range depending on the field you’re working within.
Too small of a range could mean you’re unable to safely check how an HVAC system is working, for example, and you’ll be causing an issue with clients, or your workplace’s power consumption relating to climate control.
In all, you’re going to want to do your best to look for an infrared thermometer with the best temperature range to have a good experience.
An Accurate and Trustworthy Reading
To the consideration that goes without saying; you’re going to want to place accuracy toward the very top of your list.
At the end of the day, what good is an IR thermometer that offers up the wrong measurements and has you cooking or working based on the wrong information? That in mind, take a look online for thermometers that boast a highly accurate reading, and compile a few users reviews to back this up.
One thing to note is that some models do go right down to the third and fourth decimal in temperature reading, which may be something that you require from an accurate reading, and so be sure to consider this too.
Keep Your Use Case in Mind
As we outlined above, you’re always going to want to consider how you’re going to make use of your device personally.
One infrared thermometer isn’t going to be ideal for everyone and with that said, you should do your research and also make a list of all the things you’re going to use your thermometer for. With this point out of the way, you’ll have a better understanding of what you need from your device and whether one model is better for you than another.
In a similar vein, all of these devices are designed in different ways with mildly different cosmetic differences, and that means you might find that one shape or size is better for you than the other.
For example, in the medical field or for COVID testing you’re not going to want to have a large, bulky and rather intimidating looking model for your customers in a store, and so opting for medical-grade and friendly design is going to be better for you than a heavy-duty manufacturing model.
The Level of Emissivity Supported
As we outlined above about an IR thermometer’s ability to read an object’s temperature, you’ll also want to consider the level of emissivity you will need.
We know that different materials output different levels of IR energy as heat and that means you’re going to have different results from thermometers that aren’t going to be able to read certain materials.
That in mind, you may want to look for a device that you can adjust the emissivity settings on. When you’re able to do this, you can work to tighten the reading and get a better look at a material’s temperature without interference.
For example, in some cases you might find it hard to get a good reading from something like stainless steel. A few models of IR thermometers on the market today give you the ability to turn the sensitivity up and down to better track on a specific material and get a reading anyway.
For the steel we mentioned above, you’ll be able to turn your emissivity settings down and get a closer or more accurate reading.
In all, these models have been designed to make your experience better and to get you a solid reading regardless of the material you’re looking to work with.
The Types of Optics Used in the Device
Another major consideration you’ll have to be mindful of is how your device actually works and what technologies inside of it allow it to read the temperature.
For those who spend their time in the kitchen or around the home, this isn’t too much of a big deal for you as almost all types of optics are going to give you a good reading, though for those in more heavy-duty and professional environments it’s imperative to consider the options inside your device.
With each of these different optics offering up their own set of advantages and disadvantages, you’re going to want to be sure you’re getting your hands on the right one.
That said, let’s talk a look at the types of optics below.
A No Lens Design
To the more affordable option, the devices without a lens simply don’t rely on those small sheets of glass we mentioned to focus and direct the IR radiation into the device itself.
That in mind, they’re less prone to breaking or damage given that there are fewer points of failure, and this also means you can find these on sale for a little cheaper too. However, these are essentially a thermostat rather than an IR thermometer.
Keep in mind that you won’t really be able to use these devices at a distance. Going back to the ratio we mentioned before, some typical models will have a 12:1 option, though these no-lens models do only offer around 1:1 or even less than this.
With that in mind, you will need to get these models right up close to the material or the food you’re looking to measure the temperature of and this can mean reducing your safety level depending on what you’re working with.
As an example, you’re certainly not going to want to use one of these models to measure the temperature inside of your grill as you’ll be required to put your whole hand inside of it.
To end, because these models aren’t able to offer up any sort of reading from range, we are going to say that there isn’t much use unless for around the home away from major heat sources. You’re far better off choosing one of the other options we’ll take a look at below.
The Fresnel Lens Designs
A second design or lens design, rather, to keep an eye on are the Fresnel Lenses, and these are going to be ideal for durability sake — though they are a little limited when it comes to the temperature range.
With that in mind, we highly suggest looking at the temperature range offered by these types of thermometers given that they’re going to be a little on the less-useful side if they don’t have a good temperature readability.
You should usually find this information on the side of the box, or on the website.
To add, a lot of users might find that their materials or their cooking simply exceed the temperature range on these devices and you’ll essentially be left with a blank reading when you aim it at something.
That in mind, hot plates, hot welded materials and other similar surfaces might be off the cards for the Fresnel Lenses.
To end, these are however ideal in some kitchen uses given that you can use these at quite a distance. If you do find a model with a wide temperature range, we suggest you get your hands on it right away. They’re durable, can be used at a far range and will give you an accurate reading every time.
The Mica Lens Design
The third and arguably the best lens type out there are the Mica Lenses, however, there is a major drawback here in that they’re quite fragile and sometimes very expensive.
That in mind though, these are by far the winning devices for those who need an ultra-far distance, an accurate reading and a temperature range that’s far larger than everything else on the market.
A typical distance ratio here is an incredible 20:1 and that means you’re staying far from whatever you’re measuring.
Keeping in mind that there is supported temperatures of over 1,000ºC coming into play here and we’re sure you’ll want to stay as far away from these objects as possible, and the Mica options make this easy.
We would like to note, however, that you’re not likely to need one of these models for too many use cases, and unless you’re explicitly looking at measuring temperatures at a distance, we suggest a more durable and affordable Fresnel lens.
All of our points about lenses out of the way, we’d like to quickly dive into some misconceptions about infrared thermometers before we get into all of our winning models for 2021.
These are some key points to keep in mind given that they may sway your purchase into the wrong lane, without any merit.
The Misunderstandings About Infrared Thermometers
To keep all of our readers in the know and out of the dark, we have some of the more common misconceptions about infrared lasers outlined below.
A lot of misinformation on the web exists about IR thermometers and it is good to know that a lot of this is typically ‘fluff’ and doesn’t hold too much fact at all, and so when you’re out to invest in a new device consider the following points.
There is a Laser Used to Measure Temperature
A lot of people out there seem to be under the impression that lasers are used to detect the temperature of the materials you’re aiming the device at. This creates a little concern when it comes to safety, however, this is untrue.
If you’re seeing a laser-like light coming from the device, this is the guide built into the infrared thermometer which enables it to be used as a guide for the device and for yourself to make aiming it at materials a little easier.
That said, the laser is low-powered and used for nothing more than guidance.
IR Thermometers Can Read Internal Temperatures
A second common misconception about infrared thermometers is that they have the ability to measure the temperature within an object or material.
Though, as we’ve mentioned above, these tools only have the ability to gauge and read surface temperatures, regardless of how thin a material may be. When it comes to cooking, for example, you’re not getting internal temperature readings when you point the device at a steak — you’re only getting the outside temperature.
That in mind, if you are cooking and need an internal measurement you can invest in skewer thermometers to give you this reading. They can simply be inserted into your foods and give you a quick look at how things inside are tracking temperature-wise.
All Surfaces are Supported
Again, as we outlined above, not all surfaces are supported by these thermometers.
You may be able to get a temperature reading on a lot of surfaces, though not everything is going to be supported. Materials such as glass and transparent plastic as well as aluminium and steel won’t offer up a very good reading.
One thing to keep in mind is that with the variable emissivity settings on some IR thermometers you can safely and accurately adjust your device to better latch on to some of these surfaces, though again, not all will be supported.
Our Top Infrared Thermometers
Now that we have outlined all of our top considerations and taken a look at some of the common misconceptions about IR thermometers we have our list of all the best devices out there today.
All of these models checked all of the boxes for us and we’re confident in saying that there is something below that work will work ideally for you.
Whether at the work site, in the kitchen or just around the home, one of the IR thermometers below is going to work wonders for you.
The Industrial Infrared Temperature Gun by ThermoWorks
To our favourite IR thermometer, the Industrial Infrared Temperature Gun comes with all of the ideal features we have outlined above and is going to get you that ideal 12:1 range that we touted so much.
That in mind, there’s a single-second reading time on offer here too, which means there’s no need to sit and hold your gun at the surface for a long while. On top of these, there is an accuracy coming into play here of less than 2 per cent which is a major plus for ultra-sensitive applications.
Adding to these, you’re getting an incredible temperature range here too, from -76º all the way through to 1,022º F or -60ºc to 550º C which we are certain is far wide enough for all of our readers in all fields.
Add to this the fact you’re also getting the adjustable emissivity options coming into play here too. That means there’s less chance for a ‘No Read’ error on those hard-to-measure surfaces we outlined above.
The Thermapen® IR by ThermoWorks
As we routinely stated, using an IR thermometer for cooking makes the process a whole lot easier, and we’re happy to say that ThermoWorks makes a model explicitly designed for those who need to use it in the kitchen!
You’re getting optimal water proofing coming into play here with the IP54 rating along with a temperature read that works well for just about all food and cooking tasks, and so you’re not going to be stuck with a non-read.
On top of those features, you are also finding that there is an easily adjustable option here too which means low-emissivity surfaces are no match for the device. You can select from 0.1 all the way up to 1.0 which means you’re getting a good read regardless of how tricky the surface is to catch a measurement of.
Adding to those perks, there’s a motion sensitive function too, which means you can set and forget the device for a little while and when you pick it back up, it turns right back on and is ready to work!
To end, this is by far one of the most useful devices for the kitchen and we’re sure you’ll get a tonne of use out of this whether you’re out back on the grill or in the kitchen cooking up a storm.
The 62 MAX Plus Non-contact Infrared Thermometer by Fluke
For those of our readers who are focused a little more on durability and practicality, then the Fluke model might be something for you.
The brand’s 62 MAX offers a great non-contact measuring device here and you’re able to use it, again, in some pretty nasty conditions. There is an IP54 rating here which means you’re getting both splash and dust resistance — ideal for the shed or the at-home workshop.
On top of this, there is some rather reliable drop survival coming into play here too, with the durability taking out a top spot. If you do happen to push this device off a table or bench, you won’t need to worry about it dying on you. The drop testing is rated all the way up to 3 metres.
Getting into the temperature range supported, you’ll be able to rely on a stellar -22º through to 1,202º F or -30º to 650º C here, which is by far large enough of a temperature range for most of our readers. Accuracy on offer is also within 1 per cent ensuring you’re getting a good result each time.
To end, the distance supported here is a stellar 12 metres away, so you’re not going to have to get remotely close to anything hot in order to get a good reading from your device.
The 1022D Dual Laser Digital Infrared Temperature Gun by Etekcity
Taking out a prime spot on our list for being so affordable, the Etekcity 1022D is another excellent model for those who need a no-frills and highly durable infrared thermometer.
It offers a fantastic wide temperature range, with 58º through to 1,022º F supported, or an ideal 14º to 550º C which makes it a great option for those above-freezing readings. However, getting below zero or a good reading internally on HVAC systems might be a stretch here.
There is, again, a solid 12:1 ratio on offer here which means you’re not going to have to get too close to anything to read the temperature, keeping you safe.
One big point to note is that this model even includes an adjustable emissivity setting which means you’re able to control your reading. Something we haven’t found on any other device at this low of a price point!
To end, this device is a little thicker and heavier than a few of the others on the market and this may be down to the larger 9-volt battery or the larger LCD display. In all though, it isn’t too big or bulky to become cumbersome in any way.
The Lasergrip 800 Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Gun by Etekcity
Our final suggestion is coming in the form or Etekcity’s awesome Lasergrip 800 model of IR thermometer.
To keep things simple, this is sort of the big brother or the upgraded variant of the model we mentioned above, which means it is a tad more expensive though you’re getting a more refined experience here.
On top of that, you’re getting a single laser for guidance here which is okay, though not too ideal when you consider that some other models on the market do come with a dual-laser set up.
There is also no adjustable setting when it comes to dictating your emissivity from the device and that means you will be out of luck when it comes to getting readings on those hard-to-read materials.
You will find a big perk in that this device does come with a 16:1 read ratio, making it one of the best on the list. If you’re reading surfaces that are incredibly hot, this is the safer model for you.
To end, this model is equally great in the kitchen and in a more heavy-duty setting, so whether you’re an at-home chef, a boiler maker, or anything else — you’re all set here.
And there you have it!
All of our top choice infrared thermometers for Australians in 2021.
You’ll be able to start measuring your surface temperatures with ease this year and now that you have all of the tips and information you need about thermometers we’re sure you’ll be able to choose one that suits your use case the best.
Always be sure you select a model based on how you’ll be using it and the level of accuracy you need and you’ll be good to go when it comes to a thermometer that gets the job done for you in the safest, most accurate and most reliable way.