Best Infrared Thermometers Reviews: Top 3+ Recommended

Updated December 2018

BEST OF THE BEST
Fluke 62 MAX Plus IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +1202 Degree F Range - 62 Max+
Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer
BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK
Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black
Fluke
62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer
Raytek
Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer
Etekcity
Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer
PROS
Extremely fast response time. Three-year warranty. Criticisms are virtually non-existent.
Complaints about temperature inaccuracy are extremely rare.
Fast response time. Adequate D/S ratio and emissivity figures. Two-year warranty.
CONS
Pricey. Range is high, but thermometer does not read above 1,200°F.
Smaller D/S ratio (10:1). Not ideal for those who frequently measure radiant heat.
Not as accurate as some pricier competitors.
BOTTOM LINE
From a reputable manufacturer, this rugged, well-made thermometer is the all-around best.
Limited only by its small D/S ratio, this quality thermometer has manufacturing ties to the reputable Fluke company.
An inexpensive device with adequate performance that would suit most at-home users. The best deal for the lowest price.
BEST OF THE BEST
Fluke 62 MAX Plus IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +1202 Degree F Range - 62 Max+
Fluke
62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer
PROS
Extremely fast response time. Three-year warranty. Criticisms are virtually non-existent.
CONS
Pricey. Range is high, but thermometer does not read above 1,200°F.
BOTTOM LINE
From a reputable manufacturer, this rugged, well-made thermometer is the all-around best.
Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer
Raytek
Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer
PROS
Complaints about temperature inaccuracy are extremely rare.
CONS
Smaller D/S ratio (10:1). Not ideal for those who frequently measure radiant heat.
BOTTOM LINE
Limited only by its small D/S ratio, this quality thermometer has manufacturing ties to the reputable Fluke company.
BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK
Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black
Etekcity
Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer
PROS
Fast response time. Adequate D/S ratio and emissivity figures. Two-year warranty.
CONS
Not as accurate as some pricier competitors.
BOTTOM LINE
An inexpensive device with adequate performance that would suit most at-home users. The best deal for the lowest price.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Shopping Guide for Best Infrared Thermometers

Not long ago, a non-contact infrared thermometer was something of a specialist tool. Today, these devices are common.

Medical practitioners, HVAC engineers, and garage mechanics all use them; so do a host of others.

But which is the right infrared thermometer? You'll find all kinds of options out there, and it can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff.

We're dedicated to writing the most honest and unbiased reviews out there. We never accept free products from manufacturers. Instead, we buy products off of store shelves, test them in our labs, consult experts, and examine feedback from product owners.

Our ultimate goal: to become your go-to source for trustworthy product recommendations whenever you’re faced with a buying decision.

At the top of this page, you'll find descriptions of our five favorite infrared thermometers on the market. These highly rated products all qualify for our top-contender list.

Products we considered

Considerations

Range & Accuracy

The general temperature range of the objects you want to measure obviously impacts your choice of thermometer, but range isn't everything. You also need an acceptable degree of accuracy.

Measuring Specifications

In this section of our ratings, we look at device-specific elements that impact each thermometer's performance: distance-to-spot-ratio (D/S), response times, and emissivity, to name a few.

Construction & Features

Perhaps you need an instrument that's robust enough to withstand the bumps and knocks of an industrial environment. Perhaps you need a regulation-compliant device that can take multiple measurements. In this part of our review, we look at the unique benefits offered by each model.

Price

There are cheap infrared thermometers that, for certain tasks, might be perfectly adequate. There are also those that are considerably more expensive. In this section, we look at the cost and the overall value of each device.

Range & Accuracy

Products we considered

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun, Yellow/Black

The Etekcity Lasergrip 774 conveniently provides measurements in both Fahrenheit (F) and Celsius (C) units. Considering what a cheap infrared thermometer this is, that's something of a surprise. Actual ranges are from -50°C to 380°C and from -58°F to 716°F. Accuracy is quoted as ± 2% (or 2°C/2°F). It's not particularly precise, and a few owners say the Etekcity Lasergrip isn't as accurate as the manufacturer claims it to be. However, if you're looking for an infrared thermometer for home use, it's probably adequate.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer

Temperature readings on the Raytek MT6 infrared thermometer are switchable between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Its range of cover ( -20°F to 932°F and -30°C to 500°C) is similar to that of the Kintrex. Accuracy depends on the part of the range being recorded; this is actually true of all infrared thermometers on our shortlist! In the case of the Raytek, accuracy is about 1.5°C / 3°F. It's interesting to note that very little owner feedback mentions inaccuracies, and even those who do criticize the Raytek's accuracy say it's within a few percentage points.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer, AA Battery, -20 to +1202 Degree F Range

As with our other finalists, the Fluke 62 MAX Plus infrared thermometer provides both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings. Its range, though not as large as that of the BAFX, is sizable at -22°F to 1,202°F and -30°C to 650°C. A class-leading accuracy of just ±1% is one of its most significant features. Potential buyers should note that this accuracy figure is quoted for temperatures above freezing. Accuracy drops off below that (hovering at ±2% down to -10°C and ±3% when lower), but this is quite normal. The fact that the manufacturer provides this data reflects the precision of the instrument. Indeed, negative comments about the Fluke's accuracy are almost non-existent.

Measuring Specifications

Products we considered

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer

Before we delve into measuring specs for each infrared thermometer, we'd like to provide a few notes about these devices in general. First, the answer to a common consumer question: how does an infrared thermometer work? Without going into too much detail, it's by bouncing an infrared beam off an object and measuring the heat differential. Through clever calibration, the thermometer converts that reading into Centigrade or Fahrenheit. A big advantage offered by these instruments is that you never have to touch what you're measuring. A potential disadvantage: infrared thermometers only measure the temperature at the surface. If you've got a fat, juicy steak on the grill, an infrared thermometer would tell you the temperature on the outside of your meat, but it wouldn't tell you how rare it is in the middle.


Although most of these devices have lasers, they have nothing to do with measurement. The reason they're there is to help you with targeting. You can't actually see the infrared beam, but you can see the laser beam that follows its path. The lasers allow you to aim the thermometer directly at whatever you're measuring.

Two things can dramatically affect measurement accuracy. The first is what's called the distance-to-spot (D/S) ratio. For example, a D/S of 12:1 means that at 12 inches away, the device can measure an area one inch across. If you move further away, the area measured gets bigger (and, generally, less accurate). Going closer than the figure quoted doesn't improve things, so D/S ratio could be looked at as the optimum distance from which to measure. Sometimes, of course, you want to measure a larger area. In these cases, you would move further back than the stated D/S ratio range.

The second factor that affects accuracy is a thermometer's "emissivity." All solid and liquid objects reflect light at different levels. Because infrared thermometers shine a beam of light onto an object (even if it's invisible to us), the reading varies depending on how much of the beam is absorbed or reflected. With very shiny objects (such as bright metals), readings can be way off. The best infrared thermometers can be set to compensate for this, but not all do. If you're going to be measuring engine blocks or HVAC output, this might not be important. But if you're going to be measuring highly reflective surfaces, such compensation would be vital.

The Etekcity Lasergrip's D/S ratio is a fairly common 12:1, but its response time – the time it takes to register a temperature and/or change – is under half of a second, which is quite impressive for such a low-cost unit. Emissivity is fixed at 0.95. (Minimum is 0; maximum is 1.) The Etekcity's emissivity makes operating the thermometer easier, and it's a good level for organic materials (like food). However, it means that things with highly reflective surfaces can give misleading results.


Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer

With a D/S ratio of just 10:1, you have to get the Raytek MT6 quite close to the item you're measuring for best results. That wouldn't be a problem most of the time (for most people), but it is a consideration for those who regularly check objects with a lot of radiant heat. With a reaction time of under half a second, at least you wouldn't have to stand close for very long! Emissivity is preset at the standard 0.95.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer

Like many of its competitors, the Fluke 62 MAX Plus has a D/S ratio of 12:1. But, like the BAFX, it offers the benefit of variable emissivity. (It can be set to between 0.1 and 1.) Unfortunately, the Fluke does not provide a chart to help owners set the correct level. (The BAFX does.) A person could certainly find that information elsewhere, but the fact that a chart is not included with the device has frustrated some consumers. The Fluke's response time, at under half a second, is delightfully fast.

Construction & Features

Products we considered

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer

It might be a cheap infrared thermometer, but the Etekcity Lasergrip is designed very well. It's lightweight and comfortable to hold, and with a main body of ABS, it's also fairly tough. As with all of these devices, of course, the front infrared lens must be handled with care! The Etekcity carries a CE marking – a European construction standard – and complies with the requirements of the FCC, FDA, and RoHS. It's powered by a single nine-volt battery (supplied), and you get a backlight for the display, a data hold function, a "low battery" warning, and automatic shutoff after about ten seconds of inactivity.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer

Raytek doesn't tell us what their MT6 infrared thermometer is made of, but it's fairly safe to assume that, like all of the instruments in these ratings, it's made from ABS and/or plastic composites. While its physical style is very different than that of the Kintrex – it's quite a bit heavier, and the battery is a nine-volt unit – the Raytek is actually very similar to the Kintrex in terms of the functions it provides. You get a backlit display, current and maximum temperatures, temperature hold, and a low battery warning. The Raytek also comes with a protective boot and a storage pouch. Owners appreciate the fact that there's quite a lot of plastic around the screen edge, giving better protection than some.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer

When it comes to construction quality, they don't come any more rugged than the Fluke 62 MAX Plus. Although the manufacturer doesn't specify what it's actually made of, it complies with the IP54 dust and water-resistance test and survives a three-meter (9.8 feet) drop test. With the help of one AA battery, the Fluke 62 MAX offers a comprehensive set of measurements, including current, maximum, minimum, difference, and average temperatures. Owners can set alarms for high and low points. There's a seven-second temperature hold and a backlight, too. For better targeting accuracy, you get two laser beams (instead of one). On other devices, precision depends upon how far from the object you are. With the Fluke, you always know your target area is between the two points of light.

Price

Products we considered

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser IR Infrared Thermometer

If you're looking for a cheap infrared thermometer, we doubt you'll find better than the $15.99 Etekcity Lasergrip. It's light, the display is clear, and the manufacturer's confidence is backed by a two-year warranty. Its measurement range isn't as great as some, and accuracy is questionable in certain circumstances (due as much to fixed emissivity as anything), but it's a very popular device that's rated highly by the majority of owners. If you want an easy-to-use infrared thermometer for your home – and absolute accuracy isn't at the top of your list of requirements – the Etekcity Lasergrip is tough to beat.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer

The $79.64 Raytek MT6 infrared thermometer is undoubtedly built with rugged use in mind. It has a good measurement range and includes all the features you would expect of a quality device. The problem is, the Etekcity comes very close to matching the quality of the Raytek, but for far less money. That being said, people who have actually bought the Raytek MT6 rate it highly; negative comments are few. There are those who criticize its accuracy, but that can be an issue for any infrared thermometer. The warranty lasts for two years, and interestingly, the Raytek company is owned by Fluke – arguably the best name in the business.

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

Products we considered

Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer

You'll pay $144.79 for the Fluke 62 MAX Plus, which is quite a lot of money when compared to the others on our elite list. Is it worth it? We say yes, as do many independent testers. The Fluke is a top performer in every part of this review except for in out-and-out temperature measurement. (The BAFX just shades it.) If you need to read above 1,200°F, the BAFX is the thermometer you need. Otherwise, the Fluke 62 MAX matches or exceeds it in every department. The thermometer's accuracy is seldom questioned, and its tremendous structural strength is underlined by a three-year warranty.

BEST OF THE BEST

Sale
Fluke 62 MAX Plus IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +1202 Degree F Range - 62 Max+
563 Reviews
Fluke 62 MAX Plus IR Thermometer, Non Contact, -20 to +1202 Degree F Range - 62 Max+
  • Infrared thermometer for noncontact surface temperature measurement for use in monitoring electrical, mechanical, HVAC, and automotive systems
  • Measures temperature from -30 to 650 degrees C (-22 to 1202 degrees F) with an accuracy of + or - 1 degree C or + or -1.0% of the reading from 0 to 650 degrees C
  • Dual lasers rotate to pinpoint the edges of the measurement area
  • Displays the minimum, the maximum, the difference between the two temperatures, and the average temperatures
  • Certified IP54 for protection against dust and splashing liquid

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

It will come as no surprise that the Best of the Best infrared thermometer is the Fluke 62 MAX Plus. Consumers who invest in this device get what they pay for in terms of both quality and performance.

One important deciding factor, when choosing an infrared thermometer, is the temperature range covered. With the Fluke 62, that range is a large one. You can measure anything between -22°F and 1,202°F (or -30°C and 650°C), and you can switch between the two degree scales as you like. The Fluke features the best-on-test accuracy of all our competitors (±1%) over most of its range. Accuracy strays only when the temperature is sub-zero, as all infrared thermometers do.

The Fluke 62's D/S ratio is a fairly standard 12:1, but where most competitors offer fixed emissivity, the Fluke 62 offers variable emissivity between 0.1 and 1. This means that you can calibrate the thermometer to each surface you measure. It takes a bit more work, but the precision you get in return allows for more accurate feedback. A few owners have been disappointed that a chart isn't included with the device, but that information is readily available online.

As for functionality, the Fluke 62's list of specs reads like a wish list of the things you want the most. The backlit display provides actual, high, low, and average temperatures, as well as alarms for high and low points. Accurate targeting is ensured by the use two lasers. And tough? The Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer is tested to withstand a drop from three meters (9.8 feet), and it's IP54 compliant. Without a doubt, it's the best infrared thermometer out there.

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black
5,945 Reviews
Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~ 716℉ (-50℃ ~ 380℃), Yellow and Black
  • BETTER ACCURACY: The Distance to Spot Ratio is 12:1, meaning the Lasergrip 774 can accurately measure targets at greater distances compared to most other IR Thermometers; For best accuracy, the distance between the thermometer and object of measurement should approximately be 14.17 inches (36cm)
  • TARGET QUICKER: Measure surface temperature ranging from -58℉~ 716℉ / -50℃ ~ 380℃, you can choose the unit from ℉ / ℃; Response time: ≤500Ms; A built in Laser gives you the precision to hone in on the exact space you want to measure
  • ADDED FUNCTIONS: The LCD screen is backlit, also has an Auto-Off function to extend the battery life, and features a low battery indicator so you never accidentally run out of juice (battery included)
  • VERSATILE DESIGN: Infrared Technology makes this thermometer handy to measure the surface temperature of various objects especially temperatures above boiling points and below freezing points; Use it when you are cooking and barbequing, performing auto maintenance, doing home repairs, and a host of other tasks
  • NOTE: The thermometer can't measure the internal temperature of an object; Temperature readings from this devices are inanimate objects, the measured temperature for humans or animals will not be correct; FDA, FCC, CE approved; Class 2 laser, optical power 0.5-0.9mW; 2-Year Warranty by Etekcity

Last update on 2018-12-08 PST - Details

It's a category that provides plenty of competition, but our Best Bang for Your Buck infrared thermometer has to be the Etekcity Lasergrip 774.

Each of the other contenders on our shortlist has its benefits, and the BAFX, with its variable emissivity, is very good for the money. However, the Etekcity will answer the needs of huge number of people, and it costs just $15.99. Seeing that price, it's tempting to think it's just another cheap infrared thermometer, but it's much better than that.

The Etekcity's temperature range is switchable between Celsius and Fahrenheit and provides measurements from 50°C to +380°C and -58°F to 716°F. An accuracy of ±2% means it isn't the most precise out there, but do you really need more? Many consumers don't. The lack of variable emissivity will be seen as a drawback by some, but the fixed level of 0.95 is effectively an industry standard. Used properly, the Etekcity is on par with the quality of both the Kintrex and Raytek in this review – for a fraction of the cost.

As for features, you've got a back-lit display giving a clear readout of the target temperature, a hold function, an automatic shutoff function, and a low battery warning. The Etekcity is compliant with CE, FCC, FDA, and RoHS standards. A few people have complained about temperature inaccuracies, and several have suggested that the build quality could be better. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of other owners who focus on this thermometer's ease of use and outstanding value.

The team that worked on this review

Tim Miller

Writer

Bob

Web Producer

Kate Doe

Senior Editor

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