Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Anyone used one of these? I was thinking about t for home built camping trailer - bearings and tires. Can't go too wrong for $20,00 or under, but curious if useful. It was suggested just as a way to keep hands clean. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Anyone used one of these? I was thinking about t for home built camping trailer - bearings and tires. Can't go too wrong for $20,00 or under, but curious if useful. It was suggested just as a way to keep hands clean. :)
@BillConnerFASTC Is this like the laser thermometers home handymen use to find warm and cool spots in walls when checking for insulation; also used by firemen to check of hot locations within walls?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
The laser is only a pointer - and temperature is surface only - not internal - using infrared. Maybe it it is the same - but the ones I looked at were under $20, and the Fluke and Klein versions are a lot more. I just wanted to see if bearings and tires and brakes were OK.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

DrewE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Location
Vermont
I have a cheap one from somewhere--maybe Harbor Freight, maybe some other place of similar repute, I don't recall--and it works nicely for the sorts of things you describe. In fact, I use it to check tire temperatures on my motorhome, among other things. It seems decently accurate, from what I can tell; if it's pointed at the inside of my mouth, it reads body temperature. It's also kind of fun to play with.

There are a few limitations; since it's based on infrared radiation, it doesn't measure the temperature of transparent or highly reflective surfaces as effectively as others, and the measurement spot is a good bit larger than the laser dot, especially from a distance. They usually will state the spread ratio for them somewhere, often around 6:1 for the basic models, or a patch perhaps a couple inches diameter from a foot away. For tire temperatures, neither limitation is the slightest bit problematic.
 

FMEng

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Location
Tacoma, WA
They are handy devices. The less expensive ones have limited adjustments for material emissivity. The material color and texture affects the accuracy of the temperature reading. Better units can be calibrated for a wide variety of materials. I bought a bottom of the line Fluke, and all it has is three settings, low, medium, and high.

For many uses the accuracy isn't important because the relative temperature tells you what you need to know, such as one bearing is much hotter than the others.
 

ETCFIELDENG

Lin Wheeler ETC, Inc.
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Location
Atlanta
Yeah - I was looking at is it too hot to touch or not and not get greasy fingers.
For my money I'd pay an extra $20, plus shipping, and get this one from ThermoWorks. Great quality and wide temperature range, -76 to 1022 F. I have few of their food based thermometers and probes and they have all performed flawlessly with accurate readings from unit to unit which speaks volumes about their quality. I've used some of the budget priced laser thermometers to measure fuse, breaker, dimmer and fixture temps with less than stellar results when compared to quality units. Kind of that, you get what you pay for thing.
https://www.thermoworks.com/IR-Gun
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Thanks. Was looking at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00837ZGRY/?tag=controlbooth-20 since it will kick around car mostly. And I will probably drop it on the road while checking. But your choice does get better reviews, even if only 1% as many. Gosh I wished I'd done better in statistics.

Or I may stick with my fingers and keep a few rags and maybe some wet wipes on hand.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

eadler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Location
Upstate NY
I've got the HFT version. Works fine for order of magnitude-esque readings (your "will it be too hot to touch" example is a great one) and for comparison between similar things.

I'd say it's an indicator and not a calibrated instrument but indicators sure do have their uses.

If you want to get fancier, FLIR makes a cellphone backpack camera for $200. If you want a more precision instrument, a FLIR spot thermometer should run you ~$150.