Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by BillConnerFASTC, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    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. :)
     
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  2. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @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
     
  3. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  4. DrewE

    DrewE Active Member

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    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.
     
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  5. FMEng

    FMEng Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    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.
     
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  6. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Yeah - I was looking at is it too hot to touch or not and not get greasy fingers.
     
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  7. ETCFIELDENG

    ETCFIELDENG Lin Wheeler ETC, Inc.

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    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
     
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  8. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    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.....
     
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  9. eadler

    eadler Active Member

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    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.
     
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