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The Easy to Use Infrared Digital Thermometer

Updated on September 29, 2011

Buying an Infrared Digital Thermometer

There are many situations in which you can't or don't want to make direct contact with a person or a surface in order to get a temperature reading. An infrared digital thermometer, also known as a laser thermometer, may be the perfect solution.

These devices offer a number of advantages and are available in portable, light weight sizes to allow you to use them in your home, workshop, or clinic easily. They are fast, accurate, and hygenic. Learn more about these infrared thermometers and see some of the most well regarded models here on this page.

The Advantages of an Infrared Digital Thermometer

An infrared digital thermometer is simple to use. They allow you to measure temperature without having to make direct contact. This allows you to get a reading on items you can't reach directly, such as when working on an engine where parts are in close quarters. They are also a good choice when measuring temperature on parts that may be moving or vibrating since you won't have to make direct contact.

The clinical type allows you to take a small child's temperature without worrying about them squirming away or waking them as they sleep.

These thermometers are also hygenic due to their non-invasive nature. Since you don't make contact, you don't have to worry about cleaning or cross contamination between family members or patients.

They are also more affordable in the long run as they don't require expensive probe covers. In addition, they're very fast, taking only a second or two to get a reading.

Buying Tips

When choosing an infrared digital thermometer you might want to consider the following things:

  • Type of Unit
    Some infrared digital thermometers are designed for use in a workshop or in the home to check the temperatures of nearly anything such as food, water, engine parts, and so forth. Others are designed to read an individual's temperature. You'll need to be sure the thermometer you choose will do the job you intend it to do; clinical (on people) or otherwise.
  • Readings
    While getting a reading is fast, taking one to three seconds, and accurate, within 1 degree, you'll want to be sure you can get the type of readings you want. Some clinical laser thermometers can take forehead readings and others allow readings on the navel, armpit, or elsewhere. Some can read all of these areas.

    In additional, you'll want to know the temperature range at which the thermometer operates. Clearly, an infrared thermometer used for clinical purposes (on people) won't need as broad of a range as one used for other purposes.

    When shopping, you may also want to take note of the distance to spot ratio to let you know how far away from the object you're testing you can be when obtaining a reading. (This article will provide more detail on the Distance to Spot ratio as well as emissivity mentioned below.)

    When choosing a non-clinical infrared thermometer, you also need to know whether the device can read both shiny and non-shiny surfaces; emissivity. Some of these thermometers are adjustable and others are fixed. One that is fixed will read only non-shiny or non-reflective surfaces.
  • Other features
    Many of these infrared digital thermometers will also have a memory. For instance, they may store the last 9 readings, or the last 30, and so forth.

    Some also have a backlit screen to allow them to be read even in the dark. An auto shut off feature can also help save batteries.


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    • TnFlash profile image

      TnFlash 7 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      Great Hub! This looks like a really interesting gadget to own. Thanks for the information.

    • save my system profile image

      save my system 7 years ago from United Kingdom - London

      Hi. This is really nice invention. Now I can take measure temperature of almost anything with out worrying of its damage. Also it comes handy and very simple to use. Thanks to author for introducing such wonderful device.

    • Ann Nonymous profile image

      Ann Nonymous 7 years ago from Virginia

      Cool. You certainly have a way of writing reviews and recommendations on some pretty cool devices, mulberry! Well done!

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 7 years ago

      This is such an improvement over the old type of thermometers. Thanks for sharing this info... :o)

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 7 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Handy little devices and yes I can see they must be more hygienic than the standard thermometers. No contact equals no germs.

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      cool I had no idea there were such things, my kids are almost grown so the last thermometer I bought was a digital, still had to stick it in their mouths. Thanks for the info and a great read. I did just buy a digital thermometer that is inside a pacifier for babies I thought was an excellent idea.