I have posted about IR thermometers before, and although they aren’t quite as attention-grabbing as the latest thermal imaging cameras, they are incredibly helpful tools for a very wide range of applications. In addition to being simpler to use, thermometers are far less expensive.
Sometimes all you need is a quick temperature measurement, and not a complete scan of everything in the area. So that’s what this is – a quick and easy IR thermometer. That’s not to say that it doesn’t offer some bells and whistles.
Milwaukee’s 2267-20 IR thermometer, or infrared temp-gun as they call it, is a non-contact thermometer. Actually, this is their “10:1 Infrared Temp-Gun,” with the “Temp-Gun” part apparently being trademarked. That doesn’t change what it is, which is an IR thermometer.
It has a 10:1 spot ratio, which means that the temperature sensor spot is 1″ at 10″ and continually proportional. At 20″, the spot size is 2″, and so forth. Simply put, the measurement spot size is 1/10 the distance to the object. This is important, because it tells you where the temperature measurement is coming from.
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If you are 4-feet away from an object 3-inches in diameter, your temperature measurement won’t only come from that object. At 48″, the spot size should be 4.8″ in diameter, and so part of the measurement will come from the material surrounding the object of interest. Solution: move closer or use an IR thermometer with smaller spot size.
This is extrapolating, of course. Milwaukee’s rating is in terms of feet, and how this IR Temp-Gun has a 1-foot spot size from 10-feet away. I generally like to think of Distance-to-Spot ratios in terms of inches.
Milwaukee is also coming out with 3 new longer range IR thermometers as well:
- 2267-20 – this is the 10:1 model reviewed here
- 2268-20 – 12:1 IR Temp-Gun, 9V
- 2269-20 – 30:1 IR Temp-Gun, 9V, with K-Type thermocouple for contact temperature measurements
- 2278-20 – M12 Li-ion 12:1 IR Temp-Gun
For a 3″ object 48″ away, you’re going to want an IR thermometer with a 16:1 or higher ratio. If you want to stick with Milwaukee, the 30:1 IR Temp-Gun is going to better for longer-distance measurements. At 48″ away, your spot size will be 1.6″ across, which you should be able to center well within that 3″ target.
As a convenience, Milwaukee equipped the 2267-20 Temp-Gun with a laser indicator, which you could turn on and off through the menu. But users who don’t read the manual might mistakenly believe that the thermometer is only reading the temperature at the aimed location. That simply isn’t true. Just like the laser in an ultrasonic rangefinder doesn’t have any bearing on measurements, neither does this one.
The Temp-Gun has 4 user-selectable modes that can be displayed beneath the held or real-time temperature reading. The secondary temperature reading only changes during an active scan, when the trigger is pressed and the thermometer is taking measurements.
- Minimum – shows the lowest measured temperature during a scan
- Maximum – shows the highest measured temperature during a scan
- Average – shows the average measured temperature during a scan
- Differential – shows the difference between highest and lowest measured temperatures during a scan
It was redundant to keep repeating how these modes only display data from the last continuous scan, but hopefully the message came through alright.
Additional Notable Features
You can set an alarm with max and min temperature thresholds. The Temp-Gun has a temperature measurement range of -22°F to 752°F, with an accuracy of ± 2% and repeatability of ± 0.08%. I left the alarm at its default settings, but I suppose you can set them anywhere in the thermometer’s measurement range.
The Milwaukee 2267-20 IR thermometer is almost ridiculously easy to use. The buttons are clearly marked, and are logical to understand. You can change the model, set an alarm, disable or enable the laser pointer, change temperature scales (°F to °C), and toggle the alarm on or off, with utter ease.
It is also “fully bumpered,” which means that there will also be some rubbery bits touching any delicate work surface you put it down on. Well, almost always. If you put the IR thermometer on its side onto a flat surface, the very bottom of its handle, next to the battery base, will touch.
The bumpers around the LCD also serve to shield it from impact damage. According to Milwaukee, the IR thermometer can survive drops of up to 6 feet.
Speaking of batteries, it’s a cinch to change the 2267-20’s 9V battery. I used a wide slotted screwdriver, but a small coin works too. I used a penny, and it feels like it might damage the slot. Just use a screwdriver unless you’re in a real pinch.
Emissivity is fixed, at 0.95.
- 10:1 distance to spot ratio
- -22°F to 752°F temperature range
- ± 2% basic accuracy
- ± 0.08% repeatability
- 0.1° F or C display resolution
- 0.95 emissivity
- Temperature hold function (trigger lock)
- Min/Max/Avg/Diff modes
- Hi/Lo Alarm
- Rubber overmolding
- Powered by 9V alkaline battery
- Greater than 12 hours of runtime per battery
- Weighs 10 oz
LCD contrast is excellent with clear and crisp digits and symbols.
Quick and easy operation.
Compact and easy to carry in a tool bag, pouch, or jacket pocket.
The LCD’s viewing angles could be better. You can view the screen from off-angle vertically pretty well, but the horizontal viewing angles are much shallow. If you tilt the screen too vertically, you can still read the temperature measurement, almost as if viewing it from head-on. But tilt it horizontally in one direction, and the display fades away. Tilt it too far in the other direction, and unused segments start to darken and fill in the display.
This isn’t a deal-breaker, just something to be aware of.
No lanyard? This is nitpicking, but I really would have liked a lanyard or wrist strap. During testing, I had to climb a step ladder to take a measurement and had no way to safely stow the Temp-Gun except for a jacket pocket.
I own a thermal imaging camera (a Flir E4 which I unlocked/enhanced), and use it for the vast majority of temperature measurements I need to make. But there are times when I just don’t need that level of sophistication.
Today, I needed to check the temperature of air vents and cold water pipes. I didn’t need a thermal imaging camera for that, so out came the Milwaukee IR Temp-Gun. Its 10:1 ratio isn’t the greatest, but it also allows this Temp-Gun to be smaller and more compact than Milwaukee’s other upcoming and previous IR thermometer models.
This 10:1 IR Temp-Gun is quick and easy to use. It turns on at the press or the trigger, and you’re good to go. Battery life is quite decent, and it works with common 9V batteries. Not only can this be a convenience for a tool that might only see regular or occasional use, as opposed to daily, it makes the handle smaller and more comfortable to grip.
I definitely recommend this Milwaukee IR Temp-Gun, at least to users who want a compact, easy to use, and reasonably accurate IR thermometer. There are cheaper models out there, but you lose out on features, durability, and reliability. There are also more featured and more premium models out there, if you need more than this one can provide.
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Thank you to Milwaukee Tool for providing the review sample unconditionally.