I’ve discussed infrared thermometers before, which can measure surface temperatures from a distance, and more recently thermal imagers. Basic non-contact IR thermometers can be found for under $20, but I generally don’t recommend testing and diagnostic tools from brands I don’t recognize.
This Craftsman IR thermometer is what I typically recommend for anyone looking for an inexpensive, compact, and easy to use model.
It measures temperatures as low as -4°F and as high as -500°F, and has a resolution of 0.1°F. Additional features include a fixed 0.95 emissivity that should cover most applications, a backlit display can be read in good or poor lighting conditions, and a min/max and data hold function. Power is supplied via a single 9V alkaline battery.
Accuracy at 20°F to 500°F is ±3% or reading or ±5°F, whichever is greater. Below 20°F, accuracy is ±7.5°F.
This IR thermometer also has a laser targeting pointer, which too many new IR thermometer owners confuse as the sampling area. The thermometer actually measures the temperature across a much larger area, which for this thermometer is dependent on a 6:1 distance:spot ratio. In other words, the spot size is 1″ at a distance of 6″, 2″ at 12″, 6″ at 36″, and so forth. In other words, from a distance the temperature reading you see is going to be an average measurement for a large area.
If you want adjustable emissivity for greater accuracy or a better distance:spot ration, you’ll want to consider a more featured model, such as the Dewalt IR thermometer we reviewed. But for casual use, fixed emissivity should suffice.
Buy Now(via Sears)
IR Thermometers(via Amazon)
Normal pricing for this model is $40, but I’ve seen it go on sale for as low as $27. It goes on sale for $30 a few times a year as well.
This model is most likely manufactured for Craftsman by Extech. If anyone knows better, please correct me if I’m wrong!
Dead ringer for the Extech 42500. Not bad for $27, it’s going for about triple that on Amazon.
Looks like you’re right. The features and specs look to be the same, but the buttons and plastic body look different. It looks like the Craftsman thermometer is a combination of the Extech 42500 and IR400.
Considering how badly those Craftsman labels are Photoshopped on, that thing could be OEMed for anybody.
My craftsman rubbery textured handle became sticky?
Did it come into contact with any solvents or chemicals? Oils? Sometimes plastics and rubber materials can decompose in the presence of certain chemicals.