Fluke has come out with a new infrared thermometer, the 64 Max. One of the main selling points is that it could make measurements unattended, recording up to 99 data points.
I’m a big fan of Fluke test equipment, and own a 62 Max Plus IR thermometer. I bought it 2 years ago when I came across a sale, after passing a same-model test sample to Ben. I found myself missing its size, accuracy, and durability.
The new Fluke 64 Max is drop-rated to 3 meters (~9.8 feet), and is both dust and water-resistant with an IP54 rating.
It can be used handheld, or mounted on a standard tripod using a tripod mount accessory for unattended measurements.
Additional features include a built-in flashlight and backlit display for easier working in darker environments.
- Min, max, avg, difference modes
- Hi and Lo alarms
- 30 hours of battery life on (1) AA battery
- Accurate up to ±1 °C or ±1% of reading, whichever is greater
- -30 °C to 600 °C temperature range (-22 °F to 1112 °F)
- 0.1 °C (0.2 °F) display resolution
- 0.10 to 1.00 adjustable emissivity
- Spectral response (8 to 14 µm)
- 20:1 spot size
- Auto capture with time and interval settings
- Laser pointer for guidance
The 20:1 spot size is notable, as it means you get a smaller sampling area than other IR thermometers with smaller ratios, including its measurement accuracy. With a higher ratio like that, you can measure smaller test areas from further away, with reduced influence or errors caused by the surroundings.
The 64 Max is the same size and weight as the 62 Max and 62 Max+, with comparable features and specs. It bests the 62 Max and 62 Max+ in some areas (spot size), but not others. The 62 Max+ has a faster response time and also dual laser guidance projection that shows the diameter of the sampling spot size and measurement area.
The 64 Max’s accuracy matches that of the 62 Max+, but its maximum measurement range falls a little shorter, at 600 °C compared to the 62 Max+’s 650 °C. It matches the 62 Max+ in regard to repeatability. The 62 Max is a little lesser than the 62 Max+ in most regards.
I’m guessing that the tripod mount is an optional accessory. You might be able to make due with a DIY solution, using a Manfrotto (or other brand) Super Clamp ($28 via Amazon) or two and an arm ($32 to $115 via Amazon) in between them.
List Price: $200
Street Price: $172
Buy Now via Amazon
Compare(62 Series via Amazon)
Update: The tripod adapter is a $129 accessory. I guess the part is injection-molded, and Fluke will have to sell a lot of them even at this price to break even.
This might have been a good opportunity to create a Fluke Connect IR thermometer, but I imagine the product would have been very different. The form factor would likely have had to expand, and battery life would surely have suffered – if it was even possible to power a Bluetooth radio from a single AA battery.
The new Fluke 64 Max IR thermometer looks to be a worthwhile upgrade from the 62 Max and 62 Max Plus for users who would benefit from the ability to make up to 99 unattended measurements.
If you want to make remote temperature measurements, that would require stepping up to a whole different category of tool, or side-stepping to a different type of tool, such as a thermocouple-based thermometer.
This isn’t a revolutionary new product, it’s evolutionary, and in a small way at that. Still, it offers expanded functionality, and of course there’s the near-indestructible durability and super-convenient form factor I have come to known Fluke’s IR thermometers for, and the high repeatability, high accuracy, and user-friendly experience I have come to expect from all Fluke tools.
Here’s a promo video from Fluke:
The first time I saw one of these it was from a company called Raytek – which has since been bought out by Fluke. Raytek still makes a few handhelds – notably ones that you see in foundries. Not surprisingly these high temperature reading (sometimes up to 5500 degrees F.) have dual converging lasers even greater distance to spot ratios like 250:1 on the Raynger 3iPlus. Good to be able to stand back – as closely approaching a target as hot as 5500 degrees – even wearing a reflective fire/kiln entry suit is not something you want to do. The temperature range as well as prices are way out of the realm of anything suitable for home use – unless you have a blast furnace in your yard.
I have a Raytek MT6, which is essentially the same as the Fluke 62, and a Raytek Minitemp FS (food service optimized version) in the kitchen. The 64 is significantly more expensive with not that much to show for it.
The 20:1 spot to distance ratio is a good feature in a general purpose unit like this, but not enough to make me trade in my 62MAXplus model. Shame too that it loses the twin dot laser that shows you the size the sensing area.
These are quality tools but I don’t see an overall improvement in functionality here.
I got a cheapo Canadian tire MasterCraft digital thermometer. I use it a bit . I like it . I’d upgrade to a fluke if I figured I needed the accuracy . My cheapo one is good enuff to find hot spots etc . So that’s all I use it for . I wouldn’t bet my life on it . However it works more than well enough for the 30 bucks Canadian I think I paid for it
The 3rd generation FLIR one lists at $200, and is quite a bit more versatile than this.
And requires a smartphone. Can the Flir module take and store unattended temperature readings?
Thermal imaging cameras, visual thermometers, infrared thermometers, and smartphone modules all have their pros and cons.
Thanks for the review. Adds some features loses others vs 62 Max+.
Please compare 59 Max + vs 62 Max vs 62 Max + vs 63 vs 64. 59 Max + overplaps non + version of 62. 64 Max ,+ looks like sweet spot unless you want logging. Less expensive options are available but none are Fuke and few can be dropped off a lafder and handle a job site. And lanyard hook gives you a option to avoid dropping all together.