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
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: