Last week I sent a couple of things to Benjamen, a ToolGuyd contributor. I’m sure you’ve seen some of his work before, and if not, check his author page here.
One of the items I sent along was a Fluke 62 Max Plus IR thermometer. It’s a fantastic unit – compact, accurate, and precise. It works well, and provides reliable measurements.
Ben expressed interest in checking out an entry-level IR thermometer for review, and I wanted him to have a baseline to compare things to. So I sent him the Fluke I had available.
I miss that darn little Fluke IR thermometer already. I have a decent Milwaukee IR thermometer sitting here on my desk – the Milwaukee 2267-20 model I recently reviewed – but I think I prefer the Fluke more.
I checked up on the Fluke 62 Max, which is a small step down from the 62 Max Plus, and it’s currently on sale at Amazon, for $75.56. It’s part of their “15% off Fluke best-sellers” holiday promotion. The same IR thermometer is typically priced at ~$88 to $100 elsewhere.
The Fluke 62 Max IR thermometer is waterproof to IP54 standards, and has a 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio. Its temperature range is -20 to 932°F (-30to 500°C), and its accuracy is ± 1.5°C or 1.5% of the reading, whichever is greater (for most of the range).
The Fluke 62 Max Plus that I sent to Ben has a wider temperature range (max temperature is 1202°F or 650°C), a slightly better distance-to-spot ratio (12:1), and better accuracy (± 1.0°C or 1.0%, whichever is greater, for most of the range). It’s also currently on sale too, for $113.34 at Amazon.
Yes, I know you can buy no-name IR thermometers for cheap. And one of these days I’ll buy 5 of them for repeatability and comparison testing. But I would place much more faith in a Fluke instrument than a no-name model.
I am awfully tempted to buy a new Fluke 62 Max, maybe a 62 Max Plus so that I don’t have any regrets. I’m a little on the fence, as it’s not something I need right now. I have no shortage of thermal imaging cameras and IR thermometers at my disposal.
But even though I love using my Flir E4 thermal imaging camera, there are times when I need or want something small and compact to pull out for a quick temperature measurement.
I figure that the sale is good for another couple of days, although there is no expiration, only a “for a limited time only” mention.
Yep, definitely going to buy one.
I don’t have any regrets in sending the Fluke 62 Max Plus to Ben, as that was a test/review sample. If I buy one, there’s no issue with it becoming a ToolGuyd lab instrument that’s used for personal/ToolGuyd purposes. Does that make sense? It might sound weird, but I always see an inherent distinction between test samples and personal or ToolGuyd-owned equipment.
I guess it says something about the Fluke 62 Max Plus (or 62 Max) if I’m willing to buy one to replace the test sample I sent off to Ben.
Update: I ended up ordering the Fluke 62 Max Plus. I think another difference I didn’t notice when writing this up, is that the Max Plus version has the dual indicating lasers, and not just one.
Buy Now(via Amazon)
See Also(Fluke Sale Items at Amazon)
There’s also a FREE Bonus Tool offer (PDF and More details via Fluke), where you can receive free tools or accessories through the mail if you spend at least $250 on Fluke gear before 12/31/15. If you spend over $550 on qualifying Fluke gear, you can opt for a free Fluke 62 Max+.
P.S. Our Amazon gift card giftaway is still going on, thru 12/21/15. While the prize won’t cover the whole cost of a 62 Max or 62 Max Plus, it’ll cover most of the cost of the 62 Max, and nearly half of the cost of the 62 Max Plus.
Maybe not in the same category as the Fluke – but Toolnut has a deal on a Milwaukee:
I saw that – it’s a good sale item!
The Milwaukee is larger, and with fixed emissivity, but other than that it’s a good buy for someone who was planning to spend under $50 on an IR temp gun.
My old Raytek (a Fluke Co.) had fixed emissivity – so if you wanted to get a better measurement on that chrome plated exhaust pipe you either used a contact thermocouple or gave the pipe a dab of flat black stove paint.
3M brand electrical tape has an emissivity of 95, and you don’t have to wait for it to dry!
But it’ll melt nicely on the pipe!
mike aka Fazzman
Seems like a pretty good deal,thanks for sharing.
What would a home owner/ DIY use this for? Cooking perhaps?
There are some car troubleshooting tasks that would be a lot easier with one of these. Maybe identifying a stuck brake caliper before the pad friction material is completely gone.
Checking temperature of a boiler tank, exhaust vent, high-up heating or cooling vents, heatsinks in their computer or gaming system that’s overheating, trim around windows and doors to look for air leaks, walls to look for wet spots.
It could be used for cooking, but a contact thermometer is often easier and straightforward. An IR thermometer can tell you the temperature of the surface of meat, possibly with emissivity adjustment or known offset, but won’t tell you anything about the inside, which is what you need to know.
If you want one, but don’t know what you would use it for, you’d be better off buying a cheap no-name unit for under $15.
It is nice for cooking to check the temp of your cooking surface. I have a cheapo ($10 lightning deal last month) and it has already helped a lot with grilling, smoking, cooking in a skillet, and checking the oven. Most ovens are off by 10-50 degrees F.
A probe thermometer is more important for safely cooking meat, but this type can be a helpful supplement.
I very much like the idea of buying five of a low end model and testing them against each other. I think some people will be surprised. Who knows, one of them might be me! I’d be interested in seeing the same thing done with multimeters, too, especially on small signal voltages. But that could get expensive very quickly.