Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Laser thermometers make it possible to measure the temperature of an object without direct contact. This can be helpful if the object is inaccessible or so hot that a close measurement is no longer possible. With just one click and in a matter of seconds, they can be used to determine the temperature. Therefore, they are ideal for many different areas of life.

With our informative laser thermometer test 2022 we would like to support you in your purchase decision for the right laser thermometer. For this purpose, we have compared the different types of laser thermometers with each other and clearly presented the respective advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • With the help of a laser thermometer, temperatures can be measured quickly and without contact. It can be applied to a wide range of objects and substances and can therefore also effortlessly determine the temperature of hard-to-reach objects.
  • Laser thermometers are available in different types and configurations. For this reason, they can be used for a wide range of applications in the home, trade or industry.
  • However, care should be taken when handling laser thermometers, as the laser beam can cause injury and permanent damage if it comes into contact with the eyes.

The Best Laser Thermometer: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for laser thermometers

Laser thermometers are often also called pyrometers, infrared thermometers, contactless thermometers or temperature guns. They are used to measure the temperature of objects over a certain distance without having to touch the object directly.

However, since not every laser thermometer is suitable for every application and they differ in their features, the following criteria are used for comparison:

In the following, we will go into these criteria in more detail.

Intended use

Laser thermometers are a useful helper in many different situations. For cooks, even determining the surface temperature of food can be enough. For craftsmen, however, measuring the ambient temperature or the humidity in the room can also be useful to determine the risk of mould.

Therefore, when buying, pay attention to whether the laser thermometer should include additional features such as the hygrometer or the ability to measure the ambient temperature.

What do I want to use my laser thermometer for and what features should it have?

Measuring range in degrees Celsius

The temperature of an object can vary greatly. Therefore, for industrial use, it may be advantageous to choose a laser thermometer that is suitable for very high temperature ranges.

Depending on the device, temperatures from -50° to +5000° Celsius can be measured.

However, for use in normal households, devices up to a temperature of -50° to +900° Celsius should usually be sufficient.

Measuring the ambient temperature

Especially for craftsmen, a laser thermometer that measures the ambient temperature in addition to the surface temperature can be very useful. This makes it possible to measure not only the temperature of the object itself, but also that of the close-up area around the object.

For example, you can use these devices to test whether the air conditioner is also doing its job in the surrounding area. Or whether the oven itself has reached the desired temperature in addition to the food.

However, this feature is not built into all laser thermometers and is reflected in a somewhat higher price.

Hygrometer

Some laser thermometers also offer the option of measuring relative humidity. This helps to prevent the formation of mould, for example.

The humidity or air temperature in the room can also be determined by certain laser thermometers with the help of the built-in hygrometer. This makes it possible to detect places that may be susceptible to mould growth.

However, it is important to note that the hygrometer cannot measure humidity from a distance, but should be used close to the area to be examined.

Again, not every laser thermometer includes this feature.

Accuracy

The more important the determination of the temperature, the more attention should be paid to the accuracy of the laser thermometer. As a rule, commercially available laser thermometers have a measurement deviation of approximately ± 2° Celsius.

However, they are usually still too inaccurate for measuring body temperature, which is why a special medical laser thermometer should be used for this purpose.

In addition, the measurement accuracy can be influenced by other factors, such as the ambient temperature or the distance to the object. These should also be taken into account during the measurement.

Emissivity

To obtain the most accurate readings possible, when buying a laser thermometer, make sure that the emissivities can be set manually.

The emissivity is a measure of how much heat radiation an object emits. Different materials have different emissivities because the emissivity changes with the nature of the surfaces and the temperature.

For example, metals with polished surfaces have a much lower emissivity than wood or water. The values of the different substances can be read in so-called emissivity tables.

For more accurate readings, it is therefore advisable to choose a device where the emissivity can be set manually. However, this function is more likely to be found in mid-range and high-end laser thermometers.

Display illumination

Not quite as relevant as the upper features, but still useful, is the background illumination of the display.

This means that you can still reliably read the temperature in darker rooms or switch off the light if necessary.

Decision: What types of laser thermometers are there and which is the right one for me?

Since laser thermometers are suitable for different purposes and can be used in different ways, the design of the laser thermometer must be taken into account. For the household, a handy laser thermometer can be much more practical than one for crafts or industry.

The following types of laser thermometers can be distinguished:

Type Description
Permanently installed laser thermometers - Used mainly in industry for continuous process monitoring
- Permanently installed
Mobile laser thermometers - Wide range of uses for crafts and hobbies
- Common pistol-shaped design
Pocket laser thermometers - Used mainly in household and food applications
- Small and compact

The different types of laser thermometers are explained in more detail below.

Fixed laser thermometers

Fixed laser thermometers

Fixed laser thermometers are often used in industrial processes that require the thermometer to be in the same place at all times. For example, it supports continuous monitoring of these processes.

They are usually very powerful and can measure temperatures up to or even above 4000° Celsius. For this, however, they usually have to be connected to a direct power source.

Advantages
  • accurate measurement
  • measurement of very high temperatures
  • collection of measured values over a long time
Disadvantages
  • Permanently installed
  • In trade, calibration by the weights and measures office may be necessary
  • Possibly very expensive
  • Must be connected directly to the power source
Mobile laser thermometer

Mobile laser thermometer

The portable laser thermometer is more commonly used in the trades or on construction sites. The design in the form of a pistol is usually the most common.

There are laser thermometers that only measure thermal radiation and are pure pyrometers or those that can also determine the climate in the room as hygrometers.

Advantages
  • portable
  • depending on the device, additional measurement of humidity and ambient temperature possible
  • individually applicable
Disadvantages
  • still quite large compared to the mini thermometer
Pocket laser thermometer

Pocket laser thermometer

Pocket laser thermometers or mini thermometers are often used in the food sector and in the household. Due to their small size, they are very handy and can even be carried in a trouser pocket.

Advantages
  • very handy and small
  • inexpensive
  • easy measurement
Disadvantages
  • Temperature measuring range rather small
  • readings may be incorrect if too far away
  • few additional functions

Guide: Frequently asked questions about laser thermometers answered in detail

So that there are no more uncertainties when buying a laser thermometer, we answer the most important questions about laser thermometers below. With the help of our guide, we would like to help you find the most suitable laser thermometer for you.

What is a laser thermometer?

With a laser thermometer, the temperature of an object can be measured without direct contact and thus simplifies many areas of application. Especially for objects that are difficult to reach, the temperature can be determined easily and quickly.

Due to the visible laser spot that the device emits, it can be directly recognised which area of the object is being measured.

How does a laser thermometer work?

Every object that is warmer than the actual zero point of -273.15° Celsius emits infrared radiation.

The higher the temperature of the object, the more infrared radiation it emits.

This radiation is measured with the help of a laser thermometer by projecting it onto a detector in the device.

The detector then converts the radiation into an electrical signal in °Celsius or Fahrenheit and shows the temperature on a display.

Laser Thermometer-1

With the help of a laser thermometer, the temperature of objects can be determined quickly and easily without contact. This makes it easy to measure even hard-to-reach objects.
(Image source: 4595544 / pixabay)

Who is a laser thermometer suitable for?

Laser thermometers are suitable for a wide variety of situations. Due to their easy handling, they can be used in many different ways. For example, laser thermometers are ideal for the following areas:

  • Household: Laser thermometers can be used to measure the temperature of various foods such as baby food, grilled meat, ice cubes and drinks or to determine the oven temperature. However, depending on their medical suitability, laser thermometers can also be used to measure body temperatures, such as fever.
  • Trade and industry: Depending on the device, laser thermometers are also ideal for determining the temperature of walls, the room temperature and for measuring the humidity of rooms. This makes it ideal for determining the thermal insulation of buildings. The fire brigade can even use it to determine the heat of the fire. For geologists, for example, these devices are also suitable for evaluating the temperature of rocks or volcanoes.

Where can a laser thermometer be used?

Laser thermometers can be used on a variety of different substances. In addition to the temperature of objects, the temperature of liquids can also be determined.

When measuring the temperature of materials, however, their respective emissivities and surface properties should be taken into account in order to obtain accurate readings.

For example, the temperatures of the following materials can be measured:

  • Various metals: e.g. aluminium, lead, iron, copper, steel, zinc
  • Various substances: e.g. ice, rubber, wood, coal, leather, paper, water

Can a laser thermometer also be used to measure fever?

Caution: Only specially designed medical laser thermometers are suitable for measuring body temperatures, e.g. fever!

A classic laser thermometer from the trade is not suitable for measuring fever, as they may measure too inaccurately.

In addition, the retina of the eyes can be damaged by contact with the laser source! For this reason, care should be taken that the laser thermometer is really approved for medical use.

Laser Thermometer-2

A medical infrared thermometer is suitable for determining body temperature. It differs from the laser thermometers that are used in handicrafts or hobbies.
(Image source: Ponchaisang / 123rf.com)

How to use a laser thermometer correctly?

  • Laser point at the touch of abutton: To measure the temperature of an object correctly, the measuring point of the laser source, which appears when the corresponding button is pressed, must be aimed at the object.
  • Aim directly at the object: During measurement, however, care should be taken to aim the measuring point directly at the object to be measured and not just at its container. For example, with baby food, the laser should be aimed directly at the food and not at the outer bottle.
  • Observe distance: Depending on the device, the correct distance to the object must be observed, otherwise measurement errors may occur.
  • Follow the operating instructions: As there are different devices for different purposes, be sure to read the operating instructions before use.

What are the dangers of using a laser thermometer?

Caution: The laser beam of a laser thermometer can cause permanent damage to the eye!

When using laser thermometers, care must be taken that the laser beam does not get into the eyes.

This is because the light from the laser can dazzle and even cause irreparable damage to the eye. Therefore, great care must be taken when aiming the laser and it should be used very deliberately.

Laser attacks can even be prosecuted. Under no circumstances should the laser thermometer get into the hands of children. In the event of retinal burns or other problems, medical help should be sought.

Laser Thermometer-3

Caution should be exercised when using laser thermometers. The laser beam can cause permanent eye damage.
(Image source: 422737 / pixabay)

How much does a laser thermometer cost?

You can buy an inexpensive laser thermometer for about 15 €. For crafts and industry, however, such a device can cost several hundred euros due to its better workmanship and accuracy.

It is therefore worthwhile to compare the different prices according to function and equipment and to read test reports.

Type price
Mini laser thermometer from about 15 €
Classic laser thermometer depending on features about 15 € - 350 €
Infrared clinical thermometer about 25 € - 85 €

What are the alternatives to a laser thermometer?

  • Touch thermometer: As an alternative to a laser thermometer, there are the classic touch thermometers, where the temperature of an object is measured by direct heat contact. These include, for example, liquid thermometers or gas thermometers.
  • Thermographic cameras: In addition, thermographic cameras can be used as thermometers with the help of special software, which can create thermal images by colour mapping.

Image source: Paejai / 123rf.com

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