Hand Held Thermometers

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The range of commercially available hand held thermometers runs the gamut from everything to traditional mercury thermometers to non-contact thermometers that measure the infrared radiation being emitted by an object. Traditional thermometers that operate on physical properties are relatively inexpensive to produce and purchase. In contrast, high-tech thermometers may be expensive and designed for very specific industrial applications.

Digital hand held thermometers have become the standard in professional temperature measurement. Contact thermometers are used widely in health care, food service, and some manufacturing applications. Contact thermometers include everything from thermocouples to temperature probes--any device that requires contact with object that it's measuring.

Non-Contact Hand Held Thermometers

Non-contact thermometers are perfectly suited for engineering, firefighting, and many diagnostic or early-warning systems. They can target specific surfaces and are capable of measuring the surface temperature of almost any object. Some professional non-contact hand held thermometers can measure the surface temperature of a one-inch square area from almost 200 feet away.

Many engineers and builders use hand held IR thermometers to quickly scan for areas of hot (signaling a possible overheating component in a machine) or cold (leaky insulation). Firefighters often use it for similar purposes, such as searching for hidden hotspots through thin wood-frame walls. They may also use it to see through smoke, which is nearly invisible to IR sensors, when searching burning buildings.

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