Mini Infrared Thermometers

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Perhaps the most versatile IR thermometers are miniature size infrared thermometers. They are used for a wide variety of professional applications, are compact yet fully featured, and are remarkably affordable. Almost every IR thermometer manufacturer produces a line of mini IR thermometers.

Comparing Professional Models and Mini Infrared Thermometers

In general, mini infrared thermometers mix professional functionality with commercial usability. A few of the most common features are high temperature resolution (to the tenth of a degree), laser targeting, and adjustable emissivity. All of these features are also found on more expensive, professional models.

Many compact thermometers also have the ability to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit operation. Usually, all of the operations of mini thermometers are accessible from a few buttons on the front panel, including the main trigger that activates temperature scans. Locating all of the buttons in a single cluster greatly simplifies the ease of use when compared to more complicated professional IR thermometers.

The largest difference between mini infrared thermometers and professional models may be the difference in the distance-to-spot size ratio (or D:S ratio). The D:S ratio in most compact or pocket thermometers ranges from 1:1 to 5:1 (meaning that at a distance of five inches, the target area is one inch in diameter). On some professional models, the D:S ratio may be as high as 60:1, offering precision measurements at impressive distances.


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