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Old 05-23-2015, 02:01 PM   #1
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Temperature Gun Essentials

I'm thinking about getting a temperature gun. From what I've read, it seems like a good gadget to have in the tool box for checking tires, etc. (typical RV functions, in other words). What do I look for to make sure I get something reliable -- i.e. accurate measurements? Are some specifications more relevant than others? I'm not looking for a product recommendation necessarily (but if you chime in with one, please include your rationale for why you bought it). What I'm looking for is a way to look at several products side by side and being able to select the better one.
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Old 05-23-2015, 02:33 PM   #2
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All I will say about this topic is, you get what you pay for. Not saying to buy the most expensive one you find, just don't buy the cheapest one either.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:04 AM   #3
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Have used good and better and most will read close as most use same basic design.

Do get one with the laser spot as it makes it wotk better.

Rather it allows you to use it better.

Google ir thermometer use and there are lots of tips in their use.

The reflectivity of what is being measured makes a huge difference.

We used them for battery monitoring as well as determining heat rise in our switch when the hvac failed.

To do this accurately we placed "targets" on everything.

Just a piece of masking tape will eork as it is mat finish and all are the same.

Tires are fine but aluminum rims will read off a bit.

Remember the readings are relative and not going to be exact but close enough.
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Old 05-24-2015, 12:35 AM   #4
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Heck I just got an el cheapo HF one a couple of years ago and it hasn't failed yet. Even use it on the meat smoker all the time. I figure at the low price if it dies I'll just get another one.
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:32 PM   #5
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I got one on sale from Harbor Freight for $29.95. Seems to work fine!
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:48 PM   #6
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Believe it or not accuracy is not all that important.. Consistency is.

Why is that?
Well if something normally shows 200 degrees.. And suddenly it shows 300.. Something is wrong.
It does not matter that normally it was really 190, or 210 and now it is 185 or 315.. All that matters is that it is suddenly much hotter than it has been in the past.

Thus Consistency is more important.

I got mine at Harbor Freight..Cheap and consistant enough.. Epically since I'm normally using it on wheels and if one is overly hot.. Well thats going to stand out like a sore thumb in a room full of armless men.
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:29 PM   #7
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Just bought one at lowes on sale.
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Old 05-25-2015, 07:58 PM   #8
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Use one all the time--we run stationary motors on pumps. We check transmission temps-u-joint temps-we can tell if an injector is bad by running temp along the motor. Great tool. Don't leave home without one.

Russell
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:53 AM   #9
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I have a cheaper one maybe $15 from amazon. The one thing a mechanic friend of mine told me is to look at the temp range on them and get the laser. Mine goes from -58 to 1022 degrees, its not good enough for engine building or professionals, but works for me.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:58 PM   #10
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Guess I need to get one.
Never thought about one used for some of the uses mention, I knew they weren't just to check air conditioning Temps.
I know if you have a miss in an engine you can shoot each cylinder and the lowest temp will give you a place to start meaning that cylinder is not firing or is weak.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:09 AM   #11
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Consistency of the instrument and of the use is important. The IR handhelds average the temperature of a circle, that opens up in a cone shape. The further you are from the target, the larger the circle it's averaging. So, if you're checking for changes in temperature, always shoot the device from the same distance.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:12 AM   #12
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Make a target too as different material read different.

Simple peel and stick label or masking tape works well.

Shiny stuff not so much.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
Believe it or not accuracy is not all that important.. Consistency is.

Why is that?
Well if something normally shows 200 degrees.. And suddenly it shows 300.. Something is wrong.
It does not matter that normally it was really 190, or 210 and now it is 185 or 315.. All that matters is that it is suddenly much hotter than it has been in the past.

Thus Consistency is more important.

I got mine at Harbor Freight..Cheap and consistant enough.. Epically since I'm normally using it on wheels and if one is overly hot.. Well thats going to stand out like a sore thumb in a room full of armless men.
This about sums it up. $30-40 will get you a decent device. As long as your not using it for open heart surgery.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:53 PM   #14
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I bought one at Harbor Freight for less then $30.

I carry it up front next to the door, when we are traveling I will grab it as I'm going out the door and do a quick walk around the coach measuring the temp of the wheel hub/rims/tires. I'll check the toad also.

What I'm looking for is large differences in any of the wheels since the ambient temperatures.

It's also handy for checking the AC's and frig.
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