Types of Infrared Thermometers

Buying guide for best infrared thermometers

Are you looking to buy an infrared thermometer? These handy tools can prove helpful in a number of situations.

  • Medical professionals, engineers, and some mechanics use infrared thermometers in their daily work.
  • Infrared thermometers are used by some home cooks to measure how hot a pan is when cooking foods that require precise temperatures.
  • Homeowners can also use an infrared thermometer to pinpoint areas of the home that may need some extra insulation.

An infrared thermometer works by bouncing an infrared beam off an object and measuring the heat differential. Below, you’ll find an outline of the elements to consider when shopping for an infrared thermometer. We’ve also included information on pricing and the best ways to use an infrared thermometer around the home. 

When you’re ready to buy, please consider our highlighted infrared thermometers. We’re happy to endorse all of them after careful product research and customer reviews.

Ways to use an infrared thermometer

The advantage of an infrared thermometer is that you don’t need to be up close to an object to measure its surface temperature. You can accurately measure items from a safe distance, thereby minimizing the danger of an accidental burn.

In the kitchen

A cook might use an infrared thermometer for the following purposes.

  • To check the surface temperature of oils, pans, foods, etc.
  • To verify the temperature of food storage spaces
  • To assess temperature before baking bread or the preparation of other temperature-sensitive foods

Home use

Infrared thermometers are not just for professionals. Homeowners and others can use them for the following reasons.

  • To find areas of poor insulation in a home or structure
  • To detect air leaks in a home or structure
  • To assist in at-home mechanical fixes
  • To measure body temperatures of humans and animals

Professional use

Various professionals use infrared thermometers on the job.

  • Heating and cooling professionals use infrared thermometers for evaluations and equipment checks.
  • Food workers use infrared thermometers to ensure temperatures meet prescribed safety standards.
  • Electricians use infrared thermometers to check for hot spots and other potential issues.
  • Mechanics use infrared thermometers to check for overheating, among other things.
  • Medical professionals use infrared thermometers to measure body temperature.
  • Firefighters use infrared thermometers to locate hot spots after a fire.

Infrared thermometer prices

Quality doesn’t deviate with price too much when it comes to infrared thermometers.

Most homeowners don’t need to spend more than $80 to $100 for a good one.

Professionals who require more precision when measuring should opt for an infrared thermometer with reliable accuracy. These infrared thermometers will likely cost over $100.


  • Calibrate your infrared thermometer before using it to ensure accuracy.
  • The durability and construction of an infrared thermometer matters, especially for people who use this tool on a daily basis for work.
  • Take note of the battery type required for a particular infrared thermometer before you buy it.
  • An infrared thermometer can provide surface temperature readings but cannot give you interior temperature readings. That’s why you should never use an infrared thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat or other cooked foods.
  • If you plan to measure the temperature of reflective objects, choose a thermometer that can be adjusted for emissivity.

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