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Infrared Thermometer

Post in 'The Gear' started by Mmaul, Nov 6, 2007.

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  1. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    I was just wondering if anyone has used an Infrared Thermometer to measure temperatures in of there stoves and inserts. If so my question is how accurate is it or does it bounce around the metal.

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  2. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes indeed - no self-respecting pyro should be without. This probably belongs in the gear section, but here's the unit that I have:

    [​IMG]

    If you're measuring metal, paint it flat black or put a piece of masking tape on it. Shiny metal is an IR mirror - you'll just get the temperature of some reflected surface.

    Gobs of fun - perfect stocking stuffer for your firebug friends. Make sure you get one with a wide enough range - some cheapies are limited.
  3. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    I work in a kitchen they bought one before I started working here and have found they have no purpose in a kitchen whatso ever. So I have a new toy to play with tonight.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have had one for three years now that I bought at Harbor Freight. Works great and is dead on with every thermo I have tested it with. And despite what they say, it will register at least 1,225 degrees.
  5. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    This one is a Cooper and looks like it will only read to 999 degrees.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Harbor Freight said theirs would only go up to something like six hundred but they are wrong.
  7. lizzybobio

    lizzybobio New Member

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    I have the Craftsman that I think nofossil has in his pic. It goes up to 1000 degrees. Some only go to 500 or so. You need to look out for that. Mine of course is broken after 1 year. No display, no light, no laser...nothing. New battery too..nothing.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Okay BrotherBart, tell us more. Cost? What purpose does it serve and how do you use it? Does this do more than just a stove thermometer? Ya, I'm full of questions, but people have been telling me I'm full of it for years now...
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I primarily use it with the stoves but have also used it to find heat loss points in the house to seal it up. One interesting thing to do with it is observe different temps at different places on your stoves. And also different places around walls, windows and ceilings.

    The thing was sixty bucks at Harbor back when I bought mine. They must have made a mistake in an ad because when an ad showed up with the thing at $19.99 I jumped in the car and headed out. The manager was running the register and he gave me a strange look when I laid it and the ad on the counter. He said "That is a mistake.". He laughed and rang it up for $19.99. I buy so much crap there that sometimes he brings me a basket when I enter the store.
  10. lizzybobio

    lizzybobio New Member

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    Without interfering on bb's response, I use mine for everything. Checking for drafts, checking to see where the heat travels in the house, seeing that my windows are 55 degrees, the temperature of my dog...etc. You find yourself checking everything.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a handy gadget to have indeed. I'll keep watch for one of those deals at HF.

    Temperature of you dog, huh! Maybe I could use it on the wife to see what kind of a mood she is in?!!!!
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    A Forum member reported some time ago that sitting in the recliner shooting the laser thermo at your wife was not conducive to domestic tranquility.
  13. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    Right now my foot is at 83 degrees
  14. bjorn773

    bjorn773 Member

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    I have a Raytek that I have had for probably 8 to 10 years. Unfortunately, I bought when they were the new hot tool for automotive applications. I think I paid $500 for that thing. But, it has served me well for years. Excellent for cooling system work, finding restricted exhaust systems, binding brake calipers... the list goes on. Now I think Raytek sells them for under $100. Oh well, the new cutting edge stuff is never cheap.
  15. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    Last night I was able to find leaks in air from around my door sills and window sills and I was really freaking out my cat and kids with the laser.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    They're pretty cheap on eBay, but since this comes with a personal recommendation :) , just kidding, perhaps I'll swing by today after work. It's gets dark so frigging early now, might as well shop. I'd like to upgrade my headlamp. I saw some cyclists yesterday who had very bright double led jobs on their bikes.
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well, impulsive guy that I am, I bought one yesterday at HF.
    It's the gun-shaped model, which, btw, is 39 bucks.
    It's way cool and has provided some amusement already.
    I got 830f when I pointed it at the glass of the insert.
    The metal sides were like 400f as I recall.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I've pointing that thing at everything. Just yesterday, verified the bottles of beer (in dark glass containers) emergency cooled in freezer read 38F when aimed at bottle, which agreed when aimed at poured liquid.

    What I really wonder though, is am I reading the temperature of the glass surface or the interior of the firebox when I aim it at the glass? I'm thinking the fire, since the metal plate is considerably cooler and the glass should be an insulator for heat conduction (as opposed to radiation??). Hey, maybe I'll see if the digital turkey thermometer goes that high. :)
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Reading from a reflective surface such as glass is useless. Open the door and aim it at the baffle or bricks.

    BIG difference.
  22. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I can't believe it's useless since I've gotten 900F readings pointing at the glass, but I'll take your suggestion and give it a whirl next time I get a good fire going.
  23. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    You can't get valid readings off of many surfaces - shiny aluminum or copper, for instance. Some surfaces act as infrared mirrors, so you get the reflected temperature of some other surface. A piece of masking tape on the shiny surface solves the problem.
  24. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Yes, but this is the glass on an insert and is based on observation.
    Perhaps the glass isn't perfectly clear with ash deposits, but I think I got similar readings when it was clear.
    Over the weekend I measured 900F pointing the device at the outside of the glass.
    When I opened the door I got 1000F (and a warm arm), but opening the door (although I did not open it long) could result in higher temps with more air.
    From the comfort of my sofa, I get about 200F less than up close, since the target area at that distance includes cooler surfaces, I imagine.
    It's a fun thing.
  25. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    They are pretty cool. If I had a woodstove store, I'd include one with every stove, furnace, or insert. No one that I've met has been able to put it down.
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