Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer Combines Meaningful Function and Value in an Excellent Diagnostic Tool
The Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer is an indispensable tool for preventative maintenance and diagnostics in several trades. It has the right combination of features and price to get the attention of our resident electrician, so we put it in his hands for a few weeks to see what he thinks of its performance in the field.
- Measures surface as well as bulk air, gas, and liquids temperatures with IR and K-Type probe
- Wide range of -40° to 1200°F
- Easy-to-read display with backlight
- Large (20:1) optical resolution ratio for dangerous or difficult-to-reach areas
- MAX, MIN, AVG, DIFF, and customizable high/low limits with audible/visual alarms
- Tough Meter: IP54 rating and 9.9-foot (3-meter) drop test
- Powers off automatically to preserve 9V battery
- Great price compared to other 20:1 IR thermometer competitors
- No major drawbacks
The Doctor Is In
The Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer is exceptionally efficient at diagnosing problems. I’ve used it on every job since I picked it up. It finds the source of an electrical service’s fever quickly.
But even when there isn’t a known problem, I do my future self (and customers) a favor and scan service panels with the IR10 anyway. This type of preventative maintenance reveals hotspots caused by bad connections, old breakers, and over-amped but untripped breakers.
Who knows how many dangerous situations could be avoided with this kind of scan?
I especially like setting the high and low parameters with an audible alarm. A breaker that’s too hot jumps right out at me. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This diagnostic and preventative method goes for other uses across the trades: automotive, HVAC, plumbing, bearings, electronics, and more.
This model has a relatively modest +/- 1.5% accuracy confidence. For the majority of applications, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, there are models from Southwire, Fluke, and others that bring it down to a tighter +/- 1% if you need better accuracy.
In addition to the generous -40° to 1200°F range, the Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer gives you a 20:1 “safe space.” This makes it easy to measure lights that are out of reach or stay out well away from a dangerous piece of equipment or panel.
Speaking of lights, this is a helpful tool to show my customers choose how to choose more efficient lighting and save on energy bills by using the IR10 to show how much heat inefficient bulbs generate compared to others. Thermal imaging is still king in the visualization department, but seeing the numbers on the screen tells a compelling story for a lower price.
20:1 Optical Resolution
The Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer’s 20:1 optical resolution is helpful for dangerous or hard-to-reach measurements. Here’s a quick primer for you apprentices out there: the ratio measures the distance-to-spot. In other words, how far away you are (distance) from the measurement area (spot). At 20 feet away, your measurement area is 1 foot in diameter.
Incidentally, the target area is a diameter because the dual targeting lasers create a range for accuracy. That diameter shrinks or grows in with the distance.
Compare that to IR thermometers with an 8:1 or 12:1 resolution and the Klein IR10’s advantage is clear: smaller ratios mean you have to be closer to pinpoint the same spot.
Parameters, Limits, and Alarms
The IR10 collects measurement maximums, minimums, averages, and differences so you don’t have to see and remember those numbers in real time. You can set high and low limits to find those readings that fall outside your custom ranges. Audible and visual alerts let you know when you come across a temp that’s outside your range.
Tough Meter Status
A 9-volt battery powers the Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer for roughly 8 hours of continuous use. The battery cover secures with a small screw and the whole unit earns an IP54 rating. Klein tells us the IR10 can survive a 9.9-foot drop, too.
Are you ready for the best part of the $89 Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer?
The Southwire 31040S has a bit wider range at -58° to 1500°F but costs $99.98. You can find Extech’s IRT500 for $100 and it has a relatively limited range of -58 to 500°F. The Flukes 64 Max’s range is -22° to 1112°F and it will set you back about $203.
Southwire and Fluke have an advantage in accuracy at +/- 1% instead of Klein’s +/- 1.5%.
Looking at the field, Klein puts together a pretty nice package at this price.
The Bottom Line
As a diagnostic tool, the Klein IR10 has a place in nearly every electrician, HVAC, and MRO tool bag. Thermal imaging is still easier to visualize, but you’ll pay a much higher price to get the kind of temperature range you get from this $84 IR thermometer. Even Klein’s closest competitors’ 20:1 IR thermometers have a tough time trying to offer a better value.
Klein Tools Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer Specifications
- Item Number: Klein Tools IR10
- Materials: plastic housing, electronic components
- Battery: 9V
- IR: 32° F and Above: +/- 3° F or +/- 1.5% (Whichever is Greater)
- Less Than 32° F: +/- (3.6° F + 0.2° F per Degree)
- K-Type: 32° F and Above: +/- 2° F or +/-% (Whichever is Greater)
- Above 32° F: +/- 3° or +/1% (Whichever is Greater)
- Range: -40° to 1200° F (-40° to 650° C)
- Response Time: <150ms
- Length: 7 inches
- Height: 4.49 inches
- Width: 2.05 inches
- Weight: 7.40 oz
- Price: $99