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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 27 June 2014
I bought this to measure the temp of several aquariums - it's great, instant reading when pointed at the tank, then move on to the next. Bright clear backlit screen for results, takes a regular 9v square battery which is supplied.

Obviously I spent the first few days measuring the temperature of everything from my dog, oven, tea, the sun (results inconclusive on that one - possibly slightly out side the usable range) as well as winding the cat up with the laser pointer. So to sum up, it's a thermometer which functions very accurately and quickly, looks like a gun and has a laser on it. Obviously everyone needs one of these in their life.
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on 11 June 2013
This is accurate enough within a couple of feet of object being tested (well within 1 degree c always) i use it for my stove and its flue pipe temp, also to balance my C H radiators and for checking the fresh water for aquarium is same as aquarium temp (so water changes gives no shock to the fish).
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on 27 December 2013
I bought this to help with our cooking. For Christmas day we were going to have triple cooked chips which required the chip fat to be at specific temperature. I am also planning on doing all grain home brew and again wanted a contactless way of measuring temperature.

The item arrived promptly, with a 9V battery and is so simple to use. I don't know ho long I spent zapping my hand, wall and radiators, the dog and my children to see their temperature and it soon turned into a game of guess the temperature. I found a cold spot in our dining room which explains why it's always so cold, was able to measure the temperature of our oven and ended up cooking superb chips for Christmas day lunch. I have heard sceptical comments about using this to measure liquid temperatures as it will only measure the surface temperature, but a bit of stirring will normally make sure the surface temperature reflects the whole of the the liquid.

On the technical side, I am not sure how accurate it truly is, but other reviews have commented on this. All I can say s that it is useful piece of kit, a bit of fun too, and will no doubt be well used for years to come.
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I bought this primarily to use in the kitchen, but also partly just out of curiosity as to how good it could actually be.

I’ve found it to be very accurate within the temperature range I’ve used it in (around 20-200°C) when compared with my independently calibrated thermocouple. You just point and pull the trigger and you get the temperature reading to within 0.1°C on the screen.

The screen has a backlight which can be turned on or off as can the laser guide.

It’s worth pointing out that the temperature reading is for a circle of an increasing diameter depending on the distance you are from the object you're taking the reading from. This is at a ratio of roughly 12:1, so if you’re 90cm from an object then the temperature reading you receive is for a 7.5cm diameter circle, centred on the red laser point.

I’ve found it great for checking oven/pan temperatures, the heat of food before serving and also really useful for checking the temperature of sugar when making caramel, nougat and marshmallows.

One thing that I have found is that if you’re using this in the kitchen and steam gets onto the lens of the thermometer then the readings you get are not very accurate, not ideal if you’re trying to heat a ban of water to a specific temperature, but in the same way it’s not a big problem as it’s easy enough to give the lens a quick wipe.

Overall I have to say that I'm very happy with this thermometer, it’s very well built and accurate, I’d thought it was going to be a bit of a gimmick when I bought it, but instead I now find myself using it all the time and relying on it.
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For a simple point and click optical IR thermometer this can be surprisingly accurate, but only if you follow the sound advice given in the instruction sheet and use it intelligently.

It can be used to take a spot reading centred on (or near to) the place indicated by the laser pointer and this is held on the display for seven seconds after releasing the trigger, or it can be used to sweep across a surface while holding the trigger and show the continuous variation in temperature.

It has three buttons; to toggle between °C and °F, to turn on/off the display back-light, and to turn on/off the laser. The last two options produce a worthwhile power saving doubling the battery life, if one knows where the device is aimed and has enough ambient light to see the display.

Distance is significant, and being closer to the object in question increases the accuracy by choosing a smaller spot. However, it seems to work well at quite long ranges too, provided the target is big enough. The diameter of the spot measured is about 1/12 of the distance to the spot; eg about 8 cms across at about 1 metre distant. For really close targets be aware of the parallax error because of the offset between the sensor and the laser.

As with all these devices it matters what the surface consists of and how much reflectance or not, emissivity or not, etc. For example: three adjacent surfaces in my freezer gave three different indicated temperatures despite all three having been in there for a few days; one was a white plastic ice-cream tub (-17.6°C), one was the dark-printed cardboard top of a ready meal (-21.4°C), and the last surface was the metal foil pot for that same ready meal (-15.1°C). The old fashioned freezer thermometer indicated -21°C.

A similar range of results were obtained with hot surfaces; the blackened dark matte surface of a well seasoned baking tray consistently gave the highest reading in the oven and this also corresponded with that indicated by the digital meat probe and the simple oven thermometer, both sitting on the tray. A shiny new tray was about 20 to 30°C lower and never twice the same reading.

Where this tool really comes into its own is in the scanning for variations in temperature or hot spots or cold spots on things like walls or doors or windows or radiators or brake discs or an exhaust manifold.

It uses a PP3 9V battery and the claimed life is 22 hours of use with laser off and 12 hours with laser on, which in real terms means maybe even years of normal occasional use.

It loses a star because it requires forethought and care to make an accurate measurement, and it is not always a simple random click away from the right answer.

Addendum. 31st December 2014. Poor manufacture.

I was using it yesterday to look at the outside temperatures on the walls of my house, and comparing them with the equivalent inside points as a prelude to an attempt to improve the insulation, and it all worked perfectly. Today it was dead as a dodo, battery only 0.2V instead of 9V. New battery, nothing doing, and then I also noticed the switch no longer clicked. A check with the multimeter showed it was taking 6mA when Off and nothing when On! So I dismantled it and found a very thin loose wire about 2cms long shorting out the power switch and converter chip. Removing the wire allowed it to measure a temperature with an On current of about 5mA (suggesting about 100 hours life in use), and standby current when Off is now only 4uA (about twice as long as the shelf life of the battery).
Alas, it is now walking wounded; the laser and back-light no longer work, it forgets the options chosen on the buttons, and all that is left operational is the temperature reading and the LCD.

Oh well, it was good while it lasted. Down to 3* from my initial 4*.

Addendum 2. 2nd January 2015

Amazon has refunded me the cost, provided a free return label to send the faulty one back, and I have bought another. Back up to 4*.

Addendum 3. 2nd February 2016.

A year later and the replacement continues to work well, and is still on the original battery. The most frequent use now is to check when our horrible Howdens oven (saving up for something better) has stabilised on the correct temperature; open door a crack, aim inside, click, close door, check reading.
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on 28 January 2013
Cheap but certainly up to the job. Checked against an expensive professional calibrated model, the readings were exactly the same.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 February 2014
Despite being relatively inexpensive, this thermometer is actually pretty accurate. I measured steam coming from a boiling kettle peaking at 99.0 degrees C. That's only a 1% level of error. Certainly accurate enough for anything I'll be using it for.

You can enable or disable the laser pointer as necessary, as you can the backlight on the display.

Pulling the trigger enables the 'measure' mode and provides a constantly updating temperature reading. Releasing the trigger 'holds' the reading for around 6 seconds so you can read it off. It then automatically powers off, preserving the battery life.

A great little gadget I wouldn't like to be without, especially at this price.
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on 23 February 2013
This thermometer has done the job I bought it for, to find cold spots in our house. I searched our house for draughts prior to getting this item without success but within a few minutes using the GM550 I had identified several cold spots. This thermometer seems to be fairly accurate around room temp. but below freezing point it is a long way out. I took it outside on a frosty morning when my out door thermometer was at -1.2 C. and I was getting readings around -13 C. As the product description says (Measurement Range: Between -50 °C and 550 °C) but (Operating Temperature: Between 0°C and 40°C) maybe the unit would not be accurate as the operating temp was below freezing.
I then went to the deep freeze opened the lid and aimed the device in the freezer, I got readings between -35 C and -37 C. When I took items from the freezer and tested them I got reading from -30 to -35 C. I have tested temp in deep freeze and it is showing -18.7 C.
I have not had the opportunity to test at high temp yet but did test on boiling kettle aand got reading of 60 C but as this is a polished surface I did not expect an accurate result. So beware of accuracy of this item.
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on 15 June 2016
My main reason for getting this IR temperature gun was for checking the surface temperatures in my reptile’s vivarium’s (Bearded Dragon, Corn Snake and Geko) and its perfect for this and by far the most accurate and easy method for making these spot check and when setting up new viv’s.

It requires one 9v battery which is included, then simply press the trigger and aim the red laser at the surface that you want to read the temperature of, the reading is “live“ whilst the trigger is pressed so the reading on the display will change as you move the red dot to different areas which is great for checking for hot/cold spots on surfaces, then on realising the trigger the current reading is fixed and shown on the display.

There are 3 buttons below the display the first one switches the laser pointer on and off, the second switches the measurement between Celsius and Fahrenheit and the third switches the back light on the display on and off.

This is a cheap and accurate way of taking temperature measurements from many surfaces, it has so many uses it would be impossible to list them all.

Have to add my cats think it’s a great toy and go mad chasing the laser around!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 October 2014
Surprisingly accurate. A friend checked the measurements provided by the GM550 against his premium FLIR model and, over a course of five readings, the 450 degrees C temperature was measured accurately within 20 degrees.

The GM550 is however *very* sensitive to the black body quality of the object being measured. The burned bits on my pizza oven give a spookily accurate reading but the "clean" bits aren't even in the correct ballpark.

This isn't a criticism though because for this price the GM550 is a great buy with an accurate beam.

As long as you understand the basic concept of black body radiation - how IR thermometers work - you won't have much to complain about. For occasional use and if you can't justify the price of a premium model this, I think, is the one to get.
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