3 Best Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers for Automotive Work

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Non-contact infrared thermometers use an infrared scanner to detect the temperature of objects without actually touching them. This can be especially helpful in automotive applications or situations where exposure to the tested object could be harmful.

Keep in mind that the reading you get will depend on the emissivity, or reflectiveness, of the object you are measuring.

Also, remember that even the best non-contact infrared thermometer is only able to measure the temperature at the surface of the test object, and are not suitable for determining what the internal temperature may be.

Important features include the focus ratio, number of lasers, and whether you can adjust the emissivity setting.

Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers

#1 – Fluke 62 MAX Plus Infrared Thermometer

The Fluke 62 Max earns its place as the best non-contact infrared thermometer because it uses dual lasers to give you more control over the surface temperature being checked. The ratio is 12:1, which equates to 1 inch for every inches of distance.

Fluke is known for their superior quality and attention to detail and just like their excellent multimeter line, they are tops when it comes to infrared thermometers. This model can measure temperatures from -22 to +1202 degrees Fahrenheit and has an incredible accuracy of within 1%.

If you need to to check the difference of temperature between two objects in relatively close proximity, this tool is an excellent choice.

Instead of the typical 9 volt battery used by other non-contact infrared thermometers brands, the Fluke 62 Max uses two AA batteries, which don’t last as long but are much cheaper to replace. You could use rechargeable batteries for greater savings over time.

non-contact-infrared-thermometer-reviewsThere are a couple of minor items that need to be carefully considered with the Fluke 62 Max. The first is that the temperature display is short-lived. After only 5 seconds, the backlit screen will go blank.

You can avoid this by switching modes, but as soon as you are idle for a few seconds, the measurement is gone.

The second complaint is that the emissivity of the object you are measuring is important, and the device must be set accordingly.

The Fluke 62 Max manual does not include a list of material values, which would simplify things, but you can find suitable lists on Fluke’s website or elsewhere. If you do not set the emissivity correctly, the relative temperature will not be correct.

>> Check current price <<


#2 – Raytek MT6 Non-contact MiniTemp Infrared Thermometer

Another excellent “temperature gun” is the Raytek MT6. It differs from the Fluke model by having only a single laser, which means it also has fewer comparison functions.

The 10:1 ratio is suitable for most distance temperature measurements, and you will like that the display holds the measurement for 7 seconds. This may not seem like much, but the 2 second difference over the Fluke can save you a lot of surface retesting. The temperature range on the Raytek is -20 to +832 degrees F.

The biggest complaint is that the laser scanner does not accurately read reflective surfaces, but this is a result of how lasers work, and not a fault of the scanner.

If you are going to scan for example, a shiny pot, consider placing a strip of masking tape in the area where you will most commonly focus the beam.

>> Check current price <<


#3 – Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 1080

Replacing the retired Kintrext model below, the Etekcity infrared thermometer is a great budget model. Able to read a surface temperature between -58 to +1,022 degrees F is pretty impressive.

The backlit display is easy to read and a case and 9-volt battery is included which not every manufacturer does for some reason.

The emissivity is fixed at 0.95 and allows for accurate readings of the surface you are measuring. That said, it’s not going to give you the accuracy of a Fluke model.

It offers a 12:1 distance spot ratio which allows you to measure a 1-foot spot from 12 feet away or 1-inch spot from 12 inches away. While it’s not as accurate as the models above, the Etekcity model does the job of figuring out temperature differences which is enough for what most users would need it for.

>> Check current price <<


Kintrex IRT0421 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer (Discontinued)cheap-infrared-thermometer

The Kintrex IRT0421 combines some of the best features of the Fluke and Raytek models, earning it a spot on this list. With a temperature measuring range of -76 to +932 degrees F, it is a bit more versatile than the Raytek but not quite as accurate. It uses a single laser, so you will not be able to perform automatic spot comparisons.

What you will definitely appreciate is that the display holds for 15 seconds after releasing the trigger, more than twice as long as the other top ranked non-contact infrared thermometers.

The biggest complaint is that you cannot set the emissivity level, and that means your temperature readings will vary based on the reflectiveness of the object being measured.

The more reflective the surface, the less likely it will be that you are accurately measuring the temperature of that object, and you could be getting a reading from whatever is being reflected in the surface.

4 thoughts on “3 Best Non-Contact Infrared Thermometers for Automotive Work”

  1. Everyone I know swears by Fluke thermometers. Do you think it’s overkill if I’ll just be using it in my home garage every once in a while? I’m thinking something like the Kintrex would be fine.

  2. @Anthony
    I had the same question. If you can afford it, get the Fluke. We’ve been using them at our shop for years. Not saying the others won’t work, but Flukes hold their value very well if you ever need to resell.

    • You get what you pay for. I really question the accuracy and durability, especially after a few months of use. But if you don’t plan on using it much, don’t need precise accuracy or the ability to calibrate it, it’s worth trying for the low price. Here’s the link for anyone interested.


Leave a Comment