There are many different types of thermometer available in today’s market. Before you make your purchase, it is vital that you are made aware of the range of products available to you. You should also understand and consider each type of thermometers suitability for various different uses. Complying with safe storage regulations in a catering establishment will require a very different thermometer to manufacturing of goods. Just as a generic office or workplace thermometer is not suitable for critical industrial measurements. At ATP we believe it is important to choose the right thermometer to suit your intended application. So let’s take a look at the different thermometers we offer and their ideal uses.
View types of thermometers at our webstore
Probe thermometers are easily one of the most common types of thermometer. They deliver instant temperature readings of foods, liquids and semi-solid samples. The probe is often equipped with a pointed tip making them ideal for penetration and immersion. They are ideal for use in the catering trade for hygiene testing, retail outlets, and laboratories. Two types are typically available. Fixed probes offer a pen like structure and are often cheaper and simpler to use. Wired probes are often more complex with a at least a 1 metre cable and extra features. Alarms, folding designs and a whole heap of features are available. If being used in a professional environment traceable calibration is something we highly recommend.
Infrared thermometers are one the go-to types of thermometer for non-contact measurement. The non-contact feature makes them the best tool for measuring extremely high or low surface temperatures. It is common for them to include a laser targeting system designed to show the centre of the measurement area. Out of all thermometers, they can be the most complex to use due to complexities such as spot-size and emissivity. We recommend you visit our Infrared page to learn more about them. They find use in places such as the automotive trade and air conditioning systems. Manufacturing processes that involve extreme temperatures also find them useful. Traceable calibration is recommended on these devices as well as a clear understanding of spot size and emissivity.
K-Type Thermocouples (K-Type Thermometers)
K-Type thermocouples are one of the more specialised and niche types of thermometer. They deal with extreme temperatures and are most common in laboratories and industry. This type of device caters for applications that need high precision. Their most notable feature is the ability to facilitate a range of interchangeable plug in probes. ‘K-type’ actually refers to the probe metal composition. We still refer to the unit as a K-Type as it is the most common type of probe. Each probe has a specific purpose. We divide these into the categories of air, liquid, penetration and surface probes. If you have several applications in one professional environment k-types are your best option. Models with multiple sensors allow comparative readings. We recommend you check out our thermocouple probes before purchasing. Due to the high precision needed with these devices we always recommend calibration.
Temperature Data Loggers
Temperature data loggers allow the recording of continuous temperature measurements. Once activated, they record the temperature at predetermined intervals and save it to memory. It is typical to download the data and view it on a graph but some devices display the data in real-time. Most devices are compatible with any pc, laptop or tablet. Their design allows them to track heat levels in critical areas where a constant temperature must exist. Common places to find them includes storage rooms, transportation, and laboratories. Data loggers are ideal if you’d like to submit regular records to management, auditors, or work colleagues. Types of thermometer that perform critical roles such as this should always be calibrated.
Temperature indicator labels are not strictly a type of thermometer but boy are they useful. These labels are self-adhesive temperature proofing foils. They are ideal for use in processes which need to reach specific temperature values such as sterilization. Labels are great for a clear indication of when temperature values are exceeded. We sell a great deal of these to breweries for monitoring tanks during brewing. They are a relatively cheap, yet effective way to achieve permanent records of accuracy. Each foil segment on a label is sensitive to a different temperature and when exposed to its rating will turn black. The most common models are irreversible meaning they are a one time use once activated.
Dual Sensor Thermometers (Indoor Outdoor)
Indoor outdoor thermometers are unique due to how they record and display data. Unlike many other devices they contain two probes. These probes come in a variety of forms. The most common arrangement is an internal probe within the unit itself and an external probe sometimes connect via a wire. The external probe can be placed a long distance away from the unit. Some external probes can be wireless for a longer range. The display shows both readings at the same time allowing direct comparisons. A common use is as fridge freezer thermometers. They are also common in storage areas and classrooms. They are an inexpensive but more durable alternative to analogue devices. We recommend traceable accuracy on any device that gets used in a professional environment .
Analogue thermometers are often one the cheapest and most popular types of thermometer. They are ideal for use in the home or in non-specialist environments where traceable accuracy is not required. Most people associate analogue with liquid filled devices. But the term is inclusive of a range of Bi-Metal devices that operate using mechanical components. The visual display is often a dial or pointer or scale.
Thermal Imaging Cameras
Whilst not strictly a type of thermometer their use in measuring temperature earns thermal imaging cameras an honourable mention. Thermal image cameras allow immediate identification of hot and cold areas via thermal imagery. They are ideal for detecting hidden problems. Thermal imaging cameras have a variety of uses such as surveying buildings to find moisture and leaks. They can also identify energy loss and poor insulation and electrical faults.
Types of Thermometer Continued – Calibration
Besides choosing the right type of thermometer it is also important to understand when you need traceable accuracy. Traceable accuracy can be the difference between high standard of readings and wasting your time. The last thing you want to do it fail a health and safety audit or waste an industrial process. Make sure you are right the first time and learn about the calibration services available to you and your instruments..
When you’re choosing a thermometer it is important to understand how it works. Specifications such as temperature measurement range, resolution and accuracy affect how the thermometer operates. An appreciation of the maintenance required to achieve repeatable measurements is also recommend. Many environmental conditions can interfere with the instrumentation and should be given consideration. Inaccurate readings will affect the credibility of your future measurements and organisation. Look out for future guides explaining all of the above at our blog.