How to Choose the Best Digital Probe Thermometer for Industrial Use

RI hero Digital Probe Thermometer

What is a Digital Probe Thermometer?

Before we get started, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what a digital probe thermometer is. A digital probe thermometer, or digital temperature probe, is a device that uses sensitive resistors in a stainless-steel probe to measure temperature. Unlike traditional mercury thermometers that take some time to read temperature change, readings on a digital probe thermometer are much quicker. They’re displayed clearly on an LCD screen, making them ideal for industrial settings where speed and clarity are imperative.

Which Industrial Digital Thermometer is Right for You?

Most digital thermal probes use very similar technology and function according to the same principles. The difference really comes down to small but critical differences in the way they’re engineered to work safely and efficiently in certain environments and for different applications. Here are some of the most important features to consider when you’re deciding on a digital probe thermometer for industrial use.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Digital Temperature Probe

  1. Temperature Range

    Temperature calibration in some industries requires industrial probe thermometers that are designed to function in extreme temperatures. The food services industry is a great example, as the calibration of both ovens and cryogenic devices are a regular component of food safety laws and regulations. In applications like these, temperature range will definitely be a factor in your choice of a digital probe thermometer.

  2. Data Logging Capabilities

    If you’re involved in hydrostatic testing, leak testing, or any job that involves general temperature monitoring where live reading and logging is required, you’ll want to be sure your temperature probe has data logging capabilities. This is where our Field Gauge LC10-TA Digital Probe Thermometer really shines. We included a USB port so you can connect to our FieldLab software and watch your data logging as it is happening - live, in graphical detail. It’s a great solution if you’re looking for real-time feedback and few digital temperature probes offer this feature.

  3. Cost

    The average price for most industrial digital temperature probes is between $300-$500. Cost differences are mainly based on the quality of the components used and special features offered.

  4. Intrinsic Safety

    A hazardous location is defined as any area where flammable gasses, vapors, dust, or chemicals are present that could ignite from a spark or a hot surface. To minimize the risk of combustion, all equipment used in these environments must carry the “intrinsically safe” designation, which means they must be engineered to keep operating temperatures low to prevent the risk of ignition. There’s a long list of applications where temperature monitoring is necessary for locations that are considered hazardous, some more obvious than others. Be sure to check the hazard specifications of your applications before choosing a digital temperature probe. There are several intrinsically safe devices available today.

Because of these factors, it’s difficult to do an exact apples to apples comparison of digital temperature probes, but the following chart should be helpful in helping you decide on a device that’s right for you.

Digital Probe Thermometers - Comparison Chart

Manufacturer Model Temperature Range Intrinsically Safe Data Logging Cost
Ralston LC10-TA Thermal Probe -50 to 130 C No Yes $429
Fluke 51 II Handheld Digital Probe Thermometer -210°C to 1200°C No No $340
ThermoProbe TL1-A -40°C to 204°C ATEX & IECEx (Ex ib IIC T4) No $537
ThermoWorks THS-222-555 Reference Thermometer -200 to 200°C No No $299
Cecomp ThermoPro T16B digital temperature indicator –50°C to 200°C No No $389
Fluke 1551a Stik Thermometer & Temperature Calibrator -50 °C to 160 °C (-58 °F to 320 °F) ATEX and IECEx compliant Optional $750-830
digital probe thermometer

So Which Digital Probe Thermometer Should You Choose?

No matter the job, there’s a digital temperature probe out there for you – and if durability and fast, precise readings are important to you, the Ralston LC10-TA Thermal Probe will not disappoint. Built to withstand abuse and cracking, the durable gauge holds up well in tough field conditions and the stainless steel probe takes fast, precise readings so you can quickly get on to the next task at hand. With a long list of features and benefits and a wide temperature range, the LC10-TA is an excellent choice for general temperature monitoring and measurement in non-hazardous locations.

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For questions about digital probe thermometers or any of our pressure calibration products, give us a call at 800.347.6575, contact us or get a quote today!