ThermoWorks IR-IND Industrial Infrared Review

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The ThermoWorks IR-IND Infrared Thermometer is the company's high-end unit in this category. It features a precise 30:1 measurement angle and will accept normal thermocouple temperature probes as well, a feature not typically found on units of this type. It comes at a somewhat steep price tag - $149. There is a similar unit, the IRK-2, with a wider cone of measurement that also has the ability to use an external probe that lists for $89.
 
Unlike most IR thermometers that have a single red laser dot to indicate the direction the unit is pointed, this unit projects a circle with eight laser dots that define the perimeter of the area being measured. This gives the user a clearer idea of the size of the measurment circle. Naturally, as the distance to the target increases, the diameter of the circle also increases, providing visual feedback about the size of the target. (My cat doesn't know what to make of it.)
 
The temperature readings found in this review were taken with a ThermoWorks probe plugged into the jack on the side of the unit. Measuring the accuracy of the infrared sensor is more difficult. I don't have the fancy equipment to present controlled temps to the unit for testing, so I had to improvise. I used a dish of ice water, a pot of simmering water, a pan with some hot cooking oil in it, and a room temperature reference, also a pan of oil. The results are summarized below:
 
TEMP TESTACTUAL (°F)MEASURED (°F)
Ice Water32°34°
Room Temperature86° 86°
Simmering Water205°190°
Hot Oil345°334°
The display shows the instantaneous temperature in large numbers. One can select a secondary display of the maximum, the minimum, the difference between min and max, and the average temperatures during this pull of the trigger. High and low alarms can be set that will provide a visible and audible alert if their settings are exceeded. The emissivity is available and settable by the user. The backlight and the laser can be turned on or off. The battery status has its own icon to warn of depleted batteries. The unit can also be placed in a constantly-on condition to monitor temperature extremes without holding down the trigger.
 
Both the IR-IND and the IRK-2 are available as kits with a conventional temperature probe included. You could also choose from a large selection of compatible probes from ThermoWorks, expanding on the utility of this thermometer. 
 
The instruction sheet is reasonably complete with more detailed information available on the company's website. Contact information is available on the website if technical assistance is required. I could not find an explicit warranty duration, but this company has an excellent reputation for customer service.
 
This is a full-featured, high-quality infrared thermometer with a high price. If the $149 is too steep, consider the IRK-2 with the same feature set but a wider measurement angle for $89. Quality comes at a price, after all. This unit gets a solid Platinum Medal for quality of construction, features and performance.
Thermometer Function: 
Hand-held
Leave in Food
Leave in Cooker
Infrared Gun
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price: 
$149.00
Included: 
Thermometer, batteries, instructions
Probes: 
Probes not included, but are offered with this unit as kits at reduced cost.
Battery type: 
2xAAA, included
Battery life: 
Not Specified
Min / Max: 
-76 to 1400°F (-60 to 760°C) -IR sensor
Ambient operating temperatures: 
32 to 122°F (0 to 50°C)
Display precision: 
0.1º
At 32ºF it actually reads: 
31.4
At 130°F it actually reads: 
128.9
At 225°F it actually reads: 
223.5
At 325°F it actually reads: 
323.0
Speed from 32°F to 212°F: 
n/a
Size of numbers in display: 
0.5" (12mm)
Water resistance rating: 
Not Specified
Alarms: 
Audible/Visible
Weight: 
8.75 oz. (248g)
C/F Switch: 
Yes
Backlight: 
Yes
Adjustable: 
Yes
Auto shutoff: 
Yes
Colors: 
Yellow
Sensor: 
Thermocouple

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Bill McGrath

Bill McGrath is AmazingRibs.com's Thermometer Maven. He has sophisticated equipment, an electrical engineering degree from Cornell University, and an MBA (almost) from UC Berkeley. Despite being mostly retired, he is still the person responsible for developing and updating all of ExxonMobil's electricians' training modules.

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