Top pH meters reviewed – Buying guide & Comparison for 2018
If time is not something that you can spare but you still want to find out what the best pH meter is, it’s a good thing you are reading this article, as in the following lines you’ll find the answer you are looking for. Our team has decided to give you a hand and conducted an extensive research on the critically acclaimed products in this category. The conclusion we reached is that the pH meter you should consider is Apera Instruments’ AI209 model. This is a versatile device designed for multiple applications and it offers up to 3 auto calibration points. With a working temperature range of 0-50˚C and an auto temperature compensation functionality, you can be sure that you’ll get reliable results in varying temperature conditions. In case this unit is unfortunately unavailable, the option you should keep in mind is the Apera Instruments SX610 model that offers similar benefits.
A pH meter is typically used in gardening, aquarium water testing and pool maintenance. Wine making and cheese making workers also use pH meters to ensure consistent flavor in their products. Another less common use of a pH meter is for stain removal, such as when determining what type of cleaning solution is to be used to clean off stains from carpet or fabric. What sets apart the top rated products in the best soil pH meter reviews?
A form factor you are comfortable with
If you want the greatest versatility, a benchtop model provides the best solution. Depending on the model you choose, a benchtop unit accommodates the addition of data loggers, built-in printers and various accessories and probe arms. Most benchtop pH meters are filled with features and offer fantastic precision. They can also feature either standard or extended range.
Standard range pH meters measure the standard pH scale from 0 to 14, enabling use for most applications that involve water-based solutions. Some models have smaller scale, such as from 4 to 10, although these types are not suitable for most lab environments.
On the other hand, extended range benchtop models are perfect for applications that need a base acid beyond the standard pH scale from 0 to 14. The reading may be as high as +20 or a negative one such as -2. Substances such fluorosulfonic acid and triflic acid fall under that category and thus are called superacids. Superacids are typically utilized in the production and maintenance of, organic cations, which act as intermediate molecules to facilitate a variety of reaction, including those that involve the production and research of high-octane gasoline and plastics.
Extended range pH meters come with varying resolutions. For highly sensitive lab applications, a pH resolution of 0.001 is ideal where a reading of three decimal places is needed. Basic lab applications can be handled with a ph resolution of 0.01 to deliver pH readings of two decimal places when needed. For basic lab applications that need a ph reading of one decimal place, you will want benchtop model with pH resolution of 0.1.
Portable handheld pH meters used to be deficient in sophisticated features compared to their benchtop cousins. With advances in technology, many of today’s portable units are designed to be almost as advanced as benchtop models, making them a suitable option for lab and field applications. Some portable pH meters carry a pen-style design for easy carrying in the pocket.
Like benchtop models, portable units also come with either standard or extended range. Measuring the standard pH scale between 0 and 14, standard portable pH meters handle most applications that use water-based solutions. Smaller scale pH meters that read from 4 to 10 are not really designed for lab use. Extended range portable pH meters are used for applications that need a base acid falling beyond the standard scale between 0 to 14, with the reading either as high as +20 to a negative 2 (-2). Triflic acid and fluorosulfonic acid along with other superacids fall in this category and are useful in the production and maintenance of organic cations that are needed in facilitating various reactions including those involving high-octane gasoline research and production along with plastics creation. Extended range portable pH meters come with the same pH resolutions as those of benchtop models.
Reliable precision and calibration
A pH meter that has at least +/- 0.01 to 0.02 pH units is needed for brewing applications. This type of pH meter enables testing of mash pH and also offers good detection capabilities for pH rises in beer, which is a sign of autolysis. +/- 0.1 may be too little but for those on a particularly tight budget, such a level of precision may be enough if your only purpose is to obtain the correct mash pH range.
Calibration may either be manual or automatic. Two knobs have to be adjusted with manual calibration, with one knob for the slope (pH 4.00 or 10.00) and the other for the offset (pH 7.00) after the probe is put into the appropriate calibration buffer. With automatic calibration, the instrument can either recognize the buffer on its own or tell you what buffer to put the probe into.
Dependable Temperature correction and other features
A pH meter can come with manual or automatic temperature correction or none at all. The pH of the solution is not the only element that affects the pH probe; it is also influenced by the temperature of the solution, which needs to be known. That being said, with temperature, the actual pH of the solution may also change. Your option here is to always measure pH at a constant temperature or to state the temperature the pH was measured at. Calibration buffers also act in the same concept, with their nominal pH at 25 degrees Celsius for calibrating the pH meter. Aside from that, you may have to know the pH of the solution at its actual temperature. A lot of buffer solutions come with a table that lets you see these pH changes.
An mV readout proves to be necessary because the slope of the pH meter is used to gauge its age. BNC connections are standard for the connection of pH probes. They enable you to enjoy a wider choice of replacement probes since you are not limited to a particular connector design.
Our 2018 list: Find the right pH meter for your needs
There are many options on pH meters available on the market, which can complicate the entire buying process. We encourage consumers to consult the above buying guide for helpful tips that can ease up the shopping experience. We have also showcased the best products below for even more shopping assistance.
Apera Instruments AI209
Test the pH of pools and spas, hydroponics, beer, wine and so much more with this versatile and compact device. The Apera Instruments AI209 is one of the most reliable pocket pH testers that you can find today on the market. Judging by how positive the customers have reacted to it, we can safely say that this is also among the best options you can possibly buy, especially if you require an accurate device.
Say goodbye to messy and complicated user interfaces as this alternative is as straightforward to use as it can get. With an easy auto calibration that uses buffer recognition and a compensation that ensures accuracy in variant temperature, you get a product that is easy to use and that offers only the most accurate information.
To help you even further, with the built-in auto recognition and stable values system, the consistency of the data that you receive will be improved so that you don’t have to guess when to manually hold measurement.
Furthermore, you will also get great battery life seeing as you can get 2000 hours of continuous operation. It is safe to say that you will never have to worry about your device dying when you need it the most.
The user-friendly design and interface make the Apera Instruments AI209 extremely easy to use even by users that have never operated such a device.
You get a complete kit with everything that you need to start using this device. Calibrations solutions, a quick guide, a carrying case and a lanyard that will make sure you never lose or drop your compact tester.
The large and clear LCD display is easy to read and it provides only the information that you need in an intuitive way.
The quality glass-bulb pH sensor that this alternative employs will guarantee that you get only the most accurate readings.
With the aid of just two AAA batteries, you get an impressive battery life of up to 2000 hours of continuous operation. As a plus, you get two batteries included with your purchase.
To ensure accurate readings the device might need frequent recalibrations, but thankfully the kit provides you with all the necessary tools.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Apera Instruments SX610 Waterproof
Featuring an easy single-button operation, the Apera Instruments SX610 pH Pen Tester is a reliable measuring device that can easily fit into a slim container, such as a test tube.
This is a cost-effective choice if you need to perform regular pH testing, including aquaculture, hydroponics, and water treatment for different locations such as pools, spas, or brewing facilities.
Given that the pH probe is replaceable, this makes it especially suitable for educational purposes. The meter comes with a complete kit of calibration and storage solutions, as well as with Lithium batteries, everything being included in a convenient, portable carrying case.
One of the things that makes this product stand out is the waterproof construction which means that even if it falls into the water by accident, it will float and you can easily retrieve it. Moreover, the Easy Auto Calibration functionality and the intelligent features that allow the user to switch from ˚F to ˚C make this device a user-friendly one.
Among the many functions featured by this device there’s the automatic power-off, low battery alarm, and pH probe invalidation reminder that lets you know it’s time to replace the probe in order to obtain a better performance.
Built with user-friendliness in mind, the full test kit can fit into your pocket
All of these render this pen tester a reliable one, especially since its performance also includes a ±0.1 pH/1.0˚C accuracy with 0 to 14.0 pH measuring range.
The Auto Temperature Compensation ensures accuracy even in variable temperatures so that you can safely and effectively use this device in any type of environment you might need its services in.
The instrument cannot accurately measure distilled or deionized water for pH testing, and a specialized pH electrode is needed in this case.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($57.65)
Apera Instruments PH60S
This tester from Apera Instruments measures the pH level of different types of food such as cheese, sushi rice, fruits, meat, and other solid or semi-solid samples. These can also include categories such as cosmetics or soil. The results are quick and reliable, as the probe uses the Swiss LabSen sensor technology.
This technology features a spear glass membrane that has a long life reference system, a built-in temperature sensor, as well as a double junction structure that doesn’t include a diaphragm, and that renders the device maintenance-free and prevents clogging issues that might otherwise show up.
What is also important to know is that the meter is CE certified and comes with a 2-year warranty from the manufacturer. The company is highly specialized in designing and producing scientific instruments and sensors for a wide range of testing categories, so you can rest assured that this product is reliable and user-friendly.
The PH60S model comes with an Easy Auto Calibration functionality that features an auto buffer recognition, while the Auto Temperature Compensation goes from 0 to 50˚C which means that you can safely use it in multiple environments and get the same accurate results.
An auto hold function is available, as well, saving you from having to guess when to manually hold the measurement.
The complete kit comes ready-to-use and includes calibration solutions, calibration bottles, storage solutions, as well as batteries and a lanyard, all in a convenient portable case.
The large 3-color backlit screen features a dual display of temperature and pH values, as well as indications of completed calibrations and stable readings. This way, you won’t need to worry about getting consistent and accurate results right away.
One thing to consider is the maximum temperature supported by the device. If you need to do measurements beyond that, then be aware that the device will not be able to provide the same reliable results.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($163.38)
With Sonkir’s MS02 model you can test moisture, pH value and sunlight level around your plants, given that the device enables you to quickly specialize in understanding what you need to do to control the pH value in the soil and how to measure the other indicators in order to maintain them within the adequate parameters.
Moreover, you can also track all the changes as they are taking place, which means you can also start taking preventive measures before any change in the environment significantly affects the plants’ health.
The device is also very easy to use and all you need to do is to take a few simple steps. First, you must switch to moisture or pH position according to what you want to measure, then insert the probe into the soil about 2-4 inches, adjust the position until the pointer on the dial swings slightly and then check the reading after 10 minutes.
Don’t forget to always wipe the probe clean in order to maintain its functionality at an optimal level.
The premium Double-needle Detection Technology significantly enhances the speed and accuracy of the measuring process.
Furthermore, in terms of usability it is good to know that no batteries are needed, so that’s one thing less to worry about.
This tester was designed to be highly portable, which means it’s easy to carry around for outdoor use in different environments and for different plants, such as home plants, gardens, lawns, and even farms.
If you are curious to know more about the quality of the soil you have around your home, you can safely give this product a try.
Given that the pH function of this soil tester was specially designed for this type of testing, it cannot be used to measure the pH value of any other liquid.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($10.49)
Dr.meter’s Ph100-V is a reliable measuring device that helps you establish the pH level of the water or solution that you need to test. The handheld design is easy to maneuver and this model has been widely used in different areas such as hydroponics, education, swimming pools, and other water treatments.
Given that it comes with an Automatic Temperature Compensation functionality, you can rely on accurate readings even in fluctuating temperatures. The pH measuring range goes from 0 to 14, and the resolution is of 0.01.
If we’re talking about specifications, it’s a good time to mention that the temperature range goes between 32-122°F, and the overall weight is of 88g. Of course, this weight also means that the device is highly portable and that you can take it with you if you need it in different locations.
The complete kit includes the meter, a calibration packet, the user manual and 4 button cells, all in a convenient carrying case.
The user manual is clearly written and easy to follow, and once the calibration is correctly done, the device starts giving accurate readings of the pH values around your home.
Moreover, even if you drop it into water or liquids by accident, it will still keep working, so that’s one thing you should not be concerned about. This also means that your kids can learn how to use it in order to better understand how to properly measure pH levels and how these affect different elements around us.
You should make sure to correctly maintain this instrument by regularly cleaning it, and to follow the testing instructions in order to get the most reliable results.
For some users, the display is rather small and the symbols might be hard to read because of this. If you are not sure what the symbols mean, make sure to read the user manual.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
If you want the best pH meter for brewing, the Jellas™ Pocket Size is for you. This device is a fantastic Mini Water Quality Tester for aquariums and swimming pools with its extended range of 0 to 14.0 pH, making it suitable for a wide variety of applications.
The 0.1pH Resolution ensures reliable accuracy. This device is designed to easily go in your pocket for on-the-go testing in wine and beer making, hydroponics systems, the swimming pool or your aquarium and drinking water. The LCD display shows you the readings clearly. Superbly easy to use, the device has a protective cap that you simply remove so the electrodes can be immersed in the solution.
Eliminating the need for often messy litmus strips, the device only weighs 1.76 ounces and has dimensions of only 5.94 x 1.22 x 0.79 inches for easy portability. The supplied carry case simplifies portability even further while providing easy storage.
The device also comes with a calibration screwdriver that ensures consistently accurate measurements, along with two buffer powders for calibration and a user’s manual to familiarize you with the product’s features. The protective cap protects the electrodes from damage while being easy to remove before testing. This durable product boasts high quality construction for years of use. The convenient LCD display enables reliable and quick reading of measurements.
Suitable for a variety of applications, this mini-pH tester can be used to measure the quality of your drinking water as well as the water in a hydroponics system, spa, aquarium, swimming pool, restaurant, and laboratories, for an exceptional and consistent quality control.
This is an indispensable device for wine and beer making, vinegar manufacture, juice making, and other industries where the liquid pH spells the difference between consumer safety and business failure.
Offering a wide measuring range between 0 and 14, this pH meter delivers fast and dependable readings displayed on the small LCD screen.
Quite easy to use, the device comes with a protective cap that shields the pH meter electrode from damage, plus a convenient ‘on’ and ‘off’ switch for energy efficiency.
Definitely more reliable and handy than messy litmus paper strips, this device settles nicely in your pocket with its portable 1.76-ounce weight and diminutive 5.94 x 1.22 by 0.79-inch dimensions.
The glass probe has to be handled carefully due to its fragility and needs only to be wiped gently with a clean, soft cloth after use and before replacing the protective cap.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($35.99)
Sharkk Basics SKPH-01B
Undoubtedly the best portable pH meter, the Sharkk Basics SKPH-01B comes with a light and compact design that makes it easy to carry around. The backlit LCD display enables you to view clear digital readings that are easy to read even in the dark.
The calibration button eliminates the need for messy test strips, resetting the unit between readings. This multifunctional pH meter enables use for a wide variety of applications around the house, whether it’s for testing the acidity and alkalinity of drinking water, the pool or even food. It offers full spectrum measuring range from 0 to 14.
This pH tester is very easy to use. Just place it in the test solution and wait for the reading to appear on the display. The convenient silicone gel design makes the device lightweight and easy to use. Only six inches in length, the instrument is easily portable and can easily be tucked into a side or coat pocket for all-around functionality .
You’ll love how the device simplifies pH measurement anywhere around the house, eliminating the need to carry too much bulk around with you just to find out if your swimming pool is ready for your next swimming party or your water is still safe to drink. This pH meter ensures your continued health and well-being.
This device is designed as a full-spectrum Multi-Function, portable pH Tester that comes with a measuring range of 0 to 14 to suit a wide range of applications in the home, for commercial establishments, and anywhere that requires the strict monitoring of the water quality.
The backlit LCD display enables you to view the measured values with ease so you can do the testing even in poor lighting situations.
The convenient calibration button eliminates the need for troublesome test strips because the pH meter can simply be placed in any liquid for testing and then the reading will be displayed on the small screen.
The light and compact design guarantees a great portability of the instrument for use around the home when testing the pool water, drinking water, and even the food you eat to ensure your safety.
The bulb on the meter is quite fragile so care must be taken during handling and use or when taking the cap off.
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The VantaKool PH01 is easily the best cheap pH meter on the market thanks to its super pocket-friendly price while being perfect for both laboratory and household use. It is useful for a variety of applications including pH balance testing of aquariums, pools, drinking water, hydroponics, spa and RO systems.
Providing fast and accurate readings, this device eliminates the need to work with messy test trips and color charts that can sometimes be prone to mistakes in interpretation. It promises a 0.01 resolution, and 0.05 accuracy along with full pH 0-14 measurements.
Providing easy calibration, the PH101 also eliminates the need for adjustment screwdrivers since you only have to press a button to complete the calibration process. It can be used directly right out of the box because it has been factory calibrated. The meter comes with Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC), which automatically accounts for changes in temperature.
The package includes not just the pH meter but also two 1.5-volt LR44 button cells, a user manual that familiarizes you with the features of the device, plus two pH buffer powders for calibration. The pH meter has a 0.01pH High Accuracy,plus 0.01 Resolution Measure and 0.00-14.00 Measurement Range to handle sensitive applications. Lightweight at just 1.83 ounces, the device also ships with its own carrying case.
Offering an impressive 0.01pH high accuracy, this instrument can be used as a reliable water quality tester for your household drinking water, ensuring the safety and welfare of your entire family.
This device is suitable for both laboratory and household use, as well as or commercial establishments such as restaurants, where the pH balance of the drinking water is of utmost importance at all times.
This is also a practical means of measuring the pH level of the water in your aquarium, pool, reverse osmosis (RO) system, hydroponics installations, spas, and a variety of other applications.
This device eliminates the need for messy test strips and tedious color charts because it gives the results quickly while ensuring a good level of accuracy.
The instrument comes with its own carrying case for a problem-free transport, plus the calibration pockets that help ensure a consistent accuracy and measuring capacity at all times.
Care needs to be taken when handling the glass bulb of the electrode, which is quite fragile.
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Genuinely the best handheld pH meter on the market, the Milwaukee MW102 is perfect for those working on a tight budget but definitely wouldn’t’ want to compromise on fast readings and reliable measurements. This standard portable pH and temperature meter carries a simple design but is sure to do the job efficiently.
Easy to use yet awesomely accurate, this model is perfect for classroom, general field and laboratory use. It is a microprocessor-based unit with extended range from -2.00 to 16.00 pH to make it suitable for high sensitivity applications. This pH meter comes complete with a ma911b/1 ph electrode, as well as a 20 ml sachet each of pH 4.01 and pH 7.01 calibration solutions. It is powered by a 9-volt battery that is supplied in the package.
The MW102 comes with Automatic Temperature Compensation that allows you to do continuous pH readings because of the wide range of temperatures at which the sample can be tested, eliminating the need to use a temperature compensation chart or to measure samples only at room temperature.
The automatic calibration capability of this meter in 2 points and ±0.02 pH accuracy ensure reliable readings every time. The unit also ships with 20 ml each of pH 4.01 and pH 7.01 calibration solutions and a SE220 pH electrode plus a MA830R stainless steel temperature probe.
This is the device to get when you are on a low budget but would still want to obtain quick and dependable measurements of the quality of your drinking, pool, aquarium, or hydroponics water systems.
The instrument ships with 20 ml sachets of both pH 4.01 and pH 7.01 calibration solutions to ensure a consistent accuracy in every measurement task.
This product comes complete with a ma911b/1 ph electrode for problem-free pH level monitoring of various sources of water as well as other solutions that have to be strictly monitored for quality control.
The 9-volt battery runs the pH meter that also doubles as a temperature meter, helping you determine whether your pond or aquarium is at the optimum levels to help your fish grow well and thrive.
This is an easy-to-use instrument that is also practical and accurate at the same time so it makes a great tool for use in the classroom and laboratory as well as for general fieldwork use.
This model is a microprocessor based pH/temperature meter that offers an extended range along with an automatic calibration in 2 points and ±0.02 pH accuracy and Automatic Temperature Compensation, for a consistent performance.
The temperature reading on this pH meter only reads in the Celsius scale and also entails that the temperature button should be held down continuously.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($113.98)
The Proffcenter PH-02 is definitely the best digital pH meter for hydroponics thanks to its awesome ability to determine the pH balance of the water. With an extended range of 0.00-14.00 pH, the device can be used for a wide variety of applications.
It can be used to check the quality of your drinking water, swimming pool water and aquarium to ensure your safety as well as that of your pets. Small yet fast and accurate, this device boasts automatic calibration as well as Automatic Temperature Compensation for convenient and fuss-free use every time.
It’s’ the perfect tool to test the acidity or alkalinity of liquids. With a 0.01pH resolution plus a 0.05pH range of error, the device enables a wide variety of laboratory and household uses that also include brewing, laboratory testing and others. It comes to you factory calibrated so you can use it right out of the package. Calibration can be carried out without the need to use an adjustment screwdriver.
The package also comes with everything you need to get started on your pH balance testing tasks. You get not just the pH meter but also two 1.5V LR44 button cells(built-in), three pouches of buffer powders, one convenient carrying case for fuss-free portability and a user’s manual to help you optimize the device.