Customer Review

541 of 548 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than its looks: not well described by manual, August 20, 2011
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This review is from: HDE Non-Contact Infrared IR Temperature Gun Digital Thermometer (Misc.)
This IR thermometer seems to use similar modules as more expensive brands. It could be a copy or an OEM version of many branded models, its commonly listed as the DT-380 or DT8380 Infrared Thermometer. For $12, its a steal if you know more about how to work it properly, and it works wonderfully.

Digital Thermometer 8:1 distance:spot ratio for 380C decodes the model number.

I tracked a similar looking manual and nearly identical device to a Chinese factory, See comments.

The manual is nearly identical to the model I received. I can't disassemble the unit to check the PCB and makers mark since part of the unit is glued.

IR thermometers are calibrated against dark or black bodies, and perform worst with reflective surfaces like stainless steel, foil, or mirrors. For best results, point to dark to black surfaces.

I tested it as no worse than 10F off, at best 1F, when measuring dark to black bodies, respectively. Its rubber coating makes an easy grip. The trigger has a sharp click, its not soft and gummy. The LCD is easy to see, and the best angle for viewing its LCD is also the best angle for measuring, perpendicular to the measured surface. Beware that when the measured point is fairly close and localized, regional changes in irregular or curves surfaces can happen, like pottery, cups, and mugs.

Using a black mug and pot, I checked IR readings against 32F ice water and 212F boiling water. The temperature was compared against an Agilent thermocouple. The IR reading was 0.5-2F off from the immersed probe. IR reads of a hot Calrod heater was compared against a thermocouple to 900F+, and the IR thermometer read true, far above its rated temperature. It read body temperature 0-2F off compared to a standard oral thermometer!

At extremes changes of ambient temperature, the focusing lens need to acclimatize, the manual recommends 30 minutes. For example, if taken out to a hot summer day of 100F, from 70F air conditioning, the unit may read low. Likewise, from a warm car to the outdoors during winter. This low cost unit uses a Fresnel plastic lens which is prone to thermal deformation more than other lens materials. How much the error is depends on the extent of the difference between one ambient temp and another: if used too soon the IR light may not be optimally focused onto the IR detector.

I am impressed, so I bought another! I've been looking for a good deal on these for years, even Harbor Freight can't match it.

With 2 units now to compare I tested acclimatization, I took one unit to a 73F cold airconditioned room and left one out doors at 85F for 1 hour. Sure, enough, they were off ~3F when they were reading nearly identical earlier. After 1 hour with both units in the same room, they were off from 0-0.5F, awesome!
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Comments

Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 26, 2011 6:45:36 AM PDT
TpC says:
great review - thanks for sharing tips on how to use it - and explanations on why you can get an inaccurate reading - i too was looking at HFT cheap model, but even with tent sale and discount coupon, this one on amazon is STILL a better deal!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2011 7:42:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2011 7:45:42 AM PDT
You're welcome. Amazon censored my review for who I think the maker is, let me try reposting it. Copy and past it as a URL:

www.cheerman.cn/EnProductShow.asp?ID=95

Here is the user manual:

www.cheerman.cn/EnDownload.asp?Title=Download

Unlike many Chinese brands who copy or simply label other products to sell as their own, cheerman is an OEM source for others and do it very well. I've seen what I think are copies of these IR thermometers [ labelled DT 380 vs Cheerman labeled DT8380 for example, but same color, shape and laybout] and build quality is not as good as these.

Posted on Sep 22, 2011 7:30:57 AM PDT
Adalace says:
That was a very helpful review. I definitely have confidence that this product will fit my needs now.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 23, 2011 10:13:19 AM PDT
Glad it helps, its a great deal the more I use it, it continues to be very accurate used properly. A nice tool to have also as winter approaches. Enjoy.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 10:43:50 AM PDT
LexNoir says:
Nice review albeit a liiiiiiitle over my head. :) Did I read you used this on a person? If so how? My mind is thinking I could use this on a child, but something about lasers and iR pointed at someone's head doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies.

Secondly (the reason I purchased this) is trying to smoke ribs or get the temp right on my grill. Did I read you can point this at meat and it gives almost as good a reading as a probe inserted into the meat? Sorry if all these questions sound ridiculous. I just want to make sure I make the most of this tool.

How can I use it to ensure the temperature of my meats being grilled? Or does it only work for determining the temperature of the grill itself? For example I read 180 degrees internal temp for smoking ribs (don't quote me on that it's been a long time). I have a remote probe, but wondering if this would help me as well.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 11:33:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2011 6:35:59 AM PST
Hi. Thank you. You wouldn't want to use this on a child; don't risk laser in anyone's eyes; you can turn the laser off but you won't be able to aim it best. I used it on myself; I did it just to compare accuracy against an oral thermometer. You can get a good tissue temp in the mouth, open wide and aim for the back of the throat so in a pinch, its adequate for adults.

Alas, the temp for ribs is only the surface temp, not the core temp, it is not as good as inserted into meat. To get good meat temps you need to pierce the meat with a probe.

IR thermometers are only measuring surface temperatures. Note, liquids are a little different, because as part of it heats, it mixes with the cooler liquid until the whole container is about the same temp; so when you use an IR thermometer on it, the surface temperature is about the same as the core. For transparent liquids like water, the IR may read the container temperature, which is now in equilibrium with the liquid. For meat, unless the meat is burned or very well done, the inner temp is often lower than the outer, that's why its still red while the outside is black: the outside is well cooked but not the inside.

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 12:54:58 AM PDT
Please review everything ever! This was an incredibly helpful review!

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 1:47:47 PM PDT
M. Sarkar says:
kudos to M Gozum for an excellent review and good follow-ups

Posted on Oct 30, 2011 4:45:12 AM PDT
Ken W says:
great review

Posted on Nov 10, 2011 6:36:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2011 6:36:56 AM PST
You are all welcome. I just bought my 3rd unit to use for traveling.
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