When searching for the best thermal imager for the money, you’re going to need to compare features.
The price point on these thermal imaging cameras is based on the different features, and more specifically the Infrared Detector Resolution.
I’ve researched which products have the best price points based on features. This outline will be of products from FLIR, who offer the widest range when it comes to prices. FLIR also offers thermal imagers you can use with your iPhone or Androi device.
Enter the FLIR TG54 Spot Infrared Thermometer
This is your basic infrared resolution thermometer.
I’ve personally used this monitor many times while checking the temperatures of the cylinders on large diesel engines.
It works well, and is the cheapest model outlined in this review. That being said, it’s very limited in its features. This model is a thermal imager but does not have a camera.
It’s main function, in simple terms, is to spot temperature differences from one area to another. This is really an introductory model to thermal cameras.
People have found it useful for various tasks:
- Computer heat loss
- Insulation heat differences (door leaks)
- Spotting animals (limited distance range)
Overall this is a great unit and has received great feedback, but it does have its limitations.
Enter the FLIR TG165 Spot Thermal Camera with Image Storage
If you’re interested in the image storing feature, then you’ll want to upgrade to the TG165 model.
It’s still priced very well, and for those who want to pay a little extra will get the image storing feature. You can download the images to a sd card.
One complaint with both of these models is that the screens are too small. Because this is a handheld device, and on the lower range in terms of these products, you’re not going to get a large screen size, so that’s important to understand.
That being said, many people have been very impressed with the range on the TG165.
When it comes to thermal cameras, these are two of the cheaper models, but both have received great reviews.
Enter The E Series Models from FLIR
If you’re interested in more features and more resolution, then you’ll want to consider the E Series models.
They deserve to be mentioned in this specific review, as they’re still very well priced, however they are more expensive than the models above.
Here is the breakdown of the resolution differences:
- E4: 60 x 80
- E5: 90 x 120
- E6: 120 x 160
- E8: 240 x 320
They all come with MSX imaging technology.
This is patented technology which produces very high quality images. These products are used by homeowners and professionals for many different tasks such as:
- Detecting electrical issues
- HVAC problems
- Loss of insulation
- Water damage
- Pest problems
For this specific series of models, I recommend you visit the website to find a full breakdown on all the differences. Review them here.
Final Thoughts and Moving Forward
Most people should be able to find a suitable thermal imager from the links above.
Depending on the features you need, you might want to explore all the products offered by FLIR. You can find their listings here.
Again this breakdown featured more of the less expensive models. Depending on your needs, these units can get quite expensive as the resolution and features are enhanced.