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Handheld Pyrometer recommendations?

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Hi, I'm new here.


Currently looking for budget-friendly handheld pyrometer. Wanted to see what others have purchased and/or can recommend. Thinking about the Skutt handheld unit for around $120


Our gas kilns already have built-in pyrometers on the back wall and they work great. The handheld is used mainly for auxillary use at the spy ports in the front/bottom of the kilns, or on a kiln-sitter electric. So rather than having the down time in trying to diagnose/fix the thing, I'd rather buy another and have the old as a spare whenever I can figure it out. I can't get a fancy one because it gets used by students who won't appreciate it or will drop/break/misplace/steal it.


Right now, we have a Fluke 51 k/j pyrometer that I'm guessing is well over 10yrs old. Lately it's been giving us problems and giving funky readings when it decides to work - for me it works just fine, but when i'm gone the other users complain it gives issues like where it'll be climbing and all of a sudden will start to drop instead of keep climbing. It also climbs temp REALLY slow - seems to climb in increments of 0.3*/second and takes FOREVER to climb to temp of a firing kiln - is this normal? I've already replaced the 9v battery and replaced the thermocouple with another - the battery helped a bit because I think it was low, but the thermocouple doesn't seem to have done much. Have not yet replaced the thermocouple wire to rule that out.


Kinda on the same subject - can anyone give recommendations on a unit that will read the moisture content in a kiln? We always fire large sculpture and deal with students just learning to manually fire gas kilns - it would be really nice to be able to SHOW them how dry/wet the kiln is before turning on burners instead of our "scientific" methods: "smell" the air, "grab and feel" the air, mirror/glass, etc.




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I have been around many hand held pyro's

My fluke 51k/j has been the best of them-I melted it over 10 years ago and you can order any part for it from fluke-hence its still ticking-I may have had this for way over 20 years now

It goes to high temps -many cheap pyro's only go to 2000 in fahrenheit

I'd get that fluke fixed if it needs it-I bet the kiln is just moving slow and the flukes fine

If you are only wanting to go to 2000 in k in fahrenheit an above in celsius only I have an ULTIMAX 1T that works good-they are cheaper than flukes

both have the same plug in configure

After 2000k you turn it to C scale to continue going up


Flukes are the best in my view-they also cost more

If you want to sell that old 51 j/k I'll buy it -heck sounds like its on its last legs

Let see what other's say


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yeah, i'm not really sure what's up with the Fluke unit. maybe it's just a fluke (hahaha), but last evening i was FINALLY able to see for myself the "weird" issues it was having. it just randomly wants to start counting down instead of keep climbing. It was working fine all day and then I moved the thermocouple to another spy port when it started dropping and wouldn't climb again. swapped the thermocouple again to a brand new one, even tried switching the wires around to no avail. i even tried testing it in a stream of cold water from a chilled drinking fountain (after it was reading room temp) and all of a sudden it jumped to over 100*F instead of drop. i dunno what to say...


john, what model of the Omega units do you like?

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