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Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer In-depth Review

The Klein Tools IR1 is precision meets ruggedness. This IR thermometer won’t just shine in the kitchen, but in any garage and workshop, as well!

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer in the gloved hand of a reviewer against a blurry blue backdrop with a kettle.

Overall Verdict

The Klein Tools IR1 is a great IR thermometer, so long you temper your expectations. The thermometer is decently accurate when used on various surfaces and substances. It’s also built solid enough to withstand anything you throw at it, from shocks to high impacts.

But it lacks a lot of basic functions that other IR thermometers got, such as extra measurement modes and a speaker to emit audio cues.

Overall, if you’re looking for a dependable and rugged best infrared thermometer, then the Klein Tools IR1 can be a sensible choice.

Things We Like

  • Rugged, industrial-grade design
  • Quality IR sensor provides decently accurate readings
  • Bright laser emitter
  • Bright backlit LCD display panel

Things We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t come with any extra measurement mode
  • The measurement unit switch and battery are hidden behind a screwed-in door

The Klein Tools brand has been around since as far back as 1857. They know a thing or two about building a good tool.

Besides having decent accuracy, the 10:1 D:S ratio of the Klein Tools IR1 thermometer ensures that it’s a versatile pick for an infrared thermometer — suitable for kitchen use and other tasks like engineering and DIY.

It’s not flawless: the IR1 does lack some additional measurement modes that could enhance its usefulness. Still, if you’re in the market for a good infrared thermometer, the IR1 should be pretty high on the list.

You can check out our full test report below for more information.

Key Specs

Dimensions
L4 x W1.77 x H5.9 inches
Weight
6.8 ounces
Display type
Backlit LCD panel
Measurement modes
0
Audio cues
No
Temperature range
-4 to 752°F (-20 to 400°C)

Where to Buy Price at publication $31.58

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Compared to Other Infrared Thermometers

Ranking by
Showing: 8/13 Items

Analysis and Test Results

7.9 Performance

Overall, the Klein Tools IR1 has very good measurement accuracy. The thermometer received a very good score of 8.66 on the hot test.

However, the Klein Tools IR1’s performance wasn’t quite as good as we had hoped during the cold test. While it received a decently high average score due to its inconsistent readings, the total score of the IR1 was clocked down to just 6.7 out of 10 by our benchmark.

But even with the setback, the Klein Tools IR1 is still one of the most performant infrared thermometers we have in our database (as of May 2023.)

6.7 Cold Test with Ice

Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer Cold Test with Ice Video
The Klein Tools IR1 measuring an ice bath from a distance of 12 inches, with the screen showing 29.1°F.
The Klein Tools IR1 measuring an ice bath from a distance of 16 inches, with the screen displaying 30.9°F.

The test proceeded once the ice bath had chilled down to 32°F (as verified by our temperature probe). We got a reading of 29.1°F at 12 inches and 30.9°F from 16 inches away from the ice bath’s surface.

With an average temperature of 30°F between the two measurements and a difference of 1.8°F, the Klein Tools IR1 only did acceptably well in this test. It gets an average score of 8 according to our benchmark, but due to the difference between either reading, adjusted for stability, the total score of the IR1 only gets to 6.7/10.

Quite a few infrared thermometers did better in this test, such as the Mecurate or the Wintact.

8.7 Hot Test with Cooking Oil

Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer Hot Test with Cooking Oil Video
The Klein Tools IR1 is being used by a reviewer to measure the temperature of a hot pan of oil from 12 inches away. The screen shows 361.8°F.
A reviewer is using the Klein Tools IR1 IR thermometer to measure the temperature of a hot pan of oil from 16 inches away. The screen displays 367°F.

Putting a hot pan of oil on the stovetop, we heat it until the oil has reached a temperature of 361°F and stabilized. Then, we put the thermometer to the test. From a distance of 12 inches, we received a reading of 361.1°F. From 16 inches away, we received 367°F.

With an excellent average temperature reading of 364.4°F — just 3.4°F from the oil’s temperature — the Klein Tools IR1 received a high average score of 9.3. When accounting for the stability variable, which is 0.64, based on the 5.2°F difference between the two temperature readings, the total score of the IR1 in this test came out to 8.66.

This is the best test score in the hot test, with the second-best being the Helect IR thermometer, with a total score of 8.45/10.

8.3 Design

Notably, this infrared thermometer has a holster for more convenient storage.

Overall, the Klein Tools IR1 design is very good for the price. It weighs 6.3 ounces and has an average dimension for an infrared thermometer. It’s cast from plastic and seems to have excellent build quality. As such, we fully expect the thermometer to stand up very well to shocks and impacts.

Our only issue with the design of the Klein Tools IR1 is that it doesn’t come with any control buttons, and the battery compartment is screwed in.

In the Box

The Klein Tools IR1 is lying on its side in the center. To the left is the plastic packaging, to the right is the battery, the canvas holster, and user manual.

The Klein Tools IR1 comes in plastic packaging. Inside, besides the infrared thermometer and a user manual booklet, you’ll also get a battery and a canvas holster to better store the thermometer when you’re not using it.

Dimensions

The Klein Tools IR1 standing upright on its handle on a slate grey concrete table.
Weight
6.8 oz (193 g)
Length
4.0" (10.2 cm)
Width
1.8" (4.5 cm)
Height
5.9" (15.0 cm)

The dimensions and weight of the Klein Tools IR1 are about average for an infrared thermometer. It’s made almost entirely from plastic, and with the battery loaded, it only weighs around 6.3 ounces. Most people will have no problem holding and using the thermometer with one hand.

9.0 Build Quality

Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer Build Quality Video
The Klein Tools IR1 showcasing its side profile, laid horizontally on a slate grey concrete tabletop.

Overall build quality of the Klein Tools IR1 is excellent. Although the whole thermometer is made from plastic, the thermometer doesn’t look cheap. Quite the opposite.

We’re also very happy with the durable build of this thermometer. The plastic feels solid in the hand, with no loose or shoddily-built pieces. Klein Tools has designed and built the IR1 for use in industry, and it shows.

9.0 Laser Emitter

The red laser dot of the Klein Tools IR1 infrared thermometer gun’s laser emitter in a dark room.
The red laser dot of the Klein Tools IR1 infrared thermometer gun’s laser emitter in a dark room.
The black-gloved hand of a reviewer holding and using the Klein Tools IR1 IR thermometer in scan mode. A red laser dot can be seen in the background.
Laser Pattern
Single-dot
Brightness
Good

The laser emitter of the IR1 has a single-dot pattern and is extremely bright. The dot is bright enough to be easily tracked, even under harsh studio lighting.

6.0 Display Panel

A close-up of the backlit LCD panel at the back of the Klein Tools IR1 thermometer. The screen is displaying “84.9°F.”
The LCD panel has a backlight, but you can’t manually turn it off.
Display Type
Backlit LCD
Backlight
Yes
Display Size
1.18

The Klein Tools IR1 has a small 1.18-inch backlit LCD screen panel. It does a great job at displaying key data, like temperature readings.

Battery Compartment

The screwed-in battery compartment of the Klein Tools IR1 thermometer is opened, revealing the receptacle for the 9V battery and a switch.
When the battery compartment is opened, other than the receptacle for the battery, you’ll also find a hidden switch to change the measurement unit of the thermometer.
The screwed-in battery compartment of the Klein Tools IR1 thermometer is opened, revealing the receptacle for the 9V battery and a switch.
The 9V battery cell that comes with the Klein Tools IR1 laying on a concrete grey table. The thermometer itself is next to it. The battery compartment is opened.
Battery Type
9V

The battery compartment of the Klein Tools is screwed-in. So, to install the battery, you’ll need to have a screwdriver.

Puzzlingly, besides the slot for the battery, you’ll also find a switch that controls the measurement unit (°F and °C) that the thermometer uses. We’ll expound more on this in the handling section.

4.5 Usability

The Klein Tools IR1 has a textured grip that allows easy handling but lacks control buttons. This is the biggest issue concerning the Klein Tools IR1’s usability. The only control on the IR1 is a hidden switch in the screwed-in battery compartment that allows you to switch the measurement unit back and forth between °F and °C.

The IR1 doesn’t come with any extra measurement mode and doesn’t have a speaker to give off audio cues.

9.0 Handling

The black-gloved hand of a reviewer holding the Klein Tools IR1 IR thermometer.
The black-gloved hand of a reviewer holding the Klein Tools IR1 IR thermometer.
A close-up view of the handle of the Klein Tools IR1, focusing on the textured handgrip portion.
The ridged patterning on the handle of the Klein Tools IR1 IR thermometer

The handling of the Klein Tools IR1 has a decent handling score owing to its textured grip, which makes handling the thermometer easy even with wet hands. The only drawback we found with the IR1 is that it has no control buttons like other thermometers. Instead, its only switch is hidden in the screwed-in battery compartment that allows the user to switch back and forth between Fahrenheit and Celsius.

0.0 Measurement Modes

Emissivity
No
Average Mode
No
Min Mode
No
Max Mode
No
Calibration
No
Alarm Mode
No

The Klein Tools IR1 doesn’t have any extra measurement mode.

0.0 Audio Cues

The Klein Tools IR1 doesn’t come with a speaker and so doesn’t have any audio cues.

Behind the review

Headshot of Matthew Lee
Matthew LeeReviewer

Matthew Lee is a writer and editor for HealthyKitchen101. With over 8 years working for various outlets and agencies, specializing in tech review and other subjects of note, such as current affairs.

Headshot of Lap Vo
Lap VoTest Lead

Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Headshot of Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen NtkVisual Specialist

Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.