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.
Where to Buy? Price at publication $31.58
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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.)
6.7Cold Test with Ice
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.
8.7Hot Test with Cooking Oil
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Klein Tools IR1 doesn’t have any extra measurement mode.
The Klein Tools IR1 doesn’t come with a speaker and so doesn’t have any audio cues.
About your guide
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.
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.