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Sovarcate HS960D Digital Infrared Thermometer In-depth Review

Well-built, accurate, and versatile, the Sovarcate HS960D is a worthy companion to every home cook needing a good infrared thermometer!

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
The SOVARCATE HS960D Infrared Thermometer standing upright on its handle on a turn table against a blurry blue backdrop.

Overall Verdict

The Sovarcate HS960D is identical to the Sovarcate HS980E in almost every single way, saving for the lack of extra measurement modes. The unit is well-constructed and performs well in our measurement accuracy tests.

Overall, this infrared thermometer will be a good fit for anyone. Home cooks may find it useful for measuring the temperature of cookware and food and other tasks around the house, like fixing the HVAC.

Things We Like

  • Decently accurate and reliable performance
  • Rugged and well-built housing
  • Bright, single-dot laser emitter
  • Brightly-lit colored LCD VA screen panel
  • Has a speaker
  • Textured handgrip and tactile trigger make the thermometer easy and comfortable to use

Things We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t come with many measurement modes

The Sovarcate HS960D shares nearly identical hardware with the Sovarcate HS980E — which most members of our team consider among the best infrared cooking thermometers. If it’s not for the difference in the paint scheme, it would be hard to distinguish between the two IR thermometers at first glance (there are subtle differences in the housing design that you have to pay close attention to find.)

But while the design is almost the same as the HS980E, the Sovarcate HS960D is a notch below its counterpart in terms of performance.

Check out our performance report for more details!

Key Specs

Dimensions
L4.3 x W1.81 x H6.3 inches
Weight
5.58 ounces
Display type
Color LCD VA panel
Measurement modes
1
Audio cues
Yes
Temperature range
-58°F to 1112°F(-50℃ to 600℃)

Where to Buy Price at publication $24.03

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Compared to Other Infrared Thermometers

Ranking by
Showing: 8/13 Items

Analysis and Test Results

6.7 Performance

The Sovarcate HS960D’s performance is mediocre compared to the rest of the models in our database. It received a very high score in the cold test with ice, but its total performance score was dragged down by lackluster performance in the hot test with cooking oil.

8.4 Cold Test with Ice

SOVARCATE HS960D Infrared Thermometer Cold Test
The Sovarcate HS960D measuring the temperature of an ice chest from 12 inches away. The screen reads 30.2°F.
The Sovarcate HS960D measuring the temperature of an ice chest from 16 inches away. The screen reads 30.7°F.

Once the temperature of the ice chest has stabilized at 32°F, we put the Sovarcate HS960D to the test. From 12  inches away from the ice surface, we received a reading of 30.2°F. And from 16 inches, the HS960D gave a reading of 30.7.

According to our benchmark, the infrared thermometer gets a high average score of 8.45. There’s only a small 0.5°F difference between the readings at two distances. As such, the stability variable is still so small that even after it’s been accounted for, the total score of the HS960D in this section is still very high at 8.45 out of 10. That puts it on the same rank as some of the best IR thermometers in our database, like the Wintact and the Eventek IR thermometers.

5.6 Hot Test with Cooking Oil

SOVARCATE HS960D Infrared Thermometer Hot Test
The Sovarcate HS960D measuring the temperature of a pan of cooking oil from 12 inches away. The screen reads 373°F.
The Sovarcate HS960D measuring the temperature of a pan of cooking oil from 16 inches away. The screen reads 369°F.

In the hot test with cooking oil, the Sovarcate HS960D performed less well than in the cold test. From 12 inches and 16 inches away, respectively, the infrared thermometer produced two readings of 373°F and 369°F.

Our benchmark gives the infrared thermometer a mediocre average score of 6. And when the stability variable is considered, the score is lowered even further down to just 5.6 out of 10.

Its lackluster performance on this test is the primary reason for its lower-than-expected score in the performance test.

In contrast, its counterpart, the Sovercate HS980E, fared much better on this test with a score of 7.1 out of 10.

9.5 Design

The Sovarcate HS960D dimensions and weight of the HS960D are average for infrared thermometers. It boasts excellent build quality with durable construction. The laser emitter features a single-dot pattern, and the LCD VA panel display is bright and viewable from various angles.

All in all, the design quality of the Sovarcate HS960D is excellent.

In the Box

The Sovarcate HS960D in the center of the frame. To the left of the IR thermometer are the user manual and the batteries, and to the right is the plastic packaging.

The Sovarcate HS960D comes in a bundle with a meat thermometer. Both arrive in a plastic bag, with the HS960D encased in a plastic case. Inside the case, besides the thermometer, you’ll also find a complimentary pack of batteries and the manual.

Dimensions

The dimensions of the Sovarcate HS960D. The height is 6.3 inches, the length is 4.3 inches, and the width is 1.81 inches.
Weight
5.6 oz (158 g)
Length
4.3" (10.9 cm)
Width
1.8" (4.6 cm)
Height
6.3" (16.0 cm)

The dimensions and weight of the Sovarcate HS960D are about average for most infrared thermometers. Notably, it has the same measurements as the Sovarcate HS98E.

9.5 Build Quality

SOVARCATE HS960D Infrared Thermometer Build Quality video
The Sovarcate HS960D lying on its side on a slate grey concrete table top.

The build quality of the Sovarcate HS960D is excellent. The unit we received is built from smooth and textured plastic. Every part is manufactured and assembled well. There’s little doubt from our reviewer that the Sovarcate HS960D would withstand strong shocks and impacts as expected from an industrial-grade infrared thermometer.

We have no complaints regarding build quality.

9.5 Laser Emitter

The bright red single-dot laser beam of the Sovarcate HS960D IR thermometer in a dark room.
The bright red single-dot laser beam of the Sovarcate HS960D IR thermometer in a dark room.
The laser emitter and the IR sensor of the Sovarcate HS960D IR thermometer.
Laser Pattern
Single-dot
Brightness
Good

The laser emitter of the HS960D has a single-dot pattern. It’s extremely bright and can be seen and tracked easily, even under harsh studio lighting.

We’re a bit disappointed in this section because its other counterpart, the Sovarcate HS980E has a 13-dot laser emitter, which allows the user to visualize the measuring area more easily.

9.5 Display Panel

The colored LCD VA display panel of the Sovarcate HS960D. The screen reads 27.3°C and is in HOLD mode.
Display Type
Color LCD VA panel
Backlight
Yes
Display Size
1.18

The Sovarcate HS960D In a dark room, thees with a colored LCD VA panel. Not only can data points on the screen from various angles, but the screen is also very bright and can be read in rooms with harsh lighting and dark rooms.

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment of the Sovarcate HS960D is opened. The user manual is to the right of the IR thermometer. Both are lying on a slate grey concrete table top.
Battery Type
AAA

The Sovarcate HS960D infrared thermometer is powered by triple-A batteries. You’ll find complimentary batteries inside when you unbox the thermometer. You’ll only need to pop the battery compartment, install the battery, and press the trigger to begin using the thermometer.

7.2 Usability

The Sovarcate HS960D is highly reviewed for its textured and indented handle, clicky trigger, and responsive control panel. The only drawback we found is that it only offers a single measurement mode for adjusting the emissivity setting. The thermometer has a speaker emitting loud beeps when switching between SCAN and HOLD modes.

9.0 Handling

The SOVARCATE HS960D Infrared Thermometer in the gloved hand of a reviewer against a blurry blue backdrop with a pitcher.
The SOVARCATE HS960D Infrared Thermometer in the gloved hand of a reviewer against a blurry blue backdrop with a pitcher.
The indents on the textured handgrip of the Sovarcate HS960D IR thermometer.
The black, textured plastic backside of the Sovarcate HS960D’s handgrip.

Our reviewer only has positive things to say about the Sovarcate HS960D, much like we did with its sibling — the Sovarcate HS980E. The handle is textured and comes with smooth indents that allow a firmer, more comfortable grip, even with wet hands. The trigger is clicky and tactile, making scanning and overall use easy. All of the buttons on the control panel work well and are snappy.

3.0 Measurement Modes

Emissivity
0.10-1.00
Average Mode
No
Min Mode
No
Max Mode
No
Calibration
No
Alarm Mode
No

Unlike the Sovarcate HS980E, the HS960D only comes with a single setting: emissivity (EMS) setting. You can press the center button on the control panel and use the two side buttons to adjust the EMS setting for the IR sensor accordingly.

9.0 Audio Cues

The control panel and the speaker holes on the Sovarcate HS960D IR thermometer. The button reads “°C/°F”, “EMS”, and symbol for the laser light.

The Sovarcate HS960D has a speaker emitting loud beepings when the trigger switches from SCAN mode to HOLD mode.

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.

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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.