Knowing the exact level of pH of your water or any other solution is important to maintain health and improve safety. For example, using acidic water in washing the car can lead to corrosion in the long run. Drinking alkaline water can provide a host of benefits for some people who need such a type of water. For most of us, however, drinking clean and fresh water at a neutral pH is enough. So, how do we know we have the right pH in our water? You will need a reliable pH meter. This article will introduce you to 7 of the best pH meters you can buy.
Table of Contents
- What is the Best pH Meter
- Top 7 Best pH Meters Reviews
- 1. VIVOSUN TDS and pH Meter Combo
- 2. Apera Instruments AI209 Waterproof pH Tester Kit
- 3. Dr.meter 0.01 Resolution pH Meter with ATC
- 4. Digital pH Meter 0.01 Accuracy with ATC
- 5. Digital pH Meter 0.01 Resolution Pocket Sized with ATC
- 6. Pancellent Water Quality Test Meter TDS & pH
- 7. pH Meter for Water Hydroponics Digital pH Tester
- pH Meters Buying Guide
- What is a pH Meter?
- How Does a pH Meter Work?
- Types of pH Meters
- Why Do You Need a pH Meter?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best pH Meter
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Top 7 Best pH Meters Reviews
1. VIVOSUN TDS and pH Meter Combo
You do not need to spend a fortune on a good-quality and reliable pH meter. VIVOSUN provides you with a device that can take the hassle of measuring the pH of water off your shoulders without going broke. It is accurate up to 0.05 pH units and is compact enough to fit in your pocket. You can use it to test your drinking water and the water in your swimming pool and fish tank.
One thing we did not like about the VIVOSUN is that it takes about a minute or so before the pH readings stabilize. Nevertheless, an inexpensive gadget that can provide you with an accurate picture of water pH remains a great product to buy.
- Good accuracy and resolution
- Easy to calibrate
- Convenient to use
- Comes with a TDS meter
- Takes a long time for the pH reading to stabilize
2. Apera Instruments AI209 Waterproof pH Tester Kit
It is okay to spend a little bit more on a gadget that can provide you with a pH resolution of 0.01. And if that device also features automatic calibration and automatic temperature compensation, spending a few dollars more is worth it. This is what the Apera AI209 guarantees. It is a precision pH measuring instrument that provides quick, reliable, consistent, and accurate pH readings every time.
While we appreciate the inclusion of 2 buffers with the kit, there are some of us who prefer a 3-point calibration system. This is not really a big deal if you can be sure about the accuracy of the AI209. It’s a breeze to use, too.
- Very accurate and with a high resolution
- With automatic temperature compensation
- Very quick to read pH
- Consistent pH reading accuracy
- Automatic calibration
- Only 2 calibration standards
3. Dr.meter 0.01 Resolution pH Meter with ATC
A reliable pH meter does not have to be bulky nor have a bland design. Dr.meter helps you measure the pH of different solutions in your home and the outdoors. This device also has a more contemporary design that houses its accurate pH sensor. It compensates for temperature fluctuations to provide you with more accurate readings. It doubles as a thermometer, too.
Some users may be confused as to the use of a pH 9.18 buffer instead of pH 10. This is because Dr.meter adheres to NIST standards. Such a calibration standard is more accurate than conventional whole-number buffers. Because of this, we believe that the Dr.meter pH meter is one of the best for the modern household.
- 3-buffer system for greater calibration accuracy
- High resolution and high accuracy design
- Reliable auto temperature compensation
- Quick pH reading capability
- Convenient design
- Uses NIST buffer values
4. Digital pH Meter 0.01 Accuracy with ATC
The KoGI24 pH meter may come off as a cheap knockoff. However, this is one of those affordable pH meters that can provide you with reliable results. The readings are fast and one can be sure that the device’s algorithm has already accounted for temperature fluctuations. It also helps that the display has a large digital readout. The back of the device also comes with a clip for the ultimate in carrying convenience. The usefulness of this pH meter is unquestionable.
There were some issues about the accuracy of the pH readings. However, there are more users who believe in the accuracy of the device. We believe that the KoGI24 is a great pH meter, given its performance and affordability.
- Accurate and fast pH readings
- Large digital display
- Very convenient to operate
- With automatic temperature compensation
- Some issues with accuracy
5. Digital pH Meter 0.01 Resolution Pocket Sized with ATC
Most of us want a pH meter that we can bring anywhere and give us the ability to measure any liquid. This is what the CharmUO pH meter provides. The gadget is so small that you will have no issues carrying it around. And when it comes to measuring the pH of water, you can always depend on the accuracy and high resolution of its pH sensor. The device already compensates for temperature fluctuations to give you more accurate results. It is quick to measure the pH, too.
A minor flaw about the CharmUO is its cheap plastic design. It does not really matter. The CharmUO pH meter still offers good value for your money.
- Fast and accurate pH readings
- 3-buffer system calibration
- Small and compact size
- Comes with auto temperature compensation
- Very affordable
- Looks and feels cheap
6. Pancellent Water Quality Test Meter TDS & pH
Testing the pH of your drinking water or the water in your fish tank or swimming pool is easy using the Pancellent Water Quality Test Meter. This is a kit that includes two devices for measuring water pH and TDS. The pH meter is accurate enough that you can even let your high school kid to use this in his chemistry class. Calibrating and operating the Pancellent is hassle-free.
We do wish Pancellent added a third calibration point. However, most households often find the 2 calibration points to be more than sufficient in ensuring the accuracy of the product. The Pancellent is a reliable pH meter for those who are not ready to commit to an expensive gadget.
- Accurate and high-resolution pH readings
- Auto calibration capability
- Very easy to use
- Comes with a TDS meter
- Only 2 calibration points
7. pH Meter for Water Hydroponics Digital pH Tester
The Ruolan pH meter is a device that can provide accurate readings of up to 0.01 pH units at a fraction of the price of other pH meters. It has a very straightforward design that belies its performance. Its intelligent sensor already factors in the effect of temperature on pH to ensure a more accurate reading. Calibrating it using the 3 buffers is easy. Such a small device is perfect for anyone and can be used on different applications.
You can forgive the cheap looks of the Ruolan pH meter and focus only on its performance. It does not look sophisticated. However, it does a decent job of telling you the actual pH level of any solution you may have on hand.
- Accurate pH readings
- Easy to operate
- Easy to calibrate
- Compensates for temperature fluctuations
- Very convenient
- Looks cheap
pH Meters Buying Guide
Selecting a pH meter that is right for your needs requires an understanding of the key device features and capabilities you need to look for. We shall look at the most important ones here.
Accuracy and Resolution
A pH meter should always be accurate in measuring the pH of things, regardless of brand and design. However, there will always be deviations from the actual data as a result of different factors exerting their effects on the pH readings. It is important to pick a pH meter with a good resolution. Industrial-grade pH meters have a resolution of up to 0.002 pH units. They are very expensive. You can pick a pH meter than has at least 0.1 pH units of resolution for ordinary use.
Calibration and Calibration Standards
Devices that come with an auto-calibration feature are the best. Always pick a pH meter that is easy to calibrate. The product should also come with calibration standards. We call these as buffers. If not part of the package, then these buffers should be readily available on the market.
In general, an increase in temperature lowers the pH of a solution. Minute changes in the temperature of objects can produce inaccurate pH readings. Pick a device with an automatic temperature compensation feature.
Type of pH Probe
There are probes that are detachable and replaceable. The advantage of this is that you get to keep the main unit should the probes already reach their lifespan. Another type of pH probe is an all-in-one unit. These probes are easy to maintain and are more convenient.
Type of Electrode
Sealed electrodes are easy to use and require only the basic maintenance. Refillable electrodes can be ‘rejuvenated’ to prolong their service life. Solid state electrodes are very accurate and possess high resolution of pH units.
What is a pH Meter?
This is a device that measures the alkalinity or the acidity of any given solution. It provides a more objective or more quantitative picture of the relationship between hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions in each solution. Any pH reading below 7.0 is acidic. pH readings above 7.0 are alkaline.
How Does a pH Meter Work?
A standard pH meter comes with three basic components. One is the pH probe. This is a glass bulb that is very sensitive to hydrogen ions. The pH probe produces variable millivolt output, depending on the concentration of the hydrogen ions outside and inside the glass bulb. Measuring the voltage change of the pH probe relative to pH changes is difficult because of an unusually high internal resistance. This is where the high input impedance meter comes in. The third component is a reference electrode, which is almost like the pH probe. However, its electrical output remains constant irrespective of hydrogen ion activity.
When you put these three together, you get a pH meter. The pH meter measures the difference between the electrical potential of the pH probe and the electrical potential of the reference electrode. The device displays this difference in electrical potential as pH units.
Types of pH Meters
One way to classify the different types of pH is meters is through the type of display that they present the pH units in.
These pH meters come with LCD screens that display the pH units in digital numbers. They are very easy to read and works even in low light conditions because of the illuminated background. The advantage of these pH meters is that you can have a pH reading of up to the hundredths.
Analog pH meters look more like analog voltmeters or multitesters. You have the number 1.0 to 14.0 arranged in a semi-circle. Graduations mark the pH units in tenths, which can produce not so accurate results. There is a needle that points to the corresponding pH unit as measured by the pH probe.
Another way you can classify pH meters is according to their inherent design.
Great for field pH tests, portable pH meters are well-regarded for their convenience and compact size. You can fit one in your pocket and measure the pH of any solution anywhere. Most portable pH meters also come with advanced features that can further extend the usefulness of the device. Most can also measure temperature.
These pH meters are what laboratories, manufacturers, and industrial establishments use in the determination of the pH of any given solution. High-end units can provide for very accurate, low-tolerance measurements. These products are not bulky and heavy; although you will never find yourself carrying one when you go out on field tests.
Why Do You Need a pH Meter?
Ordinary households should always invest in a good pH meter. The reason is quite simple. You want to drink only the best possible quality of drinking water. Good quality water has a neutral pH or a pH of 7.0. You will never know the pH of water just by looking at a glass of water.
On that note, there are also those who would like to take advantage of the benefits of alkaline water. We know that alkaline solutions have a pH greater than 7.0. It would be difficult to check if the water you are drinking has a pH of 7.5 or a pH of 8.0 just by looking at it.
You will need a pH meter to help you gain a better understanding of the pH level of your drinking water. You can use this information to check the pH level of the water in your swimming pool or even that in your fish tank. Caring for your car should also be a lot easier if you know that you are not using acidic water in washing your car. Watering your plants or even starting your own hydroponics should be a lot easier with a pH meter on hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most popular pH meter brands?
VIVOSUN, Apera Instruments, Dr.meter, Pancellent, KoGI24, CharmUO, and Ruolan are some of the most popular brands of pH meters on the market today.
How to calibrate pH meter?
Manufacturers have their own procedures for calibrating their respective pH meters. It is wise to refer to their manual. In general, however, the process of calibrating a pH meter typically consists of the following steps.
- Prepare the pH probe and buffer solutions.
- Clean the pH probe and place it into the pH 7.0 buffer solution at room temperature.
- Adjust the pH reading in your pH meter to exactly 7.00.
- Rinse the pH probe using deionized or distilled water.
- Place the pH probe into a second buffer solution of either pH 10.00 or pH 4.00.
- Adjust the pH reading in your pH meter to either pH 10.00 or pH 4.00.
- Rinse the pH probe with deionized or distilled water.
How to use pH meter?
Do not use a pH meter on any solution without first calibrating it. Once fully calibrated, you can begin measuring the pH of any given solution. Turn on the pH meter and allow it to boot up and adjust. Wait for it to stabilize.
Place the pH probe into the solution that you want to measure the pH. Wait for a few minutes. Allow the pH value to stabilize first before you do any reading. Rinse the pH probe with deionized or distilled water and store in an appropriate container.
Where to buy pH meters?
The most convenient place to buy pH meters from is Amazon. There are hundreds of brands to choose from. You can also try other popular e-commerce sites like Home Depot, eBay, and Lowe’s. Your favorite local shops may also sell pH meters.
A good pH meter should be accurate up to a hundredth of a pH unit. It should also be easy to calibrate and comes with a design that can withstand abuse. And if one wants to make sure that their pH meter will last a long time, then they should also learn how to operate it and care for it properly. The best pH meters can help you gain a clearer understanding of the pH level of water for different applications. These applications can include drinking water, water for the swimming pool, hydroponics, and caring for aquatic pets, among others. It is time to get yours today.