If you take a look into the world of the best pH meters, you can see that they have many uses.
A pH meter is useful for both beer brewers and aquarium enthusiasts.
Besides that, pH meters are useful for hydroponics, optimizing soil/water quality, and lab use.
A pH meter is usually easy to find. Depending on the use, you should find affordable options.
Table of Contents
- Advantages of Using a pH Meter
- The 10 Best pH Meters for Home, Garden Growing & Lab Use
- Best pH Meter Reviews
- 1. Ruolan Digital pH Tester Pen
- 2. VIVOSUN Digital pH Meter
- 3. Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof pH Pocket Tester
- 4. Dr.meter PH100-V Resolution Accuracy Measurement
- 5. Sonkir Soil pH Meter MS02 Tester Gardening Tool Kits
- 6. Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination
- 7. Apera Instruments PH700 Benchtop Lab pH Meter
- 8. HMDPHM80 Digital pH/Temperature Meter
- 9. Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit
- 10. Bluelab pH Pen for Plant Germination
- How to Use a pH Meter Step by Step?
- How to Test Soil pH with pH Meter?
- How to Calibrate pH Meter Without Solution?
- How Often to Calibrate pH Meter?
Advantages of Using a pH Meter
Today, you can find many devices for measuring the pH level of something. But when you look around, it’s easy to see why a pH meter is better than the rest.
There are many advantages of using a pH meter over a pH testing strip or some other form of measurement.
One of the main reasons is that a pH meter is much more accurate than a strip tester is. Once you calibrate your meter, it gives you a straightforward reading that’s understandable. There’s not really any room for doubt or confusion.
Using a pH meter is also just very objective compared to reading a color pH testing strip. These strips tend to vary by color and brand, so getting a reading depends on how you think the colors look.
A pH meter just gives you a simple number that’s easy to understand and the same across the board.
A pH meter also has the advantage of being reusable. You don’t have to throw it away after a single use like most pH measuring tools.
You can measure with a single meter as many times as you like, saving you money and convenience.
The 10 Best pH Meters for Home, Garden Growing & Lab Use
A big deciding factor when it comes to buying a pH meter is accurate and sensitive. Here’s a list of most accurate pH meters available on the market today.
|Pictures||pH Meters||Accuracy & Range||Links|
|Ruolan Digital pH Tester Pen||±0.01 pH / |
|VIVOSUN Digital pH Meter||±0.01 pH / |
|Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof pH Pocket Tester||±0.1 pH / |
|Dr.meter PH100-V Resolution Accuracy Measurement||±0.01 pH / |
|Sonkir Soil pH Meter MS02 Tester Gardening Tool Kits||±0.1 pH / |
|Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter||±0.1 pH / |
|Apera Instruments PH700 Benchtop Lab pH Meter||±0.01 pH / |
|HMDPHM80 Digital pH/Temperature Meter||±0.02 pH / |
|Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit||±0.01 pH / |
|Bluelab pH Pen for Plant Germination||±0.1 pH / |
Best pH Meter Reviews
1. Ruolan Digital pH Tester Pen
The first on the list is the Ruolan digital pH meter. This first contender has some very good qualities, making it a great option for first-time buyers. This functions as a thermometer for the water and a pH meter.
The Ruolan digital pH meter is self-sufficient. It’s easily calibrated with a single touch and doesn’t take a long time doing it. It provides instant pH readings for both the temperature and the water quality.
This pH meter also comes with its amazing low price, this is definitely an option for someone who wants to save money.
- Wide uses: Ideal use to test for water, pools, aquariums, spas, hydroponics, food, wine and beer making and more.
- Easily calibrated
- Provides instant readings
- It’s reusable
- Very low price
- Handling the device requires much care.
2. VIVOSUN Digital pH Meter
Next up is the VIVOSUN digital pH meter. This pH meter stands out from the rest of the meters for its excellent quality and craft. This meter is good for use in pools, aquariums, hydroponics, and food and beer brewing.
One of the main good qualities about the pH meter is the great amount of ease it creates for the user. It’s portable and very lightweight. You can easily put it into your bag or backpack for carrying and travel.
This even comes with a case and a bright LCD reading light for the readings. There’s even a one year warranty and money-back guarantee for buyers.
One negative point about the VIVOSUN digital meter is that the instructions are vague. If you’ve never used a pH meter, especially a digital one, this is particularly tricky. It’s not recommended to calibrate and utilize a pH meter unless you know what you’re doing.
- LCD light for easy reading
- Money-back guarantee
- No clear instructions
- Can be confusing to set up
3. Apera Instruments AI209 PH20 Value Waterproof pH Pocket Tester
Third on the list is the Apera Instruments waterproof pH tester. This is another great example of a quality starter pH reader.
This meter is powered by batteries, so it’s long-lasting and gives up to 2,000 hours of continuous runtime.
This meter comes with auto-calibration, so you don’t have to worry about that. It’s also equipped with an excellent pH sensor to give you a high response rate.
The Apera pH tester includes a lanyard, two buffer solutions, and a carrying case. Customers get a two-year warranty with this product for any returns or problems with usage.
One con for this meter is that it’s a bit difficult to calibrate. It often takes more than one try to get it calibrated correctly.
Even then, some customers had to cross check it with another meter to make sure it was correct.
- Comes with variety of other tools; lanyard, carrying case, and buffer solution
- Equipped with a high-quality pH sensor
- Two-year warranty covers costs of replacements
- You may need more than one meter to cross-check for accurate readings
- It can be difficult to calibrate
4. Dr.meter PH100-V Resolution Accuracy Measurement
The next pH meter is the Dr.meter PH100-V device. This is yet another digital that provides excellent readings. You can use it anywhere you want to measure the acidity and alkalinity of the liquid.
Dr.meter has many other high-quality products other than this pH meter. That helps provide a wide range of tools you can use to sort out your needs. The Dr. meter has a warranty for one year and comes with its own package.
One negative thing is that some have complained of poor customer service for this meter. It’s not an everyday occurrence, but going that extra mile to meet the needs of your customers shows a lot.
It shows that you’re standing behind your product and that you trust it to perform well.
- Very versatile to use in all types of liquids
- Wide variety of product by brand
- One year warranty
- Includes a carrying case
- Reports of poor customer service and difficulty getting in contact with company
5. Sonkir Soil pH Meter MS02 Tester Gardening Tool Kits
If you want something for gardening, the Sonkir Soil pH Meter is right for you. This pH meter helps you measure the pH levels of the soil and water. This allows you to reach specific levels of acidity and alkalinity for plants.
This combines many functions into one. This meter lets you know if the soil is in good condition. It even tells you if your plant needs more sunlight and water.
The Sonkir Soil pH meter comes with a one year warranty and can be used both indoors and outdoors. It’s got a very easy-to-use design that doesn’t require any batteries.
The only negative thing that can be said about this meter is the accuracy. The accuracy of the readings tends to waver a bit. Your readings maybe a few points off.
This may not be a big deal for some plant owners, but it really depends on the type of plant you have. Some plants require very specific conditions, while others are more forgiving.
If you’re looking for something very accurate, try a different option.
- Combines three functions (sunlight, water, and soil monitoring) into one reading
- Very compact and easy to carry
- Comes with a carrier case
- No batteries are needed to run the meter
- The readings may be a little off
- Not suitable for strict plant regimes or lifestyles because of lack of accuracy
6. Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter for Plant Germination
Last, but not least, we have the Bluelab combo meter for plant germination. This pH meter is also more geared towards plants rather than water. It combines a few different measures into one device.
The Bluelab combo meter is used to measure pH levels, conductivity, and temperature. It’s a three in one combo! That saves you money and time in the long run from having to buy other devices for these tests.
The Bluelab combo meter has a large display that’s easy to read and comes with its own batteries. Speaking of batteries, it comes with a low-battery warning for you to know when it’s time to switch them out.
An important thing to mention about this meter is that the probe is very sensitive. You have to be very careful with how you use it to avoid damaging the delicate design.
This may not be a suitable option for long-lasting equipment unless you’re careful.
- Three in one combination of functions you can test
- Large display makes it easier to see and read
- Comes with its own batteries
- Has a low battery warning for when you need to change out the batteries
- Delicate design
- Probe is susceptible to damage easily
7. Apera Instruments PH700 Benchtop Lab pH Meter
When it comes to measuring the pH of things in a laboratory or agricultural setting, you need something functional and precise. The Apera Instruments PH700 Benchtop Lab pH Meter is ideal. It is actually three products in one.
You’ll find a pH electrode with auto temperature and compensation. This means it can measure the temp and pH at the same time.
Of course, it also features an advanced calibration mode. You can do this yourself for specific needs or use the auto-calibration feature. Self-diagnosis is possible with this device.
This product offers a digital readout, making it easier to see the results. Plus, they show up quickly, and they are stable almost immediately from when the information is displayed.
If that weren’t enough, it comes with its own holder for the electrodes, which is easy to install. You also have a variety of pre-mixed calibrations from which to choose.
It’s guaranteed to be dust-proof and spill-proof with a rating of IP54. Plus, it is reliable and durable. You will also find 50 groups for data storage.
- Easy to use
- Consistent readings
- Holder included
- Can’t connect vertical holder to main unit
- Fluid bottle included, but not enough calibration liquid
- Misspellings in manual
8. HMDPHM80 Digital pH/Temperature Meter
If you’re interested in a hand-held pH meter, this might be the right option for you. The HMDPHM80 Digital pH/Temperature Meter has a slim design. That means you can easily hold it in your hand.
You’ll find a hold button to help you make notes of the temperatures/pH. However, there is also an automatic shut-off feature included. That way, you don’t have to worry about running down the batteries too fast.
The auto-calibration feature allows you to choose 7, 4, or 10 pH. It selects the right one based on your specific needs.
Those who work in a lab or have to test the pH level of water for any purpose will need one of these tools at some point. This product works for gardening and hydroponics. However, it can also be used to check aquariums, pools, drinking water, boilers, and much more.
It is important to note that this pH meter is not waterproof, though it is water-resistant. Therefore, if you splash a bit of the calibration fluid on it, everything will still work.
- One-touch calibration
- Measures both temperature and pH
- Three pH level calibrations included
- Must read manual to get proper readings each time
- Not enough solution for testing/calibration
9. Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit
While some pH meters look bulky or plain, this one is much different. The Apera Instruments AI223 SX620 pH Pen Tester Kit is similar to a traditional thermometer that takes your temperature. It looks like a pen because the bottom is tapered.
This is one of the smallest pH pens on the market, and it offers reliable performance. You can use it to test pools, cooling towers, body fluids, and even in the making of various beverages.
The accuracy is within 0.01 pH, which is about as good as you can get from a non-medical device.
You’ll find this product also features another version. It has a one-point calibration and a 0.1 pH accuracy.
The probe is replaceable, so if it wears out, you can easily find another one. You’ll also note that it features an invalidation reminder to let you know when to replace your probe.
Plus, you can switch easily from Fahrenheit to Celsius, so you can test the pH and temperature of various things. If you’re someone who regularly forgets to turn off equipment, this has an automatic shut-off system to make it easier.
- Complete kit (3 premixed calibration solutions, portable case, pen tester
- Intelligent functions
- Fits test tubes
- No backlighting on display
- Requires calibration often
10. Bluelab pH Pen for Plant Germination
If you’re someone who likes the idea of a pen-style pH tester, this is ideal. The Bluelab pH Pen can measure temperature and pH for alkaline and acid conditions.
You are sure to have more success with your crops/garden when you use this product. Plus, you can easily figure out how many nutrients you need to produce the right results.
Since you are going to be putting the device in soil that might contain water, the waterproof functionality is great. Plus, it will let you know when the battery is dying so that you can replace it. That way, you always get the best results.
Of course, the display is digital, and there is backlighting. This helps you see the readout more easily, even in sunny conditions.
With this product, you can change between Fahrenheit and Celsius readings quickly. Plus, it has a hold-reading function. That way, you can keep that information while you make notes.
Most people like the fact that this pH pen notifies you when you need to recalibrate it. This is helpful so that you don’t waste time and calibration solution if it’s not necessary.
- Backlight display
- Auto on/off feature
- Uses AAA instead of watch batteries
- Off by a few decimal points
- Slow to provide readings
How to Use a pH Meter Step by Step?
Once you’ve picked the type of pH meter you need, it’s time to learn how to use it.
Every pH meter is a little different from the next. The best way to figure out how to use a specific meter is to look at the directions.
- A general step-by-step way you can use a pH meter begins with calibrating your meter. Start the calibration process by collecting your solutions and the pH electrode probe.
- Once you’ve gathered your materials, clean the electrode probe with deionized water. Then blot dry with a tissue.
- Add the electrode probe into a solution of pH 7. Allow it to stabilize, then program the meter to read 7. This sets it up for the next time you use it.
- After that, do the same process, except with a buffer solution of pH 2. Add the electrode to the solution, allow it to stabilize, then set the electrode to pH 2. Remove it from the solution, rinse, then wipe it with a tissue.
At this point, you’re ready to use your pH meter! Make sure to follow any additional directions for calibration before using your probes.
- If you’re ready to begin, start by turning on the meter and giving it a few minutes to adjust. Make sure it’s on pH mode and that it’s had some time to stabilize.
- Put the electrode probe in the sample that you want to test. Let it sit there for a few minutes to get a good reading. Allow it to stabilize before noting the reading.
- Once it’s stabilized, you can take that reading on the display. Make sure to rinse the pH meter and put it back into your storage solution.
How to Test Soil pH with pH Meter?
If you want to test your soil with a pH meter, you have to follow a slightly different path. Again, make sure to read any directions on your pH meter for soil use before starting.
- To begin, start by picking a place in your soil that isn’t occupied too closely by plants or shrubs. Dig a hole in this clear area that’s about two to four inches deep. Make sure there’s nothing blocking the hole or any twigs in the way.
- Next, pour distilled water into the hole. You can’t use tap or regular water for this step because the water needs to be completely basic. Using any other water is too basic or acidic to make the cut.
- As your hole turns into mud with the water, add in your electrode probe. Let it sit for a few minutes as it adjusts and gathers a reading. Once time has passed, take note of the reading you have, and you’re done!
You can get a more thorough understanding of your soil’s pH by testing different areas. Dig a few small holes around your soil to check all around and get a more accurate representation of the pH levels.
How to Calibrate pH Meter Without Solution?
If you don’t have any buffering solution, you can still calibrate your meter with the homemade stuff! This isn’t as accurate as the stuff you can get at the store, but it’s still pretty close.
- Begin by adding tap water to a container. Fill it up about 80% of the way.
- Once that’s done, begin adding mono potassium phosphate, or MKP. Add it slowly until you’ve added about 10 grams. Stir the solution until it dissolves.
- Then, slowly add potassium hydroxide, or KOH, to bring the pH up to seven. You should be testing your water as you’re adding this in to get it up to 7. If done correctly, this gives you a solution you can use for the pH 7 buffer.
- Now you need to make a buffer for pH 4. Do the same steps, except add 20 grams of citric acid instead of MKP. Add KOH until you’ve gone down to pH 4.
- Let the buffers sit untouched for a few hours to settle and really get their pH level. Once some time has passed, your homemade solutions are ready to go!
You can use this solution just like you would use a store-bought one. You can use it to measure the acidity or alkalinity of your solutions, as well as to reset your probes pH levels.
How Often to Calibrate pH Meter?
Calibrating your pH meter is what makes it work its best. So, how often should you be calibrating it for good results? It depends on a few things.
For starters, pH meters with high accuracy need to be re-calibrated before every use. General meters can be calibrated every week or so.
There are some cases when you should calibrate your pH meters, whether it’s got high accuracy or not. An example would be when you haven’t used the electrode in a long time or when it’s brand new.
You should also calibrate it after you’ve measured a strong base or a strongly acidic solution. If there was a big difference between the temperature of the buffer and the item you tested, you should also calibrate again.
Once you become more familiar with how pH meters work, you begin to appreciate how useful they are. Their benefits span many fields, from food and drinks to chemistry and biology.
The process of calibrating and using a pH meter seems difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it’s very simple.
You can use these pH meters in your aquariums to ensure that your fish are living in water that’s just right for them. Too basic or acidic isn’t good, so you’re helping to keep your fish healthy when you keep the pH levels in check.
With your love and care, your fish can spend the rest of their lives in a well-balanced and safe environment.