Best Ph Meter
The pH in water makes a lot of difference in gardening as well as for drinking, swimming, and everyday use. But we are not always guaranteed safe water sources and we are left to adjust pH balances ourselves. When facing this dilemma, it’s essential to keep a pH meter close by and ready to test the waters—literally.
Read our Best Ph Meter Review to find out.
- Apera Instruments AI316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1 Waterproof pH/EC Temp. Tester Kit (Editors choice - High Quality)
- GuDoQi PH Meter, PPM Meter, 0.01 Resolution TDS PH EC Temperature 4 in 1 Set (Runner up)
- WECHIC 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range (Amazing Price)
- TekSky Digital pH Meters - 0.01pH Accuracy, 0-60 Celsius, 0-14 PH Measurement Range (Affordable Product)
- Aibrisk PH Meter PH Tester Digital, 0.01 PH High Accuracy PH Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range (Great Product)
Apera Instruments AI316 Premium Series PC60 5-in-1 Waterproof pH/EC Temp. Tester Kit
This kit consists of a multi-parameter tester pen, calibration and soaking solutions, and bottles. It comes with a plastic case with molded foam so you can safely carry it around and perform your testing as efficiently as possible. It is equipped with a Brush-Resistant Platinum Black sensor unique to Apera Instruments products.
While a multiparameter instrument addresses many testing needs, there are complaints about the product efficiency after frequent use. The downside of multifunctional devices is that having a wide range of programs does not ensure it maintains the same level of accuracy for each parameter. After some time, it may mess up one of the functions and trip others. If you don’t require all these functions, maybe you’ll get your money’s worth with a simpler or dedicated pH tester.
One great thing about Apera Instruments is they have topnotch customer assistance. For first time users, operating these instruments may be confusing, especially during calibration. The company immediately addresses these concerns and more.
- Multifunctional testing kit: pH/EC/TDS/ppm/ppt/temp
- Large LCD Screen with backlit colors for 3 modes
- Auto-hold function
- Powered by AAA batteries
- Easy to calibrate
- Comes with calibration solutions
- Includes a lanyard
- 2-year warranty
- Expensive at $135.15
- Some functions may fail over time
GuDoQi PH Meter, PPM Meter, 0.01 Resolution TDS PH EC Temperature 4 in 1 Set
This kit consists of two pieces of testers: one for pH and another for three parameters: total dissolved solids (TDS), electrical conductivity (EC), and temperature. The kit is dedicated to water testing for home use, but this could probably work well too for basic laboratory experimenting. This is well suitable for monitoring waters in pools or even for watering plants.
Customers can immediately use this product as it has been pre-calibrated by the manufacturer. But it is always useful to know how to calibrate the tools and even run the first calibration before you use it at all.
This is a great and handy kit to bring when you are traveling, camping, and need to ensure your water is safe. Some reviewers are amazed that the meter’s accuracy is at par with the professional-grade ones.
Keep in mind though, to follow the instructions during calibration and to clean the tip before storing it in its case. Often, improper cleaning of the tip may result in contamination and distorts future readings.
- Multifunctional tester kit for TDS, EC, temperature, and pH tests
- Has auto temperature compensation (ATC)
- Displays values instantly
- A bit on the high end in this list at $18.99
- Product warranty is not indicated on the website
- Some reviews say accuracy drops after repeated use
WECHIC 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range
While most portable pH meter is designed for residential use only, a few brands such as the WECHIC provides an industrial and scientific-grade tester. This digital pH meter uses lithium metal batteries and has an autocalibration system that calibrates with a one-touch button.
Like any pH meter, the accuracy may dwindle when it has been idle for a long time and when the battery is replaced. It also requires gentle cleaning every after use, especially with the sensor tip. The glass probe sensor needs to dry thoroughly before putting the cap back on.
A word of caution for beginners, the device is not entirely waterproof. This has always been a common complaint about the product and most of the pH meters within this budget range. It cannot be submerged in the water and so you should always observe the instructions when testing water samples.
- The least expensive in this list at $10.99
- Easy to calibrate
- Displays pH value instantly
- Easy to use
- Comes with buffer powders
- Not waterproof
- Has to be recalibrated if idle for too long or when the battery case is opened or replaced
TekSky Digital pH Meters - 0.01pH Accuracy, 0-60 Celsius, 0-14 PH Measurement Range
The TekSky digital pH meter’s accuracy is well suited for home use and even for basic laboratory experiments. It is easy to operate even for kids. However, its functionality is limited to general use, and exposing this to harsh solutions may damage the glass probe and may affect its accuracy.
If you are planning on using this daily, you may want to keep stock on batteries as it drains fast. Other than that, its readings are precise and better improved by automatic temperature compensation (ATC) which stabilizes the pH reading even at a cold to warm temperature (32° F to 140° F).
The maintenance is also quite intuitive, just clean the electrode dry before replacing the protective cap. The electrode can’t stay too long in the air, and if it did, must be recalibrated. The calibration involves a multistep approach, but it is all covered in the manual that comes with it. Other than that, it will work great and should stay with you for a long time.
- One of the least expensive in this list at $13.95
- Perfect for daily use
- One-year warranty
- Comes with buffer powder
- Not waterproof
- Drains battery power fast
- Doesn’t last for very long
- Has to be recalibrated if idle for too long
Aibrisk PH Meter PH Tester Digital, 0.01 PH High Accuracy PH Tester with 0-14 PH Measurement Range
The Aibrisk pH Meter is geared towards monitoring drinking water. It boasts high accuracy and is comparable with industrial-grade pH meters. It is operated with replaceable Lithium battery cells.
The device is not waterproof from beyond the immersion line. It is easy to use, portable, and comes with a little storage box. This is a perfect companion for campers and one that works great for such a low-end pH meter.
Personally, I would recommend this to new users who just need this for home or gardening use. It is a no-brainer to operate and maintains accuracy over time. However, this product may get sensitive and inaccurate after being idle for a long time. If you suspect that it's not reading accurately or its reading starts jumping up and down, recalibrate.
- One of the least expensive in this list at $12.49
- Displays pH value instantly
- Not waterproof
Ph Meter: The Real Score
Why Bother with Your Water’s pH Levels?
The term “pH” (potential of Hydrogen) is a figure that refers to the amount of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in a solution. It ranges from a scale of 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral and the ideal for drinking. Alkaline water has a pH of 8 or above, while acidic water falls below 7. Drastic deviation from the neutral pH means the water is contaminated and unsafe for drinking or for other use.
To get a general idea about pH in the water:
- A healthy pH for drinking water is between pH 6.5-8.5
- Common bottled water is pH 6.5 to 7.5
- Distilled water is pH 7
- Tap water is typically pH 7.5
- Ocean water is about pH 8
Municipal water suppliers are in charge of monitoring the pH levels of their water. However, once your faucets and pipes turn rusty or show any discoloration, it is wise to start doing your own testing. Acidic water is corrosive and damaging for the health, while extremely basic or alkaline water tastes bad.
For hydroponics, a very acidic environment means that magnesium, potassium, and calcium count is depleted. This is not ideal for most plants that thrive at a pH of 5.5 to 6.5 environment. But there too are some plants that live in acidic soil like hydrangea, azaleas, gardenias, and rhododendrons. There is no one size fits all crops, and it is wise to monitor and balance the pH of your water frequently.
Traditionally, acidity and alkalinity test is done through litmus strips and a universal indicator as demonstrated in this video. The downside of the litmus test is it doesn’t account for the pH values in numbers, and each strip is for one-time use.
Nowadays, pH testers for industrial and residential purposes simply need a sensor bulb dipped in the solution and immediately flashes the pH values in the LCD screen. This is less of a hassle if you are going to frequently check your water pH
How to Choose the Best pH Meter
The most portable pH meters come in a pen form. Pen type testers are convenient for residential use specifically for testing drinking water, pool, or even in hydroponics. If you have other sources other than a tap, or if you are camping, having a pocket-sized pH tester is handy. So too if you are on an alkaline diet for health reasons.
There are a variety of pH testers you can choose from and many manufacturers have done a great job in simplifying pH testing for home use. But how do you choose from a variety of testers out there? We narrowed down the thinking process into five criteria.
Is it accurate? Does it flash the same values repeatedly when tested in the same solution? If you have access to another pH measuring instrument, how does it compare to this? Does accuracy change when it is left idle for some time?
How fast does it flash results on the LCD screen? Does it slow down over repeated use?
Ease of Use
How user-friendly is it to operate? Are you getting confused with the instructions and buttons on the instrument?
Ease of Recalibrating
How easy it is to calibrate? Would you need other tools to carry out the calibration?
How much are you spending for the purpose you are using it for? Is this an investment for a business, such as for cheese or beer making?
How Does a PH Meter Work
The pH meter is comprised of an electrode or the tip where the sensor collects data. When this electrode is dipped in a significant amount of sample, the meter registers the electrical potential (voltage) of the hydrogen ions in the solution. This would be read as numbers from 1.00 to 14.00, with 1.00 as the most acidic, and 14.00 as the most alkaline.
Usually, the diode is just dipped in a small amount of solution and would instantly flash the measurements. To keep the precision from waning over time, the diode that comes in contact with the solution (water), must always be cleaned and dried prior to storing.
Some pH meters would be unstable for a few seconds and show its run of numbers and stops changing after. If it doesn’t stabilize for a long time even in distilled water, change the batteries or run a calibration.
Simplicity is beauty and we find that the best pH meters are one that continues to provide precise readings over a long period of use. And for that, we pick the Aibrisk pH meter. This is great for first-time users and is still a bang for the buck.
Fancier pH testers may be great for multifunctional use, and if that is what you are looking for, the Apera instruments multiparameter kit works great. It is easy to carry and reduces the bulk you would usually carry with all these testing functions. Just keep in mind though to use it with caution and to be conservative where it goes. As it is powered by 4 AAA batteries, it is not hard to imagine it lasting for 1000 hours. A great plus knowing this will be used for any of its purposes on repeat.
It is also notable to consider TekSky digital pH meter for its ATC feature. It makes a great tester for outdoor water testing and in environments where you can’t control the water temperature. It makes a great companion for hydroponics and general gardening in all seasons.
Remember to only get the pH tester that suits your needs. Happy testing!