PH Testers (Features that Should be Looking & Our Selection)

Published on: March 2, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by David Rowan

A PH tester measures the hydrogen-ion action in a water-based solution to see the acidity or alkalinity in tested water called PH. The PH tester measures the variation in electrical potential between a PH and a reference electrode. Many measuring gadgets test the PH level, but a PH tester is handy and gives an accurate reading than a strip or other testers. 

A PH tester measures your tested water’s PH level and displays the result in a simple number that’s easy to understand. It’s a one-time investment. You can measure as many times as you like with a single tester, which saves you money and service.

ph testers (features that should be looking & our selection)

PH tester is a sensitive tool, so you need to be more careful at the time of purchase. If you are a newbie at purchasing and using it, follow our buying guide to acquire sufficient knowledge about its must-have features.

Features that Should be Looking for at the Time of Selection

There is a massive range of PH testers in the market, from specific designs to versatile designs. Some take direct measurements with a probe, and others use a chemical analysis. It may be portable or versatile. Before purchasing the PH tester, among these features, you should consider the following essential factors:


Slight changes in pH can affect the water quality test; this is why the error should be very narrow. Automatic temperature coverage enables the tester to pay for any temperature change, delivering a precise reading to ensure stability. Also, the accuracy of the PH tester depends on the range from ±0.1 PH to ±0.001 PH. We suggest you look out for a tester with the feature ±0.01 for quality research. Though a PH tester with ±0.10 considers being affordable for students.


Usually, a PH tester is a small portable tool, so it’s easy to carry. But if you need to take the solutions too, then it becomes a non-manageable work for you. Also, a lightweight tester is easy to operate with one hand. The best tip for you is to consider the compact size for accessibility. Also, the tester which can float in water can count as they are waterproof and durable.


As a PH tester measures the difference in electrical potential between a pH electrode and a reference electrode. On the other hand, the electrode measures the concentration of hydrogen ions. More advanced models can measure electrical conductivity. So purchase the ones which have a low replacement cost of electrode bulbs.


Calibration is an important thing to consider. Any measuring instrument eventually needs calibration to check its accuracy. It is necessary because even a finely calibrated tool can be worn down its accuracy with time. 

The digital PH tester also needs to calibrate with color liquids to known current PH values. The results with pH buffer solutions available in the market are 4, 7, and 10 which code red, blue, and yellow. While buying, consider the tester that uses minimum 2-point calibration to a maximum 3-point or 5-point, which will increase the range of pH.


Temperature is another consideration that can affect the testing result. For an exact result, the calibration should match the same temperature as the testing sample. 

Some advanced models have automatic temperature advantages. This feature is a great convenience that usually adds little cost to a digital PH tester. But the range of temperature provides far better degrees than others.

User Friendly

A complicated tester can be hard to understand, and you will quickly give up if it’s not simple and user-friendly. A clear and wide LCD screen will make it easy to measure the values and enhance the readability regardless of sunlight and viewing angle. The Backlit LCD screens help you to test in low light. Usually, most of the testers provide results in minutes, but some expensive models provide reading in seconds. So buy the tester, which is easier to use.

Are There Any Tips for Using a PH Tester Correctly

Here are some tips for using a pH tester correctly:

  1. Calibrate the PH tester before each use by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Make sure the electrode is clean and not damaged before using it.
  3. Use distilled water or buffer solutions to calibrate the PH tester.
  4. Immerse the electrode fully in the solution being tested.
  5. Stir or agitate the solution to ensure a homogenous PH reading.
  6. Wait for the reading to stabilize before recording the PH value.
  7. Clean the electrode after each use to ensure accurate readings in the future.
  8. Store the electrode in a storage solution recommended by the manufacturer when not in use to prevent electrode damage.
  9. Check the expiration date of the PH tester and replace it if necessary to ensure accuracy.
  10. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions when using a PH tester.

View Our Recommended Top 8 PH Testers, Below

When it comes to buying a PH tester, it’s an essential factor to decide which one is accurate and long-lasting. Here’s a list of the most precise PH testers available on the market today.

1. Apera Instruments AI209 Waterproof PH Tester

  • Weight: 3.90 ounces;
  • Range: 0 to 14.0 pH;
  • Operation hours= Up to 2000;
  • Material: Polycarbonate and glass.

Apera Instruments PH20 Value PH Tester Kit holds the 1st position in our list because of its quick and reliable PH measurement reputation. It features advanced auto-recognition of a smiley face that reminds us to take the guesswork out of getting a standard measure. It works in a dependable PH or temperature-assessing performance with a single catch in a thin body.

It is ideal to use in general water solutions, like pools and spas, hydroponics, aquarium and aquaculture, horticulture, beverage making, water treatment, environmental monitoring, etc. The intelligent functions of automated one to three-point calibration with ATC make it unique.

Moreover, it has an auto power-off option, enabling it if it is not used for 8 minutes and indicates a low battery, and supports the switch of standard PH series and temperature unit ˚F or ˚C. It accommodates simple auto calibration 3: 4.00, 7.00, 10.01, and 0 to 60˚C auto temperature compensation.


  • Automatic calibration in 1 to3 points;
  • Sensor shield protects the sensitive glass layer;
  • High-sensitive lithium glass PH sensor;
  • Quick and reliable PH measures;
  • Wide and clear LCD allows stable reading;
  • It comes with a premix calibration solution and carrying case.


  • The included manual was not clearly instructed;
  • It is not moisture-resistant.

2. Apera Instruments AI311 Premium Pocket Tester Kit

  • Weight: 4.70 ounces;
  • PH Range: -2.00 to 16.00;
  • Auto temperature coverage 32˚ to 122˚F;
  • Material: Polycarbonate and glass.

Opera manufactures this premium PH tester kit, especially for professionals who regularly measure PH levels for general water applications. The accuracy level it provides ranges from ±0.01 pH ±1 digit in temperature of±1˚F (±0.5˚C).

It can show accurate results of PH levels in hydroponics, water treatment, pools and spas, aquarium, aquaculture, and other projects. At the time of PH testing, it can adjust automatically with the temperature coverage from 32 to 122˚F.

Further, the sensor shield on top of the probe protects the sensitive glass layer from any accidental breakages. The three points can automatically calibrate with a variety of 1.68, 4.00, 7.00, 10.01, and 12.45 pH buffers.

The advanced self-diagnosis option in the tester can instantly notify by lighting up the red backlight if anything wrong happens during calibration and suggest a solution.

 As well as, the optional automatic reading lock holds itself to provide an uninterrupted manual reading. The sensitive lithium glass membrane ensures accurate and stable analyses with a fast response. In our view, this PH tester would be a good investment for accurate and precise services.


  • The tester arrives with a replaceable pH probe;
  • Fit with the other three types of PH electrodes;
  • Three different colors on the screen indicate separate modes;
  • Operate up to 2000 hours with batteries;
  • Durable and waterproof;
  • Self-diagnosis system.
  • Auto temperature adjustment.


  • Not perfect for long time usage;
  • The bulb is not very well protected.

3. SX610 Waterproof PH Pen Tester

  • Weight: 1.50 ounces;
  • PH Range: 0 to 14.0;
  • Temperature coverage 0 to 60˚C;
  • Material: Plastic and glass.

Aprea Instruments SX610 is a compact and small pen-style PH tester that comes with a single-button operation. You can carry this portable tester anywhere in your pocket. It provides reliable and accurate measurement at ± 0.1 PH with a 0 to 14.0 PH measuring range. The temperature can switch from ˚F to ˚C.

Moreover, the auto temperature compensation provides accuracy in variable temperatures between 0-60.0C. The tiny 8mm PH probe is replaceable and proper for test tube scaling. It can recall a low battery signal by an alarm system, and probe invalidation reminds you to replace it. It comes in a complete kit including batteries and a portable carrying case. 

It is also waterproof and dustproof and floats on water. It can be used for different purposes like hydroponics, aquaculture, water treatment, pools & spas, etc. It is CE and RoHS-certified. Overall, it has a simple single-point calibration that took under a minute to complete the process within a budget. 


  • Precise and trusted result;
  • Easy single-button operation;
  • Replaceable probe;
  • Auto buffer memory with auto-calibration;
  • Arrives with a complete and ready-to-use kit;
  • Changeable temperature unit switch from F to C;
  • Different types of reminders.


  • Doesn’t have a backlight on the screen;
  • Sensitive to use than other models.

4. Bluelab Metcom Combo Tester for PH

  • Weight: 5.3 ounces;
  • EC, CF, ppm 500, and ppm 700;
  • Easy two-point calibration;
  • Material: Plastic.

It is a large tester with all one solution for PH, temperature, and conductivity. The manufacturer concentrates on ergonomic features to assist with regular use in differing growth environments. It is famous mostly because it doesn’t require a power supply to operate. Also, it doesn’t need any calibration for conductivity and temperature.

Due to simple two-point PH calibration, the testing becomes so simple with accurate results. In addition, the double-junction probe enhances higher accuracy. The measurement scale and EC, CF, PPM 500 (TDS), and PPM 700 for conductivity can be customized by preference to increase user convenience. 

Also, the temperature is changeable from °C to °F or vise-versa. Besides, it features auto shut-off when it is not in use. The display of this product is large and clear. Overall, it can deliver a fast and accurate result.


  • Simple two-point calibration method;
  • Quick and accurate reading;
  • The design focuses more on ergonomic qualities;
  • Double-junction probe;
  • Lightweight and portable;
  • Auto shutdown option.


  • Probe quality is not up to the mark;
  • Less expensive than other comparable models.

5. Apera Instruments SX620 Pen PH Tester Kit

  • Weight: 5.0 ounces;
  • PH Range: -1 to 15.00;
  • Temperature coverage 0 to 60˚C;
  • PH accuracy: ± 0.01 pH±1 digit.

Apera Instruments is a reputable manufacturer of different testers, and the SX620 PH pen tester is one of them that is featured with a dependable pH/temp, measuring performance with a single capture in a thin body. It provides reliable testing results for pools, hydroponics, aquaculture, cooling towers, beverage making, body fluid, etc.

Further, the automatic three-point calibration gives an accurate result at 0. 01 PH range and these three premixed calibration solutions (4, 7, 10) come along with the tester. Besides, the probe is replaceable, so you don’t need to dispose of the full tester when the test matures. Users can switch temperatures from ˚F to ˚C. The intelligent auto shut-off option increases the tester’s life span.


  • Auto power off option;
  • Gives reminder of pH probe invalidation; 
  • Compact size and portable;
  • Proper for test tubes;
  • Executed calibration indicators.


  • Sometimes calibration needs new solutions; 
  • Dryness resistant.

6. Dr.Meter Upgraded 0.01 Resolution High Accuracy pH Tester with ATC

  • Weight: 11.22 ounces;
  • 0-14pH Measurement Range;
  • Temperature coverage: 0.05ph

Dr.meter Helps you to get PH results by pressing a simple one-touch button. The three-point calibration method can automatically identify the calibration liquid to provide a quick suitable PH value reading. It can solve the probable inaccurate PH result because of fluctuating temperature by its automatic temperature compensation function (ATC).

Moreover, this digital PH tester is designed with a premium quality algorithm chip and electrode to provide faster and more accurate results. Besides, this pocket-sized pen tester can be used in a multipurpose application for daily household, testing use, and teaching. Unlike other PH meters whose range is only 0 to 50 degrees, it has a better range of 0 to 70 degrees, so you can test with confidence in any weather.

The package combines a carrying case that is lightweight with a handled design for convenience. The small display will concurrently show you the PH value and temperature clearly. Remove the cap and immerse the electrode in the PH4.00 buffer solution. Stir gently and wait for the value to stabilize. Therefore, it is one of the most reliable ph testers for lab practice.


  • It uses a three points calibration system;
  • Backlit LCD screen that displays;
  • 15-minute auto-off functionality to save battery;
  • Reliable and fast readings but pocket size;
  • Automatic temperature compensation role (ATC);
  • Improved algorithm chip and electrode.


  • None.

7. Test Assured Digital Drinking Water Test Kit

  • Weight: 5.0 ounces;
  • TDS range: up to 600ppm in different scales;
  • Ten types of tests.

To get safe and sound drinking water with excellent taste, you can choose this home water testing kit that contains ten tests for nitrates, lead, copper, iron, nitrites, chlorine, alkalinity, ph, hardness, and total dissolved solids. It also comes with a digital TDS meter. 

Besides, this kit is easy to use to get quick and accurate results. However, the TDS meter doesn’t need any strips to operate, and it can apply to check both TDS and Temperature anytime. It calibrates according to the EPA quality rule guidelines for water quality purposes.

In addition, it can operate at home, in laborites, or anywhere you would like to use it. Professionals also apply it for its result efficiency and accuracy. So if you experience the hassle and expense of getting the water tested, this test kit is a reasonable and easy way to get accurate results. Read more: Moisture Meters for Wood


  • One device takes ten different tests at any time;
  • Cooperative and easy to use;
  • It meets EPA standards;
  • Affordable and accurate;
  • Normal color chart and instruction.


  • Expensive than similar models;
  • It doesn’t come with a carrying case.

8. Apera Instruments AI313 Premium Pocket PH Tester

  • Weight: 3.90 ounces;
  • PH Range: 0 to 14.0;
  • Calibration: Auto 1 to 3 points; 
  • Temperature coverage 0 to 50˚C.

We all know Opera is a master manufacturer of testing kits with a reliable reputation. They built this AI313 PH standard series tester with an auto one-to-three calibration system and an advanced auto face recognition system. This easy auto-reminder with a smiley face helps with guesswork out of getting a stable measurement.

Besides, the built-in self-diagnosis capacity automatically tells about uncertainty during calibration time and automatically fixes it. The easy auto buffer recognition with auto ATC ensures accuracy in different temperatures from 32 to 122 F. The in-built PH sensor with low impedance provides a high response rate.

Moreover, a low battery warns you by giving an alarm, and the auto shut-off option helps to save batteries if it is not in use for 8 minutes. It comes in a sturdy carrying case with 4 and 7 PH buffers and a cord.


  • The PH sensor assures a high response rate;
  • Easy auto-calibration with buffer recognition;
  • Adjust in various temperatures;
  • Fast and increased response rate;
  • Includes a carrying case and solution;
  • Up to 2000 hours of continuous service.


  • The product quality is not up to the mark.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will a PH Meter Last?

It has a limited life because of the continuous maturing of the sensor and will just keep going for around 360 readings.

What is the Most Well-Known Blunder in pH Estimation?

The most well-known reason for blunders in PH estimations is temperature. The slant of a PH cathode is profoundly reliant upon temperature, and pH cushion values and test values change with temperature.

How Often Should I Use a PH Tester?

It depends on the context in which you are using a PH tester. If you are using it to test the PH levels of a swimming pool or hot tub, it’s recommended to test the PH levels at least once a day. If you are using it to test the PH levels of soil for a garden, it’s recommended to test the pH levels at least once a week. If you are using it for laboratory experiments or other specific purposes, the frequency of testing may vary. It’s also important to refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer or any guidelines provided by experts in the relevant field.

To Conclude

The most common and accurate way to measure PH in home and laboratory settings is the PH digital tester. The tester’s calibrating process seems complicated initially, but it’s straightforward once you understand it carefully. Once you know the reading figures accurately, it becomes a useful gadget for a water solution. 

Expectedly, this guide has provided you with the information to choose the most reliable PH tester for you. Overall, the tester you prefer will depend on your budget, requirements, fast reading capability, and accuracy.

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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