Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer

Published on Aug. 2, 2023, 7:37 p.m.

With the continuous development of technology, thermal imaging technology, as a very useful tool, has gradually been widely used in various fields. Thermal imaging cameras can capture the thermal radiation of different objects and convert it into visual images, providing people with a new way to observe the world. This article will focus on the Klein Tools IR1 infrared thermometer, as a non-contact temperature measurement device, it has broad application prospects in both professional and DIY fields. Next, we will delve into its features and performance, as well as its applications in HVAC work, cooking, and other fields.

Introduction to Thermal Imaging Technology

Thermal imaging technology is a technology that generates images by measuring the infrared radiation on the surface of an object. Through this technology, people can see the temperature distribution on the surface of objects, thereby identifying hot spots and cold spots. Thermal imaging technology has important applications in medicine, construction, industry, firefighting, and other fields, providing professionals in various industries with a fast, non-contact temperature measurement method. With the continuous progress of technology, the application fields of thermal imaging technology will be further expanded, bringing more convenience and safety to people’s lives and work.

The Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer is a handheld non-contact temperature measurement device. With its laser targeting, wide temperature range, and durable construction, this thermometer is a versatile tool for professionals and DIYers. In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the features and performance of the IR1 to see how it stacks up for applications ranging from HVAC work to cooking.

 Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer


The Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer is compact and lightweight, weighing just 10.6 oz. It is powered by a 9V battery and has an easy-to-read backlit LCD display. The measurement range spans an impressive -4°F to 752°F (-20°C to 400°C).

Some key features include:

  • 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio
  • Laser targeting
  • Automatic temperature hold
  • Low battery indicator
  • Auto power-off after 7 seconds of inactivity

The thermometer has a fixed emissivity of 0.95 and comes with a protective pouch for storage.

Technical Background

A thermal imaging camera is a device that can detect infrared radiation and convert it into images. Its working principle is based on the thermal radiation on the surface of an object. It senses the infrared radiation of different temperatures through an infrared sensor and converts it into images or digital signals. According to different application scenarios and requirements, the performance parameters of thermal imaging cameras vary. The main technical indicators include resolution, sensitivity, and measurement range. Generally, thermal imaging cameras with higher resolution, higher sensitivity, and wider measurement range have better performance. In addition, according to different application requirements, thermal imaging cameras can also be divided into handheld, portable, and fixed types. Handheld thermal imaging cameras are characterized by strong portability and simple operation, suitable for temperature detection and fault diagnosis in various occasions.

Analysis of Technical Indicators

  • Resolution: The resolution of a thermal imaging camera refers to the clarity and detail of its images, usually expressed in pixels. The higher the resolution, the richer the details of the image, and the stronger the ability to distinguish temperature distribution.
  • Sensitivity: The sensitivity of a thermal imaging camera refers to its ability to detect temperature changes. The higher the sensitivity, the wider the range of temperature changes the thermal imaging camera can detect, and the faster the response to temperature changes.
  • Measurement Range: The measurement range of a thermal imaging camera refers to the range of temperatures it can detect. Different models of thermal imaging cameras have different measurement ranges, and users should choose according to their actual application needs.

 Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer

Design and Build Quality

The Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer features a contoured rubberized grip that provides a secure, comfortable hold. The housing is made of durable ABS plastic that can withstand 6.5 foot drops. There is a large trigger button for easy one-handed operation. Overall, the build quality is very good - it has a solid durable feel you expect from Klein Tools.

The laser pointer comes in handy for accurately targeting surfaces, though it is quite dim. The LCD screen automatically backlights when the trigger is pressed. Readings are large and easy to discern.

 Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer

Ease of Use

Operation could not be simpler. Just point the laser at the surface, pull the trigger, and the temperature reading is shown. The Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer automatically detects hot spots for the most accurate reading. After releasing the trigger, the last temperature is held on the display.

The only minor annoyance is changing the temperature units between °F and °C requires unscrewing a small cap to access the button.


In testing, the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer proved very accurate when used properly. It was able to correctly read the temperature of boiling water to within 1°F. For best accuracy, the surface should be clean and the distance close. The 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio means the thermometer should be within 10 inches of the surface for the smallest measurable spot size of 1 inch.


The wide temperature range and laser targeting makes the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer suitable for both industrial and home uses. Here are some example applications:

  • HVAC - check heating vents, radiators, AC output
  • Automotive - measure brake disc temperature or check for hot spots indicating issues
  • Cooking - check oil temperature for frying, griddle surface temps, etc.
  • Electrical - check for hot spots on panels, wires, and equipment
  • General home - check for insulation issues, overheating appliances, office/room temperatures

It should not be used for human body temperature measurement.

 Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer

Analyzing User Feedback on the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer

With hundreds of customer reviews on Amazon and other sites, there is extensive real-world feedback on the performance and usability of the Klein Tools IR1 infrared thermometer. Analyzing these user experiences provides valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of this product.

The most common praise for the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer focuses on its accuracy, ease of use, and versatility. Users consistently report that readings are precise and match expected values, provided the thermometer is used properly. The large LCD display and bright laser make targeting surfaces simple and quick. Customers use it for everything from HVAC work and automotive repairs to checking food temperatures when cooking.

Many reviews specifically mention the useful 10:1 distance-to-spot ratio, allowing temperatures to be checked from a safe distance. The Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer makes inspecting hazardous or hard to reach surfaces much easier. Users also like the automatic data hold function that freezes the reading on the display.

Constructive feedback from customers revolves around several main areas. The most common complaint is that the battery compartment requires unscrewing to change between Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. An external button would improve usability. Some users report the battery cover feels flimsy, but this does not affect performance.

A portion of negative reviews stem from mistakes in usage. As an infrared thermometer, the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer only measures surface temperatures, not internal temperatures. It will not work well on shiny or transparent surfaces. Users underestimating the 10:1 ratio is another source of reduced accuracy. When used properly per the instructions, the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer consistently earns praise for its precision.

In summary, real-world customer feedback confirms the Klein IR1 infrared thermometer excels at non-contact surface temperature measurements. It earns very high marks for accuracy, ease of use, and versatility when used as intended. Some design compromises exist to meet the affordable price point, but overall it represents an excellent value purchase.


  • Accurate temperature readings
  • Durable construction
  • Laser targeting works well
  • Wide temperature range
  • Good value for price


  • Laser pointer is dim
  • Some quality control issues reported
  • Changing units requires unscrewing battery cap


With an MSRP of $32.63, the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer provides excellent value. It costs significantly less than many comparable models yet still carries the Klein name for quality. For those needing an accurate, versatile infrared thermometer on a budget, the Klein Tools IR1 Infrared Thermometer hits a sweet spot.

Conclusion and Prospects

With the continuous progress of science and technology, the application of thermal imaging technology in various fields will become more and more extensive. In the future, with the continuous improvement of sensor technology and image processing technology, the performance of thermal imaging cameras will be further improved, and the application fields will continue to expand. We look forward to thermal imaging technology bringing more convenience and safety to people’s lives and work. When using thermal imaging cameras, we should also pay attention to protecting the equipment and using it correctly to ensure its long-term stable operation and provide reliable data support for our work.


  • Temperature range: -4°F to 752°F (-20°C to 400°C)
  • Distance-to-spot ratio: 10:1
  • Power: 9V battery (included)
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.6 x 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 10.6 oz

Box Includes

  • Klein IR1 thermometer
  • 9V battery
  • Protective carrying pouch
  • Instructions

How to Use

  1. Install 9V battery
  2. Point thermometer at target surface
  3. Pull and hold trigger
  4. Center laser dot on surface
  5. Read temperature on LCD display
  6. Release trigger to hold reading
  7. Allow to auto power off after 7 seconds idle