From plumbing to electrical inspections, thermal imaging cameras are incredibly useful tools and the latest devices are much easier to use. Whether you require a standalone camera such as the TOPDON device we tested in the image above or one that can be used with your smartphone, there are plenty of models to choose from at your disposal.
To assist you in selecting the right thermal imaging camera, our handpicked selection lists top-performing models, chosen based on our first-hand experience using multiple for various electrical, heating and plumbing inspections. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.
Our Top Picks At A Glance:
How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Thermal Imaging Cameras
As we own a number of properties (Airbnb’s and rental properties), we are often asked to diagnose issues that involve the use of a thermal imaging camera. These issues can include diagnosing electrical faults to locating a leak, the list is endless and they are very versatile tools which we’ve had the pleasure of using multiple times over the years.
During our ongoing testing, we analyse the camera’s accuracy, usability, customisation (i.e. adjustable emissivity based on the material), additional functions as well as the applications provided to view data afterwards for further analysis.
Below are some photos we took during the testing of various thermal imaging cameras. As you can see, the camera clearly displays multiple measurements (actual, min and max) along with clear colour visuals of hot and cold spots.
In the photos, the first image shows us diagnosing a radiator that wasn’t heating at the bottom whilst the second photo highlights a draft through a window.
As well as testing standalone handheld devices, we’ve also been putting the latest FLIR ONE EDGE PRO to test as shown below. The screenshot was taken straight from my smartphone and the camera itself is completely wireless.
To give you an idea of how to use a thermal imaging camera and how the data is displayed in real-time, below is a video that we posted on our YouTube channel that shows us testing and using the TOPDON TC004.
To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest thermal imaging cameras (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new model, we will attempt to upgrade our current thermal cameras for testing.
As well as testing and our experience using multiple thermal imaging cameras, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the camera’s build quality, imaging accuracy and quality, usability, detection speed, ability to save images and videos, additional functionality, supplied accessories, warranty and value for money.