Whether you are a couch potato that idles around the house for days on end, an avid outdoor enthusiast or a professional go-getter, it does not matter – your basic digital anemometer can make your workday routine more fun and productive. If you give it a chance it’ll be an asset anywhere where ambient temperature, humidity, wind speed or air volume is a present factor. Flying drones, kites, aero models, sailing or surfing, skydiving, storm chasing, forestry, and firefighting, getting heating and cooling readouts in heat pump systems or detecting filter blockages in equipment (the list goes on and on) – a digital anemometer can make a difference in many scenarios. It can be cheap ($15) and pricey ($2000), so if available funds are an issue the following three cut-rate models could be the solution.
1. HOLDPEAK 866B Digital Anemometer
One of the best selling digital anemometers up for grabs on the market and it delivers a three-pronged impact – its highly affordable, sleekly designed and astonishingly versatile for its price. So what do we like the most about this unit? Its precision is unparalleled – when it comes to wind speed measurement accuracy no other anemometer within this ultra-low price range can measure up.
What will catch your eye first and foremost when you set it into operation? It’s highly sensitive, springing into action at the slightest whiff of a breeze (0.3 meters per second is the lower sensitivity limit). It can also manage and process strong thirty meters per second gusts without a hitch. It’s earmarked for users coming from a broad range of educational backgrounds appraising the intensity of the wind in five different units. It’s capable of displaying temperature and wind speed simultaneously and gives you an unvarying, recurrent readout every time. We’ve heard a complaint or two about the measurement precision being off beam on some units, but that could be primarily ascribed to incorrect usage if anything else. 866-B boasts a solid-liquid crystal display that is nicely animated by a soft but powerful light, – especially useful when you find yourself in pitch darkness and need to sneak a quick glance at the screen. The light does not blink out of existence quickly, but lingers on for a while – you’ll be able to take your sweet time taking in a reading.
Users who are getting on in years and are not as hawk-eyed now as they were in their teens will appreciate the fact all the symbols and characters are easy to distinguish, even in broad daylight – the screen resolution isn’t an issue at all. This model can also effectively stash away maximum or minimum readings and give you the average readout as well. It’s powered by a usual pair of 1.5 Volt AAA Batteries, which are a dime a dozen and cost virtually nothing.
If you set store by knowing the exact amount of chill the wind carries this model gives you the chance to do that with ease, however, this useful option is slightly marred by the fact it can’t be simultaneously shown with the temperature (these digits are mutually interchangeable). On the plus side, If you like to have your temperature displayed in Celsius a body-integrated regulator sees to that. People living in tornado-frequented zones could get some mileage out of a barometer meter function, which measures air pressure and can be used to forecast short term weather changes. This noted we are yet to establish whether this life-saving option is indeed viable. If you fall asleep at the switch and forget to switch off your digital anemometer, it has the auto-shutdown function – very thoughtful. The low battery voltage signal is a plus, ditto a lanyard connection. A wrist strap and zipper nylon carry case are two added attractions that don’t hurt the overall product appeal one bit. When it comes to giving a customer premier level value for his hard-earned buck no other digital anemometer can come close!
The question marks? There are a few that we would like to see erased in the future. For one, It takes some minor sleight of hand to get the most accurate wind speed reading, as the smallest digression from aiming the device front end directly at the wind screws up the readings. The battery compartment lid sits snug on two diminutive screws and you won’t be able to open it without an appropriate screwdriver. The display gives you crystal-clear readouts but a few symbols could use a growth hormone. All minor failings that could be dismissed in light of the preposterously low price.
- Integrated temperature regulator
- Dual wind-chill sensor
- Bright liquid crystal display
- Support interface connection
- Size 6.5 by 1.5 by 3.4 inches
- Weight 0.37 lbs
- Model HP-866B
|• Excellent price|
• Sleek design
• Broad functionality
• Good accuracy
|• Very basic|
• No USB port
• No humidity readout
• Hard to reach power supply
2. Ambient Weather WM-2 Handheld Weather Meter
This weather-detection snoop makes an appearance with almost the same selling price as its HOLDPEAK peer but these two could not be more different. So what advantages does WM2 offer in comparison, if any?
First off, it’s almost three times smaller in size, just a pocketful and will not encumber you in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t look as slickly designed but seems to be a bit more robust in its structure and regarding the amount of wear and tear it can endure over time. WM2 is powered by a lithium battery as opposed to your dime-store AAAs, but whether that’s an upgrade remains in the eye of the beholder. Its display is, understandably, smaller but the symbols and readouts are backlit and easy to discern. Its body has a rubberized, non-skid surface – this bad boy will not give you a slip when you climb over a brook hiking.
What other tricks can WM-2 pull out of a hat? Just a few, but they do carry some weight. For one, it reads the wind-chill and can provide an instant as well as maximum wind intensity readouts as well as compute an average approximation in a heartbeat. The user can also alternate between five different wind intensities and two temperature measuring units for extra versatility. The package deal includes a lanyard and an extra battery – two nice perfecting touches to an already worthy product.
WM2 has its vulnerable points, for sure. Among other things, it does not consistently pick up an accurate reading at lower and average wind velocities. This shortcoming is not inherent in most devices currently in use but appears to be rearing its ugly head now and then for some hapless customers, – which leaves us wondering whether it’s more due to lack of user expertise than device malfunction. Lack of automatic power-off mode is definitely a more tangible oversight and we’d definitely prefer to have a shockproof carry case to tote our device in – no, it’s not included in the offer. At the end of the day, the bottom line is simple – don’t expect too much when you buy this inexpensive item and it will not leave you disappointed!
- Liquid crystal display
- Optional tripod
- Size 2 by 0.8 by 5.5 inches
- Weight 0.125 lbs.
- Model number WM-2
|• Great price|
• Very light
• Easy to use and take in readouts
• Strong frame
• Good overall value for money
|• Smaller display symbols|
• Inconsistent in its readings
• No automatic shutdown mode
3. Proster Anemometers Handheld Wind Speed Meter
If you are looking to purchase a handy little digital anemometer for a song no other model on the market offers a better chance to do that than this special offering by Proster – it costs next to nothing, take it from us – it’s price tag will make your jaw drop, while presenting an assortment of customary options/settings as well as a few individual touches that set it apart from analogous competing units.
So what is the name of the game for this model that puts the competition in the shade? For starters, it’s very compact, visually eye-pleasing, and has a new-fangled Liquid crystal display that is nicely backlit. Its capabilities to measure wind speed and temperature in seven different calibrations is not something to crow about but a few supplements such as a low power source indication and an automatic shutdown option do put two small notches on its belt. The device can clue you in quickly and precisely on how sizable a chill factor is present in the wind. It’s also outfitted with an external thermistor and a function for data hold – this one is definitely not a one-trick pony!
To further distinguish itself from the crowd Proster beefed up its product with a firm protective cover, lanyard and high performance, low drain power source – LR44 button cell battery. Way to go, Poster!
It would shock us if this very affordable digital anemometer did not have a few weaker points. And it does have its limitations, the most significant one being lack of consistent, repeatable, accurate wind measurement readouts, especially at average and minimum wind velocities.
- Air temp sensor
- Low-battery signal
- Illuminated liquid crystal display
- Auto-shutdown function
- Size 4.1 by 1.6 by 0.7 inches
- Weight 0.19 lbs
|• Good value for money|
• Good range of options
• LR44 power source
|• Laggardly reads of lower and average level |
|Product||Value for money||Light Weight||Battery||Easy to read||Accuracy||Durability||Versatility||Consistency in readings|
Digital Anemometer Buyer’s Guide
Let’s face it, there isn’t really such a thing as the best sort of anemometer. Each model comes with its advantages/disadvantages and what it all comes down to is a personal preference and what conditions you are going to primarily use your unit in.
Here are a few simple questions you’ll need to answer to yourself to draw a bead on your optimal, purpose-built device.
What measurement options are you Looking For in Your ideal digital anemometer?
- Current, maximum or average wind intensity
- Temperature, humidity, and moisture
- Air pressure and altitude
What features do you Require?
- Automatic shutdown
- USB port
- Low-battery indication
- Backlit liquid crystal display
- Single or dual wind-chill sensor
- Data-hold function
- Rubberized case
Size and Durability
What model size would be a perfect fit? Some anemometers are tiny and would fit into the palm of your hand, others are real heavyweights. Also, how rugged do you need it to be? If you are going to be using it a lot on a daily basis or in harsh conditions getting a more expensive, durable model would be a sensible choice.
How big of a factor is ending measurement accuracy to you? Keep in mind, digital anemometer price can vary between 15 and 2000 dollars! Lower-priced models might present upbeat specs, however, reality proves otherwise. You can expect to get a plus/minus five up to fifty percent digression in the precision of wind intensity/chill readouts when you buy on the cheap. The measurement ceiling on lower-rate models is 70-80 mph for wind speed and -10 up to 60 degrees Celsius for temperature. If you need to use your anemometer professionally or in recreational activities where the slightest error could be the difference between life and death (skydiving) than penny-pinching is not an option!
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Buying a product from a proven brand with a well-established warranty and customer support track record seems like a good idea in today’s upside-down world.