Reptile Thermometer: Analog Vs. Digital

Reptile Thermometer: Analog Vs. Digital which is the best to use?

Comparing reptile thermometers is equal to me  to the debate of 8-Track tape versus CD. There’s simply no argument in ‘this day and age’ to use a very tired saying, there’s no reason to use analog thermometers. I hear from time to time people say

“If the company knows that a product supersedes another product they design and manufacture then why sell the inferior product?”

This concept is very easy to understand. What has happened is this; as technology gains a foothold in the herpetoculture industry things change and products improve. Not everyone in the customer base will adapt to the new technology right away. They wait to see what the others are doing first and are sometimes cautious about adopting new techniques.
I’ve been saying that analog or dial type thermometers simply are inaccurate when used in herpetoculture. I learned this via experience with using and changing various brands of analog thermometers and digital thermometers. For those who need more convincing and want to see an actual test that was done by a colleague in herpetoculture here is the test done and posted at Bearded In order to cut right to the chase of the matter.

It was Analog Reptile Thermometerdiscovered via the testing that at low-wattage there is a 5-7 degree inaccuracy with analog and at the high wattage tests Drum roll please…

“39-40 degree difference, even after sixty-five minutes.”

So what digital thermometers work the best? Now before going further we are NOT speaking of the sticker type of Stick on the glass thermometer reptilesthermometers. If I’m one hundred percent honest; the styles/brand names are pretty much all the same.

When comparing a digital thermometer set-up there a few factors we need to examine.

  • Do you need to measure humidity as well? If you are in need of a hygrometer and a thermometer in the same unit we recommend the following products.

Zilla 11577 Terrarium Hygrometer Digital Thermometer

Exo Terra Digital Combination Thermometer/Hygrometer

Fluker’s Digital Thermometer/Hygrometer

  • Do you need a probe in the enclosure itself? If you don’t need to have probe within the enclosure we recommend the digital infrared temp guns which are the equivalent of point and shoot cameras. You point the laser at the spot you want to know the temperature of, press the button, and voila! Instant and accurate thermal read out.

Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Infrared Thermometer

Pro Exotics PE2 Infrared Thermometer Temp Gun  

HDE® High Accuracy Non-Contact Infared IR Temperature Range -26 F to +716 F Gun w/ Laser Sight the last recommendation isn’t technically a reptile thermometer it’s still one of the better temperature guns available

  • If you’d rather go the probe route we recommend the following digital thermometers with probes. With probes however, you will be limited on the physical range of the device itself as the probe may not reach everywhere you want it to. 

 Zoo Med Digital Terrarium Thermometer

Exo Terra Digital Thermometer with Probe, Celsius and Fahrenheit

Zilla 11577 Terrarium Hygrometer Digital Thermometer