Maximum-minimum thermometers

mark_nova(6/7 Snst32 AHS7)January 15, 2005

I'm trying to determine the various microclimates around my yard and am looking to buy a bunch of maximum-minimum thermometers (actually, just minimum thermometers). Does anyone have recommendations for reasonable, accurate and durable (maximum-)minimum thermometers and where to buy them? Nothing digital/wireless please! (the batteries wear out in the cold.)

Doing a web search, I have found thermometers by/from:

Post Apple Scientific


Acorn Naturalists

Ben Meadows

Belfort Instrument



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Just got my new FarmTek and saw this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Max-Min thermometer $9.95

    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 11:54PM
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Onion(z9b/15 Nor Cal)

I have an Oregon Scientific RAR186 that I bought from Target for $15. It has one remote sensor and the base unit. I was very happy with it telling me the min and max temps UNTIL i placed the remote sensor next to the base unit and compared the temperatures recorded - they were different by as much as 4 degrees. This would normally be fine (good enough) but when what you want is to know if you are getting freezing temps, 4 degrees can make a big difference. Finding very accurate models seems to make a really large jump in price, however...

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 1:34AM
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mark_nova(6/7 Snst32 AHS7)

Not to mention which those wireless ones--sold all over now--almost qualify as a scam, since they don't work well below freezing (as batteries wear out too fast then).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 9:14AM
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abq_bob(USDA 5a/SS 2A)

Haven't ever had one, but have always wanted one! Thanks for those links, btw! That one from Acorn looks like the easiest to read to me, but I've always preferred "dial" therms over mercury therms.

In fact I'm going to order that one right now. I'll let you know what it's like :)


    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 10:59PM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Mark - I recently got a wireless one from Radio Shack (mostly thanks to this thread!), which has an option for using up to 3 remote sensors. RS recognizes the deal with batteries and cold temperatures and recommended getting lithium AAs, which they sell (which are more expensive but can supposedly take the cold temps). I've had mine for about a month with plenty of temps below freezing and the 2 sensors outside have pretty much been consistent with my other indoor/outdoor thermometer, which is a wired model with an outdoor probe.

I got this unit (but when it was on sale). It supposedly has a range of 60ft - 90ft.

There's a cheaper model here that also takes up to 3 sensors. And there's a more expensive model here that supposedly has a range to 300ft (also taking up to 3 sensors).

Lithium batteries

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 8:38AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

For those who are using a max-min thermometer to measure outdoor temperatures, how are your choices working out?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 10:18PM
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mark_nova(6/7 Snst32 AHS7)

Funny you should ask--unfortunately, very bad. From eBay, I bought a bunch of cheap Taylor min-max thermometers. No more than 2 have the same low temperatures, so they're pretty useless for finding microclimates. A few are fairly far off. I'm wondering if they were factory rejects or cheap copies. Buyer beware on eBay!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 10:31PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I bought a Taylor min-max at a hardware store the other day and it seems pretty cheaply made, especially compared to the kitchen thermometers I've bought from Taylor. I'll report back my experiences with it this weekend. This site (see bottom of page), which seems pretty serious, reports that their new model is inferior to earlier ones.

Does anyone have any other experiences, good or bad, with particular min-max thermometers?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2005 at 3:50PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I've been using the Taylor thermometer for a couple of weeks. Despite its flimsy appearance, it seems to be functioning well, as far as I can tell. When I've compared its readings to those listed for nearby weather stations, they agree within a degree or so, in a consistent direction (for example, my high and low are always about one degree cooler than those recorded at a station about 20 miles southeast). It seems sufficient for my purposes.

Mark, I think your suspicions are right; quality control on the Taylor may be inferior to its earlier models, but in any case you got a bum lot.

Another note: The site I mentioned says that among "analog" thermometers, it prefers mercury, as generally more accurate than spirit-based ones. Personally I'd never allow a column of mercury housed in a fragile glass column anywhere near my home or garden.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 10:09PM
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jane7733(Cape Cod)

I too bought a new Taylor Max-Min thermometer, the white cheap model #5460. And it failed right away, we were not able to get it to work properly even tho we followed all the instructions.
I had just given my old one away to my brother. So after messing with this cheap one with no success, I found a new good one here,
It is model #5458, and its Mercury(what I want), and it just like the old good one I gave to my brother.
Hope this helps you all find the right one, you get what you pay for, the junky one is $13 and the good one is $35.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 11:28AM
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I am not sure what kind of max min thermometer you are looking for, but if I need one display maximum and minimum, I am more like this model because I am a young lady, I like some thing colorful and good look.


Here is a link that might be useful: TLX

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 9:22PM
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I got mine at Lowes for around $10-$15 bucks. Use Lithium batteries. Mine has survived several -10 F this winter. You likely already got this info above, but here it is again.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:09PM
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