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There are certain truths that cannot be ignored. 1. Grown men getting knocked in the nads is funny, 2. Small, fluffy things can sell almost anything, and 3. If you make a temperature finder that looks like a gun and has a laser on it you can entertain a group of middle-aged men for quite some time. Once again, damn you, Milwaukee engineers!

The 2265-20 Laser Temp-Gun is powered by 3 AA batteries and is rated for a temp range of –22F to 662F with a distance-to-spot ratio of 10 to 1. Just point and pull the trigger and the temp gun will tell you the surface temperature of anything you’re likely to find around the house or jobsite unless you’re a fireman or something really extreme. Plus, it’s uber-addicting.

So far we’ve pointed the beam at almost everything we can find, just to see what the magic screen of knowing has to say about the surface vitals for car engines, fridge shelves, and computer exhaust.

A C-Note will disappear from the billfold to put one in your hand, but should you need one for work (HVAC guys), it’s the complete awesome to have in the arsenal. Then again, that’s the way crack always is — they hook ya and then you can’t stop using the stuff.

2265-20 Laser Temp Gun [Milwaukee]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


13 Responses to Milwaukee’s Laser Temp Gun = Tech Crack

  1. Fong says:

    These things are ridiculously addicting and like fart jokes, never seem to get old. I picked one up for the first time nearly 13 years ago and still find myself pointing at arbitrary things for giggles.

    On a more practical note, it has come in handy when I’ve needed to apply paint or coating on high temperature surfaces (Moto Exhaust Pipe) and needed to know if the product was rated high enough.

  2. Angelbane says:

    heh I have a cheap one from harbor freight that i keep in the kitchen … I have to hide it from my 11 year old because he will grab it and take the temp of EVERYTHING. (Ok OK … I keep it in there because i do to)

  3. Jim says:

    One thing to keep in mind with these is that if you aim it at something shiny (window glass, chrome, polished stainless/aluminum, etc.), you’ll end up measuring the temperature of whatever is reflected in that surface and not of the object itself. It all has to do with the emissivity and reflectivity of a surface in the infrared range. That said, these are great for diagnosing a thermostat problem in a car. Just aim it at the upper and lower radiator hoses, and you can see whether or not your thermostat is opening and at what temperature approximately.

  4. John says:

    I got one from Harbor Freight on sale for less than $30 if I remember. And I’ve been having fun with it. Not sure how to tell if it’s calibrated properly. I shoot it at boiling water and get reasonably close to 212 so I think I’m doing fine for … why did I get that thing again? Oh yea fun. It works great for that.

  5. Jim K. says:


    The way I checked mine was by comparing results with a high cost unit that my workplace owns. It was within 2 degrees F of the other unit. Plenty close for my “needs”.


    Great use I’ll have to remember that one in the future.

    Oh, and caveat to truth #1, unless you’re the man that’s been kicked in said nads. :-O

  6. fred says:

    Some of the higher priced units can be adjusted for different emisivities – like this Fluke model


  7. Ben Granucci says:

    A trick that I learned back in college is that these can be relatively cheap troubleshooting tools. Then (electrical) things fail, they often get hot. Or at least warm. By aiming one of these around an enclosure, you can often find a part that might be a bit warmer than its surroundings. Yes a thermal imager can make this lightning-fast, but an inexpensive one stats at 15x the price of an expensive IR thermometer and they only go up in price from there…way up.

  8. Gough says:

    Lots of people miss that the laser is just there as an aiming device. I’ve got family members who insist that it’s a “laser thermometer”. To build on what Fred posted, Fluke has a booklet with some great uses for them: spotting short cicuits in electrical boxes, bad bearings in machinery, etc.

    Thanks, Stephan-Boltzmann.

  9. Les Warner says:

    You can get essentially the same device with a Raytek label for much less.
    Nearer $60 than $100, if I remember rightly.

  10. rg says:

    $100? How about $16.70 with free shipping?


    Any more than that, and you’re over-paying.

    My line of work is industrial instrumentation. I have a cheapo that I use for quick checks of pipes and vessels. These types of thermometers are inherently not very accurate, and that includes the expensive Fluke and Raytek (Fluke owns Raytek now) models. Besides the emissivity issue, as someone previously pointed out, they’re just not made for anything more than a ballpark reading.

    But, as others have mentioned, they have their uses for taking comparative readings and establishing trends — but not for giving accurate temperature values.

    I’d pretty much guarantee that this Milwaukee brand unit is identical to the $16 Chinese one, as are the lower end Flukes and Rayteks. I’ve had a few apart, and I can’t see any difference. They’re all made in China, and no two will give the same reading twice. Generally, they’re good for around +/- 2 degrees C accuracy. Not a precision instrument.

    That being said, they can be pretty handy — just don’t pay more than $20 – $30 for it.

  11. RobertC says:

    I’m a thermographer, among other things.

    These things are ballpark ONLY. Too many uncontrolled variables. Surface finish, distance, background temp, shape.

    Yes, shape can matter. And don’t get me started on trying to find the temp in a hole.

    I use them, and the top of the line stuff. Just gotta understand limits.

    If you want to really understand a limit here are a coupe of quick teaching tools.

    Get a pan, plain aluminum on the outside, teflon inside.

    Heat it up and then check both side. You will see a difference, that is because of emissivity.

    Next, get someone to hold a soldering iron in front of their chest. Back away as you check the temp. How far away are you when you completely lose the iron?

    Keep those things in mind as you use t and you’ll stay out of real trouble.

    Now, a word about safety.

    Bearings= rotating shafts. don’t get too close to the shaft.

    Electrical. Do NOT break the plane of the enclosure. You are focused on the screen with live wires nearby. Remind yourself not to get too close. We use a spotter.

    That said, I still play with them…..

  12. RobertC says:

    Oh yeah, no matter what the movies and TV show, you can’t see through glass with it.

  13. FeralVermonter says:

    Very, very useful for maintaining temps on a home-made smoker–or when roasting a pig.

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