7 Features to Look for in a Colorimeter

When I was a field rep I used a colorimeter to do the bulk of my water testing, and I relied heavily on those results to show me just how much chemical I needed to add. So, you can imagine, I have my opinion on what I consider to be the most important features in a colorimeter. Here are the top seven:

1. Consistent and reliable results. To me, tablets never delivered consistency, plus it takes so long for them to dissolve. Give me liquids and powders to put me on the road to reliable results. The device itself also needs to perform consistently, and the top models have that covered. (You get what you pay for!)

2. Auto-read function. Colorimeters that automatically read the test result when the timer for the method expires free up time so I can be doing other things. I have to multitask to get through my day, and waiting for the colorimeter’s timer to expire so I can press “Enter” to get the test result wastes valuable time. And when I get talking to people — I sometimes forget I have a test running.

3. Easy-to-find methods. I always disliked needing a cheat sheet for test methods. The device should display a list of the methods by name, along with the upper limit of each test. The less paper and fewer lists I need to carry the better!

4. Ability to create a series of tests. Being a creature of habit, I do tests in the same order all of the time. I just want to go right down the line and be as efficient as possible.

5. Backlit display. If you’ve ever had to perform a test in a dark or dimly lit place, like a boiler room, you know how difficult it can be to see the colorimeter’s screen, and my eyesight isn’t what it used to be! A display with backlighting is a definite plus.

6. Easy access to updates. Who wants a colorimeter that has to go back to the factory every time the firmware needs updating? And what do you do while it’s gone? I want a colorimeter where I have access to firmware updates and new tests files that I can download on my own at my convenience.

7. Great warranty. Finally, I want more than the run-of-the-mill, one-year warranty. I use Craftsman® tools because they are rugged and seldom need repair or replacing. Now if I could get a colorimeter like that …