Updated November 27, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Geiger Counters

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Whether your job puts you in potentially radioactive areas or you want to ensure that the environment around your home or place of business is as safe as possible, one of these Geiger counters will provide you with all the readings you need to stay informed. They're also a must-have for doomsday preppers who want to avoid contact with any nuclear fallout. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best geiger counter on Amazon.

10. GQ GMC-500 Plus

9. Radex RD1503+

8. Ecotest Terra-P

7. Radex One Personal Safety

6. Mazur Instruments PRM-7000

5. International Medcom Inspector Alert V2

4. Radex RD1212-BT Outdoor Edition

3. Onyx Advanced

2. Soeks Ecovisor F4

1. Imagesco GCA-06W

Editor's Notes

November 24, 2019:

While there isn't a lot of annual activity in this sector, we did find an interesting option available from Radex to complement the other two models that have remained on our list since its last iteration. This is the Radex RD1212-BT Outdoor Edition, which offers all the sensitivity of the Radex RD1503+, but in a more durable, bright orange housing. It also features Bluetooth connectivity so any of your readings can be readily shared through its dedicated app or the platform of your choice, including the company's PC software.

One of the most exciting new models is the Soeks Ecovisor F4, which replaces the company's previous offering, the 01M Plus 2nd Gen. This new model boasts a modern touchscreen interface and the ability to detect more than just alpha, beta, gamma, and x-rays, like nitrates in foods and the specific hardness or softness of a water supply. Ultimately, though, we had to tip our hats to the Imagesco GCA-06W, which utilizes an outboard wand with its Geiger-Muller tube in it, so you can save a little money if the sensor ever needs to be replaced.

Ions From Icons: A Celebrity Geiger Breakdown

Let's say you're a bar owner, and your bar is full of hetero-normative couples who have been dating for a while and who are utterly average looking and totally shallow.

Let's say you're a bar owner, and your bar is full of hetero-normative couples who have been dating for a while and who are utterly average looking and totally shallow. Then, a couple walks in that's just on another level – we're talking beyond Brangelina.

The very existence of this attractive new couple causes a rift between the the two lovers in each of the other pairs. The women, positively charged by the possibility of dating a man like Brad Pitt, all head out the door. The men, negatively charged by sudden feelings of inadequacy and intimidated by the beautiful woman, all head to the bar for some liquid consolation and courage.

This is, more or less, what's happening inside the Geiger-Müller Tube of a Geiger counter.

You have a tube (the bar) filled with a low pressure gas like argon (the couples). Then a radioactive element appears (Brangelina) and causes the argon to ionize, dividing a positive ion (the women) from a negative electron (the men).

The positive ion is absorbed by the opposing current in the tube's exterior (the women leave the bar).

The negative electron is attracted to a positively charged bar of tungsten running through the tube (the men go to the bar for a drink).

Each time a man buys a drink, and each time a negative charge from an electron hits the bar, the Geiger counter counts it. This happens to more argon atoms per second depending on the level of radioactivity, and you get a clean, clear measurement as a result.

Counting Geiger Counters

When you look at the fairly broad field of available Geiger counters, you might feel a little something akin to radiation sickness coming on. Rest assured; your rad count is just fine. You're just a little overwhelmed with options, and that's understandable.

So, let me break down a few variables you can consider that'll make your selection process that much simpler.

There are other, frankly more expensive builds out there, but they don't concern us today.

First, there's the detection method itself, which is likely either a standard Geiger-Müller tube or a pancake tube, which works on the same principal but utilizes a different shape. Note that the pancake tube is preferred for detecting beta and gamma radiation, and has a tendency not to be as effective with alpha radiation.

There are other, frankly more expensive builds out there, but they don't concern us today.

Second, you'll want to look at the display. Is it clear and easy to read? Is there enough pertinent information available without a lot of menu diving?

And lastly, tying the two points above together, I say ask yourself why you want to get one. Is it for a class or a hobby? Are you genuinely concerned with radioactivity in your home or neighborhood? Is it part of your job?

If the answer is yes to either of the latter questions, then spare no expense and get yourself one of the best we recommend.

If you're just on the curious side, and you like the idea of the counter, the unit at number five should please you with its accuracy and vintage appearance.

From The Mind Of Mr. Geiger

Poor Walther Müller. There he was, right alongside Hans Geiger, developing the tube that would become the centerpiece of the Geiger-Müller Counter in 1928.

History has a way of simplifying the names of things, removing what we deem unnecessary, for better or for worse.

The display and data recording in the devices have also become more elaborate and useful.

Sometimes it's a natural progression, and sometimes it's more propaganda than populism. Think of how The Facebook became Facebook, or how Vault Boy in the picture there effectively convinces thousands of survivors in the popular Fallout video game series to remain in their underground vaults. Nowadays, Geiger's name is as synonymous with radiation as cell phones.

So, Geiger and Müller put this magic tube together in 1928, and, frankly, not that much has changed in its construction.

More advanced methods of quenching have been developed, which reduce the time between electrons pinging the tungsten rod and the resetting of the internal gas. The display and data recording in the devices have also become more elaborate and useful.

But the core, as developed by both men, still remains.

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on November 27, 2019 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


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